We all know that being a good fitness or health coach is about more than instructing. Even with the right guidance, people sometimes fail to achieve their wellness goals.


This can be hugely frustrating for personal trainers and coaches who put so much effort into helping their clients. You deliver workouts, provide meal plans, and even tips on how to rest and recover, but their client doesn’t seem to stick with the program. In cases like these, it can be helpful to ask some simple but powerful questions.


In this article – we share 5 simple questions that can improve how you coach fitness clients and help them to achieve even better results.


#1 – Invite Their Opinion

Before jumping into problem-solving mode, ask your client why they think they aren’t seeing better results. This helps to make them feel engaged and accountable as opposed to telling them what you think is wrong. The latter approach can come across as accusing them of not working hard enough and this can damage the relationship. Instead, try asking…


What do you think is holding us back from achieving results?


Tip – using the term ‘us’ shows that you’re in it together and both working towards the same goal.


#2 – Know Their ‘Why’

Knowing why someone is working out can help you to tap into their motivation. If you understand their ‘hot button’ then you can use it to inspire them during training sessions.


You can also explain how different activities or foods will help with that aspect specifically, which helps you deliver more value. The client will understand how what they’re doing links to the bigger picture and be more motivated to stick with it. Use a question like…


What’s the one thing that’s motivating you to make these health and fitness changes?


#3 – Find Progression Markers

Most people have a love/hate relationship with the scales. Sometimes the number that they show doesn’t reflect all of the hard work that a client has been putting in. This can be incredibly demotivating and really derail someone’s weight loss efforts.


So, it’s important to find and highlight other markers of progression. These can include improved working out for longer, lifting heavier weights, having more energy, or sticking to a nutrition program for X days straight. You’ll have a good idea of these markers but getting clients to suggest some will help to appeal to their underlying drivers…


How will you know if your health is improving?


#4 – Be Holistic

We’re not talking about woo-woo wellness treatments here, just considering the client’s health as a whole. Sometimes fitness and diet can be derailed by other elements such as poor sleep or high stress levels.


These can make people feel tired and emotional which means they’re less likely to stick with the other aspects of the program. Asking about these things can give you an insight into how their life and what else might be holding them back. Try asking…


How would you rate the quality of your sleep?


Tip – people who are stressed will often struggle with sleep so this is a good catch-all question.


#5 – Recruit Supporters

Having the support of friends and family is crucial for a client’s success. It can make the entire process a lot easier and help to avoid unnecessary temptation. If their social circles know that they’re trying to achieve a goal, they won’t want to tempt them off track.


Social support can also provide much-needed accountability. Most people won’t want to let down their friends or be seen to ‘fail’ publicly. So, they’ll work harder to achieve their goals if they know that others will ask about them. You can help them to recruit supports by asking…


Have you told your friends and family about your health and fitness aspirations?


Asking these questions will help you to become a better coach. Having them in your trainer toolbox will ensure that you always know what to say when a client is struggling to reach their goals.


They allow you to be constructive in your approach and develop strategies to move the client forward. This will help you retain them for longer and increase their chances of smashing their fitness goals!


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