Running Start Chapter 11 | Dealing with various client types

In this chapter, I’ll help you with a breakdown of the different clients you’ll encounter on the job.

Also, you’ll learn how to deal individually with each type of client.

Dealing with various client types

Come along to broaden your knowledge!

So the one thing that you can be assured of as a personal trainer is that no two clients are the same. 

Like in life, everybody is different but that doesn’t mean that we can’t find some similarities.

These allow us to classify the clients that we deal with into specific groups.

And that’s what we are going to deal with in this chapter.

If you know the various client types that you may come across during your career, it’s easier to know how to interact with them.

Dealing with their unique quirks, needs and wants should form part of your strategy in ensuring you provide the client with everything they need to help meet their expectations.

Because that’s what you need to do as a major part of retaining them as your clients over an extended period.

As we have already discussed, retaining clients is certainly what you are aiming for to make a huge success of your career.

But to start, I want to take a look at more basic definitions of the types of clients that you can expect to deal with.

Once we have an idea of these, we will then define clients in even greater detail. 

Clients: The Basic breakdown

So when looking at a basic breakdown of client types, five general types stand out:

  • Those interested in exercise to improve their physique
  • Those interested in exercise to improve their performance
  • Those interested in exercise to improve both physique and performance
  • Those interested in exercise as a means to lose weight
  • Those interested in exercise to improve their general health and fitness

Clients who want to improve their physique

For many, going to a gym is all about improving how their body looks with a special focus on building muscle especially.

People like this are a staple of all gyms and often make use of personal trainers to develop and fine tune a unique exercise program that gives them what they want.

These clients often have a major interest in bodybuilding and don’t only want to focus on their workouts but what goes into their bodies to help them achieve their goals, both from an eating and supplement perspective.

So if you have a client that wants to build their physique, you can expect that your overall contribution towards their success will be measured on whether they indeed got bigger in the areas on which your exercise programs focused. 

Clients who want to improve their performance

A client that goes to the gym and makes use of a personal trainer to improve their performance is probably an athlete of some kind.

And I am not talking about only a professional athlete here. 

For example, a runner who loves taking part in marathons might make use of the services of a personal trainer as a way to improve their times, not to win anything but just to improve in a sport they love. 

Clients like these will want you as a personal trainer to design a unique program for them that will focus on improving their physical abilities, be it power, strength, or condition.

Sometimes, they might want to focus on one area, a combination of all three.

While clients like these train hard, unlike those who focus on their physique, they might not always have the nutritional side of things that well covered.

For these clients, success is measured when they see improvements in their performance, for whatever their chosen athletic pursuit is. 

Clients who want to improve their physique and performance

For our next client, we have someone who is a combination of the first two basic types we looked at, a hybrid so to speak.

While they are looking to improve both their physique and performance this means that although they want to train towards both types, it’s more about achieving an overall goal than building bulging muscles or being able to run long distances without tiring, for example.

Some might favor physique over performance or vice versa and will gauge the performance of their personal trainer on how they improve in both areas with favor given to their preferred choice if they have one. 

Clients who want to lose weight

As a personal trainer, many of the clients you will be dealing with are coming to a gym, often for the first time, to get themselves into shape with a particular focus on losing weight. 

These clients can be tough because they are used to a certain way of living and in most cases aren’t that fond of exercising. Also from a nutritional and eating point of view, all the exercise programs in the world aren’t going to help if someone cannot control what they put in their mouth. 

Also, many are jaded because, without a doubt, they probably have dieted numerous times before in an attempt to lose weight. 

Clients like this will gauge their success on various factors.

Of course, the ability to change their eating habits and maintain that as well as how often they exercise which will lead to weight loss, is the most important.

These aren’t the only measures, however.

There are many other psychological as well as physical aspects that they might measure their success, or lack of it, by. 

As an example, how they look in the mirror or whether their clothes are looser on them are examples of some of the physical factors that they may use to tell if their work with their personal trainer is successful or not. 

Clients who want to improve general health and fitness

The last type of general client we are going to look at are those who join the gym to improve their health and fitness but they can come from several groups.

The obvious group in this category are people who as they get older, notice their body changing.

You know, those who hit the mid-30s and 40s and start to do less physically than before. 

They also start to lose a little bit of their fitness they once had when they were young, as well as notice that their weight is on the rise.

