Build Your Client’s Confidence with These 6 Tips


“To be sincere, I’m afraid of figuring out within the health club.”

Chances are high, as a private coach, you’ve had a consumer (or two) admit their fears about going to the health club after arising with an appropriate coaching program for them.

What do you do in such a state of affairs? It’s a difficult one for positive. Do nothing, and their health club anxiousness may get the higher of them, impeding them from reaching their health objectives. However telling them to “simply do it” received’t lower it, both.

Don’t fear. This text explores what it’s good to learn about supporting a consumer coping with “gymtimidation”—together with what it’s, why it happens, and what you can do about it as a fitness coach—to allow them to really feel comfy about moving into the health club.


What Is “Gymtimidation”?

As implied by its title, the time period “gymtimidation” refers back to the feeling somebody will get once they’re intimidated by the thought or the precise act of figuring out within the health club.

Oh, and simply so : Your shoppers aren’t the one ones getting right into a bundle of nerves about having to work up a sweat within the health club. “Gymtimidation” is an actual phenomenon that impacts loads of individuals. Actually, a survey conducted by PureGym (on their members) discovered that one in 4 individuals would relatively face spiders than go to the health club!

Research just lately commissioned by Samsung helps this discovering, with 83% of survey contributors agreeing that the health club will be an intimidating expertise.  

However what’s up with this deep-seated worry? Each analysis items arrived at a startlingly comparable checklist of the highest causes of “gymtimidation”:

  1. Not understanding find out how to use all of the tools
  2. Feeling intimidated by different “skilled” gym-goers
  3. Visiting the health club when it’s busy (having another person eye the tools they’re utilizing)
  4. Not having an outlined exercise plan
  5. Having to ask for assist or recommendation

This checklist gives precious insights into how you possibly can assist your consumer overcome their health club nerves. So, with out additional ado, let’s bounce proper into that.

#1: Stroll Your Consumer By way of Each Train on Their Exercise Plan

Earlier than you ship your consumer off to clock in a solo exercise session within the health club, make sure that they know find out how to carry out each train included of their exercise program. Doing so tackles two main causes of “gymtimidation”: #1 (not understanding find out how to use all of the tools) and #5 (having to ask for assist or recommendation).

Right here’s a terrific tip that’ll actually increase your consumer’s confidence within the health club: Have them arrange their very own tools throughout their coaching session with you. For instance, educate them on how they may modify the bar top on the squat rack such that it will go well with the train they’re performing, be it a barbell squat, overhead press, or bench press.

The identical goes for machines. Get your consumer conversant in the totally different knobs and levers they may manipulate on each machine so it fits their distinctive physique proportions and coaching objectives.

Have your consumer file their most popular settings (e.g., writing it down in a pocket book or taking an image) if crucial; this can function their reference level once they’re within the health club with out you by their facet.

#2: Give Cautious Thought to Your Consumer’s Exercise Plan

Whereas probably the most apparent options to fixing trigger #3 of “gymtimidation” (visiting the health club when it’s busy) is asking your consumer to get into the health club throughout off-peak hours, typically, that’s inconceivable contemplating their schedule.

So, the following finest various could be so that you can program their workout plan in such a method that minimizes “forwards and backwards” motion within the health club.

What does that imply, precisely?

Within the easiest phrases, it means it’s best to keep away from programming in supersets or “large units,” the place they need to carry out a number of workout routines—typically at totally different machines—in consecutive order with none relaxation in between.

That’s as a result of such a programming methodology leaves your consumer susceptible to conditions the place their train tools will get “stolen” by one other gym-goer (and, within the worst-case situation, may get your consumer right into a nasty argument).

One other method you possibly can decrease mentioned “forwards and backwards” motion?

By accounting for the proximity of varied train tools relative to at least one one other when planning a consumer’s exercise program. As an instance, let’s say you’re designing a “push day” to your consumer, and you’ve got the next workout routines in thoughts:

  1. Barbell overhead shoulder press
  2. Arnold press
  3. Cable chest flys
  4. Dumbbell lateral raises
  5. Barbell bench press
  6. Triceps pushdown

Right here’s an instance of an train order that’ll assist your consumer decrease motion within the health club:

  1. Barbell bench press (squat rack)
  2. Barbell overhead shoulder press (squat rack)
  3. Dumbbell lateral raises (free weights)
  4. Arnold press (free weights)
  5. Cable chest flys (cable machine)
  6. Triceps pushdown (cable machine)

Apply this to every workout you design for your client. Take into consideration the “stream” of their exercise, and ensure they “maximize” their time at any given area within the health club earlier than transferring on to a different.

#3: Plan Sensible Options for Every Train

Regardless of your finest efforts to plan the “finest exercise routine,” your consumer should run into situations the place one other gym-goer is already utilizing the piece of kit they should use (e.g., the ever-popular Smith Machine).

Planning remains to be the important thing right here.

