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How Many Clients Does The Average Personal Trainer Have?

How Many Clients Does The Average Personal Trainer Have

When initially entering the fitness industry many wonder ‘how many clients does a personal trainer have?’, as a way to prepare themselves for their future schedule. 

With this article, we’ll offer newcomers the chance to investigate this topic in order to set their career expectations. We'll discuss:

But first, if you’ve yet to personally qualify as a personal trainer, we’d strongly recommend checking out all of OriGym’s industry-leading Personal Training certifications

Alternatively, download our FREE Prospectus for further information relating to all of our other courses! 

The Average Number of Clients a Personal Trainer Should Have

Those who question ‘how many clients does the average personal trainer have?’ are often new or inexperienced within the fitness industry. 

Newer PTs may pose this question in order to manage their finances and figure out how much they should be charging, and more experienced trainers can use this data to inform their personal training business plan.

According to our research, the average personal trainer will have anywhere between 15 and 25 clients. However, keep in mind that this question will prompt different responses from business to business, meaning that determining a ‘norm’ can be difficult.

It’s easy to assume that the most successful personal trainers will have a significantly high number of clients.

Whilst some trainers will aim for the maximum number of clients, it simply isn’t applicable to every training business, as there are a number of influences that can prompt PTs to take on a specific number of clients. 

Some influences may prompt trainers to take on more clients, whilst others may allow them to take on fewer. These variables can include:

  • How much you charge as a PT
  • How many sessions the client wishes to buy
  • The amount of experience you have as a PT

We’re going to take a closer look at specific variables, in order to discuss how they can influence how many clients the average personal trainer has.

What Can Affect The Number Of Clients A Personal Trainer Has?

With so many variables from trainer to trainer, it can be difficult to give a direct answer to “how many clients does the average personal trainer have?”

Due to these influencing factors, PTs will naturally report a different intake in their number of clients, with some having significantly more or less than others. 

With this in mind, let's now take a look at some of these influencing factors:

#1 - How Many Sessions a Client Purchases 

how many clients do personal trainers have estimate

One of the primary factors that affects how many clients a PT has is how many sessions their existing clients choose to purchase.

In short, the more time you spend training your existing clients, the less time you will have to recruit new clients.

Naturally, as in any job role both in and outside of the fitness industry, everybody wants to be making as much money as possible.

In order to do so as a personal trainer, you’re going to need to create pricing packages that are suitable for a variety of clients.

We have discussed the importance of a personal training pricing package in this blog post, but for reference, here is what a good structure should look like:

how many clients does a personal trainer packages

By creating packages that follow a similar structure to the example given above, you will be able to upsell the more expensive packages to your more dedicated clients. 

This in turn will reduce the need to take on newer clients, as your time will be spent on those who wish to train on a more regular basis.

For example, you could train 10 clients on the Gold Package 3 times per week, which would result in the same workload as training 30 clients on the Bronze package once a week

As mentioned above, one way to push clients towards the more expensive pricing packages is through the practice of upselling. This simply means that you will move clients along to a more premium package by making it sound as appealing as possible.

how many clients do personal trainers have per week

The purpose of upselling shouldn’t be to make a sale there and then - it simply lets the clients know that the upgrade is available as and when they’re ready. Note, the decision is left with the client, without the PT having to do any additional work.

A personal trainer who masters the art of upselling may have less clients, but they could be earning significantly more on a weekly basis. 

Using our mock-up pricing package as an example, clients on the bronze package will be paying £720 across the course of 6 months, whereas those on the gold package would pay £1,728.

With over £1,000 in additional revenue, the benefits of upselling speak for themselves. Therefore, when faced with the question of ‘how many clients do personal trainers have?’ it must be recognised that a larger number does not equate to success.

Instead, the number of sessions an individual client purchases can influence how many clients you choose to take on.

 

#2 - How Much You Charge Per Session

With the frequency in mind, how much you charge per session can also influence the amount of clients you have as a personal trainer. 

But to understand this argument in a little more depth, we have to first understand how much an average PT costs.

According to the job profile site Prospectus, the average freelance personal trainer earns somewhere between £20 - £40 per hour/per client

However, in some areas popular trainers could expect to generate £50 - £100:

Location is arguably one of the most influential factors in how much PTs actually charge, as trainers in smaller cities or towns will typically charge less in comparison those situated in larger cities (like London or Manchester).

Our research into how much an average PT costs highlighted that trainers located in London could even expect to earn more than the figures given above, with some generating up to £120 an hour.

