Personalities & Exercise!


The Art of Understanding Your Clients Mentally can take you to the next level of Success. 

Why is it that some people can find it within them to give it their all when it comes to exercise and others have to literally be pulled out of bed?

Have we ever considered the various personalities that we are presented with on a daily basis. The campaigner, the commander, the advocate & the debater to name but a few.

How do these personalities affect their ability to see a project or new goal through to the end? Will this affect the way that they approach exercise and health. If these personalities affect their approach in everyday living i.e. home life, work environment and general relationships, then surely the impact on a new health goal will be the same. 

Let’s look at a few ‘traits’ that could make seeing an exercise program through to the end of days (in other words FOREVER) challenging:

  • Generally not goal driven
  • A free spirit who gets easily distracted
  • A very sensitive person might take offense really easily
  • Difficulty focusing 
  • People who always need a goal in mind and the instructor teaching them has loSt touch with their goal
  • A perfectionist who expects achievement in a short space of time, they will require small achievements at each session.

These are but a few. Let us not forget the effects of depression, anxiety & stress on any rehabilitation or exercise program.

So what do we need to know?

  1. FIRSTLY, What personality type are you? Do the quick FREE Personality Test Here
  2. How do YOU respond to criticism, goal setting, people etc.
  3. We need to know exactly who the client is who is standing in front of us. Of Course this is challenging, but with situational awareness and an understanding of people, you will very quickly pick up who you are working with.
  4. What effect does their current state of mind + personality COMBINED have on their ability to achieve in the exercise environment.
  5. What approach could you now take once you have all the information at hand?
  • Encouragement
  • Emotional support
  • Implementation of deep relaxation in their class
  • Following up after sessions
  • Requesting feedback from your DEBATER type personalitites
  • Understanding that the debater might not really be interested in your emotions or feelings
  • Not resolving work issues with emotions when dealing with the debator
  • Giving the advocate personality ‘happy feedback’
  • Assisting the campaigner to stay more focused in their sessions
  • Not telling the campaigner of every little detail that went wrong in their movement
  • ……………………..and this list goes on and on.

We know as instructors that having a client who is suffering from depression or anxiety can become very daunting on us emotionally. Especially if we ourselves are a personality that does not tie in well with dealing with peoples emotions. Become aware of this, and make a conscious decision to approach your clients differently. 

It will take a bit more effort from your side, but it might also open up a whole new path to retaining clients because you are meeting their emotional needs and therefore their results exercise wise will be inevitable.

Remember, some people are self motivators and others NEED YOU to keep them motivated. That is part and parcel of being a Movement Professional!

That’s the Healthy Truth!

Tanya Thompson – CEO & Pilates Unlimited – the Art of Movement




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