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The Four Levels Of Personal Fitness Trainers

July 10th, 2006 by Fitness Guardian

Pyramid Of LevelsAfter 15 plus years in the personal finess training industry I’ve noticed an approximate four level pattern among personal training careers.  It goes like this:

Level One: New Trainers - Have a year or less of actual personal training experience.  Typically work as employees in clubs or studios.  Usually are provided clients from the club.  They don’t earn enough to make a decent living from the personal fitness training of clients.

Level Two: Intermediate Trainers – Typically have one – three years personal training experience.  They most likely work in a club environment and may do some work outside a club on a contract basis.  Most clients are provided to the trainer by the club and they start getting some referrals from satisfied clients.  They may earn enough to meet their basic financial needs.

Level Three: Advanced Trainers – Typically have over 3 years experience working with clients.  They have full training schedules that demand them to work many hours.  Have very high client renewal. Many of their new clients come from referrals or marketing relationships.  Advanced trainers typically charge above the industry average, are self employed and make enough money for a comfortable lifestyle.  They are also likely to start studio training businesses and hire some other trainers to work for them.

Level Four: Elite Trainers – Typically has 5 or more years experience working with clients.  They charge a premium for their time which they leverage in many ways.  They have other trainers working for them in different capacities. 

The elite trainer focuses on building a brand that serves clients, instead of personally serving clients him or herself.  The elite trainer has marketing, sales and service systems in place that were developed to replicate their proven best methods, practices and business acumen. 

Top Of The Pyramid
Level Four trainers make more income and work less hours than the other three trainer levels.   Because of their high profit to time ratio they are free to focus their resources on additional profit building activities.  This is the top of the pyramid.

From Newbie to Elite
My next several posts will address the progression through the personal training levels.  Many newbie trainers have the goal of becoming elite.  For a variety of reasons, few ever get there.  Many trainers are happy staying at the intermediate or advanced levels – there is no right or wrong.  Each level has pros and cons, depending on what you want to achieve.

What level are you?  What level do you want to be? 

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