Things Personal Trainers Should NOT do to Clients

Be Late or Cancel

I expressed this same thing for clients not to do to their trainers.  If you are trying to build a big business or you want to move up your Health Club’s leader board, being late and/or canceling will sink you quicker than anything else.  Clients can’t always count on all things going right during their daily life but you are someone they should be extremely excited about seeing. Why?  It’s because you should be someone they can count on.  Consistency is more important than anything else, it is the foundation of your business.

Tip: Do not schedule back to back sessions without a minimum of 15 minutes between sessions.  Their are many reasons for this, such as time to prepare for your next client and perhaps follow up with other clients/potential clients.

Don’t Train Yourself

I have seen so many trainers turn off potential clients because they had an inability to step out of their own shoes and into their client’s.  Not everyone is going to have the same exact goal(s) and most certainly not everyone is going to want to partake in the same kind of training you like to do yourself.

Personal Training is not about getting someone excited about the type of training you do, you can’t wish that through osmosis it will resonate like that.  Personal Trainers like that will only attract clients that are similar to them.  Is there anything wrong with that? Well, how big do you want your business to be?  If that target group is large enough for you, then continue on and kudos to you.

However, if you are losing clients or not gaining clients, you may want to ask why?  Personal Training is about their goals, wants and needs… not the Personal Trainer’s.


A common mistake, especially by inexperienced trainer is pushing a client too hard.  If I am training a client for 60 minutes, I want them leaving the session feeling good and not completely exhausted.  I think many trainers that push their clients too hard are somehow convinced that a hard training session illustrates how well the trainer knows their craft.  In reality, a great trainer knows that it is better to push a client according to their current capabilities, without risking immediate soreness and/or pain.

If a client is pushed too hard, too fast, the trainer runs the risk of losing that client.  Many clients, will be able to last week or so but as that delayed soreness comes into play, they will not be looking forward to the next session as they should.

Same Thing Different Day

Are you changing your training sessions or are they relatively similar?  If you find that you are not retaining clients, then you may want to check your session activities.  All too often I seen trainers taking clients through similar progressions throughout their entire training session.  After awhile I get bored of seeing that on a health club floor, so I can only imagine what the clients is feeling as well.

In order to keep things fun and moving, make sure you are constantly changing exercises or incorporating variations to those same exercises.  It should never feel repetitive in a way that could be considered boring.


You may have clients that work the stereotypical, “9 to 5,” job.  Sometimes we have a bad day at work and your clients will too.  Something can happen in someone’s day that is not even work related but it is brought to work because of course our mind travels with us, wherever we go.  Well, as a Fitness Professional, I can not let whatever happened in my day that was negative, affect my attitude.  When a client has a bad day, they look forward to coming to see their trainer because they know that they are going to get a good workout.

Training is not just about cardiovascular health, fitness for function, etc.  It is also a great way to relieve stress.  Clients look forward to that and they do not expect your attitude to be anything less than stellar.  Sometimes things are what they are and the only thing we can do is accept that and change our attitude.


Crossing the Line

You are a Personal Trainer and should be professional.  The reason Personal Trainers are not always shown in a great light in television or film is because of stereotypes.  Those stereotypes are slowly changing but it takes every Fitness Professional, treating this industry with the self respect it deserves.

Do not date your client(s). Do not be intimate with a client(s).  Do not flirt with your client(s).  If you do not feel you can train someone in the professional manner which they deserve, refer them to a colleague in the industry. Boundaries in life are very important, especially in working relationships.


If you need help, you can apply to work with me, as I consult other Fitness Professionals. Here’s more info regarding my Fitness Professional Consultation Service.

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