How Many Clients Do Personal Trainers Have?

If you’ve been doing your research, you will hear a bunch of different numbers thrown around in regards to how many clients the average personal trainer has. Numbers anywhere between 10 to 20 and in some cases 30 and up, but what’s the actual average? How many clients does the average personal trainer actually have?

Well, the good news is, we can look at the statistics and find an actual number for you so that you can know where you stand in terms of the national average.

Sound good?

Let’s go…

The average number of clients personal trainers have is 20-25 when employed by a gym or fitness facility, self-employed trainers average around 15-20 clients and online personal trainers 50-80 clients. The method of training used plays a large part in the number of clients required.

Whether working for yourself or for a company you will want to know the average number of clients personal trainers see on a daily basis so you can work out what you should be aiming for.

I’ve got your back, so I’ve done some sleuthing and found the most common number of daily sessions personal trainers complete.

Because of where I gathered the data, I can assure you there is a good cross-section of areas, some richer, some poorer, and certainly not all in the big cities, so we have a fairly good representation of personal trainers as a whole across a country.

As a result of this, I think most people reading this would be able to use the numbers I provide below as a good approximation of the average number of sessions conducted per day by the profession, not just a single country.

How many clients do personal trainers have

Average number of daily sessions conducted by personal trainers


Looks like the ladies work a little harder on average than the fellas out there, but what’s 0.78 between friends eh?

After working in the industry for years, I can say this is about where I would expect the numbers to be. Of course, there will always be exceptions to the rules, but that’s why we use averages.

There will be people in your club that are performing 10 sessions a day, some will be performing 3, everyone’s different and some people don’t want to be crazily busy, so working slightly fewer hours than average works well for them.

Going by memory, I used to complete around 25-27 sessions per week, which would put me at around 5 sessions (roughly 20 a week) which seems to fit with these figures.

How many clients does the average personal trainer have?

Looking at the numbers I gave above, if on average trainers complete 5 or so sessions a day, that must equate to 25 clients?

Well, the good news is, you might not even need that many clients to bring your session rate up to average.

Granted, a lot of people you train will only be able to afford or have time for one session a week with you, but there will be plenty of people willing to train twice or maybe even three times a week.

These guys are like gold dust, so grab them when you can, or better yet, give your current “once a weekers” some incentive by reducing the session rate if they train with you more often each week.

Let’s say you have 20 clients, 5 of them training three times per week, 6 of them training twice a week, and the rest training only once, this gives you 36 sessions a week.

Is it better to have more clients than other trainers?

No, straight and simple answer for you there.

I fell into this trap when I first began training people. It’s so easy to get caught up in the competition in the personal trainer’s lounge when you are discussing how many clients you have, I always thought more was better.

In fact, I had a drawer with all my client’s program cards in them (back in the days when people used paper for things), and I loved the fact that I had a drawer full of my client’s folders, the more folders, the more successful I was, at least, that’s how I thought of it.

The reality is, you want to work smarter, not harder, so instead of trying to gain lots of clients who only train with you once each week, it’s much better to aim for around 20 to 25 clients as a maximum and have them train with you multiple times per week.

Having tons of individual clients may do wonders for your ego, but the progress these guys will make with you will be minimal. Try and persuade as many of your current clients to train with you three times a week, and if that’s not possible, the minimum should be twice.

You’re going to come up against some resistance, but if you slightly reduce the session cost if they train more than once, I am sure you’ll get more takers.

Benefits of having fewer clients

  • Easier to build rapport
  • Clients will make better progress
  • More oppertunity for referrals/testimonials
  • Less work for yourself

Easier to build rapport

Building rapport with your clients is one of the best ways of increasing your client retention. Having your clients train with someone they both like and trust is going to make them much more likely to want to train with you in the future.

It’s not just about the finances though, having good rapport also makes your sessions fun. I used to genuinely look forward to training my clients because of the friendship we developed over the years, and I’m still in contact with a lot of them despite having not trained them for years.

Seeing someone for only an hour each week is not going to give you much time to learn a great deal about them, or they you. So, having fewer sessions and seeing the clients you do have more than once per week will make it much easier to establish a bond between you both.

