Do you know what’s crazy?
The U.S. dieting industry makes $20 billion annually and still continues to thrive when one in three adults remains obese. According to market research, the typical dieter makes four to five attempts each year to lose weight.
That means four to five times a year, people are still searching for ways to lose fat despite their unsuccessful dieting history. So how does the weight loss industry stay in business if their customers are seeing such terrible results?
People do dumb things when they’re controlled by their emotions. You know that battered woman who keeps going back to her violent ex? Emotions. The dieting industry preys on your hopes and fears.
And it works.
Which brings me to my next point.
Last week I posed the following question to fellow fitness professionals on Facebook:
“What behaviors do your successful clients have in common?”
And among the 40+ replies I received from various Coaches and Personal Trainers from around the world, not a single one said their client adhered to _____ diet or consumed _____ magic pill.
Why? Because good Coaches and Personal Trainers understand that there is no one-sized-fits-all approach to successful transformations. For a client to be able to make change—real change—it starts with the ability to recognize that we’re all different and our health and fitness needs to be constructed around our individual preferences.
Then, it becomes a matter of falling in love with your chosen lifestyle because it was chosen for you, by you.
I know. I know. But how?
Don’t worry. I’d never leave you hanging like that. Let’s dive into things a bit deeper and discuss exactly how successful clients separate themselves from the pack.
#1 Successful clients are teachable
In the words of Online Coach, Claudio Espinoza, clients “respect the fact that they hired someone for their expertise, so when they ask questions, it’s for clarification, not to question your methods.”
To extend on Claudio’s thoughts—a client trusts their coach. They hired that particular individual because out of the thousands of other possibilities, they thought they were the right person for the job. Successful clients trust that relationship. They trust that their Coach has their best interest in mind and will do everything within their power to create an optimal path for you to follow effortlessly while still being successful.
And if clients still have concerns or questions about the customized plan that has been created, they ask questions.
#2 Successful clients communicate
During pre-consult calls with those shopping for a Coach, I always reinforce the importance of communication. I never have to worry about clients who are in regular communication with me. It’s those who disappear for extended periods of time that leave me wondering what they’re up to. It’s like having a suspiciously quiet toddler in the next room—you know their hand is in the cookie jar.
But most of all, if a client has questions about why their Coach or Personal Trainer has them performing a certain exercise or eating additional carbs, they just ask. Part of being a good Coach is educating clients along the way, not just throwing them a plan and wishing them good luck.
Personally, my favorite aspect of Coaching is developing a relationship with people who are interested in becoming better versions of themselves. I enjoy learning about them, their families, their pets, and their likes and dislikes. The more information I gather about them, the better equipped I am to create a path that feels smooth and effortless based on their preferences. And that’s important to me. Because as a Coach, knowing my clients are adopting life-long sustainable behaviors is always my number one priority.
#3 Successful clients possess a positive attitude
As my business coach, Jordan Syatt, and I were grinding away in a local coffee shop, I leaned over and asked him what he felt all of his thousands of successful clients had in common, and before I could even finish my sentence he said, “They have a positive attitude.”
When I asked him to expand, he said (and I’m paraphrasing here), they don’t sweat the small stuff. When they screw up and go off plan, they immediately dust themselves off and get back on the horse. They don’t linger in self-loathing thoughts or beat themselves up for a missed workout or for overindulging. They recommit and stay the course.
Successful clients don’t get hung-up on the details. They understand that this is a lifelong journey. There will be days when they eat donuts for breakfast and days when they eat veggie omelettes. It’s called balance. And it’s the fabric woven into every successful transformation.
#4 Successful clients have goals beyond fat loss
To piggy back on my previous point, successful clients don’t have tunnel vision. They recognize the bigger picture. They possess the ability to see that a true transformation is one that goes beyond the physical. They acknowledge the beautiful thing about discovering your strength through fitness is how the body and mind have to work together to succeed. Physical strength and mental strength are synonymous.
Successful clients also embrace the grind. They’ve fallen in love with the process and don’t get caught up in the obsessive day-to-day details of how they look in the mirror or what the scale says. They chase other rewarding aspects of training—being able to carry ALL the grocery bags in one round, playing with their kids at the park, and being able to hike the Appalachian trail.
It’s not all about the appearance with successful clients—it’s also about feeling energetic, younger, confident, and attractive. It’s the acknowledgement that through strength training there is power, strength, and capability. All things that are equally as enjoyable as having a head-turning physique.
