Because I have been in the fitness industry for nearly 30 years now, I tend to receive many questions about how one should go about setting up their own personal training business. One of the more common queries involves “how to go about determining what to charge per session.” This is certainly a valid concern, as one must make sure not to charge so much that it is outside the budget of the potential clientele in your area – nor should one charge so little that its simply not worth your time and effort. Because pricing is an absolutely essential facet of your overall business model, Insure Fitness asked me to address this topic and provide for personal trainers some vital points to consider.
Setting Your Personal Training Price
- Where do you live? – Because the cost of living is very different throughout all areas of the country this will directly affect what you can charge for personal training. As well, the demand for personal training varies quite a bit from state to state, which also will affect pricing. There is no doubt that trainers who live in New York or Los Angeles can charge far more than those who reside in Idaho or Iowa. Taking it a step further, a lot can depend on exactly where you live within your state, since some neighborhoods tend to be more affluent than others. Do some research to find out as much as you can about the economics of your area and this will assist you in figuring out what you can reasonably charge.
- What is your level of experience? – Simply put, the longer you have been working as personal trainer, the more you will be able to charge per session. Someone who has worked with hundreds of varied types of clients over the course of ten years has earned the right to ask more money for his/her services than one who is just starting out.
- What is your level of education? – While I will concede the most educated trainers are not always necessarily the best trainers, it is still an important factor in the eyes of consumers. A person who has completed University classes in anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, biology, exercise science, etc., will automatically be seen as superior to someone who simply has a basic personal trainer certification. If you wish to charge a premium price for your sessions, make sure you have the personal trainer education to back you up.
- What is the length of your sessions? – Do you work by the hour, ½ hour, or more loosely, as in “per workout?” Obviously, the longer the sessions are, the more you can charge. You may even want to have a pricing structure where you offer multiple length sessions (30,60, 90 minutes), since you will most certainly work with clients of varying levels/needs. In this case the shorter sessions would have the highest “per minute” cost, and it would decrease as the time spent with the client increases. For example, you could charge $30 for 30-minute sessions, $55 for 60-minute sessions and $75 for 90-minute sessions.
- Will you offer session packages? – When you begin your own personal training business you must decide whether to charge by the session, or if you want to have clients purchase session “packages.” Some common packages may be 6, 12 and 24 sessions paid for in full - upfront. The more sessions a client purchases, the less expensive “per session” the price point should be.
- Where is your business set up? – Do you plan to train clients in their homes, in your home gym, or in a commercial gym? With each (possible) scenario you must take into account things such as (1) Whether a gym is charging you rent and/or taking a percentage of your sessions, (2) How much traveling are you doing, (3) What are the expenses involved in traveling, (4) How much of your time is spent traveling, (5) What kind of gym are you working in (i.e. and expensive health club or hardcore, bodybuilding type gym). There are pros and cons no matter how you look at it, but everything must be taken into account when setting up your pricing.
- What are other trainers charging? – If you have no clue where to start, it is a good idea to call or visit gyms in your area to do some research – finding out how much other trainers are asking for their services. Learn as much as you can about how everyone is structuring their pricing and packages, what is being offered, and the difference between the gyms. Also explore the idea of training people in their homes, as this can be quite lucrative if you live near an affluent area.