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How to make money as a personal trainer in 12 active ways

How to make money as a personal trainer

Personal trainers often embark on their fitness careers driven by a passion for health and a desire to help others hit their wellness goals. However, like any professional, they also need to make a living.

When it comes to making money personal trainers have the unique advantage of providing bespoke services that can command premium prices. By recognizing the value they bring to clients' lives and understanding the business aspects of personal training, trainers can unlock various streams of income that not only sustain their livelihood but also allow them to start a business that can be scaled.

12 ways to make money as a personal trainer

With the fitness industry evolving, personal trainers have plenty of options to monetize their expertise. Here are 12 diverse and innovative ways personal trainers can make money online or offline.

Pro tip: Learn how to start a service business with our guide.

01. 1:1 training sessions

The most traditional method for fitness trainers to make money is to offer one-on-one sessions and provide clients with personalized attention and tailored programs. To maximize the profitability of this fitness business idea, trainers can offer fitness packages or subscriptions, ensuring a steady income stream.

Run by a retired LPGA Professional Golfer, NPC Bikini competitor, certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor, BodyByTrainor offers a number of fitness services (all built around fitness and community), many of them via a subscription plan.

Learn more:

02. Group fitness classes

Group classes can be an efficient way to earn more money as they involve training multiple clients at once. The class itself might cost less than a one-on-one training session but with more participants, there's higher profit potential. Offering a variety of classes can help you cater to different fitness levels and preferences and increase market reach.

Not sure which fitness classes to offer? Here are a few to consider:

  • Spinning or Indoor Cycling: High-energy classes on stationary bikes (cardiovascular training).

  • Zumba: Dance-based workout to upbeat music (cardiovascular training).

  • Kickboxing: Incorporates martial arts moves for a full-body workout (cardiovascular training).

  • Body Pump: Uses barbells and weights for a full-body strength workout (strength training).

  • CrossFit: High-intensity functional movements using a variety of equipment (strength training).

  • Yoga: Focuses on flexibility, balance and relaxation (flexibility and mobility).

  • Pilates: A low-impact exercise that focuses on core strength and flexibility (flexibility and mobility).

  • Tai Chi: A Chinese martial art focusing on balance and relaxation (connecting mind and body).

  • Pilates: Not only for physical strength but also emphasizes mental awareness (connecting mind and body).

  • Aqua Aerobics: Low-impact exercises in the water for joint-friendly workouts (specialized fitness class).

  • Tabata: Short bursts of intense exercise followed by rest periods (High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

  • Hip-Hop Dance: High-energy dance routines to hip-hop music (dance fitness).

  • Krav Maga Fitness: Incorporates self-defense techniques into a workout (martial arts fitness).

  • Chair Yoga: Yoga adapted for those with limited mobility (senior fitness).

Alpine Fit Leavenworth offers fitness classes from their own gym with a focus on strength and cardio training for enthusiasts of all levels, including beginner to advanced.

03. Online personal training

Learn how to make a website to train clients remotely through video calls or custom app-based programs. Make money while balancing a flexible schedule and the ability to work with clients globally. You can also include scheduling software in your website to manage bookings, essential for anyone looking to start a service business.

04. Create and sell workout plans

You can make money as a fitness guru by designing and selling downloadable workout plans for different goals, such as weight loss or muscle gain. These can be a profitable passive income source that allows you to make money, alongside running classes or training sessions.

Consider working with an eCommerce website builder in order to make a site for selling.

Learn more:

05. Nutritional coaching and meal plans

Nutritional advice and customized meal plans are a great way to expand the services your fitness business offers and to make more money. It’s also a great way to help clients meet their fitness goals better, with a combination of the right diet and exercise.

ISC Wellness, run by Ingrid S Clay offers fitness training, fitness consultancy and chef services. These include meal plan consultations, as well as 6-12 week meal plans, private chef bookings and raw, plant-based cooking classes.

When it comes to running a business as a personal or fitness trainer, diversifying your income by offering different types of services is always a solid plan.

06. Host workshops and seminars

Share your fitness knowledge and make money, by hosting educational events on fitness, health and wellness. These can be ticketed events held in person, where you earn from ticket sales and sponsorship, or they can take place online. Workshops and seminars can also be a great way to network and meet new clients, or other fitness experts to partner with.

07. Start a fitness blog

Consider starting a fitness blog and then monetizing it as a way to make more money as a fitness enthusiast. You can create content that showcases your fitness expertise or specialize in something such as starting a health blog and providing value to your readership. You can then monetize your blog through ads, sponsorships or affiliate marketing.

08. Create a fitness YouTube channel

Creating a fitness-related or focused YouTube channel can be a great way to turn your passion and experience as a personal trainer into a money-making opportunity. You’ll need to create a lot of video content, around your services and expertise and you can choose to specialize in a fitness niche or cater to a specific group, like beginners or bodybuilders.

In order to make money with a YouTube channel you’ll generally need to show that you have a large enough following and an engaged audience. Monetization options can include ads, sponsored content and affiliate marketing.

09. Sell fitness products or merchandise

Make money as a fitness trainer by selling fitness products, designed and manufactured by someone else, or even create a line of fitness-related products or merchandise yourself. Options are almost unlimited and can range from workout equipment to branded apparel and accessories.

Personal trainer Alexsandra sells her own range of boot bands, ebooks and fitness training programs to help clients use the bands and achieve their fitness goals.

Eldo Trado also sells fitness training to encourage more people to build their own gym and fitness spaces at home.

