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What is a personal trainer contract?

A personal trainer contract is a legally binding agreement between a personal trainer and their client. It details everything from the number of training sessions to cost, invoice dates, liabilities, and insurance obligations.

The agreement will differ slightly depending on if the personal trainer works for themselves or is a contractor at a gym. Still, some elements—such as liability releases, assumption of risk, and termination details—should be included in every contract.

Note: Sign-up now to start creating your free personal trainer contractor agreement. It has all the basic elements you’ll need to get going, and it’s been written and reviewed by top lawyers.

Why you need a personal trainer contract

A personal trainer contract is essential for both parties as it lays out in black and white what the terms and conditions of the personal trainer/client relationship will be.

Without a personal trainer contract, it's difficult for the client to know exactly what they're paying for. Agreements are beneficial for the personal trainer, too—If the trainer has sold the client a specific training package (2x 60-minute sessions for six weeks), it's better to have this in writing, so the client doesn't ask for more sessions.

Personal trainer contracts also help protect both parties legally and financially. If a client doesn't show up for a session, a provision in the contract will outline that they are still obligated to pay. The same goes for if the client gets injured during the session—the agreement will protect the trainer from liability.

So, what are the most important elements for any personal training contract agreement to make it legally binding?

What should be included in a personal training contract?

Detailed descriptions of the work

Here, a description of the personal training services to be performed, such as "sessions may include but are not limited to..." may be included along with a list of activities like weight training or aerobic conditioning to meet the client's fitness goals.

Training timeline

A training timeline should be specific about how long the agreement will last—whether it's ongoing or just for a block of training (i.e., 8-week boot camp.)

The timeline should also include the number of client's training sessions included, frequency (i.e., twice a week), and—if the contract is for a block of time—when the sessions will wrap up.

Payment details

The personal trainer should break down how much the services will cost and the payment terms for the entire agreement.

Usually, the personal trainer will charge either per session, per hour, or package. Along with the rate, the personal trainer should also include whether the sessions or package need to be paid upfront and if they require a deposit. Here's an example:

sample payment details in personal trainer contract

If the client is purchasing a package (i.e., 6 x 1-hour sessions), the personal trainer may place a time restriction on when these sessions should be used (like within the next 12 months.)

Cancellation clause

This is for when a client can't make a session.

A cancellation clause outlines how much notice they need to give the personal trainer, whether or not they can reschedule, and the penalties for a no-show. This is the same for personal trainers who need to cancel a session: the contract could offer the client a credit for another session or a refund.

Term/Termination clauses

These clauses outline the steps either party must take to terminate the agreement.

The clause will state how much notice either party must give (i.e., seven days), how they need to give notice (like a written letter), and whether or not they need to pay a cancellation fee:

termination clause sample for personal trainer contract

Other factors

Other important elements of a personal trainer contract, like liability, indemnity, and confidentiality clauses, must be included.

These sections cover the client's obligation to notify the personal trainer of any pre-existing conditions as well as the client's fitness level, which they should acknowledge in a physical activity readiness questionnaire.

The personal trainer will also need to clarify their qualifications, risks involved with certain exercises, and equipment.

Personal trainer contract template

Instead of drafting a personal trainer contractor agreement yourself, using a template is the best way to ensure it includes all the clauses and details we've just talked about. And, it gives both parties entering into the agreement confidence that it's legally watertight.

What's the benefit of using Bonsai, instead of editing a template yourself?

Because every Bonsai contract template is legally vetted, you won't need to hire a law firm to validate whether it is binding.  

Changing details like pricing, timelines, and cancellation clauses are easy as our contracts are fully customizable. The contract generator even walks you through the agreement, explaining why each section is important and offering chances to customize anything.

How to create a personal trainer contract with Bonsai

Bonsai has two ways to create a personal training agreement, either by downloading our standard PDF template or using our free contact generator.

