Personal trainers: 4 problematic signs to look out for in future job opportunities

As a personal trainer, your goal is to keep clients from giving up and teach them the healthiest ways to push themselves athletically. Whenever they slow down, say they’re tired, or even stop completely, you know they’re close to waving the white flag of surrender–which means you need to adjust accordingly. But what happens when a situation calls for you to look out for a different kind of flag, one that flies high before they even become clients? One that is distinctly red. 


Before you even take on a job, you want to know if it’s worth your time or investment. Your success and reputation heavily rely on the clients you work with, and each one presents a chance for professional growth and impact. However, not all clients are an ideal fit for your expertise, training philosophy, goals, or values. In some cases, that’s an understatement. Here are some things to look out for to make sure you’re spending your time wisely and not wasting theirs. 

1. Unrealistic job description/posting

When evaluating a potential job opportunity, pay close attention to the job description. If it seems convoluted, unclear, or doesn’t align with the actual responsibilities they expect you to undertake, it’s a cause for concern. This could indicate a lack of organization and effective communication with the prospective client. Such a scenario can be chaotic and frustrating, which may hinder your ability to deliver quality training and support. 

If you do find yourself stuck in this kind of rut though, Captyn can help. On our platform, you customize all automatic email communications sent to your clients. Use this feature to communicate your agenda ahead of time or even offer supplementary workouts or exercises for them to practice at home. Also, with free text and email service for bulk lists as well as individuals, Captyn can easily be the glue that keeps your instructions clear, comprehensive, and streamlined. 

2. Role ambiguity

A clear understanding of roles and expectations is essential for any successful professional relationship. If there’s a lack of clarity regarding your responsibilities or the client’s expectations, it’s a red flag. Without this clarity, it becomes challenging to establish effective communication channels, coordinate efforts, and work towards common goals. While dealing with such cases can be good practice to improve your problem-solving skills, it may be best to avoid such situations altogether to ensure a smooth and productive working environment.

3. Dubious onboarding process

A comprehensive onboarding process is crucial to set the foundation for a successful client-trainer relationship. If a potential client expects you to start coaching without providing the necessary onboarding materials, such as waivers, health history, and assessments, it raises concerns about their professionalism and commitment to your success. Without a structured onboarding process, you may find yourself navigating through disorganization and potential legal risks. Whatever you do, don’t skip this step.

In this vein, if you encounter a client or company that consistently avoids answering your questions directly or provides evasive responses, it indicates a potential lack of transparency or accountability. This behavior can hinder your ability to initially understand and fulfill the client’s needs and goals effectively. 

4. Uncompensated work or big asks

Your time and expertise as a personal trainer have value, and it’s important to ensure you’re compensated fairly for your services. If a client or company fails to honor the agreed-upon payment terms or consistently asks for additional tasks outside the scope of your expertise, it’s a warning sign. Don’t undermine your worth or compromise your professional boundaries by accepting unpaid work or shouldering responsibilities beyond what was initially agreed upon. While strategically offering a free service once in a while can be good for securing business, make sure you’re not getting taken advantage of.

As a personal trainer, you have a specific area of expertise and certification. If a client or company expects you to provide detailed meal plans or advice that goes beyond your scope of practice, it’s essential to establish clear boundaries. While you may have general knowledge about nutrition and diet, it’s crucial to refer clients to a qualified nutritionist or dietitian for specialized guidance. Straying outside your area of expertise can risk providing inaccurate information and potentially harm the client’s well-being. Avoid this practice for both of your sakes.

Remember, being a personal trainer is all about finding the right fit, like matching the perfect workout playlist to your exercise routine. To manage the clients you choose to take on, Captyn is your comprehensive solution, simplifying your stresses by providing ease of use for both you and your clients. Utilize our features for registration, payment management, branding, communication, and so much more. With Captyn’s management platform, you can streamline your operations, save time, and further ensure that clients are comfortable with the way you do business. Contact us today to learn more!

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