Build Your Client’s Confidence with These 6 Tips


“To be trustworthy, I’m afraid of figuring out within the health club.”

Chances are high, as a private coach, you’ve had a consumer (or two) admit their fears about going to the health club after developing with an appropriate coaching program for them.

What do you do in such a state of affairs? It’s a difficult one for certain. Do nothing, and their health club nervousness would possibly get the higher of them, impeding them from attaining their health objectives. However telling them to “simply do it” received’t minimize it, both.

Don’t fear. This text explores what you want to learn about supporting a consumer coping with “gymtimidation”—together with what it’s, why it happens, and what you can do about it as a fitness coach—to allow them to really feel comfy about entering into the health club.


What Is “Gymtimidation”?

As implied by its identify, the time period “gymtimidation” refers back to the feeling somebody will get once they’re intimidated by the thought or the precise act of figuring out within the health club.

Oh, and simply so you understand: Your shoppers aren’t the one ones getting right into a bundle of nerves about having to work up a sweat within the health club. “Gymtimidation” is an actual phenomenon that impacts loads of folks. Actually, a survey conducted by PureGym (on their members) discovered that one in 4 folks would fairly face spiders than go to the health club!

Research not too long ago commissioned by Samsung helps this discovering, with 83% of survey contributors agreeing that the health club could be an intimidating expertise.  

However what’s up with this deep-seated concern? Each analysis items arrived at a startlingly comparable record of the highest causes of “gymtimidation”:

  1. Not understanding use all of the tools
  2. Feeling intimidated by different “skilled” gym-goers
  3. Visiting the health club when it’s busy (having another person eye the tools they’re utilizing)
  4. Not having an outlined exercise plan
  5. Having to ask for assist or recommendation

This record provides beneficial insights into how you might assist your consumer overcome their health club nerves. So, with out additional ado, let’s leap proper into that.

#1: Stroll Your Shopper By means of Each Train on Their Exercise Plan

Earlier than you ship your consumer off to clock in a solo exercise session within the health club, be certain that they know carry out each train included of their exercise program. Doing so tackles two main causes of “gymtimidation”: #1 (not understanding use all of the tools) and #5 (having to ask for assist or recommendation).

Right here’s an awesome tip that’ll really increase your consumer’s confidence within the health club: Have them arrange their very own tools throughout their coaching session with you. For instance, educate them on how they may modify the bar top on the squat rack such that it will go well with the train they’re performing, be it a barbell squat, overhead press, or bench press.

The identical goes for machines. Get your consumer accustomed to the totally different knobs and levers they may manipulate on each machine so it fits their distinctive physique proportions and coaching objectives.

Have your consumer report their most popular settings (e.g., writing it down in a pocket book or taking an image) if mandatory; this can function their reference level once they’re within the health club with out you by their facet.

#2: Give Cautious Thought to Your Shopper’s Exercise Plan

Whereas some of the apparent options to fixing trigger #3 of “gymtimidation” (visiting the health club when it’s busy) is asking your consumer to get into the health club throughout off-peak hours, generally, that’s unimaginable contemplating their schedule.

So, the subsequent finest different could be so that you can program their workout plan in such a approach that minimizes “backwards and forwards” motion within the health club.

What does that imply, precisely?

Within the easiest phrases, it means you need to keep away from programming in supersets or “big units,” the place they have to carry out a number of workouts—usually at totally different machines—in consecutive order with none relaxation in between.

That’s as a result of such a programming technique leaves your consumer susceptible to conditions the place their train tools will get “stolen” by one other gym-goer (and, within the worst-case situation, might get your consumer right into a nasty argument).

One other approach you might decrease mentioned “backwards and forwards” motion?

By accounting for the proximity of assorted train tools relative to 1 one other when planning a consumer’s exercise program. As an instance, let’s say you’re designing a “push day” on your consumer, and you’ve got the next workouts in thoughts:

  1. Barbell overhead shoulder press
  2. Arnold press
  3. Cable chest flys
  4. Dumbbell lateral raises
  5. Barbell bench press
  6. Triceps pushdown

Right here’s an instance of an train order that’ll assist your consumer decrease motion within the health club:

  1. Barbell bench press (squat rack)
  2. Barbell overhead shoulder press (squat rack)
  3. Dumbbell lateral raises (free weights)
  4. Arnold press (free weights)
  5. Cable chest flys (cable machine)
  6. Triceps pushdown (cable machine)

Apply this to every workout you design for your client. Take into consideration the “move” of their exercise, and ensure they “maximize” their time at any given area within the health club earlier than transferring on to a different.

#3: Plan Sensible Alternate options for Every Train

Regardless of your finest efforts to plan the “finest exercise routine,” your consumer should still run into situations the place one other gym-goer is already utilizing the piece of apparatus they should use (e.g., the ever-popular Smith Machine).

Planning remains to be the important thing right here.

