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It’s Not Me, It’s You: How to Avoid the Client/Personal Trainer Breakup 

This is an IHRSA featured post, brought to you by Matrix.

There’s no Uber for personal trainers and clients, or at least not one that accounts for the unique relationship between trainers and clients. This is a relationship that depends on similar interpersonal dynamics as more serious commitments. It’s business, sure, but they call it “personal” training for a reason. 

Establishing a good match between trainer and client is based on a number of criteria (costs, goals, comfort level, scheduling, etc.), but when the relationship ends, it’s usually for the same reason: lack of progress. Your club may do a good job of signing people up for training sessions, but if members don’t commit or they quit before their goals are achieved, the experience can become negative. That’s not good for retention or club loyalty.

Besides the obvious factors—like appropriate price points and the quality of training staff—club owners need to find ways to make the relationships between trainers and clients blossom. And, like any relationship, communication is the key. The more trainers interact with their clients, the stronger the bond, which improves compliance and goal achievement. That makes everyone happy, especially the matchmaker (you).

Putting the ‘Personal’ Into Digital Training

For trainers, the problems with keeping clients on track often begins when members leave the club. Unhealthy habits are hard to break, and people trying to change their lifestyle often require encouragement beyond the training session. You have to reach people where they are: on their smartphones and laptops.

While online personal training tools are abundant, they often lack a customizable option or fail to account for the wide spectrum of digital tools and third-party apps that clients already depend on. If you use a Microsoft Band, you don’t want a training program that can only accommodate a Fitbit. Data is data, and the devices that measure them can vary widely.

Trainers shouldn’t have to pick and choose. They should be able to say, “If you like your Fitbit, you can keep your Fitbit.” Compliance is hard enough. Keeping people in their digital comfort zone can be just as important as keeping them in their fat-burning zone.

You need a communication interface that’s not a one-size-fits-all option. And you want to be able to customize the digital interface, and not just for branding purposes. You want to make a connection with members, make them feel part of a family who supports their fitness efforts. 

Again, it’s “personal” training for a reason.

Taking the Relationship to the Next Level

Industry leader Matrix Fitness noticed these communication struggles and did something about it, developing a web-based personal training platform that keeps trainers and clients engaged and on track.

Their "Personal Trainer Portal" allows trainers to share workouts, create schedules, track progress, and stay connected with members concerning nutrition plans, exercise instruction—whatever they need. Trainers can also offer nontechnical advice, encouragement, and inspiration, which can be more important than any workout or diet plan.      

The software itself is a good communicator, able to accommodate a ton of existing devices and programs. The PTP platform is compatible with popular third-party apps and wearables, including: 

  • Fitbit;
  • MyFitnessPal;
  • Facebook;
  • Microsoft;
  • Nike;
  • and many others.

This allows data to be easily streamed and collected to help you better serve your members. And it’s customizable for individual club branding, so even as the PTP platform allows for third party options, your club is still front and center. 

After all, it’s your relationship, too. With so many distractions these days, it’s great to have a communication portal that keeps you connected to members when they’re off-site. And it’s truly a “personal” communication, with customized guidance to make them feel like they—and their fitness success—matter. 

Check out the "Personal Trainer Portal" to see how it works, and visit Matrix for more information on their line of equipment and other products.