So, you’re looking up gifts for personal training clients, and we can’t say we blame you. Not only is it a great way to boost retention through showing your clients that you appreciate them, but it’s also a great way of drawing new clients to your services through word of mouth.
If you gift your clients from time to time when they hit their targets when other trainers barely bother to congratulate them, then you’re going to stand out around the gym!
While it’s important to know what to gift to your clients, it’s also good to clue up on when to do so. It’s all about strategy, but stick with us to find out more…
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Gifts for Personal Training Clients: 13 Gift Ideas
There should always be a reason behind doing something when it comes to investing in your business, but before we get into the purpose behind gifting your clients, let’s jump straight in with our foolproof gift ideas!
You don’t need to worry too much about price either, as the products we’ve selected are all within a reasonable price range.
#1 - Gym/Protein Shaker Bottle
This is a simple yet effective gift if your client doesn’t have one already. Let’s face it, we all have clients that insist on bringing a battered plastic bottle to every session…
Your clients will certainly appreciate a brand new bottle to call their own, especially if they’ve expressed an interest in protein shakes or pre-workout formulas.
It can even help to solidify their commitment to their new healthy lifestyle, and make them feel as though they are now more a part of the gym.
We know it sounds a little far-fetched, but this is true! It’s similar to when someone starts a new hobby, such as a football team or a martial arts club. They might complete their first few sessions in their own clothes while they’re testing the water, but once they have the kit, they feel truly settled into their new hobby.
Check out the example below for a rough idea of what you could purchase for your client. Standard gym water bottles will be even cheaper!
#2 - Protein Bar/Energy Gel
Something from this area would be a great gift for personal training clients who have either reached or exceeded their goals during the week.
It is small and inexpensive, yet adds value to their fitness journey as it’s something that they can use during their sessions with you, and likely something that they would buy for themselves.
If you’re looking to mark your client’s progress with a token gift, then a single protein bar or energy gel could work on its own. It will remind them that you value them, and give them an incentive to do even better next time, plus a slice of validation for good measure!
The multipacks below are great examples of how cheap gifts for clients can be online:
#3 - Protein Powder
You can’t really go wrong with protein powder as it’s one of the most popular products in the fitness market, and has gone pretty much mainstream over the past few years.
If your client is into powerlifting or one of their main goals is to build lean muscle mass, then it’s
guaranteed that they’ll love receiving this as a present.
Not only this, but you can also get pretty creative with how you present it to them!
We’ve seen PTs gift their clients protein powder in personalised or branded mason jars, which we can all agree looks pretty impressive and shows that the trainer in question has given the gift a considerable amount of thought and effort.
#4 - Meal Prep Kit
This one is one of our favourite personal trainer gifts for clients, mainly because of how useful and valuable they are when trying to get them to stick to their meal plan.
It’s something that they would be almost certain to go out and buy for themselves after the initial health kick they get from beginning their sessions with you. However, you can beat them to it by gifting them a meal prep kit and watch as they make fantastic progress…
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They’ll stick to their nutrition plan, make further progress in their fitness goals, and thus it will be incredibly likely for them to stick with your services (considering they’re working so well for them). It’s a win-win situation!
In terms of the product that you choose you don’t have to pick anything incredibly expensive, but you would probably be better going for a kit that is reusable, microwaveable, and dishwasher friendly.
There are plenty of reasonable products that fit this description online, such as the one below:
#5 - Gym Wear
While buying gym wear for your clients sounds as though it could get incredibly expensive, it’s really not as bad as you think if you check out some online discounts.
It doesn’t even have to be something that you buy for each and every one of your clients, but it could certainly work for a select few that you’ve been working with for a while.
Or, you could hold a competition/challenge between your clients and buy gym wear for the winner!
This would be a valuable gift that any of your clients would want to fight for, and a real incentive to try harder in their sessions that week.
One of our favourite places to look for cheap or discounted gym wear online is Amazon. There are some fantastic deals on well-known brands, which is great if this is something you and your clients are into, or you also have the option to browse products that are exclusive to the platform (and often even cheaper).
Check out the examples below to get an idea of the prices:
#6 - Fruit Infused Water Bottle
Ever had a client that didn’t like water? We’ve all been there, and it can be a huge issue when trying to keep them hydrated during sessions.
