The Top 8 Dos and Don’ts for Personal Trainers

Posted by Roy on Oct 24, 2022 8:23:00 AM


A successful Personal Trainer knows how to tow the line between professional and social. They’re skilled at making sessions both challenging and fun – it’s one tactic (out of many) they use to keep their clients coming back for more.

While a good PT will make this juggling act look easy, striking the right balance between professional and personable is easier said than done. It’s one of the biggest challenges Personal Trainer’s struggle with today, but here’s the thing, it doesn’t have to be.

If you’re one of the many PT’s looking for ways to find this balance and grow your Personal Training business – keep reading – in this blog, we break down the top eight dos and don’ts for Personal Trainers when it comes to managing their PT business.

From client communications to work out plans here’s the top eight things Personal Trainer’s should and shouldn’t do when it comes to their Personal Trainer business.

The top 8 Dos and Don’ts for PT Businesses

1.   Don’t: Do the same workout with every client

As a Personal Trainer it is your job to create personable, tailored plans for each client. While it may seem cost effective to repurpose existing workout plans, you’ve got to remember what you’re being paid for. Each client is different from the next so you must remember to treat them that way. Make sure you treat each client as the individual that they are. While you can repurpose existing workout plans to clients, each client will have their own goals, personality and preferences so it’s important to recognize that. Here’s a simple way to deliver tailored workout plans using PTminder.

2.   Do: Let your client direct the conversation

It is good to talk to your client during sessions because this builds rapport and the best way to maintain clients other than giving them physical results is rapport.

I talk with my clients all the time and would even go as far as saying that I have made some friends.

However, when getting to know anyone new you must test the waters first. This is especially true within our line of business. I act on the basis that during conversation the clients can direct the conversation.

You don’t want to ask any leading questions that will drop you in deep water. Be conversational but let your client speak more than you. Dial back the biography or acceptance speech, the client doesn’t pay for your talking ability.

The clients pay for your fitness expertise. If you think the conversation is going south, bring it back to fitness. This gives your relationship with your client what we like to call, ‘professional credibility’.

3.   Do: Always be on game

You might not know it, but your current client is not the only one who is watching you. No, many people will be watching you at different times.

Some intently as they pace on the treadmill and others as they cool down from a set on the kettle bells.

The gym is voyeurism at its finest. People watch other people for tips on form, posture, and exercise. Some people just like to people watch just like an old geezer at a bar.

You may not be aware of it, but people will watch you more often than not. Be aware of this when you are taking a session. Engage with your client and the exercises. Don’t slack as your client isn’t looking or keep checking your phone. Don’t stare obliviously into space. Make sure you’re focused with the right mindset.

The people who could be watching you could also be future clients. Make sure you market yourself at all times, it’s one way to easily build momentum for your PT business.

4.   Don’t: Ask your clients to do something that you can’t do yourself

There will be some clients whom you ask very little of. There will be some clients whom you will ask a lot more of. This is the contrasting nature of your profession.

However, the unwritten golden rule of being a personal trainer is… Don’t ask your clients to do something that you can’t do yourself.

For instance, imagine if your clients wanted a demonstration and you couldn’t actually do the exercise. That’s enough to make your hair turn white. That is also a sure-fire way of losing clients.

Ensure your clients are confident in your ability by being confident in your own.

5.   Don’t: Gossip about other clients

You and your client are in a relationship, a professional one at that. You should be strictly professional and not talk negatively about other clients with other clients, it’s unprofessional and sets a bad tone. If you’re speaking badly about one client, your current client may begin to wonder, what you are saying about them.

The gym is a communal place that is filled with lots of personalities. Some complement each other while others don’t. That is the way it is. As a professional you don’t want to get caught up in the middle of this.

You may not regard one client as highly as another client and this is natural. However, you should not go around complaining to other members of staff or other clients about it.

You are in the customer service business after all, and like it or not, the customer is always right.

6.   Do: Take charge of your session

I ended my last point with a bold statement. I said that “the customer is always right”. In the context of my previous point, I was correct in saying that. However, in terms of your session, you’re the boss!

Your client came to you so they could improve fitness. You are the qualified Personal Trainer, and your client expects you to point them in the right direction towards the land of perfect health and fitness.

Sometimes you might not know the way, but you can make an educated guess. I have had clients who have argued with me regarding a session’s content. I have had to respectfully explain to them why we are doing what we are doing and how it will benefit them.

If I have not been replied to respectfully, I have shown them the door to my services. As long as you handle the situation in a professional manner, you will be okay.

In other words, don’t be a doormat for your clients running shoes. You have to set the standard otherwise you will be miserable and become worse at your job and gain a bad reputation.

When you’re in a session, you are the master, and the client is the apprentice.


7.   Do: Follow your gym's policies

If you are renting space at a gym, you should respect their policies. So much so, that you must follow them strictly. This will make your life a whole lot easier.

If you have your own gym, go ahead and develop your own policies. This is perfectly fine.

However, I reiterate, if you are under the roof of another gym, on contract or independent, you should follow their policies.

There will be a whole host of guidelines that you will either be made aware of during your induction or made aware of afterwards. Take note of them and make them your second nature.

One of the most important policies that gyms uphold is the cancellation policy. This holds true for Personal Trainers. If a client cancels on you last minute, you will be losing both time and money.

Make sure that you uphold a cancellation policy that gives you ample time to either replace your client with another or use your time wisely.

Being a Personal Trainer can be tough. You must be adaptable, physical and sociable. Like a bicep curling chameleon, who can talk. Have you ever seen one? No, me neither.

You are the rarest of the rare my fellow PT. Make sure you adopt these skills so you can ensure a steady flow of clients and income.

8.   Do: Be Organized

Finally, it pays to be organized. So many Personal Trainers I meet are still using a paper diary to manage their time and they only take payments in cash. People expect the ability to book online, pay by card and they judge you on how professional the whole process feels.

Using an all-in-one personal training tool like PTminder, is an easy way to save yourself time and money across your PT business. It allows you to manage your clients, classes and sessions, sell sessions and memberships online, take and manage payments, create and assign workout/nutritional plans for less than one client pays you for an hour's session. A worthwhile investment for any Personal Trainer, and one you can try for free in a zero obligation 14-day trial


Topics: Personal Trainer, Business Tips

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