PT Sessions Have An Expiry Date: Here’s Why

Personal training sessions are not usually cheap, in fact, personal trainers can be expensive, so if you’re paying so much for them, how come the sessions expire?

Why would something that doesn’t go off or out of date ever need to have an expiration date, and what can you do if yours have expired?

In this article, I’ll be fully explaining why personal training sessions expire and how you can make sure you’re never out of pocket from wasted sessions.

Sound good?

Let’s go…

As a general rule, personal training sessions will have expiry dates. The sessions must be used by the date shown or they will be forfeit. Expiry dates are important, as they improve training commitment, encourage behavior change, and financially protect the trainer who sold the sessions.

Man, it’s a pain in the butt when you find out that you have just spent a whole bunch of money on personal training sessions only to find out that they can expire. I mean, bread, milk, eggs, sure, these things can all expire, but a training session has no reason to, surely?

Are the trainers just being greedy by trying to con you out of your hard-earned cash? Not likely, below are the reasons that personal training sessions not only have expiry dates but why they are actually a pretty good thing for both client and trainer!

Why do personal training sessions expire?

Do personal training sessions expire

They help keep sessions consistent

This may sound like a cop-out answer, but it’s totally legit.

One of the main factors that decide if you’ll make progress or not is consistency. You have to train several times a week if you want to see any kind of results, and if you’re paying for help from a trainer, I’m willing to bet you probably want to see something from it?

Having an expiration date on blocks of sessions motivates clients to make sure they get their full money’s worth by attending every session they have paid for within a specific timeframe, (usually 4-6 weeks for ten sessions).

Having gaps of two or three weeks between training sessions is a sure-fire way of getting little to no results from training, which harms the trainer’s reputation, but more importantly, disappoints their clients, which no trainer wants.

They help trainers organise their sessions

Trainers are super, SUPER busy.

On any given day, a trainer might be working for up to 14 hours, that doesn’t mean they are completing 14 sessions a day, but they have a ton of admin, client prospecting, and other duties to carry out in the gym.

This means they have to be really careful with how they organize their days. If a client misses a session or two, it’s not quite as simple as just booking them in for the usual slot when they are back, especially if the client usually trains at a peak time.

Having an expiration date on packs of sessions helps clients keep to a schedule (as previously mentioned) and this, in turn, helps the trainer keep track of their own.

Expiry dates encourage habit change

Having an expiry date on a block of sessions encourages clients to make habit change by keeping a person on track with everything that their training requires, such as regular exercise and dietary changes.

If a person has gaps of weeks at a time between sessions, they are less likely to take the sessions seriously and won’t dedicate themselves to eating correctly and training consistently for several weeks at a time.

The ideal situation if a client chooses a block of ten sessions (for example), is for them to clear their schedule for the next four to six weeks. This way, they will get used to eating and exercising in a more regimented way that is more likely to stick for the long term.

Trainers need a reliable income

Ok, so yes, the whole money thing does come into the session expiry delio at some point.

Trainers have to pay a ton of money to rent the gyms they work in, so they need to have a consistent income to make ends meet, otherwise, they will literally go broke and have to leave the gym. It’s a harsh business.

Much as it may seem unfair to make you complete your sessions within a certain amount of time, it’s there as a safety precaution for the trainers so that they don’t have clients taking months and months to finish a block of sessions.

If a person completes a block and decides they no longer want a trainer, that’s fine, the trainer can find a replacement, but as long as a client has sessions still to use, they are stuck in a sort of limbo where they can’t fill that time slot in case they come back, but they can’t force a person to use them.

An expiration date on sessions mitigates this issue entirely and makes it a lot easier for a trainer to know when they might be getting paid for a renewal of sessions, or if they will need to look for a replacement.

They aren’t being selfish, they are just trying to keep their businesses afloat.

They MASSIVELY improve motivation

What gets people motivated to train hard and eat right when they are training?


If you don’t see any results, why on earth would you carry on working hard and sticking to a healthy diet?

