top of page

Helping Fitness Clients Find The Time

Most people are not time management pros, and it can be an assumption overlooked by some fitness professionals.


Managing time effectively isn't as easy for everyone as some personal trainers make it out to be. Sure, they say carve out an hour here or there, but for many people, it's not that simple. Juggling work, family, and other commitments can make finding time for your fitness goals feel like squeezing blood from a stone.


During my experience of running an online 12-week Program tailored for beginners and individuals restarting their fitness journey, I saw an interesting trend. It took some of them a good 4-to 5 weeks before they got around to sorting out their food! Sounds crazy to a seasoned fitness lover, right? It wasn’t because they were lazy or didn’t care; it was more about needing that time to work out their food shopping habits, consider what their family liked to eat and figure out how to make these healthier choices work for them without breaking the bank or wasting food. The process of adjustment took time, and most of my coaching in the first month was spent supporting this change.


It’s time for a shift and more of a focus on understanding where people are coming from. Instead of shouting about priorities, you could be offering help and guidance to those who struggle with managing their time.


Unless you’re dealing with a competing athlete, it’s important to avoid implying that people are lazy or they need to get their priorities straight because most of the time they just need a bit of help figuring out how to fit everything in. So, here's to a new perspective in fitness – one that's all about empathy and giving people the tools they need to succeed, rather than piling on the guilt for not doing enough.


The Disconnect:

Most people are not time management pros, and it can be an assumption overlooked by some fitness professionals. The reality is that most people have never been trained to conceptualise their day in relation to the activities they engage in. While they might technically have the time for exercise, they are so caught up in their daily grind that they don’t even realise it. Lots of people feel like they’re swimming in commitments, and they can’t see the shore! So, expecting them to just magically squeeze workouts, meal preps and all the rest into (what they see as) jam-packed schedules without addressing the underlying issue could be setting them up for failure.


Understanding the Barrier

The inability to manage time effectively is not simply a matter of idleness or lack of motivation. It's a skill that requires nurturing and development, much like any other aspect of personal growth. While some people may seem to have a natural flair for this, for others, it’s more of a work in progress. Factors such as upbringing, environment, personality traits, and learned behaviours all influence how we handle our time.


Empowering Through Education

Adopting a more empathetic and educational approach is the way forward. Helping clients, or those considering your services, understand the importance of time management and providing practical tools and strategies can be far more effective. Have them list their daily activities, identify areas of inefficiency, and explore potential scheduling adjustments to help enable them to take control of their time.


Helping with Time Management: A Practical Approach

It’s not uncommon for potential clients to talk about wanting to get into fitness but turn around and complain about how busy they are. It happens a lot! It’s like they’re stuck in this cycle of wanting to improve but feel overwhelmed by their schedules. This is a good time to shift the conversation away from fitness goals and towards developing effective time management skills. Here’s a practical approach to help:


1. Cultivate Awareness:

The cornerstone of effective time management lies in developing a keen awareness of how time is spent each day. Suggest individuals track their daily activities for a while. This could involve keeping a detailed record of tasks from the moment they wake up until they go to sleep.


2. Use Technology:

If the idea of manually recording every activity seems daunting, introduce technology which can help to streamline the process. Recommending apps like TimeTune, which provides a visual representation and makes tracking more convenient for individuals on-the-go.


3. Establish Familiar Blocks:

Start by helping clients identify familiar blocks of time in their daily routines, such as waking up, commuting, working, mealtimes, and winding down for bed. These serve as anchor points where you can build an overall view of how they allocate their time.


4. Fill in the Gaps:

With the foundational blocks in place, clients can fill in the gaps by recording their activities over the following days. This detailed log helps them see way more than just their usual daily grind – they get a real eye-opener into how they're using every precious minute of their day.


5. Identify Opportunities:

Encourage clients to analyse their time logs holistically, looking for areas where time could be better utilised or consolidated. Are there tasks that could be eliminated altogether, or opportunities to multitask and save time? This assessment sets the stage for optimising time management strategies.


6. Collaborative Problem-Solving:

Finally, engage clients in collaborative problem-solving. Review their time logs together and brainstorm potential solutions to improve their schedules and free up some time. By working together, you, as a personal trainer can offer tailored suggestions and the more people you help in this way, the more you can draw on your experience.


Setting The Foundations for Fitness Success

Helping others to improve their time management skills is a proactive approach that not only sets the stage for a successful fitness journey but also equips them with valuable life skills that extend far beyond the gym.


Customised Solutions to Fitness Planning:

Recognising that one size does not fit all, personal trainers should collaborate with clients to develop fitness plans that align with their unique schedules and lifestyles. This may involve brainstorming creative ways to incorporate exercise into existing routines, such as taking short activity breaks during work hours or engaging in family-friendly workouts at home. By acknowledging the diverse needs and constraints of everyone, trainers can create a sense of empowerment and self-efficacy.


Building Healthy Habits for Life

Ultimately, the goal of any fitness program should be to implement long-term habits that promote health and well-being. Rather than focusing solely on short-term results, personal trainers can also help clients with the skills and mindset needed to sustain their fitness journey over the long haul. By offering a supportive and understanding environment, trainers allow clients to overcome obstacles, build healthy habits, and achieve lasting success.


If you want to make a meaningful impact on your clients' lives, consider booking a discovery call to learn more about my business coaching services. Together, we can explore how tailored strategies and personalised guidance can move your business forward and amplify your influence in the fitness industry.

Don't let uncertainty hold you back. Take the first step towards growth and success today. Book a time to discuss your vision for the future and let's see if we are a good fit.



bottom of page