How to Break Up with Your Personal Trainer [Email Template]

How to break up with your trainer (without ghosting).

Breakups are never easy (even when you know it's the right thing to do). Ghosting likely isn't the solution. Your trainer might know you better than some of your closest friends.

When should you stop using a personal trainer? That's hard to say but you wouldn't be reading this if it hadn't crossed your mind.

Let's talk about some of the reasons why it might be time to move on to a new trainer.

Below you'll find;

  • An email you can send to graciously end things with a bad personal trainer
  • A thank you template for ending things with a good personal trainer.

If this sounds like you, plan on saying goodbye to your personal trainer;

  • "my personal trainer keeps canceling".
  • "my personal trainer doesn't like me".
  • "I hate my personal trainer".
Little girl in red dress holding up peace sign

When should I change my personal trainer?

You can have a bad experience with a good trainer. Every coaching relationship is dynamic and should improve over time. But that's not always the case.

You should change your trainer when you feel like the relationship has grown stale.

Personal Training can be pretty expensive, especially if you want to spend the money on something else.

You might want a new trainer because you'd like to try a different approach. Something may have gone wrong that's left you feeling like you'd like to see what's out there.

Here are some personal trainer red flags to add to the mix when you're weighing your decision:

  • Do personal trainers flirt to get clients? (nope). If yours is, bring it up (in case it's a misunderstanding).
  • Drill sergeants who yell or berate you to "motivate".
  • Judging your body, implying that it could look "better" if you only "followed the plan".
  • Not asking about how your day was, who your friends are or what you do outside of your time together.

If you decide to work with a new coach, consider asking your next trainer 4 counterintuitive questions.

Is it Normal to Have a Crush on Your Personal Trainer?

Yes. Your trainer listens to you, helps you take care of your health, and sees you more often than you might see your family. It's natural to grow very fond of one another - you might even develop a crush.

You shouldn't act on the crush you have on your trainer because of a potential imbalance in power.

The U.S. Center for SafeSport is an independent 501c(3) non-profit organization focused on ending all forms of abuse in sports. In Safesport training, coaches learn the difference between what's legal and ethical boundaries.

Two potential cases of abuse of power between a coach and athlete are:

  • "a coach learns what athlete values most (like playing time) and uses this to manipulate athlete."
  • "Coach creates quid-pro-quo—athlete must engage in inappropriate behavior to earn favor from coach."

While it may be legal for a 19-year-old to graduate and coach their former team, it's a horrible idea if their significant other is still a member. The same is true for dating a fitness professional that you work with.

You and your trainer need to make your boundaries abundantly clear.

The trainer-client relationship can be filled with very sensitive subjects including:

  • Physical (and emotional) struggles and limitations.
  • Your time of the month.
  • If you feel confident naked.
  • Things that are motivating you outside of your time together.

Trainers (and you) might benefit from reading these two articles on boundary setting in fitness:

How do you end a contract with a personal trainer?

To end your agreement with your trainer, you'll want to make sure that you're clear on the terms. erms of the agreement will vary from gym to gym. Some gyms require advance notice while others do not but charge a fee.

At Simple Solutions Fitness, we stick to our service values of keeping things well, simple. Our agreement s in plain language. All our clients start with a 28-day trial before signing up for a regular 3 or 12-month membership. The purpose of our trial is to make sure you like the place and our vibe. If you don't feel comfortable, you can just walk away after 28-days.

To cancel an ongoing membership, we had our business lawyers, Jones and Ueligger Law, draft something in plain language:

"Termination by Client and Termination Fee. Except as otherwise set forth in this Agreement, Client may terminate this Agreement by delivering written notice of such termination to Simple Solutions. Following notice of termination, Client shall be issued a single invoice which shall be deemed a “Termination Fee.” Such Termination Fee shall be equal to Twenty Percent (20%) of the Membership Rate multiplied by the remaining weeks in the Clients Initial or Additional Term."

Hopefully, your gym has something flexible and remembers that they can't create a policy for everything - emergencies happen.

Thank You Email Template:

Hi (Trainer Name),

Thank you so much for the work you've done to help me [any success you've had working together]. It was such a pleasure to learn more about [something you learned], and I’m very excited about the opportunity to continue making progress.

I've given it some thought, we've had some good times, and I think we should end things here. I admire the mission that drives you [if you want to add some nice details about the person].

Please let me know the next steps for ending our agreement. [if you valued your time together, offer to leave a positive review].


(Your Name)

While a thanks all you need, if you want to help your trainer, you can leave them a review

How Do You Write a Good Personal Trainer Review?

The simplest review you can leave your trainer is to give the pitch you would tell your friends if they asked about your work together. How would you describe the ideal buyer for the service? What did you specifically find value in?

If you want to add in some detail or take a different approach, try answering one or more of the following questions:

  • Has your energy changed since you started?
  • Are you sleeping any better?
  • How’s your strength changed?
  • Motivation changes?
  • Twerking in the clubs going well?
  • Do you feel safe exercising?
  • Are you, friends, and family learning things?
  • How did you feel before you started?

A specific review goes a long way. For example:

I love this place! Thank you for everything and for helping start me on the right path. When I first signed up I wanted to learn a lot more about strength training and nutrition. I feel like you've helped me do that.

How do you politely fire a personal trainer?

People don't get the message when you ghost them.

To politely end your relationship with your trainer, follow these three steps:

  1. Start by acknowledging them with a genuine compliment. (don't make one up)
  2. Offer a reason for ending things - yes, you can be vague and blame "the spark".
  3. Gentle close the door on coming back in the future.

Thank your trainer for giving things a shot. As caring professionals, trainers may view failing to reach your goals as a personal failure. Yes, you're leaving for a reason but they have likely invested a lot of energy into your relationship.

You might choose to work out at the same gym with another coach. In that case, it might be helpful for you to say goodbye, for your own sake. What should you not tell your personal trainer? That's ultimately left up to what you're comfortable with.

Try using the following email template to let them down easy:

Politely saying goodbye to personal trainer

Hi (Trainer Name),

You seem like a great person and I enjoyed meeting you, but unfortunately, I don’t think that this is the right fit for me. (add a brief reason, if you’re comfortable). I hope you understand. I do wish you all the best with your career.

Let me know if there's anything else I need to do to end our agreement, (Name)!


(Your Name)

If you've been seeing your coach for more than a couple of sessions, you shouldn't break up with them via text or email. A phone call or brief meeting will likely be a better move for closure.

Saying goodbye to a potential friend can be tough. The end of your relationship can leave you feeling vulnerable, especially if things end poorly. But ending things can also be empowering. You're giving yourself a fresh start, the chance to discover who you are now and what your current goals and values are..

Some expect to pay for training for a long time while others use it as a kickstart. It's a business decision. You don't have to have a drawn-out reason for "quitting", Trainers get it. Clients leave all the time, we just hope that they're happy and still working towards their goals.

Trainers love it when people share feedback with them about how they're doing. Good or bad, it helps them learn and grow so they can continue to help people reach their goals.

If you do decide that you want to look for another fitness professional, go beyond a google search and read How to Find a Personal Trainer next.

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Steven Mack is founder and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist at the private training studio, Simple Solutions Fitness. He consults for Stronger by Science, a leader in fitness research dissemination, and is a former Mizzou football walk-on. Steven dedicates his professional life to helping people through his writing, speaking, and role as a personal trainer.