Is personal training too saturated?


Is there any point in paying for qualifications and getting certified to be a personal trainer anymore?

Isn’t personal training too saturated already? What’s the personal training job outlook look like right now? And is it a good time to start a career in fitness?

Well don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. In this article, I’m going to explain why it will never matter how many trainers there are in a gym, and how you can always make an impact and get all the clients you need.

Sound good?

Let’s go…

Is Personal Training Still Too Saturated

The personal training job outlook is exceptionally strong, in fact, the personal training industry is growing year on year. There are more and more people requiring the assistance of a personal trainer, so people new to the industry should have no concerns over a lack of client availability.

Competition has always been an issue with personal training. Gyms know that if they can get twenty trainers paying them £800 a month to use their facilities, they are going to make a ton of cash, and there’s always ten people waiting to replace each trainer that moves on, so there’s no worry for them about not having replacement PTs if one leaves.

There’s nothing new about this at all, it’s always been the case, but is it worse now, and is personal training over saturated?

The good news is, I really don’t think so, and the personal trainer job outlook looks really strong at the moment. The even better news is, not only do I think a gym full of personal trainers isn’t a bad thing, I think it might actually help you pick up clients.

Let me explain how.

If there’s lots of trainers, there’s lots of clients

Lots of trainers means lots of clients

Would you eat in an empty restaurant?

No?

Why not?

Because if there’s no one in the restaurant it’s because the food sucks, right?

You should be very wary of any box gym that has a lot of members, but hardly any trainers, because almost certainly means that there’s no business there, no clients, no money no nothing. Don’t even give these places a second thought, find somewhere better, immediately!

Much as I can totally see that you would probably prefer to work in a gym with a few thousand members and ten trainers, this just doesn’t happen. You’ll usually see at least 20 or so PTs in a busy city box gym where there’s decent business to be had.

Instead of looking at all the other trainers as unbeatable competition, you should realise that the gym wouldn’t keep hiring trainers if there weren’t enough potential clients available to keep them all in business. Everyone would just leave in the first few weeks if they found no one wanted training.

The gyms make a crazy amount of money from the rent their PTs make, so it’s not in their interest to hire so many trainers that they are all fighting over the very few members that are looking for training.

If there are lots of trainers, it’s because there’s lots of clients, you’ve just gotta go out and find them.

Not every other trainer is actually your competition

not every trainer is your competition

Something that may be concerning you about the personal trainer job outlook, is the amount of competition you are up against.

If there’s one thing that I can say that will make you less nervous about working in a gym full of other trainers, it’s that everyone is different. You might have gone on similar courses, read similar books, or watched the same YouTube channels, but your own style and personality are what sets you apart from the rest of the trainers in a gym.

My style was very different from a lot of the guys and girls I worked with, they had their own beliefs and training preferences that worked for them but they weren’t styles I was interested in. The clients are the same, there might be tons of clients in a gym that love the idea of a CrossFit style workout, but others hate it.

The CrossFit guys seek out the trainers that train in that style, and others that prefer a more traditional method (like I taught) would come and find me.

So, let’s say there are 20 trainers in a gym, but 6 of them train in a CrossFit style, two are running coaches, three are strength coaches, and the rest are traditional trainers. When you look at your “competition” this way, there are only actually 9 people out of 20 you are competing with.

There’s no other trainer like you

you are a unique snowflake

You’re a precious snowflake in the world of personal training my friend, no one is quite like you. There may be people that are similar, but no one is exactly like you!

I’m not talking about training styles this time, now I’m talking about what makes you, you.

Your personality is what can make you a hugely successful trainer even if you’re not very good, (I’m just being painfully honest here). I really mean this, I’ve met some trainers who had full diaries from Monday to Friday each and every week that really wasn’t very good.

They did the same exercises with all their clients, didn’t write anything down, basically, they did everything I teach budding coaches not to do on this site. Thing is, it didn’t matter because it was the personality of the trainer that kept the clients coming back for more each week.

This is what sets you apart from all the rest. Even if there are a thousand trainers in a gym, no one has your sense of humor, your diligence, your confidence, and all the other parts of your personality that make you the great person you are.

Taking this information into account, there really is no competition at all!

