Success in the Personal Training Gym Industry

3 Steps to Success in the Personal Training Gym Industry

Nick Mitchell is an author, writer, fitness expert and founder of the world’s leading personal training business Ultimate Performance. He is widely recognised as one of the world’s foremost personal trainers, body composition experts and for being a huge success in the Personal Training Gym Industry.

Nick founded U.P. in 2009 with the launch of his first gym in the City of London, and is the global CEO of the Ultimate Performance Group, which is widely considered to be the world’s only global personal training business with a team of 250 elite personal trainers across 8 countries.

Nick is also the author of a number of best-selling books including “12 Week Body Plan”, “Your Ultimate Body Transformation Plan”, and “Principles of Muscle Building Program Design”. He is now based in Los Angeles, California.

The founder of the world’s “only” global PT business gave us his advice on:

  • the mistakes PT gym owners make
  • the mistakes the trainers make
  • tips for success in the personal training gym industry


6 simple mistakes to stop making:

  1. Spending too much money: Start-up personal training facilities often spend too much money on over elaborate equipment at the beginning and clients do not always require it. If I were to start a gym on a low budget, I would always opt for equipment, or even refurbished or reconditioned kit, until I was in a financial position to buy the best, no matter what the price (within reason!). At the start you cannot afford to blow your budgets – save it for the rent, and get your business off the ground first.
  2. Be ready to work: Another mistake that start-up personal training studios make is that they do not realise the level of work involved. What often happens is, you open the studio, you get a couple of friends in to help, and at some point something happens and your friend leaves and takes your clients with them, that’s the problem. If you aren’t robust enough to deal with that then the business will fail.
  3. Consider group training; I would also suggest that a group training studio is another business model to definitely consider – it’s another great option instead of only setting yourself on having a PT studio. The group training market is massive and considerably easier to manage as a business.
  4. Market the ‘result’: And finally – gym business owners don’t market the result! Clients need to go hard, maximise their investment and get the most amount of value from the money that they’ve spent. We focus on results and, although we encourage ongoing lifestyle changes rather than ‘quick fixes’, transformations are our selling point and the initial results that a client achieves are only going to make that ongoing physique and fitness level easier to maintain, so we make that really clear through our marketing.
  5. Sell the image: With resistance-based personal training, as a trainer you have to sell the image. Clients have to see you training and know that you practice what you preach. There are far too many trainers that aren’t presenting themselves as the role model that they need to be, both physically in what they look like, and also how they act in their role. You should mirror your client, and that usually means being a consummate professional in every way that you communicate and carry yourself.
  6. Practice Presence: The personal training career is often seen as an ‘easy option’ but every hour that you spend training a client should be very hard work. Trainers should put their all into that hour and deliver the most value possible to that client. It shouldn’t be a case of the trainer sitting back whilst the client warms up on a treadmill on their paying time – the client should require the trainer to be present in every moment of the session otherwise what are they paying for?

3 Tips For Success in the Personal Training Gym Industry:

  1. The main advice I’d give to a start-up who wanted to be a success in the personal training gym industry, would be to ask yourself why you are doing it:
  • What is your purpose?
  • What is your why?

2. If you want to continue personal training clients and delivering the sessions then you need to realise the extent of the business tasks involved – these are the things that people often don’t think about or under-estimate. They think they’ll be able to continue their usual number of clients and have that same level of involvement but this just isn’t realistic as a business owner trying to grow a brand new business. They also often don’t have the business acumen or drive to make it a successful business model without help from an expert. So you need to be consider this heavily in order to be a success in the personal training gym industry.

3. I’d also recommend that everyone remembers that personal training is a luxury spend. Clients need to see the value that they are receiving. At Ultimate Performance, every trainer has to record all of their client outcomes on a weekly basis as it makes them accountable and means we can provide feedback to further improve their delivery. We grade all of our trainers on results and the value that they are providing to the client. So you may want to set your own targets and values to work towards.



Posted in Gyms & Clubs, Interviews, Personal Trainers, The Fitness Network.