What to do when your trainer’s on vacation | 5 tips for staying on track

It’s summer. The time of year where everybody goes on holidays. Doctors, lawyers, nurses, teachers. Even your favourite group fitness instructor and personal trainer.

what to do when your trainer's on vacation

Shocking, I know. But even fitness professionals need to take time away from the gym, to rest, relax and recharge.

This sumer, I’ll be taking a bit more time off than usual. In part, because I have a book deadline quickly approaching (more details soon, I promise!), but also because, for the last few summers, I spent so much time juggling my schedule to work around clients’ holidays, kids’ camps, gym closures and other instructors’ vacations that I struggled to get my own workouts in.

When September finally arrived, I was exhausted and felt like I hadn’t had a summer holiday at all.

I’m prepping my clients for my time away and thought I’d share some tips for what to do when your trainer’s on vacation.

  1. ask for an easy-to-do-on-your-own program. If  you’re fortunate enough to see a trainer 2 or 3 times a week, you may never have been given a program to do on your own. Ask your trainer to write up a program for you to do in her absence with clear, easy-to-follow instructions. I find that my clients do best without me when I include their favourite moves and avoid complicated exercises that require constant cuing and prompts.
  2. create an exercise schedule. Accountability is a big part of the service I provide for my clients. Simply scheduling a weekly or twice weekly session with me is often all the motivation they need to get to the gym. Ask your trainer to help you create an exercise schedule before they leave town. Include your usual session day(s) and time(s); you’ve already committed to exercising then!
  3. use your trainer’s absence to try something new. Is there a group fitness class that you’ve been thinking of trying out? A new exercise DVD that your friends have been raving about? A 2 for 1 deal at the local yoga studio? Now’s the perfect time to break out of your routine and try something a bit different.
  4. find a substitute trainer. If you really can’t work out without a trainer (perhaps you’re uncomfortable going solo in the gym or just know that you won’t get there on your own without someone waiting for you), arrange a substitute. Talk to your trainer about this in advance; not only will they know which colleague to pair you up with, it will also prevent the possibility of a misunderstanding and hurt feelings (trainer’s have feelings too 😉 ).
  5. plan your rest or ‘de-loading’ week to sync with your trainer’s vacation. If you’ve been working hard in the gym and following your trainer’s advice about nutrition and progressing your training, taking a week’s rest from formal exercise might be exactly what you need. Talk to your trainer, several weeks in advance, about the pros and cons of taking a week off while they’re on holiday.

Bonus tip: Subscribe to my YouTube Channel and exercise with me, in the comfort of your own home! My #FatblasterFriday playlist has dozens of real time, low equipment workouts that we can do together!

Remember that although your trainer is there to educate, encourage, coach and guide you, it’s YOUR fitness journey.

what to do when your trainer's on vacation

[A note to personal trainers: It’s okay to place your own needs first. You can’t help others if you’re feeling depleted and burnt out. Show others that you value self-care and they will too! Don’t feel guilty about leaving your clients. They are grown ups and need to be responsible for their own health. Sure, set them up for success in your absence, but remember that your ultimate goal is for them to become independent exercisers]

Do you have any tips to add to my ‘what to do when your trainer’s on vacation’ list?

What do YOU do when your trainer’s on vacation?




    NUMBER FIVE!!!!!
    Miz recently posted…Sidewalk yoga.My Profile

  2. Great post as always 🙂 I think a lot of folks rely on trainers to keep them on task so having your trainer out of town can be tough. Being a trainer myself, I always offer to write workouts for clients while I’m gone & also offer to have a colleague I trust fill in.
    Katie @ KatieEnPursuit recently posted…Baseball, BBQ’s and Brine…My Profile

  3. Love this Tamara AND that you will be good to yourself this time & take the much needed rest you need! 2 weeks – wow!!! When are you leaving AND can’t wait for the book!

    OK – comment luv is being mean to me today everywhere – http://truth2beingfit.com/2013/06/23/gratitude-monday-10minutesaday-weekends.aspx

  4. Great tips, Tamara!!
    Have a fabulous vacation – I hope you have time for plenty of relaxing and return refreshed!!!
    Kim recently posted…All Roads Lead to TEXAS!!My Profile

    • Hi Kim, I’m only going to Portland for 4 days right now; this was a more general post about how I prep my clients for vacations! No real vacay for me until August 🙂

  5. I like alternating group exercise weeks with at-home workout challenges. It mixes it up!
    Kelsey recently posted…Weekly Meal and Exercise Plan: June 24-30My Profile


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