A personal training contract is a legal agreement between the trainer and their client that outlines the terms and conditions of their professional relationship. It includes important details such as training session duration, hourly rate, payment terms, frequency of meetings, and any cancellation or rescheduling policies.
The document can help establish the fitness goals of the training program, as well as any medical or health-related considerations while protecting the rights of both parties involved.
- Sets clear expectations for both client and personal trainer.
- Creates a conflict-free trainer-client relationship.
- Defines health goals and related responsibilities.
- Sets healthy limits on your professional relationship.
- Establishes written proof of payment requirements.
What Should Be Included in a Personal Training Contract?
There are several provisions that you should outline in your personal training contracts. You can modify your agreement to fit your needs, but make sure to include:
Your personal training contract should include what training packages you will provide. Many personal trainers include all their options and have clients select the option they wish from the contract. Others prefer only to include the actual services the client selected.
The training description should include what you will offer as part of your services. If you are doing a “cardio weight loss” package, for example, describe the types of exercises you will do and the set expectations.
Your personal training agreements should include all of your payment terms in writing. Be sure to specify how much you will charge, whether hourly or per session. You can determine what you charge.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for a personal trainer is $21.82 per hour or $45,380 per year. Your rate may vary depending on your location, experience, and the type of exercise program you offer.
The contract should also state how and when you will be paid. Do you accept credit cards, checks, or cash? Do clients have to pay upfront or after each session? You can decide how you want this to work, but clearly state these details in your written agreement.
Provide the details of your training schedule in the agreement. List what days and times your training sessions will take place. Note how long each session will be and at what time.
You should also include a provision for any necessary changes. Decide how you want to handle cancellations, changes to the schedule, and any modification requests.
You know you or your client will need to adjust or cancel sessions for different reasons, so state how you want to handle it in your personal training contract to avoid possible conflicts.
Obligations of Both Parties
The personal training agreement should include every obligation for each party. This includes your obligations as the personal trainer and their obligations as the client. Some of these may be specified above, while others may be unique to your business.
Setting these obligations in the written contracts helps to make them legally enforceable. A written contract may help you substantiate your agreement and obtain any payment owed to you.
Informed Consent and Need for Physical
Physical activity is good for you, but it can be dangerous for certain people. This is especially true if they start working out vigorously and suddenly.
Forms like the 2020 PAR-Q+ can help inform your clients about these risks and assess their readiness for personal training. You may want to require certain clients to ask their healthcare provider for a physical exam before you begin their training.
A defined cancellation policy lets you set how both you and the client can cancel a session. You may want to require a 24-hour notice and state that, otherwise, the client must still pay for the session.
You may instead offer to make up sessions so that you both still get the benefit of the training. You get to decide your own policy, but make sure it is part of the contract.
Have your client sign a release of liability as part of their contract. The client agrees to hold you harmless for any harm they suffer in training, such as a heart attack, stroke, or other condition you cannot control. This may protect you from an expensive civil lawsuit.
Tips and Best Practices for Creating Secure Personal Training Contracts
A personal training contract can help you protect your rights. By following these tips, you can create one that works in your best interests:
1. Documentation of Amendments
Document any changes you make to your trainer-client relationship. Too many personal trainers and clients make oral modifications to the original agreement but never change the written contract.
When this happens, any later dispute could likely be resolved according to the written document. Your oral changes may not be enforceable in court.
If you change or add to an agreement, do so through a new contract or a contract amendment.
2. Data Privacy and Confidentiality
Your contract should include a clause that protects your client’s data and promises confidentiality. As part of your health and fitness coaching, you might have access to your client’s personal health information or other information they wish to keep confidential. Your agreement should promise to protect this information.
3. Legal Compliance and Regulations
Know your state’s laws about personal training services, health information privacy, and more. Research whether you need a special license or certification to be a personal trainer, as these vary by state.
4. Signature and Approval
Have your client thoroughly read the agreement before they sign. Many clients may sign without reviewing the document, but encourage them to read it and ask questions if they have any.
If they agree, make sure they print and sign their name at the bottom of the contract.
5. Record Keeping
Keep organized records of every personal training contract and any amendments for your current clients. Hold on to contracts from old clients for at least a few years after you stop working with them, in case you need that information later.
These records may be essential for contract enforcement or to protect yourself against litigation.
Personal Training Contract Sample
Download your personal training contract template below in PDF or Word format.