Getting into the gym

If you haven’t spent much time in the gym over the past few years, there’s a strong chance it’s not a place you perceive as being fun.

Those who do find it fun often love it so much that they become personal trainers and got jobs in gyms, so they never have to leave.

This might not always be the case, but it does begin to explain why sometimes a personal trainer might not understand someone’s reluctance to join or go to a gym.

The trainer loves it, so they struggle to see why someone else wouldn’t share this enthusiasm,  or see some of the barriers to getting started.

This was something I always tried to be cognizant of when I was working with a new client.

I did around 2500 PT sessions with just over 60 clients when I was a personal trainer, which gave me plenty of chances to refine the induction process.

My approach was refined over time to make them feel as comfortable as I possibly could, without making it look like I was doing anything out of the ordinary.

Developing a process for new clients made this goal a lot easier.

If someone was interested in getting started, there was always an initial consultation with the client in the gym.

It was made very clear there was no workout component to that meeting - it was just a chance to see the gym, meet me, and even work out where to park nearby.

It turned out to be a great sales tactic  - if someone came to the consultation they became a client (I only think of three who didn’t, although were probably a few more).

When it came to their first session, we always started on the bike for a minimum of five minutes.

Aside from the warm-up benefits, this allowed them to settle in this environment and get into the session.

Plus, if the heart was racing from nerves - which it sometimes was - it was much easier to disguise on the bike.

Most people just want to get the first session done.

Once it was in the bag, they became a bit more comfortable with each following session until after a few weeks, they almost enjoyed being there.

Getting comfortable in the gym is commonly overlooked, particularly by those who are implementing their own programs.

If you aren’t comfortable in the gym, those little excuses for not training become heightened and you end up lacking consistency in the regime.

It’s imperative to get comfortable in the training environment if this is the place you want to be doing your exercise.

This week I am going to share the strategies I use with clients looking to get into the gym when they might not be entirely, or at all, comfortably in there right now.

Tom Fitzgerald