Why do clients drop their personal trainers?

This question stays on the minds of new trainers everywhere.

Some of the obvious reasons trainers get dropped are flirtatiousness, lateness, or a stagnated/unchanging workout routine.

But there are some reasons that might be surprising.

Unexpected Advice

Giving advice beyond what is expected can quickly turn off clients.To put it plainly, clients can lose confidence in their trainer if the trainer oversteps their area of professional knowledge. For example, when it comes to living a fit life, exercise and proper nutrition go together. Uninitiated clients might expect specific guidance in both. But other clients become skeptical when trainers offer advice on what and how to eat. They understand that personal training certification and certification in nutrition are not one and the same.


Don’t laugh. Because in all seriousness, “unprofessional” hygiene in on the list. We should’ve seen (smelled?) this one coming. But it’s not just about timely showers, although that’s very important during a day of exercise in the sunshine. It’s about breath! We all eat, and inevitably some clients get an after-lunch time-slot.

Far be it from me to say what should and shouldn’t be consumed during a workday. But just know that hygiene makes the list of what can make a training session unbearable.

Unrealistic Expectations

Here’s a tricky one. While it seems clients would want/expect their trainer to be a bastion of healthy living, few want to be barked at or made to feel less-than because they indulged in pizza over the weekend. Clients look for something realistic for the long-term. Let’s face it: long-term includes pizza or (insert any junk food or sugary treat). Clients look for healthy habits that still give them a chance to have fun and live life. Figure out a way to deliver that, and they might just sing your praises (in the form of referrals).

Let’s end on a brighter note. Here are a few things that keep clients coming back.


A 45-minute session of awkward interaction isn’t likely to make anyone pull out the checkbook. While there are serious lines drawn as to what constitutes professional chit chat and chit chat gone rogue, it might be a good idea to establish some rapport. That’s what puts the personal in training. Find some common ground. Even if it must be fitness related. Don’t let your clients work harder at avoiding eye contact than at working out.

New goals.

There’s always the ‘whats next’ aspect of fitness. Because once you reach the destination, you stop driving. Let them know and understand there is a next level. And of course tell them that you can help them get there by setting fresh goals.

Flexible or creative scheduling.

Realistically, either you can accommodate a client’s preferences or not. But if your area has a super-competitive personal-trainer population, being mobile can give you an edge. Being able to train at a client’s home or place of business, plus being great at your profession will make you indispensable.


[info type=”facebook”]How do you create loyal clients? If you’re an NFPT trainer, join the Facebook Community Group to share and if you’re not, come chat with NFPT here![/info].

Tanisha Rule

Tanisha Rule has a BA in English and is a former Mad Dogg-certified Spinning instructor. She taught indoor cycle and boot camp and has now combined her passions as a full-time writer for the health and fitness industries, check out her site at If she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found happily training for an endurance event, likely after having said, “This is my last one for a while,” because there is no finish line; there is only progress.