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Les Mills highlights importance of external motivation in achieving fitness goals

Les Mills highlights importance of external motivation in achieving fitness goals
August 7, 2016

Newly released research from Les Mills and Perth’s Curtin University show that while qualifications, experience, knowledge and compatibility are important factors to consider when it comes to choosing a fitness instructor, finding someone who is skilled in motivational communication is equally critical.

Les Mills Head of Research Bryce Hastings, says the results of the study show that the way an instructor talks to their clients when they are working out could be the difference between whether they keep up, or give up, their exercise program.

Hastings explains “Les Mills has long understood, and trained instructors about the importance of effective communication when it comes to motivating others.

“This research presented the opportunity to test a new method of up-skilling a group of instructors with motivational communication that really upped the ante.”

The style of communication that instructors and trainers use represent the opposite to the ‘no pain no gain’ approach widely used in fitness circles. While that approach puts people under pressure and can create an immediate response, as a motivational style it does not last long and often works against creating long-term change.

By changing style, the research shows that lines of communication between participants and instructors became more open. Those being led by the instructors provided lots of positive feedback, saying they felt more confident about, and more in control of, their own workout.

Hastings highlights that these techniques are a big part of the instructor training that the Les Mills 130,000-strong instructor ‘tribe’ receives prior to certification and every three months when they receive new workouts to teach.

He explains that Les Mills wants people to fall in love with fitness, not do it because they feel they have to, concluding “we coach our instructors to talk to class participants in a way that allows them to feel they have someone to relate to, who empathises with them, and feels their pain, when things get tough.

“When people choose to work out with Les Mills they can be assured they will get a quality, all-encompassing experience and good communication is a crucial part of that exercise journey.”

Click here to view the full study, titled Developing and testing a motivating communication style for Les Mills International Instructors: A Pilot and Feasibility Study.

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