What Motivates People To Become Fitter and How Do You Play In


So you want to teach people to be healthier. You have the knowledge, the expertise and a host of fabulous new ideas you’re dying to try. You even have an audience. What you don’t have? The ability to crawl inside someone else’s head and heart, and make them change.


That leaves you with an obvious problem: How do you motivate people to become fitter, especially when in most cases you can’t even talk to them and work with them directly? Well, good question, and if your hope is to sell fitness videos online and make a good living from it, then it’s definitely a question you need to answer stat. Today, let’s talk about what exactly motivates people to become fitter, and how you can help people reach their goals through fitness education.

How Identity Affects Motivation

If you teach people to work out and become fit, you’ve probably noticed a wide variety of motivations among your students. These motivations come in both positive and negative forms, point out researchers Diane E. Whaley and Agnes F. Schrider: “Hoped-for selves centered on remaining healthy and independent, while feared selves focused on avoiding dependence and negative health outcomes.”

The article continues to elaborate that people’s motivations change over time, especially as they see better results from their fitness efforts. The biggest motivators to exercises were the health benefits they perceived as accruing from specific actions, as well as the knowledge and expertise of the fitness instructor. Naturally, this is an important facet of your online success, so it pays to pay your dues and become a teacher that people truly respect before trying your hand at online videos.

Another takeaway from this study is that it doesn’t take that long for exercisers to notice a considerable difference in their physique so long as they are working consistently: “Gains in actual physical competence were realized as well, evidenced by positive changes in functional assessments over a 10-week period. This is notable given the moderate intensity of the exercise programs and relatively short duration between measurements.”

In plain English, this means that people saw measurable increases in their fitness prowess even when they were only doing moderately difficult workouts and were being measured at frequent intervals. What does this mean for online fitness education hopefuls? That people can adjust their mindsets quickly, that they can be motivated to mold their bodies considerably even in short amounts of time, and that your success as an instructor rests on their buying into your expertise.

Easy, Tangible Ways to Motivate Viewers

Dense research articles aside, what can a fitness instructor actually do to help people conceive of their bodies more positively and experience increased motivation every day? This can take many, many forms, but some of the most effective include:

  • Commitment contracts: Offering commitment contracts on a membership site, in which both and your students or two or more students commit to exercising, can be a positive way to encourage people to work out harder and more consistently.
  • Visualization exercises: While your videos are primarily intended to teach people to rock their workouts and their bodies, a little mindset exercise can help too. The occasional video directed at thinking positively really does work.
  • Real rewards: While content marketing gurus have promulgated the myth recently that any ol’ reward will bring people to the door, that’s not true. People are fatigued by the amount of free content available online these days, and don’t respond to just any offer. However, if you have real rewards – say, a coupon for a discount to popular fitness gear, or a Starbucks card – you will find subscribers and customers flocking to you in droves.
  • Be Funny: Nothing harshes someone’s barge as quickly as getting all drill sergeant up in here. Instead, take a fun and self-deprecating approach and watch how effective it is.

We’re assuming here that the people you’re trying to teach are viewers of videos, of course, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You can also put these tips to use for in-person fitness classes, ebooks, online course series and more. No matter how you’re trying to reach people, these inherent psychological motivators will work. As long as you work at it.

So How Do You Get Started?

So now it’s time to discuss how you get started. How can you develop an online fitness training program that actually motivates people, helps them reach their goals, and gets them talking about you and your programs to the world?

First and foremost, it helps to have a great example of what well-done fitness videos look like. Everything from the visual appeal, user experience and utility of your website to the length, clarity and membership model of your videos matters. It’s a lot of pieces to weave together, and it can be hard to visualize without a role model. Check out Total Immersion Academy, a beautifully streamlined outfit that sells fitness videos online. You’ll see they have an obvious membership model without hidden fees, they offer a variety of different content types – from courses to ebooks – and they lead the student seamlessly from one form of content to the next.

This isn’t a skill learned overnight, of course, but you absolutely can rise to the top of the online fitness world if you make the effort. Working with a knowledgeable expert such as Uscreen can help you get there even faster. President PJ Taei is a master of what it takes to succeed in the online fitness world, and has thus far helped more than a thousand fitness instructor hopefuls to find success. If you’d like to count yourself among their number soon, just get in touch.

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