View Full Version : Very dumb question about buisness

Neal Winkler
07-27-2007, 05:05 PM
As someone who wants to get into the this buisness very soon, I was wondering why it's difficult to make good money, given the amount of money that people pay per hour for personal training.

If you charged $65 per hour, and had 10 clients at any one time that trained with you 2 times per week, 50 weeks a year, you'd gross 65,000 dollars. That's for only 20 working hours per week not counting the time you spend outside sessions to write programs/research their problems/whatever.

Is the answer that you'll never find 10 clients at any one time to pay you that much money?

Sorry for the stupid question, but I have no experience whatsoever with this sort of thing.

Greg Everett
07-27-2007, 05:13 PM
let's say your numbers are solid. Now, are you training at a gym or at your own facility? If you're at a gym, you're giving anywhere from 20-50% or more to the gym, which means you're down to 52,000 to 32,500 per year. If you have your own facility, you're looking at $2,000-$5,000/month for various expenses such as rent, insurance and equipment. So that brings your yearly income down to 41,000 to 5,000.

Neal Winkler
07-27-2007, 05:22 PM
Duh, I should of thought of that. Buuuuuummmmmmer...

Don Stevenson
07-28-2007, 06:59 AM
Some other considerations

1. Training 20 hours facw to face isvery draining and is about the limit for most PT's

2. Finding clients and retaining them takes a LOT of time, effort and money

3. Expenses - insurance, equipment, education vehicle costs, rent, chew up lots of income

4. Some knucklehead with a 2 week PT course under their belt always seems to be hanging around to undercut you by 50% and he public don't know thw difference between 8 weeks experience and 8 years

Nicki Violetti
07-28-2007, 07:31 AM
and then there are income taxes:)

Greg Everett
07-28-2007, 07:32 AM
don adds some excellent points. i'm exhausted after 3-4 clients in a row. plus you have to keep in mind that for non-lame trainers, the actual time spent in the gym with the client is only a part of the game. there's training and nutrition planning, tracking, evaluating, adjusting, etc. it can be very time-consuming and downright draining.

Greg Everett
07-28-2007, 07:32 AM
and then there are income taxes:)

get your clients to pay in cash...

Robb Wolf
07-28-2007, 07:33 AM
The money CAN be quite good but it is prone to greater variability than most folks can tollerate. You need to squirrel away during feast to offset the famine. Many professions face this problem, contractors etc.

Allen Yeh
07-28-2007, 03:30 PM
1. What Rob said, there will be thin times which you have to plan for ahead of time because let's face it life will get in your clients way at some point whether that be a vacation, a family crisis, an injury....etc. Obviously January was always the best, summer and the end of the year was a bit harder. So some weeks you might make $1000 then other weeks you're down to a few hundred.

2. I definitely found the finding clients part the hardest for myself, I felt at times that trainers that I felt where somewhat lame had no problems promising people the world just to get a few sessions out of them. I never felt I was able to do that and I know you are thinking...well once they don't get what they won't they will just switch but I found that those people got very turned off to PT's and lumped good and bad all together.

3. Greg already said it but I'll say it again, training a lot of clients in a row is hard and then training yourself can get to be a drag after being in the gym a long time, sometimes I'd just say screw it and head home.

Check this out:

I thought that was very thought provoking, and if I ever trained again...something I would definitely keep in mind.

Elliot Royce
07-28-2007, 04:21 PM
I can't help on the trainer side of things but as someone who has employed 5-6 trainers at one time or another in the past, I would offer a few observations:

- trainers have very little bargaining power: there are low (or no) barriers to entry and management gets most of the surplus (gym fees plus a cut of the training). At one gym I was at, trainers were disposed of like slaves without any consideration of the trainees' wishes (not to mention the trainers).

- maintaining enthusiasm must be hard. I'm pretty gung ho and probably not too tough to train (I hope) but a lot of people are looking for more than training. It's a social hour or absolution for a guilt trip or whatever. And not every trainee is particularly fun to be around (from what I could tell from observing).

- unlike many other service occupations, your worth declines as you grow older (my hypothesis). Joe Trainee (and particularly Jill Trainee) wants a young, bodybuilder type, not someone with 40 years of experience. Better to be a dentist!

- it's physically demanding. I think my muscles are a pretty close match to the Bowflex machine: stiff and requiring a lot of force to stretch. When my trainer would stretch me at the end of workout, I know he was sweating.

I see PT as similar to many other occupations where people do what they love: acting, writing, etc. You're not going to get rewarded for it. Rewards go to those who do what other people love.