NASM Chapter 19 Lifestyle Modification and Behavioral Coaching


  • Most American adults simply do not participate in enough regular exercise to improve
    and maintain their health and well-being.
  • Despite the physiological and psychological benefits of exercise, including reduced anxiety, depression, and risk of cardiovascular disease, better weight control, and increased self-esteem, activity levels continue to decline
  • It is estimated that more than 75% of the American adult population does not partake, on a daily basis, in 30 minutes of low-to-moderate physical activity

Working with the Client

  • Personal trainers have 20 seconds to make a good first impression. That first impression
    1■ Making eye contact
    2■Introducing yourself by name and getting the client’s name
    3■ Smiling
    4■ Shaking hands with the client
    5■ Remembering the client’s name and using it
    6■ Using good body language
  • Besides attitudes, behaviors, and good communication, here are some other important
    qualities of a personal trainer :
    1■ Personal trainers need to look professional: neat, clean, and well dressed.
    2■ Personal trainers need to take time to build a relationship with new clients.
    3■ Clients need to feel that the personal trainer is listening to them.
    4■ Personal trainers need to maintain confidentiality and ensure the client’s safety at all
    5■ Personal trainers should be friendly, warm, interested, and compassionate.
    6■ Personal trainers should collaborate with clients regarding their exercise routine.
    7■ Personal trainers should model all exercises, explaining correct alignment and form.
    8■ Personal trainers ask lots of good questions and perform comprehensive initial

The Stages of Changes

  • Stage 1: Precontemplation
  • No intention of changing. Do not exercise and do not intend to start within 6 months.
  • Education is best strategy with precontemplators.
  • Stage 2: Contemplation
  • Thinking about becoming more active in next 6 months.
  • Listen to what contemplators need and support them any way that they can.
  • Contemplators still need information.
  • Personal trainers need to find out what clients see as the pros and cons of exercise and suggest avenues of information for erroneous beliefs.
  • Stage 3: Preparation
  • Exercise (occasionally) but are planning to begin exercising regularly next month.
  • The client may have unrealistic expectations for the change they hope to achieve, oftentimes leads to high risk of disappointment and early dropout.
  • The best strategies for working with people in the preparation stage include:
    1■ Help clients at this stage clarify realistic goals and expectations.
    2■ Help clients maintain their beliefs in the importance of exercise.
    3■ Discuss programs that work best for different clients.
    4■ Consider clients’ schedules, preferences, and health concerns.
    5■ Ask about previous successful experiences with exercise.
    6■ Avoid exercise that could lead to discomfort or injury.
    7■ Discuss building a social support network.
  • Stage 4: Action
  • By this stage the client has started exercise, but not yet maintained behavior for 6 months.
  • Continue to provide them with education. Work with their clients to develop steps for overcoming any barriers or disruptions.
  • Stage 5: Maintenance
  • Maintained change for 6 months or more.
  • The client may still be tempted to return to old habits.
  • Personal trainers can help enhance a person’s motivation to exercise, provide social support, and help support exercise intentions

The Initial Session

  • Personal trainer have 20 seconds to make a good first impression.
  • Typically, before a client hears anything they tend to notice body language fi rst. If a personal trainer’s body language portrays a lack of welcoming, or a lack of friendliness and warmth, their 20-second impression is not going to be positive
  • Discuss health concerns.
  • Personal trainers need to know that it is okay to let a client know that in the initial session they will spend at least 30 minutes just talking and getting to know them.
  • Clarify fitness goals. Verbalize goals. Set SMART goals, specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
  • Reviewing previous exercise experiences
  • Finalizing program design. Have good sense of health concerns, fitness goals, and past positive and negative experiences.
  • Help clients anticipate the process.
  • Stress reduction is one of the primary reasons people stick to an exercise program. Ask clients about their stress levels and suggests that exercise might be beneficial.

Importance of Effective Communication

  • Difference between success and failure in relationship between trainer and his or her client.
  • Explain important policies, procedures, and expectations so clients understand what is expected of them.
  • Be sensitive to clients’ feelings and connect emotionally to them (express empathy).
  • Communicate consistently according to your personality and training style.
  • Use a positive communication approach that includes encouragement, support, and positive reinforcement.
  • ***Greet your client with a hello and a smile
  • Nonverbal and verbal communication – posture, body language, verbal must be clear to be understood correctly.
  • Active listening is more than having good communication skills. Active listening is about having an attitude and genuine interest in seeking a client’s perspective and getting to know him or her this requires the trainer takes genuine interest in client’s perspective and getting to know them. Pay attention, avoid distractions, look the speaker in the eye.
  • Ask Open-ended questions cannot be answered with a number, a place, or yes or no. They require clients to elaborate. Open-ended questions are very important for building collaborative relationships with a client because they invite discussion.
  • Reflecting is a type of listening and expression -Express the purported meaning of what you just heard. Make sure client is accurately understood.
  • Summarizing – Draws all important points of conversation together and again allow clients to clarify either what they have said or how someone has interpreted what they have said.
  • Affirmations show appreciation for clients and their strengths. Listen carefully to know what to affirm. Validate positive comments about their thoughts, plans, skills.
  • Asking permission – ask permission to share information (This is referring to personal information from you -the trainer- to the client)

Smart Goals

  • b13

Cognitive Strategies

  • Positive self-talk Helps clients become aware of their negative thought process. Help clients come up with list of positive thoughts they might use with regard to exercise. Train clients to notice negative thoughts, stop negative thoughts, and translate those into something positive.
  • Exercise imagery
    process created to produce internalized experiences to support or enhance exercise participation. Clients can imagine themselves approaching their activity with greater confidence. Visualize performing with greater relaxation and muscle control. Rehearse positive outcomes.
  • Personal trainers need to help clients come up with a list of things that will help get them psyched up for exercise. Some examples include positive thoughts, keywords, imagery, specific food, and music.

Psychological Benefits of Exercise

  • Discussing the physiologic benefits of exercise with your clients can be very beneficial.
  • Benefits include:
  • 1. Positive mood
  • 2. Reduced stress
  • 3. Improvement of sleep quality.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s