Personal trainers are as plentiful as high calorie foods.  That being said, the market for personal trainers has become saturated.  Like in any business you will find high, medium and low quality.  The industry is becoming plagued with people not charging enough for their services.  This is a disservice to the industry as a whole, and in turn drives the value of what a true professional in this industry does.  It has become an industry with people charging too little to live because they don’t understand the cost of doing business.  As a result they become disgruntled as they would working for someone else and quit because they were worried about a quick sale based on price, more than a sale based on value.  It also sets a buying precedent for the consumer that is solely based on price.  When you unwarrantedly drop your price, the respect for your business and the industry suffers.

For example, when something costs you five dollars, if you don’t use it (or lose it), do you care more than if you lost something that was worth seventy five dollars?  NO you don’t!  Because you have placed a higher value on it in a monetary sense.  This does not mean that every trainer needs to or should charge two hundred dollars per hour, but if a trainer does not understand the cost of doing business, they will find themselves hating their career and always spinning in a downward spiral!


A qualified personal trainer is running his or her own business. He or she is rarely associated with a gym or facility. If so, he or she often works as an independent contractor, helping that facility gain more clientele while getting his or her name out to the public. People who run their own businesses know that no matter the size of the business, location, or type, there are overhead costs. Overhead includes hosting a website, maintaining certifications, purchasing and maintaining equipment (if needed), and marketing, just to name a few. Depending on your business model, sometimes you may need to pay rent, electricity, Internet, cable, insurance, taxes and many other expenses. These expenses must be calculated into your fees. Even discounted services and sales must accommodate the necessity of paying these bills each and every month.


You are a professional. Your time is valuable. Your time with a client means you are not giving that time to another client. Therefore, do not make your time appear less valuable than it actually is. The more skilled the professional, the more in-demand his or her time is. For instance, attorneys, accountants, and consultants who are well respected in their industry charge accordingly. This has the benefit of weeding out potential “problem” clients. As a personal trainer, your time is as valuable and in-demand as your skill level. Therefore, show your potential clients that you expect your clientele to value working with you. This is not to say that you should charge unwarranted high fees. Rather, you should charge fees based on the type of clientele you wish to service. Those who are serious about fitness and willing to work hard will pay more for the opportunity to test their limits.


You have an expectation of quality of life that owning your own business is meant to provide. It is important that your income allows you to meet this expectation. You have worked hard to gain your skills and build your business model. This hard work allows you to charge a fee equal to your expected cost of living. Your industry is a service industry. You must work hard to keep up your certifications, place of business, and overall personal well being to provide the best services to your clients. It is reasonable to expect your services to hold a fair price tag. However, your price tag should combine your skill level with a reasonable standard based on your true competition.

Your rates are one of the first impressions you make on a client regarding your abilities. Do not shortchange yourself with a lower than fair rate.  And stop bottoming out your price for the sake of a sale.  This has the unintended result of exposing your insecurities and showing you are not one of the best. To learn more about building your personal training business, contact Joel at Apex Personal Training at (612) 405-3002.