Do you want to become a personal trainer? While this business idea may not be new, it certainly continues to be in demand as we indicated in the Health and Fitness statistics. If you enjoy nurturing and motivating individuals and groups to become their best, now is a terrific time to consider starting a personal training business.
Using a personal trainer has
become more common place – it’s not unusual to hear individual’s discussing
their workouts they’ve had with their personal trainer and the results they’ve
My personal trainer has helped me to learn more about fitness, weight lifting, and to “push me” physically so I can take my fitness to the next level.
The first thing you’ll want to decide as you become a personal trainer is what type of training you would like to specialize in – there are a whole host of options (which makes this path so rewarding!)
You can choose to work with folks who do extreme sports, athletes, models/dancers, overweight/obese individuals, pre-natal moms, children, seniors, or those with disabilities. Your focus can be on exercises for overall physical strength and agility, exercises for specific muscle groups, or weight loss activities.
Another fitness trend we’re seeing is more women are learning about the benefits of weight training – I know I have just recently discovered the wonders of weights and how terrific I feel after using them. You’ll be offering a terrific service as you help each individual and/or group to learn about new fitness possibilities, obtain their best training, and reach heights they may not have believed were possible.
To become a fitness instructor, start with word-of-mouth advertising. Think about providing group training for free in return for referrals. If you train 2 groups of 5 individuals (10 people) per week for 6 weeks that’s 60 contact hours.
Request 3 referrals/week from
each individual you train. This will
help you develop a solid business over a six week period. If you want more consistent clientele, offer
your free services to more people (say, 20 people/week). While this may seem counterproductive (offering FREE services), this allows you to help individuals get results, refer their friends/family, and show what type of results you can help your clients obtain.
As you become a personal trainer, another technique for identifying clients when starting a personal training business, is to go to the local park or recreation facility. There are a ton of people there who are enjoying the outdoors and getting their exercise. If you want to specialize in outdoor activities, you can meet people at the park and give them a business card to let them know about your new business.
You can also use your vehicle to help get the word out about your new business – make sure it's large enough to haul the equipment you need. Then have some type of “eye-catching” advertising painted onto the vehicle or purchase a couple of magnetic signs and begin driving around your local area.
In order to help your client's with motivation towards longer term health goals, it might be very valuable for you to align your efforts with national training efforts of a larger significance. These types of programs can give you some additional substance and energy around programs where there is a lot of information to minimize your marketing costs.
Resources: Determine what types of certifications you may require to become a personal trainer in your areas of expertise. Where will you do your training – in your home, nearby park, recreation center, or health club. You’ll need reliable transportation large enough to bring any equipment along with you. Talk to your insurance agent to determine what type of liability insurance you’ll want to carry as you become a personal trainer.
Time Required: 5-20 hrs/week; can work full-time 30-40+ hrs/week
Training: Check out local fitness schools or colleges for specific certifications you need or want to attract specific clients. This training is a great way to develop techniques and build your confidence as you become a personal trainer. It might be helpful to get a job at a local gym and learn from those already successful in the industry. Stay current on research and training ideas by participating in professional associations, reading current magazines, and pursuing new research on the internet.
Market: Athletes, adults, children, seniors, disabled persons, families
Home Based: Yes
Location: Local, Regional
Start-Up Costs: $500 - $7,500
Minimizing Start-Up Costs: As you become a personal trainer, start your business in your home, at your client's home or office, or meet your client's at the local recreation center to keep your costs to a minimum. You can also meet at local parks or outdoor recreation trails. Network with individuals who are in the process of working on their fitness and let them know you're in business and available to help them meet their goals.