How to Retain and Engage Your Personal Training Clients

You can be the best personal trainer in the world. You can inspire your clients to lose 80 pounds. You can change your client’s lives for the better BUT that means nothing without genuine client engagement or retention after they lose the weight.

Your current client base is crucial to recruiting additional clients, testimonials, and a variety of other successes. In order to be a successful personal trainer, it’s of the utmost importance to keep your existing clients engaged and around for years to come. These are the clients that produce true results that will launch your career.

Personal training retention statistics show that gym attendance dramatically decreases as time goes on, therefore it’s of the utmost importance that personal trainers focus on keeping their clients engaged.

In order to increase engagement and retention within your existing client base, follow these personal training customer retention strategies:

Create a Mission Statement & Goals on Day 1

Goals and mission statements are key to personal trainer client retention. On day 1, sit down with your client and ask them about their long term goals.

  • Where do they want their body to be at in 3 months?
  • Are they looking to lose weight, build muscle, or just become all-around healthier?
  • What’s their best time to work out?

Ask your clients these questions and have an honest discussion of what they want to get out of your workouts together. After you’ve written down their goals, develop a solid mission statement together. An example of a personal training mission statement would be:

“I vow to work out every day with the same dedication and value that I started with on Day 1. I stand here today, at 180 pounds. In 5 months, I will be 20 pounds lighter. I will live a happier healthier lifestyle from here on out.”

Just make sure to make your client’s mission statement attainable and realistic. A mission statement and goals are your first key to retain personal training clients.

Mirror Your Client’s Persona 

A lot of first-time clients are new to the idea of having a personal trainer. In order to make them comfortable with the idea as a whole, it's nice to mirror their personality, their body language, facial expressions, and vocal tones.

Mirroring is great for establishing a solid relationship between you and your client. By presenting yourself as a relatable person to them, they will be more comfortable with your teaching processes and come back for years to come.

Keep Retention In Mind -- Always Be Thinking Ahead 

As a personal trainer, your job is to be helping your client create a better future for themselves. Therefore, you always need to be thinking 10 steps ahead of the game. And a key part of this is communication.

Always be communicating the next exercise to your client. Talk about next week’s strategies. Really make your client realize that this an ongoing process with no days off. This strategy will keep them in the mindset of a healthy lifestyle.

Stir Excitement To Keep Your Clients Engaged

Without excitement, your personal trainer client retention rates are bound to be low. Excitement is a key way to increase engagement. Your client needs to be excited to wake up at 5AM and workout every morning. It’s a tough thing to do every morning, but if your client is excited about it, it will lead to a much better workout.

A few great ways to increase excitement are to be positive, energetic, and social. You want your client to absorb your excitement so that they can use it to keep going with their workout. Excitement is great for encouraging optimism.

Relate to Clients On A Deeper Level & Be Genuine 

As a personal trainer, you need to set yourself apart from all other trainers in order to increase retention and engagement. A key way to do this is to relate to your clients on subjects other than working out. Genuinely get to know your client.

Get to know your client’s favorite sports teams. Do they have pets - if so what kind? Do they have children?

Use this information to form a genuine bond between you and your clients. And don’t be scared to share personal information about yourself also. Your clients will appreciate you opening up to them and will start to see you more as a friend than as a trainer.

Utilize Social Media For Engagement & Retention Purposes

If you’re looking for a way to boost your personal training marketing strategy, the internet is your best bet. Social media presents endless opportunities for personal trainers. Post regularly on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or whatever your preferred platform.

You can use these spaces to inspire your clients even when they’re not in the gym. Remind them daily of the importance of a regular workout. Social media is also great for communicating a few workout tips and boosting brand awareness. Download our complete guide to social media for fitness pros here!

Constantly Be In Contact 

The last one of our personal trainer customer retention strategies we have for you today is to constantly be in direct contact with your clients. Reach out to them with words of encouragement - whether it be a text, email, or birthday card they will appreciate it.

Also, if you notice any extended period of inactivity, check in with your clients. Encourage them to hit the gym again. They may be in an inactive slump and just need a little push of motivation to get back on the treadmill again.

Overall, you need to be honest, genuine and dedicated to being the best personal trainer possible in order to increase client retention. In order to ensure the safest fitness workout for you and your clients, get insured with Insure Fitness today!

Meet The Author:

Parker Franklin

Parker, IFG’s Brand Manager since 2022, began his wellness journey in 2020, leading to a significant personal transformation. He holds a journalism degree from Murray State University and started his career as an award-winning journalist in western Kentucky before transitioning into marketing and PR.

At IFG, Parker is responsible for writing content, managing The Fit newsletter, and overseeing promotions and collaborations with affiliate fitness organizations.

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