What to Do If a Personal Trainer Gets Touchy | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

What to Do If a Personal Trainer Gets Touchy

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. 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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Get the Basics...
  • Having a healthy client-trainer relationship is essential.
  • Your trainer should never make lewd comments or engage in inappropriate touching.
  • If you have your training sessions in the gym, immediately report your trainer’s behavior.

Girl goes to the gym to get in shape. Her cute personal trainer flirts with her and steals her heart. It sounds like the beginning of a romantic comedy.

In reality, this situation happens to females a lot and isn’t always welcomed.

Unfortunately, the personal trainer who has been hired to help you get toned and feel good in your own skin may make you squirm instead. So, what do you do if your trainer is too touchy?

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Warning Signs

Your trainer is supposed to help you perfect your form while demonstrating new exercises. Exercise demonstration sometimes has to involve a trainer touching you to instruct you on proper form. Sadly, some trainers take things too far.

Warning signs that your personal trainer is getting too touchy:

  • They overtly leer at you.
  • They excessively touch you without your permission.
  • Their comments make you feel uncomfortable.

Working with a personal trainer can be expensive, and you should receive the best fitness instruction your money can buy. While it’s not unheard of for a personal trainer to be flirty when trying to develop a rapport, they should not be crossing any lines.

Common Ways Trainers Cross the Line

Yes, you expect your personal trainer to be enthusiastic and conversational. And yes, there are times when they may need to make physical contact with you to correct your posture. But, despite the tall tales that encourage trainers to be flirtatious with their clients, engaging in this type of behavior is unethical and, sometimes, illegal.

Specific behaviors that cross the line include:

  • Insisting that you meet up outside the gym to discuss your workouts
  • Asking you out on a date
  • Touching you longer than necessary
  • Blatantly staring at your body
  • Touching your belly, backside, hips, or breasts
  • Performing assisted stretching exercises that require lengthy physical contact

As a fitness professional, there’s a particular level of expected conduct when training clients. You should expect trainers to respect and provide quality service to all of their clients.

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How to Handle the Situation

If you feel like something is off, then it probably is. But what can you do? What if you’ve already paid for a training package? Should you walk away and lose all of your money?

If you’ve only invested a few dollars, the easiest thing to do is walk away and consider reporting the trainer to the organization that certified him or her. If you’ve invested a lot of money into a training package, here is how to rectify the problem immediately:

Communicate Honestly

An overzealous personal trainer may not realize that they are doing something wrong. If this is the case, speaking up may remedy the situation. If you feel uncomfortable addressing the situation and your trainer is provided by a specific gym, speak with the gym’s management.

Stand Your Ground

If you have your training sessions in the gym, immediately report your trainer’s behavior. Sexual harassment can escalate quickly. Keep a record of what has happened and leave no details out. Your gym will likely provide a full refund or will assign another trainer to you.

Trust Your Instincts

Flirtatious comments and unacceptable behavior are easily identifiable, but sometimes you may encounter a confusing situation. If you’ve had a good relationship with your trainer but they suddenly start making advances, trust your instincts and address the problem immediately.

If you want to continue working with your trainer, let them know that you want to keep things on a professional level.

Providing the highest standard of professionalism is essential for personal trainers. However, no matter how professional your trainer may appear, sometimes unwanted advances or comments can still occur.

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.

For workout advice from professionals you can trust, go PRO today for access to certified personal trainers, workout plans, and more.

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