Bonsai's templates allow you to customize each section to give clients more details about your personal training business. Once you input the basics (like the cost of the sessions), Bonsai has the option to edit specific parts of the personal trainer contract, like termination clauses and late payment fees.

add your late payment fee details when creating your personal trainer agreement

Personal trainer contract FAQs

What is fair compensation for a personal trainer?

Personal trainers are compensated differently, depending on whether or not they're self-employed or contracted by a gym.

Personal trainers hired by a gym may be paid a straight percentage of revenue (i.e., $60 sessions may be split 50/50 between you and the gym) or on a sliding scale (less than five sessions a week will have a rate of $30/session, and over 15 sessions will be paid at $40/session.)

Some personal trainers, like those working for themselves, also negotiate contracts and charge more depending on their qualifications. While a client may pay a certified fitness trainer $30/hour, master fitness trainers can demand double the compensation.

How do I become an independent personal trainer?

An independent personal training qualification should be earned through a reputable organization, like the American Council on Exercise, American College of Sports Medicine, or the National Federation of Personal Trainers.

Getting a qualification from an organization like this shows clients your credibility and competence when thinking about hiring you.

Use this template

The simplest way to create a legally sound contract. Check out an example below

Personal Trainer Contract Template

This Contract is between Sample Client (the "Client") and John Doe (the "Personal Trainer").

The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].


1.1 Project. The Client is hiring the Personal Trainer to do the following: The Personal Trainer will assist the Client with training services.

1.2 Schedule. The Personal Trainer will begin work on November 06, 2020 and the work is ongoing. This Contract can be ended by either Client or Personal Trainer at any time, pursuant to the terms of Section 6, Term and Termination.

1.3 Payment. The Client will pay the Personal Trainer a rate of $100.00 (USD) per hour. Of this, the Client will pay the Personal Trainer $150.00 (USD) before work begins.

1.4 Expenses. The Client will reimburse the Personal Trainer's expenses. Expenses do not need to be pre-approved by the Client.

1.5 Invoices. The Personal Trainer will invoice the Client weekly. The Client agrees to pay the amount owed within 15 days of receiving the invoice. Payment after that date will incur a late fee of 5.0% per month on the outstanding amount.

1.6 Support. The Personal Trainer will not provide support for any deliverable once the Client accepts it, unless otherwise agreed in writing.


2.1 Client Owns All Work Product. As part of this job, the Personal Trainer is creating “work product” for the Client. To avoid confusion, work product is the finished product, as well as drafts, notes, materials, mockups, hardware, designs, inventions, patents, code, and anything else that the Personal Trainer works on—that is, conceives, creates, designs, develops, invents, works on, or reduces to practice—as part of this project, whether before the date of this Contract or after. The Personal Trainer hereby gives the Client this work product once the Client pays for it in full. This means the Personal Trainer is giving the Client all of its rights, titles, and interests in and to the work product (including intellectual property rights), and the Client will be the sole owner of it. The Client can use the work product however it wants or it can decide not to use the work product at all. The Client, for example, can modify, destroy, or sell it, as it sees fit.

2.2 Personal Trainer's Use Of Work Product. Once the Personal Trainer gives the work product to the Client, the Personal Trainer does not have any rights to it, except those that the Client explicitly gives the Personal Trainer here. The Client gives the Personal Trainer permission to use the work product as part of the Personal Trainer's portfolio and websites, in galleries, and in other media, so long as it is to showcase the Personal Trainer's work and not for any other purpose. The Personal Trainer is not allowed to sell or otherwise use the work product to make money or for any other commercial use. The Client is not allowed to take back this license, even after the Contract ends.

2.3 Personal Trainer's Help Securing Ownership. In the future, the Client may need the Personal Trainer's help to show that the Client owns the work product or to complete the transfer. The Personal Trainer agrees to help with that. For example, the Personal Trainer may have to sign a patent application. The Client will pay any required expenses for this. If the Client can’t find the Personal Trainer, the Personal Trainer agrees that the Client can act on the Personal Trainer's behalf to accomplish the same thing. The following language gives the Client that right: if the Client can’t find the Personal Trainer after spending reasonable effort trying to do so, the Personal Trainer hereby irrevocably designates and appoints the Client as the Personal Trainer's agent and attorney-in-fact, which appointment is coupled with an interest, to act for the Personal Trainer and on the Personal Trainer's behalf to execute, verify, and file the required documents and to take any other legal action to accomplish the purposes of paragraph 2.1 (Client Owns All Work Product).

