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Focus on health not appearance to boost motivation

A recent study that was carried out by Northwestern University has shown that simply providing motivation as a Personal Trainer can play a monumental part in the results and satisfaction of female clients.

Renee Engeln, Lead Author of the study, and Professor of Instruction in Psychology in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern has said that; “Our goal was to determine whether the psychological outcomes of a fitness class might vary based on whether the instructor made motivational comments based on health versus appearance,”

Although Personal Trainers more than likely provide motivation throughout their sessions, it can be easy for comments with a positive intent to have a negative effect on the self-esteem of clients. The study that was carried out showed that when Personal Trainers gave clients motivational comments focused around strength, rather than how the body looks, the clients felt more satisfied and happy with the work they have put in.

When the study was carried out, each client was asked to describe how the motivational comments made them feel. The results showed that “Those who heard appearance-focused comments were much more likely to write things like ‘ashamed’ and ‘disgusted with myself.’ Those in the health-focused classes were more likely to write things like ‘accomplished’ and ‘strong.'”

With the current focus on making fitness for women more appealing and inclusive, this study is massively important, as it allows Personal Trainers to see how they can directly impact their clients’ view to fitness.

Authors of the study said that “If we want people to stick with exercise, we need to remove shame from the equation. This study points to an easy and cost-free step that fitness instructors can take to make their classrooms healthier, more inclusive and more inspiring.”

Overall, this study only emphasises the changes that Personal Trainers can make with minimal effort to help make fitness more appealing and inclusive for women. With campaigns such as ‘Fit Got Real’ and the continuous research into making women’s’ fitness more appealing, the lengths that Personal Trainers can go to are constantly expanding.

Whether you’re looking to make fitness more appealing for women across the UK or just boost your loyal client base, making simple changes such as altering the way you offer motivation hold huge potential for your Personal Training business.


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