How to Run Specialty Courses Every Day of the Year

Clients working out with kettlebells - how to run a year-round specialty course

By Brooks DiFiore, Certified Two-Brain Fitness Business Mentor

I’ve never been a fan of continuing to run a specialty class as a regular offering.

In my experience, ongoing weightlifting programs and the like often become overlooked or taken for granted, leading to a deterioration in value that can leave clients, coaches and gym owners frustrated.

But that doesn’t mean your coaches can’t help clients and build your business with specialty training outside special programming blocks.

Below, I’m going to show you how to help your coaches build more sustainable careers by pursuing areas of passion and prioritizing clients’ desires. With this approach, coaches and clients win, and your dedicated blocks of specialty programming will be well-attended, valuable offerings.


The Hybrid Plan


We’ve been offering specialty courses since opening Arsenal Strength in 2015. Our first was Winter Strength Camp, a six-week powerlifting course. We still run Strength Camp today, but we’ve also expanded to beginner/advanced gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, endurance and a few others. 

One of the most common questions we hear during our after-action review is this: “Can we turn this into an ongoing class?” 

Generally, this question comes up for two reasons:

  1. The trainer loves coaching in that specific area of fitness (which is fantastic). 
  2. A few people in the group say they would attend regularly if the program were ongoing. 


Both are high-class problems. I want my gym to be filled with coaches who are eager to pursue their passions and clients who want to improve their fitness. But, as mentioned above, specialty courses can lose some of their appeal when they become part of your regular menu.

To capitalize on interest but preserve course value, we sat down in 2019 to rework our specialty course offerings. We wanted to make it easier for clients and coaches to continue working one on one past the initial four to six weeks. What we came up with was a simple hybrid model for specialty courses using a tiered combination of classes and personal training. 

Here is an example of how we structure a four-week hybrid specialty course with two classes per week. The price is set at $20 per class and $50 per 30-minute PT session.

Tier 1: Four-week course + 1 30-minute skills session—$210
Tier 2: Four-week course + 2 30-minute skills sessions—$260
Tier 3: Four-week course + 4 30-minute skills sessions—$360

Below is the breakdown we generally see for tier selection for courses capped at 10:

Tier 1: 7 clients 
Tier 2: 2 clients
Tier 3: 1 client

Total Revenue: $2,350

A few things to note:

  1. Consider giving your clients the option to make two payments—one when they reserve their spots and a second halfway through. 
  2. Personal training sessions purchased with the specialty course must be used before the course ends. 
  3. Encourage clients to use at least one of their sessions within the first week. Doing so will give them a specific focus for the remainder of the course and might lead to an upgrade in membership if they are on your Tier 1 option. 
  4. Sit down with your clients for a post-course goal review. A few will still want more and have the desire to continue working one on one. 


With this process in place, you’ll be able to market specialty courses that don’t lose their luster due to overexposure. When those courses are running and packed with interested clients, you can use the personal sessions and post-course reviews to let athletes know they can work on specialty skills at any time with a coach. All they have to do is book sessions.

Everyone benefits. The business generates more revenue, and the coaches earn more. The clients get what they want and make fast progress due to personal attention.

If you follow this plan, you’ll sell out specialty programs quickly and offer a new year-round service: specialty coaching.

Bonus: Two-Brain Programming provides quarterly done-for-you specialty course programs complete with marketing materials. Head to twobrainprogramming.com to sign up for a 30-day free trial to download our four-week Gymnastics Open Prep Course.


Other Media in This Series


“By the Numbers: ARM”
“Nutrition Challenges Are Dead. Kickstarts Are the Answer”

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