As an alternative of permitting your consumer to easily skip out on doing that train, present them with a couple of options that’ll goal the identical muscle teams however at a unique machine or with one other setup.

As an example, let’s say your consumer is used to doing hip thrusts on the Smith Machine.

Why not additionally educate them carry out the train with a free-moving barbell? And even higher: Stroll them by way of an entire record of workouts they may do to focus on their glutes, together with glute-focused hip extensions, single-leg step-ups, and Bulgarian split squats.

Right here’s one other instance. Let’s say the lat pulldown machine is occupied. Let your consumer know that there are many other lat-focused exercises available, such because the seated cable rows, “lats-focused” barbell rows (the place their elbows are saved at round 45 levels relative to their torso), and even the chest-supported dumbbell rows.

Look by way of your consumer’s exercise plan. Be sure to record a minimum of one different train your consumer might do as a substitute if the required tools is taken.

Equipping your consumer with this record of other workouts they may flip to will assist them profit from their exercise session, even in a crowded health club.

#4: Encourage Your Shopper to Strive Out Completely different Gyms for the “Proper Match”

There’s no denying it: Sure gyms are extra welcoming than others. In case your consumer plans to get their exercises in at a unique health club than the one you are coaching them in, encourage them to “store round.”

Allow them to know that they need to all the time get really feel of a health club’s model and clientele earlier than committing to a long-term contract.

And one of many best methods they may accomplish that is by signing up for a free trial session, the place a workers member excursions them across the health club, which provides a peek into what it’ll be wish to work on the market. Have your consumer bear in mind the next questions as they stroll round:

  • Is the health club workers pleasant? Do gym-goers strategy them in any respect?
  • Is the health club nicely maintained? 
  • What’s the health club’s “tradition”?
  • Is the health club crowded?
  • Does the health club structure make sense (e.g., “chest machines” in a single area, in comparison with one the place the machines are all over)?

To your consumer, this will likely look like an unnecessarily lengthy record of bins that should be ticked simply to discover a health club—however you need to remind them that, on the finish of the day, they’re investing their time, cash, and power into the health facility.

It’ll profit them to ensure that it is your best option for them and their coaching objectives.

#5: Educate Them on Correct Gymnasium Etiquette

Dig deeper into trigger #2 of “gymtimidation” (feeling intimidated by extra skilled gym-goers), and also you’ll notice a deeper underlying concern: that of being judged for doing the “improper factor” by others.

How are you going to assist assuage your consumer’s apprehension? Reply: by educating them fundamental health club etiquette. Listed here are the highest important tips to share:

  • Put every part again the place it belongs: Have your consumer unload the bar and re-rack all weights and dumbbells after they’re completed with an train.
  • Wipe issues down after utilizing them: Have your consumer wipe their sweat off machines, barbells, flooring mats, and anything they use. Even higher, counsel they convey in a towel to put over benches or whichever tools they plan on utilizing.
  • Don’t block another person’s view of the mirror: Let your consumer know that they need to do their finest to remain out of somebody’s line of sight once they’re testing their train kind within the mirror. In different phrases, performing lateral raises proper in entrance of somebody doing dumbbell presses—and searching on the mirror—isn’t beneficial.
  • Keep away from slamming weights: It’s noisy and thoughtless. Plus, until the health club explicitly encourages weight-slamming, doing so would irk the health club house owners as it might damage the tools (e.g., breaking the dumbbell heads off).
  • Solely “work in” with another person when it is smart: Gear-sharing is feasible, nevertheless it ought to make sense for each events. Which means the individual your consumer needs to share with is doing the identical train and/or across the identical weights.

#6: Perspective Is All the things

Along with all of the above “technical” factors, you also needs to acknowledge your consumer’s emotional struggles—allow them to know that “gymtimidation” is completely regular.

However reassure your consumer that everybody within the health club, together with the fittest-looking individual and even your self, was as soon as a newbie too. Everybody begins someplace. Additionally, different folks (and their ranges of health) are irrelevant. Your consumer’s health journey is their very own.

Get your consumer to remain conscious of their ideas within the health club. At any time when they catch themselves considering, “They suppose I look foolish,” or “They suppose I don’t know what I’m doing,” have your consumer reframe their perspective in order that they imagine the next as a substitute:

  • “I is probably not the fittest within the health club, however I’m about to grow to be the fittest model of myself.”
  • “It doesn’t matter if I don’t elevate as heavy as others. It doesn’t make sense evaluating my chapter one to another person’s chapter twenty.”


Serving to your consumer overcome “gymtimidation” isn’t all the time a straightforward course of. As a coach, ask the right questions to find out about their difficulties, then work with them to handle their reservations about figuring out within the health club.

If it helps, be at liberty to take a step again and take into consideration simply how susceptible you felt whenever you first began in your health journey. Put your self of their sneakers. Let your consumer know you perceive how they really feel. Higher nonetheless, share how you bought over your concern. Actual life proof that “gymtimidation” could be overcome all the time helps.  


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