Blog #7: How much should you charge as a Personal Trainer? - Performance Training Academy

How much should you charge as a Personal Trainer?

Over the years I have helped many students set up their own Personal Training business, and a common discussion is based around – How much should I/ could I charge as a Personal Trainer? 

This blog may be quite subjective, as there are many variables that can come into play as to how much you should charge for your services as a Personal Trainer. It will change depending on location, level of education and even services that you provide. But the message within this article will be the same nonetheless…

Value what you have and what you can offer to a client, and then make sure that you charge accordingly for this.

One underlying message that I want to come through is do not undersell yourself’. Whether you are just starting out as a Personal Trainer, or have been in the industry for a long time, there may be a few underlying factors that may make you want to consider lowering your price, but I encourage you not to.

Here are a few common misconceptions:

“I am new to the industry as a Personal Trainer, should I start at a lower rate?”

This is a question I have had asked to me from many individuals over the years and my answer is always the same…

“You do not have to begin your career as a Personal Trainer at a discounted rate just because you are new.” 

The reason why you should not need to enter the industry at a cheaper price is because you will be fresh off the back of your Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training course and your knowledge, enthusiasm to succeed and motivation to help others will be sky high.

Of course someone new to the industry won’t yet have as much experience as others, but we all start in the same position, experience will come but the services you provide and the help that you can offer individuals who need it will be the same.

When planning your business, which is something we encourage our students to do in the very early stage of our course, make sure you charge the going rate for your services.

There are circumstances where you may want to offer a reduced price ‘Special Offer’ rate just to market your new business, but very quickly you should then charge what your services are worth.

How much should you be charging? We shall cover that shortly…

Other Personal Trainers charge a lot less for their services and seem to be really busy, should I do the same?

Again depending on knowledge and level of education, some individuals do charge a much lower rate than others. You will see this in pretty much every trade and business – some companies/tradesmen/professionals charge a lot more than others whilst some seem very cheap and budget in comparison.

When purchasing a product or using a service, I have always followed my instinct on going with either the middle ground or, if it is really important to me, in some cases I would even go for the more expensive product. Very rarely would I choose the budget option.

The most expensive option will generally be for a service that is delivered by experts who go over and above to give you the best possible product or service, giving you what you want, what you need and will ensure you get that return on your investment for the long term.

The middle ground (average price) option will also give you what you want, will in some cases be more suitable to your finances and should also give you the value of service that you are looking for, also for the long-term.

The budget option, more often than not, is a short-term fix. It doesn’t always provide you with the service that you were hoping for and you normally end up having to pay out even more by going up to the next pay level by using a service that does cost more but will give you what you needed in the first instance.

The exact same could be said when paying fitness professionals.

There are those who charge a lot more than everybody else, but these will be the ones who continue to invest in their own education to provide a premium service and more services at that – for example achieving further qualifications in Nutrition, Strength & Conditioning or Sports Massage.

Then there are those who have invested themselves by doing a Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training which has given them the right level of education to work professionally with their clients, enabling them to apply the right level of knowledge to all elements of their clients needs – training, programming, mindset, nutrition, lifestyle choices and so in turn should be charging the going rate for their services.

But there are also some Personal Trainers who charge a lot less than the average rate, why is this?

It may be a ploy to be able to undercut and be able to drum up more business, or it may be down to a lack of confidence in how they can work with and help their clients in achieving their goals,. It may also come down to not being taught how to build a successful personal training business  – most of the time due to the fact that their education came from a budget personal training course.

So how much should a Personal Trainer charge?

This will be dependent on the location and the type of facility that you may be running your business from (the best way to understand what the going rate is in your area is to do some market research).

An average price of Personal Training is about £35 per session. 

The fitness professionals who have furthered their knowledge in Strength & Conditioning , Nutrition or Sports Massage will be charging more for their services around the £45 per session or even up towards the £70 per session mark.

Again do some market research to see what other Personal Trainers offer.

But there are some personal trainers who offer personal training sessions for an average of £15 per session. I do completely understand the lower rate when trying to make sessions accessible for everyone, though there are ways to be able to do this without globally reducing all of your prices.

My advice to anyone who is a Personal Trainer and to those starting off in the health and fitness industry with their Personal Training business, is to charge the rate for your service that you are worth.

You have invested a lot into your education to ensure that you get the level of knowledge that is needed to professionally provide the correct service to your clients, therefore you should charge the correct rate for this. Remember whichever Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training course that you choose to enrol on, ensure that you are fully taught how to set up your Personal Training business, and how to make a success of it.

So how much should ‘you’ charge?

Again, do your market research on this – obviously you do not want to price yourself out of the market in your surrounding area, but also you do not want to be seen as the ‘budget’ personal trainer. 

Consider the level of the knowledge you have, how good a business model you have put together and look at what you have invested in yourself so that can provide the service that your customers will want to buy in to.

Here is an example of what you could/should be charging.

Unless you have so much more to offer (further qualifications and services etc), charge at what the current market value is for your service – in this case £35 per session.

In your business planning consider bulk deals that your clients can purchase – for example if a client buys 10 sessions up front for £350, offer 1 session for free (I always preferred giving my time away, i.e. free session, than reducing my session rate, i.e. a block of 10 for £250).

Also you want to be clear on how many personal training sessions per week you need to do to get the income you need. 

For example, do you need 15 sessions of regular personal training per week? This will give you £525 per week and an average of £2100 per month. 

Or do you want to push for 30 sessions – £1050 per week and an average of £4200 per month.

Again all of this should be considered in your business planning that you should do as part of your Level 3 Diploma in Gym Instructing and Personal Training course.

Whatever you charge for your personal training service,  ensure that you set a fee that you deserve for all of the hard work that you put in to your education, your business and towards your clients.

A personal trainer has a lot they can offer a client, they can effectively help improve an individuals life by promoting good health, exercise and nutrition – the value that you can offer can be so invaluable to those who need it.

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