Passion led us here

“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care”.

- unknown

On a weekly basis, I give a key focus to our trainers. This focus generally tends to be on a particular aspect of their group sessions. I have recently focused on how and what we deliver within those sessions. This week, I was reading various articles from industry leaders, and it got me thinking about the impact we have on those who attend our classes. More specifically, I want to focus on how we impact the beginner/Intermediate based client.

If you’re a trainer, you’re probably thinking about interactions with your clients during a class. Possibly, this involves you adjusting your client or encouraging them throughout the session. Think about the impact you have on your clients, outside of this scenario.

Take a minute to consider the impact you have on a new client at the start of their fitness journey. It’s a big moment for this client: a change of lifestyle, physical effort and possibly sacrifice of things that may have been a very important part of their life. Your role in their development is to help facilitate this transition. Your role is to not only ensure that they perform their exercise safely, effectively and efficiently, but to also ensure that they are prepared for the journey ahead.

Recently, my wife forwarded me an interview with Melanie Whelan, who is the CEO of SoulCycle in the United States (Harvard Business Review). SoulCycle has become one of the fastest growing boutique fitness studios in the US, opperating now 74 studios across the US. There is no secret in what makes their business opperate so successfully — the trainers and their role in retaining clients.

Melanie Whelan on the role of a trainer at SoulCycle:

“Their role is crucial to our riders’ experience. Our instructors are inspirational coaches who leave riders more empowered on their bikes and in their lives. We count on them to make every class unique, to localize the experience, and to connect with different demographic groups. We count on them to inspire in hundreds of thousands of riders every month the same things I felt during my first ride, nearly a decade ago.”

I personally believe we have a greater role within a client’s life than we generally take credit for. We are their source of guidance, encouragement and education.

Melanie Whelan on the trainer/client relationship:

“For many people, friendships made at SoulCycle are the beginning of bigger changes in their lives. They start eating better. They prioritize sleep. Very organically, they plug into a more positive lifestyle. Aspiration becomes reality.”

The latter answer, got me thinking about how the service industry has now become a huge influence over the boutique fitness industry. Those most successful within the industry are (or have been) breaking down barriers, that the clique groups have created within gyms and studios for years. A feeling of not belonging doesn’t exist and just like the famous tagline from ‘Cheers’, “ [a place] Where everybody knows your name”.

Our passion for giving a client, the help needed to achieve something that could ultimately change their life, leads us to the lengths we go to help this transition. This could be anything from encouragement within your class, to helping your client with choices regarding nutrition. It could just possibly be in the form of an understanding friend.

If you would like to read the full interview with Melanie Whelan, the link is below.

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