2.4 Personal Trainer's IP That Is Not Work Product. During the course of this project, the Personal Trainer might use intellectual property that the Personal Trainer owns or has licensed from a third party, but that does not qualify as “work product.” This is called “background IP.” Possible examples of background IP are pre-existing code, type fonts, properly-licensed stock photos, and web application tools. The Personal Trainer is not giving the Client this background IP. But, as part of the Contract, the Personal Trainer is giving the Client a right to use and license (with the right to sublicense) the background IP to develop, market, sell, and support the Client’s products and services. The Client may use this background IP worldwide and free of charge, but it cannot transfer its rights to the background IP (except as allowed in Section 11.1 (Assignment)). The Client cannot sell or license the background IP separately from its products or services. The Personal Trainer cannot take back this grant, and this grant does not end when the Contract is over.

2.5 Personal Trainer's Right To Use Client IP. The Personal Trainer may need to use the Client’s intellectual property to do its job. For example, if the Client is hiring the Personal Trainer to build a website, the Personal Trainer may have to use the Client’s logo. The Client agrees to let the Personal Trainer use the Client’s intellectual property and other intellectual property that the Client controls to the extent reasonably necessary to do the Personal Trainer's job. Beyond that, the Client is not giving the Personal Trainer any intellectual property rights, unless specifically stated otherwise in this Contract.

3. COMPETITIVE ENGAGEMENTS. The Personal Trainer won’t work for a competitor of the Client until this Contract ends. To avoid confusion, a competitor is any third party that develops, manufactures, promotes, sells, licenses, distributes, or provides products or services that are substantially similar to the Client’s products or services. A competitor is also a third party that plans to do any of those things. The one exception to this restriction is if the Personal Trainer asks for permission beforehand and the Client agrees to it in writing. If the Personal Trainer uses employees or subcontractors, the Personal Trainer must make sure they follow the obligations in this paragraph, as well.

4. NON-SOLICITATION. Until this Contract ends, the Personal Trainer won’t: (a) encourage Client employees or service providers to stop working for the Client; (b) encourage Client customers or clients to stop doing business with the Client; or (c) hire anyone who worked for the Client over the 12-month period before the Contract ended. The one exception is if the Personal Trainer puts out a general ad and someone who happened to work for the Client responds. In that case, the Personal Trainer may hire that candidate. The Personal Trainer promises that it won’t do anything in this paragraph on behalf of itself or a third party.


5.1 Overview. This section contains important promises between the parties.

5.2 Authority To Sign. Each party promises to the other party that it has the authority to enter into this Contract and to perform all of its obligations under this Contract.

5.3 Personal Trainer Has Right To Give Client Work Product. The Personal Trainer promises that it owns the work product, that the Personal Trainer is able to give the work product to the Client, and that no other party will claim that it owns the work product. If the Personal Trainer uses employees or subcontractors, the Personal Trainer also promises that these employees and subcontractors have signed contracts with the Personal Trainer giving the Personal Trainer any rights that the employees or subcontractors have related to the Personal Trainer's background IP and work product.

5.4 Personal Trainer Will Comply With Laws. The Personal Trainer promises that the manner it does this job, its work product, and any background IP it uses comply with applicable U.S. and foreign laws and regulations.

5.5 Work Product Does Not Infringe. The Personal Trainer promises that its work product does not and will not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights, that the Personal Trainer has the right to let the Client use the background IP, and that this Contract does not and will not violate any contract that the Personal Trainer has entered into or will enter into with someone else.