With this in mind, we’d encourage all newly qualified personal trainers to conduct market research. This will allow you to see what your competitors are charging, and adjust your prices accordingly. This will allow you to see what competitors within your local area are charging, and adjust your own prices accordingly.

Now, some may instantly assume that if you offer a cheaper deal, you will attract more clients than local competitors. However, you should not automatically equate a greater number of clients with a higher salary.

For example, you could have 20 clients paying £20 per hour and earn a total of £400 per week, or 15 clients paying £35 per hour and earn a total of £525 per week.

When it comes to investigating how many clients do personal trainers have, it’s clear that charging fewer clients a higher price may be more beneficial to your business in the long run. 

However, in order to charge this higher price, you may need to first gain some experience, as clients are more likely to spend more on trainers who have been working in the industry for a longer period of time.

 

Enquire now to become a Personal Trainer with OriGym!

Enrol on one of our industry-leading Personal Training Courses today!

#3 - The More Experience You Have, The More Clients You Will Likely Attract 

As with any industry, clients are likely going to be more drawn to personal trainers who have more experience than the likes of newcomers.

Starting a personal training business can be incredibly rewarding, but does have its own set of challenges, one of the largest being that you have to build your client base from the ground up. 

In terms of marketing, most clients will look for forms of social proofing prior to purchasing a product or service. These will act as positive forms of reviews for the service on offer, encouraging others to sign up for the programme.

Social proofing can include:

Many of these factors will be interconnected. For example, you can display testimonials on your personal trainer website or social media pages, like this PT in Australia:

or as a permanent story feature on their Instagram page, like this US-based company: 

Trainers who have been working in the industry for a prolonged period are likely to have more examples of social proofing readily available across their platforms. 

This in turn is likely to attract even more clients who will view the service as a safe and reliable purchase.

Think of it this way. If you saw two similar products, and one had multiple 5-star reviews, whilst the other had no reviews at all, you’d naturally be more inclined to choose the one with those reviews.

Therefore, we can say that personal trainers who are already well established in the industry are more likely to attract and generate a greater number of clients compared to newcomers.

#4 -  Offering Group Sessions vs Offering One-to-One 

Instead of working with clients on a one-to-one basis some professionals may opt to conduct group personal training sessions.

Given its name, group personal training sessions will see trainers work with a number of clients simultaneously. The qualities you expect to find in traditional personal training can also be found in these sessions, such as:

  • Client Check Ins
  • Communicating with clients
  • Updating Client Profiles
  • Performing consultations

Those who primarily teach group personal training sessions will naturally have more clients, as on average a typical group PT session will host anywhere between 3 - 7 clients.

One reason why so many clients are drawn to group personal training is due to the fact that they’re cheaper than personalised one-to-one sessions. 

For example, our research indicates that the average group training class will cost £15 - £25 per client. This means that, if you run 2 sessions a day with an average of 4 clients that pay £20 each, you could make between £1,120 every week.

To achieve a similar salary when working with one-to-one clients, you would need to work with 10 individuals charging them £35 per session, meeting each one 3 times per week.

There are only so many working hours per week, and trying to replicate the results of group personal training when working on a one-to-one basis will only result in emotional and physical burnout. 

Therefore, we can simply state that offering group sessions would not only be of financial benefit to you, but can also save you time throughout the working day.

#5 - Specialist & Additional Qualifications Can Bring In Even More PT Clients

Personal training can be a crowded field at times, but by achieving a specialist qualification, you can stand out from the competition, and bring in a greater number of clients

If you’re looking to expand into a niche area of training, we’d advise you to conduct some market research and see what others within your local area are offering. 

From this, you may find that there is a gap in the market for trainers who specialise in weight loss and management.

You should ensure that your branding is reflective of this niche. When potential clients view your website or social media, they should be able to tell exactly what service you provide, and how it differs from others. 

An example of someone who does this is Liverpool-based trainer Louise Weir. From the screenshot presented below we can very clearly see that she specialises in weight loss and body transformations for women:

A specialist qualification will therefore help you to attract an untapped market, who may have otherwise gone elsewhere for personal training.

Therefore, when it comes to determining how many clients a personal trainer can have, we can say those with a specialist qualification can expect to attract a larger following in comparison to holistic trainers.

Learn more about a personal trainer’s relationship with their clients in these 3 related articles:

Can A Personal Trainer Have Too Many Clients?

