• Ash Radford

The 3 things I've noticed successful personal training clients do

Updated: Jun 10

It’s obvious to get and stay fit you need to put in consistent effort over time.

What though do people who succeed through personal training do to make that happen?

Here’s what I’ve noticed is common among those clients who’ve made, and maintained, big changes in fitness:


Those who commit reasonably seriously to start, succeed.

It’s a similar effect to what’s been reported with the CSIRO well-bring diet. Those who start strong have greater long term success.

There’s a level of time and effort needed to get a tangible return. Fall short of that and the effort you do make feels less worthwhile. This has a direct effect on motivation.

It doesn’t need to become the most important thing in life. Those who make a success of getting fit do however push it up a place or 2 on their priority list.

It’s not about diving into a ‘no pain, no gain’ approach either. It’s accepting there’ll be a level of discomfort. It’s also committing to turning up on time and being willing to take some instruction.

Committing is very different to starting but hoping or waiting for inspiration and commitment to strike later.

With people who are initially too busy and distracted to be consistent it’s not usually a rare situation- it’s the all the time situation. Many of us falsely think it’ll get easier to find time and energy in the future. It probably won’t! Those who succeed commit while busy.

There can a need to try things before committing. To try something out effectively though can mean having a decent go. You want to know that it truly works, and not much does without some commitment.


They plan it, they lock it in the diary. It’s not a rigid approach though, they’re adaptable and still look to make it happen when other things come up. They do tend to exercise at the same time and place. This reduces the chance of scheduling errors and conflicts. Importantly it also makes it easier to make exercise a solid habit. .

They get organised too.

They show up with gear and clothes are ready.

They buy equipment as and when needed.

Typically, these things aren’t urgent so they can get overlooked. It’s easy to put off buying dumbbells for a week or 2 but that can extend to months. The organised people get these small tasks done.

Being planful extends to following a program in unsupervised sessions. They don’t just turn up and do what they feel like.

Aimlessly going from machine to machine in a gym, or doing whatever exercise takes your fancy, is better than nothing. It falls well short though of following a structured plan, which will deliver results, with the same time commitment.


Personal Trainer instructing stretching

Massive change is hard to sustain given the demands of modern life.

Some people start out intending to exercise intensely 6 times a week, having done nothing for years. They rarely last beyond a week or two. Failure and dejection follow.

The group who really develop their fitness usually start with 2- 4 sessions per week. They avoid the trap of initial over enthusiasm. They also understand that one workout a week won’t improve fitness much either.

Being realistic about outcomes matters too. Losing 15kg in 3 months is rare. Actually, more specifically, losing that much that fast and then keeping it off is rare. Losing fat while adding some muscle is a process. Just as making exercise a long term habit takes time.

This might seem to contradict the point that you need commit and prioritise at the start but there’s a balance to give yourself the best chance of success. It's another thing that personal training cleints who make lasting change do.

Going from zero to marathon hero within months is a great story but in truth not the best approach.

Part of being realistic is accepting the need for repetition as well. No one likes it when things get mundane, and some variety helps to maintain interest. However, in truth, to get competent with fitness (like just about anything) takes practice. Plain and simple.


Perhaps this post has shifted your perspective about what it takes to make real change with exercise.

Have you realised something that’s holding you back from achieving fitness goals?

Or you might be ready to commit to some sessions with an experienced Personal Trainer. Want to get your fitness routine kick started? Get in touch and we'll see how I can help. I offer mobile personal training at your home or nearby park. If you live in Frenchs Forest, Belrose, Davidson, Terrey Hills, St Ives, Forestville, Killarney Heights, Roseville, East Linfield, Seaforth, Mosman I can come to you.

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