3-ways to make more money as a Personal Trainer
90% of personal trainers quit within 12-months of getting certified. In my book, How to Become A Successful Personal Trainer, I interviewed district managers & club managers from Equinox, Lifetime Fitness, Crunch & 24-hours and sadly learned that this statistic is true. Why is that? The personal training industry sets you up for failure by misleading aspiring trainers in believing that certifications are the route for success, when in fact, they are the reason why trainers fail. At Show Up Fitness, our internship program (online, in-person & weekend seminars) provides trainers with a community of successful trainers, mentors, professors, registered dietitians, strength coaches and physical therapists. In today's article, I will show you 3-ways to make more money as a personal trainer.
In 2022, the current process to become a personal trainer is to get your CPR/AED, choose an NCCA accredited certification like NASM, ACE, ISSA, NSCA, ACSM, and then take a 100-200 multiple choice question exam to consider yourself a qualified personal trainer. Once certified, they have yet to train another person, they've never had a program critiqued or reviewed and have NO IDEA HOW TO GROW A BOOK OF BUSINESS. Due to the infamous “IMPOSTURE SYNDROME” the trainer then chases more certifications, specializations or even worse, hires a business coach for $5,000-10,000 on information that should be taught in the process of becoming a personal trainer! DON'T GET MORE CERTS OR FALL FOR ADVERTISEMENTS LIKE THIS FROM THE ISSA&
In 2019, Equinox had a little over 3,600 trainers. During Covid-19, those numbers diminished to less than 1,400 (more than 66% of trainers were laid off or forced to quit because they couldn't survive during the pandemic.) I recently interviewed one of our graduates at Equinox in Santa Monica, she reported that 11-trainers have quit within her 4-months of being hired, yet she is thriving with a full-book of business. The current personal training market doesn't teach trainers how to grow a business by developing streams of revenue. At Show Up Fitness, we challenge trainers to develop as many streams of revenue as possible. If you want to become a successful personal trainer, you need to have a thorough understanding of anatomy, programming, nutrition, and the assessment (watch this video by Jimmy Dabney, Show Up Fitness trainer in Santa Monica on how to do an assessment.)
Here are 3-ways to make more money as a personal trainer
1- Nutritional Consultations. I BEG trainers not to discuss nutrition during PT sessions. The only advice your clients should get is to drink more water, eat more protein and fruits & vegetables. After one month of being consistent by SHOWING UP at least 3x per week, the client has earned the right to do a nutritional consultation- this is a paid service. Trainers are not dietitians, and we need to provide guidance within our scope of practice (not like influencer Brittany Dawn from Texas who is being sued for illegal nutritional advice.) If your clients are training M/W/F at 8am, you can either, A- have them come in 30-minutes early or stay 30-minutes late for the consultation or, B- schedule another day & time to review the Body Mass Equation.
During these nutritional consultations, trainers should be able to write out calorie calculations (don't use online calculators because they're using higher multipliers than needed) and ask great questions. At Show Up Fitness we charge $150 per nutritional consultation (unless it's with me, which is $250 per session, and we will do the consultation at a high-end restaurant while I drink $40 glasses of bourbon.) If your client can't afford the monthly consultation rate, offer group zoom classes for $25-50 and hold them weekly. You can grant clients access to their first class for free IF THEY POST IN THEIR STORY or bring a friend. You could even offer a premium service and do monthly dinners at your clients houses. Everyone could bring their favorite dish and wine while you talk about common nutrition misconceptions i.e. carbs are unhealthy, eating past 7pm is bad, and sugar is addictive. If you had 10-clients and REQUIRED them to do 1-nutritional consultation per month (group or individual) that would be an extra $5,000-15,000 per year (6-clients doing $25 group sessions, 4-clients doing $100 per month = $550 per month x 12 = $6,600)
2- Monthly accountability texts / voice messages / videos. Trainers take the unwritten oath of when we work- early in the morning and late in the evening. I challenge you to wake up 30-minutes before your normal alarm clock (3:30 – 4:30am) and send out messages to your clients to help establish positive morning routines. If you don't see the value in this service, you have never had an accountability partner or coach. Text your clients daily a 5-10-minute routine that they can do, and YOU post it and tag them in your story. Your followers will see you consistently tagging OTHER people and it'll pique their interest. The more creative you are, the more successful you will become. Each week you could focus on a different goal i.e. breathing, affirmations, writing, mobility, stretching, cardio, endurance, strength etc. Watch the video below to see how easy it would be to generate an additional $3,000 – $5,000 per year by offering this monthly service (If you had 10-clients and each one was subscribed this monthly texting service 10 x 25 = $250 per month, $3,000 per year.)
3- GET PAID TO WORKOUT! SAY WHAT???? I made $10,000 in 2021 by working out with my clients. I have a hectic schedule and very ambitious goals. I want to change the fitness industry and that requires 80+ hour work weeks. I don't have the time to train clients 1-1 (even at my hourly rate of $250, I don't see the value in making a few extra thousand dollars when I could be helping more trainers become successful.) The three things that I never compromise: 1- daily workouts, 2- whiskey, 3- Gonzaga basketball. So, I thought, why don't I have my clients drive to the nearest Equinox and workout WITH ME? I gave it a try and it worked beautifully. If I was doing a push day, I could tailor it for my clients' goals. Typically, I do straight sets for example 4×6 bench press with 3-5 minutes of rest. Instead, I would do bench press x6, into chin-ups, into a 30-second sprint on the treadmill. Rest 60-seconds, add weight and repeat for 3-4 rounds. I would then move into dumbbells i.e. Dumbbell incline 3×10, into curls, into Ski Erg 15 seconds. Rest 60-seconds rinse and repeat. Lastly, I would do dips into push-ups and broad jumps. The workout would be 60-minutes. The client would get to workout with a Hunk and afterword's we'd go into the steam room and talk about life. If you have 10-clients and each one came in on the weekend to workout with you for $25-50 OR BRING A FRIEND for free, you could have one session on Saturday and another on Sunday (remember this is a discount to your normal hourly rates of $75-125 so they will jump at the sale!) That would be an extra $125-250 per day, $250-500 per weekend, $1,000 -2,000 per month. $12,000-24,000 per year.
The average personal trainer would be intimidated implementing these three strategies with their personal training clients. The average personal trainer also chases certifications. In my book, I talk about the tenets of successful personal trainers, HELP NICK. Focusing on the fundamentals of movement, anatomy, programming, and the assessment to help build your confidence. If you want to become a successful personal trainer, SHOW UP FITNESS has online classes (daily LIVE zoom which are recorded), weekend seminars (Philadelphia, New York City, Orlando, Austin, Oakland, and soon to be international) and 2-month internships focusing on hands-on learning, programming and assessments in Austin Texas, San Diego & Los Angeles. Send us an email to schedule your call to see what option is best for you. email@example.com