The Third Check-In & Your Client Still Hasn’t Lost Any Weight…


Your gut drops and the rush of adrenaline collects itself as a lump in your throat. Mind racing, thinking about losing this client and the income… questioning if online training is going to work… wondering what else you could give them to get results?

You snap back to earth in a split second, realising that you’ve got an incoming email from the client.

They’ve forked out for this transformation and it doesn’t seem to be working… Should they have gone for an in-person PT or just joined the gym?

At this point I could give you strategies to cope with this, to try and swing it around for this client and start moving forwards…But  I will be serving you better by showing you how to not get to this point in the first place.

There’s 5 times through a client’s 12-week transformation that this scenario could potentially happen…


5 Potential Roadblocks In Your Client’s Transformation & How to Divert Around Them

In my experience of doing this for years and working with so many clients, I have been able to identify the cause of these roadblocks. Allowing me to develop the plan to divert around them all together, rather than trying to overcome them when they arrive.

The premise is that this is based on a 12-week transformation with clients who are fully committed (meaning they’ve invested decent money and paid upfront), because that is what myself and my clients have experience with.


Week 0 – The importance of having the right client.

The right client is the type of person who is fully committed to their transformation. That means they have a pain that drives them to change. Not a passing interest in getting a bit fitter, but something deep driving them.

They are also someone who is willing to harness that motivation and work with you to get results. With your coaching and help they are someone who will do the work.

They will invest decent money for their transformation and pay upfront, when they’re fully committed. When you’re taking clients on, you should be speaking to them and checking that they are fully motivated to get results.

Therefore it’s vital you set your online programs up to attract such types of people. Busy, driven, executive men for example. They’ve let their ambition in their work wreak their health and body, but when they make a decision something needs to change, they mean it. They are highly successful elsewhere in their lives, it’s your job to harness that into their fitness.

Taking on clients who are not fully committed is going to lead to them not following the plan and being unhappy at some point soon. Probably around week 2-3.


Week 1 – “This isn’t right for me”.

You’ve brought the client on, made the sale and 48 hours later the client emails saying this isn’t gonna be right for me.There’s three things you need to do at this point.

First consider what objection did you not cover in the sales conversation? Often they are just having a crisis of confidence. It’s not that they don’t think your stuff works, they simply don’t believe that they can do it. Or that they can do it with their busy lifestyles. They need re-assurance that they can, that you understand these concerns, but you can help them within their time parameters.

Much of the time with driven clients believe they won’t be able to fit it in, maybe it’s something which wasn’t fully covered on the on-boarding call.

And while that’s always a learning for next time, there’s still time.

So secondly you must aim to get them on the phone, as quickly as you can. You want them to get results, so they need to be in your program. They wont get results on their own, you know they won’t because they failed a dozen times before. That’s why they’re here in the first place.

You’ve got to get them through the door and started on your program, to have any hope of helping them. If they leave, they won’t get results.

Finally, you need to have the conversation with them around whatever objection they’re having. Re-assure them that you have their back and they can do this.


Week 2 – You gave them too much stuff to do.

This is the most common reason online clients do not get results. They simply get overwhelmed with too much information, and too advanced strategies for them.

If you feel you need to justify the money by giving them every piece of knowledge you have, and showing off all of your advanced learning and qualifications, the client will simply feel totally lost and end up doing nothing, or just leaving.

They won’t usually tell you the reason, because they don’t want to feel stupid. They don’t want to think that they’re the only person who couldn’t follow it and all of these other people they see you got great results with could. So they just go AWOL.

Remember the clients you are after are successful in other areas, they aren’t used to not knowing.

This reinforces why you need that full commitment. In the first two weeks they’ve showed that they’re overwhelmed and not able to follow the plan as laid out. Whatever they tell you (and themselves) to the contrary, they can’t follow the basics.

If they did, they would lose weight. It’s not that your program isn’t good enough; for whatever reason they’ve just not been following it. As a complete beginner, doing just the very basics right will get results.

I would give them LESS to do this week. One thing that they can implement successfully. If they cannot do one thing right, they certainly can’t do 5 things right; tracking all of their food, eating a complicated macro split and doing German Volume Training on their own in a gym they’re intimidated even setting foot in. Adherence is the key to success.


Week 3-5 – They lose weight initially and now it grinds to a halt.

