I’ve made a few dollars off of personal training, and the experiences that I and my clients have come away with have been positive for the most part. You will see this in upcoming testimonial videos. I even have one client who calls me every name in the book, and I give it back as good as I get it. Yet somehow this enhances the training environment and makes for some great intense workouts.

However, I’ve had to fire a few clients. I love a business where the business owner fires his clients. Clients get fired when they break several appointments, are unmotivated, or refuse to follow direction. They’re basically counterproductive to what they want to achieve. In one such recent case, a potential client had strung me along for about a year. This in no way violates confidentiality because this person never actually trained with me, not even for a single session. For some background on this person, let’s just say that he really needed my help or the usual health problems that present themselves as a result of being very “heavy” would soon become a harsh reality. The first time I dealt with the client (we’ll call him a client) in question, he showed up to my gym for a free consultation. We discussed goals and all the usual stuff and set an appointment for our first session. On the day of the session, I got a phone call in which he gave me a very sad story about why he couldn’t attend. I accepted that, and we made another appointment for a later date.

On the later date, I sat waiting and waiting and waiting. I finally accepted the fact that the client wasn’t coming. I emailed him to ask what had happened, and I received another wonderfully tragic story. We made yet another appointment, and when the day came, I received a message via Facebook telling me yet some more bullshit about why he couldn’t attend. I responded by stating that until he could commit and was sure that this is what he wanted to do, he shouldn’t contact me again. I didn’t receive a reply. Here we are just under a year later, and I received a message via Facebook from the client. I will include a transcript of the message below for your reading pleasure (I’ve taken the liberty of correcting spelling errors and inserting correct punctuation):

Client: So what kind of strength program could you put together for a *sex omitted* who is about to be diagnosed with leukemia? I need to keep my strength up but not work myself to death any quicker than the disease!

Me: About to be? Explain?

Client: Yeppers. I had an MRI…blood work…going for a bone marrow biopsy on *date omitted* so they tell me today! Sorry just not very happy and need to build my strength for a long battle so the doctor tells me.

Client: And apparently I can’t spell. Must be from the bawling! Sorry.

Me: Well, I wouldn’t train you any differently. What do you want to do, and what can you handle? And will you be up to it?

Me (24 hours after my last message): Hello?

Client: Hey. What’s up?

Me: I asked you three separate questions that you haven’t answered.

Client: Ok. Well, I’m sure there will be days that I won’t be up to it. I have a gym in my basement. Maybe you could show me what would work there. Not sure working around sick people while I have no immune system will be the best for me.

Me: I have empathy for what you are facing, but you are giving yourself reasons not to come already. I will help you when you find the motivation, but you do not seem to have found it yet.

Client: Ok. Well thanks anyway. Just can’t be near a lot of people during chemo. It puts me at risk for catching something so if that’s an excuse to you, I’m sorry. I guess I’ll find someone else. Thanks anyway.

Me: I know all about it…you are not in chemo. So yes, it is an excuse. Once you actually start that is another story. Good luck. Am I being an asshole for responding the way I did? Maybe. Probably. Throughout the thread, the central theme is the cancer, but it’s immediately used as an excuse to not put in any serious work. This also doesn’t seem to be that serious as there were lapses in communication, which leads me to believe that there is some doubt he even has cancer. Or it’s an outright lie. There is a mind change in there as well. He uses the lack of an immune system as an excuse not to be in a gym when he hasn’t even been diagnosed yet let alone started chemotherapy. Will this client “find someone else” as he says? There isn’t any chance of that happening. This is an extreme example of someone who is in the contemplation stage of his lifestyle change and really jumped the gun on what he wanted to do. Perhaps one morning he woke up and decided that it would be a good idea to contact a trainer. Then, as his day went on and the coffee and Egg McMuffins he downed for breakfast wore off, he decided to find a way out. To all of you out there who are thinking about a change, be sure and find the motivation within yourself. The gym business is built on people who don’t use their membership but buy the full year anyway because they tell themselves in their head that if they put out the money, they will be somehow more motivated to use it. The same goes for the person who buys a Bowflex. But that is a rant for another day.

Elite Fitness Systems strives to be a recognized leader in the strength training industry by providing the highest quality strength training products and services while providing the highest level of customer service in the industry. For the best training equipment, information, and accessories, visit us at www.EliteFTS.com.