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How to Grow your Personal Training Business after Lockdown

For many men, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on both income and overall wellbeing. As a Personal Trainer or Fitness Coach, being unable to hold in-person sessions may have significantly impacted your revenue. Loss of income and changes in circumstance can negatively impact mental health and cause anxiety or depression.

With the stay-at-home COVID-19 restrictions lifting now is the ideal time to re-ignite your longstanding clients’ enthusiasm, and support new clients with personal training, too. As part of Men’s Health Week, here we’ll look at how you can get your business back on track so that you can return to feeling confident and passionate about life as a PT.

This blog includes:

Personal Training Course


Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse


The pandemic has led to income losses nationwide. Clients who previously invested in a PT may now believe the sessions to be an unaffordable luxury. To help clients overcome this barrier, you’ll need to make them an offer that is too good to turn down.

Although it might be tempting to offer only one or two sessions at a reduced rate, this approach puts you at risk of a drop in numbers once the fee returns to normal. A more successful approach is to offer a whole block of sessions at an introductory price. Once clients have benefited from Personal Training over a longer period, they are far more likely to continue with you after completing the initial block of sessions.


Personal Trainer happy


Support Clients’ Mental Wellbeing


Your clients may have developed health anxiety or become more cautious following lockdown, leading to apprehension about re-starting in-person training. Concerns about weight gain, fitness loss, or maintaining appropriate social distancing in group settings are also common. Those who previously held gym memberships may now feel less confident about exercising in groups or indoors.

As a PT, you are in a unique position to act as a client’s wellness champion. Your tailored, individual personal training input should be both supportive and empowering, giving clients the courage to believe in their own abilities post-COVID. You are also in a position to reignite their passion for wellbeing, health, and fitness, all of which will nurture a long-term working partnership.

Understanding your client’s mental health is an essential skill for any fitness professional. If you want to gain a better understanding of how to act as a mental wellbeing link in your fitness community, check out our Understanding Mental Wellbeing Course.


Personal Trainer Old Clients


Re-Engage with Clients


After spending so long under a stay-at-home order, positive re-engagement is essential to rebuilding your client base. It is important that you have the right motivational communication skills to keep clients motivated and engaged beyond the first few sessions (a skill that you can learn more about through our CPD course here).

Here are a few tips to help build a community with your clients and keep them engaged:

  • Consider setting up a chat forum to offer a safe space for clients to share their fitness tips or personal experiences with you and each other - your input between sessions will help keep clients motivated and committed.
  • Send a regular email newsletter - use this communication to demonstrate new skills to clients, offer fitness plans, advertise new sessions, and help support ongoing training.
  • Become part of a fitness community, either virtually or in-person - this will spark a sense of belonging. Regular communication or chats will help to keep clients engaged and committed to performing at their best.

After more than a year of restricted fitness options, clients will appreciate belonging to a community that will support them in striving to reach their fitness goals.



Online isn’t Over


Some clients will understandably feel nervous about re-starting gym memberships or returning to the fitness studio, and so there is still a requirement for online PT sessions. Subsidised online sessions continue to cater for clients who remain cautious about mixing socially, those facing financial strain or those who value the convenience of an online PT session. For these reasons, it is important not to abandon your virtual classes.

Keeping, or adding, a selection of online classes is a wise business move. Taking your business online will allow you to reach and support a new audience, especially when combined with chat forums and regular newsletters. With virtual classes, you can even train clients worldwide to grow your business internationally.

By offering online classes, you’ll avoid paying expensive rental fees and eliminate the requirement for socially distanced gym space. The classes can be run from a location to suit you, reducing your own travel time and costs. Additionally, should another lockdown ever be instigated, you will already have built up an online presence to keep your business running despite restrictions (though fingers crossed this never happens!)

To find out more about how you can gain the skills to build a successful online coaching business, check out our upcoming Coaching Fitness Online course here.



Learn from Each Other


Personal Trainers are all emerging from the pandemic together. If you have instigated a new business strategy that has led to an improvement, support your peers by sharing your idea with them.

Furthermore, be open to learning how others have found success, as implementing something similar within your business model could work well for you and your clients, too.

Leaning on other PTs, and offering support to your peers in turn, will help PT businesses bounce back from COVID-19.



To Conclude


Over a year after the first lockdown began, it is exciting to be able to return to running in-person PT sessions. However, as life has changed for many clients, you’ll need to be creative to help your business bounce back after COVID-19.

It is vital to re-engage with clients and support their wellbeing so that they feel safe to return to PT sessions. To ensure a long-term professional relationship, you’ll need to create the community your clients have been missing during the lockdown, and offer a range of fitness sessions to meet any changing needs.

By offering tailored support, both your clients and your business will flourish. This in turn will give you financial security and a sense of achievement that will nourish your own mental health.


To learn more about the essential skills discussed in this blog, why not expand your training with one or more of these CPD courses:


Coaching Fitness Online

Understanding Mental Wellbeing

COVID-19 Rehabilitation

Motivational Communication

Behaviour Change Coaching