How to Start a Personal Training Business

Personal Training 1

Personal training has become one of the hottest niches in the health and fitness sector, with thousands of people trying to get their piece of the pie. All these leads to fierce competition, making this popular profession one of the toughest for newbies to find their footing. Starting a personal training business can require more than having a degree in kinesiology; you need to understand the market and be passionate about delivering value to your clients all the time. If you are considering starting a personal training business, here are a few things that you need to know.

Get Certified

People who hire personal trainers want qualified individuals that know what they are doing. Your certification is what shows clients that you are an expert at what you do. In some cases, it might not be necessary to obtain a certification in personal training if you have a background in kinesiology or exercise science, but you may require certification if you want to offer specialized personal training services.

When hunting for certification courses, it’s advisable to go for nationally recognized personal training programs with accreditation from major regulatory agencies. A certification shows clients you know how to deliver the results they need. Additionally, you need to have safety certifications in First Aid, CPR, and Automatic Defibrillator use. Depending on the type of services you intend to run, be sure to obtain the right certifications to prevent any conflict in the future.

Register and Get Licensed

Register your business name with the relevant business, revenue, and tax regulatory agencies in your state. Obtain a business license to operate legally as an independent business. Licensing regulations vary across states and cities.


Choose a Location

When starting a personal training business, it’s easier to start as an independent contractor at a gym as this provides you with a ready-made pool of potential clients and a wide range of exercise equipment. Some gyms may allow you to market your services by teaching seminars or fielding questions from gym users. You can also start your business at hospitals, sports teams, physical therapist’s offices, community health centers, spas, residential areas and others.

Working from home or clients’ home can be challenging at first as it requires more rigorous promotional and marketing strategies to find clients. Also, working out of clients’ homes may require you to invest in some exercise equipment, but they also need to have some fitness equipment of their own.

Understand The Needs of Clients

To succeed as a personal trainer, like in every other business, requires understanding the needs of your clients, meeting and exceeding their expectations on a consistent basis. As a personal trainer, it’s your job to understand the goals of each client and relate to them on a professional level.

Get to know their lifestyle, goals, routine, the types of physical activities they prefer, their style of exercising, etc. Make it your duty to connect with each client at a personal level, and always work hard to deliver value, and they often times will not only become more confident but also do some great marketing on your behalf.

Get Liability Insurance

As a personal trainer, you need to have liability insurance to protect yourself in case of any accidents as you will be working directly with clients. Most certification agencies offer affordable liability insurance for personal trainers. The gym or facility you work from may also provide some liability coverage if you are not working from home, but it’s advisable to own liability insurance for the times when you are working at home or a client’s place. If you rent a space for your business, you may also have to insure the equipment and premises to protect yourself and business from litigation in case of any mishaps. Do your own research and seek professional legal advice.

Make sure to go through the terms of your contract and the scope of your practice concerning liability insurance and all areas within the scope of your practice.


Specializing is a great way to move ahead of the competition in your personal training business. As a specialist in a particular niche, you can control higher rates and win more clients who need your expert services. While some people might think that specializing may reduce their customer base, in many cases it actually makes you more attractive to clients who need an expert in that specific niche.

Some areas of specialization include providing personal training services for the elderly, pregnant women, marathon and triathlon athletes, bodybuilders, swimmers, cross trainers, people with disabilities, and professionals with busy schedules.

Specializing might require holding advanced certification, but these can be gotten easily from the same institution that provided your personal trainer certification training.

Start Marketing Your Business

When you are starting your personal trainer business, you may not have the funds to execute large-scale marketing campaigns. But you can begin to prospect for clients at the community level by delivering talks and presentations on fitness-related topics, distributing your business cards, posting flyers on bulletin boards, and organizing fitness activities in the community. You can also network with people in your community who are interested in fitness activities, partner with local businesses, schools, neighborhood associations, and healthcare facilities on wellness programs.

When you have enough funds, you can build a website for your personal fitness program. But by all means, have a clear-cut marketing strategy and provide a consistent flow of high-value content for your audience. You can also increase awareness for your business with a robust social media presence. If you have the means, don’t hesitate to hire an assistant to manage your internet marketing activities, because that’s the biggest platform for winning new clients.

Personal training business is highly competitive but also lucrative. With dedication, hard work, superior client base and a well-executed marketing strategy, you can make as much as $50,000 to $130,000 per annum as a personal trainer. However, success in this profession requires a lot of dedication, sharp business skills, and an unwavering dedication to delivering the best service to your clients at all times.

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