T Nation

Personal Training Department?


This is a question for anyone involved in a Gym, I am working on opening a new Gym and am curious what others have done for their Personal Training Structure, as far as Pay, program design, consistancy, etc... To apply to the masses, but still be effective? Thank you in advance!


honestly most places don't have any PT design or consistency in there program. Effective and good facilities will hire their own trainer, not just let indepents come in. Good places will encourage a certain style of training as opposed to having every trainer train differently


I would disagree with that. Are you telling me that you wouldn't go to a gym where Dan John (Olympic lifter), Louie Simmons (Powerlifter), Chad Waterbury (high volume, high load), Charles Staley (high density, moderate load), and Mike Mahler (predominantly kettlebells) were trainers? As long as it's nothing blatantly ridiculous, like funcitonal-shmunctional training.


As a gym manager, here's what I have found to work:

Programs: Each trainer has their own skill set and expertise. Use this to your advantage. As long as they have good skills and a sound science base, your facility will be able to reach a broad range of clients.

Pay: no independant contractors! Each trainer works 10-20hrs per week on the floor at a minimum pay (you know, answering questions, building rapport, giving tours etc) and a higher rate for seeing clients (about 60%)

Hiring: Interview...gives you an idea of personality. Case Study: gives chance to test knowledge. Mock PT session: to assess client interactions.

Ongoing evaluations: I video actual sessions twice per year, and review with each trainer. Those who improve get raises, those who don't are shown the door.

Provide perks: I sent all trainers to 2 conferences per year. Provide in house continuing ed too.

Results: High trainer retention = high client retention = increased profits for facility.

hope this helps


Hey D-Rock112,
I've run a few personal training departements and a good book I could refer you to buy is from IDEA magazine...Running a Successful Personal Training Department. It has tons of info on setting up a department, interviewing, pay scales, and ready made forms to use. If you have any questions you could also PM as I've done contract work on helping gyms set up their training departments.

Just to give you a rough idea as to the revenue you could make...a club with a member base of 1300 members can generate $10,000 per month (gross) in revenue with profit marging of about 30%.