Ah, motivation. Depending on whom you talk to, motivation can be one of the finest tools for achieving success or just a downright intimidating word that prevents anyone from achieving their goals. It’s vital for the fitness professional to remember that every decision we make starts within ourselves and where our mindset currently resides. Motivation is found in what inspires us.

Creating and maintaining motivation for our clients can be challenging, therefore, I have designed this three-step “R” system that will help guide you in helping your client achieve the most success possible while they remain motivated throughout.

Step One – Relate

When first meeting with a new or potential client, it is crucial to find ways to relate to them. Learn to understand “why” they want to achieve their specific fitness goals. In learning this, you will most likely understand the very reasons they are in need of your help, even beyond physical goals. Everyone’s story is uniquely their own – for some, their “why” could be based in emotion, and for others it could be simply because they need to fit into a beautiful dress for a fancy event. No matter what the reason, do your best to relate to what this client is feeling. Relate to their emotions and place yourself in their position. Only once you are able to relate to the “why” will you be able to motivate this client in your sessions together.

Step Two – Read

After learning your client’s “why,” it’s now time to implement and mold their needs into your sessions. For example, let’s pretend your client suffers from some sort of trauma and they have been an emotional eater for years. They have opened up to you that their fitness goals are to lose weight. After learning all of this information and having honest conversations with this client, you must use critical judgment on how to style your motivational practices in these sessions. It’s time to read your client and decide what motivational practices will work best for them. For example, for this particular client, it might be best to have a sympathetic and gentle approach instead of demonstrating “tough love” since this aggressive behavior might not be the most motivating. Again, read your client’s emotions during the session to assess what is and isn’t working for them. The final step is then reading your client’s reactions to your motivational techniques.

Step Three – React

After a few sessions with your client – take mental notes and be incredibly aware of how your client is reacting to your motivational style. Ask yourself certain questions to evaluate your client’s progress. Are you instilling the best level of energy with your client? Furthermore, is this client reacting to the best of their abilities? If you feel that you and your client have created the correct partnership and the motivational levels are where they should be, then continue on the path that you both are on. If not, you will need to change the energy in these sessions to a level where your client feels most comfortable. If you are unsure if your client is maintaining motivation, then definitely without hesitation, check-in with your client after each session for information to help in adjusting your sessions going forward.

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Shaun Zetlin

Shaun Zetlin

As the son of a professional bodybuilder, Shaun was exposed to weightlifting and exercise at a very young age. After overcoming his own physical limitations having been born with club feet and gross motor skills, Shaun made it his mission to share his passion and knowledge of proper fitness and health to help others meet their fitness goals.

For over ten years, Shaun has successfully run his own personal training business in the New York City Metro area. Able to relate and adapt to each individual, Shaun prides himself on developing exercise plans and nutritional menus to foster every client's fitness needs. His clientele ranges from the athlete, and senior citizen, to bodybuilder, and dancer. Shaun's specialties include: strength training, power techniques, corrective injury training, and core stability training.

In addition to the highly regarded Master Trainer status, Shaun is a certified personal trainer of the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). With NASM Shaun also holds specialized certifications in: Pre- and Post-Natal, Corrective Exercise Practices, Cardiovascular Weight Loss, Youth Training, Senior Citizen Training, Balance Training, Core Stabilization, and Self Myofascial Release (SMR). Additionally, Shaun is certified by the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Sports Performance Nutrition Specialist, with training in the Female Athlete, Knee & Shoulder Rehabilitation, and Marathon Training. Shaun earned his Bachelors degree in English Literature and Writing from the University of Delaware.

Shaun's first full-length book, "Push-up Progression Workout for a Stronger Core" is currently available worldwide both in paperback and e-book formats. It was featured as one of three top books in 2013 for healthy living as selected by Dr. John Whyte of The Discovery Channel. His latest book, "Push-up Progression (2nd Edition)" has already achieved great success and notoriety in the world of fitness. It is currently featured in bookstores across the United States and United Kingdom in paperback and available wherever e-books are sold. Shaun has had a multitude of articles, program designs, and tips published within a variety of books, magazines, and on websites in the world of fitness and beyond including: Price World Publishing, Demos Medical Publishing, Livestrong, Rodale Books, OnFitness Magazine, Fitness Magazine, Brides Magazine, and GO: AirTran Magazine. Additionally, Fitness Professional Online recognizes Shaun as an "expert," answering questions for other fitness and health professionals.

Shaun also has media experience in both television and radio, ranging from fitness modeling, to hosting his own weekly radio fitness show.
Shaun Zetlin

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