The Ultimate Personal Trainer Checklist

It’s seriously confusing to decipher exactly what you need when starting out as a personal trainer. You see the guys and girls who work at your gym; some have notebooks whereas others have iPads. Some look smart, while some seem like they’ve just stepped out of bed. Knowing what you need in the physical sense is tough, and it gets even more baffling when you think about all the digital options available to you – social media profiles, a website, online groups, an email list … it makes learning about golgi tendon organs and the krebs cycle sound like child’s play. The thing is, working out what you need isn’t that difficult. People have built extremely successful businesses in this industry using simple methods and without a huge number of resources. That being said, there are plenty of useful items that can make your job a heck of a lot easier, both in terms of picking up and retaining clients, and helping your days run smoother with less stress and worry. So here’s your ultimate personal trainer checklist:  

Physical Checklist -

Shoes that you ONLY wear when training clients

You need smart sneakers/ trainers for your time with clients. It might seem small but the first thing a client will notice is your shoes. Which let me tell you if they notice they’re dirty or worse they have a particular odour, then your client will make a snap judgement on the kind of person you are, just like personal hygiene is important, sneaker hygiene is important. Pro Tip: Wearing new socks also creates a professional image.

Tee Shirts/ Polo Shirts with Your Logo On

If you’re freelance or your gym lets you, then branded shirts are a perfect way for people to see who you are, what you do and get a sense that you’re a serious businessperson. Pro Tip: Consider having shirts for your clients to, your clients are like walking billboards and if someone likes what they see at the gym they’ll know where it came from.

Business Cards

They may be slightly out-of-date now (and I hate them), but handing over a business card is still perceived as being more professional that just texting someone your number. Pro Tip: electronic business cards or virtual business cards are also a great way to link with clients, you know snapchats QR codes? Yeah those.

Water Bottles and Spare Tee Shirts

Much like Tee Shirts/ Polo Shirts with Your Logo On. These are to give to clients as bonuses for signing up, completing a certain number of sessions, or as a reward for achieving a goal. As per “Teamwork Makes the Dream Work” you want to make your clients into your fitness army, showing the whole gym what training with you is all about.


In the days of Facebook ads, flyers and leaflets have almost died, but they’re not done yet … not by a long shot. Like having a business card, a flyer is easier to hand out, and can be seriously eye-catching. Plus, if you make your flyers informative, fun and educational, you can hand them out after classes or as people leave the gym without it looking like you’re just giving out sales material.

A Hockey Ball/ Foam Roller

On your feet from 6am to 12pm and then again from 3 til’ 9 in the afternoon? You’ll want to do some self myofascial release in that gap … trust me!

Digital Checklist -



A website adds a degree of professionalism, and is a way for people who aren’t on Facebook to contact you. It also gives you somewhere to host blogs and articles. Seeing as content is so vital as a fitness professional, a website is a worthy investment.

Facebook Page

Set up a professional Facebook page. Organic reach might not be as good as it once was, but it won’t take you long to add content on there each week, and it’s just another way of you getting your face out there.


It’s not only great to show your journey but also the journey of your clients. It can definitely help you to score new clients if done right. It has tremendous engagement and being a PT you’ll have tons of content in no time. Pro Tip: Take photos of your clients killing it in the gym, this will show your potential clients that training with you is glorious and that your current clients enjoy it.  

Online Groups

You definitely want a client group, where all your clients can chat to each other and ask questions. You could also run a free group, but only if you have time. If you do this, call it “Weight loss in XXX” or “Free fitness tips for XXX residents” replacing XXX with your city or town.

An Email List

Email marketing is the most underrated tool for personal trainers, both in-person and online. This is an untapped goldmine, and you can read about how to set one up here.

Microsoft Office or Google Doc/sheets

You should be giving your clients physical copies of their programs and diets, but Word and Excel are the most user-friendly way to construct these before printing them off. Pro Tip: This also is a great way of letting your client engage with their own journey, creating a sense of involvement can help your clients with their own enthusiasm levels.

Online Calendar

Online calendar is useful for booking sessions in, setting reminders and keeping notes as well.  Hint Hint: Keepon is able to do all of these things… so our pro tip would be to try Keepon as your organisational tool. You can also set up online bookings, which will allow your clients to book in for sessions via an online portal.

Payment Method

You can take cash or checks if you wish, but it can get difficult to keep track of who’s paid you what, when their next payment is due, and adds extra work to your already busy days. An app can take care of all this for you, making things completely hands-off and freeing up your time to either train more clients and increase your income, or have an extra few hours off each week. Which app? Why not Keepon? Obviously we’re biased, but Keepon not only takes payments, but manages your clients, keeps a note of every session you’ve done, and lets you see your day’s schedule so you can increase your organisation skills and save a whole lot of time.

Are We Done Yet?

Pretty much. There are a whole host of other physical and digital items or services you can think about – clipboards, a stopwatch, a sticker book to give fun rewards to clients, a playlist so clients can hear music when they’re training … the list goes on. There’s no right or wrong here, but with these 14, you definitely have everything you need to get started, manage your time better, have less stress in your business, and ultimately become a better trainer.