When I first started working in corporate wellness, I knew the program was intended to help the company’s employees improve their lives. I thought I would mostly be working with people who had desk jobs and were focused on being pain-free and generally healthy. I quickly learned they also had other goals and interests.
Like many personal trainers, I started off working part-time at a typical commercial fitness center. While I knew there were some full-time positions in the fitness field, those weren’t as common. Luckily for me, EXOS had recently launched a health and wellness program at a prominent technology corporation.
This was a great opportunity for me, and something I wanted to pursue because I was the first one in my family to get a college degree. My parents are originally from Laos, but they had to flee to Thailand a few years after the Vietnam War because my dad supported the Royal Lao Government who helped the CIA in fighting the war. I was born in a refugee camp in Thailand while my parents were waiting to immigrate to America.
Although my family wanted me to become a doctor, I chose to study kinesiology with a concentration in exercise science. Being physically active was something that I always enjoyed, and I wanted to be around like-minded people. That’s why I was excited to find out that there was a small group of employees at my corporate wellness location who wanted to take their performance to a more competitive level.
To reach those employees, I started a powerlifting group at one of the company’s California sites. The group trains together and competes together. Some of the lifters even hold state and national records. I also co-coordinate an annual powerlifting competition in the fitness center.
In order to increase my knowledge and continue supporting the great employees I work with, I’ve also taken advantage of continuing education opportunities. The things I’ve been able to do with EXOS have been beyond my expectations. In this industry there are many directions you can take your career, and you never know what you might be doing. But if you can find a way to make things happen, then there are many opportunities to do what you love to do.
When it comes to motivating my corporate wellness clients, here are some key strategies that I’ve used:
1. Make clear progress plans for the whole class.
I like to explain upfront that our progress will go farther if we do it as a group instead of as individuals. And then I cheer them on and keep track of their progress so each participant can see how they’ve improved.
2. Encourage group accountability.
The most effective way to make workouts count is to have the more consistent people in the group keep the less consistent people on track. Putting them in pairs helps this happen naturally without calling anyone out.
3. Make a personal connection.
All of your interactions don’t have to happen on the gym floor. Planning group events outside of workouts can help everyone get to know each other better and build camaraderie.
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