The Not-So-Secret Key to Increased Gym Revenue

A photo of an old key surrounded by a pile of U.S. $100 bills.

If you sell group coaching, I’m going to give you a simple “secret” that will help you earn more without raising your rates:

Start selling personal training.

This tactic is so simple—but it’s often forgotten by gym owners who focus on group classes.

Remember this: Our business is not group coaching. Our business is training people one on one. Sometimes that’s done in a group environment. 

If you’re running a group-only model, you’re missing some important facts: Some clients might prefer the privacy of a one-on-one session and get better results in that setting. Some might prefer the flexible scheduling. Some might have a special condition that can be accommodated better with PT.

Selling PT is a no-brainer in a gym.

In almost every case where PT sales are absent or low, the biggest obstacle in selling isn’t the price; it’s the gym owner’s mindset. 

To fix it, ask yourself this question about every single client: “What would help this client most if price wasn’t an issue?”

If you’re a skilled trainer, you’ll see that almost every client can benefit from focused, one-on-one attention—perhaps all the time but perhaps periodically in addition to group classes.

Focus on PT

If you simply add a PT option and tell people about it, you will sell a few PT sessions almost by accident. Some clients will want a session or two to work on a specific problem, like muscle-ups or double-unders.

A few group clients will be eager to add PT sessions as part of a recurring “hybrid membership.” And you might find a client or two who wants to do PT instead of group classes.

It’s easy to suggest PT in Goal Review Sessions with current clients (you should do these every 90 days or so).

In every case listed above, your average revenue per member goes up—a lot.

But most of your new PT clients are going to be new members. Selling a lot of PT to existing clients requires a change in consumer behavior that few gyms can manage. On average, about 10 percent of PT sales will come from your current clients and 90 percent from new clients who haven’t yet set the expectation that “fitness is done in a group.”

With new prospects, you must use free consultations—we call them No Sweat Intros. The process in simple: Interview prospective members, listen to their needs and prescribe the perfect solution.

Now that you’ve adjusted your mindset and aren’t just pushing people into group classes, it’s obvious that some new members will achieve their goals faster if they buy PT sessions.

Take Action

Here are two tactics you can use today:

1. Sell a Skill Session

Sooner or later, most clients in a group program will reach a point where one-on-one attention is required to address sticking points. You know this is true—I bet you can think of a client who needs your direct attention right now to fix some problem.

Here’s the value proposition: “You haven’t had a snatch PR in a while. I know some things that will help, but they’re beyond the scope of this group. Do you have a free hour to work on some really specialized stuff one-on-one with me?” 

Then book a skill session for $75 or more.

You just added $75 to your gross revenue and raised your average revenue per member.

2. Prescribe Personal Training in Your Next Free Consultation

After a prospective client lays out current problems and goals in your consultation, provide the absolute best path first regardless of price.

Like this: “I can help you! The fastest way to accomplish those goals is to train with me one on one three times a week.”

Then show them the price for your platinum package.

Some people will sign up right away. You’ll have to address barriers with others (we help clients with sales training). In some cases, you’ll have to adjust the prescription.

Like this: “No problem. If you can’t afford to move that quickly, we’ll take it a bit slower. With the budget you just gave me, I’d say we should train twice per week.”

Or like this: “No problem. With that budget, we can do group training three times a week plus a one-on-one session every second week.”

Quick Math

One-on-one sessions can help people when general group programming cannot. That’s your purpose as a gym owner: helping clients get results fast.

Your reward? More revenue. You deserve to be paid for the value you provide—and PT really moves the needle when it comes to revenue.

For example, if a gym is charging $165 for a group membership and a client buys one $75 PT session per month, the client’s value is now $240 ($165 and $75 are average prices in our 2023 industry report; you can charge more).

The best part: This additional revenue carries a significant profit margin if you use the 4/9ths Model: Pay a coach 44 percent of the $75 PT fee. The coach earns $33—more than the group-class rate in most gyms—and the gym earns $42 after labor costs have been covered.

A three-times-a-week PT package at $75 a session can bring in almost $1,000 a month ($225 per week times 4.3 weeks per month).

And yes, many Two-Brain gyms have clients who pay $500-$1,000 per month.

A final bit of wisdom from Two-Brain Business mentor Joleen Bingham:

“The best way to sell personal training is in a subscription model that renews month to month without any rollover. This model gives you the predictable revenue you need for your trainers and your business, and it gives the clients the accountability and routine they need to make progress and get results.”

So if you want to earn more from your gym, start offering or emphasizing PT.


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.