Tips To Starting Your Personal Training Business After Certification


By Elizabeth Tran

Every new personal fitness trainer knows they need to be certified before they can start. But what about after that?

You obviously have a passion for physical fitness and wellness, but how do you turn that passion into an actual business? It may seem intimidating at first, but with some hard work and dedication, you’ll begin to see the results. (Sounds familiar, right?)

Here are some tips to help any newly-certified personal fitness trainer get their business off to a successful start.

1. Complete Other Important Personal Trainer Documents

Now that you have at least one personal training certification, there are other necessary forms and documents you need to complete before you can start. It is important to have all of these documents completed and up-to-date to stay compliant with the laws and regulations in your area.

Here are the other forms and documents you will need:

First Aid, CPR, AED Certification

Typically, fitness certification companies will require your safety certifications to be current. Some might only require just the First Aid and CPR certifications, but it is smart to have all three with AED certification. You never know when you might need an AED (automatic defibrillator) to save someone’s life rather than performing CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).

You can find safety certification courses at your local community colleges and online. It’s best to register for an in-person class, so you can get real hands-on experience.

Business Permits and Licenses

All businesses require permits and licensing, and personal training is no different. Since you will be paid for your services, you will need to get a business permit.

Check with your local business department to check what is required in your city, as they all can vary. You can also check with a local accountant to help you with this process as well.

Professional Liability Insurance

Accidents happen, so it’s highly suggested to have professional liability insurance. You never want to have an accident and for you to be liable for damages. Don’t be caught without personal trainer insurance.

Liability insurance covers anything related to the day-to-day operations of your personal training business. Liability insurance also provides coverage for business personal property, general liability, professional liability, and property damage to gym rentals. There are different liability insurance providers for personal fitness trainers, so make sure to compare policies and prices from a few insurance companies.

2. Identify Your Fitness Audience

Finding your personal training niche sounds simple, but it is surprisingly overlooked. The physical fitness and wellness industry is huge! There are many different types of clients with different types of goals. It can range from middle-aged clients wanting to shed a few pounds to Olympic-level athletes training for a particular sport.

How do you begin brainstorming?

Focus on what you like doing!

For instance, if you have a passion for football, you can focus on training aspiring football athletes. You could also create a football-focused program to help develop your clients’ strength and speed for the football field. If you’re passion is dance, you can create a dance class that’s both fun and energizing for your clients.

When deciding on who is a good client type, there’s no better place to start than with your passion. If you are into it, chances are someone else is too!

Want to use a more business-minded approach?

You can also find your a niche using a more business-minded approach. As a new personal trainer, you could research what types of potential clients are in your area and which could benefit from your training. Your passion may be football or dance, but there are a lot of potential clients that simply want to lose weight and be more physically fit. Your passion and knowledge can definitely benefit these types of clients, and from a business aspect these clients are worth exploring.

3. Be Confident as a New Personal Trainer

Another challenging area for new personal trainers is getting comfortable with training others. Some trainers might feel a little awkward in the beginning, but that’s ok. Once you understand what your clients’ fitness goals are, you’ll become more confident in  your training abilities. This will allow your knowledge and passion to shine.

You can accomplish this by asking your clients specific questions about their fitness goals. By letting your clients open up, you’ll get a much better understanding on what they want to achieve. Clients will typically know what they want when asked, but they usually don’t know how to go about it. Take good notes. Make sure to assess what type of fitness level and limitations your client may have. And remember to be friendly!

Once you begin to understand more about your client, the more confident you will become with them. The more information you know about your client, the better equipped you will be at personal training.

4. Practice With Friends and Family

A good way to get practice with your personal training business is with the people you love and trust most. Your friends and family.

Consider your friends and family as your “on the job” training. Your loved ones will be both your easiest clients and critics. Use them to help figure out your training style with real feedback. You’ll help them improve their lives while they’ll help you improve your business. Win-win!

5. Practice Personal Training at a Gym

As a new personal trainer, starting out at a gym has many benefits. You’ll be able to watch and observe other personal trainers on how they work with their clients. You’ll also get tips and tricks from more experienced personal trainers, which can be incorporated into your own training style.

Also, new gym members and are usually offered complimentary personal training sessions. These sessions will give you an opportunity to work with lots of new and different clients.This can helpful in finding your niche as you’ll be able to see what types of clients work best with you.

6. Build Relationships With Your Clients

As with all service-based businesses, building lasting relationships with your clients is the key to longevity. For people just getting back into health and fitness, many insecurities can arise.

This journey can be hard for them.

Always be understanding and attentive to your clients. Most people who book personal trainers will appreciate a personal trainer that truly listens, understands, and cares about them.

Make a personal connection.

Find out what they like and dislike about exercise. Find out how their daily lives are like with their time. Now you’ll be able to make a better fitness plan to go through together. This will only make both of you more comfortable as well as more motivated.

Don’t be surprised if you make some meaningful friendships along the way!

7. Market Yourself

Now that you made it this far, it’s time to start thinking more about the other aspects of your personal training business. This is important because after all, it is a business. It is now time to get the word out and start marketing yourself!

First Impressions Matter

Even though you will work in a relaxed atmosphere, it is still important to carry a professional attitude. This also includes having professional-looking fitness attire that fits and looks good. A nice smile always helps!

Spreading The Word

People are going to need to find you, so it is important to have an online presence. People should be able to easily find information about you and your business.

Maybe you have a great weight loss story that could motivate and inspire others? Maybe you have a strong passion for fitness that you want to share with others?

Share it! Social media is a great platform to create and share your personal training brand and get people interested in you. Sharing your tips and other information on sites like Twitter and Instagram is a great way to engage with new potential clients.

Managing Your Time

As your business begins to grow, you will start to get more interest from clients. This is when time management becomes really important. You will need to manage both you and your client’s time, as you try to juggle different time slots and availabilities. You’ll also need to set aside some time to deal with appointments and other aspects of your business.

Apps such as Schedulicity can help entrepreneurs like personal trainers manage their scheduling tasks easily online. Schedulicity provides automated scheduling services for both personal trainers and their clients. Clients can directly book and update training appointments online here. Now you can have more time to do what you actually love, which is training clients!


Congratulations on your journey to becoming a personal trainer! Now that you have your personal training certification, these simple tips will help you on your way to starting your own successful personal training business!

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