How To Not Have Clients Forever

Article hack // if you don’t want to read the entire thing-thing: Every workout doesn’t have to be an ass-kicking. There’s at least 1 good laugh in here and a Thrive plug. Now, go away, you.

For the cool kids (don’t tell the ones who left after the hack that they suck) who stuck around, let’s get into it.

They do suck though and we can talk hella $h#t because they left.


Ima reiterate it for those of you who haven’t read this – No, I no-longer train clients, I do not currently have 10-year+ clients, but that does not mean that I am unqualified to inject good thoughts into the industry, though I do fully understand (and partially agree with) some of the negative connotations and assumptions that the above few facts create. Due to my unique position, I believe that I have an equally valuable take on the below as anyone else. 7-year+ clients? No. 7-years+ of abnormally frequent observation, dissection, shop-talking with the best in the business? Yes.

The below are some quick tips that a lot of the veteran successful coaches that I have come across in my walks have in common.


How to not have clients forever? Don’t do any of the below.

“not have…Don’t do…” That feels like one of those demonic double-negative true/false questions on the SAT that there isn’t a right answer for. Are there any other sub-1000 SAT “dummies” like me out there who still managed to make a living doing what they love? Damn that feels good.


The best understand that there are layers to the retention game. Layers in that the coach-to-client relationship has to go through phases of maturity.

  1. In the early stages of the relationship, it is about results. What did they sign up for and are you able to deliver? Also, make sure you know what THEY signed up for not what you THINK they should be focusing on. Sometimes, those are two different things.
  2. Most veteran coaches understand that the best way to lose clients is to kick their ass every day. This brings us to the next phase: they need to know that if they aren’t feeling their best (physically or emotionally) that they can still come in and get a positive workout. Yes, that might mean that they are taking it easy, spending more time on mobility, or just wanting to talk more than deadlift…and that needs to be ok. Yes, sometimes they might need to overcome a challenging workout to help boost their mood, but that isn’t what is always needed. New coaches to the game tend to have a hard time getting past number one (above) and usually learn this lesson the hard way…i.e. the client breaks up with you because ‘it’s too expensive” SLASH you suck and missed a cue.
  3. The coaches who have the majority of their clients stick with them for a long time are the ones who find a whole new level. That level is that they are able to simply get their clients to fall in love with the process and lifestyle of fitness. It is a part of their day. Results are still important, but the consistency of how they feel as a regular worker-outer takes the front seat. It takes a lot to make this happen but the first and most important way is that you, the coach, are a cool person. You’re more curious about their life than you are about boasting to them your awesomeness. You’re someone who they genuinely want to spend 2-3 hours per week with for YEARS.

Full disclosure: Our Thrive Coaches have exclusive access to much greater detail, systems, and coaching than the above goods, but I hope that you found value and are able to think 2% differently than you did prior to reading this.



Appreciate you and Kaizen on



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