Chino Hills Boot Camp, Chino Hills Personal Trainer, Chino Hills Weight Loss

nightmare clients

September 6, 2010

Nightmare Clients

Hey there… hope you’re doing awesome. I was inspired to write this post after last Saturday’s FREE tryout(not trial) of our new indoor Boot Camp. So far in the first week we have signed up over one hundred RAVING clients. They absolutely love the flexible hours(we have classes throughout the day), the flexible days(6 days a week), and the very reasonable price (as low as $97/month) not to mention Alejandra and Judy’s insanely fun and effective workouts.

Since last Saturday was a FREE tryout we had quite a few new people that wanted to see what this is all about. It seemed like everyone was having fun, working out, and encouraging each other.

Until…..

I heard two women in their late twenties or early thirties that looked like they just came from partying all night in Hollywood. “This is Hard”. “I am going to be sore”. “I been to other boot camps and they are not hard”. “I am sweating.”  It was very clear that they didn’t want to be there and no one was holding a gun to their head to stay.

They were TOTAL DOWNERS.

They did come to a BOOT CAMP after all right? Isn’t the whole idea of a BOOT CAMP to be challenging.  If they wanted something less challenging they could have gone to Curves, went to the near big box gym or stayed home watching reruns of their favorite show all while complaining that their butt is getting bigger.

I couldn’t help but notice that everyone else was working out, encouraging each other and having fun. We even had a few seniors that joined our camp and were giving it their best.

It gets even more interesting……

After the Boot Camp these girls started to give Alejandra, Judy and I advise on how to train clients. I thought for a second that I was hearing things. One saidI like to do that exercise but I don’t like doing the other one.”

Are you friggin kidding me……

I was waiting for the camera crew to come out and say “You are getting punked”. I was almost positive that I was on the TV show. There is no way!!!

I don’t like to brag or sound conceited but……

Between Myself, Alejandra and Judy we have 45 years of training experience.  I am also a published author on this subject. You can buy my book at Amazon.com, and Barnes and Noble. (I am having a book signing Saturday September 25th at Barnes and Noble in Chino Hills)

It’s like going for heart surgery and telling the heart surgeon that you don’t want a scar on your chest.

That’s when I remembered Bill Cosby’s famous quote and politely told her “We are not for everyone”.

I am very proud to say that from time to time we refuse certain clients and will not accept any Jack, Manny and Moe that’s willing to pay in our facility. All the money in the world is not worth the negative energy. My clients have come to expect a positive, empowering environment and I will never compromise that.

Before I go further into this blog post I want to first say that personal training to me is the greatest profession in the world. We get to change people’s lives by improving their health, empowering them, increasing their self esteem, increasing their energy,  and in some cases getting them off their medications. We increase our client’s overall quality of life. (Yes that definitely also includes sex life)

Being in the business now for 20 years, I have had the pleasure of working with thousands of SUPER AWESOME clients. And a few (handful) NOT SO AWESOME clients/ prospects. (Like last Saturday)

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I vowed to myself a long time ago that I am not going accept any client into the program. This little shift is what has made Fitness Concepts the #1 privately owned personal training company in Southern California and top 5 in the nation.

My clients also appreciate the positive, constructive, environment at Fitness Concepts.

I was thinking about all this recently and I came up with a list of nightmare clients.

Before we jump in I want to reemphasize again that 90% of clients are a joy to work with and the other 10% we refuse in the our facility.

1. The Know It All

Now sometimes the know-it-all is just a real insecure person who has to prove themselves right all the time by trying to prove you wrong or question your authority and knowledge ( as the trainer)

I have found that the worst combo of this is the ex-high school athlete / ex-personal trainer Know-it-all. They question everything when they need to just do the damn exercise.

2. Mr. “I’ll have your check next week”

We know this person.  He/She owes you a check for training but conveniently forgot it AGAIN turning us into a bill collector.

He/she’s one of the reasons in my business we only do auto-debit or upfront paid-in-full for the entire year. No more of this that monthly check.

3. The Flirty Client



Always asking you what you’re doing this weekend and inviting you to their latest party.

4. The BBO ( Beyond B.O) Guy

Nuff said… I friggin dry heave when I smell bad B.O. and it kinda makes a scene… can’t help it, I have a weak stomach for B.O.

Thank God haven’t had this in over 10 years.

5. Halitosis Man

ughhhhhhhhhh…. duuuuuuuude.

6. The Sweaty Guy

This guy sweats on everything. The floor, the equipment, YOU.

7. Ms. I am always 20 Minutes Late “Can I make it up next hour?”

Now, we all have ha a whole bunch of clients who either flake or are late… that’s life… 20 percent of any segment of the population are gonna be flakey.

I don’t understand it but have learned to accept it. At Fitness Concepts we do call, email, text and send you letter if you are not coming to your workouts. The only think I wish we could do is to go to our clients house if they are flaking and drag them into the gym. (I think there is laws against that).

