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Rev Up an Anemic Personal Training Department

Most clubs have between 2 percent and 5 percent of their membership population purchasing personal training. That is anemic. If your club has the right systems in place, you can involve closer to 10 percent of your members in personal training. Hmmm…what kind of impact would that have on your club's bottom line, your trainers' bottom lines and your member retention? The following tips will help you get there:


Run your personal training department like you would run a sales department. I know some of you reading this absolutely cringe with that concept, and until you adopt that format your department will not produce as much as it easily can with a few changes.

Those changes include implementing sales goals on a monthly basis that get you to your year-end goal. Track the goals on a daily basis to help you get to the month-end goal, which will get you to the year-end goal. Require attendance at weekly sales meetings to keep the trainers excited, fresh and on top of their training game and their selling game. Have a strong leader who can lead the program and create accountability with the trainers.


Make sure you have enough trainers to meet the goals. Too frequently, clubs do not have enough trainers to either hit the club goal or hit the potential that exists. To determine how many trainers you need, look at your monthly goal, divide the goal by the club's per session rate to give you the number of sessions required to hit the goal. Break that number down on a weekly basis (divide by 4.3) and that will tell you how many trainers you need.

Play around with this one based on your club's goals and the number of sessions your trainers do on a weekly basis. You will then know if you need more trainers to produce more revenue.


Require a minimum number of billable sessions per trainer per week to maintain employment with your facility. Too many clubs have far too many trainers doing four or five sessions per week. The downfall of that is that it works for the trainer but not for the club. My encouragement to you is to develop a team of trainers who want to do this full time and create their living from personal training. If that is what you want to do, then create a minimum of 10 sessions per week. If training falls below that minimum, determine your grace period for making it up. Otherwise, the trainer should not be part of your club's program.


Provide sales training for your trainers. If you implement any of the preceding three tips, it would behoove you to provide some solid sales training for your trainers. Most trainers have adequate training with regard to the science and technical aspect of training but have inadequate training when it comes to sales and marketing skills. Give your trainers the edge by giving them the full set of tools to make their living at your club.

By implementing these four tips you can take your club from one with an anemic program to a club with a robust program in a matter of months. Why would you want to? Three reasons: 1) to increase club revenue; 2) to increase trainer income and longevity; and 3) to increase member usage and retention. That's what I refer to as the indispensable three with personal training programs.

Karen D. Woodard is president of Premium Performance Training in Boulder, CO. You can contact Karen at or call her at 303.417.0653.


Take a look at the following example to determine your needs:
Monthly goal $25,000
Rate/session $40
Total sessions/month 625
Sessions/week 145.35
No. of trainers needed 5.8
(assuming trainers bill for 25 sessions per week)
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