And so they join a gym to do something about it, hooking up with a personal trainer when their own attempts don’t bring the desired results. 

Another example of this type of client are those who do care for their bodies but don’t put any particular focus on training for physique or performance.

They don’t come to the gym to workout per se but more as a way of having a bit of fun and destressing.

Others may use exercise as a way to allow them to enjoy their lives when it comes to eating.

In other words, exercise is a way to burn the extra calories when it comes to what enters their body through their mouths.

Each of these types of clients has unique motivations and expectations from their personal trainer. 

13 Client Personality Types You Might Come Across And How To Deal With Them

So after we’ve covered the range of basic clients that you will deal with as a personal trainer, let’s refine our client types even more.

What I want to highlight now are the different client personalities that you as a personal trainer will have to deal with during your career.

You will find these no matter where you work, be it a gym franchise, a fitness studio, a small city gym, or even if you are a personal freelance trainer.

Identifying them and learning how to handle them can make your relationship with each of these types of clients far more successful.

And a successful relationship with your client means a far higher chance of retaining them for long periods, which, of course, is a win-win situation for everyone. 

So let’s start breaking them down then.

Client personality No 1 – The Smart Aleck

The thing about a client with Smart Aleck syndrome is that because they have spent time in the gym before or have been extremely active their whole lives, they think they know exactly what it is that you need to do for them. 

In other words, they see themselves as just as much of an expert as you are.

And this makes them a very difficult client to deal with in all aspects, from the initial assessment to training together. 

To start, a Smart Aleck won’t be extremely open in terms of the information they will give you during your assessment period with them.

It’s like trying to get water from a rock, so to speak.

And when you finally have enough information to draw up an exercise program for them, expect the Smart Aleck to give plenty of ideas or request changes because they might want to include exercises or other ideas they deem necessary for them to meet their training goals.

Remember, they see themselves as just as much of an expert as they deem you to be.

So you see where the problem comes in then?

What to expect from them

It’s easy to determine if a new client is a Smart Aleck or not.

They will practically tell you so by giving you a complete rundown of what they do to keep active. 

So if they are already a gym person, expect to be told their exercise breakdown in the finest detail but don’t expect them to give you much further information when it comes to trying to find out other necessary information that you need to conduct an adequate assessment from your side.

How to deal with them

The first thing you need to do when dealing with a Smart Aleck is to let them tell you everything they feel they need to.

Take all the notes you need to, you are going to come back to those for sure.

They will come across as arrogant in the way they see themselves as experts and that means they don’t value your input that much. 

Without a doubt, however, although a Smart Aleck thinks they know everything there is to know about exercise, you remain the expert and it’s important to show them that. 

So what does that entail? 

Well, a Smart Aleck might go through their current exercise program but you are going to find areas where they are deficient, or where they are carrying out exercises that are detrimental to them and causing them problems down the line.

For example, shoulder pain from bench pressing with their elbows flared out.

Use your expertise to point that out to them, show a solution and start to win them over.

Don’t get me wrong, when working with a Smart Aleck, you should always praise them for at least the fact that they are taking a keen interest in their health and fitness.

That’s admirable, right?

But you also have to show them their shortcomings and that as the expert, you can help them overcome those areas in which they are failing. 

But it can be a very tough fight because the Smart Aleck is driven by pride essentially.

So you must get across the fact that you acknowledge that they do have some knowledge of what they are doing, especially if they are experienced gym-goers.

But don’t be afraid to point out areas in which they need to be corrected.

You need to establish with the Smart Aleck that you remain the authority, which is something that in the beginning, they certainly won’t care about. 

You won’t have much time to do this, however, because in most cases, a Smart Aleck won’t come to a personal trainer looking for help, they might have received paid for sessions as a gift for example. 

You need to show the Smart Aleck that you value their input but that you can improve their knowledge and ultimately, their workout while pointing out what they are doing that’s good. 

That helps to give you the control you need over them, in a way you are stroking their egos to win them over. 

Client personality No 2 – The Always On The Go

The second type of client personality that I would like to look at is one you have no doubt seen at the gym before.

It’s the person that always seems to have their cell phone near them, not to listen to music while they workout but to take calls and conduct their business no matter where they are. 

It’s almost like a workout is an afterthought, something that they feel they need to do but not let get in the way of more important matters.

