Personal Training Side Hustle

building your fitness business while working full-time

Personal Training Side Hustle
David Bohmiller

by David Bohmiller
Co-founder of Epicenter Training

Can Your Personal Training Side Hustle Survive?

You're passionate about fitness and helping others reach their goals. But, can personal training really be a side hustle? The short answer is yes – and it can certainly be highly-rewarding, too, even with limited hours. Whether you're just starting out or considering taking your fitness career to the next level, here are the keys to building a successful personal training side hustle.

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Why Personal Training Makes a Great Side Hustle

Personal training is unique in that it offers flexibility in scheduling and location. You can work with clients in a gym, outdoors, or in their own homes. This flexibility allows you to easily fit personal training sessions around your existing work or commitments. Plus, the demand for personal trainers continues to grow, meaning there are plenty of opportunities to find clients and build your business.

Building Your Personal Training Side Hustle

To succeed as a personal trainer, you'll need to focus on both the practical and business aspects of your craft. This includes obtaining relevant certifications, honing your skills through continued education, and marketing yourself effectively to attract clients. Creating a solid business plan and setting clear goals will also be essential for long-term success.

Nearly everything you'd do to build a 40+ hour per week business, you'll need to include in building a 5-10+ hour per week business, too. This includes:

If there's one great benefit to a reduced weekly time commitment, it's that you'll have fewer clients in total, allowing for enhanced attention for each.

scheduling as a key ingredient

One of the most critical ingredients to successfully launching, and maintaining, a personal training side hustle is deciding on, and committing to, your intended schedule of availability. Without this decided, it becomes difficult to arrange the other business-specific puzzle pieces.

personal training side hustle schedule example

Here's an example of a personal training side hustle schedule. In it you'll see that we've included a legend to show:

  • Blue/Cyan = Available for clients
  • Dark gray = Unavailable
  • Purple = Full-time job
  • Off-white = Flexible
Personal Training Side Hustle Schedule

Even as a part-time commitment, in this example, the fitness professional has still dedicated 15 hours per week toward this pursuit.

  • From a financial perspective - At a rate of $100/session, and with the schedule filled, the trainer could anticipate an annual gross revenue of $75,000. And, that's assuming 50 weeks of work, with 2 weeks off for vacation.

  • From a client impact perspective - Whether you're seeing 15 clients 1x/week, 3 clients 5x/week, or some other assortment, you're still changing lives!

It's important to note that the blue/cyan cells are the priority hours to be filled, in this example, with initial consultations and official client sessions. Because the total hours of availability are restricted in comparison to an open, full-time schedule, you may also find it easier to say no to opportunities outside of the ideal.

2 additional notes:

  1. Unavailable and flexible hours are yours to use as you wish, whether for your own workouts, meals, commuting, or for relaxation with self, family, and friends. Be careful not to overwhelm these with work commitments, whether full-time or side hustle, as it's easy to burnout that way.

  2. Before your schedule is full of active clients, it's essential that you commit to working on your side hustle in the blue/cyan hours that you've picked for yourself. It can be tempting to attend to other, unrelated things when there isn't a client in front of you, but doing so won't get you closer to achieving your personal training goals. Treat those hours as if you're "on-shift," focusing on your sales funnel, content marketing, and other areas, and you'll find yourself more-productive, more-accomplished, more-quickly.

Special Considerations for Independent Personal Trainers

While personal trainers employed by corporate gyms have the benefit of a built-in audience in a membership base and access to facilities and equipment, independent trainers have more freedom and control over their business. However, they also face unique challenges, such as finding their own clients, managing their schedule and finances, and investing in their own equipment and marketing efforts. Building a strong network and reputation within your community will be crucial for independent trainers to thrive.

Co-founder perspective:

  • "When I left the corporate gym environment and opened my own studio, I went from being surround by fitness professionals in every moment of the workday to operating solo for hours on end. While I had entrepreneurial freedom, gone were the thought-provoking discussions about sales, service, program design, and how to build a sustainable business. While  solopreneurs can survive for a time, in this sort of atmosphere, through their own drive, ambition, and commitment to continuous learning, it's a lot more fun and more productive with the company of peers. That's part of the reason why we've created Epicenter Training's Online Academy!" - David Bohmiller

Join the Epicenter Training Online Academy Today!

Balancing Passion with Profitability

As you grow your personal training side hustle, it's important to establish harmony between pursuing your passion for fitness and ensuring profitability. While helping others achieve their fitness goals is certainly rewarding, you also need to make sure your business is financially sustainable. This may involve adjusting your rates, diversifying your services, or exploring new revenue streams such as online coaching, group classes, or affiliate marketing.

While you may have the benefit and security of compensation from your full-time job, if your intent is to grow your side hustle to the point where it becomes your main source of income, attention to business planning is essential. Just as your clients will progress more soundly with a specific goal in mind and on the calendar, so too will you as a fitness business professional.

key takeaways of building a personal training side hustle

Personal training can absolutely be a side hustle, one that's lucrative for you, and that provides positive impact for your clients. Focus on quality over quantity, build a strong business foundation, and find the right harmony of passion and profitability, and you can create a successful and fulfilling career as a personal trainer.

Want a head start, a support system, accountability, and expertise as you go?

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1) resource bundle

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2) sales playbook

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3) online academy

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4) strategy session

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