Whilst you may be familiar with the more obvious ways of making money as a personal trainer (selling and completing personal training sessions etc), you may not know that there are a ton of ways that you can increase the amount of money you make, as well as making additional money on the side.
In this article, I will be explaining the top ways that I increased my income as a PT by £2K per month, whilst working full-time in the City of London. The methods I use are not only effective, but they are also incredibly easy to implement.
Here’s a sneak peek of what we’ll be covering in this article
- Research the top tier prices you can ask for in your area
- Use group personal training to maximize your income potential
- Become qualified in sports massage
- Add extras to your training packages
It’s important to note that the money-making tips I list in this article have been tried and tested for over a decade, I will only be listing the ways personal trainers can make money that actually works, so you know they are worth trying, so keep reading!
How to make money as a personal trainer
- Get more clients
- Retain the clients you have
- Ask people to train more often
- Find out the maximum you can charge per session for your area
- Fill the small gaps in your diary
- Add extras to your training packages
- Take your training online
- Try group personal training
- Sell training programs
- Become a personal training manager
- Become a course instructor
- Go freelance
- Get certified in sports massage
- Teach group fitness classes
Get more clients
Please forgive me for starting with the obvious, but this sometimes needs to be pointed out. If you currently have 20 clients a week, it means there is a lot of time free in your schedule where you could be training more clients.
It may mean working longer days, and you may be a little more tired, but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do in order to make more money. I took great pride in making sure my diary was as full as possible each week, and if I had a gap in my diary, I would make sure I was in the gym walking the floor, and talking to people at that time to see if I could pick up any new clients to fill it up.
I know some people may advise against working longer hours, but the fact is, if you want to make money, you’ve got to be training people, and that sometimes means working longer hours. Granted, later in your career, you may be open to more options that allow you to decrease your hours whilst increasing your overall salary, but if (for example) you currently have 20 sessions each week, aim for 25, it’s an immediate increase in income.
Retain the clients you have
Having to constantly replace lost clients is a massive drain on your time as a trainer, your time which should be filled with training your clients, not having to floor walk to fill the new gaps in your diary.
Some client loss is inevitable, but if you are seeing a large number of your clients leaving after only a few weeks or months of training, you should really start to investigate methods of client retention to keep them training with you for as long as possible.
If you cannot retain your clients, you will be forever playing “catchup” to try to maintain your client base, which leaves no time for expansion. This is one of the main reasons personal trainers cannot fill their diaries and reap the full income they could be generating.
Several of the ideas in this article will help you to increase your client retention, so keep a lookout for them.
Ask people to train more often
This is so simple it’s ridiculous, but it’s also ridiculous that I hadn’t thought of it until a good year or so into my career (my bad, but you can learn from my mistakes).
If you have clients that have been training with you for several months, it’s fairly safe to say that they enjoy your sessions and are happy to keep paying for them. The easiest and fastest way you can increase your income is to simply ask your existing clients to train with you more often.
Let’s take a look at a quick example:
You have currently 20 sessions consistently booked each week, let’s save that out of all your clients, five of them only train once per week. If you manage to convince three of those five to move up to twice per week instead of once, with a session rate of £50 in London, you would have increased your monthly income by £600 per month and £7,200 per year!!
It’s one of those situations where you may think your client only wants to train once per week because that’s what they said when you first picked them up, but remember, they may not have understood the benefits back then. Once people start to see results and feel change in their bodies, they will be much more willing to sacrifice a little more money and time to gain even greater results.
Find out the maximum you can charge per session for your area
If you’re in a new club in a new area, you may have to start off charging the average going rate of the location you are in. For example, if you were to train people in the suburbs of the UK, you might be looking at a top price of £30 per hour, whereas in London, you’d be looking more at around £50-60 per hour.
These are, however, the average rates that PTs charge, there’s nothing to stop you from doing a little research to see what some of the higher-priced PTs are charging. Not only should you find out what they are charging on an hourly basis, but dig in a little deeper and find out how they are doing it.
Are they more qualified than you? Do they offer additional services? Are they more experienced, or did they simply have the fortitude to decide their services should be priced at a higher rate?
