Wednesday, February 29, 2012

When Clients Become Friends

I got into a very interesting discussion the other day about the personal trainer/client relationship with my friend (and fellow PT).  Specifically, it was about how that relationship can turn into a friendship, especially with long-term clients. 

She has had a client for over a year and feels that this person views her more as a friend than as a trainer.  As a result, my PT friend feels that her client isn't getting the results that she would like, but happily pays week after to week to have a "workout buddy".

Here is the dilemma:

Do you continue to work with a client who is not reaching her fitness goals, but is happy to continue to pay for your services?


Do you end the relationship knowing that, despite your best efforts, you are not able to help them progress any further?

I have a few thoughts on this.

One could argue that is not ethical to take someone's hard earned money if they are not getting results.  This is also frustrating for the trainer who wants to see clients reach their fitness goals.  It could be time to part ways, as a different PT might be a better fit. 

On the other hand, if they are happy with your services, perhaps your clients are getting exactly what they want. You are helping them stay committed to exercise (no matter how much or how little) and this is something that they may not do if you weren't around.

I think both options can make sense.  I have talked before about when it is time to break up with your trainer, but there is can also come a time when it is time for a trainer to break up with a client.

However, people hire personal trainers for different reasons and not all of these reasons are goal- driven.  If you feel that you are doing everything to support your client and they are happy with your services, you may decide to continue with the relationship.

A few questions today.  The first for the PT clients out there:


The next question is for all, but I would love to hear from some fellow personal trainers: Where do you weigh in on the dilemma?

Stay Healthy,

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