When I was first beginning my career as a fitness trainer I thought the only way to motivate people was to yell and scream at them like a military boot camp instructor. Hey it worked in the movies so why couldn’t it work with training people?
The truth is it was only a matter of time before my clients and I would just sit there wondering what the heck was going on. I had learned all the best training methods, but when it came down to the approach I was absolutely horrible.
The worst part about this was my clients didn’t get any results in my earliest of days because it wasn’t motivating to have somebody stand there and yell at you. Sure, it may have worked for a session or two but after a short while it gets rather annoying to have to pay somebody to scream your head off when you can get that at home for free.
Then I decided what the heck was wrong with me so I could finally start helping my clients get real long-term lasting results. It finally came to me on when I was staying at a Ritz Carlton on vacation.
The customer service was so excellent there, and it was the first time I walked into a hotel and they greeted me by my name. Even though it wasn’t cheap to stay there I have to admit they made me feel so good I wanted to come back for more. This is when the lightbulb in my head went off and I wanted to slap myself silly.
People respond best to positive encouragement when you want them to do something. For me, it’s in their best interest if I can continually push them throughout their workout so they can reach their goals towards a healthier lifestyle and a better body. This means that simply by giving them a compliment on how well they performed an exercise I can encourage them to do it again, and maybe even do it better the next time.
And just to prove I haven’t lost all of my marbles a recent study by the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan found that people performed exercises better when another person complimented them.
So how can you use this to better motivate yourself to get better results?
Compliment yourself and give it freely to others.
Let’s face it. For most people working out is going to be a difficult challenge and nobody wants to feel like Steve Urkel in the gym. Instead, be proud of yourself after you completed that hard set of burpees and give yourself a compliment on how awesome you are after doing your first pull-up.
Also don’t be afraid to spread this positive encouragement around. All too often our big egos can get the best of us in the gym, and it’s way too easy tear people down rather than to build them up. What goes around comes around, and the best way to get something to come back to you is to give it freely to others. Especially the ones who need it the most.
So what I want you to do right now is to stand up and put your right hand over your left shoulder. Then put your left hand over your right shoulder, and give yourself a big ol’ hug. Congratulate yourself on something awesome you did today because we’re usually a lot better than what we give ourselves credit for.
Josh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology and Nutrition Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He’s worked as a Strength and Conditioning Coach at the high school and college level. He has over 10 years experience as a personal trainer and nutrition coach. He is also the author of The Flat Belly Formula. He hopes to be able to bring inspiration & results to people all over the world to live a healthier life through diet & exercise.