As a kinesiologist for almost 14 years, I’ve learned to create very well structured, periodized training programs with advanced training methods that, according to studies, will surely yield results for my clients/athletes. On paper, my programs and planning are impeccable!
However, what no one tells us at university is the utmost, even essential importance to our survival as a coach: the client experience.
No matter how IN-CRE-DI-BLE your program is on paper, if your client doesn’t do it, or even worse, if you don’t have a client because you don’t know how to offer your services, it will amount to absolutely nothing.
Two notions are essential if you want to have a great career in the world of training and fitness:
You must be able to offer your services well, at the right price, without any embarrassment.
A widespread problem among trainers is that many of us are uncomfortable when it comes to talking about money in front of a new client. And yet, we are offering a service that we deeply believe is good and effective for them. You have the skills – what we ‘sell’ is health, whether it’s allowing an elderly person to play with their grandchildren, enabling someone to achieve a challenge they set years ago, or to just sleep well and manage stress better. We should not be shy about offering our services, on the contrary.
You must provide your clients with an extraordinary experience to retain them in the long term.
Far be it from me to enter the debate on the presence of artificial intelligence, but we must also face this new reality. One thing that A.I. will never be able to do is to provide an incredible training experience for its clients. It can give them the best programs and analyze a person’s movements, but the adaptability of a trainer is a quality that only an excellent coach can have – to grasp the subtleties of a client’s non-verbal language, to adapt during a session, to push when necessary, or to slow down when needed.
And then there’s listening, REAL listening, not the kind where the coach looks at his phone during the client’s break between sets. It is in these moments that you build a precious relationship with your client, which will eventually give you the real reasons/motivations for them to come and train.
Of course, what you include in your program is necessary, but everything around it, the experience and support you provide, will allow you to make a good living from your passion and motivate your clients even more to train hard, which will give them excellent results.
Be proud of your profession and the good you bring to your clients, because you offer them quality of life, you offer them health!
Alex Lemay graduated from Kinesiology at Laval University (Quebec City) in 2010. He worked as a personal trainer and strength coach in a performance center in Quebec City for 15 years. While being a coach, he became the manager of the gym (Gym Le Chalet/Tonic CrossFit) in 2013. He founded the continuing education platform Xpertise360 in 2015 to provide great knowledge and applicable tools to coaches. The platform is now available in English with exclusive content and a total of 300 hours + of video content in French and English with some of the best coaches and experts in the industry. In 2022, he became the co-owner of Thibarmy, the official website of world-renowned coach and speaker Christian Thibaudeau.