It is me again…with a different question this time.
My personal training business now that I’ve officially launched is taking off a bit quicker than I envisioned (this is a good thing i know!). However, I’m not versed nor thought about this one little issue – WHERE do I train my clients. For example, I have a potential client interested in training with me. She has no gym affiliation (and even if she did not sure I could come in as a guest to train her?). I have affiliations with two gyms, one that one even allow for outside guests (it is a private gym i use for myself solely) and I do have a membership to Planet Fitness. Am I allowed to bring a “guest” as my client if I have the black card membership? It looks like I will end up with a couple clients right off the bat (again didn’t see this coming this fast!) and now in a panic to figure out where the heck do I train them. I can do some bodyweight/basic training outside at my house (i have a large private yard) but I need a facility to be based out of. Recommendations would be hugely appreciated! THANK YOU!!! (again)
Some gyms have trainers on staff, some hire as contractors, some allow trainers to ‘rent’ facility use. Pretty much every place I have worked have rules that a trainer, even if they are a member cannot work with a client on site unless they have an official legal relationship with that gym. You can always ask the 2 gyms what their rules are, and whether you can sign on with them, and what the rules are for training non members. I know some people work ‘under the table’, but when I was training I never did… for one thing without that legal relationship with the center their insurance will not cover you, and your own might not if you are breaking center rules. For another it makes one look unprofessional, and the road to establishing one’s business is to do so with clear legal and ethical guidelines.
If the 2 places you work will not allow non members to come, or if the structure for your bringing them in to train would not make economic or logistical sense you have several options.
If the person enjoys outside training you could do that. You would need to talk to local authorities and make sure you can use the space in which you are interested and whether there are fees. You would also need to make sure you are insured to go outside. But that can be a good option.
You can look into small facilities that are willing to rent to you as an outside contractor where you can bring your clients on an hourly rate. This seems to be pretty common. There have been people with studios on this site asking the opposite question about how to find people who are interested in renting. You might have to do some local searching and calling, but should be able to find something.
You can train in their homes or offices. I did a lot of that when I trained. My area was densely populated and had great mass transit, so the travel time and expense was not great, and as I usually worked with either people who were more beginners or from the yoga world I found I did well with rubber resistance and light weights. You will need to be creative about the equipment part, but it is doable.
You could also check local churches and synagogs to see if they do not have someone on site and if they would rent to you.
Congratulations on your success!
Have you considered in-home training? If (and only if!) I know a client personally, I do in-home training at a client’s home. I’m insured to do so, and it’s convenient for the client.
Another place that has worked well for me is short term rental of dance / pilates studios.
I have had friends kicked out of gyms for training clients where they were not employees. Look at the contract on your gym membership. I think you are a member of Planet Fitness, right? See what you signed.
First of all, congratulations on your decision to pursue personal training as a career. It’s one of the most rewarding things you could ever do. In answer to your question, I read over the responses from some of the other trainers and they all make very good points, especially taking care of your liability insurance first. You can do that online in about 20 minutes or so and it’s not costly, but you definitely want to have it before actually doing any training.
The other suggestion I agree with is you definitely need to contact gym ownership first and come to an arrangement up front. You don’t want to get caught in an embarrassing or awkward situation in front of your client if you don’t. You can certainly start by inquiring at the gyms that you already belong to .. it never hurts to ask! Keep in mind though, as one of the other trainers mentioned, if they already have trainers on staff there that are trying to earn a living, it might be a tough sale. Worst thing that can happen is they can say “no” .. but more than likely they will try to offer you a job!
I agree that your best bet is probably going to be a smaller facility that will understand your position fully and welcome the additional business. I’d recommend starting out by negotiating a flat per visit fee, and they may even be willing to lower it in the event your client decides to join their gym.
Last, always remember “balance” when training. You don’t have to meet your client at the gym every session. Take advantage of nice weather by getting out to the park, running track, basketball court, tennis, cross-training, etc. Check out any public facilities there as well that may offer basketball or racquetball free or at a minimal cost, or may have an indoor walking track. The more you can change up your client’s workout routine, the more likely they will be to stay with it and be successful!
A qualified trainer has every right to train there private clients at public gyms as long as you have public liability insurance your fine ,gyms don’t like it but there is nothing legally stopping you and your membership can not be canceled. I can’t believe the negativity around this as gyms are completely taking advantage of trainers with rental contract which is why the stats show that 90% of PT graduates don’t last 6 months in the industry. It’s about time we as trainers start taking a stand. Train at there gyms, poach there members they certainly don’t care about them they have no respect for contact law making there contractors wear there uniform to advertise there business which is clearly illegal.
congratulations on your success in finding clients.
Many gyms, usually the large franchises, are very particular about independent trainers and often do not want them. Even more so when they have trainers on staff. Training a client there as your personal ‘guest’ or as a ‘workout buddy’ can get you into hot water; you may even lose your membership yourself.
Finding a place to train requires legwork and knocking on gym doors. Smaller privately owned places are a better place to start but gyms at apartments or even community centers may allow you to train. Make sure that you have professional liability insurance; I did not see that on your profile.
Yours is an interesting problem; most trainers wonder how to find clients. I wish you luck with your hunt.