If I Was Starting as a Personal Trainer in Today’s World

If I Was Starting as a Personal Trainer in Today's World
By Marc Lebert

By Marc Lebert

These past few years have been difficult, especially for fitness businesses.


The pandemic has taught the fitness professional that a large overhead can be crushing. I still own a club, Lebert Fitness NATION, in Toronto. Still, if I were to start now in a fitness business, with everything that has happened, I would look to keep overhead to a minimum and hit the road again, training people in their homes (in fact, that’s how the Lebert EQUALIZERS™ were born).


In-home personal training is how I started my career, and it was a gratifying and profitable vocation. I did this for 15-plus years and loved every minute of it. I was growing a little tired of driving, but in retrospect, I had it good with my car, gas and coffee as my only overhead. Here are some things that helped me succeed and pay off my mortgage. I hope they help you too.

Client Acquisition
  1. With all the online advertising now, it’s almost counterintuitive to think that old-school sales techniques even exist. Still, nothing is more powerful than calling someone you know, telling them about your business, and asking for the sale. Be bold. Call almost everyone on your phone. Direct message your Facebook friends and ask for their phone numbers so you can call them.
  1. Take your coaching online; the pandemic has brought virtual training to the forefront. Clients can be anywhere, and virtual coaching reduces your overhead even further. I would still do in-home personal training, though, for some variety and social interaction, in-person personal training is the best for honing your coaching skills.
  1. Once you have clients, you must ask them for referrals and, even more importantly, follow-up. Doing this in the first few weeks when the clients praise your exceptional service is an excellent idea! Most trainers don’t ask; if they do, they don’t follow up.
Client Retention
  1. Be professional; I wish I didn’t have to write this, but you have to show up on time, be well groomed, polite and have new clothes. Training is your job, their home is your office, and they are your boss. It would be best if you acted like it.
  1. On-board, assess and develop a plan right away. Always follow up after your first session (at minimum) to see how your clients feel.
  1. Be engaged and immersed in their workout 100%! Whatever their goal is (weights, boxing, yoga, stretching), make it so enjoyable that time flies.
  1. Here’s one people always find surprising. You can invoice many of your clients as a “Motivational Consultant,” and they have their company pay you directly.
The Workouts
  1. The key to success (and you want them to be successful) is progressive overload; always work on the basics, track them, and celebrate their improvements. That said, I always keep their workouts interesting and challenging by adding in some new tools every once in a while. For example, add a Dynamax ball for core, partner work and sport-specific movements.
  2. Get the right tools. I remember my in-home personal training sessions consisting of a dumbbell set (in my trunk), a skipping rope and their stairs! Even though you can do a lot with very little, adding a few key pieces for functionality is important. For example, push-ups are easy to perform anywhere, but the EQs are great for rows (amongst many other exercises). Today I would have them pick up a Lebert Fitness Starter Kit that includes a set of EQualizers™, our HIIT System and our FAT (Functional Assisted Training) resistance bands.
  3. Secondary source revenue. Don’t limit yourself to trading time for dollars; find passive revenue streams that work for you. Like the starter kit above, you can work with company affiliate programs (equipment, supplement, clothing, etc), online workouts for sale, set up corporate lunch and learns (this one is great for getting new clients), and more.

I hope this helps you get started on your in-home personal training business! Please email me if you have any questions.

Your friend and coach,

Marc Lebert

Marc is the CFO (Chief Fitness Officer) of Lebert Fitness; a global leader in developing innovative fitness tools, a fitness club owner, Black Belt, Certified NLP Practitioner, International Presenter, Silver Lining Entrepreneur of the Year, NEOS International Personal Trainer of the Year, named as one of Canada’s #Top 100 Health Influencers by Optimyz Magazine.


Learn more from Marc at his session “Portable Products for Practical Programming” – at the 2023 CPTN Personal Trainer Online Summit https://cptn.com/

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