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Pricing Personal Training Sessions: A Quick How-To Guide

If you aren’t working for a major commercial gym, then that means you have to figure out pricing personal training sessions. At first glance it doesn’t seem to be very difficult, but there’s a balance you want to maintain. You want to figure out a price that demonstrates your value but also one you feel is fair for your clients.

In this blog we will go over exactly how to price your sessions and what sort of mentality you should be approaching it with.

Common Considerations for Pricing Personal Training Sessions

There a couple considerations you should make before pricing your personal training sessions. Often times, new trainers will look at other trainer in their market and use their base price or say “well bob set his price at this so I’m just going to set my price there too”.

The problem with this is it’s not unique and often times, this approach doesn’t reflect the true value of your services. This is why it’s important to consider all factors and come up with your own pricing model.

Status of the Economy

Pricing your sessions can vary based on the status of the economy because personal training is considered a luxury service by many. Unfortunately, luxury services are the first to take a hit when the economy looks like its going downhill.

At the point of writing this article (3.23.2020), the COVID-19 pandemic has it’s full fledged grip on society. As of right now many stores are closed, including Gyms for the foreseeable future.

As we speak, thousands of people are out of work and applying for unemployment. Right would be a good example of when you might want to start looking at adjusting your prices. One this to consider is, many people are stuck at home, off of work.

If you adjust your prices accordingly, you may find people who still want to train as it might be the only thing that keeps people sane.

However, on the flip side, while to economy is booming, you can charge more for your services.

Your Location Matters

Your location can be a rather large variable in what you price your sessions at. Do you live in a large city or a small rural town? Even if you live in a large city, what part of the city do you live in?

The FitSW offices are located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In Colorado, there are three main cities people go by. Pueblo, Colorado Springs, and Denver. Then there are the surrounding cities such as Fountain, Manitou Springs, and Falcon which are all outside of Colorado Springs, but close enough to be considered part of the Colorado Springs area.

If you were to look at the prices on average with the surrounding towns, trainers in Fountain would more likely charge slightly lower rates. Same with Falcon. However, Manitou is very heavily visited by tourists and has a lot more money. Therefore you might find training to be more expensive in Manitou.

Then you have Denver for example. Personal training in Denver is likely to more expensive then Colorado Springs. However, much like Colorado Springs, Denver also has smaller towns on the outside of Denver that are almost seen as a part of the city. As such, you might find cheaper prices in Aurora or Littleton then Denver even though they are essentially in the same place!

Does the Price of a Session Cover Your Expenditures?

This all depends on what kind of training you are doing. If you are a private trainer who travels to the home of the client, then what would your expenditures be?

If you are training in their home you probably pay for liability insurance. You have the time it takes you to drive there, the gas you use, the equipment you bring, the time it took you to write the program/workout, and probably a couple other factors. Are you an employee of the gym you train at or are you renting space there as an independent trainer? Are you renting space at just one gym or many?

When considering all of those expenditures, you absolutely need to sit down and tally up all of your unique costs and factor those into your pricing. Especially if you have special requests from clients.

This is essentially comparably to calculating “operating costs” for larger companies. Factor in how much it costs to run your PT business.

What is Your Target Market?

This one often times runs parallel with your experience level too. The trainers who are in the more niche areas of personal training often are the most experienced. This is because they have spent the most time in the personal training industry in general and know where their interest lies.

Trainers who work for corporations as the “company trainer” might make more then a trainer in a Golds Gym.

In this case, it’d be good to do research on that specific niche industry to see if there’s any rhyme or reason to other trainers pricing. Not because you want to copy their pricing, but this way you can get a better feel for pricing and the variables involved.

Self Worth & Confidence

Have you heard of Paula Scher? She is one of the most renowned graphic designers and artists in the world. There are a lot of different achievements she is famous for but among them is her 5 min sketch of the Citibank logo.

Citibank was paying her design agency $1.5 million to help them come up with a logo and more likely other branding assets. Paula Scher sat down and drew the Citibank logo in 5 minutes. Dubbed the $1.5 million napkin. Later on she was quoted in saying:

“It took me a few seconds to draw it, but it took me 34 years to learn how to draw it in a few seconds.”

Paul Scher

This quote couldn’t be more applicable to pricing personal training sessions. A lot of clients only see the couple minutes it takes you to create a workout for the day. But they don’t see the hundreds of clients you have trained and the thousands of workouts you have written.

Not to mention the hundreds of hours of reading and studying many trainers do on their on off time.

Many trainers spend quite literally thousands of hours honing their craft. Some trainers can look at the way you walk in the gym and tell you what part of your neck is sore and how personal training can help alleviate that. They might even already have an idea for how they would structure your program in their head. Not because they have done it before but because they know how the human body works.

Listing Your Prices and How to Discuss Them With Clients/Prospective Clients

This really depends on your employment situation as a trainer. For example some trainers work at commercial gyms as an employee of the gym. With a lot of commercial gyms, your rate is dependent upon how long you’ve been there and how many specializations you have.

In the example above, more times then not, your rate is set for you. However, you still need to have the confidence to discuss it openly with prospective clients.

In other examples, some trainers rent space in a gym and set their own prices.

In either example, you want to sell results first, not packages or sessions. Regardless of the issues clients are coming to you with, the bottom line is a better quality of life is essentially priceless.

Personal training is so much more then just “selling workouts”. Many trainers are part time therapists, part time life coaches, and full time personal trainers. Many people who start a rigorous personal training program undergo major changes in other areas of their life as a result of the training.

When you approach it from that direction, it suddenly seems pretty easy in discussing exactly what the price will be and the benefits of your services.

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