That’s why their workouts are quick and they almost leave the gym as soon as it’s over.

What to expect from them

The major problem for a personal trainer these clients is that they often cancel and struggle to reschedule, are only there to train and get done and never leave their cell phone in the locker. 

More often than not, an Always On The Go is a busy business person with very little free time to train but still with a will to do so, when it doesn’t mess with their schedule.

While working with a client like this may lead to early results, during busy periods in their lives, their training might drop off significantly which sees any gains towards their long-term goals regressing significantly. 

Also, because they lead stressful lives, these clients tend to struggle from a dietary point of view, so that’s something to note. 

How to deal with them

Exclusive PTP CPT Offers

Gold Standard Cert
Save 25%
Most Popular Cert
3 Certs for 1
Best Study Materials
See MVP discount
A Good Option
50% off
A Good Option
50% off
Best CPT for you?
Get Free Trial

So how do you deal with a client like this?

Well, it takes lots of patience on your part.

The advantage you have is that most of these clients realize they need to spend time working out, be it to keep in shape or as a stress relief for their busy lives.

The most important thing here is that you continue to guide them when they have little time to come to the gym based on your original schedule.

For example, in times when they are extremely busy, rather arrange for your Always On The Go client to come to the gym and workout to a prescribed program when they feel they can make it.

In other words, it doesn’t necessarily need to be an appointment with you but just a workout by themselves.

Now and again, you can schedule a meeting and workout together, helping them keep on track and providing guidance where needed.

And when things become a little less hectic, their workout sessions with your guidance can return to normal. 

They normally, however, still need a few different rules from your regular clients.

For example, someone needs to take charge of that ever-present cell phone.

If your Always On The Go client won’t leave their phone in the locker, ask them to at least put it on silent and only answer if necessary.

Explain how the constant answering of calls does nothing to help the flow of their workout.

Hopefully, they see your point of view.

Make sure you provide them with exercises that they can do at home as well which is particularly useful for Always On The Go clients that miss appointments due to scheduling conflicts or other urgent matters. 

In that way, hopefully, they will still keep up to speed on their own accord. 

Client personality No 3 – It’s About The Numbers

The third client I want to focus on is found in gyms all over the world.

And these people are all about the numbers.

When it comes to exercising, breaking it down into numbers and stats are perhaps the most important thing about their time spent in the gym.

What to expect from them

While a client that’s all about the numbers can be fun to train, you need to make sure you are fully prepared for them.

That’s because they are going to want information, and lots of it.

An It’s All About The Numbers client will have come to a training session ready to workout out and armed with gadgets to help them fulfill their need for information.

For example, they are probably going to have a fitness tracker or smartwatch that will record several details that they deem important, such as calories burnt, time training for each specific exercise and more.

And don’t worry, what they put into their body they will record in great detail too.

For example, their protein intake for the week as well as any exercises they did outside of the gym environment.

But from you, they will expect information too, because they want results that they can see in black and white.

So most will come to you often for information like their current bicep diameter, chest size, weight, and more, often depending on what their specific goals are. 

How to deal with them

So how do you deal with somewhere the numbers matter?

Well, I’ve already mentioned that they will expect information that they deem important from you but in most cases, they still need to be guided properly.

For example, a client that cares about the numbers, facts and figures when it comes to their weight may be discouraged when they don’t show a noticeable drop over two weeks. 

But, as you know, there are other ways to show that they are transforming their bodies.

So give them some numbers that show them that.

As an example, while their weight might have only dropped only a little, body measurements show that they have lost inches in key places.

Also, their muscle mass might have improved, which helps burn fat faster, another titbit of information they will find useful to know.

For clients such as these, using personal training software is a must.

That’s because you can use it to focus on tracking their progress and measurements and then visually present that through the use of charts and graphs.

It’s something that will appeal to them. 

Give them all the information they want and their motivation levels will remain sky-high. 

Client personality No 4 – The Too Good To Be True

As a personal trainer, you are going to love clients that you can consider to be too good to be true. 

That’s because when you think of the perfect client to deal with, this type of client ticks all the boxes.

What to expect from them

So when it comes to a Too Good To Be true, what can you expect.

Well, from the get-go, this is a client that’s so simple to work with.

From the initial assessment, they will be open and honest, helping you to quickly determine their goals and expectations.

They will also buy into your plans to help them achieve those goals with little fuss.

