Behind every great athlete, there is an exceptional trainer. Usain Bolt had Glen Mills, Michael Phelps had Bob Bowman, Shawn Johnson had Liang Chow, and even Rocky Balboa had Mickey Goldmill. Personal trainers are unique because they consider their client’s goals and assess their strengths and weaknesses to create a strategic plan that will help their clients meet and exceed their fitness goals. However, it is important to manage your client’s expectations, and one of the easiest ways to do this is by including a disclaimer in your contracts or on your website. So, if you are a personal trainer or considering becoming one, here are some helpful tips on what to include in your disclaimer.
What is a Website Disclaimer?
To put it simply, a disclaimer is a statement or document intended to decline or limit the legal responsibility of a person or business. Disclaimers help ensure a degree of legal protection in case something goes awry and puts the other person on notice of the expectations of the relationship. These are often very concise statements on a website or within a contract that clearly limit liability if certain things occur. For example, if a company creates a product, it may include a disclaimer to limit liability if the product is misused. However, disclaimers are not limited to product liability, and it’s important to note which type is used in your field to protect you.
Do I need a Personal Trainer Website Disclaimer?
If you advise a person regarding their health or fitness, you should consider having a disclaimer on your website or within your written agreement forms. As a personal trainer, you should especially consider having a Health Disclaimer. Since you are giving a person advice on how to exercise and take care of themselves, a health disclaimer could be beneficial because it could protect you if you provide them with any advice that is averse to the client’s health or contrary to professional medical advice.
What should I include in my Personal Trainer Website Disclaimer?
Now you may be wondering what should be included in a disclaimer, so here are some elements you may want to have and why.
1. You should consult your doctor before starting any fitness program.
You should include this statement in your disclaimer as a personal trainer because it informs your client that they should check with their doctor before receiving fitness training. This protects you if your client later says their doctor never approved the fitness regime because you can show that you advised them to check beforehand.
2. The information and direction provided by the personal trainer are not meant to replace professional medical advice.
You should include this statement in your disclaimer as a personal trainer because it informs your client that you are not a medical professional, and your tailored fitness plan is not meant to replace medical advice from a doctor. In addition, by including this statement, you protect yourself from a client claiming that they took your advice to the same degree as medical advice.
3. You should alert your personal trainer of any known health concerns that could affect your fitness plan.
You should include this statement in your disclaimer as a personal trainer because it shifts the burden to the client to tell you of any underlying conditions that could impact the success of the fitness plan. This helps protect you from a client stating that the fitness plan created for them acerbated a medical issue because if you aren’t made aware of the situation, how can you plan for it?
4. Exercise, diet, and lifestyle changes may affect you differently.
You should include this statement in your disclaimer as a personal trainer because it tells the client that specific results from the engineered fitness plan are not guaranteed. This protects you from a client who may be dissatisfied with the results from their fitness journey because it clearly states that their efforts may be met with different results than other clients’ or what was initially planned for the client.
Although disclaimers are not required to operate a personal training business, they are an excellent way to protect your business. Due to their customizability, disclaimers can be made to fit any situation and would be a wonderful addition to any website or client agreement. This ensures that both you and your client are clear about the contract terms and what to expect from the working relationship.