The Ultimate Personal Trainer Pricing Template Guide

We all know that personal training can be a very rewarding and lucrative career. But how do you put a fair price on the services you offer? Since charging for services is something every personal trainer has to face, we've put together this exhaustive guide on the most effective personal training pricing strategies today’s top earners are implementing. 

We’ll cover pricing templates, examples, value-based approaches, and more so trainers have everything they need to know how much to charge for personal training sessions

The Framework for Setting Personal Trainer Prices

For most anyone who has decided to put in all the time and effort necessary to get a CPT designation, the end goal is to typically be able to support yourself by being one. How much a personal trainer makes is entirely dependent on what they charge for training sessions, how effectively they garner and retain clients, and how well they manage their operation long term. 

If you are an employee at a chain gym, you are most likely salaried or paid by the hour but for the great many personal trainers who set their own rates, creating a physical framework for setting your prices can really help create long term viability. CPTs can command great rates but you need to be cognizant of what and how you choose to set your rates and then confident in that methodology so you can sell your services. 

Remember: The Goal is to Be Able To Earn a Living Working as a Personal Trainer

How much you charge as a personal trainer to earn a living is dependent on a number of factors. The average price for a personal training session varies across the country, is dependent on present economic factors, needs to factor in costs, and other considerations in order to produce a figure you can comfortably live with. Most people don’t jump into personal training to be millionaires so money shouldn’t be your only objective. 

However, we all live in the real world where bills have to be paid and you’d like to live as comfortably as possible, so you need to make sure you’re also charging what you’re worth. In the end, this is how you’ll fund your lifestyle—which includes things like vacations, children’s college funds, and hopefully retirement savings. Many trainers have found they can set a price for their services that both they and their clients are quite comfortable with, but this takes knowing yourself and knowing your industry.

Where are You Located?

A truly crucial element to how much personal trainers can charge is simply where they are located. A personal trainer operating in LA or Manhattan is going to be able to charge more per hour than one operating in rural Georgia. You need to be aware of your local socioeconomic situation and do your research with your ideal client, which we’ll hit on next. 

You can contact your local chamber of commerce to get a better ideal of the business climate in your area, make connections, and start expanding your local presence. They should help you be able to understand the regional factors that can affect pricing. You can also look up your local competition to get an idea of what clients are already used to paying. 

Being a little more cognizant of economic factors will help you long term too as you’ll be more in tune with what to do when the economy isn’t so hot. Personal training is often a want versus a need, so it may be paired down when the overall economy isn’t doing well. You can adjust prices with things like specials on upfront payments to help give yourself more of a cushion to weather the storm and also give your client a chance to save on their sessions.

Segmenting an Ideal Client

A strategy that many trainers fall victim to early on is trying to be all things to all people. You may have heard of the “shotgun” approach in marketing that just blasts out a message to a massive audience in the hopes they will get a few takers. Well, this strategy is not very cost-efficient and can lead you away from teaching an area you are truly passionate about. 

Start looking at who you would ideally train. Are you trying to help serious athletes get better in their sport? Then start implementing targeted actions such as marketing yourself as the difference maker in preseason conditioning, talk to coaches staff directly, expand your online presence in sports training, and other specific tasks pertinent to that area. You will help build yourself up as an authority in that area, as well as create a client base in an area you actually like teaching.

Segmenting also helps set prices because of what’s being offered. Today’s top athletes are willing to pay more for a great trainer that motivates them to get better, faster, and stronger. You may choose to segment into a higher-paying bracket of personal training and do less sessions or you may choose a lower-rate segment that allows for greater volume. The great news is that it’s your business and entirely up to you how and when you offer a training sesh.

Looking at All the Costs to Provide a Session

To figure out profits, there’s a pretty simple equation that takes total earnings (revenue) minus all your costs (expenses) to get what’s left over i.e. your take-home profit. Costs need to be an active member in your pricing strategy because they absolutely determine your bottom line. Costs vary considerably based on where you choose to locate. 

In our example above, the personal trainer in LA is typically going to have higher costs than the one in rural Georgia. Think of things like travel expenses (gas, insurance, depreciation, maintenance, etc.), the price of gym membership, and any extra equipment you’ll require. A cost that is well worth it if you desire any sort of longevity in training in personal trainer insurance, but more on that later. Here, again, the trainer has the ultimate authority in choosing the best cost strategies to maximize profit. 

If you want to go to a mega gym that has every bit of equipment but costs a lot per month, you’ll need to pass this cost on to the client and charge more for each session. However, if you’re looking at bare bones training such as beachfront boot camps with minimal equipment, you can get by with charging a lower rate and trying to attract larger numbers to each class. 

Making Sure You Believe You’re Worth It

Getting your CPT is supposed to give you supreme confidence in all of your abilities as a personal trainer, right? Well, if you are like most people you will still live with self doubt and fear even when it comes to a field you know so much about. Believing you are worth the rate you set is one of the toughest hurdles you’ll face as a personal trainer. 

But there’s two areas of emphasis you can continually return to to eliminate any doubts:

  1. You have the experience. In order to get this far, you most likely have mountains of fitness experience to pass on to your client. Look at how far you have come to see how much higher you can still go.
  2. You have the education. If you are seeking your CPT or have already achieved this designation, you have a tremendous level of education in safe and effective personal training. Not everyone has this which is why you should highly value the regimens you create and charge what you’re worth.

Personal Trainer Pricing Templates

There’s pretty much three different pricing templates you can use to set your prices. 

Monthly training: this is where you get to charge up front for a whole month of sessions. Make sure to do the math to see how much you’ll make per hour. For example, you may charge $550 up front per month for three sessions each week that each last an hour. At $550 and with 12 total hours (3 1-hour sessions per week x 4 weeks) = $45 per hour less any costs. Your client’s that pay up front are the ones that have a little more cash on hand and are glad to get a price break by paying all at once.

Weekly training: like above, this would involve having a weekly schedule and charging up front. 2-3 sessions per week is a good place to start. If you have 3 sessions per week at $50 per session, that’s $50 per hour and $150 per week that’s in your pocket before the session even takes place. Giving a little break for upfront payments helps clients and helps you because you won’t have to worry about late payments or delinquent accounts. 

Your Pricing Strategy Should Include Personal Trainer Insurance

The single most important aspect to pricing needs to be protection because it doesn’t matter how much you charge if you don’t have personal trainer insurance, your entire livelihood can be in jeopardy in an instant. Get insured, get inspired, and get out there.

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