For many of us, group fitness and thriving gyms are what keeps us motivated. It’s a thirst for the social experience when smashing out a hard-as-f**k session surrounded by others doing the same that gets our adrenaline racing, and makes us work that little bit harder.
As Personal Trainers, we dedicate our lives to this sort of attitude towards fitness – it’s what makes us get out of bed to start our days doing the best job in the world.
But what if you find yourself with a client who identifies as an introvert? How do you overcome the obstacles of crowded spaces in the gym, and push someone who prefers to train alone?
Well, it all starts with you.
Before any training begins it’s important to get to know your client, and really understand what their fitness goals, likes and dislikes are. This is a given for even the most outgoing and social of clients, as they too might hide fears you need to be aware of as their Personal Trainer
Here are three questions you should ask during your initial consultation to help identify your client as either introvert or extrovert, without actually saying it.
- Do you like to train by yourself (introvert)? Or do you prefer group fitness (extrovert)?
- Do you prefer to train during the middle of the day, when the gym is its quietest (introvert)? Or are you happy to train when the gym might be full of others working out (extrovert)?
- Do you prefer to talk during your session (extrovert) or focus on your body (introvert)?
Being aware of someone’s social behaviour, and how to use it to the person’s advantage, can set you up to becoming a more successful personal trainer. You need to be able to adapt to other in a social environment, keep in-tune to their non-verbal cues and understand their body language. But above all, respect people’s boundaries and train within their social limits.
If a client is an introvert and enjoys training in peace, here are our top tips.
- Find a space in the gym that is quiet.
- Be organised and move equipment to this space in preparation for the session.
- Use the same space each time. This way you can teach the client different exercises within a small space.
- Be encouraging to their development, but not over the top.
- Write programs that involve little to no social exposure.
To help you better understand how an introvert might like to train, why not try some solo strength training.
Strength training is another way to be in your own head space—just throw on some headphones, grab some weights, and go for it.
Kettlebell, dumbbell, and barbell complexes are great workouts of choice when you want to train by yourself because complexes are an easy way to build both strength and endurance, all in one session.
What is “a complex”? Typically, a complex is a series of three to six different movements you do back-to-back with one piece of equipment without putting the piece of equipment down.
Here’s an example:
Dumbbell Complex: 10 Alternating Renegade Rows (each side) 10 Single-Leg Deadlifts (each side) 10 Squat to Overhead Presses.
10 Alternating Renegade Rows (each side)
10 Single-Leg Deadlifts (each side)
10 Squat to Overhead Presses
Give it a go and let us know how you feel after.