What makes a good client?

Happy Monday everyone!

Someone asked me the other day what traits, habits, etc make a good client.  Not being sure what exactly this person meant by “good client”, I asked them to explain a bit more.  What they were wanting to know was what makes a client not only successful, but also fun to work with.  I gave them a brief, off-the-cuff list somewhere along the lines of: someone who is hard working, dedicated and willing to push themselves.  But the more I’ve thought about this, the more in depth my list has become.

On a side note, I think the things that make a successful client are the same things that make a person successful who is training on their own.  Obviously, there are some different elements with the trainer/trainee relationship, but I think the basics are true whether someone is working with a trainer or not.

1. Dedication

I’ve mentioned before that consistency is key to any program.  No program is going to be effective if someone only sticks with it for a week or two.  The clients I have that are the most successful are the ones who show up consistently and don’t cancel for every single reason under the sun.

2. Hard Work

Even if people are consistent with training, they will only get so far if they give it 50% effort.  I ask my clients to give 100% every session.  I realize that some days people might not have as much as other days, which is completely OK.  If 70% of your normal is 100% for a certain day, then that’s what you give.  Maybe it’s just me, but I think it’s pretty easy to tell when someone is slaking.

3. Clear Goals.

Not only is it important for clients to have clear goals in mind, but to keep them in mind as they train.  I realize that in part, there is responsibility on my part to keep these goals in their minds, but when clients keep their goals in mind during sessions, as well as through out their day to day lives, they are much more successful and happy with their progress.

4. Do whatever it takes attitude.

This is huge.  Often people will want to train hard but eat whatever they want.  Or they tell me it’s too hard to keep a food journal or drink enough water.  The bottom line with this is that if you want something bad enough, you will do what you need to to achieve it.  No excuses.

5. Enjoying what you’re doing.

Having fun while you train is incredibly important.  After all, how consistent is someone going to be if they’re showing up for what feels like an hour of misery.  This isn’t to say that every clients is having fun during every exercise (I’m never having fun doing Bulgarian Split Squats) but if the overall experience is something they enjoy and look forward to, they are going to get much more out of each and every session.

Whether you’re working with a trainer or not, making these attitudes and attributes a part of your overall outlook can make you much more successful in the gym.


3 thoughts on “What makes a good client?

  1. Hey Michael,

    Great post. You mention in this one about the food journal and drinking water. Could you write a post sometime about the ‘non-exercise’ parts of your training programs? I just mean something general. Maybe what you would tell a first-time or potential client about what they’re going to see/hear from you about what they should be doing outside of the gym. (Hope that makes sense.)

    Grace and peace,


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