Wow! What a week of awesome discussions in the Motivate Forums. As usual, you can catch up on all action in just 15 minutes right here!

  • Habitry, Co. announced the Motivate OAK speaker line up! Featuring our very own community members Seth Munsey, Josh Hillis, and Georgie Fear, plus the Habitry, Co. crew!
  • Here are 5 Motivating Articles to send to your clients this week!
  • Steve Troutman asked for advice on helping clients identify process goals.
    • Jonathan Pietrunti Almost everyone cones to me with outcome goals, so I start from there and work with them to identify process goals and milestones that would contribute to the best outcome.When it comes to coaching strength or weight loss, I often "know" the answer, but I think its critical for them to work towards setting their own goals.Often I will look at their outcome goal and say something like:"Based on this goal, how do you feel about doing 'X' to aid in getting you there."


      "Increasing your bench is a priority, what areas of improvement in your form do you think we need to focus in and build off of."

      Something like that...always working WITH them.

    • Amy Dix: I spend a lot of time listening to why they're sitting down talking to me and try to figure out what exactly they want to change. That's typically an outcome oriented kind of goal. Then we talk about what kinds of behaviors/habits they want to work on that will lead them in that direction. We move down the funnel into more specificity to find a very specific action to work on and flesh out how they'll go about it rather than many changes at once. I'm over simplifying a little but that's the general process that seems to work well to get them moving toward taking action.
    • Georgie Fear: I bet we all ask about goals: and we get an outcome from the client. Makes sense. So the NEXT step is where I see you want to explore some more techniques Steve Troutman. Yes?If your current common strategy is to do some fact sharing, that's not a bad thing, because misinformation is a big hurdle (thinking someone needs to avoid gluten to lose weight, or do more cardio to "tone up" etc) and if you can kick that hurdle down off the bat, I don't think you're doing anyone a disservice.So Stevo's question is a good one to invite the client to share their ideas or current intention (or what they have been trying that they are fed up with).I have an assessment in front of me when I'm doing the consult, so I typically say something like "ok, no one has a perfect diet - so I expect in here we'll find some things that have been keeping you from this goal. You know yourself best - is there something in here that you noticed while filling it out that you want to improve or think you might need to improve to make progress?"

      Brandice Lardner has a great question (which also works well with stalled progress) of "what would you call yourself out on?"

      As for fact sharing, I often say (not just at the initial assessment but often when deciding the next habit)- okay, so we know we need to get into a calorie deficit to lose fat, you've nailed xyz, so where else in your diet do you think we could save you some calories?"

      And if they say, something I don't particularly think will help, "I'll start skipping breakfast and taking diet pills" for example, I's say something like, you got it right those would cut calories, especially in the morning hours - I have a concern though that when people have done that before they find some drawbacks..(insert drawbacks) -- what's the chance that could happen to you if you try that route?"

    • Georgie Fear: And some clients are like people who bought a whitewater rafting tip but get in the boat and don't wanna paddle. They want to sit and have you give them the habit.Evidence as, "I don't know, that's why I hired you! I'll do anything you say, seriously! I am so frustrated."In that case, I know I will work on fostering their independence/autonomy in the future but for the sake of the first session, I give them a few options, all of which I see as valuable to the client and ask them to consider which would be easiest given their lifestyle and preferences.They can't turn that one back around on me easily.
    • Georgie Fear: And once we get an action (process goal) - keeping them focused on that is pretty easy. Talk about it. Ask about it. Hive five that. Don't mention what you don't want them focusing on. If they go there, bring it back to the process. Josh Hillis is so so so good at that. He reminds clients that the scale always follows habits sooner or later its just a matter of time, so let's make sure the habits are where we want them. (except he says it better than I do).In the community - keep the talk about process. No one wants to be the asshole who is like "why haven't I lost weight yet" when the culture is people talking about and celebrating their behaviors.