Clients will make better progress

In much the same way that you can’t build rapport in an hour a week, your client will also struggle to make any real progress with thier fitness goals if they are only seeing you once.

By having a client train with you twice or three times per week, you are making them workout far harder than they would themselves for at least 2 or three hours, making it far more likely that they will achieve far greater results than if they were to only see you for an hour each week.

Being able to split the routine into either two or three individual workouts will also allow you to become more focussed in the programs you create.

For example, with a client training twice per week, you could split the routines into upper and lower body workouts, allowing you to dedicate more time to the muscles involved, and increasing the liklihood of decent progress being made.

This system works for both muscle buiding and weight loss routines, with weight loss, training two to three times a week allows greater muscle mass to be added and for weight loss, more calories burned throughout each week, increasing the liklihood of weight loss.

More oppertunities for referrals/testimonials

As a direct result of being able to build a greater degree of rapport with your clients, the possibility of getting five star review testimonials and referrals from them increases hugely.

If you can help your clients to get some fantastic results, they’re much more likely to want to tell all their friends, family and co-workers about what a great PT you are.

Very few people will see substantial results when they train only once per week with a trainer, and the majority of what they do see, will have probably come from taining consistently on their own and following basic nutrition advice. This would make them feel that even though you assisted them to get in shape, they did a lot of the work themselves, which is why your chances of getting referrals is lessened.

Less work for yourself

I’m not a lazy man, I’m honestly not, but I can tell you from experience that if I could choose to deal with 20 clients that I saw twice a week or 40 clients I saw once a week, my choice would certainly be the first.

For every client you have, you’ll need to be writing training programs, helping with thier training outside of your sessions, giving nutrition tips, answering questions and dealing with the associated admin.

The fact is, having less clients is easier, you’ll be able to remember what weights they’re working with, you’ll know what times they come in and you’ll know when they need to renew their training packages (if you haven’t got them on direct debit sessions).

On the side of money, you also know that you can depend on the income these clients provide. People that train only once per week are really not always that dedicated, whereas people who commit both financially and with thier time are far more likely to stick around for the long term.

Knowing that there is money coming in that you can count on is also a great stress reliever and makes sorting out your finance spreadsheets much easier.

So how much could you be earning?

This was always going to be the next question, so I prepared for it to come by doing a little more sleuthing (I’m getting good at sleuthing now, and it’s a fun word to say).

It was a little more tricky this time as the amount that you can charge per session varies massively depending on what location you are working in.

In the cities, you can charge double and sometimes triple what you can reasonably ask for in the city, which is why I have split the results up this time to make it more applicable for your particular area.

To make things a little more useful, I have taken the average rate of standard sessions, what I mean by this is I have excluded specialized training sessions which command a higher rate and have instead opted for the costs of a standard 1hour long 1-2-1 training session with a level 3 qualified coach.

Average costs of 1hr personal training session by location in the UK

Large Towns (average)£35
Small Towns (average)£25
Suburbs (average)£35
Rural Areas (average)£17.50

As you can see from the chart above, where you base yourself as a trainer massively dictates how much income you can expect. Working in larger cities gives you the opportunity to charge a lot more on an hourly basis, however, competition will be steep and gym rents will also take away a huge chunk of your profits, whereas further from the city you may be able to charge less, but there will be half the competition and the gym rent becomes incredibly cheap.

It’s really up to you to decide where you want to work as a trainer, you may find that working out in the suburbs may actually end up being more profitable for you, or if you are living right out in the further points of the countryside, it might be worthwhile moving a little closer to a city to increase your profit potential.

That’s one of the many great things about working as a personal trainer and being your won boss, you can decide everything about how your business runs, including of course, where it’s based.

Now, for a bit of fun, let’s add those two charts together so we can see the earning potential for trainers in different parts of the country.

To make the chart a little less busy and because the difference between the number of sessions male and female trainers provide each week was so little, I have added them together and divided them by two to give us the average number of sessions provided for male and female combined.

