Why good trainers aren’t afraid to fire clients

You're Fired

It seems that in the fitness industry some trainers are happy to continue to work with non-compliant and low-expectation clients (and more importantly take their money) with little regard for anything else.

I just don’t get this. Let me explain why.

A trainer that I know, took it on himself to express his opinion that I am too harsh and need to detach from client outcomes and accept that if the client is paying, then that is good enough. This trainer and I frequently disagree over what is acceptable in a client-trainer relationship and he seemed alarmingly proud when stating “I have some clients that I only do 3 exercises with for the session and I have another that I just walk with”. I will be a little lax on the professionalism here and just say that I don’t give a shit how much someone wants to pay me, walking isn’t an acceptable form of “exercise” for your PT session.

  • Who the hell needs a personal trainer to go for a walk?
  • Furthermore, since when has walking been a form of exercise for anyone other than people aged 70+ (other than dieting body-builders getting ready for a show {see this post}) ?

This type of activity (or lack thereof) deprives people of their ability to be self-disciplined & accountable and is just plain damaging to everyone involved. What is more, it gets the industry as a whole, a bad name. I have the firm belief that if, during a PT session you like your trainer, then either you are a sadomasochist or you aren’t training hard enough. You should have a healthy level of ‘mild terror’ of your training sessions and the person that facilitates them, because you pay to get results and results come from hard work. How can a trainer deliver results when the client is never pushed beyond their comfort zone?

Most people have seen a massage therapist at least one time in our lives. Massages come in two forms: 1) the skin-rub/comfort category that at best is a form of relaxing body ex-foliation or 2) the therapeutic ART (or some deep tissue form) where there is some associated discomfort that you tolerate for a beneficial outcome.

Exercise and PT are no different. If training is ‘nice’ in the moment, then it surely isn’t doing much constructive for you. If you can continually chat throughout the session, then you are not being trained hard enough.

Imagine you are a results-based-trainer who believes that your client’s results are a reflection on you and only a small percentage of your clients were lazy, uncommitted and non-compliant and yet you decided to still train them and ‘take their money and run’.  You risk this psychologically draining process contaminating the rest of your business, polluting your love of training and even actually tarnishing your view of people. Further, accommodating that low level of drive risks contaminating your capacity to really address the needs of clients who need and want more.

1. That is why good trainers need to be selective about who they train.

2. That is why good trainers disengage from clients that have persistent accountability issues and low compliance.

This is a form of saying ‘No’ to clients who don’t utilise what you are skilled to deliver, so you can be more available to say a more resonant ‘Yes’ to those clients who do who are primed to make changes and get results.

Tagged with: ,

Leave a Reply