Researching ‘how many clients does a personal trainer have?’ will undoubtedly pull up results depicting several trainers bragging about the size of their clientele list. 

Whilst this may be ideal for some, a large number of clients should not be the default aspiration for new trainers, especially as this can be overwhelming.

One of the reasons why newly qualified personal trainers are tempted to sign up more clients is because they believe it translates to greater financial success. 

In actuality, having a vast amount of clients does not guarantee this, which is why we previously shared how you can make more money with fewer clients.

However, financial benefits aren’t the only perks of having fewer clients - others include:

  • Easier to earn a profit
  • Easier to build rapport
  • More opportunities to receive referrals and testimonials 
  • Improve existing clients' progress 
  • Less work for yourself 

Let’s discuss why you should instead opt for a smaller client base.

 

Enquire now to become a Personal Trainer with OriGym!

Enrol on one of our industry-leading Personal Training Courses today!

#1 - Having Fewer Clients Can Make It Easier To Earn A Profit From Personal Training 

how many clients does a personal trainer have money

As discussed within our article ‘how to become a freelance personal trainer’, those who operate on a freelance basis can typically rent spaces at commercial gyms in order to conduct their sessions. 

Rent payments to commercial gyms are more popular than you may think, in fact chains such as PureGym often implement this system. In exchange for a rent-payment you and your client will receive access to the gym’s facilities and equipment. 

how many clients does a personal trainer have to pay rent

These rent fees will typically be a flat rate, so even if you do have a larger number of clients you shouldn’t have to worry about paying separately for each individual session. 

However, with that being said this repayment process will be significantly easier if you have fewer clients who are on more expensive packages. 

For example, let’s say that a gym is charging you £250 every month to rent a space in their facility. If you charge £25 per session and only meet clients once a week, this would mean that you’d have to work alongside 10 clients just to pay rent

This does not factor in any additional payments for either personal or professional matters, meaning that you could still struggle to financially support yourself. 

However, if you charge £20 per session, but meet with clients 3 times per week then you’d only have to meet 5 clients in order to offset the cost of rent

This would cut your workload in half, whilst still allowing you to experience many of the benefits posed above such as rapport building and referrals.

#2  - Easier To Build Relationships With Fewer Clients

Building rapport with your clients is the key to increasing your retention rate, as they’re more likely to remain in your service if you actually get on well.

If you have too many clients, you may be less inclined to get to know each one on an individual basis, or may accidentally confuse one for another. 

As a consequence, you could present yourself in an unprofessional manner, prompting clients to look elsewhere for their service.

Having fewer clients will allow you to get to know each one on a personal level, ensuring that you build a relationship that eventually leads to them resigning.

However, this won’t only lead to financial benefits as building a rapport with a core group of clients will also help to make your sessions more enjoyable.

If you have a good relationship with a smaller list of clients, each session will be fun to attend, and as a result you could even develop lasting friendships. 

In contrast, simply seeing a person once a week will not allow this relationship to develop and will simply be viewed as just another part of the job.

#3 - Fewer Clients Will Likely Lead to More Referrals and Testimonials 

Off the back of these strong relationships, your clients will be more likely to provide you with glowing testimonials and refer your service to their family and friends.

This is largely due to the fact that you will have more time to spend with each client individually. Instead of bouncing between multiple different individuals, you can hone your focus on a smaller group of people, allowing your relationships to develop and strengthen.

However, as discussed in our article on how to get personal trainer referrals, these will likely only take place if a client has seen significant results or recently reached a specific goal. 

Clients will be in a much more positive mood after achieving an aspiration, which will encourage them to share the news with others.

Those who train multiple times per week are more likely to see these quicker, whereas those who train just once will see much more gradual results.

Therefore, if you question ‘how many clients should a personal trainer have?’, an argument can be made that ‘too many’ will lead to a poor reflection on your business. 

As a consequence of the lack of results, these individuals may view this as a reflection of your training and decide to not offer any referrals or testimonials. 

This is why it’s so important to not spread yourself too thin with a large number of clients that you barely see. 

#4 - More Clients Can Result in a Lack of Progress 

When discussing ‘how many clients does a personal trainer have?’, we have stressed how opting for fewer clients can not only work in your favour, but can also improve the service the client receives.

If a client can only receive one training session per week due to your time being occupied by others, then they typically won’t make any progress towards their fitness goals.

In contrast to this, those who train twice or three times per week are more likely to see these results in a shorter period of time.