  • Brian Tabor asked for advice on fostering a community outside of the gym.
    • Seth Munsey: We have Tribe Iron Republic, or "Iron Tribe" for short. This past weekend we went indoor rock climbing.I contacted the rock gym and they did a private event for us from 6:30pm - 9:30pm. They looked at it as marketing for them as well, so they set the cost at $20 per person. That included everything. Non-climbers were free. My members absolutely love it.Next month we are having a game night.
    • Steven Michael Ledbetter: Why don't you ask them? You can start by singling out a few people in your community who are clearly emerging as leaders. By asking them, you'll get them more invested in 1) showing up and 2) inviting others. You'll also get their creativity and enthusiasm so it's not all on you! And by pulling from the community itself, your more likely to be creating real value for your members.From something really big I'm writing:"My friends Annie Vo and Antonio own Precision Athlete in Manhattan. In 2012, I attended one of their “Test Days.” It was a Saturday where people from the gym could attempt new PRs in various tests that Annie and Antonio set up. I bet a lot of gyms have something like this, but I bet not a lot of gyms have 100% of their membership base turn out and invite their friends to watch. The difference between having a Test Day and having an Intentional Community that demands a Test Day is what makes all the difference in attendance, enthusiasm, and referrals. Annie and Antonio have created a culture that is all about showing up and putting in the work to make small improvements across a lot of physical outputs. Those are their values. That’s their mission. That’s their, “how we do things here.” They did not tack a Test Day onto a gym culture with a 33% active membership base to try and “motivate people to show up.” They created a gym culture where all are welcome, but if you’re not showing up, you can get kicked out by the other members! That’s a community for everyday athletes who want to freaking sweat; a safe space for people who believe in “NO MACHINES. NO EGOS. JUST HARD WORK.” The Test Day came from that, it was not added to it."
    • Robin Mungall: Last summer I did a "smoothies in the park" event. Clients brought their families, My trainers an I each made a healthy snack with recipe cards for clients to take home and smoothie shots of 30 different smoothie recipes. We played frisbee, bolla ball, had a plank crawl race and a dunk the trainer tank (3 balls for $10 to charity) Next year I will have a catering company to the smoothies. Great time.
  • Omar Atlas asked for advice on re-kindling the spark with long-term clients.
    • Georgie Fear: I tend to give them space for an initial time, but then write an email and just be frank. like "I feel like you used to be so engaged, but lately it seems like you might be feeling different. I hope things are okay, I know life might be throwing all sorts of things at you - but I'm always here and would love to help. As much or as little as you need me."
    • Josh Hillis: So I'm new to the whole group thing.But one-on-one I allow for motivation to go in cycles, and tell them about how it's ok to "cycle off" fat loss goals and work in other things (even non fitness related life stuff).So we talk about what they want and what's going on in their life and if circumstances or goals have changed, and how to manipulate the program to have them still maintaining a level of fitness, but leave room for other things that might take priority for a while.
    • Seth Munsey: If they've been with me for awhile, I just give them space and keep in touch just to say hello and see how things are going. I have some of my best friends a few years ago that I rarely keep in touch with now.I don't have any expectations that my clients are going to be with me forever, so I just keep in contact, while also understanding that there are things I'm doing right now that I'm super motivated about that you'll probably have to pay me to do sometime down the road. I'm no different. My motivation changes with the seasons.
  • Adam Muir asked for advice on marketing to grow a new gym.
    • Sean Flanagan: I can't help but feel like you're approach this backwards. It sounds like you're saying "We want to do this thing, now who would be some good people to target for this thing?"What I would suggest is approach it from first identifying who you want to serve - get that CRYSTAL clear - and then build program offerings around that.
    • Josh Hillis: Look at your three favorite clients:1.) What gender 2.) What age 3.) What profession 4.) Married/Divorced/Single 5.) Kids/no kids 6.) What are their hobbies 7.) Where do they shop 8.) What physical/recreational activities do they participate in 9.) WHAT FITNESS PROBLEMS DO THEY HAVE
    • Stevo: you can skip ahead if you take 5 clients and ask them, “how am I helping you?”
    • Vanessa Naylon: Key word in Josh’s list is “favorite”, to me. Your favorite clients are the people you’re hitting a sweet spot with. You love them and they love you. You want more of these people.
  • Hal Kriesel started a discussion on the pros and cons of asking clients for body composition measurements.
    • Steven Michael Ledbetter: To paraphrase Daniel John, "people already know they're fat. They know better and more intimately than you can ever imagine how it feels to not be who you think you should be. They don't need a asshole in spandex with calipers to tell them that."
    • Steven Michael Ledbetter: Also, fuck yeah to this, Hal Kreisel, "When it comes down to it, we are really pushing for internal change, and for people to have increased autonomy and self worth, beyond what's said or shown on a scale, a picture, or a caliper."
    • Seth Munsey: I don't take any measurements. I actually don't even talk about fat loss or appearance in my place. I wrote an article about it for Habitry called, "What's Your Clients Scorecard?" That's just me though. Others may have different methods.
    • Omar Atlas: This is a great topic!I used to also gather weekly body weight numbers and ask for pics.This article by Seth was a major "aha!" moment for me:http://habitry.com/whats-your-clients-scorecard/

