OriGyms guide for motivating personal training clients

Motivation is a little like an appetite for food. Some days you’re starving, others you’re not. A number of people deal with this battle on a weekly basis. If this is true of some people, then its true of your clients as well. This might cause you to ask yourself, how difficult is motivating personal training clients?

As a personal trainer, you need to be the most motivated person in the room. It’s all about positive vibes. If you’re down in the dumps, then your clients will mirror this. Obviously this is going to affect their fitness results.

But what happens when I’m having a down day? 

Something’s wrong in your personal life. It’s January and you’re full of flu. Maybe you’re just not feeling it that day. Shut that down. Even if you have to act like you’re auditioning for the lead part in The Phantom of the Opera, you’ve got to put on a show. Happiness is infectious.


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Now that we have that most important factor down, let’s get to the nitty-gritty. 

Set Long & Short Term Goals

It is crucial to set both long and short term goals for your clients. It’s pretty straightforward to set a long term goal to lose 30 pounds of fat or gain 10 pounds of lean muscle, but these goals often take a long period of time to accomplish.

If the client was only tracking this one long term goal over 6 months then this will result in a loss of motivation. This will take you back to square one: asking yourself “how difficult is motivating personal training clients”. Set smaller goals like losing 3 or 5 pounds of fat by the end of the month, this will help the client keep track of how close they’re getting to their overall goal. Not only does it help them keep track but also works as extra motivation.

Set Fitness Rewards

First of all if your client hits a milestone in their fitness journey then congratulate them and remind them of where they started. This is when before and after pictures become very useful. Following this, a good personal trainer will reward their client with something of value. You could take your client for coffee or a small cheat meal. Its completely down to your own discretion.

Remind your clients about the fitness rewards that you will offer during the most difficult times throughout training.

Talking To Your Clients

You’ve built up the rapport to pick up a client. Now you need to maintain that relationship in order to keep the client on side, and to inspire motivation in them. A lot of personal trainers forget to do this which can lead to demotivation and client loss. You don’t need to be asking yourself “What is the most effective way of motivating personal training clients” if you can ask your clients yourself.

It is crucial to find out their “WHY.”

Spend the time you have with your client getting to know what drives them. How their personal life is (if they’re willing to share)? What do they do for work? This shows that you actually care about them, and  you should!

Furthermore, seeking information about them might aid you in motivating them in the future.

Fitness Challenges

Fitness challenges are great for motivating personal trainer clients. Set a leaderboard and see who reaches the top. We have listed 5 challenges you can try out with your clients, time them and encourage competitiveness between each of them.


Complete all exercises as one circuit. Rest 30 seconds in between circuits. Complete for a total of 5 rounds.

20 Squats
10 Renegade Row Push Ups
20 Front Squats
10 Renegade Row Push Ups
20 Front Raises
10 Renegade Row Push Ups
20 Forward Lunges
10 Renegade Row Push Ups
20 Reverse Lunges
10 Renegade Row Push Ups


Without putting the dumbbell down—complete the following exercises as a circuit. Rest 30 seconds between sets. Attempt to increase the weight with each set. Complete 3 total sets.

10 Dumbbell Squats
10 Dumbbell Squat Cleans
10 Dumbbell Thrusters
10 Dumbbell Shoulder Presses


Rep scheme is descending, and allows for great strength work as well as some conditioning. Each movement is performed for 10 reps. Once all are completed perform each movement with 9 reps, and so on down to 1 rep of each movement.


Bench Press
Pull Ups


 Move through this circuit one time at 50 reps per movement.1-50 Push Ups
2-50 Air Squat Jumps
3-50 Inverted Barbell Pull Ups
4-50 Neutral Grip Dumbbell Shoulder Press
5-50 Dumbbell Front Squat
6-50 Russian Twists
7-50 Renegade Rows
8-50 V-Ups
9-50 Bench Hops
10-50 Mountain Climbers


Clients will complete four sets. Increase weight each set: Perform all 5 movements in succession, 2:00 rest between sets:

5 Hang Cleans
5 Reverse Front Rack Lunges (5 each side)
5 Push Press
10 Back Squat
10 Sumo Deadlift High Pull

Positivity is the key to completing fitness challenges provide as much encouragement as possible and motivating personal trainer clients becomes very easy.

If you find your clients are getting tired of these challenges and you’re looking for more then click here

Make Your Workouts Fun

Workouts are meant to be tough, no doubt about that! But all workouts don’t have to be miserable.

Check out one of OriGym’s Personal Trainers, Mike, running through a Deck Of Cards Workout with his clients. Keep your workout plans varied. Clients tend to leave Personal Trainers who are predictable with workouts.

Think about it…

If you were attending a bootcamp each week and knew exactly what was going to happen throughout the duration of that bootcamp, how long do you think it would take before it became repetitive and boring?

Not long. 

Instead, research varied workout routines that will not only keep your clients on their toes, but keep their bodies active too! Muscles adapt and get used to workout routines. If you continue with the same repetitive workouts then your clients’ results will fail to improve at the speed you had previously hoped for.

Building An Online Community

Being a successful personal trainer means that you probably have an online presence – even if that just comes in the form of a Facebook page or Instagram account. This community must be nurtured in order to maintain your status as a popular personal trainer. Take photographs of your sessions to demonstrate to potential clients what is involved with the programs that you’re running.

Now nearly all personal trainers follow these steps. Want to be different? Read this final point…


Your time with your clients shouldn’t end when they stop paying.

A lot of personal trainers don’t spend time with their clients outside of a working environment. However, there are a number of personal trainers, like Alexander Hughes, who have decided to buck this trend and go over and above what is normally required. Following a Sunday group session with his clients, he invites each and everyone of them to go for afternoon lunch as a group.

Alexander said – “My picture wasn’t just to do a session and go. It was about building a community where all backgrounds come together and we have a shared interest.”

Alexander’s socialising offers him an opportunity to continue talking to his clients about their lives and fitness goals. This results in further encouragement and motivation of his personal training clients.

Be the friendly, outgoing person you are with your friends and family. Build a rapport with potential clients, and value your existing ones.

You don’t need to repeatedly ask yourself “how difficult is motivating personal training clients”, you’ve got this!

If you nurture and grow your business as you would a new client, you will be sure to stand out in the competitive personal training market.

Want to kick-start your fitness career? Go ahead and download our latest prospectus for more info! 


Become a Level 4 Qualified Master Trainer

Expand your PT Business & Become a Qualified Level 4 Master Trainer

Written by George Aird

Fitness Professional & Marketer

George Aird is a content writer and marketer with specialist knowledge of health and fitness, online marketing, and start-up businesses. In his spare time, he is a keen climber, and a (reluctant) runner.