We also have strict completion date policy so that we don’t have flakes drag on a 3 month program to 5 years then complain why they didn’t get results.

I even recently got a call from someone claiming they had 3 sessions left from 2005.

In this case I am talking about the one not only comes in late but asks to stay a little bit into the next hour to make up for the amount of time they were late. (This is allowed at Boot Camp since we have other camps throughout the day but in personal training our trainers have other clients in that hour)

This person obviously doesn’t value anyone else’s time, ESPECIALLY not their personal trainers.

If it’s a once in a while thing then no biggie but id it’s ALL THE TIME them my answer is a swift “No, but you can stay after and do some cardio on your own right over there on that treadmill”


8. The Alpha Male/Female Entrepreneur Who Has Never Taken S*** From Anyone in His ENTIRE Life… Especially Not Some Dip S*** Trainer

You know this person, in fact this is the guy who I am most similar to. If you own your own business you are might be as well.

Now they are actually a pretty cool. Makes a lot of money. Have lots of friends. Travel a lot. Tell a lot of funny jokes. Have a gnarly combo of OCD and ADD. Drives a cool Escalade and usually has a Porshe (women) or Ferrari(Men) as a second ( or third ) car.

They are ruthless business men/women.

True, they are great to hang out with and party with… and usually he’s one of the coolest clients on your roster and can make for a fun training session.

The only problem with this person is that he/she dosn’t like no one telling him/her s***. Ya see, he/she had a fall-out with their dad  he/she was about eleven. And since then his/her attitude is “**** authority, I’m doing it my own way!”

Which is cool, except when it’s leg day and he tells you he don’t wanna do legs, he wants to do biceps and chest again.

Or she wants to to butt and legs every workout never mind the everything else.

Like I said, in many ways this is a man of my own heart, but sometimes he’s a pain in the ass.

9. The Complainer

I love constructive criticism and I am always striving to improve our service. There are things however that I have no control of and that’s the traffic, weather, baby Daddy’s, husbands, wives, sale at Macy’s. etc……..

I’ve fired clients for being complainers. If they only knew that it’s all their complaining that is making all this crappy stuff happen in their life maybe they’d stop… but I don’t think most of em’ will ever realize this simple truth. Case in point Last Saturday. This has created an amazingly positive ambiance in our facility.

( WEIRD moment of self awareness – Am I just complaining in this here blog post? Have I become that which I can’t stand? Nahhhh…)

10. The Attention Whore

In groups or boot camps this one is a real pain in the ass.

Usually it’s a female who can’t stand to see anyone else in your boot camp or group workout get any kind of attention from you… so they keep saying stupid things and doing stupid stuff to get your attention.

Daddy probably didn’t give them much attention when they were young. ( There’s a lesson here fathers)

11. The Arguing Couple

You train em’ together. They usually workout hard.

But they don’t get along. Either she’s jealous thinking he’s checking out other women in the gym… or he’s a control freak and always giving her a hard time… OR…

Maybe their relationship has just run it’s course…

When I was in college I trained a married couple. After 20 years of marriage and 3 kids she had gained 30lb nothing serious. The man kept putting  his wife down in front of me and that made me very uncomfortable. I really felt bad for her because she never defended herself. One day I had enough when he said “when I met her she was 105lb”. I boldly replied back “I bet when she met you, you also had a full head of hair”.

12. The Zero Personality Client

Never laughs… never jokes around… no energy… NO FUN.

I’ve spend hours trying to get one of these energy suckers to crack a smile. I’ve delivered one liners that would kill it at a comedy club against the best of em’… all to no avail…

These ones don’t need personal training, they need prozac and a Chris Rock DVD

Sad thing is, Chris Rock probably can’t even get through to them.

These ones are a sad case, if you can figure out how to get them to laugh and smile please let me know… cuz I’m ALL EARS

13. The Creepy Guy Client Who Looks Every Woman in The Gym Up and Down Like He’s Ted Bundy

I’ve had to pull a few of these aside in my day and give em’ the old talk.

They can’t check out girls on the sly like a normal guy, no… they have to stare em’ up and down like a ****** serial killer.

Usually they can be straightened out with a quick talk. If not they will be asked to leave immediately.

14. The Talker

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah

( many times this one has a lot in common with it’s close ancestor the Attention Whore)

15. The Client Who Blames You For Their Lack of Progress

Some people take no personal responsibility. They work out with you two days a week ( usually missing one of the two weekly scheduled workouts), NEVER do their cardio, eat whatever the hell they want and then blame you for their not getting results.

These ones give our industry a bad name because they go tell other people things like “Personal training doesn’t work, I actually GAINED weight when I worked out with my trainer”

Of course you gained weight, you used the excuse that you’re working out with a trainer to inhale fettuccine alfredo and Ben and Jerry’s like it were you’re dying breaths


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