10. Corporate wellness programs

Another way to make steady money as a personal trainer is to partner with businesses to offer employee wellness programs. These could be run regularly, on a daily or weekly basis in their offices or online. Or they could be something that's run every few months, as a special event. This can be a lucrative contract-based service business idea that helps both the business and its employees.

11. Become a fitness influencer

Building a strong social media presence and collaborating with brands to share their sponsored content is a popular way to make money as a personal trainer. It takes reasonable investment in the beginning, especially in terms of time and building up a significant social media presence and engaged following but it can be high with it as influencers with a large following can command significant fees for promotions.

Be inspired by these up-and-coming fitness influencers:

Instagram: alygrayfit

Followers: 11k

Age: 29

Location: Destin, Florida

Target audience: Busy moms or business professionals who enjoy strength training—average age 25-60

Instagram: staxcycleclub

Followers: 4,932

Age: 34

Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Target audience: Fitness enthusiasts from around the globe

12. Offer retreats and fitness vacations

Make money as a personal trainer by organizing retreats or fitness-themed vacations that combine workouts with relaxation and local or international travel. These can be premium offerings that cater to clients looking for a unique experience in order to maximize profitability.

For example, a Bali-based health and fitness retreat that includes daily yoga sessions, as well as mindfulness classes and a carefully planned plant-based diet. Or a mountain-based fitness retreat combining mountain climbing, with woodworking activities and nature studies.

How to make money with a personal training business

Starting a personal training business in order to make money requires careful planning and execution. Here are the main steps necessary to establish a firm foundation for a successful fitness venture.

Develop a comprehensive business plan

Crafting a detailed business plan is crucial. It should outline the business goals, target market, services offered, pricing strategy, marketing strategies and financial projections. This document serves as a roadmap for the business's growth and development.

Learn more:

Obtain necessary certifications and insurance

Ensure that you have the appropriate fitness certifications to train clients safely and legally. Additionally, obtain liability insurance to protect against potential legal claims.

Some certification options include:






Choose the right location and equipment

Decide whether to operate from a gym, rent a space or be a mobile trainer. Then consider investing in quality equipment that will enable you to provide excellent service to your clients.

Set up business operations

This includes registering your business, setting up accounting systems and establishing policies and procedures such as HR and hiring. You’ll need to choose which business model to create and license your business accordingly with the right business license.

Build a strong brand identity

Create a brand that reflects your values and appeals to your target audience. This includes a memorable name, logo and a consistent theme across all marketing materials.

Looking for a business logo? Get started with the Wix Logo Maker.

Create a personal training website

A well-designed website is essential for promoting personal training services. It should be user-friendly and optimized for search engines to attract traffic. A website acts as an online business card, portfolio and service brochure all in one. It provides potential clients with information about your services, qualifications, testimonials and ways to contact you.

Get started with the Wix website builder.

Market your fitness offerings

Utilize various marketing channels to reach potential clients. This can include social media marketing, email campaigns, local advertising and networking within your local community.

Provide great customer service

Deliver high-quality training and customer service to encourage positive word-of-mouth marketing. Collect testimonials and before-and-after photos (with client permission) to showcase your work.

How to maximize profit as a personal trainer

To turn personal training into a profitable venture, certain characteristics are essential. These characteristics not only help in attracting and retaining clients but also in building a sustainable business model that can adapt to the changing dynamics of the fitness industry.

Client-centered approach

A profitable personal training business is one that places the client at the center of its operations. Tailoring programs to individual needs, goals and abilities ensures that clients receive the maximum value from their investment. This personalized attention can lead to better results, higher client satisfaction and, consequently, more referrals and repeat business.

Diversified revenue streams

Relying on a single income source can be risky. Successful personal trainers diversify their revenue streams by offering additional services such as group classes, online coaching, nutritional advice, or selling fitness products. This not only increases profitability but also provides a financial cushion during slower periods.

Tips for making money as a personal trainer

Making money as a personal trainer involves a combination of skill, marketing and business acumen. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

01. Build a strong online presence

Create a professional website showcasing your expertise, services and client testimonials. On top of that, establish a presence on social media platforms to connect with potential clients and share valuable content.

02. Specialize and differentiate yourself

Identify a niche or specialization that sets you apart from others, such as post-rehabilitation training, weight loss or sports-specific coaching. Continuously educate yourself to stay on top of industry trends and innovations.

03. Offer a variety of services

Diversify your offerings, including one-on-one sessions, group classes and online coaching. Make sure to provide options for different fitness levels and preferences.

04. Use technology

Embrace technology for virtual training, online scheduling and client communication. Consider developing a mobile app or using existing fitness apps to enhance your services.

05. Client retention strategies

Focus on building strong relationships to encourage client loyalty and repeat business. Regularly assess and adjust workout plans to keep clients engaged and seeing progress.

06. Continuous marketing

Invest time in marketing strategies, including online advertising, social media marketing and traditional methods like flyers or business cards. You can also showcase success stories, testimonials and before-and-after photos to demonstrate your effectiveness.

How to make money as a personal trainer FAQ

What are the most profitable personal training services?

The profitability of personal training services can vary based on location, target market and the trainer's expertise. However, specialized one-on-one training sessions, online coaching and personalized nutrition plans tend to be highly profitable due to the customized value they provide.

How can I find my first clients as a new personal trainer?

Is it necessary to have a personal training certification to make money?

How do I set my pricing as a personal trainer?

Can I make money as a personal trainer without a physical location?

How important is social media for promoting personal training services?

What should I include on my personal training website to attract clients?

Other ways to make money you might want to consider

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