The Different Types Of Personal Trainer Explained

The Different Types of Personal Trainer

The health and fitness industry is growing, allowing different personal training styles to emerge.

To help you specialise in the correct area of personal training, we’ll explore 7 different types of personal training services, ranging from personal trainers who focus on physique, to those who offer a more holistic service that encompasses diet and lifestyle.

But if you’re looking to emulate one of the types of personal trainer you'll see here, the perfect place to start is with OriGym's personal training diploma, which provides the foundations you need for a career in fitness.

Alternatively, you can read about our range of professional qualifications by downloading our free course prospectus.

#1 - Nutrition-Focused Personal Trainers

pt types

One of the more instantly-recognisable types of personal trainer is one that places an emphasis on lifestyle and dietary changes through adjusting nutrition and exercise.

If you want to help clients achieve long-lasting health benefits they can’t sustain themselves, then you might want to become a personal trainer who specialises in nutrition.

To do this, you can complete a nutritionist course with OriGym, which can then be combined with your personal training qualification to offer a more comprehensive service.

the types of personal trainer

Working as a personal trainer who provides nutritional advice, you’ll advise clients on ways they could improve their physical health and diet, including:

  • Incorporating their favourite foods into a balanced diet
  • Educating clients on how they can improve their diet in conjunction with exercise
  • Developing a sustainable training routine with plenty of recovery time
  • How to sustain these methods to continue leading a healthy lifestyle

Of course, as part of the roles of a nutrition coach, you’ll also need to determine what’s best for that particular client, and offer a service that encompasses what a client needs to maintain the changes you put into place.

Rich Mash PT specialises in delivering these services to their client base, delivering nutritional guidance and how to carry out long-term exercise programmes:

the types of pt

In this field of personal training, you can help your clients improve their lifestyles by making small gradual changes over time.

This could be something more tangible, like weight loss, or just improving overall health and wellbeing.

Tracey Harper Nutrition is a great example of this. Check out this client testimonial that discussed the correlation between their mental wellbeing and their diet:

the types of personal training

So if you’re interested in providing a service that delivers aesthetic goals but improves mental wellbeing then becoming a nutritionist personal trainer is worth considering.


Take The Next Step With OriGym's Personal Training Diploma Today

Start your journey to becoming your chosen type of personal trainer with a personal training diploma!

#2 - Types Of Personal Training Include Exercise Referral

types of personal trainer to consider

If you’re seeking to be the type of personal trainer that works alongside those with specific medical or physical needs, then exercise referral is an option to consider.

Specialist personal trainers who focus on providing tailored training for clients who have more challenging fitness needs, or that need more specialised guidance, do need an advanced qualification in Exercise Referral.

This certification qualifies you to work alongside GPs and other medical practitioners, usually in a leisure centre or council-run gym. 

personal training types to consider

You’ll take on clients who need more tailored or specialised workouts to help alleviate or combat a specific medical condition, like diabetic clients, or those with hypertension.

A great example of this comes from Axiom Fitness, who offer services for clients who've been referred to them through local GPs and medical professionals.

different types of personal trainer services

With this role, you’ll also need to develop an understanding of the exercise referral process, learning where you fit in with more clinical advice, and how you can best provide for your clients.

Exercise referral specialists can also have a further specialism, in areas that closely link to the process.

These will often be Level 4 courses, like lower back pain management or obesity and weight management, and provide the PT with additional skills and expertise that help in planning sessions and programmes for their clients.

#3 - Mobile PTs Are The Most Common Types Of Personal Training Services

other types of pt

If you enjoy working outside of a commercial gym then becoming a mobile personal trainer could be a great career choice because it enables you to train at:

  • Clients’ homes
  • Local parks
  • Clients’ workplaces

Going mobile is one of the best types of personal training to pursue, as you can appeal to a wide variety of clients.

Parents have demanding schedules and, as a result, struggle to go to the gym regularly. Working as a mobile PT, allows you to train them from the comfort of their homes.

