How much should personal trainers charge?

It’s a question I get asked all the time from new personal trainers, even established ones. "How much should I charge for a personal training session?"

New trainers can be uneasy at the mere mention of the topic of what to charge for personal training and established trainers sometimes still find themselves charging the same rate after a few years. So it’s not entirely about experience and nor should it be.

Finding the perfect rate that isn’t too low or too high is a challenge for most personal trainers. So I want to explore some things you should consider when asking this question.

First things first. Ask yourself,  “How much do I need to earn just to survive?” You can work this out by using the following 3 steps.

To make things easier I’ve attached a personal finance budget planner, which includes business overheads and cash flow forecasting. "Click here to download”.


Step 1Calculate your Business Overheads 

These are the costs associated with you operating your business, such as:

  • Facility rent
  • Insurance
  • Education costs i.e. seminars, books, Continuing Education Credits (CEC)
  • Clothing
  • Phone
  • Superannuation (even if you choose not to pay this to yourself, at least remember you are forgoing it)
  • Income tax, GST
  • Accountant
  • Transaction fees on electronic payments

The more costs you have the more you’ll have to charge for your services.


Step 2Personal Expenses 

Figure out your living costs, i.e. rent/mortgage, bills, clothes, food, saving goals 


Step 3Billable Hours 

How much time can you reasonably expect to be working with clients?

Another way to think of this is to figure out how many billable hours you’ll have. You’ll need to spend time selling and marketing your business, doing administrative tasks; those aren't hours you can bill to a client either.

Example: 1,920 (48 weeks x 40 hours per week) - this also allows for annual leave, sick days and unforeseen circumstances.


Additional Considerations


Know the value of your niche 

Next thing is to figure out the value of your niche. This article will help you to choose your niche as a personal trainer, then to start to figure out the value.


Word of Warning - Never Undercut  

When starting out it can seem like a good idea to undercut other trainers in a bid to get clients especially when next weeks rent is looming. Don't.

  • It cheapens your service
  • It cheapens the industry
  • You will tend to get a less committed client
  • When you decide to increase your prices these people are far less likely to continue.
  • You may also soon find yourself shunned by other trainers and staff


Increase Prices (Even with Existing)  

I know a lot of trainers are resistant too this but you should be increasing your prices yearly to account for inflation (a general increase in the cost of living) and to reflect your increased experience and knowledge.

If you are doing a truly great job with your clients, you shouldn't be too worried about your customers leaving you and if for any reason your clients leave you the increase in prices should accommodate for this.



You should consider what your goals are in life and how your earnings will affect you achieving them? i.e. buying a house, buying a car, going on a holiday.



Another thing to consider is your capacity, meaning how booked up are you? If you're almost close to being fully booked you should be considering this a point of leverage to be charing more.



In summary:

  • Be clear about what you need as a baseline to survive
  • Find a niche and know the value that you bring to that niche (this will give you confidence in selling)
  • Determine your financial goals
  • Increase prices yearly
  • Understand the impact on your goals
  • Know where is your capacity at.


For further reading here is another article by Fitness Mentors exploring this question also.