Sup Motivators! January is just almost over. Right about now is when all the New Year Resolutionists start dropping like flies. It is also the perfect opportunity for you to differentiate yourself and help support your clients in making their new fitness habits stick.

And this week in the Motivate Forums we discussed tons of ways to do just that!

  • This week, we hazed Susan Jimene! Welcome to the Collective!
  • Less than a month until the Motivate Summit in NYC!
  • This week’s video from the The Habit Lab was: Fat Loss Habit #173: Exercise Before Breakfast
  • This week's best articles from Collective Members: 4 Pieces of Snack-sized Motivation For Your Clients
  • Stevo shared his article, We Only Track One (Inspired by Annie Brees's post)
  • Andrew McGunagle is going on an adventure! “When my lease ends next month I'll be quitting my job at the commercial gym I work at, packing up my old Toyota, and hitting the road to travel across America to meet coaches, visit gyms, and explore a bunch of national parks. My goals are to learn as much as possible from people who are coaching well and successfully building fitness communities and to figure out exactly how I want to mold my career.”
  • Michelle Burmaster shared with us her marketing wisdom: “The only reason I decided to go into business in this town is because I know there is an entire market of people who either 1. know they should move their bodies but hate gyms or 2. actually enjoy exercise but don't feel moved to subscribe to an extreme lifestyle in order to achieve fitness. These people are my market and they are coming to me in droves.”
    • Andy Fossett By definition, 70% are within one standard deviation from "average" - if you're not marketing to average, you better have a great reason for that decision, as competition is always more specialized at the extremes.
    • Michele Burmaster Should we assume that gyms which use irresponsible fitspo marketing tactics truly believe that they are effectively marketing to Jane in accounting who has never truly worked out but might be considering losing a few pounds and gaining some strength and endurance so she can keep up with her grandkids?
    • Andy Fossett I don't think we can assume very much about what another business is trying to do. Typically, they put very little thought into their messaging and how to market effectively - they are usually trainers, coaches, or entrepreneurs who have little experience or understanding of marketing.If I have to make an assumption, it used to be that people mean well, but now, my default assumption is that they simply don't think; they don't even consider it. They do things they see others do because it makes them feel that they are [whatever they want to see themselves as being].
    • Seth Munsey I would argue that most trainers/coaches want to work with the above average client, so that plays into their marketing techniques. People that are attracted to gyms that market the image of toughness, no excuses, etc... usually are self-motivated on some level and are a little easier to manage in a workout. They are often Type A personalities, and the challenge is usually to keep them from doing too much.Most gyms really don't want to work with the person who hasn't moved in 20 years and has a sense of fear about the gym and working out. They usually take longer to feel comfortable in classes and exercising around other people.Most trainers don't want to work with that segment of the population. They don't want to work with the "average 70%" because they find it boring and more mentally exhausting. They want to work with somebody that shows up ready to snatch that barbell or swing that bell and not make any excuses. It's easier.
  • Annie Brees asked for advice on how to deal with an overwhelmed client: “He's easily overwhelmed about "making the right choice" despite me nudging him to just stay focused on the three actions for now. I told him if he's that concerned to try asking himself "Does this (enter action) support my goals?". He gushed over this simple question. He felt like it was simple enough he could easily implement it on his own to help him make decisions on his own.”
    • Georgie Fear How is he recording his actions with the habits you spoke of? It may be worth specifying that if he catches himself debating to do or not do his habit, to remind himself that these habits are stepping stones to his goals, and that a step here and there in the other direction is totally okay, but too many steps away and you don't get to your goals. What do you think?
    • Seth Munsey You could also suggest that he come up with a few things that he would enjoy as a snack. Then he determines which one is the easiest for him grab and go. The thought of having to prepare something can be a huge stressor. Maybe just a healthy pre-made snack.
    • Annie Brees The habits we've decided upon he has done well with this far. Those he can handle.It's the wanting to make better decisions on his own in addition to the chosen habits he worries about. If that makes sense.
    • Georgie Fear I would commend him for his commitment to change, but advise against adding extracurriculars. “Focus on really nailing these three."
    • Stevo I'll go further and say, "pick ONE."
    • Mike Hawes You beat me to it Stevo. A smart man once told me about how quickly compliance drops with multiple behavior goals. If your client Annie Brees picks one, and is able to nail that - he feels great. Then for the fact that the first one he picks is extremely reasonable, maybe then he even happens to hit a second thing (total bonus) - then he really feels like a rockstar!
    • Josh Hillis The "only track one" thing is HUGEI've always said "you can do as much as you want, but I'm only going to grade you on if you did [insert that one thing]"And then the it's great that next week when you can come back to that: "Yeah you fell off on those seven other things but you did [that one thing], and *that's* the thing we were grading you on!"Play that game a couple weeks in a row and they get how it works.
  • Aron Rightious issued a challenge for fitness professionals to find a better way:

