The way we interact with one another has changed, not just due to COVID-19, but advancements in technology in general. Personal trainers have been among the many business owners to adapt to the modern age, creating online classes for their clients in addition to in-person training. But there’s a fundamental part of being a personal trainer that’s worth more than any physical product — YOU. People workout because they want to get in shape or maintain their health, but it’s your relationship with them that keeps them loyal.  

Whether you’re online, in-person, or a hybrid of the two, developing a rapport with your client is the ultimate key to success, especially in 2020 and beyond.  

Define Their Goals, Develop a Strategy

Before you’re able to begin training, you and your client need to be on the same page about their goals. Do they want to lose 15 pounds in 3 months? Do they want to get chiseled abs and toned arms? Or maybe your client wants to get back in shape after having a baby. Whatever it is they hope to accomplish, there needs to be mutual understanding between both parties.  

Once you’ve jotted down their mission, it’s time to develop an outline that you can present to the client with the best plan of action. Walk them through the step-by-step process and explain how you’re going to make their vision a reality.


a person typing on a laptop


Communicate in a Manner They Relate to 

It’s easy to forget that not everyone thinks and communicates the same way, and it’s important to be mindful of this as a personal trainer.  Since you’ve been hired to serve as their hype man, finding a communication style that boosts morale needs to be a priority. Your feedback is a key part of your service, so provide tips in a manner that’s respectful and unique to your client. For example, say your client responds positively to motivational speeches from famous athletes, figure out who their favorite is and compile some of their best quotes. Above all, the experience needs to be fun because people are relaxed and more at peace when they’re laughing and smiling.

Be Patient and Teach Fundamentals

Working out can be uncomfortable, but through clear communication, positive reinforcement, and a little patience, you can help your clients feel confident in their workout. Form and technique go a long way and poor execution can lead to potential injury so it’s crucial that you educate your clients. They might feel awkward using certain equipment, so it’s up to you to build their confidence early. By selling the same equipment in your online store that you use for training sessions, your clients will gain familiarity and will be more inclined to purchase for at-home use. Whether it’s with or without equipment, teaching your clients the basics will give them the foundation to progress in their training with an air of confidence. 


a phone with social media apps


Maintaining Relationships Virtually

Although training virtually can be a little more challenging, there are a few ways you can still connect with your clients. 

Take advantage of social media. Forming a relationship on social is commonplace nowadays and it can be a useful tool for staying in touch with your clients.  If your clients post their own workout clips, go out of your way to drop a comment about their progress. 

Be inclusive. Everyone is on their own workout journey and it will serve you well to be mindful of that. Regardless of gender, race, and physique, creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable will help you grow. 

Set up weekly meetings with your clients. A little face time can help hold your clients accountable on their workout journey. Scheduling a virtual one-on-one to discuss their progress and answer any questions they might have pertaining to their workouts will keep them on track.



Your connection with your clients is what runs your business and keeps them loyal to your service. Building genuine relationships will pay dividends, as your clients inform their friends about you and how you make them feel while working out. Nurturing these bonds and emphasizing their importance is crucial to your survival, especially during COVID-19. Even if you’re unable to meet in-person, you can maintain the bonds you’ve formed virtually.



Header Image: Photo by Nathan Cowley from Pexels

Body Images: Photo by Startup Stock Photos from Pexels

Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels