The Pitfalls of Fitness, Personal Training and How to Correct It

I’m writing this article for anyone who has ever been a personal trainer, a training client or participated at any level of the fitness business structure. Thousands of quality personal trainers, clients and managers are washed out of this industry on a daily basis due to a few major pitfalls. It’s taken me ten years to learn what these pitfalls are, how to avoid them and more importantly how to capitalize on them! I’m going to start by stating the obvious issues for both trainers and clients and also some of the not so obvious pitfalls that perhaps the trainer or client are unaware of!

Cost:

I’m starting with this one because it impacts everyone involved. Paying for a personal trainer is EXPENSIVE. There is no way around this fact. Trainers who are insanely cheap are usually that way because they aren’t very good, don’t produce results and aren’t in demand. Now obviously there are exceptions to every rule but in general most would agree that you get what you pay for in most any industry. The problem that is created in the current business model of personal training is that it exploits both trainers and clients. The trainer has to charge an excessive amount for personal training because the gym is taking the majority of the money in exchange for allowing the trainer to use the facility. In many cases the trainer works for the gym and the gym is trying to get their cut of the session fee. This is the NUMBER ONE reason you see personal training sessions in the $70-$100/hour range across the country. It’s NOT because you are getting a top of the line trainer who commands that kind of money because they are in “demand” (trainers who are in demand charge upwards of $150/hour). In simple terms you are paying “retail” for your personal training. Now some of you might be paying “wholesale” by hiring a trainer who has his own facility or will come to your home for a lower fee usually in the $45-$70 range. Even at a wholesale price you’re going to have to commit to $600+/month for personal training.

Half hour sessions:

Now you might be saying “Brenden, what about half hour sessions? My gym offers them for extremely reasonable prices and they seem to work.” While this might be true there are certain caveats to marketing the “30 minute” workout. One such caveat is that the value is diminished and for the majority of first time fitness clients 30 minutes is not adequate time to assimilate someone’s body to the rigors of a personal training session. It’s simply not enough time to begin correcting muscle imbalances and still have time to burn enough calories to have significant results. Now obviously every client is different and occasionally you may have a client or two who you’re able to advance very quickly but for the majority of sedentary America they require more time.

Attrition:

This word is the reason that I stepped back and looked at the way I was doing business and changed. Clients quit. Period. They either reach their goal and no longer need you, they don’t reach their goal either because they didn’t follow directions or their trainer was inadequate, they run out of money or they simply get sick of seeing you because they have trained with you for so long. No matter what, CLIENTS QUIT. In my experience the majority of clients I’ve had move on was for good reason. Usually they reached their goal and no longer felt the need to spend so much on personal 1 on 1 attention or they developed enough discipline and knowledge that they felt they could do it on their own. In both of those cases I was always happy and bummed because it meant that I had done my job so well that I was now out of a job. What a dilemma! The majority of trainers are 2-3 clients quitting away from being in serious financial trouble and I was certainly one of those.

Burn out:

Being a successful trainer is a double-edged sword. If you’re a trainer who’s really good but doesn’t have a lot of clients you’re broke. If you’re a trainer who is consistently training 35-40 sessions a week because you are busy and successful you run a huge risk of getting burned out. I’ve been this trainer as well. Being a personal trainer is a VERY demanding career especially if you’re worth your salt. It’s physically challenging to be on your feet training 11 hours a day back to back to back as well as mentally exhausting trying to not only entertain your clients but also get them results, navigate the gym and equipment while being aware of other gym goers and trainers all the while making sure your client has proper form and is performing the exercise safely (As a side note I 100% believe that the multitasking skills I learned as a Personal Trainer have assisted me in being a single father more than anything else).

In my professional opinion the optimum number of sessions is between 18-25 sessions per week. This ensures that the trainer isn’t getting burned out and that each client including that 7pm on a Friday is getting equal attention and care. Now I know what you’re going to say “Brenden, how am I supposed to make a living only training 25 sessions per week!? I can’t live off of that!” To that I would say…

Leverage yourself.

The solution that I have found for Personal Trainers as well as clients is revolutionary and simple. The only solution is a win-win. That means that clients pay less for training, trainers train less and make more money and everyone wins (except those giant gym corporations…but they have been “winning” for years, I think it’s time the people who make the wheels turn prosper!). What you have to ask yourself is how do trainers and clients leverage each other’s time, money and expertise? The answer is…

Partnering/Networking:

For trainers this means having multiple streams of income. Most trainers sell supplements to their clients that are pushed by the gym establishment in the hopes of generating extra income. Unfortunately most of the supplements that are pushed don’t work, are expensive and are delivered in an out of date delivery system (pills). What if trainers and clients had a different arrangement? What if a client could receive a cutting edge product that produced phenomenal results for a nominal fee? What if a trainer could provide a way for clients to not only expedite results through supplementation but could also offer a way for clients to offset the costs of personal training by plugging them into a system that actually helped them “EARN” money for being a client? Does this sound too good to be true? It isn’t. It’s a very real option for all of those trainers and clients who have the vision for the “BIG” picture! What I’m talking about is not building a “clientele” but a “team”. What I’m talking about is the Hublife opportunity!

I’ve been where you have been. I’ve seen what you have seen as fitness professionals. It doesn’t have to be done this way. There is an alternative that can assist both Personal Trainers and Clients by providing a vehicle to transform their lives, fitness and income! I’ve found that answer.

More From My Blog