This is where fruit infused water bottles come in. They’re one of the best gifts for PT clients who don’t seem to drink enough during their workouts, as they are an effective way to add flavour to water without resorting to unhealthy, sugary fruit juices (which will only hinder their progress).
The chamber can be filled with any fruit of your client’s choice, and they’ll be eternally grateful to you once they give fruit infused water a chance.
The example below is inexpensive yet has brilliant reviews on the platform. It has a leak proof lid, is manufactured with shatterproof plastic, and the chamber is just the right size to add in fruit slices of any kind. There are plenty of products across the web with similar specs!
#7 - Phone Armband/Music Voucher
The great thing about personal training is that many clients who train with you will be into their music.
Let’s face it, exercise and music come hand in hand most of the time as it’s a great source of motivation, whether you listen to it pre-workout or during your exercise to help you to push through the pain!
If you know a client that is a huge music fan and couldn’t get through their cardio warm up without it, then your go-to gift to them when the time comes around should be something that relates directly to this interest.
A phone armband would be an inexpensive yet effective gift for personal training clients who love to listen to music during their workouts, especially those that are outside of your sessions (when they might need a little extra motivation).
Does your music-obsessed client already own a phone armband? Not to worry! You could get them a music voucher for their favourite streaming website, which doesn’t have to be expensive either. You could just purchase a single month of membership for them as a treat for doing well with their workout routine!
Check out the product from Gritin below as an example of what is out there online. The great thing about these products is that many of them are compatible with most brands of smartphone, so you don’t have to worry about it being useless for your client:
#8 - Spiralizer
Is your client a huge fan of noodles or spaghetti, but they’re struggling to give up their addiction to these meals in favour of the healthier options you’ve suggested?
Or, maybe they’re not keen on the texture of some of the vegetables that you’re trying to get them to eat as part of their meal plan.
Don’t panic, this is where finding gifts for your PT clients becomes easy. In fact, they’re actually doing you a favour by being a little fussy…
We’re sure that as a fitness fanatic yourself, you’ve heard of spiralizers. You might even own and use one frequently as part of your own meal prep.
If so, then you’ll know what we’re talking about when we say that they are a great way of getting clients to stick to their meal plans in many instances, and can open up a whole new range of healthier takes on classic carb-filled recipes.
If your clients aren’t keen on some of the veg that you’ve suggested or you think they’d be open to the idea of trying veg-based spaghetti or noodles, you should definitely consider gifting them a spiralizer. That way, they can try it without having to make the investment themselves, making it a valuable gift!
You’ll be glad to know that they’re pretty cheap online, the product below being one of the most reasonable we’ve seen in terms of specs etc.:
#9 - Resistance Bands Set
Looking for holistic gift ideas for personal training clients? Resistance bands are probably the safest bet in the game. They’re inexpensive, adaptable, and come in different styles depending on what you want to use them for.
The three main types are flat bands, pull-up bands, and resistance tubes. You can read more on the topic in our article on the benefits of resistance bands, but each has their own purpose.
Flat bands can be used for stretching and light resistance training, pull-up bands have a heavier resistance and can be used to aid pull-ups, and resistance tubes can be anchored to allow for a greater variety of exercises.
When choosing a set for a specific client, you can try to align your purchase with said client’s fitness goals, or current fitness level. If they would do better with a heavier resistance or they’re currently practising pull-ups, then pull-up bands would be the most suitable option, for example.
However, the great thing about resistance bands is that every type can be useful to someone in at least one way. Even if a client is incredibly strong, for example, they will still benefit from stretching with flat bands.
Not sure which style to go for? Here are some product examples from each of the main types, so that you can get an idea of what would work best for the client in question. However, if in doubt you can rest assured that your clients will benefit from any style!
#10 - Foam Roller
Do you have your clients use a foam roller as part of their session with you? Or do some of them tend to experience pain in certain muscle groups when exercising?
If so, you should consider gifting them a foam roller that they can use in their spare time. It’s another simple, inexpensive yet valuable gift that could help to keep up your client’s motivation in the workouts that they compete away from your sessions.
It’s great for warming up large muscle groups through self myofascial release, and can help to increase range of motion, mobility, and muscular performance during the workout, as well as aiding the post-workout recovery!
Like resistance bands, this is a pretty holistic gift for personal training clients, and one that will provide value to anyone who exercises on a regular basis. We’d definitely recommend grabbing a foam roller if you have a client that is particularly difficult to buy for.
#11 - Fitness Diary
This will work for some, but not so much for others. It depends on the individual and how you think they would prefer to track their progress, whether it be on paper or via a software that you use for your business.
However, if you have a client that you feel would benefit from tracking their progress on paper, be it their workouts or what they eat on a daily basis, you should definitely gift them with a diary over anything else.
To make this gift truly valuable and something that will benefit your client’s fitness journey, it’s best to ensure that the diary is fully customisable rather than it having a pre-planned design. Ideally, it will be blank apart from the dates, similar to how an academic journal is formatted.
The reason for this is that many ‘fitness diaries’ are pre-formatted in a way that is difficult for many clients to visualise, usually due to them being designed by those who aren’t experts in fitness, or because everyone is different and visualises their progress uniquely.
Here are two examples of appropriate products in this category, one being a ‘bullet journal’ for those extra-creative clients!
#12 - Stopwatch
This is a great idea for those clients who struggle to keep track of where they’re up to with their reps/sets and rest gaps. They should be fine during your sessions together, as every organised PT has a stopwatch to hand, but what happens when they train alone?
Smartphones can be incredibly annoying when used to keep track of time during exercise, yet they’re usually the go-to stopwatch for most gym users.
This is what makes a stopwatch is one of the best personal trainer gifts for clients. Not only are they designed for their purpose, making them more reliable and effective for keeping a good structure to workouts, but they’re much less annoying to use than a smartphone.
Picture this: you’ve carefully placed your phone on the floor next to the leg press machine, so that you can keep track of where you’re up to with your rest gaps. Next thing you know you’ve finished one set, but your screen is locked. You try to grab your phone from where you’re sitting but it’s just out of reach.
You’re forced to get off the machine and unlock your phone before you can resume your workout.
We can all agree that this is no way to exercise, and the great news is that stopwatches remove this issue completely. You can keep them around your neck, or even wear one around your wrist, making it much easier to view and track your timing.
If you provide your client with this alternate way of tracking time, they will thank you forever!
You could even go one step further and grab them a fitness tracker, which is a form of stopwatch but tracks additional factors, such as heart rate and daily steps.
Here are two different styles to consider when working out what would best suit your client:
#13 - Earphones/Headphones
Earlier, we spoke about music-loving clients and how easy they are to buy for.
A running armband or music voucher would be the obvious ‘inexpensive’ route to start with when buying for those who love music, but we’re going to finish off our list of gift ideas for personal training clients with a bang!
If you’ve built up a good relationship with a particular client, and they’re doing really well with their progress, you should definitely consider getting them a gift of real value, and one that will truly surprise them when you gift it to them.
Sure, it can be expensive to get your clients a good pair of earphones/headphones that they can use during their workouts, but a one-off investment like this will really show them how much you value them.
If you do this for a couple of clients that you’ve been training with for a while, it will most certainly help to boost those client retention rates, and solidify your trainer-client relationship for the foreseeable future!
If you’re wondering how much this is likely to set you back, check out the examples below. It’s doesn’t have to get ridiculously expensive, especially if you buy online:
How to Give Gifts to Personal Training Clients
Now that we’ve given you 13 different gift ideas to try out with your clients, it’s time to look over the strategy that you should use when giving out gifts.
You heard us right; you should always have a strategy when trying something new with your business. This doesn’t mean that it’s ‘fake’ or not well-meaning when you gift your clients, but it does mean that you should try and gift them in a way that benefits your business simultaneously.
So, how should you gift your clients?
Tip #1 - Keep Frequency in Mind
There’s no use in gifting your clients every week.
While this would be expensive for your business, it would also defeat the main object behind gifting your clients, which is to show them that you value them.
Think about it this way; if you received a gift from someone every week, then you would slowly become desensitised to any meaning that the gift carried. It sounds gloomy, but you would almost expect to receive that gift on a regular basis. You wouldn’t associate yourself with being ‘deserving’ of it.
This is why you should think carefully about the gift giving frequency!
Surely you want your clients to appreciate the gift, and most importantly, feel valued for all of their hard work when they receive it.
A good tip to go by would be to give your clients a gift once every few months, on significantly spaced out occasions (providing that they are making adequate progress in their sessions).
