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What’s Your Training Model?

5 minute read

As a Personal Trainer, your time is incredibly precious. Often, trainers will charge clients by the hour meaning time quite literally becomes money as the saying goes, and this is especially the case for self-employed PTs.

Given there are only so many hours in a day, it’s quite obvious that charging individual clients by the hour does inevitably limit your income. That poses the question of how can you increase this limit?

Of course, you could charge more per hour, but if this higher price doesn’t justify your level of service, another trainer will simply offer a better price and take your clients off you. PT sessions are generally expensive as it is to the average person, so you really need a valid reason to put your price up.

There is the option however of training multiple clients at once. Group training sessions mean you can fit in more clients in the same amount of time, with the potential of making more money per hour accordingly.

The small group training model does however come with it’s drawbacks as well as it’s benefits, so it’s important to weight the options up before making a decision on your training model, and this article has you covered.

One-to-One Training – Benefits and Limitations:

Training clients on a one-to-one basis may be best for quieter, more reticent individuals who need lots of attention from their personal trainer. They may not want to workout in front of others or may be embarrassed or shy if they still feel new to the whole exercise thing. There are also those who do not want to share their trainer with others and like to feel that they are getting 100% of their coach’s focus at all times.

One-to-one training is probably also the best choice for you if your client has any kind of injury, medical condition or any other specific needs. Clients that also demonstrate any sign of needing additional attention with regards to posture, technique and instruction should also be steered towards the one-to-one pathway to ensure that they get the level of instruction and supervision they need.

The limits of this model are actually quite simple- by exchanging units of your time for a set fee, you will naturally hit a ceiling when it comes to income generation. Of course you can increase your hourly fee if you feel that you can justify this, but even this has its limits.

Many Personal Trainers attempt to increase their income by extending their working day or week, but this is not a sustainable approach in the long run and particularly with such a physical job. Doing this can lead to a burnout, which as a personal trainer can bring it’s own detriments altogether,

Group Training- Benefits and Limitations:

Small group training is a business model whereby you place groups of participants together and coach them at the same time, maximising your hourly fee. In turn, you can also create a sense of community, group energy, and deliver great results to individuals who are motivated by a group scenario.

You’ll need to make sure that each person is happy with the idea of being in a small group situation, but this set up will actually benefit some people more than one-on-one training would, as has been found in CrossFit. It’s a great idea for early morning sessions, or for groups who respond well to challenges or short term goals.

The competition created from group sessions can also push individuals to achieve their goals faster. By seeing others do well, it can often motivate people to do the same, as they don’t want to be left behind. There’s also the chance of learning from one another what works and what doesn’t, which only supports your duties as a PT.

However, as has been suggested, group training is definitely not for every client. Some may find the competition aspect daunting or even disheartening if they start to fall behind, which can make motivation and encouragement more difficult as a trainer.

Clients may also feel as though they should pay less if they’re being trained in a group. This is definitely a fair concern, as they shouldn’t really be paying the same amount of money for less of your attention. This in turn could mean that you don’t end up making any more money than you would on an individual basis, and clients don’t achieve results as fast either.

Naturally, there’s also the contrast of if you were to charge four people £10 each for a group session as opposed to charging one person £30 for an individual session, you can certainly make more money and this is often the case.

Like any other aspect of personal training, it’s about maintaining the value to your sessions and the money will follow whichever model you choose. Diversifying your income in business is always a good idea, though, which could be worth considering in this scenario.

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