As personal trainers, we thrive on the energy and commitment of our clients. But let’s face it: the holiday season rolls in like a festive steamroller, flattening even the most dedicated fitness routines.
Between the allure of Grandma’s cookies and the cozy comfort of a warm blanket, your clients’ motivation can start to wobble like a Jell-O mold at a Christmas feast. It is where you and your superhero-like metaphorical trainer cape come into play. Imagine having a secret weapon, an app that transforms holiday hurdles into fitness triumphs.
It’s time to unwrap the strategies that will not only keep your clients on the straight and narrow during the holiday season but also catapult your personal training business into the stratosphere. So, lace up those sneakers, charge your tablet, and let’s dive into making this holiday season the most fitness-focused and profitable one yet.
Understanding the Holiday Context
The holidays are a time of cheer, merriment, and the consumption of traditional holiday meals. Given the trend for holiday food consumption, it’s no wonder so many people gain weight over the holidays.
According to a study I found in the National Library of Medicine(1), the average weight gained over the holidays is 0.37 kg or 0.8 lbs. Now, that may not seem like so much. Still, as this number is an average, sometimes individuals may experience higher numbers. For example, the study mentioned that totals ran upwards of 3.35 lbs during the holidays.
Not only do the holidays typically carry the promise of great meals, but it also means that there will likely be time off work, schedules to see relatives and inlaws, work holiday parties, and so forth. All of these potentials added together can mean rather significant shake-ups to scheduled fitness activities.
Once clients start down the path of postponing their fitness to suit hectic holiday schedules, it can become a slippery slope that could end in the loss of a client. That’s why it’s so essential to keep your clients motivated and attempt to work around their busy schedules to keep them in action and not on the sidelines.
Leveraging Technology for Client Engagement
During the holidays, it is critical to boost client engagement as much as possible. One of the tools that can make it easy is software like Elite Trainr – an application built by trainers for trainers that helps you quickly manage and communicate with your clients.
In terms of engagement, statistics show that 64% of customers expect tailored engagements based on previous interactions(2). In other words, it’s crucial to track things like goals, nutrition, weight loss/gain, and more critical data using a platform like Elite Trainr.
Having a dedicated platform like Elite Trainr is crucial to ensuring you have the means to keep your clients on track. Features like the 3000+ animated GIFs make it easy for you to create workouts, even more complex ones. This way of implementing workout sessions for your clients can really help drive their engagement because the GIFs make instruction straightforward.
Customizing Workouts for the Season
I mentioned how the Elite Trainr platform has over 3000 animated GIFs of exercises to make creating custom workouts easy. However, you’ll need to keep a few things in mind when customizing workouts tailored to your clients during the holidays. Here are my top ten tips for keeping holiday workouts on track:
- Time Constraints: Recognize that clients have less time due to holiday commitments. Create shorter, high-intensity workouts that your clients can do efficiently.
- Travel Considerations: Design workouts that require minimal or no equipment, suitable for clients who may be traveling and don’t have access to a gym.
- Adaptability: Ensure you can adapt workouts for different fitness levels. The holidays might bring in family members who want to join, so having versatile routines is beneficial and could help you land a few more clients from existing client’s friends and family recommendations.
- Indoor Options: Given the colder weather, include more indoor workout options that clients can do at home or in a small space.
- Stress Relief: Focus on exercises that also promote stress relief and mental well-being, as the holiday season can be hectic and quite stressful for many.
- Engagement and Fun: Incorporate festive-themed activities or challenges to keep the workouts engaging and fun. It could be as simple as naming exercises with a holiday twist or creating a ’12 Days of Fitness’ challenge.
- Nutritional Balance: Provide guidance on balancing holiday indulgences with healthy choices, emphasizing the role of nutrition in fitness.
- Goal Setting: Encourage clients to set holiday-specific goals to maintain motivation and focus.
- Flexibility: Be prepared to modify plans as needed. Flexibility is vital during the unpredictable holiday season.
- Communication and Support: Maintain regular contact through the Elite Trainr app to support, motivate, and track your clients’ progress, adapting as necessary based on their feedback and needs.
More Tips For Managing Your Fitness Clients During Holidays
No matter where you live, the holidays are notorious for causing weight gain, at least in Western culture and societies. According to information published by the Harvard Medical School(3), holiday weight gain is a phenomenon that is worldwide and not isolated in one specific country or region. This fact means that you can use this to get clients around the world (assuming you want to manage clients virtually).
Here are a few more tips to help you manage and grow your fitness business during the hectic holidays:
Nutrition Management During Festivities
Balancing holiday meals is like walking a tightrope, except when you fall, you don’t get hurt; you gain weight instead. During the holidays, balancing holiday treats with healthy eating often falls short of balance. That’s why you must offer the proper support for your clients during the holidays.
Here are seven of my tips for managing client nutrition during festivities, holidays, and other such events:
- Mindful Eating: Encourage clients to enjoy holiday treats mindfully. It means savoring each bite and choosing treats that they genuinely enjoy rather than mindlessly snacking on every treat in sight.
- Portion Control: Teach clients about portion sizes. Enjoying holiday favorites in moderation can prevent overindulgence while still allowing for the enjoyment of festive foods.
