The RIGHT Way To Quit Your Personal Training Job!

Quitting your job as a personal trainer doesn’t have to be stressful or difficult as long as you do things correctly.

In this article, I will show you exactly what you need to take into account before you decide to leave Personal Training Whether you’re freelance or employed so that you know how to quit personal training the right way.

So sit back, grab a cup of coffee (or something cold if it’s warm) and find out how you can make a pretty difficult situation seriously simple.

Let’s go….

Man looking sad standing next to a barbell in a gym

There can be a ton of reasons that you have decided to quit being a personal trainer.

Maybe you have decided that it wasn’t the job you thought it was going to be, maybe it is harder to pick up clients and keep them than you thought?

Maybe you aren’t even leaving personal training for good, but just need to leave a particular gym?

Either way, I hope that you read this list of what to do before you decide to storm into your boss’s office, flip the table over or give them the finger.

But before you start reading how to quit, I’d like you to think about some important points.

Do you really want to quit personal training?

It’s very easy to quit things when they get tough, but do you really need to quit, or are you just going through a difficult patch?

I was a personal trainer in the city of London for around ten years, so believe me when I say that I have gone through some seriously tough times.

When the financial crisis hit England in 2008, I lost the vast majority of my client base and had to start building it up again. That’s not easy to do when everyone is terrified of losing their jobs.

There are also the days where you have been turned down or told to go away on the gym floor and have hardly picked up any new clients in the past few weeks that totally drag you down.

What I’m saying here though, is do you really need to quit PT, or are you just going through a rough patch?

It’s not an easy career at all, so I would say that before you consider quitting the profession, make sure you have read my articles on how to grow and maintain your personal training business to see if there is anything you could do to get your business back on track.

Four of my articles I think will really help you build your client base and start raking in the cash are below. Please do give them a read before you think about leaving the industry because there’s a ton of info in them that will skyrocket your business.

Marketing tips for personal trainers that work

Selling personal training in a gym: How to guide

The personal training assessment that gets you clients

Picking Up Clients: A Personal Trainers Guide

If after reading the articles you really still feel it’s the right thing to do, then there is no shame in that at all.

Let’s look through what you need to do to quit personal training.

How to quit being a Personal Trainer

  1. Read your contract
  2. Speak to your manager/Gym owner
  3. Inform your clients
  4. Recommend replacement trainers to your clients
  5. Inform the HMRC if you were a self-employed trainer

Now I’ll break down all those points in a little more detail.

1. Read your contract

It’s so important that before you decide to quit working in your gym, you read through your contract. In it, there will be a section about the notice period you will need to give upon deciding to leave.

If you decide to leave, then pack up your stuff and walk out of the building, you could be fined or even face legal action. It’s really worth checking what notice you need to give and putting that into your plan before making the move.

If you are employed by a gym, you will certainly have to give some sort of notice period of your leaving, but even if you are self-employed (freelance), you should still let your manager or gym owner know that you are leaving.

The fitness industry can be very “clicky“, which is to say that a lot of people from one company or gym may know other employees of a totally different chain of gyms, you really don’t want to burn your bridges in case you want to get back into the industry at a later date.

2. Speak To Your Manager/Gym Owner

If you are deciding to leave your gym because you are unhappy with the way things are being run, or unhappy with pay, etc, you should speak to your manager about the fact you want to leave.

Not only will this give you the chance to let them have your notice so you can leave officially without any unnecessary issues being caused, but it might give your manager a chance to make things right.

Managers can be very busy people, so they may be unaware of your situation and may have some great ideas to get you back on track.

Either way, speak to your manager to let them know your intention of leaving if for no more reason than it is the professional thing to do.

3. Inform your clients

This is the bit that really sucks.

Letting your clients know you are leaving is always awful.

Some of the clients you have may be new, but the ones that have stuck by you will certainly be disappointed to learn you are leaving.

I found the best way to inform your clients of your departure is to tell them at the end of their session as quickly as possible after you have given your notice.

This gives you time to plan how you are going to leave their sessions, either by giving them their own plan to follow or by recommending them to another trainer (more on that later).

This takes away any of the rush and panic of suddenly dropping the bombshell on them on their last session with you. Bite the bullet and tell them.

It’s not nice seeing the disappointment on their faces, especially if you have built up the strong levels of rapport most trainers have with their clients, but it does need to happen, and the sooner the better.

4. Recommend Replacement PT’s

Chances are that if you have been working in a gym for at least six or so months, you will of seen or at least heard of a trainer leaving and passing their clients onto other trainers.

This is a common practice because a lot of clients will really enjoy working out with a trainer. And just because you are leaving might not mean they want to stop training altogether.

Passing on your clients that still want to continue with personal training after you have left, is again the most professional way that you can leave your employment.

If you have informed your client that you will be leaving in one month, or however long your notice period is, you will have plenty of time to introduce them to a new trainer to see how they get along.

You will miss your clients, and they will miss you, but why not leave them on a very positive note by suggesting the best trainer in the gym. It helps them out, it helps you out and it helps the personal trainer that takes them on.

Everybody wins!

5. Inform the HMRC (UK) or IRS (USA) if you are self-employed

If you were employed by a gym and decided to leave, they should have given you a P45 slip (or US equivalent) stating that you no longer work for them.

This information will have also been sent to the government, so from this point in there would be nothing more for you to do.

If however, you were self-employed, you would need to inform either the HMRC if you live in the UK or the IRS if you live in the states that you no longer are working as a self-employed trainer, if you choose to leave the profession entirely and no longer wish to be self-employed.

I recommend doing this as quickly as possible after leaving your role, as forgetting to do so will cause a lot of headaches later on down the line.

Being overcharged for tax and having to claim it back, needing to wait on the phone for hours to explain what dates you stopped being self-employed and why you no longer need to declare any tax is no fun.

I’ve made this mistake before and you really can learn from it. Don’t waste a whole (and very frustrating) day on the phone when you can just let them know quickly instead.


This is really all there is to leave a career in Personal Training, it’s not really that difficult as long as you make sure you have all these elements covered.

Hopefully, you are reading this article because you have found an amazing opportunity that you want to move onto, but even if not, I want to leave you with one little quote.

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

Albert Einstein

If you enjoyed this article and feel it might help others, please feel free to share it or link back to it.

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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