And when it comes to keeping appointments, following your program and keeping themselves on the straight and narrow nutrition-wise, they simply will follow whatever you suggest.

Simply put, they do exactly what you expect of them.

How to deal with them

Well, it’s not that hard to deal with a Too Good To Be True, that’s for sure.

They are the best type of client that any personal trainer, be it, someone, starting out or even a trainer with plenty of experience could wish for. 

That means that there are no special tips and tricks in place when it comes to handling a client such as this.

Simply work out what’s best for them and watch as they nail all of your expectations both physically and mentally. 

Of course, there is nothing wrong with showing how much you appreciate them with the occasional small gift now and then.

That’s all part of long-term client retention, even when the client is almost perfect.

Even if you are not around to guide them, expect the Too Good To Be True to follow your training program to the letter. 

It’s not all good news, however.

At times you may have to convince these types of clients that they need to ease off a little, especially in times when they might be ill or carrying slight niggles that could become larger injuries. 

But I am sure that you would agree, that’s not too much of a price to pay.

Land a Too Good To Be True as a client and you certainly will be smiling!

They are pretty rare, however.

Client personality No 5 – The Up And Downer

So what’s an Up and Downer client I hear you ask?

Well, I am pretty sure that the name gives you a good idea but let me explain a little more.

This is a client who can display emotions that are all over the place.

One day, they might be at the highest of highs and the very next, the lowest of lows.

What to expect from them

When it comes to an Up and Downer, you just never know what you are going to get, that’s for sure.

On good days, you are dealing with a client that’s fired up to get the job done.

On bad days, the opposite is true.

You are going to sit with someone who is generally wallowing in self-pity.

And exercise is probably the furthest thing from their minds.

How to deal with them

If there’s something to be said for an Up and Downer, it is the fact that no two days are going to be the same.

It can be pretty exciting to try to work out what they are going to do next.

In extreme cases, their moods can even change mid-session.

So how do you deal with them?

Well on days when everything is going well, you don’t have to do anything.

When an Up and Downer is in a good mood, they are going to be fairly easy to deal with. 

When things are not going so well for an Up and Downer, things are certainly a little more difficult.

It’s here where your powers of motivation and constant reassurance can hopefully get them through their session.

Also, when they are in less than stellar moods and a little unhappy about whatever is worrying them, expect plenty of cancellations until they are in a happier space. 

Client personality No 6 – High Maintenance

Let’s look at our next client, one I like to call High Maintenance.

And you can probably guess how this one will behave, right?

Expect to have to invest a lot of time with clients of this persuasion.

What to expect from them

With a High Maintenance Client, you can expect plenty of work both inside and outside of your time at the gym. 

In fact, they are going to contact you and they are going to do it often, usually by text and sometimes even by phone call.

This will happen mostly when they are struggling with motivation, either for their exercise homework you assign to them or when it comes to the nutrition side of things and controlling what they eat. 

How to deal with them

So let’s explore just how you deal with a High Maintenance client.

Well, for the most part, you are going to have to get used to constant contact, especially when they are down.

When that happens, it’s because they feel the need for both motivation and affirmation. 

But you can certainly help them and keep them on track by responding with exactly what they are looking for.

Continue to pass on affirmations and motivations using a range of techniques from simple positive quotes to motivation articles, motivational memes and quotes. 

Also, provide them with easy goals which when they are achieved result in lavish praise.

In return, you will have a happy client full of gratitude. It’s a win-win situation for everyone. 

If you don’t help them in their times of need, the High Maintenance client will quickly lose interest in working out with you and look for affirmation and motivation elsewhere.  

So always remain positive with your High Maintenance clients, even in times where they aren’t doing perhaps as well as they should.

Your constant motivation, praise and affirmation will see them come through those tough times.

And if you have a personal training website, you should already have a huge amount of resources at your fingertips, for example, a huge list of frequently asked questions as well as other articles, including motivational articles.

You can simply send these resource links to this kind of client when you need to instead of having to type out a text message for example.

Client personality No 7 – The Strongman

You’ve seen people like this at the gym often.

And sooner, rather than later, you will end up with one as a client. 

Exclusive PTP CPT Offers

Gold Standard Cert
Save 25%
Most Popular Cert
3 Certs for 1
Best Study Materials
See MVP discount
A Good Option
50% off
A Good Option
50% off
Best CPT for you?
Get Free Trial

But what exactly is a Strongman?

