While pubs and hairdressers are open, the pain lingers on for gyms and private personal training studios who are desperate but forbidden to open.
Gyms and the personal training industry have undoubtedly suffered enormous losses during the Covid-19 pandemic and who knows how or if they will recover.
Personal trainers, especially those who work in commercial gyms, have had their livelihoods taken from under them, and many with little financial help from the government.
While many regular gym goers have gotten used to the gyms being closed – adapting by following the likes of Joe Wicks, working out at home, and running in the park, unfortunately, many gyms/personal trainers have not had go-to-options and have had to close permanently.
But there is hope for those who can adapt.
Lots of personal trainers are thriving
Surprisingly, plenty of personal trainers have successfully adapted and even thrived during the pandemic. Despite the health concerns and economic impact, there has never been a stronger need for physical exercise and human connection. The personal trainers who have managed to adapt their businesses, become relevant, and solve the general population’s current needs have flourished.
We spoke to one of the UK’s top personal trainers and the owner of ‘LEP Fitness‘ Nick Screeton, who alongside coaching general population clients, also mentors personal trainers to help them grow their businesses. He said, “lots of personal trainers are doing exceptionally well during this time. A handful of PT’s are still earning a six-figure salary by moving their business online and scaling rapidly”. Intrigued, we asked Nick about how personal trainers are still managing to thrive despite the gyms being closed.
Outdoor personal training and bootcamps
In early June 2020, the government announced that personal trainers are allowed to train clients in parks. Lots of personal trainers have gone from paying high rents in commercial gyms (often up to 50%) to now taking in twice as much income.
Many one to one personal trainers are now running outdoor boot camps, with 6-10 people per class and charging £10 per session (£60-£100 per hour). This adaption has taken money away from the big commercial gyms and into the hands of self-employed personal trainers.
Zoom personal training
Despite the gyms being closed, many people still want and need coaching. So what’s the next best thing? How about doing a personal training session on Zoom? Coaches around the UK have taken their clients from the gym and moved them online. Again, saving gym rent and being able to make more per hour.
One of the limits all personal trainers face is the amount they can charge per hour. While it’s true that a few elite and celebrity personal trainers to the stars charge £1,000 per hour, most are capped at between £30-£100 per session.
That said, there are other ways to grow and increase revenue. For example, ‘Utility Fitness’ has gone from 30 people in their gym classes (pre lockdown) to now having 100+ people per online class. This has meant they have more than tripled their income over the last four months.
Passive income opportunities
Creating online products is one way for fitness professionals to reach a wider audience and increase profits. The most popular ways personal trainers do this is by:
- Selling ebooks online
- Online courses
- Membership sites
- Affiliate marketing
Transferring your knowledge as a personal trainer into an ebook, or monetising a blog is what lots of PT’s are doing to generate more income and build a bigger fan base.
For example, if you write a high-quality article, and it ranks high on Google (top 3 positions), you can potentially reach thousands of extra customers. Say one of your articles gets 1,000 hits per month, and 3% of the readers buy your ebook (£10): this would generate an extra £300 per month in revenue (£3,600 per year). This is just one example. It is possible to have multiple high ranking articles and to generate tens of thousands of pounds each month in passive income.
What does the future hold for gyms and personal trainers?
While we cannot read into the future, there is speculation that further lockdowns are inevitable, whether local or national. Times are uncertain, but one thing is for sure, that those willing to adapt and serve other people’s needs will thrive. There are lots of opportunities out there. Those who will be the most successful will continue to adjust and ride whatever wave is in front of them.
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