The Online Personal Training Business Checklist (2023) (2023)

Are you looking to start your own online personal training business?

It’s no longer necessary to be limited to working at a gym or meeting clients face-to-face to help people achieve their fitness goals and make money. In fact, there are many advantages to taking your personal training business online, including the ability to sell fitness courses and not be tied to a schedule of training clients individually.

In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of all the essential steps involved in building an online personal training business and show you why using WordPress and Sensei LMS is the best and most cost-effective way to do it.

Why Take Your Personal Training Business Online?

Going digital can be a great way to grow your fitness coaching business, reach a wider audience, and increase your revenue. Here are just a few reasons why taking your personal training business online could be a good move:

  • Greater reach: With an online personal training business, you can reach clients all over the world, rather than being limited to a specific geographic location. This, of course, increases your chances of increasing sales and revenue since your target audience is wider. To maximize your reach, consider using social media, email marketing, and other digital marketing techniques to promote your business and attract new clients.
  • Increased flexibility: If you sell online courses, you’ll have more control over your schedule and more time to focus on scaling your business. This can be especially useful if you’re trying to juggle other commitments, such as a full-time job or family responsibilities.
  • Improved resilience: An online personal training business is less reliant on your physical health than a traditional in-person business. If you get injured, your courses will still be available for purchase, allowing you to continue earning an income. On the other hand, if you work at a gym and get injured, it will be much harder to fulfill your responsibilities, such as showing your clients how to perform certain exercises.
  • Additional income streams: In addition to selling courses, you can also offer private fitness consulting to clients and charge for one-on-one sessions. To maximize your profits, consider researching the types of courses and services that are most in demand, and developing pricing and fitness marketing strategies that align with your goals.

To get started with your online personal training business, you’ll need the right tools and resources. Let’s explore this in more detail.

How to Become an Online Personal Trainer in 6 Steps

Starting an online personal training business can be a rewarding and lucrative way to help others achieve their fitness goals and live healthier lives. However, it’s important to be prepared and follow the right steps to ensure your business is successful. In this section, we’ll outline six key steps to becoming an online personal trainer and building a thriving business. Whether you’re an experienced personal trainer looking to take your business online or a beginner looking to get started in this field, these steps will guide you through the process of setting up your business, creating engaging content, and marketing your training services to potential clients.

1. Find Your Niche

One of the first steps in building an online personal training business is to find your niche and become an expert in a specific area. With so many online personal trainers out there, it can be tough to stand out and build an audience. By focusing on a particular niche, however, you can differentiate yourself and become an authority in your field.

Some examples of niches in the personal training world include hypertrophy training for different levels, powerlifting, cardio-based training, and pre or post-natal training. Choose a niche that aligns with your interests, expertise, and target market, and focus on building your brand and reputation within that space. This will help you attract the right clients and establish yourself as a go-to resource in your niche.

2. Get Certified

If you’re serious about building an online personal training business, it’s important to have the proper credentials and training. If you’re already a certified personal trainer, then you can skip this step. If you don’t have certification, however, it’s worth considering getting certified to show potential clients that you’re qualified to help them achieve their fitness goals.

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There are numerous institutions that offer personal training certification, including the American Sports and Fitness Association, ACE Fitness, and NASM. Choose a program that aligns with your goals and interests, and invest in the education and training you need to succeed in your career. Having a certification can help you stand out from the competition and give your online clients confidence in your abilities as a personal trainer.

3. Work on Training Programs

Before you start building fully-fledged courses, it can be helpful to compile and work on a series of training programs that will appeal to different potential customers.

For example, if you’re creating a “Hypertrophy for Beginners” course, you might map out a training program that includes details on how many workouts per week are included, what exercises are included in each workout, and how many reps and sets are required for each exercise. This can help you get a sense of the content and structure of your courses, and give you a chance to fine-tune your approach before you start building out your courses in more detail.

One top tip for getting started with training programs is to try training your clients remotely. If you already have some clients, consider passing on your training program and checking in with them via Zoom or Skype to see how they’re progressing. This can be a great way to test your presentation skills, gather feedback, and fine-tune your approach to delivering online training.

4. Record Videos for Your First Course

Once you’ve mapped out a training program you’re confident in, it’s time to turn it into an online course. One way to do this is by recording videos that take your clients through the exercises in your program. You can record a separate video for each exercise, or record one video to go through all the exercises in a workout or muscle group. Find a format that works for you and resonates with your target audience.

