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How to Become a Highly Profitable Rent based Personal Trainer in 2022!

June 4, 2022
5 minute read

I have spent so much time and money trying to learn the best way forward as a rent based PT to grow.

 It’s taken me 7 years of trials and errors to develop and implement a 1-year plan that saw me triple my revenue, hire 3 PTs under me and freed up half of my time – all within 1 year and all whilst going through a 4 month lockdown and being hit with the obstacles that covid 19 threw at the fitness industry.

Can I share all my teachings with you and show you how to do it yourself? Hell yes! 

Can I do it right now in this short article? Hell no!

But, here are the first steps to really increasing your game and revenue as a rent based PT!

  1. Know your gym stats

Knowing the stats of your gym is super important! It’s the difference between if the gym you’re in is going to support you or make life harder for you.

Now, what do I mean by ‘The Stats’ of your gym? To name a few, I mean:

  • The amount of new member sales the gym does each month 
  • The amount of PT packs it sells at POS
  • Do they run monthly PT promotions
  • What are their monthly new member targets 
  • How many members cancel each month

Why is it so important to know these stats? Well, have you ever tried to throw a dart at a dart board with your eyes blindfolded, and expected yourself to hit the bulls eye? 

So, how can you expect to see and know the amount of new clients you can gain (The bulls eye) without knowing and seeing the actual amount of new people you can target? (The dart board) 

What’s important is knowing what you can expect to achieve and using that to forecast your business progression. 

Is this gym the right fit for you, or will it waste your time and money?

When going to scope out a new gym to operate from, never go in thinking and feeling like you’re being interviewed.. No, no, no. You are going to be paying rent to the gym, so YOU need to be doing the interviewing on the gym and finding out if they tick your boxes!

Ask questions like “How many new members do you get a month?” and “How many leads from POS can I expect from you in the first 3 months of me starting here?” and “How long is my rent free period for?” or “Do I get a call list with names and numbers of new member joiners each month for me to contact for a free session?”

You always want to be on the front foot with gym management and ask professional and business framed questions – this is what will expose if the gym you’re looking at operating in is the place for you or not.

You’re there to service your clients and grow your business, not to hang out with your mates.

I see so many rent based Personal Trainers coming in and treating their business like a social club. They walk around and train their clients whilst sipping on a coffee, scroll through Facebook on their phone whilst their client is right there in front of them and stop and chat to other members whilst the client they are suppose to be training is waiting for the PT to give them attention.

Point here – be professional and your clients will pay you and treat you like a professional. But, this also reflects back to the club you’re in and the culture within it.

Take it from me, whatever the culture is, always aim to raise the bar and do more than is expected for your clients and the members within your gym! Be the standard!

  1. Set your own KPI’s and targets 

What so many PTs fail to do is to forecast their own future. As a PT and business owner, we don’t have a path for progression. We don’t have a ladder to climb and a reward at the end of the rainbow – We have to create our own rewards and path to success. 

What I find best and what I do for myself and my team is to firstly know your gym’s stats (Which we just talked about) then, forecast a monthly target for yourself based on the following:
- A target for new clients gained in the month

  • A target for comp sessions per week 
  • A target for revenue per week 
  • A target for client retention per month 

For example, this would look like:

- A target for new clients gained in the month = + 4 new clients @ $100 per week each

  • A target for comp sessions per week = 6 (24 in the month)
  • A target for revenue per week = $2,000 ($8,000 month)
  • A target for client retention per month = No cancelations of memberships (100% retention)

Now, what does this do for you? It gives you a realistic and achievable goals. BUT, it also sets a monthly target and path for you to follow. 

If my team and I tick off all 4 targets, then I set a reward as an incentive. This helps to keep you in line and stay hungry when those slow weeks come up. 

This point is why so many PTs get stale with their business and then give up after a while. It’s basic goal setting!

  1. Be consistent with the 7 basics 

This point is your bread and butter. If you fail to do these 7 basics consistently, then you can say good bye to a long and profitable career as a coach and PT. 

Here are my basics, my bread and butter, which I acknowledge as the main reason for the success I have achieved in this industry:

  1. Give each client in every session your full 100% attention.
  2. Use the ‘SEE’ Principles every minute you can with every person in the gym – Smile, Eye contact and Enthusiasm.
  3. Always go over and above your clients expectations.
  4. Direct and clear communication in every setting with your clients and gym staff will indirectly save you time and money in the future – Be upfront and honest.
  5. Never spend more money than you make in a week.
  6. Take care of yourself and form healthy daily habits – Eat well, train, nap, be well groomed, wear cologne or perfume – this will help to pronounce your professionalism and energy levels.
  7. Always keep your energy real, passionate and enthusiastic

Use these 7 basics as your guidelines. Reflect on them and what they mean to you. It’s so important to have standards that set you apart from others and also keep you in line when you’re drifting.

What you can do from here

I am a big believer in ‘modelling off what works’ and building on top of that. The best way to do that and to really accelerate your business (and yourself), is by finding a mentor who has already done it before and who can teach you the way!

If I didn’t open my eyes and learn off those who had already walked the path before me, I wouldn’t have accelerated the way I have and gotten to where I am in such a short period of time.

Investing in yourself can work – just take the time to find the right mentor and then blast off!

Rent Based Personal Trainer Course

If you’d like to upskill in being a Rent Based Trainer, at Fitness Education Online we have a CEC course “Complete PT Startup To Success System: For Rent Based Trainers”, which provides Fitness Professionals with all the knowledge on skills on how to be a successful rent based Personal Trainer. The course is registered with AUSactive / Fitness Australia for 10CECs

Click here to check out Complete PT Startup To Success System: For Rent Based Trainers (10CECs)

Other Resources:

Ep 155: How To Be A Successful Rent Based Trainer

Ep 225: Rent Based vs Revenue Split: Which is the better model for PTs? With William Le

Blue Side BG

Fitness Education Online are one of the leading providers in the world when it comes to the professional development of Personal Trainers. We have over 30 registered AUSactive CEC courses.  Click here to check them out!


About The Author: Matt Papallo
PT Startup To Success Founder & Mentor

Matt Papallo founded MP Living Coaching in 2015 with the idea and passion of wanting to reinvent the PT industry. Matt realised that 99% of rent based PTs generally failed at running a business and sought to develop his own methods of PT success through his own trials and errors.
Now, Matt runs a team of 3 PTs within a Fitness First, whilst mentoring an additional 3 PTs at other franchises. He holds a Diploma in Remedial Massage and Level 1 & 2 Dry Needling Practitioner. Matt’s greatest level of business and personal growth was during the 2 year COVID pandemic, where he tripled his rent based PT revenue, hired 3 PTs and cut his work time in half. He now teaches his business methods to other PTs so they may experience massive business growth.

Instagram – MP_Living_Coaching

Email –

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