#5 Successful clients are patient
As someone who has worked with hundreds of clients over the past 15 years, encouraging them to utilize patience may be the hardest part of the job. There’s not a single individual I’ve ever encountered who didn’t want their results yesterday. Tomorrow is never soon enough, and this particular brand of attitude has derailed many with great potential.
Getting into incredible shape is a simple process, but it’s the mental landmines and unpredictability of life’s curveballs that test our ability to weather the storm. Only those who are willing to persevere in the most challenging of circumstances ever win the prize. Particularly when the results are slow going.
Successful clients aren’t in GNC looking for the next quick fix scams in belly wraps, detox diets, or whatever ridiculous product Dr Oz is pushing that day.
Those who come out on top commit to a program, put their head down, focus on what needs to be done, and see it through to the bitter end. Vacations, financial hardships, traffic, and holidays do not deter them. They understand body transformations are a fight against time, and much like a staring contest, whoever blinks first, is the loser.
#6 Successful clients are consistent
One of the major players in slow progress or halted progress altogether, can often be found in a lack of consistency.
When thinking of body transformations, it may be helpful to imagine it similar to making deposits into a bank. In order to get great results, a client has to “bank” their workouts and nutritional choices. Every time a meal is skipped or a half-ass workout is performed, it’s like withdrawing results out of the transformation bank.
Obviously in order for a client to be successful they have to bank as many workouts and healthy meals as possible. The more deposits that are made into the transformation bank, the better the results will be.
Another thing worth noting is how program hopping can stunt results. With the advent of the internet, very few individuals seem capable of focusing on anything for longer than a sound byte. They’re always searching for a better or faster way instead of implementing what they already know to be true.
The fact of the matter is, clients make far more progress on their physique goals when they turn their attention inward and take the time to learn how their own body responds to certain exercises and foods instead of researching other methods or short-cuts. And that’s exactly the kind of information that can’t be discovered online.
#7 Successful clients have successful habits
The absolute biggest difference between people who lose weight and sustain their fat loss and those who continue to spin their wheels through chronic yo-yo dieting can be found in their day-to-day habits.
Those who make change—real change—don’t rely on motivation by only working out on the days they feel like it. They understand that motivation is an emotion and because emotions can often be petty and fleeting—they’re not reliable.
Successful clients create an environment that allows them to thrive. They purchase healthy foods, prepare their own meals, and plan their day around regular exercise. They leave nothing to chance by having healthy snacks on-hand in the event they’re caught in a situation where they’d otherwise be forced to hit the drive-thru.
Clients who are successful have a routine that supports their goals. Instead of binge watching Netflix, they consistently looking for ways to incorporate movement into their daily lives. They don’t mind parking further away from a store or taking the stairs. And they see sunny days as an opportunity to get outside and ride their bikes to the market or play frisbee with the kids.
#8 Successful clients invest in their success
Have you ever considered why professional athletes hire world-class trainers? Or why the best chefs learn through apprenticeships? Even the most gifted of prodigies seek out famous music trainers?
Successful people make it a point to learn from the best. They don’t waste time trying to “figure it all out” by themselves. They put in the time, money, and effort it takes to be successful. They don’t wing it.
Clients understand that their mind and body are their most valuable assets and they’re going to require a unique plan. If they want optimal results, then they’re going to have to invest in their success. And that means putting in the time, money, and effort to learn from the best, and then following their footsteps.
The Bottom Line
The typical approach to diet and exercise is to focus on the end game first. Most people start with some type of goal, “I want to lose 10 pounds in six weeks” or, “I want to increase my deadlift by 50 pounds six months from now.”
But successful clients aren’t most people. They do things differently. Successful clients focus on behavior change while still getting into fantastic shape by breaking down goals into smaller, more manageable steps.
What’s important in the beginning is establishing a new normal and creating a nutrition and exercise plan that fits into your individual lifestyle. To be successful, you have to build a fat loss program centered on your personal habits, schedule, and preferences while still practicing patience and consistency with a positive attitude.
The biggest complaint I’ve heard from my clients over the years has never been about the workouts or the healthy eating, it’s always been from those who are kicking themselves for not making the decision to get started sooner.
If you’re serious about changing your life in a way that brings happiness, confidence, and lasting change, then why wouldn’t you want to learn from someone who’s already done it for 15 years?
Perhaps Kevin Ngo said it best, “If you don’t take the time to work on creating the life you want, you’re going to be forced to spend a lot of time dealing with a life you don’t want.”
Why wouldn’t you want to give yourself every advantage to succeed?
If you’re looking for some direction on how to get started, feel free to reach out so we can discuss how to get you into the best shape of your life. But this time, permanently.