You’d be pretty upset with yourself if you worked for several years charging the average rate for your sessions, only to find out that you could have, in fact, been charging people considerably more for the exact same amount of work on your behalf!
Fill the small gaps in your diary
Previously I suggested you get more clients to fill gaps in your diary, this tip is a little different, because now I am talking about filling the tiny gaps in your diary.
Before I carry on with this tip, I want to make it clear whilst I want you to be making as much money as possible (it’s what this whole site is about after all), I still recommend you allocate yourself at least two rest breaks and one lunch break per day, just like you would get in most office jobs.
The reason for this is that you don’t want to burn yourself out too quickly, or you’ll end up being one of the 90% of trainers that quit the industry each year.
With that being said, it’s time to look at your diary and find any small gaps you have that you can fill. Look for half-hour time slots spread out throughout your week, you’ll be surprised how many of them you will find, and it’s the perfect time to fit in 30-minute training sessions.
30-minute sessions are not only great because more people will be able to afford them, but on a minute-by-minute basis, you can charge more for them, which makes adding them to your diary a great way of making considerable additional income.
Add extras to your training packages
Take a good look at the training packages you offer to prospects, what do they include? If your packages include nothing other than blocks of sessions at different prices, you’re missing a trick!
For each training package you offer, there are a bunch of additional upsells you could add. For example, with a block of ten sessions, you could add meal plans and extra workouts for an additional cost.
People are paying you for your time as a coach, so anything that increases the amount of time you need to spend on them should be chargeable. These would not have to be huge costs, or it could look a little ridiculous, but asking for an additional £50-100 for these extras on top of a £500 block of ten sessions wouldn’t seem too out of place, and you’ve just made an additional £50-100 by doing only a little extra work.
Take your training online
You only have so many hours in the day that you can be training people on a 1-2-1 basis, but here lies the beauty of the internet.
Whilst you are doing your 1-2-1 sessions during the day, there is nothing to say that you can’t go home and train online personal training clients in the evenings, either by setting up training programs or by recording workout videos to send to them.
Only work the hours you can, but if you get your timings down, you could have several programs written up in half an hour or so, or you could even get them complete on the commute to and from the gym if you use public transport.
The main idea here is to leverage your time in the most efficient manner you can. If you can be getting paid for writing up training programs and having a few phone calls or video calls per month with your online clients whilst training your 1-2-1 clients during the day, it’s a pretty easy way to be bringing in what can sometimes be a substantial amount of income for very little work.
Your average online personal training client will be willing to pay up to £25 per live session, or £50 for a training program with a weekly or monthly video call. With only five online clients that require training programs, you could be looking at a very easy £250 additional pounds per month.
Try group personal training
Group personal training is an absolute money maker, and on top of that, the sessions are really fun to take.
The main appeal for clients to take small group personal training sessions is that they get to have training sessions with their friends, and, because there are several people being trained at once, the session cost is divided between the participants, making it cheaper for all of them.
The way a personal trainer can benefit from this is that you can charge a fair amount more for each group PT session you take, whilst working exactly the same amount of time.
For example, we have our standard London-priced single-hour PT session that costs £50. Now, if we were to train three people instead, we could easily charge £75 per hour, which would still only cost each participant £25 each!
Now you’re making £75 an hour instead of £50, for doing no additional work. The session set-ups will obviously require a different approach, but there are plenty of resources out there to help you learn how to put these sessions together, and as I said, because people are often training with their friends, these sessions usually end up being a lot of fun.
Sell training programs
A great earner of additional income to any personal trainer is to write up training programs for gym members who either can’t afford or don’t feel they need a personal trainer on a 1-2-1 basis but would like some additional help.
You can charge around £40-50 ($50-60), for a training program, and most people will be more than happy to pay for this. Some people may ask if you can walk them through the exercises, which should take you no more than half an hour, tops.
You can set this up as a recurring source of income if you offer people monthly training programs, and again most people will see this as a great deal when compared to the price of full personal training sessions.
It will likely take you about half an hour or so to write up a tailored training program, so it’s not time intensive at all, and again, can be done on the commute to or from the gym, or when you get home in the evenings.
Simply having five people per month set up with monthly training programs will add an additional £250 ($313) in your pocket, for very little work.