The monthly and yearly earning potentials have been found by adding the average number of daily sessions multiplied by the average number of working days in each month (20) and then multiplied again by 12 to find our yearly earning potential.

Average earning potential of personal trainers across the UK

LocationAverage 1hr Session CostMonthly Earning potentialYearly Earning Potential
Large Towns (Av)£35£3,850£46,200
Small Towns (Av)£25£2,750£33,000
Suburbs (Av)£35£3,850£46,200
Rural Areas (AV)£17.50£1,925£23,100

Hang on though, something’s not right

From looking at the results above you would think that pretty much every personal trainer is bordering on being rich, but I’ve also said that roughly 90% of personal trainers quit within the first year of starting, if everyone’s making tons of cash, why are so many people quitting?

The results are biased, the people posting on social media and in forums are usually the successful personal trainers that are delivering a lot of sessions each week and happy to let others know how well they are doing. The results you see above are from what I would consider being statistics from highly successful personal trainers, which are also unfortunately the type of stats the training companies themselves would state.

So what are the real averages?

Ok, so if there are no real stats online, I will have to use my knowledge of the industry and trainers I’ve worked with to bring you a more realistic idea of how often do personal trainers work with their clients.

Getting even twenty clients to train with you each week is difficult, so realistically, I would say the number of weekly sessions for most trainers, especially in their first year would be more around the 12 to16 sessions per week mark.

Using 16 sessions per week would give us around 3 sessions completed each day. I can tell you from experience that for most trainers, this number is far more realistic. Let’s take 3 sessions per day and see if we can have a more realistic idea of potential earnings across the country.

LocationAverage 1hr session CostMonthly Earning PotentialYearly Earning Potential
London £55£3,300£39,600
Bristol £40£2,400£28,800
Large Towns (Av)£35£2,100£25,200
Small Towns (Av)£25£1,500£18,000
Suburbs (Av)£35£2,100£25,200
Rural Areas (Av)£17.50£1,050£12,600

Speaking from experience, I can assure you that the numbers you see above will be far more achievable and realistic. You’ll always make more money in the cities, there’s nothing new there, but remember that the fees will also be a lot steeper, so remember to take that into account when deciding to work.

To give you an idea, the average rent I was paying when working in the middle of London was £700 per month, so you need to take off £8,400 from that lovely looking £39,600 per year, bringing us to £31,200. Still not a bad income for a personal trainer, but not quite as impressive as it first looked.

Warning! Check out the Personal trainer-to-client ratio!

Everything we have discussed so far is based on averages, but this is assuming that the gyms you will be working in are keeping things fair.

Remember, commercial gyms make a lot of money from allowing personal trainers to rent their property. In the middle of London, you could be asked to pay £800 a month to work as a trainer in one of the bigger gyms. So, you can see the appeal of gyms hiring a bunch of PTs so they can rely on a big chunk of cash from them each month.

Most gyms will do this responsibly by hiring one trainer for every one or two hundred members, this gives trainers enough chance to find a decent client base to work with without cramming the gym full of PTs with not enough members to train.

Something to consider when looking for work in a gym as a trainer is a trainer-to-client ratio. Ask the manager how many PTs they currently have hired and how many members they have signed up for the gym. Deduct about 40-50% of that total amount to take into account the huge number of members who sign up, but never actually end up going to the gym, then divide by the number of trainers working there.

If the number comes to anything less than 200 members per personal trainer, I would seriously consider looking elsewhere, you will never reach the income we have discussed above with those numbers.


I hope that today I’ve shown you a more realistic view of how many sessions per day most personal trainers are actually completing rather than inflated numbers from the marketing department from course providers.

In your first year or so, strive for as many sessions per day as you can comfortably manage, but if you aren’t regularly completing 5 or 6 sessions per day, don’t beat yourself up about it, most trainers across the country and doing the same number as you, just keep pushing to find and retain clients so that you can start making those big bucks!

Go get ’em!

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Chris Walker

Chris Walker worked in the City of London as a fully qualified REP's level three personal trainer for just under ten years. He built and maintained a client base of 40 individuals and worked with several high profile clients, including actors, actresses, comedians and politicians.

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