What Is a Personal Training Contract?

A personal training contract is a formal agreement made between a  trainer and a client. It is a contract that describes the nature of the partnership and outlines the various terms and conditions pertaining to that partnership.

According to an online article by the University of Washington on personal training, there are several ways a personal trainer can help a client. These include customizing a person’s exercise plan, setting fitness or health goals, losing or gaining weight, having monthly conditioning or regular exercise, and training for a specific sport.  

Benefits of Having a Personal Trainer

A personal trainer is not only limited to the area of fitness and health. A personal coach can also mean a life coach or a career development mentor. Engaging the services of a personal trainer does have several benefits. Some of these main advantages are described below. 

Supervision: Having a personal fitness trainer can be an incredibly advantageous thing. Meaningful mentorship is easily the biggest benefit of having a personal coach or trainer. Not only are you receiving one-on-one training, you can gain a lot of knowledge and information from your regular interactions with your trainer. Personal fitness trainers can teach you the proper form in your workouts. They can assist you in exercise routines and in the proper use of gym equipment. With good supervision, you will eventually gain confidence in your routine, even without the trainer present anymore. Expertise: Having a personal trainer means having access to technical knowledge and even unlocking new skills. With one-on-one training, you get to witness firsthand the expertise and experience of your coach. And a good mentor can help you grow in more ways than one. In the case of fitness trainers, the really good ones are not just there to push you physically, but to make you mentally and emotionally strong in the process as well. Flexible Arrangement: Unlike a regular gym goer, people who engage in personal training services can have more room for flexibility in their schedules. Of course, it is also dependent on the availability of the trainer, but more often than not, the client’s schedules are accommodated and prioritized. A flexible training arrangement is especially relevant today in the midst of the ongoing pandemic. As gyms and indoor fitness facilities continue to be subjected to lockdowns and irregular operating hours due to public health reasons, at-home workouts are becoming the most practical option for many health buffs. Hiring a personal trainer can allow you to work out in the safety and comfort of your own home. Motivation: Having a personal coach by your side can serve as a great source of motivation. They can be there to push you and inspire you to do your best and give it your all. Everyone needs a little pep talk every now and then. The support and discipline you stand to gain from having a personal trainer can do wonders and bring about real, sustainable results. A personal trainer can act as both your cheerleader and accountability partner. For the latter, you can feel a deeper commitment to your health and fitness plans when you are accountable to someone else- especially someone whose main job is to keep you on track. Targeted Plan: The perks of having a personal trainer is the personalized plan that many of them are required to create for you. Depending on the type of program you enlisted for, a targeted plan may spell the difference between reaching your goals or not. Trainers take into account your personal needs and preferences to help you obtain optimum results. Even for other types of trainers such as life coaches and professional development coaches, you can be assured that they are trained or expected to offer you advice and guide you in taking the most suitable steps which will help you attain whatever goals you may have.

Key Components of a Personal Training Contract

Like any official contract, there can be numerous sections and fine details. When it comes to personal training contracts, there are key sections that should be properly defined and outlined. The following are just some of the core components found in a personal training contract. 