Become a personal training manager
Personal training managers are fairly rare these days, but some gyms do still have them, and if the gym you work at is one of these, you have a golden opportunity at your fingertips.
PT managers are usually in charge of taking care of all personal trainers within the gym they work. They are in charge of organizing training and continued development, whilst ensuring all the trainers are completing the required number of sessions per week.
They are paid a fixed salary, whilst still having the option to train their own clients. Whilst you may not have the option of training as many clients as standard PTs, you will have the comfort of a fixed income, whilst being able to charge top tier prices for the sessions you do take, as having the title of PT manager demonstrates your experience and knowledge.
Become a course instructor
A great side-hustle for many PTs is to work as an instructor for personal training certification providers. Courses are usually conducted on weekends, with both classroom and gym floor instruction taking place.
If you feel you could take the lead and instruct a class of the next generation of PTs, you can earn a tidy sum as a course instructor, whilst still keeping most of your week free to train your own clients.
The downside to this is that a lot of your time will be taken up, as most of your week will be filled with training your own clients and attending courses from the training providers and then teaching at the weekends. However, if you feel you have the time to do this, it’s certainly a great option that a lot of people take up.
If you’re working in a gym where you are working on a zero-hours contract, you don’t have the concern over paying rent, however, your income potential is extremely limited. When I worked as an employed trainer, even at a top-tier level, the maximum you could make for a 1-hour session was £20 ($25).
You still had to do all the leg-work of finding your own clients too, so the negatives really did outweigh the positives after a while. That being said, it’s a great way to get into the business with less risk.
If you are currently working as an employed trainer, I recommend moving into becoming self-employed as soon as possible. Only when you are fully in charge of your own business can you make the choices that will directly impact the amount of income you can earn.
For example, you will be able to set your own prices, give discounts, and offer different session lengths to cater to all needs. These are things you simply will not be able to do when you work for someone else.
Working in a gym as a freelance trainer has its benefits (as discussed), however, you will still have to work with some of the rules of the gym still. For example, there may be a cap set on the minimum and maximum prices you can charge, which may limit your options.
The final option is to go truly freelance, where you are entirely in charge of your whole business. This usually centers around training people in their own homes or in parks or other outside spaces. Under these circumstances, you can charge what you want for your sessions, and can even charge more than the standard PT rate for your area, as you will be offering a truly 1-2-1 experience, especially if you are training people in their homes.
Get certified in sports massage
More of a weekend gig usually, but an awesome side-earner nonetheless.
Getting qualified in sports massage will allow you to offer massage services to both your clients and the general public if you hire a space to do so.
A sports massage course will cost you anywhere between £500 and £1000, however, once certified, you can charge £60-70 per session. With only 5 sessions booked on a Saturday and two more after hours during the week, you could be taking home a tidy £1,680 per month, so the course would pay for itself pretty quickly.
Teach group fitness classes
A personal trainer staple this one, teaching group fitness classes alongside taking 1-2-1 personal training sessions are very common in most gym chains.
Taking a morning, lunchtime, or evening spin class a few times a week for example can really boost your income. Some gyms may even offer to reduce the rent you pay in exchange for you taking classes, so whilst this wouldn’t technically be a way of earning money in itself, it would allow you to reduce your overheads, which in turn, would increase your overall income.
Once qualified, you could of course work in any gym as a group fitness instructor, so you could finish up your day in one gym working with your 1-2-1 personal training sessions, then move on to another gym and get paid to teach a Yoga class as a freelancer.
A typical group exercise class would net you anywhere from £17-20 per hour, so with three classes taught per week, you could land yourself an additional £204 ($255) per month!
There may be some pretty stiff competition to teach group ex classes in your gym, but there are usually a lot of classes on the timetable, so if you are interested in teaching groups, it’s a really great way of supplementing your income.
I hope this article has shown you that there is a myriad of ways you can make money as a personal trainer, some of which you can implement within your business model straight away.
Increasing your income isn’t as difficult as you might think, it just takes a little thinking outside the box and not solely relying on selling more sessions (although, as I explained, sometimes this is an overlooked option).
However you choose to decide to make more money as a personal trainer, I wish you the best of luck.
Thank you for reading, and have a great day!
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