Well, for these gym lovers, it’s all about putting on a little bit of a show while they workout.

What to expect from them

When training a Strongman, you are going to be dealing with someone that’s going to look to give their best at all times, and that’s a good thing, right? 

But it comes at a price because when they get something right or break their personal best in the bench press, for example, expect plenty of shouting, excitement and drawing a little bit of attention to your corner of the gym. 

Another favorite pastime of these types of clients is the ritual smashing together of weights that rings out around the gym.  

How to deal with them

A Strong Man is generally extremely motivated.

And you can challenge them, that’s for sure.

They will be up for anything.

Of course, keep it all within reason, you don’t want them to overextend or injure themselves.

For some personal trainers, that loud behavior of a Strongman might be a little off-putting but if gym management doesn’t seem to mind, don’t worry about it too much.

On the other hand, if your Strongman is a little too noisy for the authorities, you may have to get them to tone down a little.

Also, expect to give lots of high-fives and back slaps when they pull off their next amazing feat of strength. 

That said, a Strongman still needs the proper guidance from your side, especially if you want to keep them as a client for the long-term. 

Because they like to push themselves and are fairly injury-prone, you need to ensure that you avoid losing a Strongman to injury for a long period.

That means you need to make sure that they always warm-up correctly, that you utilize corrective exercise training with them and that you also make them stretch. 

You may have some resistance in this regard but it’s all for their safety and you should tell them that.

A Strongman doesn’t want to be injured, that’s for sure.

Time away from the gym for them is pure torture.

If you do get resistance to warm-ups, corrective exercises or stretching, telling them it’s the best way to avoid injuries should be your response.

In truth, however, despite their quirky rituals, working with The Strongman is a relative breeze. 

Client personality No 8 – The Barbie

No doubt you’ve seen The Barbie at your local gym before.

She’s always strutting around, looking at her finest.

But when it comes to training a Barbie, there is only one important question on their mind.

And that’s whether whatever you are having them do at the time exercise-wise will have an impact on their body and make them look even better.

What to expect from them

For The Barbie, appearance is everything.

That’s her sole motivation for hitting the gym.

All she wants to do is make her body look better, starting with areas that she thinks needs the most focus first.

So expect lots of questions during the initial assessment, especially along the lines of just how you are going to help her improve her muscle tone in her legs, for example. 

The Barbie will also be headstrong, often refusing to do an exercise you suggest simply because they don’t see how it is going to benefit them.

Dressed in the latest gym wear and sure to be wearing make-up, The Barbie can be a real challenge.

How to deal with them

You are going to have to be pretty determined when dealing with The Barbie.

The best way to go about it is to explain that yes, you will help them focus on areas of their body that they think important, but overall, it’s about training the whole body and the benefits derived therefrom. 

Stick to your guns, explain just how training their whole body is something that will boost their metabolism and target their weak areas as well.

Emphasize that while they may want to focus on certain areas of their body, it’s a unit that needs to be trained in its entirety. Of course from time to time, focus on their perceived needs and areas they see as important to train as well.

And remember, The Barbie can come in a male form as well.

We call them The Ken. 

Client personality No 9 – The Slacker

Ah, The Slacker.

Sort of opposite to The Too Good To Be True, The Slacker frequents gyms around the world, just doing the bare minimum to get by.

And while that’s ok while they train themselves, they can be a real handful for a personal trainer.

What to expect from them

So from what I have already told you, you know that The Slacker is going to try to do the bare minimum at all times.

That means you can expect lots of “Do I really have to do this last rep?” for just about every exercise you take them through during their time in the gym.

And they are pretty good at manipulating people because The Slacker just does enough to get by in their everyday life and that’s the same principle they apply to their gym work. 

How to deal with them

Dealing with The Slacker can be difficult at times.

It’s imperative that you simply don’t give in to them.

So if they ask if they really need to do that final rep, the answer is always YES. 

Explain to them that you have taken the time to draw up an individual program that will help them attain their goals and that missing reps or slacking on gym appointments means that those goals continue to hover out of reach. 

Sometimes you have to manipulate the manipulator.

For example, if there is an exercise that they detest, tell them you will reduce the reps for that if they increase the reps on another exercise which is also beneficial for them.