I just looked back at the before/after pictures of one of our most successful ‘transformation challenges’. These people did an amazing job.

This was in 2013.

Today, almost every single one has gained all of the weight back.

It made me sad. It made me feel like I failed them.

Though I didn't teach them to do anything remotely like crash dieting, I suspect some did cut some  corners hoping to win.

More importantly, the glue hadn't dried long enough for anything they did during that time to stick. Just wanted to share that with you all. Especially those who are still early in the game.

Find a better way.

    • Roland Fisher This a million times. When I coached for a large transformation contest, without mentioning names, think really large, I followed a bunch of the winners afterwards. They all gained it back.
    • Spencer Alan Roland I would love to see the stats of these things. I have a feeling that only a very small percentage of those who do it keep the weight off without continued coaching
    • Roland Fisher That would be awesome to see. I had back end access to their system while I worked there and their success rate for weight loss wasn't any better than any other program either. Seems like much ado about not much special in the end.
    • Roland Fisher  Now all we need to do is convince the public that 1/2 to 1 pound a week is awesome and sustainable.
    • Spencer Alan Yeah gosh I have a patient that has reached 300 pounds down from 400 and maintained for two years. He is now frustrated that he isn't 250 and I'm like. Shit that is 25% weight loss so much better than the studies out there blah blah.It's hard to convince people anything and I think I'm decent at it haha
    • Aron Rightious Roland - your last comment is the crux of my frustration and business stagnation. I'm not a guy who can just go through the motions. I'm working on some of the things I'm learning here to transition to something completely different.
    • Roland Fisher The average is 6% a year, 25% over two years is phenomenal.
    • Stevo, you should make flyers that you hand out there called, "We're here for Week 7." Dead serious. They're basing their entire business in a customer that comes for 42 days and never returns. You can steal all of them in Week 7.
    • Stevo Someone needs to settle this for is and open an invite-only gym that caters to reasonableness. Daniel John + Gym Jones.
    • Stevo I think it comes down to, "hey. Here's our unique value proposition. Here's our mission statement. Here's what we're about."
    • Stevo And then having the patience and the courage to make a community that creates value for its members.
  • Josh Hillis shared “a really amazing article on the wrong kind of praise”.
    • Josh Hillis You'll all be shocked I'm sure - but it comes down to praising effort and progress vs inherently being amazing.
    • Josh Hillis Apparently if you tell them that who they are is inherently and intrinsically awesome, then they're scared to death to not be awesome, and stop taking risks.
    • Josh Hillis If you praise their work and progress, they do work, take risks, and are motivated by progress (vs perfection).
    • Omar Atlas Carol Dweck's growth vs fixed mindset. This dichotomy also describes the difference between North America and South/East Asian culture parents (haha)
    • Omar Atlas On a more serious note tho: I think this relates a lot of the whole self-esteem movement in education. When you tell kids that they are amazing NO MATTER WHAT they do, obviously they aren't going to put in the work.
    • Josh Hillis One other thing I forgot to mention from the article: Specific praise is awesome. General praise is worse than worthless. Stevo told me that and I fell out of my chair. That's influenced everything I do, every day, with every client.