Before you start recording your videos, it’s a good idea to script them out in advance. This will help you plan when you’ll talk in your videos, what you’ll say, and what camera angles you’ll use. It can also be helpful to have a reference point when you’re editing your videos later on.

Keep in mind that your videos should be high-quality and professional in order to attract clients and establish yourself as an authority in your niche. Depending on the nature of your course, you may need to invest in professional equipment or rent a gym, track, or court to film your videos. While it may require an initial investment, the more professional your course is, the more likely you are to attract and retain clients.

5. Create a Website for Your Online Personal Training Business

You’ve identified your niche, thought about your brand, and worked on the assets for your first course. Now, it’s time to actually put together your online personal training business! For this, it’s a good idea to create a website rather than relying on external course platforms like Udemy. By building your own website, you’ll be able to avoid competition with other course creators, own all your content and revenue, and fully customize the site to match your branding.

One of the best ways to set up a website for your online personal training business is to use WordPress, which is a free and user-friendly content management system. To get started, you’ll need to pay for the services of a managed WordPress host, such as Pressable or You’ll also need to install the WooCommerce plugin, which is WordPress’s eCommerce platform, and a WordPress theme, which is the foundation of your website design and includes all the templates you need to create pages. Themes can be free or premium.

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To create and manage online courses on your WordPress site, you’ll need to install an LMS (Learning Management System) plugin. One of the best options for personal trainers is Sensei LMS, which has a range of features and integrations that make it easy to create engaging online courses. Sensei offers different plans, but the Sensei Pro plan is typically the best choice for most users as it includes all premium features and integrates with WooCommerce.

The Online Personal Training Business Checklist (2023) (1)

Here are some ideas on how you can use Sensei Pro for your online courses:

One of the best ways would be to use Sensei Blocks, which are unique multimedia blocks you can place anywhere in your lesson layouts. If you create a more engaging experience for your clients, you could use Sensei Blocks in a number of ways.

  • Create interactive videos. This way, your clients can watch a video about a particular exercise. At a specified time point, you can launch a quiz about the type of movement/how many reps are needed, etc.

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  • Use Image Hotspots to give additional information on images. For example, you can upload an image of a bicep and create a list of exercises that are good for that muscle.
The Online Personal Training Business Checklist (2023) (2)

THe deadlift targets the hamstrings, glutes, back, hips, core, and trapezius.

  • Create a tasklist containing the full daily workout, which users have to tick off before the workout is complete.
  • Crunches – 20 reps

  • Bicep Curls – 10 Reps

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  • Cardio – 25 minutes

  • Deadlifts – 10 reps

Another option is to use Sensei’s Media Attachments feature to attach training programs as PDFs.

The Art of Accomplishment, though not a fitness coaching website, offers a fantastic example of how personal trainers can use Sensei to create engaging lessons. Their approach is to pre-sell access to their courses. Students learn in groups and cohorts in order to stay more motivated throughout. This may not be the right approach for the average fitness instructor selling courses, but Sensei gives you all the options you need to map out your business model.

The Online Personal Training Business Checklist (2023) (3)

Automattic, the same team behind Sensei, has also launched a free WordPress theme called Course, which is specifically designed to work well with Sensei and features lots of block patterns that display Sensei’s multimedia features effectively.

The Online Personal Training Business Checklist (2023) (4)

6. Build a Presence on Social Media and Streaming Platforms (Optional)

While it’s important to focus on building your website and creating high-quality online courses, it can also be beneficial to have an online presence on social media and streaming platforms. Many successful personal trainers in the fitness industry have YouTube channels, Instagram, and TikTok accounts. Jeff Nippard and Athlean-X are just two examples of online fitness trainers who sell courses from their websites and have a huge presence on YouTube. Tumblr’s new Live service could also be the next big platform for personal trainers who want to get into content creation.

The Online Personal Training Business Checklist (2023) (5)

By uploading free content on these platforms, you can use them to drive traffic to your website and showcase the value of your courses to potential clients. This can help you build an engaged audience and establish yourself as an authority in your niche. While building a presence on these platforms isn’t necessary, it can be a useful way to connect with potential clients and grow your online personal training business.

