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How to Make Money as a Personal Trainer - 9 Methods For 2022

How to Make Money as a Personal Trainer – 9 Ways to Make It Big

March 27, 2022


There’s a lot of earning potential in starting a personal training business, but you must know how to take advantage of the variety of possibilities out there.

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average personal trainer makes an annual salary of$40,510 in 2020. Which is still pretty good for a career you can start with no professional degree.

In theory, it might sound easy to make money; Learn how to be a personal trainer, find a gym and some clients, charge an hourly rate and start cashing in, right?

But there’s a lot more you could be doing.

In this article, we will learn how to make money as a personal trainer, exploring some extra opportunities to maximize your income. If you have the time, you can offer multiple services at the same time, or, if you find something that resonates with you, go for it full time and make a living out of it.

Let’s start with some useful advice to make sure you start with the right foot.

Note: If you are looking to grow your personal training business, check out what System2 has to offer. We’ll set you up with a website, custom fitness app, and run your analytics with no up-front costs. Get in touch today.

Before offering your services as a personal trainer consider this…

Before we get into the list, there are 3 important things you must keep in mind if you want to succeed in this journey; Get a personal trainer certification, manage your time wisely and invest in your education.

Let’s quickly go over each of them.

Certification for Personal Trainers

Before you think of starting your own business as a fitness coach, consider getting a personal trainer certification. People will be willing to pay a higher rate if you have a professional certification, plus, you’ll be prepared to provide top-level services to your clients. This will also make a big impact on how long a client continues to train with you.

There are no laws to regulate personal trainer credentials, however, getting certified should be part of your personal training business checklist if you are serious about making a career in the fitness industry.

Some of the best certifications for personal trainers you can consider are ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association), ACE (American Council on Exercise), and NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine).

Time Management

Learning to efficiently manage your time is fundamental if you want to avoid burnout. Regardless of how you decide to train your clients, you need to make sure to plan ahead and look at every detail of your day to make sure your time is used wisely.

Don’t let clients dictate your schedule. Consider how flexible you can be with your schedule. Remember, working long days, like a 6 to 9 shift will soon catch up with you. Don’t hesitate to create a timetable that suits your needs (including time for your own workouts and administrative tasks) and make it public to your clients, so they know when you are available.

Also, try to implement a policy regarding cancellations or no-shows giving your clients a specific time window, which will allow you to adjust your schedule accordingly and not waste your time. For example, most trainers ask for a 24-hour notice, to make sure they can fill that slot with a productive task or some other client.

Invest in Continuing Education

It takes money to make money. Many personal trainers see continuing education as a burden; it costs money and takes time you could be using to train clients. But don’t think about it this way.

While some courses are mandatory to keep your certification, there are many courses available to keep learning, improving, and making money. If possible, save a percentage of your income to use for courses you might be interested in, trust me, it will payback.

You can get certified in relevant areas such as strength and conditioning, nutrition, pain management, HIIT, and many more. This will eventually help you make more money by offering additional services to your existing members and bringing in new clients who might be looking for personal trainers with a specialized approach.

So, with this in mind, let’s go through a few ways in which you can use your personal training knowledge to make some cash.

8 Ways to Make Money as a Personal Trainer

Successful personal trainers develop great tactics to make sure they bring in the most money possible. It’s all about working hard (and smart), and having multiple sources of income, whether they are active or passive.

Here are some options you can consider to expand your personal trainer career beyond the initial training sessions offered.

1 – Social Media

There are many ways to make good money using your social media platforms. If you are active on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube, you can work on becoming a fitness influencer (or you may already be one) and start monetizing your account.

Apart from making money through paid sponsorships and product placements (among others), you can use your social media as part of your fitness marketing strategy to reach potential clients and let them know about the services you offer as a personal trainer.

Pro Tip

Make sure you link your social media to your fitness website so you can make it easier for your followers to see all the services you have to offer. This will also help you increase the credibility in your brand.

2 – Workshops

Fitness workshops can provide a massive boost to your personal training business. You have useful knowledge that can help improve people’s lives and many people will be happy to pay for such useful information. Whether you use it as a tool to get more clients, or a way to make some extra cash on the weekends, hosting a workshop will give you very valuable exposure as an established personal trainer.

Pro Tip

Follow-up is a very important part of your workshops, especially if you are just getting started. Don’t forget to ask participants for feedback after each session so you can discover areas that you can improve and see if they feel any progress. That’s the best way to get better and deliver successful workshops.