- Healthy Substitutes: Offer recipes or ideas for healthier versions of holiday favorites. For instance, I am using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream in dips or baking with almond flour.
- Balance Your Plate: Guide clients to fill half their plate with vegetables and the other half with a balance of protein and healthy carbs. This method can help offset the impact of more indulgent choices.
- Stay Hydrated: Remind clients to drink plenty of water. Sometimes, thirst is mistaken for hunger, leading to unnecessary snacking.
- Plan Ahead: Encourage clients to eat a healthy snack before attending a holiday event. It can prevent overeating due to hunger. In fact, I use this tactic myself before I do my grocery shopping. Never go shopping on an empty stomach!
- Stay Active: Emphasize the importance of maintaining a regular exercise routine during the holidays to balance out the extra calorie intake. Try to get your clients to commit to (at the very least) a regularly scheduled workout routine.
Maintaining Communication and Motivation: Critical During Holiday Times
Studies have shown that Americans tend to suffer weight gain during the holidays, perhaps more than other societies. In fact, it’s not uncommon for surveyed Americans to admit they anticipate as much as an 8-pound gain over December(4).
Maintaining communication and motivation is crucial during the holidays. It’s one of the biggest challenges for personal trainers – to keep their clients from falling off the holiday meal wagon. That’s why it’s crucial to implement a regular check-in program with your clients.
Try setting up regular touch-points with your clients – even if it means you have to adjust your schedule. Remember that today’s society is all about convenience, so try to work with your client’s busy schedules to keep them on track.
Suppose you don’t have a robust platform to show your professionalism and let you quickly check in with clients. In that case, you’ll want to consider the Elite Trainr app. We’ve built in an excellent communication system, so you don’t have to worry about opening other programs. With a few clicks, you can keep your communications flowing with your clients, keeping them motivated and on track.
Setting Goals and New Year Preparations
We’ve all heard the expression ‘New Year Resolutions’. Furthermore, even you have likely made yourself (or others) promises for the new year. In fact, according to surveys(5), 73% of those surveyed claim that they plan to make physical health goals like fitness, weight loss, or a positive change of diet.
If you intend to work with clients who make claims to commit to New Year’s resolutions, don’t be too hard on them if they falter. No one likes an ‘I told you so,’ so do your best to take their promises with a grain of salt. Instead, try nurturing them with praise for the gains they’ve made throughout the year and remind them of their motivations, goals, and related sentiments they may have shared with you in the past. After all, ‘you’ll catch more flies with honey than you will with vinegar,’ as they say.
Staying Strong and Spirited: Your Blueprint for Holiday Fitness Success
The holidays might be rife with temptations, but they also offer a unique opportunity to shine as a personal trainer. With Elite Trainr by your side, you have the power to turn the festive challenges into victories for both you and your clients.
From understanding the holiday context to leveraging technology for enhanced engagement, we’ve explored a plethora of strategies to keep your clients on track. Embrace the gift of adaptability, focusing on creating customized workouts that respect time constraints and travel plans while injecting a dose of festive fun to keep spirits high.
Nutrition management is your secret weapon during these feast-filled times. By teaching mindful eating, advocating for portion control, and offering healthier alternatives, you can guide your clients to make smarter choices without missing out on the holiday cheer.
Above all, remember that your role extends beyond being a trainer. You are a motivator, a pillar of support, and a guiding light through the season’s hustle and bustle. Regular communication and motivation are paramount. Use the Elite Trainr app to maintain that crucial connection, offering timely advice, encouragement, and a platform for tracking progress.
As the New Year approaches, help your clients set realistic, achievable goals. Celebrate their successes, big and small, and remind them of their capabilities and strengths. Your support can make all the difference in turning those New Year resolutions into lasting lifestyle changes.
- Yanovski, Jack A, Susan Z Yanovski, Kara N Sovik, Thutrang T Nguyen, Patrick M O’Neil, and Nancy G Sebring. 2000. “A Prospective Study of Holiday Weight Gain.” The New England Journal of Medicine 342 (12): 861–67. https://doi.org/10.1056/nejm200003233421206.
- Agarwal, Antara. 2020. “Customer Engagement Statistics to Know in 2023.” Outgrow. March 19, 2020. https://outgrow.co/blog/customer-engagement-statistics#:~:text=Customer%20Engagement%20Industry%20Statistics%3A,-Almost%2040%25%20of&text=39%25%20of%20companies%20don’t,%25)%20and%20convenience%20(55%25).
- “Holiday Weight Gain Is a Worldwide Phenomenon, Study Suggests – Harvard Health.” 2016. Harvard Health. Harvard Health. November 14, 2016. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/holiday-weight-gain-is-a-worldwide-phenomenon-study-suggests.
- Melore, Chris. 2021. “Holiday Weight Gain: Americans Expect to Add 8 Pounds over the next Month.” Study Finds. November 22, 2021. https://studyfinds.org/holiday-weight-gain-8-pounds/.
- “50% of Consumers Plan to Make New Year’s Resolutions, Numerator Reports | Numerator.” 2022. Numerator.com. December 28, 2022. https://www.numerator.com/50-consumers-plan-make-new-years-resolutions-numerator-reports#:~:text=Physical%2C%20financial%20and%20mental%20health,40%25%20will%20prioritize%20mental%20health..