How to Break Up With My Personal Trainer | Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

How to Break Up With My Personal Trainer

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • Unless you’re under contract, you’re not obligated to maintain a relationship with your personal trainer.
  • Don’t let your trainer pressure you into staying.
  • If you fear confrontation, end things with an email.

Having a qualified personal trainer can make all the difference when you’re trying to lose weight and get in shape, but that doesn’t mean your relationship needs to last forever.

The tricky task of saying farewell to your trainer is not one to take lightly.

Personal training is probably the only industry where you can receive horrible service, not get what you were promised, and still blame yourself. It’s like going to your hairstylist for a trim, he or she shaves off half of your hair, and you walk out thinking, “Maybe I should have made myself clear about what I wanted.”

Of course, this scenario makes no sense, but something similar often happens in trainer-client relationships.

Trainers are there to encourage you when you feel like giving up, motivate you to work even harder when you reach even the smallest of milestones, and help you surpass your fitness goals. They’re also supposed to hold you accountable, remind you that you aren’t alone, and in the end, teach you to how to accept the new you.

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Red Flags

While it’s not always easy to pin your lack of fitness progress on your trainer, there are a few ways to tell if you fall into the category of someone who can. For instance, if you look to them after doing an intense set of crunches, only to catch them texting, take heed.

Not only do they seem disinterested, but this behavior is also blatantly disrespectful. Unless they’re using their smartphone to pull up a new set of exercises for you to do, you should never let them get away with this.

Another warning sign that it might be time to cut the cord is if you catch your trainer checking out other people in the gym. It’s unacceptable for them to ogle others when their attention is supposed to be on you. Training is what they are paid to do, and if they aren’t able to stay focused, it’s probably time to cut them loose.

Finally, be on the lookout for last-minute cancellations or rescheduling. Everyone runs into scheduling conflicts from time to time, but if it becomes the norm, you need to take action.

You are paying for your trainer to guide you, but if they never show up, their behavior suggests that it’s okay to not commit fully to a healthier lifestyle. You deserve a trainer who encourages you to stick with it no matter what.

So, how do you break up with your personal trainer? While cutting ties may seem difficult, you need to remember that it’s just business. Whether you have reached your fitness goals and are ready to go it alone, or your trainer just isn’t living up to your expectations, there are ways to streamline the process.

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Face-to-Face Breakups

Although it’s the most difficult, face-to-face is the most respectful way to cut ties with your trainer. While many trainers won’t embrace the fact that you aren’t satisfied, there are several who will accept constructive criticism.

Often, it has nothing to do with their qualifications but everything to do with mismatched personalities.

To make it as painless as possible, avoid playing the blame game. Simply tell your trainer you don’t feel that you two are a good match. If they insist on knowing the reason, use decorum. Concisely state the facts and if possible, give specific dates and a series of events. Most importantly, stand your ground. Don’t let them pressure you into changing your mind.

Email Breakups

If the idea of sitting in your trainer’s office to tell them that things just aren’t working out sends shivers down your spine, sending a polite email is the best route to go. In this situation, tell them that you’re looking for something a little different. Thank them for their hard work and wish them well. Don’t be surprised if their response is less than polite.

While it’s natural to want to know why they are losing your business, some trainers may not take the news in stride. If this is the case, you can let them know exactly why you no longer want to work with them. Hopefully, they will take your feedback to heart.

Take Things to the Next Level

If you happen to work out at a gym, you have another option. You can go to management and explain the situation, which is usually enough to cut ties without having to explain yourself. Keep in mind that you’ll probably run into your trainer at some point, so make sure you are diplomatic.

Even if you have a friendly relationship with your personal trainer, you need to remember that it’s your money, time, and health. If things just aren’t working out, dragging your feet won’t change the situation. Make a clean break, and find a trainer who has your best interest at heart.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How do I find a personal trainer?

You can either search directly online, ask your local gym, or use our PRO membership to access online personal trainers.

Can personal trainers come to your house?

Yes! Some personal trainers do train clients in their own homes.

What if I don’t like my personal trainer?

That’s completely okay! Finding a personal trainer that you connect with is important. If you do not like your personal trainer, make sure that you cancel any upcoming appointments to avoid being charged and either ask your gym for a new trainer or ask friends or family if they have any recommendations.

With an PRO plan, you have access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, and more. Go PRO today.

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