As an alternative of permitting your consumer to easily skip out on doing that train, present them with a couple of options that’ll goal the identical muscle teams however at a special machine or with one other setup.

For example, let’s say your consumer is used to doing hip thrusts on the Smith Machine.

Why not additionally educate them find out how to carry out the train with a free-moving barbell? And even higher: Stroll them by an entire checklist of workout routines they may do to focus on their glutes, together with glute-focused hip extensions, single-leg step-ups, and Bulgarian split squats.

Right here’s one other instance. Let’s say the lat pulldown machine is occupied. Let your consumer know that there are many other lat-focused exercises available, such because the seated cable rows, “lats-focused” barbell rows (the place their elbows are saved at round 45 levels relative to their torso), and even the chest-supported dumbbell rows.

Look by your consumer’s exercise plan. Ensure you checklist at the least one various train your consumer may do as an alternative if the mandatory tools is taken.

Equipping your consumer with this checklist of other workout routines they may flip to will assist them benefit from their exercise session, even in a crowded health club.

#4: Encourage Your Consumer to Strive Out Completely different Gyms for the “Proper Match”

There’s no denying it: Sure gyms are extra welcoming than others. In case your consumer plans to get their exercises in at a special health club than the one you are coaching them in, encourage them to “store round.”

Allow them to know that they need to all the time get really feel of a health club’s model and clientele earlier than committing to a long-term contract.

And one of many best methods they may achieve this is by signing up for a free trial session, the place a employees member excursions them across the health club, which gives a peek into what it’ll be prefer to work on the market. Have your consumer be mindful the next questions as they stroll round:

  • Is the health club employees pleasant? Do gym-goers strategy them in any respect?
  • Is the health club properly maintained? 
  • What’s the health club’s “tradition”?
  • Is the health club crowded?
  • Does the health club format make sense (e.g., “chest machines” in a single area, in comparison with one the place the machines are far and wide)?

To your consumer, this will look like an unnecessarily lengthy checklist of packing containers that have to be ticked simply to discover a health club—however it’s best to remind them that, on the finish of the day, they’re investing their time, cash, and power into the health facility.

It’ll profit them to make certain that it is the only option for them and their coaching objectives.

#5: Educate Them on Correct Health club Etiquette

Dig deeper into trigger #2 of “gymtimidation” (feeling intimidated by extra skilled gym-goers), and also you’ll understand a deeper underlying worry: that of being judged for doing the “mistaken factor” by others.

How will you assist assuage your consumer’s apprehension? Reply: by instructing them primary health club etiquette. Listed here are the highest vital tips that could share:

  • Put every thing again the place it belongs: Have your consumer unload the bar and re-rack all weights and dumbbells after they’re finished with an train.
  • Wipe issues down after utilizing them: Have your consumer wipe their sweat off machines, barbells, ground mats, and anything they use. Even higher, recommend they create in a towel to put over benches or whichever tools they plan on utilizing.
  • Don’t block another person’s view of the mirror: Let your consumer know that they need to do their finest to remain out of somebody’s line of sight once they’re trying out their train type within the mirror. In different phrases, performing lateral raises proper in entrance of somebody doing dumbbell presses—and looking out on the mirror—isn’t really helpful.
  • Keep away from slamming weights: It’s noisy and thoughtless. Plus, until the health club explicitly encourages weight-slamming, doing so would irk the health club homeowners as it may possibly destroy the tools (e.g., breaking the dumbbell heads off).
  • Solely “work in” with another person when it is sensible: Tools-sharing is feasible, but it surely ought to make sense for each events. Which means the particular person your consumer needs to share with is doing the identical train and/or across the similar weights.

#6: Perspective Is Every little thing

Along with all of the above “technical” factors, you must also acknowledge your consumer’s emotional struggles—allow them to know that “gymtimidation” is completely regular.

However reassure your consumer that everybody within the health club, together with the fittest-looking particular person and even your self, was as soon as a newbie too. Everybody begins someplace. Additionally, different individuals (and their ranges of health) are irrelevant. Your consumer’s health journey is their very own.

Get your consumer to remain aware of their ideas within the health club. At any time when they catch themselves considering, “They assume I look foolish,” or “They assume I don’t know what I’m doing,” have your consumer reframe their perspective in order that they consider the next as an alternative:

  • “I is probably not the fittest within the health club, however I’m about to turn out to be the fittest model of myself.”
  • “It doesn’t matter if I don’t elevate as heavy as others. It doesn’t make sense evaluating my chapter one to another person’s chapter twenty.”


Serving to your consumer overcome “gymtimidation” isn’t all the time a simple course of. As a coach, ask the right questions to find out about their difficulties, then work with them to deal with their reservations about figuring out within the health club.

If it helps, be at liberty to take a step again and take into consideration simply how susceptible you felt once you first began in your health journey. Put your self of their footwear. Let your consumer know you perceive how they really feel. Higher nonetheless, share how you bought over your worry. Actual life proof that “gymtimidation” will be overcome all the time helps.  


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