Attrition & The Beautiful Body

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What is attrition and how is it linked to our definitions of beauty?

Is it April already? As we spring into a new season, we’ll need to check in with the progress and changes of each respective client. When was the last time you sat them down to reassess their individual paths and goals? Chances are, you’ll come across a few obstacles, but don’t fret. Remember that encountering obstacles are part of the process! Chances are also you’ve witnessed in your gym setting, exercisers coming and going since the New Year’s resolutions. People start again in the New Year with good intentions, but good intentions didn’t get them very far. Why is this so common this time of the year?

Many set their sights high but 95 percent fail on their new years resolutions by this time. They become discouraged and disillusioned by unrealized goals. Members and prospective clients join or re-join a gym, fresh with excitement for a new plan for a new body. Although, the influx is great for business, most will give up quickly. To understand how to reduce attrition, it’s important to understand that we live in a culture that desires quick fixes and instant gratifications. Studies show that when the average person doesn’t see the desired results in about 6-8 weeks, they will quit. This means, the gym owner as well as the trainer will lose business. In the fitness industry, this is what we call the rate of attrition, the typical dropout rate that most gyms invariably face each and every year.

Fitness vs. Wellness

So, how can we as fitness professionals reduce the rate of attrition, and thus maintain and improve profitability? Moreover, how can we satisfy our clients while also maintaining respect and credibility? If we want to make training a career, we must study the industry patterns and always listen to the needs of our clients. Statistics show the rate of attrition in most gyms is about 50-60 percent every year. Did you know that by comparison, most ‘wellness’ facilities such as hospitals, wellness centers and YMCA’s rates of retention average about 80 percent? So, what would you guess is the reason for the low rate of retention in the ‘fitness’ setting versus the much higher rate of retention found in the ‘wellness’ setting?

The answer may lie in understanding 3 variables. We’ve noticed a rise in the following:

  1. More people are embracing a wellness-oriented, holistic approach; that is, they’re re-defining what it means to be truly healthy, to become more whole;
  2. Exercisers are becoming more sophisticated and recognizing the need for intelligent programming; for examples, NAFC’s PowerCerts have been carefully designed to hold purpose behind every movement.
  3. Due to the above, there needs to be a change in the target market from fitness to wellness. That is, gym owners can leverage this new trend. Instead of concentrating on the over-saturated young adult market, fitness centers should consider focusing promotional efforts on untapped markets such as the de-conditioned market, as well as the aging, youth, and corporate markets. Professional trainers can leverage this as well.

Dig deep and empower others today! So, regardless of your (prospective) client’s walk of life, make a call to them today. If they’re thinking about giving up, take this opportunity to dig deep by asking them: What is really your goal? Is it to achieve an idea of ‘body beautiful’ or is it to achieve an overall sense of wellbeing? New habits can be re-programmed in about 12 weeks and achievable for most; but if the focus is on the superficial, chances are the old unhealthy habits will return. To ‘transform’ a body in 6-8 weeks is not only unlikely and unhealthy; it’s also not sustainable. In contrast, to take the time to cultivate a more vibrant body combined with a healthy mindset and improved eating habits will be longer lasting, and more sustainable.

Re-defining Beauty

What is real beauty? During your next fitness assessment, have a heart to heart talk with your client about their definition of real beauty. If you’re doing a body fat test or measurement, take this opportunity to dig a little deeper and ask them about the why behind their motivation. Ask: What does ‘being fit’ truly mean to you? How do you define staying in shape, or being well or being whole? Here are a few more sample questions to help you dig a little deeper:

  • Why do you want to be size 4 or 6?
  • Why do you want to improve your dead lift, squat, or pull-up?
  • Why do you want bigger chest and biceps?
  • Why do you want o lose 10-20 lbs. more?
  • How is achieving this healthy and functional?