5.6 Client Will Review Work. The Client promises to review the work product, to be reasonably available to the Personal Trainer if the Personal Trainer has questions regarding this project, and to provide timely feedback and decisions.

5.7 Client-Supplied Material Does Not Infringe. If the Client provides the Personal Trainer with material to incorporate into the work product, the Client promises that this material does not infringe on someone else’s intellectual property rights.

6. TERM AND TERMINATION. This Contract is ongoing, until ended by the Client or the Personal Trainer. Either party may end this Contract for any reason by sending an email or letter to the other party, informing the recipient that the sender is ending the Contract and that the Contract will end in 7 days. The Contract officially ends once that time has passed. The party that is ending the Contract must provide notice by taking the steps explained in Section 11.4. The Personal Trainer must immediately stop working as soon as it receives this notice, unless the notice says otherwise. The Client will pay the Personal Trainer for the work done up until when the Contract ends and will reimburse the Personal Trainer for any agreed-upon, non-cancellable expenses. The following sections don’t end even after the Contract ends: 2 (Ownership and Licenses); 3 (Competitive Engagements); 4 (Non-Solicitation); 5 (Representations); 8 (Confidential Information); 9 (Limitation of Liability); 10 (Indemnity); and 11 (General).

7. INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR. The Client is hiring the Personal Trainer as an independent contractor. The following statements accurately reflect their relationship:

- The Personal Trainer will use its own equipment, tools, and material to do the work.- The Client will not control how the job is performed on a day-to-day basis. Rather, the Personal Trainer is responsible for determining when, where, and how it will carry out the work.- The Client will not provide the Personal Trainer with any training.- The Client and the Personal Trainer do not have a partnership or employer-employee relationship.- The Personal Trainer cannot enter into contracts, make promises, or act on behalf of the Client.- The Personal Trainer is not entitled to the Client’s benefits (e.g., group insurance, retirement benefits, retirement plans, vacation days).- The Personal Trainer is responsible for its own taxes.- The Client will not withhold social security and Medicare taxes or make payments for disability insurance, unemployment insurance, or workers compensation for the Personal Trainer or any of the Personal Trainer's employees or subcontractors.


8.1 Overview. This Contract imposes special restrictions on how the Client and the Personal Trainer must handle confidential information. These obligations are explained in this section.

8.2 The Client’s Confidential Information. While working for the Client, the Personal Trainer may come across, or be given, Client information that is confidential. This is information like customer lists, business strategies, research & development notes, statistics about a website, and other information that is private. The Personal Trainer promises to treat this information as if it is the Personal Trainer's own confidential information. The Personal Trainer may use this information to do its job under this Contract, but not for anything else. For example, if the Client lets the Personal Trainer use a customer list to send out a newsletter, the Personal Trainer cannot use those email addresses for any other purpose. The one exception to this is if the Client gives the Personal Trainer written permission to use the information for another purpose, the Personal Trainer may use the information for that purpose, as well. When this Contract ends, the Personal Trainer must give back or destroy all confidential information, and confirm that it has done so. The Personal Trainer promises that it will not share confidential information with a third party, unless the Client gives the Personal Trainer written permission first. The Personal Trainer must continue to follow these obligations, even after the Contract ends. The Personal Trainer's responsibilities only stop if the Personal Trainer can show any of the following: (i) that the information was already public when the Personal Trainer came across it; (ii) the information became public after the Personal Trainer came across it, but not because of anything the Personal Trainer did or didn’t do; (iii) the Personal Trainer already knew the information when the Personal Trainer came across it and the Personal Trainer didn’t have any obligation to keep it secret; (iv) a third party provided the Personal Trainer with the information without requiring that the Personal Trainer keep it a secret; or (v) the Personal Trainer created the information on its own, without using anything belonging to the Client.

8.3 Third-Party Confidential Information. It’s possible the Client and the Personal Trainer each have access to confidential information that belongs to third parties. The Client and the Personal Trainer each promise that it will not share with the other party confidential information that belongs to third parties, unless it is allowed to do so. If the Client or the Personal Trainer is allowed to share confidential information with the other party and does so, the sharing party promises to tell the other party in writing of any special restrictions regarding that information.

9. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. Neither party is liable for breach-of-contract damages that the breaching party could not reasonably have foreseen when it entered this Contract.


10.1 Overview. This section transfers certain risks between the parties if a third party sues or goes after the Client or the Personal Trainer or both. For example, if the Client gets sued for something that the Personal Trainer did, then the Personal Trainer may promise to come to the Client’s defense or to reimburse the Client for any losses.

10.2 Client Indemnity. In this Contract, the Personal Trainer agrees to indemnify the Client (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against all liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of: (i) the work the Personal Trainer has done under this Contract; (ii) a breach by the Personal Trainer of its obligations under this Contract; or (iii) a breach by the Personal Trainer of the promises it is making in Section 5 (Representations).

10.3 Personal Trainer Indemnity. In this Contract, the Client agrees to indemnify the Personal Trainer (and its affiliates and their directors, officers, employees, and agents) from and against liabilities, losses, damages, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) related to a third-party claim or proceeding arising out of a breach by the Client of its obligations under this Contract.


11.1 Assignment. This Contract applies only to the Client and the Personal Trainer. The Personal Trainer cannot assign its rights or delegate its obligations under this Contract to a third-party (other than by will or intestate), without first receiving the Client’s written permission. In contrast, the Client may assign its rights and delegate its obligations under this Contract without the Personal Trainer's permission. This is necessary in case, for example, another Client buys out the Client or if the Client decides to sell the work product that results from this Contract.

11.2 Arbitration. As the exclusive means of initiating adversarial proceedings to resolve any dispute arising under this Contract, a party may demand that the dispute be resolved by arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with its commercial arbitration rules.

11.3 Modification; Waiver. To change anything in this Contract, the Client and the Personal Trainer must agree to that change in writing and sign a document showing their contract. Neither party can waive its rights under this Contract or release the other party from its obligations under this Contract, unless the waiving party acknowledges it is doing so in writing and signs a document that says so.

11.4 Notices.

(a) Over the course of this Contract, one party may need to send a notice to the other party. For the notice to be valid, it must be in writing and delivered in one of the following ways: personal delivery, email, or certified or registered mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested). The notice must be delivered to the party’s address listed at the end of this Contract or to another address that the party has provided in writing as an appropriate address to receive notice.

(b) The timing of when a notice is received can be very important. To avoid confusion, a valid notice is considered received as follows: (i) if delivered personally, it is considered received immediately; (ii) if delivered by email, it is considered received upon acknowledgement of receipt; (iii) if delivered by registered or certified mail (postage prepaid, return receipt requested), it is considered received upon receipt as indicated by the date on the signed receipt. If a party refuses to accept notice or if notice cannot be delivered because of a change in address for which no notice was given, then it is considered received when the notice is rejected or unable to be delivered. If the notice is received after 5:00pm on a business day at the location specified in the address for that party, or on a day that is not a business day, then the notice is considered received at 9:00am on the next business day.

11.5 Severability. This section deals with what happens if a portion of the Contract is found to be unenforceable. If that’s the case, the unenforceable portion will be changed to the minimum extent necessary to make it enforceable, unless that change is not permitted by law, in which case the portion will be disregarded. If any portion of the Contract is changed or disregarded because it is unenforceable, the rest of the Contract is still enforceable.

11.6 Signatures. The Client and the Personal Trainer must sign this document using Bonsai’s e-signing system. These electronic signatures count as originals for all purposes.

11.7 Governing Law. The laws of the state of Delaware govern the rights and obligations of the Client and the Personal Trainer under this Contract, without regard to conflict of law principles of that state.

11.8 Entire Contract. This Contract represents the parties’ final and complete understanding of this job and the subject matter discussed in this Contract. This Contract supersedes all other contracts (both written and oral) between the parties.


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