Your best programming is useless if members don’t show up.

And your cues and corrections might actually be hurting your clients’ progress.

We’re in the business of teaching movement. We’re in the business of correcting nutrition. But before any of that, we’re in the business of changing behavior.

People do things for a reason.

You probably don’t know the reason.

They probably won’t tell you.

They might not know the reason themselves.

When you focus on keeping clients in your gym for a decade or more, your perspective changes from “funnels” and “sales scripts” to behavior modification. You start to wonder about motivations and world view.

 

You Must Ask “Why?”

 

People don’t always put their best foot forward at the gym. After a long day at the office, they might still be replaying an angry conversation with their boss while you’re talking about the box squat. They might be thinking about what they’ll feed their kids later. Or they might be wondering, “Why am I here on a beautiful day like this?”

As coaches, it’s our job to understand why a client is falling off a diet, why a client has bad posture, why a client is distracted in class. We have to ask “why?” before we can explain “how.”

Jill is canceling her membership in the middle of the month. Why?

Rusty hasn’t been to the gym for two weeks. Why?

Trina showed up late for her appointment. Why? Is she disrespecting me? Does she need to be punished? Or is it something else?

We’re emotional creatures wearing a thin skin of rationality. The more I study behavior, the more I can help people change theirs.

In this series, I’m going to tell you what we know about human behavior, how to change your clients’ behavior so they can achieve the results they want, and how to identify the behaviors that are holding you back (that last one is the toughest).

In Part 2, I’ll tell you about how the rational mind works with the emotional mind.

In Part 3, I’ll tell you our step-by-step process for changing clients’ behavior and improving their adherence (and, thus, their retention in your gym and their long-term results).

Part 4 will feature a conversation with Ty Krueger of the Behavior Change Collective (and Packerland CrossFit).

In the final installment, I’ll hold up the mirror to help you identify the behaviors—and beliefs—that are holding your business back.

In the end, theory doesn’t matter. Actions matter. Changing health means changing behavior first.

 

Other Media in This Series

Changing Behavior: The Elephant and the Rider
How to Change Your Client’s Behavior
Behavior Change: How to Turn New Year’s Resolutions Into Long-Term Success
What’s Holding You Back?