Furthermore, meeting multiple times per week will grant you more opportunities to break down their workout programme. This will allow you to tailor each session to focus on a specific aspect, rather than just trying to hastily cover every base.

For example, someone who trains twice a week can spend one day training their upper body, and the next focused on their lower body.

Therefore, we can summarise by stating that as a personal trainer you can certainly have too many clients. 

Whilst this prospect may seem initially tempting, it will only lead to negative consequences for both trainer and client alike.

#5 - Fewer Clients Means Less Work for Yourself 

Finally, as stressed throughout this section the answer to ‘how many clients does a personal trainer have?’ should be subjective from business to business. 

Whilst some trainers may thrive on having a large number of clients, you should work at a pace that is comfortable for you. By having fewer clients you can guarantee less work for yourself, and avoid any unwanted stress.

Keep in mind if you intend on training in-person for every client you will need to:

  • Construct bespoke training programs
  • Attend each training session in gyms
  • Give nutrition advice
  • Conduct check-ins
  • Deal with associated admin 

Even the most seasoned of trainers struggle to juggle all of these roles and responsibilities, but having fewer clients will make it more manageable. 

Whereas having too many clients could result in poor time management on your behalf, and a lack of attention paid to specific responsibilities. For example, you confuse one client for the other and deliver a session that isn’t specifically tailored to their needs. 

Those who train once a week are not always dedicated, so if you have a significant number of clients but only meet each for one session a week, you could run the risk of financial uncertainty as some of these individuals may drop out.

Instead of chasing all of these clients to re-sign for another month, you should opt for a smaller and more dedicated group that trains multiple times per week. 

This will strengthen your relationship and make it easier to implement client retention strategies.

How Many Clients Do Online Personal Trainers Have?

For the most part, the topics covered in the sections above relate specifically to factors that influence trainers who work with their clients in person.

However, online personal training is an entirely different field and could allow you to draw in a higher number of clients. 

Some online resources report that full-time online personal trainers could have up to 50 - 80 clients. However, this could be another case of inflated figures, as our research suggested that the average online PT works with between 20-30 clients.

Therefore, please keep in mind that this is merely an average, and is not a definitive answer for every online business in existence. 

Whilst this number may seem higher than an in-person trainer, keep in mind that online PTs aren’t bound to time-consuming constraints such as:

  • Commuting to and from various locations
  • Physically attending every training session
  • Finding the right equipment for each session

Once these hindrances are removed, online personal trainers will have more working hours available that can then be distributed among a further number of clients. 

Furthermore, online personal trainers are not bound to factors such as renting spaces in gyms. 

This means that they don’t have to worry about offsetting large costs such as rent, and can instead directly take in a larger portion of their income for personal expenses, rather than professional ones. 

You still may have to make other business purchases such as:

  • Specific pieces of equipment 
  • Personal training softwares for accounting
  • Softwares for organisation
  • Domain copyright fees

However, these won’t likely be large-scale payment on the scale of renting, and will therefore require less time or earnings to break even. 

For example, if you wanted to purchase one of the best set of dumbbells on the market you could be expecting to pay something along the lines of £125.

how many clients a pt has on average

Using a similar price range to the one given in our section on breaking even, if you charged £20 per session and met clients 3 times a week, you’d only have to work with 3 clients in order to break even.

On top of all of this, the increased availability of online personal trainers have, coupled with the ability to work with clients around the world, ensures they're often a more desirable option for some clients.

In this sense, online personal trainers arguably have more room for creativity and can attract more clients through means that would be inaccessible to in-person trainers.

Offering Online Personal Trainer Subscription Services

For example, some online trainers could set up their own video subscription store, where clients can pay a flat fee every month for access to a backlog of video classes and training sessions. 

An example of this approach can be seen below through online training providers Obé:

Services such as this may be where some sources get inflated figures from, such as the “between 50 and 80 clients” stat we discussed at the beginning of the article.

Online trainers who run their business in this manner will typically need to acquire a greater number of clients due to the fact that their fees will be lower than those who provide 1-to-1 online training.

This is largely due to the fact that clients aren’t paying for specific trainings that are designed for them. Instead, they are paying a fee for generic training videos that can help them reach fitness goals.

Using Obé as an example we can see that they charge $99.99 (£79.50) a year, or $14.99 (£11.92) a month, which is significantly cheaper than most one-to-one sessions. 

how many clients do online personal trainers company have

Due to these cheaper prices, online personal trainers who offer subscription services will naturally have more clients in order to make a livable income.

