Qualifying as a Personal Trainer is a milestone in your career. At last, you can start working in the industry you love, writing sessions, delivering training, and helping people improve their lives. But what do you imagine you’ll be doing when you’re 55+…?
Is in-person PT a sustainable career choice?
There’s one significant issue with choosing PT as a long-term career – and we need to talk about it. You might start out programming and delivering 35+ hours a week. You feel focused , fired up, and fresh as a daisy. And then life changes – you might move in with your partner, have kids, or simply feel the effects of getting older. All of a sudden, face-to-face PT feels draining.
Then there’s the issue of how to scale it. As cost of living goes up, you’ll either need to charge more, take on more clients, or both. Your time and energy levels can be a barrier to a lifelong career in Personal Training. Let’s talk about options for a fitness career beyond the in-person stuff.
Maximising your tine with group PT or group programmes
If you love training people in-person, you won’t want to move away from that face-to-face element. So you’ll need to think of ways to maximise your income per session and reduce the energy-draining business admin.
In-person work is a great way to build strong client relationships and dominate your local area. Face-to-face PT allows you to really help people with proper form, and fine-tune their progress as you see it happening.
But – as we’ve said – it’s also hard to scale, especially as your energy levels change and other things demand your time.
How about changing up the way you deliver your in-person training? Small group PT, small “challenge-style” programmes, or specialist training can help you make more money in less time.
- Small group Personal Training – instead of training 1-on-1, consider getting 2-4 people in a session. You can charge them less than they would pay for regular PT, but you’ll still make more money per hour.
- Time-bound challenge programmes – set up regular group challenges for new clients or existing clients as an add-on. These could be 6-week nutrition challenges, 12-week strength blocks, or whatever suits your audience.
- Specialist training niche – as your PT career progresses, you could add advanced qualifications to your skill set so you can offer specialist coaching, and be able to charge more for it.
Like the sound of Small Group Training and want to learn more? Check out our blog How To Launch And Manage Small Group Personal Training
Shifting to online or hybrid fitness coaching
Online or hybrid coaching enables you to make more money per hour. As an online coach, you won’t have to travel to gyms or spent time physically training people. However, be aware that you’ll be taking on new tasks like online marketing, client check ins, and client Q&A between sessions.
Be sure to bring the ethos of Personal Training into your online offer by delivering real value to every client. Take time to get to know your online clients properly at the onboarding stage, and be thorough with check-ins and feedback.
Online coaching should never be an excuse to rack up huge numbers of clients and give them off-the-peg programmes. Retain all the qualities that made you a great in-person PT, and redirect those saved hours to mastering business admin and marketing.
Teaching or qualifying the next generation of trainers
It might sound strange to think about moving away from Personal Training, but hear us out. In 10 or 15 years, when the early starts and long gym days start feeling unsustainable, look to other areas of the industry.
How about a career shift that allows you to pass on all your skills and knowledge as a successful PT? You could play a part in training the next generation by taking on a role that educates and qualifies PTs. You could even become an examiner or grader for an industry qualification body.
Yes, you’d miss out on the client-facing stuff. But you’d be passing on everything you know, helping to shape the industry by creating quality PTs who can change more lives in the future.
How to build a sustainable and scalable career in fitness
The majority of in-person Personal Trainers simply won’t be able to sustain a career delivering face-to-face sessions until retirement age. Why not start considering ways to avoid burnout and stay in the industry you love? It’s never to early to explore the many opportunities that exist for great PTs who want to evolve their fitness career after the in-person sessions end.