Should I Choose a Personal Training Niche?

by Aaron
(Burlington, MA, USA)

Man With A Prosthetic Leg Exercising

Hi, I just got certified as a personal trainer and am starting to look for jobs in gyms near me. I'm wondering if I should specialize in a particular niche, and if so, how do I choose one?

Epicenter Training Insight

Hi, Aaron!

Thanks for your question, and congrats on earning your certification!

I'll provide some insight here, though do stay tuned for additional perspective as visitors to this page can leave their comments, thoughts, and experiences, too.


I've answered similar questions many times, especially early in my career when I was leading orientation and onboarding of new trainers for a large health club chain in the Northeast.

For that population of personal trainer, working in a corporate gym environment, my advice was to focus on becoming a sound generalist first. There were 2 reasons for that.

  1. Many of the trainers were newly-certified, and so getting reps in as far as training with any type of client was key to building comfort, proficiency, and confidence.

  2. Depending on the gym's total member count, there might not have been a large enough pool of prospects, fitting of a specialized niche, to have allowed for a sustainable book of business.

As an example of the 2nd point, at one of the clubs that I'd worked, the gym's total population was about 3,500 members. At the height of my training then, I'd carried approximately 40 active clients. While each had unique goals and fitness experiences, the majority would have been considered as being part of the general population.

While niches can vary, had I focused my efforts on attracting and training clients that only fit a particular personal training niche, my active client roster would have been cut significantly, my income would have fallen drastically, and I'd have positively impacted the lives of far fewer people.

Should I Choose a Personal Training Niche


As you build a base of business that allows for some stability of income, familiarity to gym members or your community, and investment in continuing education to earn specialty certifications, you'll have a stronger platform from which to launch and market your services as being the go-to personal trainer in a particular niche.

For independent personal trainers, there's value in deciding on a specialty and niching down. Doing so allows you to tailor the language and copy of your marketing material to a focused group of prospect. In that, your communication will be distinct to others, and will resonate more deeply with the clients searching for your particular solution.

To your ask about how to choose a particular niche, you may already have an idea in mind of what you'd like to specialize in. If not, most trainers, as they gain experience in training a general population, and while earning additional certifications, find that they gravitate toward certain areas that they enjoy. One of the beauties of training is that you can pivot as new interests and opportunities develop.

Independently, it's better to be a big fish in a small pond (of prospects), rather than a small fish in a large pond.


Congrats, again, on earning your certification. And, best of luck in building the career of your dreams. It's a fantastic profession, and I'm glad you're joining the ranks! I'll hope to see you in our newsletter and in our community as it grows.

Yours in fitness,

David Bohmiller
Co-founder, Epicenter Training

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Get Your Main Cert and Specialty in the Same Place
by: Jess

Hi Aaron, I recommend getting your primary certification and your specialty certification, when you're ready to, from the same organization.

That way, you'll only have one membership fee, instead of having to pay memberships to a bunch of places, though you might still have recertification fees for both certs, which is usual.

Good luck!

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