You’ve got them in the program, they’re motivated, and succeed in the first couple of weeks. They were working purely on drive and will power. Around week 3 they experience that dip…

Willpower only lasts a certain amount of time, and you need to work on other things. In week 3 I would want some feedback loops for them to see that the willpower they’ve put in has been worth it. They need to see their results.Get them noticing the difference in how their clothes fit.

Feeling the difference in their energy levels, mood, presence and confidence. Have them telling you about all of the changes they have noticed so far, and how that has improved their life. Driven people, esp men, have an ego – and that’s not a bad thing. Delve into the comments they are getting from others, the way it makes them feel when lifting heaver weights, how they feel when filling out their sleeves more.

Numbers on a scale are arbitrary, but real world feelings are powerful and your clients will relate to them much more.

In any transformation, the first two weeks are pure willpower. You need to work on a plan for when willpower subsides and people will usually quit if they’re doing this on their own.


Week 6-8 – Happy with their progress, but complacency is setting in.

At this checkpoint, my hope is they’ve changed 2-3 things each week. By now they’ve made enough changes to see that they can do this bit by bit, they’re able to do it and that it works.

By now they’ve lost a decent amount of weight. At a certain point, it will plateau. In week 6 I’m in the mindset of working on that plateau – they’ve had simple, bit by bit stuff up to week 6 – at some point you would want to start using a little bit more of your deeper training and nutrition knowledge.

Most trainers make the mistake of starting with this deep, complex stuff. The program most fit pro’s give in week 1 is what I would have coached my clients to be able to follow for 6 weeks, before I give it to them.

Now I can step the pace up a little bit. If you don’t, weight loss will stagnate… but here’s the challenge, if you start giving them more complex stuff and they aren’t losing weight, what is generally happening is this; they’re not following it. You haven’t take it bit by bit enough, and at some point, you’ve lost them. Often they won’t tell you that.

With a fixed length transformation people usually begin and end quickly, but lose urgency in the middle – it’s natural. They’ve got results already by midway through the transformation. They’re not as unhappy as they were, they’ve probably lost 6-8lbs, and subconsciously they start to relax.

By weeks 9-12 they’re back on it; thinking “shit, I only have 3 weeks left”. You need to create that urgency in the middle to keep them going through the dip and progressing consistently.

Ask questions like:

What would you do if you were sitting here in 3 weeks time, and you’re still the same weight as you are now?

Future pace them into the negative potential outcome, to create that urgency and stop them from coasting.

Get the feedback of whether they want to stay as they are, or speed it up a bit. If they want to speed up, I’ll let them off the leash and get them doing deeper stuff – lower calories, more cardio, more volume in training – I’ll let them do as much as they want. Sometimes they do AM cardio every day – but it’s their choice.

It’s not for everyone, it’s if the client really wants to go for it. Bring in macro’s at this point, now that they can deal with it. In week 1 they have no chance of being able to follow them. You’re wasting your knowledge if you give them it at the start, because they’re never going to follow it.

In the last 4 weeks I introduce my 4-week weight tracker – at the beginning I think it complicates the situation – but I use it at the end, because I want the client to finish their transformation and be happy.

If at week 8 they’ve lost 12 pounds, and they only lose another 4, I want them to be happy they’ve lost 16lbs overall. Not frustrated that they set a goal to lose another 8 in the last 4 weeks and didn’t hit it.

I like them to set 3 goals; a minimum, target, and outstanding goal. The minimum is the base they will be content with. Target is their goal and outstanding is their real stretch goal.

Many of your real driven clients, the executive ‘masculine energy’ will often aim towards the outstanding, and do what it takes to get there.

Finish Strong…

The three aims stops them becoming complacent, if they’re already subconsciously happy where they are.

I don’t just set a big goal for them, because I don’t want them finishing disappointed if they don’t quite make it. Overlooking the fact they’ve made huge changes and lost 18lbs because they didn’t quite make it to 20lbs is not how I want them ending their transformation.

It’s not a good way for them to carry on afterwards. Whereas if they hit their first goal, they’re still gonna keep going to get to the bigger goals after they’ve left you. They will keep that momentum and drive going, which really serves them. They will build their confidence hugely by being able to still make progress and feel positive about it, after you are no longer working together.

By doing it like this, taking them through step by step, you really give the perception of value. You’re adding stuff every week and they feel really happy to sit that every single week they’ve achieved a little bit more than the last.


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