How to Start a Personal Training Business – Make $90k a year as a trainer

I can show you how to start a personal training business that makes you $90k per year. The only thing I ask of you is that you work hard and don’t give up. Being your own boss isn’t easy. It will come with a lot of responsibility and determination. You aren’t going to wake up tomorrow making $90k a year but with these tips you will be able to make that next year and for years to come. So don’t quit your job just yet but don’t be afraid to when your business starts to take off. How to start a personal training business

How to get clients/How to make money as a personal trainer

OK, you have made it this far. You are ready to start your own personal training business. How do you make $90k a year on your own? Start with what you will need to make per day to get to your goal whether your goal is $50k or $150k. I am going to stick with the $90k for this example.

OK 365 days in a year. 2 weeks of vacation to start. That is 351 days. Minus weekends which is 100 days. So you are going to work 251 days.

So you only need to make about $350 per day to reach your goal of $90k per year. That seems easy. The reason it is not is because you don’t have any clients yet.

Now ask yourself how many clients can I serve in one day. You can do groups and probably find a few people that will pay you $50-$100 each for a 2-hour group session. Or you can do a personal 2-hour sessions for $150. At this rate you will really only need to book 2 or 3 2 hour sessions a day. That will net you around $300-450 per day. Or you can charge $100 per person and try to grow a class to 20 people and only work one day a week. All of these options are attainable.

If you think that your not worth that much or no one will pay me that much you are WRONG! The How to start a personal training businessfirst rule of service businesses is to take what you think people will pay THEN DOUBLE IT. This really does work. Don’t sell yourself short.

Wait you’re not there yet. Now you need to find enough clients/customers to fill your sessions. This can be the hard part. You will need to hustle to fill your schedule at first but once you have a full schedule of regular clients the money will be there.

Now you need to pick your ideal customer. Is it your friends? Are your friends willing to pay you the rates you need? Is it someone in a specific area in your city? Ask around, hustle hustle hustle, and don’t give up until you have the amount of clients you need to make your goal $$ amount. Trust me, they are near you. You just need to find them. If you have trouble contact me and I will show you some tricks on how to find new clients. I will be creating training for this soon.

Once your schedule is full always try to keep an extra client on deck. Tell them that your schedule is full but if someone cancels or drops you as their trainer you can just fit the extra clients in their spot. This way you don’t have to miss out on the income if someone quits using you.

I recommend telling people they need to give a 30-day notice. Also, you will want to charge them automatically recurring every month using a pay app like square.

How to become licensed/Do you really need a license?

From the research I have done there isn’t a standard personal training license. It’s not like some There are a bunch of certifications but that won’t help you. I can make up a test and give you a piece of paper that says your’e certified but it doesn’t mean you know everything about training. I am guessing that if you are looking into starting your own personal training business you are already educated enough to start.

If you don’t know anything about training you should take some classes at the local community college, take some online courses, or get a job at a local gym until you are comfortable training people on your own. You don’t have to know everything about training to start your own business.

The main license you need is a local city business license. For a mobile personal training license you will need to contact your cities website. From my experience for about $50 and in 2 to 4 weeks you will be licensed to work. This way you can tell everyone you work with that you are licensed through the city to do personal training.

Don’t forget about insurance. You need a general business liability insurance policy for a personal training business. This way you are covered in case something bad happens. It will probably cost you $50-$75 a month for a liability policy that will cover you up to a million dollars in case something tragic happens. Chances are nothing will happen but it is worth $75 a month for the peace of mind. Now that you’re licensed and insured you are ready to start charging for your service.

Where to train?/Where is the best place to do personal training?

This all depends on what type of training you are doing? I live in San Diego so it is easy for me to do my training outside at parks, beaches and running trails. What training are you doing? You can ask around at local gyms. They may let you do your own personal training there in exchange for teaching a class for free.

Use your imagination. If you have a spare room or space in your yard you can create a training center. Just keep in mind the liability of having your own equipment. Most HOA’s and Condo/Apt complexes have gyms or maybe your clientele has their own home gym. I recommend meeting people where they already have a place to work out. That way if they get injured it relieves some liability from you. Especially if they are in their own home or community workout center. How to do personal training in the park

Get creative. There is no reason to spend all your money on a bunch of workout equipment. Everyone has some workout equipment lying around. Find opportunity, people are hiring you to motivate them not because you have the latest equipment.

If people wanted the latest and greatest equipment they would join a high end gym. They are hiring you because you show up, take charge, and help them get results. Not for your stuff.

How to grow your personal training business/Double your income

Fast forward a year later. Are you are happy with your clients you have? Are you at your desired income level? Are you ready to relax and just do the training for the clients you have and keep your $90k a year lifestyle? Great!

But what if you fell in love with the hustle? What if you want to make it to the next level? What if $90k isn’t enough?

