There are a few types of disclaimers and policies fitness coaches should consider including in the business materials (intake materials and advertising) and on their website. As technology has evolved, training clients at a distance has become another way for fitness coaches to diversify their clientele.
From the top, when you include disclaimers on your website make sure that they are not hidden. A link on every page to your disclaimers and policies and perhaps a shortened version of your disclaimer at the bottom of every page or post would not be overkill, in fact you want them to be found and read.
So, what are the disclaimers needed for fitness coaches?
Disclaimers needed for fitness coaches roughly fall into four categories:
Below are some examples you might consider – you’ll notice that there is some overlap. You also may find that you will want to combine more than one from each category. This is where good legal advice can be a great help in preventing issues before they occur – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of a cure (and all that).
General (for websites)
One of the difficulties of offering information through a website is that you have no ability to screen clients like you do in person. One potential way is to offer a blanket disclaimer (in addition, not instead of) that states that entering the website, purchasing or using materials, programs etc. are covered by all of the other disclaimers.
Here are a couple of examples of a General Disclaimer:
- By entering this website or purchasing or using our blog, e-mails, programs, services, and/or products, you are agreeing to accept all parts of this disclaimer. Thus, if you do not agree to the disclaimer below, STOP now, and do not use our website, blog, e-mails, programs, services, or products.
- By using this website, blog, e-mails, or any of our programs, services, or products, you implicitly signify your agreement to all parts of the above [or below] disclaimer.
A General No Warranties Disclaimer may be appropriate (although do speak with an attorney about whether this is appropriate for you) – here is an example:
- We will not be held responsible in any way for the information that you request or receive through or on our website, blog, e-mails, programs, services and/or products. In no event will we be liable to any party for any direct, indirect, special, incidental, equitable or consequential damages for any use of or reliance on this website or blog, e-mails, programs, services, and/or products, including, without limitation, any lost profits, personal or business interruptions, personal injuries, accidents, misapplication of information or any other loss, malady, disease or difficulty, or otherwise, even if we are expressly advised of the possibility of such damages or difficulties.
You may also want to include a disclaimer for external links:
- Reference or links in this website, blog, e-mails, programs, services or products to any other business or entity’s information, opinions, advice, programs, services, or products do not constitute our endorsement or recommendation. We are not responsible for the contents of any off-site web pages, companies or persons linked or referenced in this site.
- Iamthebestfitness Trainer strongly recommends that you consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program. You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise. Iamthebestfitness Trainer is not a licensed medical care provider and represents that it has no expertise in diagnosing, examining, or treating medical conditions of any kind, or in determining the effect of any specific exercise on a medical condition.
- You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating in these activities, assume all risk of injury to yourself, and agree to release and discharge Iamthebestfitness Trainer from any and all claims or causes of action, known or unknown, arising out of Iamthebestfitness Trainer
- The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice, or delay in seeking it, because of something you have read on this website. Never rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional medical advice.
- Iamthebestfitness Trainer (website name.com) is not responsible or liable for any advice, course of treatment, diagnosis or any other information, services or products that you obtain through this site. You are encouraged to consult with your doctor with regard to this information contained on or through this website. After reading articles, watching videos or reading other content from this website, you are encouraged to review the information carefully with your professional healthcare provider.
- I am not a doctor. The information I provide is based on my personal experience, studies of XXXX & XXXX and my experience as a Personal Trainer.
- The information contained in our website, blog, guest blogs, e-mails, programs, services and/or products is for educational and informational purposes only, and is made available to you as self-help tools [edit to something that works for you] for your own use. While we draw on our prior professional expertise and background in many areas, you acknowledge that we are supporting you in our roles exclusively as XXXX coaches only. We provide information concerning, but not limited to, XXXXX. [replace the X’s with relevant wording for your business].
- We are not medical health practitioners or mental health providers and we are not holding ourselves out to be in any capacity. Rather, we serve as coaches, mentors and guides who help you reach your own health and wellness goals.
- We aim to accurately represent the information provided on this website, blog, e-mails, programs, services, and products. You are acknowledging that you are participating voluntarily in using our website or blog or in any of our e-mails, programs, services, and/or products, and you alone are solely and personally responsible for your results. You acknowledge that you take full responsibility for your health, life and well-being, as well as the health, lives and well-being of your family and children (born and unborn, as applicable), and all decisions now or in the future.
- In the event that you use the information provided through our website, blog, e-mails, programs, services, and/or products, we assume no responsibility.
- Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of published information on or through our website, blog, e-mails, programs, services and products; however, the information may inadvertently contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. Every effort has been made to present you with the most accurate, up-to-date information, but because the nature of XXXX research is constantly evolving, we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of our content.
- We make every effort to ensure that we accurately represent these products and services and their potential for results. There is no guarantee that you will experience the same results and you accept the risk that the muscle building results, fitness results, competition results and fat loss results differ by individual. [you will want to edit the areas of result that your work as a fitness coach relates, ie: your specialization]
- We make no guarantees concerning the level of success you may experience, and you accept the risk that results will differ for each individual. The testimonials and examples provided are exceptional results, which do not apply to the average purchaser, and are not intended to represent or guarantee that anyone will achieve the same or similar results.
- Each individual’s health, fitness, and nutrition success depends on his or her background, dedication, desire, and motivation. As with any health-related program or service, your results may vary, and will be based on many variables, including but not limited to, your individual capacity, life experience, unique health and genetic profile, starting point, expertise, and level of commitment.
- There is no assurance that examples of past fitness, competition, muscle building and/or fat burning results can be duplicated in the future. We cannot guarantee your future results and/or success. Nor can we guarantee that you maintain the results you experience if you do not continue following the program. We are not responsible for your actions. [you will want to edit the areas of result that your work as a fitness coach relates, ie: your specialization]
- The use of our information, products and services should be based on your own due diligence and you agree that our company is not liable for any success or failure of your physique that is directly or indirectly related to the purchase and use of our information, products and services.
- We present real world experiences and insights on other people’s experiences for purposes of illustration only.
- The testimonials, examples, and photos used are of actual clients and results they personally achieved. Each client has approved these testimonials, examples, and photos for use in materials to speak to our program, service, and/or product capabilities, but they are not intended to represent or guarantee that current or future clients will achieve the same or similar results. Rather, these client stories represent what is possible with our programs, services, and/or products.
You may also want to use the requirement to read and acknowledge disclaimers as another way of ensuring your business is reaching its ideal client.
For example, If this disclaimer scared you or dissuaded you from taking action then my information, products and services are not for you. However, if this disclaimer inspired you to step up to the plate and make an honest effort at working with me and the solutions I offer – congratulations! I look forward to working with you.
Ideally, you would have every client sign to acknowledge these disclaimers, but in a web environment this is close to impossible, so take a look at the General waivers included above – it’s a good idea to have your disclaimers and policies reviewed by an attorney familiar with the relevant state law depending on where your business in operating (and where it was formed), and with the fitness industry.
Finally, take a look at our discussion of policies needed for your fitness website that might help limit liability. These policies would be in addition to disclaimers (but might include them)!