Hello! I’m Nick, I own LEP Fitness, a personal training company based in Sheffield. To this date i’ve completed over 10,000 x 1-1 coaching sessions and have a wealth of experience, not only as a coach, but also as a business owner. I have learned lots over the last 8 years and want to help other personal trainers.
Been there done that got the t-shirt…
I know what it’s like to have barley any clients, to be broke and to hustle day and night in the hope of picking up some business! This was me for the first year of personal training!
On the flipside… I also know what it’s like to be totally burnt out, taking on too many clients, and becoming totally overwhelmed with workload. I’ve been at both extremes (very quite and extremely busy!) – and I want to help other coaches out there, to prevent them from making the same mistakes I made.
In this post i’m going to focus on the number of sessions you should aim for each week as a coach…
Personal Trainers – How Many Sessions Should You Aim For A Week?
It can take a while to build your client base, and the most important thing to begin with… is to get as much experience as you possibly can. The only way to get good as a personal trainer is to practice your trade (not through some textbook) but real life experience on the gym floor with clients!
Whilst your personal trainer course will give you a great starting platform, you’ll learn the most through your interaction and experience with clients. When you start out, work with as many different people as you can.
5-15 sessions per week
This simply isn’t enough to provide a living, the likelihood is that you will need another job alongside your PT to support you (unless you have extra financial support). Most personal trainers will work on the gym floor/reception in between sessions to earn a salary whilst they build their client base.
This stage is hard, you’re often skint, and tired, but this is where you build character and it’s the period that separates those personal trainers who drop out very quickly from the industry (within a year) from those who usually go on to make a great success of their career.
Like I said, but will repeat…This period is very difficult, but if you work hard and get in front of people in your gym i.e. by saying hello, helping people for free, and building rapport, etc you will pick up clients and you can start to build momentum. For most personal trainers, one year of hard grafting will see them get to at least 15 sessions per week – a good start!
If you are new to the personal training industry (2 years or less) and want to build your PT business up quickly then I’d recommend checking out my e-book The Ultimate Guide To Building Your Personal Training Business. I’ll teach you everything you need to know so that you can build a successful business – helping you to get more customers and increase your earnings.
15-20 sessions per week
This is a good little number and will likely support general living costs for most personal trainers, providing that they are charging enough.
Also remember that once you have some momentum, and have a decent number of clients, let’s say 7-12 clients (who all know 100 people each) – you will all of a sudden get more clients through referrals – that’s providing that you are doing a good job with the clients you have.
Once you get to 15-20 sessions per week it’s much easier to get even more sessions per week (20-30) because you have momentum and more people will be talking about your business.
20-30 sessions per week
This is what I would consider to be an ideal number. I’d say that once your business is up and running you don’t want to drop below 20 sessions per week.
Ideally I would say 25-30 sessions per week is perfect, this is just my opinion. You can keep the service quality high and whilst it’s tiring because you’re on your feet 25+ hours per week it’s manageable. You’ve got to remember that being a personal trainer is extremely demanding , you are on your feet all day, passing people weights, you have to concentrate, and give inspirational talks to your clients – it can be very taxing.
You’ve also got to remember that outside of your personal training sessions you have to spend time doing things like: nutritional plans, check ins, workout programmes, etc. So all in all if you do 25/30 hours of PT per week and then spend 10 hours outside of sessions (approx 40 hours per week) – that’s what I would consider a perfect number.
30+ sessions per week
This is where it can get very interesting. There was once a point in my career (at about 2 years in) when I was doing 50/60 personal training sessions per week! crazy right?
It was good because I was busy and got loads of experience under my belt. BUT at the same time I burned myself out, all I was doing everyday was coaching people. I neglected my own health, friends and family, and soon realised that there’s more to life than PT!
I could do it back then, and in my defence I had no major responsibilities, I didn’t have any kids, and I could be selfish. That said I think when you go over 30 sessions per week the service is going to naturally decline and your business will suffer – mine did!
Doing 40 sessions per week for 1 or 2 year isn’t a bad thing, especially if you are young, and if you can hack it, but then after that time you’ll need to scale down to less sessions per week.
Lots of personal trainers take on more clients to get more money, but once you’re at 30 sessions per week, instead of increasing your clients, increase your prices. If you raise your prices by £5 per session that means you’ll get an extra £150 per week (if you do 30 sessions) – put another way that’s £7,800 per year.
If you’re scared of raising your prices then once you hit 30 session per week, any new clients that you take on, charge a higher rate e.g. instead of £30 per session, charge £40 per session – if you have a good reputation, are confident in your ability and service…then people will still sign up.
When i started out I was charging £9 per session! Now my rate is over 7x that amount and it’s because my business/reputation has grown and I get between 20-30 new enquiries per month, meaning there’s enough demand.
I hope you found this post helpful! If you have any questions about your personal training business and want some advice then please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via the contact form on my website – click here
Thanks for reading,