Now it’s time to double down and start all over. Finding an employee or two. This is where things get tricky but if your willing to take the risk it could make you a lot of money. starting a personal training business

Imagine yourself a year after today. You have a steady client base. Probably more than you can handle and people waiting in line for you to train them. Now it’s time to turn over your clients to an employee. Hire someone to take on all your current clients. Spend the time to properly train them and let them thrive. Since you already have your clients on automatic recurring payments your employee doesn’t need to know how much the customer is paying. Pay your employee a competitive wage and keep the profits.

Now it’s time to start the hustle again. Okay, you just hired an employee. Your income just got cut. Now it’s time to use the tools you have learned over the last year to build your schedule back up to $90k. The best part about this is that it won’t take you as long. You have learned how to get new clients at this point. You have the skills to get up that $90k mark in half the time it took you last year. So now you’re profiting $50k from your clients that your employee is serving. But wait. You’re also making $90k from the new clients. Now you’re making $140k per year.

You can repeat this cycle until you have enough money to make you satisfied.

Don’t forget it will take some hustle

Hustle hustle hustle. You will never reach your goals if you don’t put everything you have into it. You will go through hard times. Starting and running your own business isn’t easy but in my opinion it is better than working for someone else.

If there is anything I can do to help you get started please comment below and I will be sure to help you with anything you need.

If you have any questions please comment below.

10 Replies to “How to Start a Personal Training Business – Make $90k a year as a trainer”

  1. Thank you for this informative post. I really enjoyed reading it. I am really interested in becoming a personal training and I always considered it my passion. What was bothering me the most was the money talk and earning potential in this buisiness. I am not sure will it be enough for me to sustain myself financially.

    Judging from your post, it looks like this business has enough income potential. I wanted to ask you is it possible to be personal trainer and be completely independant of any gym or bigger fitness community?

    Thank you in advance.


    1. It really depends on what type of training you want to do. If you don’t want to have to be affiliated with a gym make sure your workouts use things that you can fit in your trunk or focus on on-boarding clients that have their own home gym or community gym.  You don’t need a bunch of equipment to work out and get fit.

  2. Hello, this is very useful post as a lot of people would like to do this job – most of them really like to exercise and to be a personal trainer could make their dream comes true. If you also live in some sunny area it is a great way how to spend a lot of time outside, which is a big plus definitely. It is also great to know that personal trainer could earn great money and you can lead the people to achieve their goal, great idea! 

    I wonder if you hand over the clients to some of your employees as you suggest, how many of them would leave you personal trainer as they could feel to get put away from the person they rely on and used to train with. Do you have any experience? This is one concern, which came to my mind in relation to the topic you are writing about.

    Thank you anyway for a great post.

    Bye Renata

    1. From my experience people form relationships with their trainers but the main reason they hire you in the first place is to motivate them to work out. If your new employee doesn’t get along with a certain client (which happens) you may have to train them yourself, find a new trainer or drop them as a client, but this rarely happens. 

  3. Firstly, thanks so much for offering to help and guide anyone who decides to get involved with this. I never knew becoming a personal trainer could earn this much. This is just a very lucrative offer! I think the only way to get the clients is to really put in very serious amount of hustle as you stated. This is really of great help and I will surely suggest it to my body builder friend.

  4. This is an interesting take on personal training. I didn’t realize that there was so much potential for making such a significant amount of money in helping people improve their fitness.

    I was a very serious endurance athlete for over 25 years and except for a few swimming lessons, I was pretty much self-taught. I never even considered hiring a personal trainer because I was very self-motivated.

    Therein are the differences and the reason why there is a demand for fitness trainers. The majority of people simply are not self-motivated. Paying for a personal trainer is an excellent reason for ensuring you get out there and get fit.

    Just look at how many people make a New Year’s Resolution to join a gym and whip themselves into shape. Probably 90% don’t last more than a month or two. I think the success rate among these people would be far greater if they put out money for a personal trainer.  Sure, you put out money for a gym membership as well, but I believe there is something about not wanting to let your trainer down that would inspire a person to see it through.

    1. Yes, I agree. There is definitely a difference in not showing up to the gym and having to tell a person (personal trainer) “No, I am not working out today.” I recommend trainers charge the client whether they work out or not to motivate the trainee not to flake out on their workout.  

  5. Hello,
    Thanks for your nice post. My elder brother is a professional gym trainer. He works in a local gym center. I think he knows well about how to train someone. But his earning is not so much that he deserve. I think he should start a personal training business. In your article you have explained very clearly how can he will be able to get his perfect client. I think this post will help him so much. Thank you again.

  6. This is a great analogy about how to work independently and at the same time become financially independent. Before one can reach to people who can be so loyal to trust you, it requires alot of hardworking,patient, steadfastness and commitment. Anyone that makes it through is not only a trainer but an hero. I’ll love to adopt those technique and see how it works. Making $90k a year is an awesome accomplishment. Paying employee wages can give one a sense of fulfilment. Thanks for sharing this well detailed analogy about how to be financially independent.

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