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Keys to Creating Positive Energy in Your Training Session

There is nothing more important than providing positive energy in your personal training session or group exercise class. Positive energy goes a long way in providing a positive experience for your clients whose lives are often filled with stress, negativity, and a litany of complications in their own personal or professional lives. Here are some simple reminders to keep “positivity” in all your sessions:

  • First off, Show Up!!! It doesn’t matter if you have only one client on the books and you have to drive 20 miles, if someone makes a commitment to you, make a commitment to them. I am awestruck at the number of trainers that often change or even cancel a session because it’s not “convenient” for them. We are in a customer service business and everything should revolve around your client’s satisfaction, not your own schedule. I remember many a days, showing up for just a 6 am session and having nothing else until later in the afternoon. I was thankful I had one session and not any. Do everything you can to make that one person or one group feel special. That will lead to another session, which will lead to another session, and soon you will busy. But you must be there to get busy. Show up!
  • 100% focus on your client. You should not be watching the TV while your clients are doing their sets, you should not be engaged in conversation with another trainer or member while with a client, and all eyes and ears should be on your client for the 60 minutes you are with them. Focus, focus, focus. Imagine you are connected by a 10 foot cord to your client and that your eyes remain on them at all times.
  • Engage in positive, motivational talk. Remind your clients of their goals, be honest with them, and always provide hope for them.
  • Challenge them. One reason your client comes to YOU is to be challenged and get results. Challenge them, encourage them, and make sure they push beyond what they think they are capable. I am not saying to go beyond what is safe. I am saying to find where your client thinks he/she can’t do one more rep and then show them they can.
  • Cheer them on. Our clients come to us because they need help. Many of them need positive reinforcement. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I hear a trainer complain that he/she wishes they had a more motivated clientele. That is our job as trainers! That is why people come to us. They want to feel good, they want to look good, and they want to be healthy. Have fun with them, joke around with them. Find a way to motivate them. I am not saying to be a cheerleader. I am saying to find meaningful times to provide positive feedback. We all like a pat on the back and our clients need positive reinforcement. The best coaches in the world find ways to motivate their athletes. It is no different with top trainers. Find ways to motivate your clients to reach new levels. Whatever It Takes (W.I.T.).
  • Don’t contaminate them. A personal training session is not a time to talk to your clients about your personal baggage in your own life. Focus on them, not YOU. The sessions are about them. Teach them, make them feel special, etc. Yes, it is important to be personal and they will want to know everything about your life. You need to be discretionary with what you share because you don’t want to cross the boundaries of what is ethical. Avoid getting too close to your clients so that you can focus on their results. This will keep things much more professional.
  • Choose good music. Music definitely plays a role on emotions. Know who you are working with and set the mood and appropriate volume in accordance with whom you are working. Create an experience and music can help you do that.
  • Tempo, tempo, tempo. I believe one of the most important traits for training the general population is keeping the tempo one that is “fast and diverse.” I don’t mean that you should rush your exercises or your rest periods. What I find with most sessions is that people don’t have all day to work out. They want a good, overall workout that works on strength, conditioning, cardio, balance, etc. all in one workout. If you can keep your workouts diverse, exciting, fun, and challenging, I believe it sets the tone for great energy during a session. Additionally, when you keep the pace moving, your clients tend to immerse themselves in the activity and forget about all their problems, issues, and challenges in the outside world. This is a good physical, mental, and emotional stress relief. Keep it flowing!
  • Manually stretch them after a session. This feels good, it’s a great time to further connect with them, and the power of physical touch goes a long way in developing a great session.
  • Share your unique gifts. Perhaps you want to meditate at the end of a session, perhaps you want to read a positive affirmation after each workout, or perhaps you want to share a progressive relaxation exercise. Whatever your unique twists or gifts are, use them.
  • Have FUN!!! Laugh, smile, and engage them with your charm. Develop a repoire with your clients and show them you are human. When someone likes you and feels comfortable with you, he/she will more likely be honest and open with you. It also fosters a solid relationship that means that you can help them for a long time to come. Show your personality, be positive, and don’t always take yourself so seriously. Enjoy this wonderful job we have and let it show that you actually love what you do.

A personal training session should be designed around creating a positive, rewarding experience that your client feels like they were influenced positively physically, mentally, emotionally, and perhaps spiritually. Bring your unique gifts to a session and remember all the traits of delivering a powerful experience. Stay positive, create energy, and deliver a great experience for your client. You may be your client’s only highlight of the day!

Todd Durkin is a 2 Time Personal Trainer of the Year and Founder of Fitness Quest 10 & Todd Durkin Enterprises in San Diego, CA. He trains people from all walks of life, but is best known for the work he does with over 25 NFL Superstars. He trains the likes of LaDainian Tomlinson, Drew Brees, Carson Palmer, Reggie Bush, Alex Smith, and Donnie Edwards amongst others. His expert staff of 30 trainers, coaches, and massage therapist/bodyworkers perform over 400 weekly sessions and help educate, motivate, and inspire the world to greater levels of health & fitness. Todd has 17 DVD’s on fitness & sports performance and has been featured in many national magazines and media outlets. His ezine newsletter “TD Times” is his way of connecting clients, trainers, coaches, colleagues, and friends from all over the world. He can best be reached via his websites,, or by using the contact form below: [easy-contact]

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