How To Really Make Money As A Personal Trainer

Burntech.TV is a fitness technology focussed site, and as a result, the majority of our readers are heavily into fitness. Whether its distance running, crossfit, cycling or strength training, we all have our fitness passions. Many of dream about finding a way to make money from this passion, and this often manifests into the PT space. This is a tough job for many, but below is a quick digest which shows how you can leverage modern technology to really make money as a personal trainer.

The most natural place to start when considering a career in the fitness industry is personal training. Whilst the reality of personal training in the majority of cases is a low paid, long and awkward hours and mediocre working conditioned job. Personal trainers generally have to be willing to pour in a lot of hours at the times when the 9-5ers are not in work, meaning that early mornings and late nights become the norm. As the white collar workers finish their jobs, you’ll be starting – and when the hyper-motivated workers rock up to the gym at 5:30 am, you’ll have to be there, bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to train them.

However, there are ways to make money from this space without succumbing to the PT rat race. Whilst UK PT’s are fighting to earn north of £25-30,000 – even in London – and US trainers are pulling in an average of $52,000 ($25/hour) as of 2010, the folks above them in the food chain are making money. The average Personal Trainer Director is pulling in more like $125,000 in the US, when working in a medium or larger gym and having taken into account his/her OTE (On Target Earnings), the latter largely from multi-tier commission structures involving the PTs below them.

The issue of course with PT Director roles is that there is only one of those for very 20 more more Personal Trainers, making them scarce and thus hard to come by. Many PTs are instead forging out interesting careers through the clever leveraging of online tools in order to build internet reputations. This usually involves carving out a very specific niche. In this world of Instagram case studies, it really is the value of the niche. Trainers focusing on advanced bodybuilding or the extremes of the extreme distance sports are proving to be especially lucrative.

With rosters of online clients, their own websites, extensive social media profiles and seriously active social media accounts, those who build a reputations are quickly capitalising. They’re often selling very specific programmes through these online channels and building up dedicated client bases. Interestingly, this is training without actually training anyone – in the traditional PT sense at least. This is no case of standing next to a bench counting reps or watching a client plod on the treadmill. This is more a case of training programme design, followed by a lot of Skype conversations and regular social media updating (videos, pictures, meal shots etc).

Others are turning to software generation. We now live in a fitness technology age. Fitness clothing can now be bought with sensors which transmit data in real time into sport – and fitness – specific apps. The apps themselves are plentiful, yet many everyday gym-goers have no understand around leveraging them. Therefore, smart trainers are carving out a valuable niche by being forward thinking with the ‘smart’ technology. As a bonus, this combination of hardware and software combines to make workout logging, planning and reporting very simple – yet visually, it looks thorough and complex. App development is now commoditised enough through online networks like UpWork, meaning that you can inexpensively have a bespoke and personally branded tracking app made – which adds value even whilst you’re not training the person directly (very few clients will employ you every session). Having a feature which lets you push workout plan updates through the app to paying customers makes the job of personal training a lot more scalable and thus lucrative.

Finally – if you want to go the whole hog – there is the personal training gym suite option, whereby you open up a private training studio. This is an end-game plan, best saved for when you have an impressive roster of narrowly focussed clients. This lets you open up a space which is totally dedicated to the types of training you teach and preach. If you specialise in Crossfit, then you can open a basement style functional pit. If you’re a bodybuilding focussed trainer you can put in old-school dumbbells and classic machines. This all lets you control the culture of the training environment, from high-spec plush to down and grundy ‘hardcore’.

So all considered, you can make money as a Personal Trainer. Exactly how much and to extensive amounts may require unique ingenuity, but if you nail it with these actions, then you could be looking at a global market place with a high earning opportunity.