How to Coach Forever

A smiling former personal trainer works in an office, with the caption "this doesn't have to be you."

A longtime fitness coach posted this in our private group recently:

“I think I just had a Perfect Day! I went in to coach at 8, went out for lunch with my wife, and then came back to the gym to work out. Afterward, I just sat in the lobby and talked to clients. I stayed there until dinner time! It was fantastic.”

Sounds like wealth to me.
For years, I’ve been writing about the value of building a gym that runs itself. It’s important and necessary. But my goal is not to have you quit coaching. My goal is to empower coaches to stay in this for the long term.
Your mission—and mine—is to change the health of your local community. That mission is important. It must continue after we’re gone. And the financial challenges of ownership must not distract us from the mission.
How many times have you coached a class while you were distracted because someone owed you money?
How many times have you tried to focus on a client while you were worried about paying the rent?
The best reason to build a successful gym is to create a platform on which great coaches can save lives. And if you’re not bogged down trying to fix your gym management software, you can be one of those coaches—if that’s your perfect day.
Many of us started gyms so that we could have careers as coaches. In my case, there simply wasn’t any other way to make enough money. But that’s no longer true: Coaches can make a great living in the fitness business now. In this series, I’ll explain how to make a living as a personal trainer or coach.

Fitness Coaching: The Long Game

One of the options for a coach, of course, is gym ownership. That’s the option I chose. But it’s not the only option—and for many, it’s not actually the best option. In this series, I’m going to tell you, step by step, how to make a living as a coach in the fitness industry.
In Part 2, we’ll talk about how to make a great living as a personal trainer without opening a gym.
In Part 3, I’ll tell you how to open a profitable, scalable gym from scratch.
Part 4 will be my interview with Jonathan Goodman (founder of— we talk about how to start an online training business.
And in the finale, I’ll tell you how to “turn pro”—the mindset, habits and practices you’ll need to succeed over the long term.

Map Your Path

The simplest way to make a living as a fitness coach is to work at a Two-Brain gym. They have the whole process mapped out for you, with unlimited upside and no risk. If you just want to coach, that’s your best bet.
Download our Intrapreneurialism 101 guide here.
But if you really want to own a gym, that’s a different topic.
So many trainers, coaches and gym owners are failing for no reason. So many are broke and leaving the industry (and their dreams) because being a great coach isn’t the same as being a great business owner. If you’re trying to buy yourself a job by opening a gym, you probably won’t have either for long. When you’re ready to talk about building your business, book a call here.

Other Articles in This Series

How to Make a Living as a Personal Trainer
How to Open a Profitable, Scalable Gym
How to Start and Online Training Business, With Jonathan Goodman
Turning Pro


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.