Are you curious about starting your own online personal training business?
Here are a few of the top questions I get from personal trainers and fitness instructors in the United States and Canada.
Question #1: What are the benefits of online personal training? What are the limitations? (pros/cons)
Answer: Being able to reach a larger audience and make a greater impact in the lives of people who live outside of the 7 mile radius of my fitness studio. With online personal training I’m able to offer my services to my clients who travel frequently for work or move to another state. It’s even an amazing way to help my existing clients stay on track with their program on the days that they are not training with me at the studio.
Also, having the ability to connect with clients on a daily basis to keep them on track, not just on the days that they were scheduled for personal training sessions with me. Online training has also enabled me to reach more people because the price point for online training is significantly lower than one-on-one personal training sessions.
The drawbacks are that I can’t physically correct improper movement patterns during the workouts because I’m not standing there and watching them during their workouts.
Question: For whom is online personal training the right career move? i.e. When is a trainer ready to do online coaching in the arc of their career?
Answer: For me it was when I started to become uninspired by running my own fitness studio. I had a young daughter (1 year old) and I wanted to spend more time with her, that was my main motivation. Also, I always thought I was cut out for fitness studio ownership, but when I decided that I was tired of wearing all hats (training, marketing, sales, cleaning, accounting, etc) I decided that I wanted to stick to doing what I do best and that is keeping people on track with their fitness goals. For me, it was a way to eliminate the parts of owning a studio that didn’t suit my hardwiring and being able to focus on my strengths which are fitness program design, motivation and accountability.
Question: Can a fitness pro really make money / make a living from online personal training? I’ve heard a lot of the industry veterans don’t think it can happen, or at least don’t think it’s happening for many people yet. What kind of revenue/income could a trainer really expect from online training?
Answer: I can understand why many fitness industry veterans would think that earning a significant income with online personal training would be impossible. Traditionally, fitness professionals are people who work in a brick and mortar facility and watch every movement that a client performs during a workouts. Online training required a paradigm shift for me, I had to get to a place where I was comfortable writing programs for people and not being able to watch each movement during the workout. It was very difficult for me at first because all of the training I received taught me that I was only effective as a trainer if I was physically present with my clients. My huge Ah-Ha with online training was that many, many people need and thrive with daily accountability not necessarily someone standing at a studio waiting for them every M/W/F at 4pm.
I was considered one of the top trainers in Denver, CO running a very busy TRX Training Studio and outdoor boot camp business. I earned about $30,000/year and was working 5am – 8pm M – F. I’ve been running my online personal training programs for 3.5 years and I’ve added $140,000 in revenue to my fitness business. The time requirement for online training is very flexible and fits perfectly with what I am doing at my studio.
Q: What is the best way for a personal trainer to learn the ropes of online personal training? Are there mentorships or information products that you are aware of that could help?
Answer: I run a quarterly training program for personal trainers who want to learn how to add online training in to their existing fitness business. My mentor is Todd Durkin, and I was one of the original members of his fitness mastermind groups. As my online business grew, many of the other members of our mastermind group saw what was happening with my business and wanted to learn what I was doing. Eventually I realized that I could impact many more lives through online training if I helped other burned out, frustrated trainers learn the systems that helped me develop a successful online business.
Q: Should I offer Online or In-Person Hybrid Personal Training?
Answer: Some trainers only offer online services (with or without training other, separate clients in person), whereas others offer a hybrid model (e.g. a client trains in-person once a week and follows an online program from the same trainer twice a week).
Q: What services do you offer for online personal training and live training?
Answer: My online programs are pretty simple. In Denver I offer 1 session per week plus daily online training and nutrition coaching for $450 on monthly EFT. For clients living outside Denver, I offer 21 day, 60 day and 90 day programs that range from $140 – $305 per month.
All of my programs offer one week of prep work and homework like cleaning out the fridge, to clean eating lessons, to learning proper movement patterns for basic movements like squat, press, hinge and pull. I also offer as an additional free add-on the ability for each client to do a private video conference meeting with me via ZOOM where I’ll watch them perform the basic movements and give feedback (30 minutes).
I offer weekly Zoom conference meetings for all of my clients (grouped together based on personal fitness goals) where we talk about meal plans, workout schedule and obstacles each person is dealing with on a weekly basis.
Q: Do You Offer Automated or Personalized Online Personal Training?
Answer: I offer both automated and personalized online fitness programs. My most popular automated program is the 21 Day Fast Track Program ($140) which includes one week of prep work via email delivery, daily accountability coaching through my private online group, weekly video conference, 12 workout DVDs with the option to watch videos on mobile devices or computer, a workout plan, comprehensive meal plan and 30 servings of an all natural, non GMO, gluten free, vegan meal replacement.
My most popular personalized online coaching program features a 90 minute getting started video conference where we discuss workouts, previous injuries, nutrition and goals. The we reverse engineer their 90 day goals and set weekly goals. Then I design a workout and nutrition program for them to follow. I record my own videos and post on Trainerize.com or have them follow TRX Training downloads.
Q: How do you prefer to offer your online personal training program, and why?
Answer: It depends on what the clients needs. Sometimes I use templates, but sometimes I need to offer private Zoom video conference sessions to go more in-depth.
Q: What services are included in your online personal training package?
Q: Membership fee vs. Fixed Term price for online personal training?
Answer: Some trainers charge a regular ongoing membership fee (e.g. a monthly charge with no finite end date) whereas other trainers sell fixed-term packages (such as a 6-week solution package).
Learn more about how I started my online personal training business by downloading your free copy of my new email course where I give fitness professionals a behind the scenes look at how I’ve build an online personal training business with Team Beachbody.