Build your Online Personal Training Business with WordPress and Sensei LMS

It’s possible to become a successful online personal trainer and there are many benefits to taking your business online. One of the most cost-effective ways to do this is by using WordPress, which has minimal costs and allows you to keep more of your revenue in the long term. To create and manage online courses on your WordPress site, we recommend using Sensei LMS, particularly the Sensei Pro plan, which is the best LMS plugin for personal trainers who want to create high-quality courses and fitness programs.

If you’re interested in building an online personal training business, we encourage you to try out Sensei and see how it can help you create engaging and interactive courses on your own WordPress website. With the right tools and strategies, you can build a successful online fitness business and help people achieve their fitness goals.

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How do I start a successful online personal training business? ›

Make sure you're on the right track towards success by following these 7 steps.
  1. Find Your Niche. ...
  2. Determine your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) ...
  3. Choose your Promotional Channels. ...
  4. Use Technology to Your Advantage. ...
  5. Stay Up To Date. ...
  6. Work on Wowing your Clients. ...
  7. Step 7 : Keep Moving (and Don't be Afraid to Fail)

Is the personal training certificate hard? ›

The ACE CPT Exam is known for being one of the most difficult personal training certifications to pass. Out of the almost 800-page textbook they select 150 questions that need to be completed in a three hour time limit. This can cause major anxiety as knowing what to study can be hard to determine.

How profitable is online personal training? ›

As an online personal trainer, your income potential is largely based on your experience, expertise, and the number of clients you work with. However, most personal trainers earn an average of $50 per hour, which can add up to a very healthy annual salary.

How many clients should an online personal trainer have? ›

As a part-time personal trainer, the number of clients you have is entirely up to you. On average, you should shoot for at least four to five clients per week.

What should I charge for online personal training? ›

A common approach to pricing personal training services is basing the price on the number of hands-on hours involved. If you determine your hourly rate to be $60 and you spend an hour each week working with or on your clients, you would charge your clients anywhere from $240-$300 per month.

How do I sell my virtual personal training? ›

You can launch your own online fitness business in five steps:
  1. Pick a business model. The model you choose will dictate the type of business you run. ...
  2. Plan your content. With your business model in place, it's time to choose your content. ...
  3. Build your website. ...
  4. Set your prices. ...
  5. Find and connect to your audience.
Sep 10, 2021

How long does an online Pt course take? ›

In just 14 weeks, you'll have completed a course accredited by Active IQ and CIMSPA-endorsed, meaning you'll have a nationally recognised qualification to be able to start working as a certified Personal Trainer.

What is the most difficult personal trainer certification? ›

* The “hardest” personal trainer certification: The NCSA-CPT is the most difficult of the three, as its content is relatively technical and assumes a solid background in the subjects of anatomy, physiology and physics.

What personal trainer certificate is most respected? ›

7: What personal trainer certificate is most respected? The personal trainer certifications with an option for NCCA accreditation are the most respected in the industry. The NCCA is the gold standard for third-party personal training certifications. Some of these certs include, NASM, ACE, Fitness Mentors, and ISSA.

How do I get clients for online training? ›

10 Helpful Tips: How to Get Online Personal Training Clients
  1. Start with Your Local Community. ...
  2. Grow Your Online Audience. ...
  3. Set up a “Book now” button on social media. ...
  4. Share Customer Reviews. ...
  5. Ask for Referrals. ...
  6. Offer Free Nutritional Advice. ...
  7. Join the Personal Trainer Network. ...
  8. Get in Touch with Other Fitness Professionals.

Where do personal trainers make the most money? ›

According to the BLS, the state that pays the highest personal trainer salary is New York. The annual mean wage for an instructor in this state is $61,840 per year or $29.73 an hour. New York also has one of the highest employment levels for fitness professionals.

How many clients does a personal trainer see a day? ›

According to our research, the average personal trainer will have anywhere between 15 and 25 clients.

What is the average cost for online trainer? ›

What do online personal trainers charge? This will be your typical online training, where you hire a trainer who builds you a customized fitness plan for your specific goal. Normally, this type of plan will run anywhere from $100-$300 per month.

How many clients should a personal trainer have per week? ›

As a general rule, the average dedicated person will train 3-4 times per week. So, to keep a regular flow of clients, a successful personal trainer will aim for 15 to 20 paying clients each week.

How do I price myself as a personal trainer? ›

A typical rate is around $60 to $70 for a one-hour training session. But outliers can make anywhere from $40 to $400 and beyond. Some may even offer weeks- or months-long packages for four or five figures.

