How to Start a Personal Training Business from Home

How to Start a Personal Training Business from Home


Do you like working out and being fit? Do you want to share your enthusiasm for fitness with others and get paid? Then a personal training business might be for you.

The market for fitness training is large and includes people of all ages, body types, and goals. Increased awareness of the importance of fitness has made the industry stable, with expected growth of 10% through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook.

According to Payscale (2017), personal trainer rates are generally $9.96 to $49.30 an hour, with yearly earnings of $20,901 to $91,240.

Most personal trainers are aligned with gyms, community centers, or sports teams; however, many work for themselves, making house calls, working with their clients’ equipment, and bringing a minimum of their own supplies.

Some fitness instructors come with a health and exercise background, while others discover their interest in the industry through their own experience in fitness training. While a degree isn’t required to be a fitness trainer, certification is. Many organizations provide personal fitness certification, which covers anatomy, kinesiology, training techniques, and more. 

Along with knowledge and experience in personal training, trainers should have good people skills to motivate their clients, as well as empathize with the challenges clients face. Many trainers focus on specific groups, such as seniors or athletes. 

Pros of a Personal Trainer Home Business

Helping people reach their weight loss or fitness goals can be extremely satisfying. Other benefits of a home-based personal trainer business include:

  • Clientele for personal trainers tends to be on the wealthier side, which means the market has the money needed to pay for your services.
  • Freelance personal trainers have far greater earning potential than the fitness workers’ median average of $35,785 per year, which makes going on your own more profitable than being an employee of a gym or fitness facility.
  • You stay fit. 
  • While you may have to travel to clients’ homes, business management can be done from your home. In some cases, you might be able to see clients in your home, but you’ll want to make sure you have adequate liability insurance to cover any injuries a client my sustain in your home, plus you need to check zoning requirements in your neighborhood regarding running a home business.

Cons of a Personal Trainer Home Business

Running a personal trainer business isn’t all about barking out squat counts. There are some challenges to consider before starting a personal training business such as:

  • It can take a while to grow a client base.
  • While the market usually has the money, it can be relatively small depending on where you live, making it hard to have enough clients to sustain your income goals.
  • Clients may be unmotivated or difficult to work with.
  • There is pressure to look the part because few people will hire a pudgy coach. This is one of those business ideas where you will need to practice what you preach.
  • Continuing education and re-certification is required every year or two years depending on your certification source.
  • You need to stay on top of research and trends related to fitness and health. 
  • Potential for injury is high, requiring you to have very good insurance. This is especially true if you see clients in your home.

What You Need to Get Started in a Personal Trainer Home Business

If you’re still intrigued by starting a personal training business, getting started doesn’t take much time. Here’s what you need:

  • Experience in exercise and fitness. Most certification programs have the expectation that you know about exercise and fitness before you take the certification course. This experience can be through your own fitness journey.
  • Certification through a major authority such as the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, or the National Strength and Conditioning Council.
  • CPR Certification through an official first aid certification authority. Most personal trainer certification programs require CPR certification. Check with fitness certification company for any specific knowledge it required beyond CPR, such as how to use an AED or first aid training.

How to Start Your Personal Training Business

The first step in starting a personal training business is to get certified. Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to set up your official business. Here’s how:

  • Register your business as a limited liability company (LLC) or other official entity beyond sole proprietor. This will protect your personal assets from your business assets if you happened to get sued.
  • Obtain a business license and other business-related requirements, such as zoning approval if you see clients in your home. 
  • Buy good business insurance. Fitness has a high risk of injury so you want to protect yourself from lawsuits if a client gets hurt doing one of your recommended exercises.
  • Decide if you’ll target a specific market. For example, you can specialize in helping seniors stay fit and active or help runners achieve their goals. If you’ll work with a diverse market, make sure you have current knowledge about fitness in differing markets. Seniors require a different type of training than bodybuilders or teenagers.
  • Write a business plan outlining the details of your business, your target market, and how you’ll finance your business. 
  • Create a marketing plan with strategies on how to get clients. Some options include offering a free 30-minute training session or evaluation, attend fitness fairs, and YouTube videos showing a specific fitness move.
  • Purchase equipment. While your clients may have some equipment, you’ll be expected to have your own as well. 
  • Develop a system for getting referrals and testimonials. You might want to offer small group training, which can lower the cost for individual clients while getting you more clients to work with.


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