personal trainer pricing

personal trainer pricing strategies for setting rates and maximizing revenue

Personal Trainer Pricing
David Bohmiller

by David Bohmiller
Co-founder of Epicenter Training

Understanding Personal Trainer Pricing!

Let's talk about personal trainer rates and setting your pricing. The "pick a number and hope for the best strategy" won't help you build a sustainable business. I know because it's a mistake I made years ago when I opened my first studio. Thankfully, I'm a quick learner and adjuster. Anyhow, there's a way to set your rates confidently so that you and your business can thrive.

let's explore your personal trainer pricing!

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factors to consider for independent success

When it comes to setting your rates, it's essential to consider various factors. Understanding your personal and professional expenses, the time you'll dedicate to servicing clients, and market research are crucial. Take the time to assess your costs and determine how much you need to earn to achieve your financial goals.

If you haven't gone through this financial and budgeting exercise yet, you can get free access to our spreadsheet, with embedded formulas, to help you find foundation in your hourly rate.

Get the spreadsheet here.

By filling in the yellow-highlighted cells of the spreadsheet with your monthly personal expense amounts, the spreadsheet will automatically calculate your annual totals and an overall total for all expenses combined.

business envelopes

We use this information to feed the business category of "Owner's Compensation." In our example, we've set this at 50% of the total gross revenue of the business. And, we use this information to feed the other categories, including:

  • Operating expenses - the % of total gross revenue that remains in the business
  • Profit - the % of total gross revenue that's set aside for quarterly "Owner's Distribution"
  • Taxes - the % of total gross revenue that's set aside to satisfy your tax obligations

The %s set in the spreadsheet are only an example, and do not serve as financial advice.

We recommend seeking the guidance of a qualified financial expert, familiar with the particulars of your circumstance.

Alongside these %s, the spreadsheet will reveal the weekly, monthly, and annual $ totals for each of the "envelopes." Each item is important, though most eyes will gravitate toward the cell that reflects the potential, annual gross revenue for the business.

dedicated weekly training hours

Next, and before arriving at your per session rate to reach the gross revenue figure, you'll enter the total number of hours you intend to conduct training sessions each week.

If you have a full-time, 9-5 job that you don't intend to leave, your ideal schedule might only allow for 5 training sessions per week. While, on the other hand, a trainer who is leaving, or has left full-time employment, and is transitioning to a career in training might intend to dedicate 40 hours per week to training sessions.

a spectrum of results

Play with the spreadsheet by entering different numbers in that particular cell (it's cell H11), and you'll notice a wide range of results in the associated, per session rate to reach gross revenue cell.

Enter a 5 for total hours being dedicated per week, and it's likely that the recommended per session rate will be significantly-elevated, probably beyond local market norms. If your intent is to be a personal trainer to the stars, this might fall right in line with your expectations. If so, go for it!

Enter a 40 or 50, if you have lots of time to dedicate to training, and the calculated per session rate might fall far below market norms. I imagine you want to work smarter, and not harder, so there'll certainly be a dollar figure that you prefer not to drop below.

desired per session rate

In those cases, we've also included a "desired per session rate" cell (it's cell H17), that will reveal "adjusted potential gross revenue" figures in weekly, monthly, and annual amounts. Once you've got your per session pricing, it's time to organize it into more precise offerings.

Crafting competitive pricing strategies

Here are 3 strategies for organizing your pricing after having arrived at your hourly personal training rate.

1) personal trainer pricing: session packages

Session packages offer flexibility for both personal trainers and clients. Trainers can attract clients with the appeal of purchasing sessions in bulk, while clients appreciate the simplicity of a single transaction and the freedom to schedule sessions at their convenience.

It isn't essential, though it is common, that trainers provide a discounted rate, based on the number of sessions that the client is committing to. The greater the commitment, the lower the cost per session.

Here's an example:

  • Package of 5 sessions: $450 ($90 per session)
  • Package of 10 sessions: $850 ($85 per session)
  • Package of 20 sessions: $1,600 ($80 per session)

To achieve an annual revenue of $100,000:

  • Approximately 118 packages of 10 sessions (10 sessions per package) at $850 each, totaling $100,300 annually.
  • Or, approximately 63 packages of 20 sessions (20 sessions per package) at $1,600 each, totaling $100,800 annually.

Because we don't typically think in terms of number of packages sold over the course of a year, we convert these into monthly figures:

  • 118 10-packs over 12 months is approximately 10 10-packs per month.
  • 63 20-packs over 12 months is approximately 5 (might have to round up to 6) 20-packs per month.

While it isn't unreasonable to believe that prospective, and renewing clients, will make this sort of investment, I typically recommend that trainers avoid package-based service offerings.

Even with a clearly-defined date by which the sessions must be used, or else they'll expire, the rate of session completion, and thus renewal, becomes difficult to predict, making the forecasting of revenue also unpredictable.