Teach others to stand in their own inner strength 

Learn what truly motivates your clients and you can teach them to stand in their inner strength. By teaching them to understand ‘self’ you will guide them toward healthy, attainable goals. Oftentimes, when we get real and honest with people we learn that most will be receptive and appreciative. When we’re ‘excavating’ beyond the surface, some people may get emotional. But in the end and underneath the superficial talk, you will ameliorate rapport and respect when you empower them to take personal responsibility. This is key to keeping them on a motivated path. As a bonus, you may gain new client(s) while also helping the gym owner(s) with membership retention! To learn more on how to develop your personal training business, be sure to visit and ask about NAFC's exciting ProFit Market today.

How do you define beauty: Who do you think you are?

When you look in the mirror who do you think you are? What do you see reflected back? In today’s modern culture image can be very powerful. When we open up a fashion magazine or give our attention to mainstream media, we can easily see how ideas of beauty have a huge impact on our lives. Evidence is in the growing fashion and beauty industries, which are billion dollar businesses. With the continued barrage of images of so-called ideas of perfection, being pushed in our faces, it seems no one can escape from being seduced by them. So, why are so people following the shiny bright lights, and chasing this illusion of perfect beauty? And whose responsibility is it to look away?

Can we re-train our biology to re-define beauty?

It’s understandable biology: We are programmed to admire, and to be attracted to beauty and symmetry. Psychologists say this starts at a very early age, even at the infantile stage. Naturally, we are drawn by images that please the eyes. As adults, we are seduced by ideas of youth, beauty and sexy and salacious images. Let’s challenge our thinking by asking, is this idea of beauty real or is it superficial? Who’s cashing in on beauty, and what are the dangers of believing that looks is everything? Recent statistics show that a majority of our youth is highly dis-satisfied with their bodies.

Beauty & Perception are taught at an early age.

In a Maine 2011 study, about 53 percent in a group of 13-year olds said they disliked their bodies. Of this same group, this number will grow to78 percent by age 17. Most would agree that developing a positive self-image or self-esteem should start at an early age. Building a positive self-image should be taught at an early age by parents, and in schools. And what if you’re an adult who suffers from insecurity, self-doubt and lacks confidence? Is it too late? And what are some strategies for dealing with this world obsessed by image? First of all, we don’t have to buy into society’s definition of beauty—we can define our own!

Beauty is a by-product of our actions and the choices we make. When it becomes the focus, it can be psychologically damaging.

In our opinion, self-love and self-care start with consistent exercise and balanced nutrition. We all want to appear strong and sexy, but we also need these two essential components for survival, and to be able to live our lives to its fullest potential. Feeding our bodies with exercise and healthy foods is a form of self-love, and enjoying a fit and shapely figure should be a by-product of this. Appearing fit and attractive is an aspect of physical wellness. When we feel strong and lean, we feel confident which emanates from within.

Loving people are powerful people

What are habits of loving and powerful people? If a person respects him or herself, they will not only exercise their bodies, they will exercise their character. Because they love themselves, they are powerful people who can stand solid in their own self-affirmations. Loving people may appear to be stubborn in their beliefs, but that’s simply because they stay true to their own codes of conduct, and are not easily swayed by negative influences. This is the reason people can recognize when that person enters the room. They can feel that attractive energy!

To learn the 8 habits of loveable people, visit The FitPro Foodie’s website at

Let’s get real!

Remember that images of what society defines as beauty or perfection are actually constructions of an idea. This idea is carefully designed to sell you something, and has no basis of reality. This means a team of hair and make-up professionals spend hours to design a certain appearance. Each look or concept is intended to entice and to lure the audience to want to buy more. Mainstream media programs us to think we’re never good enough. So, it’s a healthy reminder that although we can appreciate the artistic value, and the beauty and the symmetry involved in this process, most of these images are not real.

Remember this: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. If you want to experience what is real, learn to live in your body, and to love it. Allow the fullness of this experience to reflect back a vibrancy that empowers you with your own unique inner beauty—and you win!

 Visit: The FitPro Foodie