As a personal trainer, your mission is to help clients reach their goals while making the task of living a healthy lifestyle fun, interesting and sustainable. Client “field trips” are a great way to show clients that they can work toward their goals and maintain a healthy body outside of the gym. It’s also an opportunity to put yourself on an equal playing field with them, racing and working out side-by-side as partners, not just trainer and client.
Use the following ideas to bring a little fun and spontaneity into your client workouts. Try to do one field trip every few months, or at least once during the duration of their program.
Take a Class Together
A great way to boost a clients’ respect for you as a trainer is to workout with them, sweating side-by-side. I can personally attest to the pleasure it gives clients when I say, “I’m so sore today!” Their response, “Sorry, but that makes me happy!”
Taking a class together provides you with the opportunity to show them you can work just as hard as you ask them to, while getting away from the usual training schedule. Ask what class they’re most interested in trying and then get signed up—in most cases, your first class is free, so cost shouldn’t be an issue.
Try Rock Climbing
Rock climbing is a full body workout—and the second most popular indoor hobby of 2016—making it the perfect option for a client field trip. Allow your client to do the climbing and you manage their rope, providing slack and tension as needed. Be sure to work with a staff member at the gym if this sport is new to both of you. They can give you an introduction to proper form and partner tactics.
Train at a Local Park
Sometimes a change of scenery is just what your client needs to be rejuvenated and motivated for a tough workout. Head to a local park for a unique workout using bodyweight and your surroundings: think bench, curb, and trees. If you have mobile exercise equipment, like TRX bands, bring those too.
Note that you may need a permit to practice business at the parks nearby, so call your local Parks and Recreation Department to check beforehand.
Head to a Local Community Pool
Swimming is a great workout that scorches calories. According to Harvard Health Publications, swimming vigorously (laps or otherwise) burns 300, 372, and 444 calories for a 125-, 155- and 185-pound person, respectively. It’s also low impact and has similar mental benefits as meditating and yoga, leaving clients feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
Train At Their House
Despite being a field trip for you—not so much for your client—this is a fun way to show clients how they can make the most of the space they have when they aren’t training with you. If they don’t have a lot of room inside, head to their front or backyard and do a full bodyweight workout.
Better yet, use the equipment they already have at home. They may be more likely to squeeze in an at-home workout when they know how to be most effective with what they have.
Take a Self Defense Class
Self-defense classes use full-body movements and techniques to teach students how to defend themselves, making it a great workout opportunity. Give your regular training a new functional meaning by taking a self-defense class with your client and then use the techniques you learned in future workouts to add variety.
To choose a good class that you and your client will find most valuable, do your research: “It would be important know the instructor's teaching style, attitude, methodology, and background to make sure s/he will deliver a reasonable class. Vetting is an absolute must if you're looking for practical and competent self-defense training,” says Jeremy Pollack, The Home Security Superstore’s self-defense expert.
Run a Race Together
If your client is training for a race, show them that you’re dedicated to their success by signing up to run it with them. Partner training runs will boost their motivation to stay on track, and few things solidify client referrals better than crossing the finish line hand-in-hand—especially if this is your clients’ first race.
Take a Cooking Class
If your client struggles with nutrition, set the tips you’ve shared with them in stone by taking a healthy cooking class together. Consider what your client struggles with most and surprise them with a class that focuses on that topic, or better yet, let them choose which one sounds most appealing or valuable in their everyday life. Cost may be a deterrent for your client, so use this as a referral bonus if they refer one or more clients.
Check out these additional ideas on how to keep your client motivated and your personal training sessions exciting!