How Much (Outside) Support Should You Give Personal Training Clients?

Personal Training is substantially different from most other service jobs because you’re encouraging the client to make DAILY positive choices. These choices are both exciting and empowering for the client, and you’re the person they want to share these moments with!

While being that person is really nice for the most part, sometimes you get sucked into a vortex of putting your heart and soul into around-the-clock support of your customers. This can lead to blowing off your own workouts, or forgetting to call your Grandmother on her birthday.

This post is part two of Don’t Quit Your Personal Training Job (Until You’ve Read This) where I talked about wearing too many hats in your personal training services.

Truth Bomb!

It’s pretty bad what I’m about to say, but an unfortunate reality waaaay too much of the time. So here goes.

Putting your heart and soul into a client outside of their training sessions will nearly always lead to you getting hurt.

In my career I’ve supported clients to the point where people in my personal life have felt left out and less important. “You care more about your clients than you care about me!!!!” I’ve heard that more than one time. Ouch.

In reality as well, it also leads to a false sense of companionship where you feel like your client is your friend. Yet the companionship is only there while the client is ‘on track’.

When The Party’s Over….

Alright here’s the deal. I’m gonna give this to you straight, based on my personal experience. It’s different for everyone, sure.

Here goes.

Expect to be shut out when personal training sessions stop, or they no longer want to make the healthy choices you worked with them to make.

Your client is not being mean, nor did they do anything ‘wrong’. It’s just the way the cookie crumbles. You might THINK you’re their friend, or that you’ve become friends, but that might not be the case.

If you’ve grown close to your client to the point where you feel like they’re in your personal life, just know that it may not be mutual. Chances are, your customer has (or had) no idea how much they meant to you – nor do they want that closeness.

For them, they thought you were ‘just doing your job’. The love was based on the service – and support – that you provided.

Guard enough heart for people in your personal life. Always!

Ways To Support Your Customers

It’s good service to have a text thread with customers as well as review their food journals, for support and accountability. But if you’re a PT running a boot camp or group fitness class, it’s a slippery slope to provide coaching accountability to such a large amount of customers.

  • Start a facebook accountability group instead, where customers can support each other. You can also buddy people up so that they have each others numbers.
  • Bring your customers together socially with meet-ups so that they feel comfortable to help each other. It’ll take the load off you.

Read Part 3 For My 6 Easy Things To Do – Today!

Cat Smiley

Cat Smiley has been named Canada’s top trainer 3 times by the International Sports Science Association. She is a certified Master Trainer of Fitness Sciences (ISSA), Life Coach, Nutritionist, Executive Business Coach and the owner of Whistler Fitness Vacations. Prior to that, she spent 10 years building her personal training and boot camp company - while also working as a professional athlete and nationally syndicated health columnist. She inevitably hit burnout and learnt a ton of lessons along the way. is a mash-up of all the things she did to keep her passion for fitness training alive, almost 20 years later. - Find my site helpful? Please mention Whistler Fitness Vacations to your personal training clients if they ask you about fitness retreats! It really helps (and I really appreciate it!)