Anthony Dalzell capitalises on this, offering to train post-natal clients from the comfort of their homes if they’re unable to leave their houses to train:

other types of personal training

Alternatively, if you enjoy running sessions outside of a traditional gym environment, then becoming a mobile PT is a career path you should consider. 

Exercising carries many benefits for your client including:

  • Boosting mental health
  • Carries new physical challenges
  • Increases likelihood of attending future sessions

Outdoor personal training does not have to focus on cardio, but can help build strength as well. PT 2 Home is an excellent example of this, as they offer a range of outdoor classes to meet the needs of different clients:

options for personal training

Furthermore, you don’t necessarily need to invest in a lot of expensive equipment as an outdoor PT. 

Instead, you’ll just need a few key pieces of equipment that you can easily transport with you, such as:

  • A kettlebell
  • Skipping rope
  • Agility ladder
  • Suspension trainer

Finally, if you’re looking to train several clients at once and boost your salary by working with corporations, then becoming a workplace trainer is a great option for you.

This can help you make a positive impact in these companies' workplaces by helping staff reduce stress levels and increase their productivity.

Personal Training 1 to 1, provides a great insight into how operating as a workplace trainer can look:

options for pt

It's great to be your own boss as a mobile personal trainer, because you can build your business and run it however you like, without the confines of a gym or studio.

Additionally, you won't have to perform any duties that would normally be associated with working at a commercial gym, such as cleaning and maintenance.

This means that you can dedicate more time to training clients and building up your business.


Learn more about the different types of PT and their earnings with our other articles!


Take The Next Step With OriGym's Personal Training Diploma Today

Start your journey to becoming your chosen type of personal trainer with a personal training diploma!

#4 - Small Group Personal Training

options for personal trainers

If you’ve got great management skills, you could introduce your clients to the benefits of small-group personal training.  

It's possible to teach a group of friends at a fraction of the cost while retaining all the benefits of one-on-one sessions.

At Get Fit Fast, for instance, they charge £50 for group classes with 2 people and £60 for 3 people or more:

types of personal trainer specialists

If you adopted this price model, you could potentially double your earning potential for one class, compared to a session with one person.

A trainer usually limits the number of members in a group training session so they can focus on each client's needs, goals, and exercise techniques.

So if you’re looking to run a small group training session, you would benefit from listing the maximum number of people you can teach.

Core-Fitness provides a great example of how you can display this information on your site:

personal trainer typings

When you work with a small group, you’ll see clients working with other like-minded people who motivate each other, creating a friendly, sociable, and inspirational atmosphere.

Having a small group specialisation is one of the best types of personal trainer specialities for those new to the industry, as it allows you to target a certain niche from the very start.

This is a service that Navitas Fitness provides to potential new clients, offering semi-private classes for up to 4 people:

all types of personal trainer

It’s a great way for new PTs to have their services spread through word of mouth as they’ll spread through word of mouth rather than just one. 

This will allow you to build a positive reputation from the small group training services you offer.

#5 - Strength & Conditioning-Focused Types Of Personal Trainer

every type of pt

Performance-focused personal trainers can help train athletes, or those who have a keen interest in sports or athletics.

These trainers will often have strength and conditioning qualifications, and work alongside those at the peak of their physical fitness. 

In this professional capacity, they’re known as coaches, training clients towards particular performance goals such as improving their speed or technique in a specific discipline.

Rather than monitoring visible physique changes, performance-focused PTs track their clients’ progress by monitoring changes in factors such as:

  • Strength
  • Endurance
  • Agility

They’re a useful asset for any clients wishing to improve their weightlifting or powerlifting as they can design workouts to improve their strength and power.

Cast Iron Strength is a great example of how you can market yourself as a coach by offering professional guidance, feedback and competition preparation as part of your services:

every type of personal training

You’re also likely to need experience within the sport or area in which your client is trying to excel.

