When I first became a personal trainer, a mentor once told me that it’s a bit like being an actor. With each new client, you adjust your approach to fit their needs. Now, more than four years later, I realize how true this is. Of course, a quality trainer is someone who is sincere, but as I popped in and out of classes, one word stuck with me: experience. Just like actors learn lines and step on stage to create an experience for the audience, successful fitness professionals create an experience for clients and class participants. Without the experience, people who hate exercise--and let’s face it: these people comprise most of the population--will never find joy in movement.
Such was a theme in Brett Klika’s morning session, “Speed Demons—Youth Fitness to Youth Fatness.” Klika was all about the experience. “Kids have a short attention span and don’t really care about how exciting it is to be able to perform contralateral locomotion while eccentrically loading the quadriceps,” he says. “So give them an adventure!” I admit to being thoroughly amused during the practical application of his teachings as he led a group of “7- to 10-year-olds” on a mission to Planet Booger to save the endangered Queen Snot. “Kids need a plot to stay engaged,” he said. He took them through a mission debriefing (a cleverly disguised dynamic warm-up) and then through a turbulent solar system to reach the planet. The adults in the room were having a blast as they avoided being shot at by dangerous aliens; I could only imagine how young kids would react. And while this type of program won’t work for older age groups, it was a fantastic example of how to create an “experience” for your client or class. What does your client want? What do they like? How do they tick? Tap into this and create an experience that will keep them coming back for more.
Do you have a unique way of creating an experience for your clients or class participants? I want to hear about it. Post your ideas in the comment section below.