How to Use Data to Drive Client Behavior

These days, it seems like everyone is sporting some sort of wearable tech. Whoop, FitBit, Apple Watch, Garmin, Polar…you name it, chances are someone in your gym is wearing one of these. Perhaps someone has more than one! Matter of fact, there is a guy at my gym that wears his Whoop, Apple Watch, and Polar Heart Rate monitor every single day.

This is not going to be a diatribe against these devices. I’m no Luddite. And if you’re going to be successful as a fitness coach, it’s probably best to understand how to use these things to elicit the type of behavior you want to see from your clients to get them to the results that they want. The worst thing that can happen is your client simply collects data and looks at the pretty colors for distraction during the day.

Here are a few ways that you can leverage this tech to maximize its effectiveness:

  1. Talk about the specific metrics you are comfortable talking about. If you are well versed in the benefits of Heart Rate Variability (HRV), start talking about it. Publish content, ask clients about it, tell them what it is and what it is not.
  2. Connect one metric at a time to the goal they are after. Think of this technique as if you are dangling a carrot. The changing metric itself isn’t the goal, its merely a correlate. But it does provide some real-time feedback to the client if they’re headed in the right direction.
  3. Only use one metric at a time. Don’t overwhelm them with tracking multiple things at once. Its one thing to look at all the things your Whoop spits out, its entirely another to try and positively effect all of them at once.
  4. Make sure you connect the dots for them. If you’re using the SEMM model, you can easily point to the sleep scores and show them how as that metric improves, they are making progress towards their goal.
  5. Be honest with the limitations tech provides. It is not the end all be all. Not everything that can be measured matters. And not everything that matters can be measured.

I want to highlight one final thing: be sure that you ask ‘why’ people are wearing these devices. And don’t just stop with their first answer. Dig deep. Their reply just might surprise you and tell you far more than you imagined.

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