This ensures you’ve got the right strength and conditioning skillset to provide for the client, as well as better understand what’s needed for that discipline.

Power Lifting Technique, for instance, lists their founder's credentials for Team Canada in powerlifting to demonstrate their experience:

types of personal trainer list

When choosing between the different types of personal training methods, this one can be a highly fulfilling option because you see clients reach goals and win competitions.

You’re also likely to be working with highly motivated, highly skilled individuals, which can be greatly inspiring and rewarding for personal trainers.

#6 - Types Of Personal Trainer: Bootcamp PT

list of personal training types

If you believe you have the ability to get several clients into shape at once, then starting a bootcamp business could be a great career path for you. 

Bootcamps are intensive workouts based on military-style training which are perfect for motivating clients.

Clients who enjoy exercising recreationally but don’t have specific strength or performance goals would benefit from these classes, particularly if they’re hoping to lose body fat. 

Boot camp leaders deliver classes that differ from other training specialities because they don’t create programmes for individuals but plans that apply to groups.

Battle Boot Camp, for example, deliver boot camps with plans designed to cater to multiple clients that attend:

list of types of pt

You could also gain a professional CPD qualification, helping you build a skill set in a specialist area. This can help you develop a workout programme for a range of different areas including Kettlebell Training and Bodyweight Workouts!

Bootcamps also offer you more options as a trainer, because you can run these sessions at a time and location that suits both you and your chosen personal training target market

If you choose to hold boot camps in a park or sports field, for example, you can increase your earning potential by training more clients than you could with an indoor session.

Whilst you may avoid being charged for renting an indoor space, you would have to check with your local council whether you require a permit to train in a park.

If you were planning to run a boot camp in a public park in Merton, for instance, you’d need to obtain a permit from Merton Council:

list of types for personal trainers

Once you’ve achieved relevant qualifications and researched the requirements to carry out personal training in a public park, then you and your clients can enjoy outdoor bootcamps.


Take The Next Step With OriGym's Personal Training Diploma Today

Start your journey to becoming your chosen type of personal trainer with a personal training diploma!

#7 - Types Of Personal Training Specialisms Include Postnatal PTs

other types of pt to consider

Exercising after pregnancy can be a daunting prospect, but one of the key types of personal trainer is one that helps alleviate that worry, and provides tailored training plans to suit a client who’s recently given birth.

Working with postnatal clients, a PT will offer programmes that both consider the strain the body has been under, and how they can best adapt exercises to suit the client’s goals.

While there are no specialised qualifications needed to conduct this type of personal training, it’s crucial to consider a few key aspects of the training process. These include:

  • Conducting an effective and thorough personal training consultation
  • Taking into account any complications during and after pregnancy
  • Focusing on the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor
  • Adapting to include low-impact exercise, and weaving in elements of yogic practice

NXTEP Personal Training in this instance promotes themselves as pre-natal specialists, and outlines the benefits that clients could experience:

list of types for personal training

Working as a postnatal personal trainer is often a highly sought-after specialism, especially for those looking to get back into exercise after childbirth, plus it requires no specific training to get started.

By offering a service like this, you’re not only offering a highly sought-after specialism, you’re also able to draw on your own experiences to create programmes that nurture both physical and mental wellbeing.

Before You Go!

After learning about the different personal training styles, we’re confident you’ll work in an area that both challenges you and benefits your clients.

Remember, your first step towards becoming any type of PT is with a personal training diploma, which offers the ideal first step into the fitness industry.

Alternatively, read about our other qualifications through our complete course prospectus.

Written by Rebecca Felton

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Graduating from the University of Liverpool with a first-class degree in English, Rebecca’s combined passions for fitness and writing are what brought her to OriGym. Rebecca is a keen gym-goer and specifically enjoys lifting weights. Outside of fitness and writing, Rebecca enjoys cooking, reading, and watching the football.

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