Getting a little too close with your clients | Rule # 63

By Jonathan FitPro
How you doing everybody? Jonathan here and in this article I’m going to talk about a topic that often gets ignored in personal training that is sex in personal training. Rule number #63 in my 100 Rules of Being a Good personal trainer says never mix business with pleasure and I invite you to take this to heart. here

Now this not an article about training your significant other at work. This is an article about using your position as a personal trainer to get it on with your client.

So let’s be honest, in personal training, you’re authoritative, you’re supportive, and you’re attractive. And in personal training, not all clients are vulnerable individuals throwing themselves at you. Personal training clients also come in the form of highly attractive, highly confident individuals that may live a lifestyle that you find attractive. Whether you’re a male trainer or a female trainer, the pursuer or the perused, the opportunity to establish a sexual relationship (or multiple) in personal training is not very hard.

It is a bad idea in personal training, to mix business with pleasure. Why? Because, although it may be great for your ego, your reputation may suffer as word gets around. One of the books I like to read is The 48 Laws of Power, I’ll talk about it in another article, but one of the main rules is; your reputation is everything, guard it with your life. Now, in the short term, it feels great to know that you’re the stud in your gym, or that you can have any man you want. But you completely alienate yourself from people who want you to train their significant others. You have no idea how often I’ve been approached by guys and they say, Jonathan, I want you to train my wife. When you have a good reputation at the gym as a trainer of morally high standard, it’s great for business.

With the exception of ‘The Biggest Loser’ in the media, personal trainers are hardly ever portrayed as individuals carrying high moralsA lot of times husbands don’t want male trainers to train their wives or female trainers to train their husbands, not because they can’t afford it, but because they don’t want you touching their spouses. In some cases they’re threatened by you and a reputation of “extra curricular activity” won’t do anything to allay their concern. So, yes, while it may be flattering to get hit on a lot as a trainer, it doesn’t do your business any good long-term.

Now there are going to be some clients that just want to have a good time and see you as a great opportunity. But I think there will be far more clients that will be turned off by you because you have the reputation of the man/women that will sleep with your clients. Now this is not an indictment on anyone’s sexual activity or choice in partners. That is none of my business. It only becomes an issue when money is exchanging hands for other services. I’m offering advice on mixing it in your professional workspace. There are tons of places to meet great people but your gym should be off limits.

With that said, let’s get realistic. You spend a lot of time in the gym and there may be that one person that really knocks your socks off. For instance, I have a boot camp where anybody can walk in at any time. There was this one girl who I absolutely had to date. I run groupons, which allow clients to try my bootcamp for a month before they actually sign up. So I waited until that month was over and if I was going to ask her out (which of course I did), I made sure that it wouldn’t affect my business. Later down the line once everyone knew she was my girlfriend, it was fine if she came to my bootcamp. They knew I wasn’t charging her but there wasn’t any feeling of angst because we were together. You see at this point, she’s not my client who I’m dating, she’s my girlfriend who I’m training, two completely different scenarios. You can’t take money from clients and have them be your significant other. The responsible thing to do would be to, if you can’t control yourself, choose whether you want to get paid or date and let the chips fall where they may.

I can’t tell you how many trainers I’ve seen that have gotten kicked out of the gym, twice I’ve seen guys walked out in handcuffs, because they got into the wrong kind of relationship with their client, text messages were sent, calls were made, people talked and before you knew it, that trainer was out of a job. Now getting arrested is an extreme situation. You probably don’t have to worry about getting escorted out in cuffs. What I can tell you is that when things go wrong in that situation regardless of whether or not both adults were consenting at the time, the fallout can be really bad. No, you can’t get arrested for having sex with a client but a scorned and/or jealous heart can raise some serious hell.

If you want people to take you seriously, you have to hold yourself at a very high standard. Hold yourself to the same standard of other professions that require a lot of face time and support from an authoritative role. Teachers are not supposed to date their students, therapists are not supposed to date their clients, AA sponsors are not supposed to date their sponsees, and trainers are not supposed to train their clients. You’re going to have high visibility, you’re going to be in front of a lot of people, and trust is going to be a major issue. You’re going to want those guys to say hey, I want you to train my wife/daughter. You’re going to want those women to say hey, I want you train my husband. So don’t cut these people out just because you want a little ego fix. If you want to do it, go to a bar, go to another gym, do your own thing, you’re probably in great shape, you can probably pick up men or woman whenever you want. But as for your reputation in your workspace, don’t let anything ruin it.

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I hope you found this post helpful there will be many others to follow but if you want to chime in with feedback feel free. Don’t forget to add me on the facebook, and as always, remember to eat healthily, hydrate, drive safe, stress levels low, get rest, don’t slap anybody, love your clients, they will love you back, I will see you all tomorrow, or the next day, and you have a GOOD ONE!