This will seem sincere and should genuinely come as a surprise to them, making them appreciate the gift as much as possible.
In an article for Forbes magazine, B2B Sales and Growth Expert Ian Altman writes:
You don’t want your gifts to land in a wastebasket because they appear to be generic and impersonal. You also don’t want your gifts to scream desperate or gauche. You want your gesture to be thoughtful and personal.
This is definitely something to keep in mind, whatever time you decide to gift your clients. You should definitely have a think about what will strike the right balance between personal and appropriate, to be as sincere as possible.
They will love you for your ‘random act of kindness’ and stick with you for the foreseeable future!
Hopefully this gives you a better insight on how finding the right gifting strategy can improve your client retention, especially when it comes to how often you should give gifts to clients.
Tip #2 - Timing
Leading on from our last point, timing is definitely something you should consider.
Once you understand that gifting frequency works best when it isn’t done in patterns and seems ‘random’ to clients, then you should plan out the timing of when to gift individual clients.
We’ll talk more about special occasions in our next section, but for now you should note that it’s best to give gifts at intervals that will stand out to the client.
Optimum timing would NOT include a client’s birthday, or Christmas, or any occasion where the client is receiving gifts from others.
The main reason for this is that you want to stand out. If you gift your client too close to a special occasion, then you risk the element of surprise being swamped by the volume of gifts that your client is receiving at that time.
The gift will also hold no real meaning for them, as they haven’t technically done anything to deserve it in terms of hitting a new PB or making progress in their journey. This means that the purpose behind the gift giving is not as effective for your own client’s progress, or your retention rate (which should be something you take seriously!).
Ultimately, you want your gift to be memorable, and timing is essential in making this happen.
Be sure to gift them when they’ve been training with you long enough for the both of you to have built up a relationship, and when they’ve hit a milestone in their journey. This way, your gift will stand out to them and make a lasting impression!
Christmas Gifts for Personal Training Clients: Should You Give Them?
Now that we’ve looked at the strategy behind how clients should be gifted, it’s time to answer the final question on the topic: should you buy Christmas gifts for your personal training clients?
We don’t want to contradict ourselves by giving a straight up ‘yes’ as our answer, as we do believe that gifts are more memorable when they’re given separate from any special occasions.
However, we’re not completely opposed to giving gifts to clients at these times, as this in itself can also seem special to clients (and therefore boost retention) when done correctly.
That being said, the best Christmas gift ideas for personal training clients are those that are small and less personal than the other gifts that you give.
You’re probably better sticking to token gifts that you can buy in bulk, as each client then ends up with the same gift. This is especially important if you’re on a budget, which most personal trainers are!
This way, when you do give out gifts to your clients during the year they will stand out as being well thought out and personal, and therefore have a far greater impact.
Another of the most effective Christmas gift ideas for personal training clients would be to hold a competition between your clients close to the holidays, where the winner receives a more ‘valuable’ or ‘expensive’ gift.
It could be one of the more expensive choices from our list, or a hamper made up of a variety of valuable fitness items, like protein powders, energy gels, a shaker bottle, meal prep kit, etc.
This means that rather than purchasing individual gifts for each of your clients, you just grab one gift of high value that you know any of them would be willing to compete for. This will show your client pool that you’re generous, and that you’re genuinely thinking of them at Christmas time by spending your own time and money on gifting something valuable to them.
REMEMBER: There is no rule to say that you have to gift your clients at Christmas, or at any point throughout the year, but this is why it will seem so surprising and special to them if you do so, and will definitely stand you apart from other trainers!
Before you go!
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our complete guide to gifts for personal training clients, and that you’ve found the perfect gift idea to try out with your own client pool!
We know how tricky it can be to get this side of things right, but follow our tips and you can rest-assured that you’re gifting your clients in the most effective ways in terms of them valuing you as their trainer, and sticking with you for months and years to come.
Your sole aim in gifting them is to make your clients feel singled out and special, so definitely keep this in mind when choosing gifts.
Want to push your client retention to the next level? Offer more services to your clients by taking a look at OriGym’s Sports Massage qualification, or download our latest prospectus here for more info on what you could be learning!
- The Secret To Giving The Best Business Gifts. Ian Altman, Forbes Magazine (2017). Available at: https://bit.ly/2vtU2kX