Sooner or later, the personal training relationship might come to an end. If, as a fitness professional, you become familiar with the top four reasons clients stop training, you might be able to postpone the farewell.

Stop Training

Why Clients Really Stop Training

Clients will oftentimes stop their training sessions because of the cost. Ways to prevent this include reducing the number of weekly sessions to be within their wallet limitations. You can also shorten the length of the training sessions. It’s easier to fork out $25 over $50 or more, especially if the client is a long-term client.

Get creative with options. Offer tandem training where your client brings a friend to reduce the cost or perhaps implement small group training and get others involved. If your client is at all self-motivated, you might even offer to write monthly programs for a small fee that keeps him or her actively coached and in regular contact.

Everybody is busy with work, family and personal life. Talk it out with the client to see what’s making their schedule so hectic. It could be a temporary situation like tax season for a CPA or Christmas with a retail worker. If this is the case, give your client a temporary break and schedule the next training session after their busy season. Also, consider reminding them how much exercise reduces stress.

Lack of results
Clients might be looking for quick results. When they don’t see them, they could decide to ditch their training. You can avoid this by setting up small short-term goals and bigger long-term goals at the beginning of the first training session. Find out what your client wants to gain through the training with pre-screening. Make a plan for what to expect and refer back to the plan as needed.

Make sure your client isn’t eating fast food while blaming the lack of weight loss results on the training. Or they might not be doing any other type of exercise in between. A heart-to-heart conversation might keep the sessions going.

Forget for a moment that many new gym-goers suffer from gymtimidation, working one-on-one with a trainer can be just as intimidating. The client could decide to drop the personal attention to opt for a class where he or she can get lost in the crowd. This can be a tough one to feel out as your client may not readily admit that their regular encounters with you scares her or him a little! Picking up on subtle cues or asking outright if you get the sense that he or she is not totally comfortable in session may reveal the truth.

If this is the case, reassure the client that classes can be combined with training for very effective results. Consider cutting the number of training sessions down to allow the client to test out classes. Keeping the door open might win them over completely.

When Termination is Imminent

When the time comes to end training, it can be a tough separation. This is especially true if you have trained a client for a long time. Rather than end it permanently, offer refresher sessions every few months. Your client doesn’t have to commit to weekly sessions. You can do a quarterly refresher, bathing suit prep for summer or a holiday survival session. Or even consider distance or virtual training for a client who moves away.

On the flip side, perhaps your client has reached his goals and can be considered a success story. If so, pat yourself on your rhomboid muscle for a job well-done!


Kim Becknell Williams

Kim Becknell Williams is a freelance writer with more than ten years of personal training experience. Certified through NFPT, she is a Functional Training Specialist and holds a Master Trainer level certificate for resistance, endurance and sports nutrition. Kim has written two books including Gym Etiquette 101. She enjoys writing a variety of lifestyle articles and fitness blogs.