Can a fitness tracker really help your clients lose weight?

It’s 2018, and wearable fitness trackers have become more common than watches. They do more, after all, than a simple watch. Many include everything from step counting and heart rate monitoring, to sleep and mood tracking. But among fitness pros, the question remains: do these fancy devices actually help our clients lose weight? The answer is yes—but a lot of that success still depends on you.

As trainers, we know there are so many factors that go into our clients losing weight, and that’s no different when it comes to using a fitness tracker. Just like anything else—joining a gym, buying a treadmill, even hiring a trainer—using a fitness tracker won’t magically make our clients lose the weight. But for us trainers, the addition of a fitness tracker can absolutely help us keep our clients on track, hold them accountable, and ensure they meet their goals. When used correctly, these popular devices can even help us build our business. There are just a few key things to keep in mind to be sure this incredible, new technology is complementing your training, not impeding it.

Determine what to track

First things first: when you begin working with a new client, you always do an intake assessment and establish goals. The same goes for developing a program using a tracker. So, be sure to work with your client, and his/her tracking device, to agree upon which metrics you’ll be measuring and what the goals are. Is your client going to walk 10,000 steps per day? Sleep 8 hours per night? Burn 400 extra calories per day? Wearable tech is a breakthrough way to accurately track this data, so long as your client knows what to track.

Providing support outside the gym

Another huge opportunity that wearable tech offers us as trainers is the opportunity to stay as closely connected with our clients outside the gym as we are inside the gym. For decades we’ve understood that what separates our clients who achieve their goals from those who don’t is what happens when they walk out the door of our gyms. Even daily training sessions can’t undo a poor diet and an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. But now, thanks to fitness trackers, we can keep an eye on what our clients do in their daily lives and—perhaps even more importantly—continue to provide that support and encouragement when they’re not in the gym.

Virtual Coaching leads to new service offering

Virtual coaching is a new trend that has developed directly as a result of fitness tracking. Implementing this offering into your training business is an opportunity to provide further motivation for your clients, and it may also warrant a rate increase for your services. And why not? When done effectively, virtual coaching provides clients with round the clock support to help them better meet their health and fitness goals. There’s nothing quite like knowing your trainer is “watching” to help you choose the stairs over the elevator, or cook a healthy meal!

Don’t forget the human connection

One final thing to remember when working with these new technologies is that the fitness tracker will never replace your one-on-one attention. Many industries have already weathered these disruptive technological advances, and in every case the same holds true: smart tech can’t beat human connection. So remember that even when you’re tracking data and establishing metrics, it’s the expertise, encouragement and support you give your clients that will ultimately help them to meet their goals, and keep them coming back.

Have you had success using fitness trackers in combination with your training program? What devices or apps are your favorites? In the comments section below, tell us how wearable tech is affecting your business and impacting your clients’ success!

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