Personal training as a profession has risen significantly in popularity over the last decade. If successful, the career can potentially allow trainers to be their own boss, have uncapped income, flexible working times and more. Not that any of the above comes over night, the popularity of the industry has led to an over saturation of PTs in many locations, increasing the pressure to make a name for yourself. But what is the best path to take in order to achieve success? There are several different options for structuring a career as a PT, including working within an established gym, opening your own studio, offering a mobile service for clients, online virtual training or outdoor training. Many of these career paths do not have to be mutually exclusive, a successful PT will likely need to branch in to more than one avenue, particularly when it comes to the world of social media and online services.

Today, having a strong online presence is crucial in so many industries and personal training is certainly one of those. As a personal trainer there is the potential to make the business solely online, however this is usually an option later in the career for those who have already made a name for themselves in the industry and have gradually built an online following. Take Joe Wicks for example. The immensely successful Body Coach started his career as a personal trainer and started to gain an online presence in 2014 by posting exercise videos and nutritional advice on YouTube and social media. Fast forward 6 years and he has sold a gazillion books, helped hundreds of thousands of people lose weight via his Body Coach fitness plans, has his own range of kitchenware and amassed 2.2 million followers on YouTube. And we expect he has quite a nice house to show for it too.

A common starting place for PTs to work is within an established gym in order to gain a decent sized client base. Large multi-site gyms tend to have their own personal training teams whereas independent gyms will often allow PT’s to train clients in exchange for a per session fee or monthly rent amount. A large commercial gym should have plenty of quality equipment ready, there isn’t the worry of outgoing costs, and above all there is an audience of gym members ready to utilise a PT’s expertise. Working as part of an in-house team may have its drawbacks though, such as time restrictions on schedules, controlled income and unsocial working hours. Also, many commercial gyms require their trainers to put in additional hours being on reception, cleaning equipment or answering the phone. However, particularly at the start of this career, gaining clients will be the priority and this route is a great place to start building that base.

Gym goers are not the only clientele available for PT’s to reach – there are a vast amount of people who are keen to work out but would prefer not to do so at a gym. In today’s hectic world, offering clients an option to go travel to their home is appealing. This allows the client to work out in the comfort of their own home or perhaps a mutually convenient location like the local park. Going solo and offering mobile training gives PTs the freedom that working for a commercial gym does not. They can be in control of their own rates, hours and schedule. However, the initial expenses need to be considered, a range of good quality equipment that is easy to transport is essential. PTs also need to be confident in their ability to attract and retain clients, there is no guarantee of income which can be a daunting prospect when going freelance.

Having your own studio offers an ideal blend of your own freedom alongside being able to offer a variety of good quality facilities for clients to use. With the increase in popularity of home gyms in general, for a PT to have their own studio is ideal for many in the profession. Being your own boss allows PTs to charge what they would like for their services and, if they have a good client base, earn far more than they might at a commercial gym whilst choosing the hours to suit them. There is also the option to grow the business, eventually hiring other trainers for example. There are obviously the initial outgoing costs and sourcing a suitable space. Many choose to convert an existing home space into a studio, whereas others may look for a small industrial unit away from home. Either way there is then the expense of the equipment to consider, plus monthly bills including electricity and insurance payments. Thorough planning and budgeting are essential to ensure the business is going to be sustainable. Hard work and hours are needed to maintain the existing client base plus attracting new clients and hours of the week will need to be dedicated to marketing and advertising.

Coronavirus has shifted the way so many industries operate, and personal training was no exception. Many gyms and consequently trainers that either utilised or worked for them suffered financially. In our previous blog we have spoken about the current situation for the industry and its future. Coronavirus has forced many PTs to focus on offering online services. Many personal trainers who worked for the larger chain gyms will sadly have seen their income and schedules change for the worse as many gyms have either been forced to close or dramatically reduce the number of clients, they can allow in at one time. As the country slowly returns to a new normal, those PTs who can offer a socially distant safe way of exercising will benefit the most. Being able to resume training in the local park or being able to socially distance from a client in your own studio is the most convenient in these times.

Here at CardioKit we recently supplied PT Kelly Townley a refurbished treadmill for her gym based in Woodbridge. After a career in the haulage industry, Kelly decided on a change and became a PT. Like so many others she has had to adapt to the new way of training but has maintained a positive outlook on the situation –

Kelly Townley Fitness, Clopton, Woodbridge

“I decided throughout lockdown to start up on my own in a gym to help the people that are anxious and nervous about going into a big gym, people that want to exercise or have personal training alone can now do so. Also, with Covid, it has helped people that are nervous in groups of people or do not want to be part of the bigger industry. So far it has proved a success and people are loving the gym and the equipment. The clients love the gym having that personal feel rather than just another number. I’m loving it.”

We are still operating business as usual here at CardioKit whilst ensuring our customers safety. Give us a call to see how we can help with your fitness equipment needs.