By having a routine set in place and making sure a client stays consistent, (which making a client stick to a certain timeframe to complete sessions by does), they are far more likely to start seeing results.

However, if you buy a block of sessions, do a few here and there, go on holiday or cancel sessions because you want to go out with your work buddies, you’ll make zero progress, decide personal training “doesn’t work” and feel deflated by the whole thing.

In reality, if you’d stuck to a tight schedule, worked hard, and did what your trainer recommended, you’d start seeing the fruits of your labor.

The more fruits you see, the harder you want to work and the better results you get, and so the cycle continues.

Momentum is very important in the world of exercise, one week of missed sessions can easily turn into two, and that “I’ll do it tomorrow” attitude starts to set in. Expiry dates on blocks of sessions stop this from being possible.

What about canceled sessions?

Ok, so here’s where things can get a little tricky sometimes.

Most trainers are pretty relaxed about canceling sessions, as in, if a client wants to cancel a session, they absolutely can, things crop up and life gets in the way, we totally appreciate this and would usually not make you lose a session because you needed to cancel it.

The caveat to this is if the cancellation happens within 24 hours. Most trainers ( but not all) will say that if you cancel with less than 24 hours’ notice, you will lose the session you had booked in. They aren’t being greedy by doing this, and they certainly aren’t trying to con you out of your money.

If they have a full 24 hours cancellation notice, they can call around their clients and see if anyone else wants to train in the slot that was originally booked in for the client that canceled.

Remember, trainers, can’t afford to just lose an hour’s pay, they have a lot of expenses to cover, and if they let people cancel whenever they wanted without filling the slot with someone else, they could quickly find themselves in financial trouble.

I was self-employed for a lot of my time as a trainer, and I always made sure that I had my 24 cancellation policy clearly stated in my training packages so people were well aware of the rules before they signed up to train with me.

I was in charge of my business, so I could choose which rules I implemented, and most self-employed trainers do the same. Trainers that are employed by a gym, however, will almost always have a very strict 24-hour cancellation policy put in place by the company that employes them.

It works both ways though

It’s important that I make it clear that the 24-hour cancellation policy shouldn’t only apply to clients, the trainer should also follow the same set of rules to make things fair.

My clients had to give me 24 hours notice of cancellation or they lost the session, but I also had to give them at least 24 hours notice of cancellation, and if I couldn’t for whatever reason, I would give them an additional session free of charge by way of apology.

Not everyone does this of course, but I think it’s pretty reasonable and shows that this rule doesn’t only favor the trainer.

Can I get my money back from expired sessions?

This is another really tricky question because, in some instances, you will be able to, but in most circumstances, you will struggle.

If you are working with a self-employed trainer, they set their own rules, so it’s entirely up to them to decide if they should give you any of your money back for canceled sessions.

I would argue that if it was clearly stated in the contract that you signed that you need to give 24 hours notice or a session would be fortified, it is up to you as an adult to read the contract fully and make sure you are happy with and willing to abide by the terms of the contract.

Now, if you never signed a contract and the trainer’s rules were never fully explained to you, I would say you have a pretty good chance of getting your money back, but this is something you would need to check out with a solicitor or someone who knows your local area laws (which certainly isn’t me).

The real difference is if you are working with a trainer that is employed by a commercial gym, in this case, 9/10 the contracts will have been written up by solicitors and be fairly air-tight, which would make it really quite difficult to get back any money. There may be some circumstances that would make you exempt, but it’s pretty rare.


So there you have it, I hope this article has cleared up any confusion there may be as to why personal training sessions have expiry dates to them. As you can see, it really isn’t about greed or trying to con you out of money, they really are there to encourage and motivate, but also to protect the trainer too.

If you’re thinking of hiring a personal trainer to help you reach your goals in a gym, I really would recommend it, you’ll see fantastic results and you’ll learn things that will drastically improve your training for years to come.

Please don’t let something silly like expiry dates to sessions put you off something that could change your life!

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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