As fitness professionals, our role is more than just writing programmes and taking our clients through those programmes. If you are a seasoned fitness professional, you’ll be acutely aware your role involves facilitating behavioural change to ensure the programmes you write and deliver have lasting results.
There are many tools available which can help us do just this, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP). This study highlighted the effectiveness of using cognitive behavioural strategies, which are common in life coaching and counselling sessions, to improve exercise adherence and reduce dropouts in fitness programs. We can easily apply these strategies to help our clients adhere to their exercise routines and achieve long-lasting fitness results.
A 2011 study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine by Bandler et al. titled “The effects of neuro-linguistic programming on physical performance and self-esteem in female collegiate athletes”, found that NLP increased physical performance, self-esteem, and body composition in collegiate female athletes.
Both these studies suggest both CBT and NLP techniques can be valuable tools for fitness professionals to help their clients achieve better results as well as:
- Building rapport and trust: Fitness professionals need to establish a strong connection and trust with their clients to effectively help them achieve their fitness goals. Counselling skills, such as active listening, empathy, and effective communication, help trainers understand their clients’ needs, goals, and any potential obstacles they may face.
- Motivation and goal setting: Fitness professionals must encourage their clients and help them set realistic and achievable goals. NLP skills allow trainers to identify clients’ strengths and weaknesses, provide appropriate encouragement, and ensure that clients remain motivated throughout their fitness journey. In addition, NLP can be used to identify and address any limiting beliefs or negative self-talk that may be preventing clients from reaching their fitness goals.
- Addressing emotional and mental barriers: Clients may face emotional or mental barriers, such as anxiety, stress, or low self-esteem, that hinder their progress. Fitness professionals who can identify these barriers and provide guidance on how to overcome them can lead their clients to more significant progress and an overall positive experience.
- Behaviour modification and lifestyle changes: Achieving fitness goals often requires clients to change their behaviours and lifestyle habits. Trainers who successfully guide clients through these changes by providing support, helping them develop new habits, and teaching them how to maintain those habits in their daily lives have greater success.
Fitness professionals can benefit significantly from acquiring life coaching, counselling and NLP skills because they enable trainers to establish trust, motivate clients, address emotional and mental barriers, and guide their clients in changing their behaviour and lifestyle. There are many more studies which support for the importance of utilising counselling skills in the field of fitness and personal training.
For an introduction into NLP, the TRAINFITNESS NLP course covers the basics and will give you the skills to use NLP techniques with your clients in order to facilitate behavioural change and achieve greater results. This is a distance study course which has a portfolio submission as the assessment. This course is currently available at 20% off.
For an introduction into NLP, the TRAINFITNESS NLP course covers the basics and will give you the skills to use NLP techniques with your clients in order to facilitate behavioural change and achieve greater results. This is a distance study course which has a portfolio submission as the assessment.
For even more counselling skills, consider becoming a Life Coach. Our Life Coaching course is also a distance study course with online theory then a video and portfolio assessment. Life Coaching is included in our Level 4 Master Diplomas or as a standalone course.