Buying Personal Training

2) personal trainer pricing: personal training memberships

Personal training memberships provide a structured approach to training for both trainers and clients. Trainers benefit from consistent revenue through automatic recurring invoicing, while clients appreciate the accountability and commitment that comes with a set number of sessions per month. For example:

  • Basic Membership: 4 sessions per month for $320 ($80 per session)
  • Standard Membership: 8 sessions per month for $600 ($75 per session)
  • Premium Membership: 12 sessions per month for $840 ($70 per session)

To achieve an annual revenue of $100,000:

  • Approximately 10 Premium Memberships at $840 each, totaling $100,800 annually.

Of the 3 categories of service offering we'll explore today, this is my preferred option. With its automatically-recurring billing, business revenues become far more predictable than they are in either package-based option. And, while the high-ticket, productized packages or outcomes may appear financially-attractive to trainers, I'm a bigger fan of personal training memberships because of:

  1. Affordability - They're more affordable for more people
  2. Ease-of-exit - In the event of strain in the training relationship, or need or want to discontinue training, neither party is locked in to a difficult-to-exit, long-term contract

Plus, I like the idea that, where the client does have the opportunity to cancel their membership each month, that I have to consistently earn their business by providing exceptional service and maintaining a high standard of excellence.

3) personal trainer pricing: Productized packages or outcome-based packages

Productized packages or outcome-based packages offer a comprehensive approach to personal training, focusing on achieving specific goals or transformations over a longer period. Trainers can showcase their expertise and value by selling the desired outcome rather than individual sessions.

You might arrive at the pricing for a product or service offering like this by determining the number of weeks and the number of sessions per week, and then multiplying the total number of sessions over that time period by your per session rate. It's up to you, as the trainer, whether you'd like to elect for a slight discount, based on the commitment that's necessary to participate in this offering.

Here's an example:

  • 24-Week Total Body Transformation Package: $6,000

To achieve an annual revenue of $100,000:

  • Approximately 17 Total Body Transformation Packages at $6,000 each, totaling $102,000 annually.

This example demonstrates how offering a comprehensive, long-term package can provide substantial value to clients and also contribute significantly to the trainer's annual revenue.

While the total number of clients needed, at a price point like this one, might be reduced, and attractive to the trainer, there is a higher barrier that must be met financially by the consumer, and so fewer people might be able to make this sort of investment.

The trainer should also consider client retention, and the willingness and ability of clients to renew on this same type of package at the close of its 24 weeks each time. This can be a discussion to be had between trainer and client early on in the professional relationship.

Because of the higher price tag, some clients might enter into training, expecting that this is a "one and done" type of investment, while others enjoy the sense of commitment that comes with such an investment, and are willing to commit often.

key takeaways of personal trainer pricing

You're fully capable of setting personal trainer pricing that attracts clients, supports their continued training, and provides a foundation for your sustainable business. Plenty of others have accomplished this, and you can, too.

To make this so, get granular with your personal and professional expenses, rather than using guesswork that might not suffice.

Use our free spreadsheet to determine an hourly rate that fits your needs, then use that as your foundation as you organize your choice of personal training session packages, personal training memberships, or higher-ticket, productized or outcome-based offerings. Go get 'em!

frequently asked questions about personal trainer pricing

Click on a question to reveal its answer.

Do I have to choose just one pricing option?

No, as a fitness entrepreneur, you have great flexibility over your menu of services and your personal trainer pricing structure. It's certainly possible to have multiple offerings.

If I'd caution against anything, it'd be having too many options. A crowded menu, just like in a restaurant, makes it difficult for your prospective clients to lock in on what will truly serve them and help them reach their goals.

Provide too few options, and you may lose out on clients who were looking for something you're not offering. That isn't to say that you should try to be everything to everyone, and create a package or service for every possible client desire; you shouldn't. Survey those who showed interest, yet didn't make the commitment, and learn all that you can about their decision-making process, so that you're better-informed as a creator.

Personally, I like 3 tiers of options with each next higher level providing some additional value. For me, that's usually more time as far as the number of sessions, though it could also be things like merchandise, educational components, community access, or other items.

What if the feedback I'm getting is that my rates are too high?

I think a lot about blips and trends when it comes to stocks, actions, behaviors, and feedback. If you've heard from only one person that your pricing is too high, it's good to take note of that concern. You don't want to be closed off to communication. In the instance of only a single or handful of concerns, remember the work you did to arrive at your rates. They're what they are for a well-organized reason.

If you're noticing your inbox or in-person conversations to be filling up with this type of concern, I'd still maintain confidence in the work you did to establish your rates. However, it's a good idea to revisit the rate-setting exercise every so often to see what may have changed in the market and the value you're providing.

In most cases, rather than lower rates, I recommend exploring what other product or service you can provide that better aligns with the financial circumstance of the audience that you're hearing from.

If your plate is full, and adding any more sessions, of any type, to your calendar would be overwhelming, I recommend creating a digital product. You only create it once. You can choose the extent of your marketing of it, whether you invest time in actively marketing it, or if you utilize the copy of your website or social media to guide visitors and readers to it more passively. And, like your primary services, you can earn testimonials, referrals, and upsells from these newly-satisfied customers.

Knowing the benefits of personal trainer pricing and deciding your structure is one thing. Applying the knowledge and reaping those rewards is another. But don't worry, we're here to help.

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