3 – Membership Programs

A great way to have a steady flow of income is by creating membership plans, where your clients can subscribe for a specific period with payment upfront. Many trainers structure their packages with the idea of seeing their clients once, twice, or three times a week.

For example, you could offer 4 sessions a month for $300 and increase the price according to the number of sessions your client needs. Consider offering a slightly lower price per session if they pay for more in advance. Using this model can help you reduce cancellations and promote long-term commitment.

Pro Tip

Always make sure to lay out a contract specifying what happens in case of sessions go unused and rescheduling rules. You can also discuss a minimum amount of sessions recommended according to your client’s goals to try to get them on the right plan from the get-go.

4 – Personalized Meal Plans and Workouts

Selling personalized workouts and meal plans is a booming business. Personal trainers and fitness professionals have a great advantage here to make it a highly profitable income stream.

This option allows people who can’t afford in-person training an opportunity to still benefit from your expertise and achieve their fitness goals. You can also provide personalized workouts and meal plans to your current clients as extra support for their goal achievement.

Pro Tip

As easy as it sounds, don’t take it lightly. Make sure to put in enough time to understand your client’s needs, past injuries, diet habits, struggles, and goals (lose weight, gain muscle, etc..). You don’t want to hurt your reputation by handing out routines and meal plans left and right without a solid foundation.

5 – Group Training Sessions

Group fitness classes are a great way to make more money as a personal trainer, especially if you are self-employed. The good thing about group training is that you can charge an hourly rate per person, let’s say $15. If 10 people show up, you just made $150 in one hour.

Also, if you are tech-savvy, you can do virtual group sessions where there will be no limit to how many people join.

Pro Tip

There might be participants of different fitness levels. You could consider offering different classes for more advanced clients, separate from beginners.

This way you make sure your clients receive the attention they need, without taking away time from the rest of the group who might be ready to move on to the next exercise.

6 – Online Workouts

In today’s fitness industry, being an online personal trainer is one of the easiest ways to bring workouts to your clients. It’s also a great way to expand your network and increase your earning potential.

You can start by creating some content for YouTube, such as a 30-day challenge or a 5-minute at-home workout routine. Then, you can use your social media to market those videos, get to more people, and eventually, bring them in as clients to your online personal training business.

Pro Tip

Consider ways in which you can hold your clients accountable during their online training. Make sure you have ongoing communication with them and provide enough support so members stay motivated. Otherwise, you might lose them fast.

7 – At-Home Personal Training

If you (or your client) prefer in-person training, you can consider in-home personal training. If your client’s home has the necessary space and equipment for the workout this is a great alternative to paying a gym membership.

Additionally, you can charge more money as a personal trainer at home given you’ll be spending time in traffic and using fuel. If your client has the luxury of training from the comfort of their own home, they won’t mind paying more for it.

Pro Tip

If you train people independently, especially at a client’s home you can run some risks. One injury can quickly ruin your private training business if the client decides to file a lawsuit. Consider some kind of protection such as a responsibility waiver or general liability insurance to cover you financially in case of an accident.

8 – Fitness App

Everybody has a mobile phone, which means your clients can carry their workouts anywhere they go. Why not give them this opportunity with a workout app?. Not only can you give your existing clients more value, but you can scale your business further by gaining personal training clients from all around the globe.

With a fitness app, you can provide many services at once. Incorporate subscription-based access to exclusive online training sessions, challenges, workshops, or personalized meal plans. You can even use it to sell products such as e-books, sports clothing, accessories, or training equipment.

Pro Tip

Creating a good app for your fitness business can be quite challenging. There are many factors going into it, from market and competitor research to prototyping and building (coding). So, if you want to make your life easier, you might want to turn to a pro for some help.

If you don’t want to pay $100+ an hour for an app developer, get System2!

Scale Your Fitness Business With System2

System2 is the first white-glove agency that will help you grow your business so you can start making more money as a personal trainer. With the help of experts in the fitness and tech industry, you can step up your game and grow your reach.

Here’s what you’ll get:

Branded App & Website

We’ll hook you up with a custom branded website and a fitness app, available for Watch, iOS, and Android devices.

Administration Platform

With System2, you get client onboarding and payment handling tools to make your administrative tasks easier. You also have access to a workout builder and templates so you can save time while still providing tailored plans for your clients.

Help From Experts

You’ll get marketing and business advice as well as a tech roadmap that will help you develop the right strategy to run a successful business.

All with ZERO upfront investment

You can get started today without making an initial investment. Our all-in-one platform will provide the support you need to scale your online personal trainer business so you can focus on what matters – your clients.

Get in touch today!

Written by: Brenda Hernandez



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