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How to Transition from Gym Trainer to Private Personal Trainer

The fitness market has seen some serious expansion in the past few years. The need to get in shape, build muscle tone, and live a healthy lifestyle has been trending since 2009.

Private personal trainer
Ross Roning

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The need to get in shape, build muscle tone, and live a healthy lifestyle has been trending since 2009. Regardless of whether you’re trying to improve yourself, or trying to improve others, the market is changing.

The worldwide survey of worldwide fitness trends continues to show more people are getting into strength training, regardless of whether it’s with weights, high intensity workouts, or bodyweight training. This change in the market creates a perfect opportunity for budding entrepreneurs.

Back in 2012, a study showed that 25.4 million people already owned home gym equipment. In my experience, people that have an exercise bike, a weight set, or rowing machine at the touch of their fingers, probably don’t utilize it and still have it sitting in their garage or basement. The key is to find this market niche and show them how they can put their previous investment, wipe the dust off, and put it to good use with a little help from their personal trainer.

Number of participants in home gym exercise in the United States from 2006 to 2013 (in millions)*

home exercise market
Source: Statista
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Why Should People Opt for Home Workouts?

Time-Saver: If you’re pressed for time, an effective at-home workout could be completed in only 30 minutes. A more thorough session could last upwards of 90 minutes or more. If you add in the time to commute to the gym (15 minutes each way), having a chat with your next door lifter (10 minutes), and waiting for your equipment to be free (5 minutes), this equates to an extra 45 minutes to your daily schedule.

With busy work schedules, taking the kids to dance classes, football practice, and trying to maintain a work life balance, means less time for a commute to the gym. Home gyms allow active people to workout at a time that’s convenient for them, while giving them more time to make a healthy dinner or spend some extra time with the kids.

Proper Equipment: With affordable equipment now on the market, you can buy a power rack for under $350 or a rowing machine for less than $200, previous gym members can get high-quality and affordable gym equipment just a click away.

Calmer Environment: Some people excel in busy gyms, others do not. I’ve met quite a few clients who prefer not to have the grunter next to them on the weight machine, so they choose to find tranquility and a good workout from their own home gym.


Tapping into Your Current Client Base

With the new trends in healthy living and strength training, this means that there is a new market for physical trainers to tap into. The clients I work with are still looking for that sweat-breaking, goal pushing workout and know they need a personal trainer to help them achieve that. How can we as personal trainers gain more home workout clients? Let me tell you how I did.

One of your biggest target markets are the clients you’re currently working with. Just by talking to Steve the other day, I found out that not only had he already invested in a treadmill and weight set at home, but it was currently being used to dry his wife’s sweaters! I explained that I would happily come to his house and coach him, provided the laundry was cleaned off, thus he could save money on a monthly gym membership.

The night buy xenical cheap online before going to Steve’s house for our weekly gym session, I collected some weight lifting straps to work on deadlifts, a jump rope, a couple medicine balls varying in weight, and of course my latest playlist to keep Steve motivated. The rest of the equipment Steve already owned, or we made up for in body weight exercises.

Since Steve and I had been working together for a period of time, I knew his current skill levels, goals, and what equipment I would need. Before coming to his house, I asked him to send me photos of the equipment he currently had, to ensure we would everything we would need.


Finding New Clients for Home Training

My home training services quickly spread through my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa. Steve told his friends, who told their friends, and I quickly built my own client base outside of the gym I was working at.

Related19 Personal Training Marketing Ideas that will get You More Clients

It’s important to meet with your new clients and check out the equipment they currently have. Nothing is worse than showing up at someone’s home with a prepared workout routine, but having the wrong equipment.

I typically meet with my prospective clients in their home or a coffee shop for the first time. Over a cup of green tea, we discuss their fitness goals, what they want to achieve in the next 3 months, 6 months, and a year. I will ask my clients to bring photos on their phone of their home gym. I find that most people will forget exactly what they have at home, so it’s best to either see it in person or study a photo.

Related: Selling Personal Training with a Sales Dialogue: a 4-Step Guide


Incorporating At-home Workouts with Online Training

Most likely, you won’t be with your clients for every single workout. Keeping them both motivated and accountable is the key. I’ll provide my clients with a workout regime to conquer during the week when I’m not there and ask them to log it on an application like MyFitnessPal. At the beginning of our weekly session, we’ll discuss how their week went and check out the stats they logged. At the end of our session, we recap what they’ve improved on and what they need to work on for the next week.

Nutritional planning is just as important when measuring goals. I ask my clients to also log what they are eating throughout the week. It’s important to keep a positive and encouraging perspective when talking about diets. Most likely, your client knows they screwed up when they had not one, but three pieces of birthday cake. But, there is no sense in making them feel bad about it. Talk about how we are all human and even though that birthday cake looks mighty tasty, you can satisfy your sugar craving with a half a slice, or opt for fresh fruit instead. The goal is to empower your client to make healthy decisions.

Entrepreneurs and personal trainers can capitalize on the niche market of people that already own home gym equipment. Start by talking to your current clients or join a Meetup group to find other people in your community that are interested in fitness. With a little hard work and perseverance, you could soon have your own business like me!

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