However, given that there’s no 1-to-1 interaction with a model like this, your earnings are potentially unlimited and only rely on you producing additional content for your subscribers.

Online Personal Trainers Who Offer One-to-One Sessions

how many clients does online personal trainer have for one to one sessions

Similarly, personal trainers who work with clients on a one-to-one basis online on platforms such as Zoom or FaceTime will be able to charge a similar rate as in-person trainers. 

This price won’t be as cheap as the subscription method, as with this service you are still offering the client a training programme that is bespoke to their specific needs and goals, rather than just a generic plan.

This can be seen in the screenshot below provided by Expertpt.co.uk, which clearly highlights how these prices will be similar to that of an in-person PT.

how many clients does online personal trainer have  example 1-2-1

But the question remains, how many clients does an online personal trainer have?

Whilst training in this method would allow you to take on a few additional clients, due to the fact that you won’t be faced with the aforementioned constraints, you shouldn’t go too overboard.

Therefore, we would recommend taking on anywhere between 20 - 30 online personal training clients.

how many clients does online personal trainer have  stock

This would allow you to divide your time equally between creating bespoke workout plans for each client, without the added time-consuming stress of constraints that affect in-person trainers.

If you’re interested in learning more about these roles, we’d recommend checking out our in-depth discussion within the article How To Become an Online Personal Trainer

Here, you will learn how to brand your own online identity in order to attract your desired number of clients.

To summarise, whilst you can certainly expect to have more clients within an online role, there is no blanket answer to the question “how many clients do online personal trainers have?”.

As a trainer, regardless of whether you operate in-person or online, you should only take on as many clients as your business can handle. 

Should I Aim To Have More Clients Than Other PTs? 

When debating “how many clients can a personal trainer have?”, we must reiterate that rather than competing with others, you must only take on a workload that is manageable for you.

Many new trainers falsely assume that to be regarded as one of the best within your local area you need to get as many potential clients as possible, prohibiting competitors from reaching them instead.

It’s easy to fall into this trap of ‘friendly competition’ but as discussed at length throughout this article, it will only lead to negative results. 

Instead, you should only take on what you can manage, and this will naturally differ from trainer to trainer. 

If you bite off more than you can chew, this will lead you to provide an unfulfilling service for your clients, who consequently won’t renew their packages.

This is all a learning experience, and only you can determine what workload is suitable for you. It may be a case of taking things slow with only 5-10 clients, and once you have built your confidence you can then take on more.

 

Enquire now to become a Personal Trainer with OriGym!

Enrol on one of our industry-leading Personal Training Courses today!

How To Manage Your Time Among Clients 

In order to determine how many clients should a personal trainer have in order to keep their workload manageable, you should consider whether this will be your full-time career or just something you pursue as a side hustle.

This choice ultimately shapes your entire experience as a trainer, as it dictates your working hours. 

If you are employed within another industry and have no intention of leaving, then pursuing this job role on a part-time basis will probably work better for you. 

Once this has been decided, take a look at your existing schedule and determine how much free time you have available to dedicate to your side-hustle. 

Remember, you need to factor in time to conduct administrative duties, as well as your own personal life too.

Any remaining time is what you have available for your personal training sessions, so if this is somewhat restricted you shouldn’t overload yourself with an abundance of clients. 

Don’t eat into your own personal time for the sake of training more clients, as this can lead to emotional and physical burnout.

Therefore, it’s important to know how much time you have available in advance, as this helps to determine just how many clients you can take on.

Before You Go! 

Upon reading this article, you should have a better understanding of why ‘how many clients does a personal trainer have?’ is a biassed question.

Rather than receiving a definitive answer, personal trainers should instead work at a pace that is comfortable for them, which will naturally differ from person to person.

Finally, remember that if you’re yet to qualify OriGym’s Personal Trainer certifications can help to kick start your career, with a guaranteed interview following your graduation!

Alternatively, download also our FREE Prospectus for further information relating to all of our other industry-leading courses! 

Written by James Bickerstaff

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

James holds a BA (Hons) in Creative Writing and Film Studies and has recently gained a MA degree in Film, both of which he attained from Liverpool John Moores University. After taking up the couch to 5K challenge on a whim, James found a new passion for running, which he combines with his love for healthy cooking and writing. All of this led him to becoming a copywriter for OriGym.  

When he is not writing content for the site, James can be found researching new recipes, writing music reviews, reading and watching latest film releases.   

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