So from their point of view, you are giving in to their demands but in reality, you are making gains elsewhere. 

Also, watch out for The Slacker trying to take shortcuts when doing various exercises, not in the form of not doing the reps, but cheating on the actual form they need to hold for each exercise.

Explain to them that they can seriously injure themselves if they continue to do so.

Client personality No 10 – The Mistruster

When you come across The Mistruster, you certainly have a fight on your hands.

That’s because, most of all, you are going to need to prove yourself to them. 

For the most part, The Mistruster has been in gyms before and in all likelihood has also worked with a personal trainer.

But that probably didn’t turn out too well.

And now, The Mistruster views all personal trainers the same way… with disdain. 

What to expect from them

So what can you expect from The Mistruster if one of them should look to you as their new personal trainer?

To start with, because of their natural mistrust, clients that exhibit these traits will have done their homework on you well before your first meeting with them.

That means they know all the ins and outs, what certifications you hold, where you have worked before and all other related information such as that. 

Expect them to be skeptical at all times, mostly of your ability to help them.

But they may be skeptical about other things as well.

For example, if you are renting space in a particular gym, The Mistruster might question why this gym and not another in the city. 

Generally, The Mistruster, because of their past history with personal trainers, will have a fair bit of knowledge when it comes to what you will offer them as well as general exercise knowledge.

They certainly are not wet behind the ears in this regard.

The Mistruster is going to question and test on just about anything that you suggest to them.

Trying to get them to commit to a package deal when it comes to training is a tough ask, although once you have proved yourself to them, it might become a possibility. 

How to deal with them

Because of their general mistrust, you are going to have to work your socks off to get The Mistruster on your side.

And that’s going to start from the very beginning. 

Even at the assessment, don’t expect too much information coming your way.

It’s going to be like extracting water from a stone! Be persistent, however, and explain to them that the more information they provide, the easier it will be to help them set their goals. 

I’ve already mentioned that The Mistruster’s attitude is from the fact that they have probably been let down by a personal trainer before.

You have to get across that you cannot be judged in the same way and deserve a chance at least.

If they are still not forthcoming with the information, take the time to work them through an initial workout for a few sessions.

While doing that, try to garner further information from them. 

Also, always explain what it is you are having them do and the reasons for it.

Show them that you are indeed the expert and that you have the knowledge to back that up.

By doing so, you can show them that you are nothing like the personal trainer who earlier let them down and didn’t help them reach their goals and expectations.

Be open and honest and by doing so, the chances of winning over The Mistruster get way better. 

As they progress, show them their efforts and your training style is working for them.

You can easily do this by tracking their training data using personal training software. 

Once they begin to see results, The Mistruster will start to believe that you are the real deal. 

Client personality No 11 – The Been There, Done That

The full name for our next client is the Been There, Done That, Yet To See The Results.

A client that falls into this category has been to the gym plenty of times before.

And they’ve probably tried it all.

From circuit training on their own to attending all manner of group classes to trying out yoga or even perhaps pilates.

The thing is, they’ve never seen the results they crave.

While they bounce from a new fad to an established exercise routine, nothing has ever worked for them in terms of meeting their goals, be it to tone up or to lose weight for example. 

What to expect from them

So because they have never really succeeded when it comes to going to a gym or exercising in general, the Been There, Done That isn’t a fan of exercising.

They are only doing the next great exercise thing, whatever that is, to try and get the results they crave.

There might be many reasons for these failures.

For example, time constraints in the fact that they couldn’t keep going to the gym, or they may have picked up an injury or perhaps they were just badly managed by a poor personal trainer. 

So if a Been There, Done That does approach you for an initial workout and assessment, you are going to be dealing with someone who is somewhat jaded and certainly not very motivated. 

They also may have plenty of bad exercising habits that you will need to overcome.

This could also be one of the reasons that hold them back from achieving their exercise goals. 

They are also going to be doubting their ability to meet their needs, goals and expectations.

That’s because they have tried so many things and failed.

So they know that it can’t always be someone else’s fault and that they also play a part in that failure. 

How to deal with them

The thing about a Been There, Done That is that they want to succeed and for that reason, aren’t that difficult to work with.

They want to see results, however, because everything they have tried before has led to failure. 

The point to note here is that most of them there are a few important things to iron out. 

Firstly, they have bad habits when it comes to exercise.