Is an online PT cheaper? ›

Online classes are on average 20% less expensive than face-to-face classes.

Do you need qualifications to be an online personal trainer? ›

Do you need qualifications to be an online personal trainer? Yes. As we've mentioned above, getting the right qualification is an essential first step. Look for a Level 3 personal training course that meets the criteria set by the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

Can I sue an online personal trainer? ›

Personal trainer lawsuits are personal injury claims against a fitness expert. You can file a personal trainer lawsuit if you worked with one and they hurt you through their negligence.

How do I start a personal training website? ›

Here are seven steps that can help you build out your personal training website:
  1. Register your domain. ...
  2. Pick a website builder. ...
  3. Build out your website pages. ...
  4. Implement best practices for search engine optimization (SEO). ...
  5. Create a content plan. ...
  6. Promote your website. ...
  7. Track your website metrics.
Dec 16, 2021

How do I create an online fitness guide? ›

9 Steps for Creating an Effective Online Fitness Program
  1. Define Your Niche and USP. ...
  2. Develop an Effective Home Workout Program. ...
  3. Plan Your Content Structure. ...
  4. Consider How You Will Deliver the Program. ...
  5. Decide on Your Pricing Structure. ...
  6. Think About Your Technology Set-Up. ...
  7. Hold Members Accountable.
Sep 22, 2020

What is a Level 4 personal trainer? ›

What is a Level 4 Personal Trainer? A Level 4 Personal Trainer Course is the highest level of industry recognition, covering many specialist areas to enhance your market and earning potential. It opens new opportunities by providing specialist knowledge to expand and grow in the PT industry.

What is the best Personal Training qualification? ›

10 Best Personal Training Courses Compared
  • Origym. Origym is one of the leading providers of fitness courses; they offer a diverse range of courses and are also available nationwide. ...
  • HFE. ...
  • Train Fitness. ...
  • Premier Global NASM. ...
  • Futurefit. ...
  • YMCA fit. ...
  • The Fitness Group. ...
  • Diverse Trainers.

Can you become a personal trainer at 50? ›

Not only can you become a personal trainer in your 40s, 50s or even if you're older, but you may actually be a better and more successful PT if you're over 40. Certain benefits come with your age that younger personal trainers may not have.

What are 2 traits of a bad personal trainer? ›

Top Traits of Terrible Trainers
  • Creating an Overly Structured Atmosphere. ...
  • Having Unrealistic Expectations. ...
  • Eliminating Incentives. ...
  • Isolating your Clients. ...
  • Implement One-Size-Fits-All Programming. ...
  • Being as Unpleasant as Possible. ...
  • Stop Learning or Specializing. ...
  • Being Consistently Late.
Apr 2, 2019

What makes a bad personal trainer? ›

A bad personal trainer is one who doesn't keep track of training or progress. They don't make plans, log sessions, or keep records of training or results. An unreliable personal trainer is one who isn't organised and doesn't have visible records clients can look at.

What is the easiest fitness certification to get? ›

The easiest personal training certification to get is the American Council on Exercise certification known as the ACE Certification. In most states, this type of certification can be obtained in 3 to 6 months depending on how fast you work. Then, you must study for an exam and pass the exam.

How do I get clients for my personal training business? ›

9 Proven Ways to Get More Personal Training Clients
  1. Ask existing clients for referrals. ...
  2. Share testimonials from your clients. ...
  3. Offer a trial session for free using Trainerize. ...
  4. Market your training services on social media. ...
  5. Write articles for fitness magazines and blogs. ...
  6. Build a professional website to showcase your skills.
Oct 20, 2022

How do online personal trainers get clients? ›

10 Helpful Tips: How to Get Online Personal Training Clients
  1. Start with Your Local Community. ...
  2. Grow Your Online Audience. ...
  3. Set up a “Book now” button on social media. ...
  4. Share Customer Reviews. ...
  5. Ask for Referrals. ...
  6. Offer Free Nutritional Advice. ...
  7. Join the Personal Trainer Network. ...
  8. Get in Touch with Other Fitness Professionals.

How do online personal trainers get leads? ›

There are different ways to market your online personal training services, made for every fitness business' budget:
  1. Social media ads.
  2. Word of mouth.
  3. Testimonials.
  4. Cold Calling.
  5. Attending local events.
  6. Google Ads (search engine marketing)
  7. Email marketing.
  8. etc.
Jan 29, 2018


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