Profile of Personal Training Clients

by Joy Keller on Jan 01, 2006

Personal training is the haven of older exercisers who want guidance to begin or continue an exercise program. Over half of personal training clients are 45 years or older, and the majority are beginning or intermediate exercisers. Considering that so many clients have temporary or chronic injuries or special medical needs, it’s not surprising that they turn to the expertise and one-on-one attention of a personal trainer.

Over 8 years (1997–2005), personal training clients have changed. There has been a marked increase in the number of amateur athletes, an increase in the number of people with special medical needs and fewer businesses choosing to serve women only (a niche for women trainers who work with female clients). It could simply be that trainers are seeing more clients, and those clients have diverse needs. As a side note, the trainers in 2005 report keeping clients for a longer period of time than the trainers in 1997.

These data are from the 2005 IDEA Personal Training Programs & Equipment Survey, conducted in March and April of 2005. There were 270 personal trainer members represented, with responses provided by 43% personal trainers, 21% owners, 9% fitness or personal training directors, and 17% both trainers and group instructors, along with other titles. About 45% were in personal-training-only businesses, while the remainder were in fitness facilities.

—Patricia Ryan, MS

Estimated Experience Level of Clients

41% beginners

46% intermediate

17% advanced

Estimated Average Age of Clients

6% 18 years and younger

18% 18–34

28% 35–44

30% 45–54

25% 55 and older



This section of the article is still in the process of conversion to the web.

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About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master. Joy joined IDEA Health & Fitness Association in 2002, and brought with her a wealth of information about how to fine-tune communication channels, after having spent her formative career years specializing in business-to-business journalism. Before she even graduated with honors from the respected University of Georgia journalism school, Joy was offered a job at one of the most successful trade publishing companies in the southeast, Shore Varrone, Inc. She made her mark in the automotive aftermarket industry as a creative thinker and journalist with an intuitive knack for researching and understanding niche audiences. Joy has worked on several titles, including Auto Trim & Restyling News, Truck Accessory News, Digital Output Magazine, Retail & Construction News, Miata magazine, Ford Racing, and many more. Her passion, however, lies with health and fitness. She was the associate editor of ACE Certified News while working at the American Council on Exercise, and transitioned that publication from a newsletter to a magazine. She has enjoyed 17 years at IDEA, where she has launched several publications, including the award-winning Inner IDEA Body-Mind Spirit Review, IDEA Pilates Today and IDEA Fit Business Success. Joy is a content creator and media 2.0 advocate who takes pride in discovering the unique information needs of qualified audiences, and she is dedicated to serving those needs while following the highest available standards.