These, of course, need to be worked on from the start and it’s something that you should emphasize straight away if you pick up any problems.

These bad habits have probably led to their failures in the past or certainly contributed towards them in some shape or form. 

Secondly, you might have to watch them when it comes to their self-control away from the gym.

For the most part, their eating habits aren’t always the best.

Last, but not least, your powers of motivation will need to be top-notch when dealing with The Been There, Done That.

Because if anything, their ability to motivate is simply not that good.

It’s understandable though because of their various exercise attempts and the failures linked to them. 

So how do you go about turning their failures into success?

Well, the answer is simple really.

Establish a relationship where trust is the foundation.

Remember, because of their failures, either on their own or while working with another personal trainer or in a group fitness environment, The Been There, Done That certainly will have trust issues when it comes to you can do for them.

The Been There, Done That needs to know that you are in it for the long haul in terms of helping them and that your program will provide the results that they so crave.

You are going to have to use your listening skills and delve deep here to find out what their goals are because they might not always give them up willingly in the beginning.

Then map out a comprehensive program, starting with fixing their bad habits first.

Remember to explain how this probably was one of the main reasons why they struggled to see any success before.

Take them through your overall plan, highlighting ways in which you will help them to finally find it is what they are looking for when it comes to exercise. 

Above all, because of her past failures, exercising probably lost its fun factor a long time ago for The Been There, Done That.

Spice it up a little, make it fun.

Once the results start coming in, The Been There, Done That will be a different person that will work hard for you. 

Client personality No 12 – The Get Results Quick

Sometimes, clients might not understand that getting the results that you want are not something that is achieved in a week, a fortnight or even a month.

You have to put in the hard yards if you want to reach your goals, even if it’s something as simple as losing five pounds.

And these clients, who want to see change yesterday already, I like to call The Get Results Quick.

Many of these client types love the group exercise environment but join up with a personal trainer as they see the need to get even better results in an even quicker time.

What to expect from them

So when you come across a client like this, the first thing that you can be sure of is that they are going to be committed, that’s for sure.

When it comes to exercising, they are going to give it all and feel the burn when they workout.

But if they don’t get the results they want, who do you think is going to get the blame?

That’s right, you!

We have already established that they are impatient and while they may give it their all and work out well, you can be sure that for many of the exercises you take them through, form is not at the top of their minds.

So that’s the first thing you are going to have to watch out for. 

But there’s something else you need to look out for as well.

The Get Results Quick type of client will train at 110% from the start and because they don’t see results straight away, quickly lose motivation and burnout.

So you must explain to them that to achieve results, they need to train at 80 to 90% of their capacity over a longer period. When they do so, they will see the results that they so crave. 

How to deal with them 

As with all the other clients we have already dealt with, you are going to need a plan of attack for dealing with a client that wants results now. 

For example, during their assessment, they will probably get straight to what it is they are expecting.

That might be to train a certain part of their body that they feel is important and always expect them to want to up the intensity, no matter what.

Remember, they want to feel the burn.

It can be extremely tough dealing with that because as we have already mentioned, maintaining the correct form while the exercise is not top of their mind.

But if you don’t allow them to get their intensity up, the chances of them hanging around are slim.

The thing is, a client like this might not hang around that long, so it might be worth it trying to get them to see the light.

And that means taking a fairly hardline approach with them.

Hopefully, they can see the benefits that you can offer and you can rest easy in the knowledge that you are indeed helping them to the best of your ability and in the proper way.

That said, always keep the goals of The Get Results Quick in mind and build an exercise program that incorporates them, along with other aspects that you deem important after your initial assessment. 

These goals should be short, medium and long-term because if you do it that way, you can help to guide their expectations.

Also, as they meet their goals, they are getting what they want and so are you.

It’s all about slowing them down and being patient.

Patience is key when it comes to The Get Results Quick client.

Hopefully, your effective program will win them over.

But if you continue to help them work towards their goals in stages, they might just see the light and continue along the best path towards sustainable results. 

Client personality No 13 – The Tight-Lipped 100 Percenter

As a personal trainer, there is simply nothing better than training someone who, no matter what, gives it their all in the gym environment. 

The thing is, working with people means that you have to deal with their moods.

The Tight-Lipped 100 Percenter is different from most other gym-goers, however. 

