Training Mature Adults: A Value Perspective

Guest Post by Cody Sipe, PhD

Training mature adults effectively is about more than just meeting their physical needs. If you want to grow your business with this gigantic market then it is critical that you understand who they are. What makes them tick. What appeals to them. What repels them. What they respond to. What characteristics they look for in a facility or in a trainer.

Getting them to train with you involves more than just having a personal training certification, creating a slick flyer, having a great name or tagline, or giving a big discount. Like with any other target market you’ve got to be inside their heads. Most importantly it is vital that you understand, appreciate and then appeal to their core values. If you want their business you need to earn their business.

Here are some key values that you can use to appeal to potential mature clients:



Mature adults love their family. They want to be able to spend lots of quality time with them. They worship together, eat together and play together. The Boomers are often called the “sandwich generation” because they end up caring for their aging parents and supporting their adult kids and/or grandkids at the same time.

In fact, a large percentage of them financially support their adult children. Those that are grandparents are especially fond of their grandchildren. Grandkids are the apple of their eye. They would do almost anything for them. And they would do almost anything to be able to spend time with them.

You want to appeal to mature adults then appeal to their sense of family. Tell them how your program will help them to play with their grandchildren, explore Disneyworld with them and climb the bleachers at their sports competitions. Show images of families and grandchildren spending time together. Talk to your current clients about their families and grandchildren. Give them an opportunity to brag a little. Have times or events where they can bring their families to the facility so they can see where “grandma” and “grandpa” work out.


This might seem obvious but it is important to both recognize and utilize this fact. We use small group personal training because it provides a great avenue for socialization. Clients that exercise together in groups of 4-6 develop great relationships. The group provides great support to one another and helps them to stay accountable for exercise. It can be challenging, at times, to corral the conversation and keep everyone exercising but they have a great time and the session flies by quickly.

Highlight the relationships that exist between members in your facility. When they come to check out your facility introduce them to some of the other clients. Highlight your clients in your blog emphasizing your relationship with them. Communicate how your program can help them stay socially connected.

Spirituality and Faith

As people get older and travel through mid-life their spiritual and religious beliefs typically deepen and become more meaningful. Faith becomes even more important than in their younger years. Whether or not you have a deep faith or not doesn’t matter. A large majority of mature adults do. Sometimes what you don’t do is just as important as what you do.


At the minimum don’t let your trainers discuss their wild exploits from the previous weekend. Don’t let them make off-color jokes to one another where clients could potentially hear them. As a whole avoid any conversation or behavior that could be deemed unprofessional or unseemly. It is a big turnoff for many mature adults. If you are a person of faith don’t be so reluctant to have faith-based conversations with your like-minded clients. It’s amazing how many times faith-related topics come up in conversation with mature clients.


This is the desire to mentor the next generation and make the world a better place. A desire to give back. To serve others. This can be expressed in any number of ways. Mature adults are the number one volunteer force in the world. They lead charities and work at food banks. They donate their time and effort through service and mission trips. They man concession stands at ballgames and teach classes at Sunday School. Their desire to give back is huge AND they want to use businesses that have the same attitude and follow through with action.

Our training facility is extremely active in many social causes and we get our clients involved with us. We’ve raised money for Habitat for Humanity, helped the local food bank win a 10,000 grant through our Pound for Pound challenge and held a bake sale for a trainer going on a mission trip.

Our clients are very involved in everything we do in the community and are greatly appreciative. Giving back is very important to them. Align yourself with good causes and be active helping others. But don’t just do it in order to get more clients and help your bottom line. Be authentic about your desire to help others.

Listen, if you want to grow your business with mature adults then you need to understand them from the inside out. The values described above are just a few that can get you on the right path to success.

-Cody Sipe, PhD

Posted in Boot Camp Business, Fitness Business, How To Start a Fitness Boot Camp Business, Personal Training Business by Steve Hochman | No Comments Yet

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