As a personal trainer, learning what motivates your clients and what keeps them focused are invaluable skills. But with so many different personalities, knowing the best way to effectively approach each of them can be demanding. Consider the following list of the most challenging client types, along with ideas on how to effectively work with each one. 1. The Social Butterfly Whether it’s answering phone calls, checking social media or wanting to chit chat, working with an easily distracted client can be hard. If your client seems to be losing their focus, place emphasis on the fact that frequent interruptions and distractions are chipping away at the benefits of their training. You can also try changing their workouts to be more fast-paced (e.g. circuit training, interval training, HIIT workouts, etc.) so they have to be more engaged in what they are doing; then explain to them the benefits and purpose of keeping their sessions intense and varied. 2. The Challenger The most challenging clients will claim that, while the exercises you’ve programmed might lead to results for other people, they simply don’t work for them personally (their body type, their genetics, previous injuries, etc.) To impress this client and gain his or her respect, introduce lots of different exercises or a whole new style of training. If this leads to more excuses, show them how to work towards that exercise through progressions or variations. The best approach is to take control of the situation and exude confidence. (Keep in mind that many clients that fall within this category might have had a negative experience in the past with a fitness trainer, and are unsure if they can place their faith in you.) 3. The Complainer Every personal trainer has probably worked with the “how much longer” type of client. For this individual, no exercise program to date has given them the results they desire. While they’re open to your suggestions, they’re usually plagued with bad eating and exercise habits. When putting a program together for this client, keep in mind that their lack of commitment and motivation likely stems from a lack confidence. The best approach is to redirect their attention to the reasons why they started working towards a healthier lifestyle in the first place. Then provide a long-term plan with measurable milestones that will work on building their confidence and self-esteem. 4. The Overachiever Having a client that is dedicated to getting the most out of their 60 minutes is a dream come true. However, it isn’t uncommon for a client to take fitness to an unhealthy extreme. Excessive diet and exercise can quickly reverse a client’s progress and lead to the very opposite of the intended results. The best approach to take with the overly enthusiastic (obsessive) client is to educate them on the importance of a balanced, healthy meal plan. Food should be viewed as fuel for the body, and exercise as a decision to value one’s body – neither diet or exercise should ever feel like a punishment. Regardless of your client’s “type”, take a moment each month to ask your client what objectives they feel they have reached, and what their goals are moving forward. Ultimately, this will boost their confidence and encourage them to keep pushing towards their goals.