Client Responsibilities: A personal training contract is essentially a formal partnership between two parties or more. The client that decides to engage the services of a personal trainer is bound by duty to fulfill certain responsibilities. After all, it is his health or well-being that is on the line, not the trainer’s. These roles can be enumerated in bullet points or numbered accordingly. It should be explained clearly and specifically. The client responsibilities section is meant to promote accountability and clarity. Trainer Responsibilities: If the client has duties to fulfill, the trainer has his own set of obligations as well. The help, expertise, and experience of the personal trainer are why the client engaged the trainer in the first place. Simply put, self-improvement is at the core of the contract. In the same way the client’s roles and responsibilities are defined, there must also be a dedicated section where the personal trainer’s responsibilities are clearly identified. The more specific the functions are, the better. Services: Another important section of a personal training contract is the list of services. These should be specific and detailed. A lot of personal trainer services come in customized packages that are then tailor fitted to the client. It is also important to remember that not all trainers are all-around experts; some of them are only proficient in one or a few areas. So it is important for the trainer to disclose what specific services he can actually offer. For fitness trainers, services can range from meal plans, exercise programs, to strength and stamina training. For life coaches, examples of services can be counseling, behavior therapy, and even strategic action planning. Liability: Like most contracts, the subject of liability is always an important topic to touch on. Your contract should include a liability clause determining responsibility and anticipating any unforeseen accidents- in case these should arise. For instance, if an accident occurs during a training session held in the client’s home, there must be clear rules and guidelines established to protect both the trainer and client’s interests. This section is not necessarily long, a couple of sentences are usually just inserted in the contract. Cancellation of Contract: Another basic section in most contracts is the cancellation or termination of contract clause. Your personal training contract should be able to define clear rules regarding the grounds for cancellation. If one or both parties are unable to fulfill certain duties, then cancellation of the contract may be necessary. Basis or grounds for termination may range from non-fulfillment of payment, chronic absence, violation of privacy and others. Payment Terms: The cost of engaging the services of a personal trainer should always be indicated in your contract. If applicable, include a complete breakdown of fees. The terms and conditions for payment need to be specified as well. For instance, a personal trainer or coach may require a 50% down payment before engaging the client or beginning the program. Or another condition would be the frequency of the payment. It needs to be stated in the contract if the client intends to pay the trainer on a weekly, monthly, or per session basis. Schedule: Another section in a personal training contract is the program details or schedule. For workout programs, a predetermined plan is typically arranged. Make sure the training days and time slots are clearly outlined within the contract. Of course, the schedule is subject to the agreement reached between the client and the trainer. Further, you want to be able to explain in detail the programs that the client will be made to undergo. For example, cardio exercises could be twice or thrice a week; while circuit training could be done one or two sessions per week.

How to Create a Personal Training Contract

To create a personal training contract, it would be best to use an existing template as a reference guide. Choose from any one of the downloadable templates above and follow the step-by-step guide below. 

Step 1: Introduction of the Parties

The first step in creating any basic contract is to identify the parties involved in the agreement. In the case of a personal training contract, introduce the parties formally by citing the complete names of the trainer and client. In more formal circumstances, you can also include the complete address of each parties. Make sure to clearly assign the terms to the correct party.  

Step 2: Roles and Responsibilities of the Parties

The next step is to outline and differentiate the responsibilities of each party. Both client and trainer have obligations to fulfill and that must be stated in the contract agreement. This is to safeguard the partnership and interests of both parties. Without a clear definition of roles, it may potentially lead to unnecessary conflict and disagreements. Lastly, you want to make sure to state each role and function as specific as possible.       

Step 3: Outline of the Terms and Conditions

A key part of a personal training contract is the establishment of terms and conditions which both parties must mutually agree on. There can be all kinds of terms and conditions, depending on the type of training provided. Some of the more common and generic conditions included in most contracts involve liability, confidentiality, cancellation of contract, payment guidelines, and description of services offered.   

Step 4: Confirmation Statement

To conclude your personal training contract, insert a brief confirmation statement at the end declaring that both parties have agreed to the previously stated stipulations. Doing this will further certify and help authenticate the contract agreement. Make sure to leave enough space for both client and trainer to affix the date and their signature. 


What should be included in a personal training contract?

Essential parts of a personal training contract include the introduction of parties (i.e., client and trainer), definition of parties’ roles and responsibilities, the various terms and conditions, and a confirmation declaration statement. For ideas on what terms and conditions to include in your contract, see the examples provided above.

Do personal trainers need a contract?

When it comes to engaging the services of personal trainers, a formal contract agreement is highly encouraged. It is not always absolutely necessary, especially if the parties share a particularly close relationship to begin with. However, to make sure to protect the interests of each party, it is advisable to draft a formal agreement to prevent any unnecessary squabbles or disagreements.

What is a contract personal trainer?

A contract personal trainer is hired on a contractual basis. In other words, his or her services are engaged by a client for a certain period of time. When a verbal agreement is made, a written contract agreement is then drafted to document and safeguard the interests of both parties.

There are many benefits to hiring a personal trainer. Sometimes, results and improvement are expedited when there is a trainer, coach, or mentor there to support and monitor the client’s progress. So if you are considering hiring a personal trainer, a key document to remember is the contract agreement. Browse the printable templates above to download a sample contract that suits your needs!