      My current way of doing things: I only ask for their body weight and bodyfat percentage estimate in the initial assessment.

      And my reason comes down to this: I am not prepping guys to step on the stage. I am helping regular guys go from "fat to fit".

      The physical results we are after will take months to show up anyways, so there is no need to measure stuff on a weekly basis.

      I do measure whether they do their habits and they post what they are doing well and learning everyday.

    • Josh Hillis: This is why I love this forum. Every place else I go I'm you guys. And then here I switch places. It's all about what population you're working with.I love to take measurements when clients are in certain places. My usual client, is female trying to go from 26% bodyfat down to about 21% body fat, super Type-A, I have to hold them back, and they appreciate being assessed and want to know.I don't EVER measure women who are obviously 30+% bodyfat, they'll measure scale weight all by themselves. But for the relatively fit client going to the next level, they kind of have to to know where things are going. Like, we aren't doing a ton of scale weight change always, and they want something to measure. Like I said, super Type-A most of the time.For my group sessions, measurements aren't part of it, and so they just ask me when they want to get measured.

      And like I've mentioned before, I use measurements in reverse — to let them know how well they're doing, how fit they already are, ect.

    • Georgie Fear: I ask them on the first phone call. With the group - we don't ask for any physical measurements. We are there to help them build habits. So what we track... is habits.
    • Mike Hawes: I had a female client ask me a few weeks back to get re-measured, so we set the date for this past Monday...all good right? Then comes yesterday and I say, "let's pop into the office and get those measurements."She looks at me with fear in her eyes, and says "can we wait a day or two?"My response, "of course, that's no problem."You could see the relief work through her body and she was totally disarmed. Which allowed us to then get in the discussion of how she just the day before tried on a dress she thought "she could never wear" and it fit well and she wore it out to church.

      We then ended the conversation with how she had just "re-measured" with that dress and we don't need a tape measure and body comp test to either confirm or deny how awesome she was feeling in that dress the day prior. Standard measurements will not be a part of her progress going forward.

      But overall we do use all the quantification measures when appropriate. So I suppose it boils down to individuals and circumstances!

  • Michelle Burmaster started a thread to give Lauren Koski some major props on for creating her first viral post! Go give her a high five if you haven’t yet!
  • Amanda Thebe asked for advice on setting up a referral scheme to reward existing clients.
    • Roland Fisher: Don't offer money, IMO. Offer more service. 2 cents
    • Benjamin Pickard: Roland Fisher - why?
    • Roland Fisher: People often feel like monetary rewards are impersonal, cheap, manipulative. But offering something of yourself has more value.
    • Sean Flanagan: Maybe a charitable donation in their name though would work though. What do you guys think?
    • Roland Fisher: Always think love. How would you reward your family members for helping you. What do family want from you? For me, I think they want me. I like to give people me in some way.

Steven Michael Ledbetter: I second everything Roland Fisher and Sean Flanagan said. My whole career has been referrals but as soon as I started thinking about getting them, they dried up because I was trying to make referrals about me instead of about my clients. Instead I created what I call a "culture of invitation." I framed it as inviting others into their mission, and instead of offering them rewards, I told them they could invite a single person of their choice into our community at a discount of 1/2 off the first month.

This empowered them to help other people they cared about change their health habits AND allowed them to look awesome, smart, and cool because they could offer them a discount. Plus it lowered the risk for them.

However, I spent months laying the ground work of making a sustainable, viable, engaged and awesome community first. Amanda Thebe, it sounds like you're already doing that, you just need to keep providing awesome value then lower the barriers on the entry to your own "culture of invitation" by making it easier for new members to join!

P.S. much more on this next week via Habitry, Co