I am a relatively new trainer and am wondering how to handle the odd case where I meet with a potential client who really needs personal training and is 100% ready to commit, but absolutely cannot afford my services.
Hear me out- today I met with a young woman who is obese and having severe knee pain. Her doctor has told her that she must lose weight through diet and exercise to treat the pain. Without going into detail, she is severely economically challenged. After meeting her and conducting an assessment, I’ve determined that it is a good match. However, she cannot afford personal training at all. I would hate to deny her help just because she can’t pay. Have any of you set up a type of scholarship or trained someone for free for a long period of time? I was thinking of doing an exchange- if she would let me post monthly before and after photos and write about her experience, I could offer her my services at low or no cost.
What’s your take? I tend to be a big softie, and it doesn’t work out to well for me financially but I’m trying to find a silver lining or solution here…
I have trained someone for almost free ($10 a session) for several years. The difference is I was already an established trainer so could afford this. It was a similar situation in that she was extremely sedentary and obese with related health problems, but could not afford a trainer. The good news is the program worked for her; she is far from slim but can move without pain and has reduced most of her medications. Her success has been noted however, and over the years I have had several people ask about training after seeing her before and after, so I could have gotten more clients had I needed them. I would charge her something; even if only $5 a session,I feel it gives more accountability. As Jonathan said; she needs to get results. He is also right about training in your down time; I train my client mid afternoon, and she comes to my home (I go to most of my other clients). Harris has a great idea about networking with her doctor. I have gotten many physician referrals from another formerly obese client, her results were so impressive that her doctor asked for my name and now hands out my cards.