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The Hybrid Personal Trainer | How to Become a Successful Personal Trainer

Apr 05, 2023


the Hybrid Trainer

How to Become a Successful

Personal Trainer

The average personal trainer will get their textbook certification within 3-6 months and want to train at high-end gyms like Equinox or Lifetime Fitness. The problem is that these gyms want trainer experience due to the high-end member base making over $250,000 per year. Ultimately the trainer will settle for one of the other corporate gyms like 24-Hour Fitness, Planet Fitness, and/or LA Fitness, all of which charge significantly less per training session than the fancier gyms.

*Corporate Gym Breakdown

LA Fitness is the largest of the corporate gyms with over 500 gyms generating over 2B in revenue.

24-Hour Fitness is third with over 300 gyms generating over 1.6B in revenue.

Planet Fitness has over 2,400 gyms, generating over 930m in revenue.

Whereas Lifetime Fitness has 160-multi-million dollar properties, generating over 1.8B in revenue.

Last but not least, Equinox has 106 multi-million dollar properties (with international locations in Canada and London) generating between 550M – 1.5B in revenue (as a privately held company they do not openly share revenue as the other gyms do.)

Personal Trainers at these gyms will be given opportunities through 1-2 wellness consultations or Equifit, to sign a member up for a personal training package (6-12-24-36.) Pricing per session can range from $50-75/ session (PF, LA, 24) with the trainer walking away with 30-50% to as little as $9/per 30-minute session (LA Fitness.) Equinox and Lifetime charge between $110-175/ hour and the trainer will take home between 30-50% of the session (the highest hourly rate I've seen with monthly bonuses has been Equinox at $68/ per hour.)

*The global fitness market is ~81.5bn. I am quoting the big 4 gyms (EQ, LT, 24, LA with the addition of PF) and not considering small group fitness like Orange Theory Fitness which has over 1,500 studios and >Billion in revenue.

I'm a trainer, NOW WHAT?

One of the biggest problems with the corporate structure is the trainer feeling victimized by not making more per session, “It's NOT FAIR that I only make $28/hour when Equinox charges $120. I should make more.” The mindset should be that you're gaining much valuable experience in a 30-million-dollar facility surrounded by multi-millionaires, but it's not. That mentality is why 90% of textbook trainers (ACE, NASM, ISSA, NSCA) quit at a corporate gym within 12 months of getting certified (50% within 12 weeks.) Granted, I feel that being at the gym from 5 am-10 pm M-F while working most Saturdays isn't sustainable. So, what is the answer?

Hybrid Personal Trainer

You don't want to be an AVERAGE PERSONAL TRAINER making $40,000 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2021. The average trainer also closes 2.5 / 10 wellness consultations. What you need is the proper route and guidance to become successful. In my book, How to Become A Successful Personal Trainer (over 400 5-star reviews on AMAZON), I discuss WHY the average trainer is NOT successful and it's due to the low bar for entry, a lack of understanding of movement, anatomy, and programming. These concepts are essential for creating a sustainable career as a fitness professional. Imagine starting ANY career by only reading a textbook or without the guidance of an instructor. Ultimately impostor syndrome creeps in along with low self-confidence, so when you present a personal training package during the assessment, you're scared shitless! Hence the 25% closing rate for textbook personal trainers. Not at Show Up Fitness (SUF). SUF-CPTs close above 50% with our elite-level trainers above 90%.

How to Become A Successful Personal Trainer

Level 1: Certified Personal Trainer (SUF-CPT). All trainers begin within the Level 1 program which focuses on anatomy (17 muscles of the shoulder and 20-lower body muscles), programming 101, and movement competency. Once you conquer the basics, you're ready to take your SUF-CPT which includes submitting or posting a video of your 8-core movement patterns and program, then taking a verbal test in front of a panel of coaches. You're given 10 minutes to complete the test. There is NO OTHER FITNESS CERTIFICATION that does this. Every trainer gets their certification by taking a multiple-choice test. Most trainers complete the SUF-CPT within 2 months (you can take it sooner or later based on your course of study.) The content is on the platform and APP on-demand with daily (M-F) live calls to ask fitness professionals questions. The cost for all courses is $100/ month (reoccurring subscription model) with the SUF-CPT test being an additional $149 as of April 2023.

Level 2: Online Coach (OC), Nutrition Coach (NC), Mentorship Program (MP). Each one of these specialty courses is 2 months long with two live classes per week that are recorded for on-demand viewing within the Show Up Fitness APP.

SUF-OC. This course teaches you how to develop your business, build a website, and create social media content and streams of revenue within online programming.

SUF-NC. This course has Chris Hitchko (Owner) and team RD Mel Sulaver reviewing case examples helping you create another stream of revenue within nutrition consultations.

SUF-MP. To be eligible for this course with Chris Hitchko, you need to have a book of business. Chris will help you scale and/or start your gym business. With over 20 years of experience training, teaching trainers, and entrepreneurial (owner of three gyms) there is no one more equipped within the fitness industry to help mentor you towards success.

Level 3: SUF-CSCS (certified strength and conditioning specialist). This advanced course is to prep anyone to pass the NSCA's CSCS and also teach advanced programming for those who are not eligible to sit for the CSCS (you need a 4-year college degree.) SUF has taken NSCA's CSCS certification one step further by creating the SUF-CSCS which includes live calls with strength coaches (instructors BaRack Little and Chris Hitchko), on-demand content from Professors and Dietitians. During the 2-month course, you will be challenged to create a detailed periodized 6-week program for an athlete of your choosing via the Needs Analysis.

Level 4: SUF-Prehab. This course will be launching in mid-late summer with the addition of the recent partnership with The Prehab Guys who are Doctors of Physical Therapy. The course will implement their App and exercise library. The expectations will be to intern at a physical therapy facility, be able to name an action for over 80 muscles, and present with a team of trainers injury-related case examples.

Level 5: Show Up Fitness gym ownership. The ceiling for trainers at a corporate gym like Equinox or Lifetime Fitness is training an ungodly amount of sessions (200+ per month) and/or the much safer route of management. For many, these options are not very enticing. What about perusing your passion for owning your gym? For most people, this option is not on the table due to business acumen, financing options and the risk of failing (81% of gyms fail within the first year.) For those who've completed levels 1-4 and have generated a certain amount of revenue (from training or client/student referrals) can own a Show Up Fitness gym.

SUF-OC will launch the week of May 1st.

SUF-Prehab will be beta tested in June.

Level 5 ownership is in the process of beta across our locations.

If you want to turn your passion for fitness into a sustainable career, it begins by SHOWING UP.

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