Do you tip a personal trainer? The rules explained


Personal trainers can get you great results and have a huge impact on your health and self-confidence.

So, if you’re really pleased with the way they have trained you, do you tip a personal trainer?

The answer is a little more complicated than you might expect, but it’s ok, in the following article, I’ll be explaining whether you’re supposed to tip a personal trainer, how much you should tip your personal trainer, and if you should tip your personal trainer.

That should clear pretty much everything up for you.

Sound good?

Let’s go…

are you supposed to tip a personal trainer

As a general rule, whilst personal trainers would never expect a tip from their clients, it is absolutely fine to do so if you feel your trainer deserves it. Common times to tip would be on the trainer’s birthday, as a Christmas bonus, or as a thank you when a client’s goal has been reached.

In certain industries tipping is the norm, restaurant servers, delivery drivers, and bar staff sometimes rely on tips to make up their salaries, but what about personal trainers and fitness instructors? You’re paying a pretty big chunk of money for each session with them, so should you feel obliged to tip them?

Let’s crack on and start answering some of the most commonly asked questions about tipping personal trainers so you never have to feel awkward after leaving a session again.

Do you tip a personal trainer?

Personal trainers make good money, and I personally never expected to be tipped for helping my clients achieve their goals. That was also the case for all my colleagues in the gym. If they got a tip, it was obviously very much appreciated, but it’s not an industry that generally requires tips and they are certainly not expected.

So, do you tip your personal trainer? The answer is that it is entirely up to you, as is the amount that you decide to give. Bear in mind that a tip doesn’t always need to come in the form of money, you could give gifts such as theatre tickets or anything else you think your trainer could enjoy from what you have learned about them during your time training with them.

As a really important side note, don’t think for a second that by tipping your personal trainer you will receive better programs or training!

I treated all of my clients exactly the same no matter if they tipped me, were nice to me, or showered me with gifts. When a person signs up to a trainer, they are buying into service from that trainer, and in no way should anyone receive preferential treatment.

A gift or tip should be something you give because you want to, you aren’t buying your trainers favor, but I’m sure you knew this already. Any trainers that recommend that you give tips or gifts should be avoided like the plague, they are probably one of the few scammy PTs out there.

Should I tip my personal trainer?

how much should I tip my personal trainer

Should I tip my personal trainer, and do you tip a personal trainer are two very different questions.

I personally feel that you should tip your trainer, only if they have clearly gone out of their way, gone above and beyond what is generally expected of a trainer or given you invaluable training or advice that has gained you the results more quickly than you expected.

Other than as a gift or as a massive thank you, I don’t think you should tip your trainer, and certainly not after each session. Trainers charge a premium rate for a premium service, we fully understand that our advice and training don’t come cheap, so there is no need to give us additional money when we are just doing what you have already paid for.

It’s also fairly unfair to the other industries previously mentioned that fully rely on tips to make up the bulk of their salary, as this is not the case at all for personal trainers.

The main focus of personal trainers is to help clients achieve the goals they are after, and help them to improve their lives through fitness training and education. Seeing my clients accomplish the goals we set and make huge changes to their lives was always more than enough satisfaction for me, I never felt offended if someone didn’t tip me.

In fact, It literally never even crossed my mind.

How much should I tip my personal trainer

how much do you tip your personal trainer

Ok, so let’s say we’re in the situation where you have some spare money floating around and you are truly impressed with some outstanding work that your trainer has got with you and you couldn’t be happier with the results.

You may even want to give them a gift just because you like them as a person and they haven’t screamed at you after you complained about your husband or wife during every session you took over the last year.

Are you supposed to tip a personal trainer? How much is too much and how much is too little?

Well, the generally accepted amount when we are talking about a financial gift is the cost of one session. So if your usual amount is £50 or $60 per session, the value of one session is totally adequate. Don’t worry about working out any percentages of sessions bought like you might do when deciding on a tip for a waitress, keep it nice and simple.

Despite this being the generally accepted amount, if one of my clients gave me a tip of £20 ($27), I would be eternally grateful for it. It doesn’t need to be a large amount for your trainer to be totally bowled over, they will (or at least should) appreciate any gift you give to them.

How much to tip a personal trainer at Christmas

Should I tip my personal trainer

I’d say Christmas is a time of year where all the usual rules of tipping can pretty much go out the window.

As I said, I never expected tips from any of my clients, but I frequently bought them gifts (usually exercise-related of course), and they gave me gifts in exchange. This is because I had a very good rapport with all of my clients and they ended up feeling more like my friends than customers.

The point is that during a Christmas period, trainers are much more likely to get a tip either in the form of some additional money or a physical gift. Once again though, whether or not you decide to give something to your trainer is entirely up to you.

Please don’t feel obligated to give them anything if you already think you’ve given them enough, but if you see something you think they might like as a Christmas gift or as a little bonus, then feel free to go for it, especially if you are feeling super Christmassy!

How much to tip a personal trainer at Christmas? The amount that you give would be the same as usual, so the monetary value of one session is more than enough for a tip for your trainer, any more would be overdoing it a little, and may even make your trainer feel a little uncomfortable.

Personally, I actually preferred the gifts that my clients gave me at Christmas to money. I used to get theatre tickets, books and one of my clients even bought me a computer game that I had been talking about constantly!

Conclusion

So there you go, the answer to the question “Do you tip a personal trainer?” comes down to that old annoying phrase “it depends”.

If you feel that your trainer has given you next-level service, taught you life-long lessons, or you want to say thank you for being someone that you feel comfortable talking to about difficult subjects such as confidence and self-esteem, you might want to give them a tip.

It’s really important that I make it clear now though, that you are under no obligation at all to give a tip to a trainer, they shouldn’t expect it and they will be delighted with anything you decide to give them.

Are you supposed to tip a personal trainer? The simple answer is a straightforward, no.

Hopefully, this article clears up what can be a sometimes awkward situation around the holiday season or the end of a training program.

Have a great day!

Go get ’em!

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Chris Walker

Chris Walker worked in the City of London as a fully qualified REP's level three personal trainer for just under ten years. He built and maintained a client base of 40 individuals and worked with several high profile clients, including actors, actresses, comedians and politicians.

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