What to expect from them

With this type of client, a gym is a place for focus on exercise and little else.

It’s where they don’t let anything that might have happened during the day or week affect them.

They are there to train and train hard.

That said, don’t expect them to offer much more.

Talking to them about other subjects, the weather, Monday night’s football or whatever other subjects you bring up is going to generate very little interaction.

When they do interact with you or others, it’s focussed solely on training.

They will from time to time talk about that.

But for the most part, expect one-word answers and plenty of nodding just as an acknowledgment that they have heard you. 

How to deal with them

In truth, The Tight-Lipped 100 Percenter isn’t that difficult to deal in the long-run.

That’s because, from an exercise point of view, which of course is the reason they are using your services, they excel.  

However, getting information out of them during the assessment might be a little difficult and therein lies your first major obstacle.

They are never going to give you all the information that you seek, so initially, coming up with a workout program might be tough.

And that means that as they train with you, it’s always going to continue to evolve. 

That can lead to difficulties.

For one, you don’t know how long they intend to make use of your services, so you may feel under pressure to get the perfect program designed with very little to go on.

The thing is, you can only work with what is in front of you.

So simply continue to adjust their workout program as you hopefully get little pieces of information here and there.

And if, after a while, they still are pretty much like they were on day one, you should make sure that you keep them challenged.

As for not sharing that much information with you, well don’t let that bother you.

Just focus on what you can offer them, give them your time and guidance and maybe in the long run, they might open up a bit.

Or they might not.


So as we wind down this section on clients, it’s important to know these are but a taste of what you can expect to deal with during your career as a personal trainer.

Just remember, every client is unique and has their quirks as well as wants, needs and expectations.

It’s up to you to do your best to work out what those are and then design an exercise program that will help them meet them. It’s about getting results, no matter how difficult that might be.

But that’s what I love about working as a personal trainer because everyone is different, so the job certainly never gets boring. 

Just make sure you always listen, even to those clients who can’t seem to stop talking.

And most of all, don’t be scared to manipulate your programs to make them work for each client while always sticking to the core principles that guide and shape them.

Don’t forget to take the chapter takeaway quiz to make sure you have a good grasp of everything covered here.

Chapter 11 Takeaway Quiz

Running Start Chap 11

1 / 13

When dealing with a Smart Aleck what’s the right way to approach training them?

2 / 13

When handling an Always On The Go client, what’s the best way to deal with them?

3 / 13

Which of these is an action plan that you can use when dealing with an It’s About The Numbers client?

4 / 13

A Too Good to Be True is a client that every trainer wants. They want to work out and push themselves hard. What’s important to look out for when dealing with this kind of client?

5 / 13

When dealing with An Up and Downer, how do you handle the ‘down’ days?

6 / 13

When dealing with a High Maintenance client, how should you approach their constant need for attention away from a training session?

7 / 13

When working with a client that shows Strongman tendencies, which of these is true?

8 / 13

When dealing with The Barbie, what’s the main demand that you can expect from them?

9 / 13

When you have a client that is a Slacker, what’s the best way to deal with their constant attempts to get you to go easy on them while training?

10 / 13

A Mistruster can be very difficult to train, especially as they probably have been let down by a personal trainer before. How do you deal with them?

11 / 13

How do you handle the behavior of a Been There, Done That in the gym?

12 / 13

Which of these is an action plan that you can use when dealing with a Get Results Quick client?

13 / 13

From the options below, pick the best way to handle a client who is a Tight Lipped 100 Percenter.

Your score is


Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

PTPioneer Editorial Integrity

All content published on PTPioneer is checked and reviewed extensively by our staff of experienced personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and other Fitness Experts. This is to make sure that the content you are reading is fact-checked for accuracy, contains up-to-date information, and is relevant. We only add trustworthy citations that you can find at the bottom of each article. You can read more about our editorial integrity here.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find the best Cert for you

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ISSA Exam


Before you spend your money on the wrong personal trainer, nutrition, or other fitness certification. 

Which Certification Is Best For You?


Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The CSCS Exam


Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ACSM Exam


Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ISSA Nutritionist Exam


Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NCSF CPT Exam


Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM CNC Exam


Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM PES Exam


Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM CES Exam


Get the top 5 Tips for Passing the ACE CPT


Get the top 5 Tips for Passing the NASM CPT


Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NSCA CPT Exam


Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ACE Exam