A Firsthand Report: Summit Performance Specialists Transform Attitudes About Exercise

It’s easy to believe no one likes to exercise—until you talk with people who can’t wait until their next session with a Summit strength trainer.

attitudes about exercise

Attitudes about exercise

Our attitudes about exercise are critical to sticking with an exercise program. We know exercise is good for us, but most of us don’t look forward to hitting the gym. So, when clients at Summit’s wellness center kept renewing their strength training sessions, we wanted to know why.

Summit’s performance specialists have been delighted with the growth of the Summit strength training program. They work one-on-one with clients, and wanted to learn how the Summit strength training program affected client attitudes about exercise. What made people willing to keep coming back to Summit—and why were many electing to continue their training indefinitely?

When our performance specialists talked with their clients, four attitudes about exercise emerged. Performance specialist Heidi Corbett explains the insights she’s learned from her clients. Understanding how the Summit experience motivates people to stick with exercise could inspire all of us to live healthier lives.

Safety

“My clients tell me about exercise classes that left them sore and discouraged,” says Heidi. “Others are rehabbing after an injury or surgery, and worry about reinjury. At Summit, they know they are working with degreed specialists who can collaborate with therapists and doctors. They feel safe with the knowledgeable one-on-one attention they receive, and that builds confidence.”

Accountability

“The buddy system is a powerful motivator,” Heidi explains. “When I work one-on-one with clients, they know I’m waiting for them with a customized program. The couples I work with are accountable to me—and to each other. And our small groups of friends hold each other to their exercise commitment too. When someone is depending on you to show up, you are much less likely to skip an exercise session.”

Ritual transforms a chore into a habit

Exercise takes effort, and it takes a while for a new exercise program to become a habit. However, once the habit is established, many Summit clients don’t want to give it up. “We all have daily and weekly rituals,” says Heidi. “Our six-week training package gives clients enough time to transform their exercise goals into a weekly habit. I’ve had clients talk about that moment, usually around the one-month mark, where a switch flips. When they start, exercise is an unpleasant chore, but as they build strength and confidence, their attitudes about exercise transform. Suddenly, instead of dreading strength training, they are looking forward to their next session.”

The sense of accomplishment

“You can experience progress quickly with strength training, and that confidence boost is powerful,” Heidi explains. “I’ve worked with clients who have trouble holding a plank or doing a squat at first. But it doesn’t take long to see noticeable improvement, and that comes with a huge sense of accomplishment. Clients get stronger and feel better and proud of their progress and want to see what else they can do. That accomplishment is exciting for them, and so rewarding for me.”

Woven through these dynamics is the relationship of trust and support that develops between performance specialist and client. “The relationships I build with my clients are the most enjoyable part of my job,” Heidi grins. “I don’t feel like I’m going to work in the morning. I wake up excited to go to our wellness center and see my friends all day long.”

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  • Heidi Corbett, M.S., C.S.C.S.

    “I truly believe exercise is medicine, and everyone can benefit from physical activity. My goal is to help support individuals in leading healthy lifestyles by improving their overall well being. It’s never too late to make positive changes.”

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