There’s a lot of not very good trainers out there

man not paying attention whilst his friend struggles with weights

PT certs are getting more and more affordable over the years. A good few years back you couldn’t get qualified for anything less than £1000, now though, you can pay £400-500 for a course you can complete over a weekend that lands you with a certificate saying you know how to train people.

You know what this means? ​

It means there’s a whole bunch of pretty crappy trainers you’re competing with out there. The even better news is that the members of the gym can smell the trainers that qualified last weekend a mile away. They don’t know what they are doing with their businesses, they aren’t great trainers and they almost certainly don’t know how to sell.

I’m not trying to put these guys down, I actually feel pretty sorry for them, they used their own money to buy into a hope that they could run a successful, profitable business on information they learnt in a few hours because it was sold to them this way.

In the long run, I really wouldn’t see these guys as competition. The PT industry has one of the highest turnover rates out there, and the abundance of drastically unprepared trainers is probably one of the main causes.

You’re not limited to only training people in a gym

Ok, so writing this point is going to make me feel terribly old.

Sigh.

Here we go,

Back in my day, the idea of online training was brand new, no one trusted it and there wasn’t anyone I had heard of that was making any decent money from it. A few people were dabbling in it with training two or three people, but it was mostly just emailing programs and some diet info, nothing like today’s online training world.

The point is, back then, if you were worried about the competition in your gym, there wasn’t much you could do about it, apart from maybe trying to find a few clients to train outside the club you worked in. Nine times out of ten that ended being more hassle than it was worth.

With online personal training becoming more and more popular and trusted, you’ve got more opportunities than ever to make your PT career successful. If you think that there are too many trainers in your local gyms, or if you think the industry as a whole is saturated (it isn’t by the way), then you can break your business into two halves, one half being face to face training and the other working with online clients.

With this in mind, even if the answer to the question “Is personal training over saturated” was a yes, it would only relate to training people on a 1-2-1 basis, being an online PT will give you more than enough clients all over the world.

If you look through this site, you’ll also see tons of other ways to increase your salary and increase your business potential as a trainer, so you have no need to worry.

More people than ever are dangerously unfit

more people than ever are dangerously overweight

This is a delicate subject because, on one hand, I am saying that it’s obviously terrible that more and more people are now considered morbidly obese, type 2 diabetic and in danger of premature death due to inactivity, but on the other hand, it does mean that there are more people out there than ever that don’t just want the help of a trainer, they desperately need it!

In the last thirty or so years, diets have drastically changed for the worse, which means you are going to have a constant stream of new gym members that are seriously determined to get their lives back on track and start losing the weight they have gained.

These clients are (in my opinion) the best you can train because you can really see the difference you are making in their lives by helping them lose weight.

Admittedly, pretty much every trainer in the world can train people how to lose weight, but the sheer number of people needing that assistance outweighs (pardon the pun) the competition.

Personal training is becoming “normal”

having a personal trainer is now normal

Gone are the days when personal training was only for movie stars and rich housewives.

Personal training is becoming more and more understood as a legitimate way to get results much faster in a gym.

People now understand that by hiring a coach, they are actually getting more out of the gym membership, because they are more likely to actually go in the first place if they have a training session booked in, and they will know how to use and be confident with a lot more of the equipment than if they were going at it alone.

I’m not in any way saying that personal training is now affordable for most people, (it just isn’t, let’s be honest) but it’s that more people have understood the benefits, it has become normalized, more accessible, and is less elitist than it was twenty or so years ago.

This is why even if you are competing against another twenty trainers in a gym, there are probably so many people in your area that want a trainer, you really shouldn’t have much trouble collecting enough clients to build up a pretty decent business.

Conclusion

I really hope this article has answered the question “Is personal training over saturated?”. It’s always been a busy and competitive occupation, but that’s just the nature of the role.

Things have changed over the last decade or so, there’s no doubt about that at all, but if we are asking if it’s harder these days than in the past to be able to build and maintain a strong client base as a personal trainer, I’d say it’s actually easier than ever, which is what (in my opinion) makes the personal trainer job outlook stronger than ever..

If you’re considering starting a career in personal training but are worried about what competition you’ll be up against, I don’t think you need to worry. Just make sure you read every article on this site to make when you start your business you really kick ass! 🙂

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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