The Most Efficient Way to Grow a Personal Training Business

The Most Efficient Way to Grow a Personal Training Business

The first couple of years in business are difficult for most entrepreneurs, regardless of the specific profession, and personal training is no different.  

At first, you’re busy trying to find the right certification, then the right gym for training, then enough clients at that gym to make it all worthwhile. With enough time and effort invested, and maybe a little luck, you can build a successful career training clients in the gym.  

However, you only have so much time in the day to train clients or conduct group fitness classes, so how can you ever reach your financial goals?  The answer is by leveraging your time and scaling your business.

Most personal trainers begin thinking about scaling in terms of opening a gym or a small group training studio.

Open a gym, and hire trainers to work under you.

I did this, and I enjoyed many of the aspects of it. But I underestimated two major downsides.


  1. Costs like equipment, rent, utilities, and insurance payments can be difficult to manage.
  2. Supervising employees is hard.


Running a gym or training studio can take you out of what you enjoy most — training clients — into something you may very well hate —  managing a small business.

Rather than spending time programming for clients, you’ll be planning your marketing approach, paying bills, and dealing with teenage kids that refuse to rack their dumbbells.

Trust me. I’m speaking from experience here.


Beyond that, when you hire personal trainers, you place your brand in their hands. If they don’t perform well, you only have two options:


  1. Deal with it.
  2. Work with them to change.


Both of which can be really time and energy consuming. Again — speaking from experience. Running a gym isn’t all bad, but the fact is:

Most personal trainers have no experience managing either costs or employees and have a difficult time once they are put into that position.


So if owning a gym or training studio isn’t the best way for you to scale, then what is? 


Online Personal Training.


New technology, specifically software like GymCloud, allows you to scale your business by training clients online.

Let me explain. 

In general, online training is a more efficient use of your time than in-person training.  

With an online training platform like GymCloud, you can leverage your time by creating programs that can be quickly and easily modified across clients, and then paid for and downloaded — allowing you to sell a product around the clock, even if it only took you a few hours to build it.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say you take home $40 for a one-hour training session.

Now, let’s assume it takes 2 hours to create a downloadable program you can sell on GymCloud for $20 per unit.  

If you sold 10 copies of that program, you would have made $200 for 2 hours worth of work. If you sell 20, that’s $400, and so on.


It’s pretty easy to see:

If you can build a fitness business that passively makes money for you, you can give yourself more free time and make more money — all without the obligations and headaches of running a small business.


That’s the dream, right?

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Matthew Johnson is a fitness writer, personal trainer, strength coach, as well as a former gym owner. Matthew holds an MBA from The University of Memphis and a Master’s in Exercise Science from Middle Tennessee State University. Matthew has also earned the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist credential from the NSCA. Matthew recently published his first book, 300 30 Minute Workouts for Busy People, and lives in Memphis, TN with his wife, Anna, and their dog Henderson, and cat, Sox.

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