Network Blog

Reflections on fitness, wellness, health and more

What is the dollar value of a Personal Training session these days?

Some years ago when I first moved to Sydney, I *gasp* took some time off exercising after having taught classes for more than 10 years. After a few months of getting rather porky and feeling pretty unfit, I decided it was time to make my way back into the health club scene. I promptly joined a local chain of gyms and began working in earnest to lose some of the beer and pie weight accumulated over the previous six months.

After working very hard on my own for a while, I decided to do some research into hiring a personal trainer to help me achieve my fitness goals. By this stage I was already working at Network and being immersed back in the fitness world I was sure that a PT would be just the thing to whip me back into shape. After speaking to the personal training manager at the club I was a member of, I was referred to a trainer who promptly interviewed me and did a very thorough needs analysis. We then moved on to the sample workout which was outstanding.

When it came to discuss pricing, I was shocked to learn that the planned price for a session was $80 for an hour! Upon further discussion with my trainer I quickly learnt that this was commonplace and that, in fact, there were others in the same club charging upwards of $100 per session. Now I want to reiterate that my trainer was extremely well prepared and knowledgeable and certainly worth the going rate. However, what it did mean is that we only met for sessions once a week, sometimes once a fortnight. I would have preferred to have had sessions twice or even three times per week, but alas I couldn’t afford such an expense!

Upon doing further research I discovered that even recent PT graduates from local training colleges were entering the workforce and charging between $70 and $100 per session after completing a short course and having almost no customer service background! Another interesting experience I had in the same period was visiting a physiotherapist to treat a case of plantar fasciitis. After another very thorough session in which all sorts of expensive equipment was used, when it was time to pay I was charged a mere $75!

The first thing that came to mind was: ‘how is it possible that recent graduates from short certificate level courses could be charging the same going rate as a physiotherapist who studied for +4 years at the University level?’ Now let me again say that the trainer I chose to engage was well prepared, experienced and knowledgeable and hence justified his rate. But $70 to $100 for someone with only a few weeks experience?

Based on past experience overseas, and having studied surveys and reports from IHRSA and IDEA I know that the average rate for an hour of personal training in the USA and Canada is around US$35 to US$40. Also, group exercise instructors in Sydney earn an average of $35 to $50 per class and they spend time and effort planning and preparing. How does it compare?

My questions to the readers of this blog  are:

  1. How do you justify charging the same amount or more than a University-trained professional, and more than double that of your counterparts in other developed countries?
  2. How much planning and preparation goes into your sessions? Do you spend more than an hour planning each and every PT session, hence your high hourly training rate?
  3. Have you ever considered you might have more clients – and more clients seeing you more than once or twice a week – if you charged closer to $40 or $50 an hour?

Please answer these questions using the comments feature below! We'd love to hear from you.

Back to Blog

Posted by: Liz | 19-Jul-2010 10:41 AM |

As a newbie PT I have no qualms in charging $40 a session for regular clients and $65 a session for casual clients. As my skill levels increase and the local economy becomes more attuned to paying for quality service, then my session fees will rise. I'd rather have a full book of clients and a busy schedule, than the opposite. I want to stay in this industry for the long term.

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 10:41 AM |

The going rate where I am in Melbourne is only $30/hr.

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 10:50 AM | 5 out of 5 stars

Please let me start off this topic by saying that I do accept partial responsibility for not conducting further research into a Personal Trainer that I had begun training with.

I had seem his personal training sessions, he looked the part and his qualifications were decent. I was immediately stung $100 for my first session. I was promised a postural asessment, program card and intensive 'tailored' sessions. After my first $100 dollar session which did not include a postural assessment and program card I was beginning to wonder why he hadn't commited to what he promised. I thought that the actual workout was great. I did work hard. I asked the trainer for a tax receipt and he said that he could not issue me one for tax purposes. In other words he was taking 'under the table' cash only payments. I complained to him and he casually mentioned that if I wanted cheaper sessions I would have to arrange a FEMALE only training partner. I was not born yesterday. This particular personal trainer wanted to pump up his ego on the gym floor by training teams of female clients. I told him I was not interested. I still train at the fitness centre where this personal trainer works - he trains every single girl the same! There is not any specific tailoring to his clients.

On the odd occassion that he does any training with the male variety - the sessions look the same as the female clients.

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 10:51 AM | 5 out of 5 stars

Please let me start off this topic by saying that I do accept partial responsibility for not conducting further research into a Personal Trainer that I had begun training with.

I had seem his personal training sessions, he looked the part and his qualifications were decent. I was immediately stung $100 for my first session. I was promised a postural asessment, program card and intensive 'tailored' sessions. After my first $100 dollar session which did not include a postural assessment and program card I was beginning to wonder why he hadn't commited to what he promised. I thought that the actual workout was great. I did work hard. I asked the trainer for a tax receipt and he said that he could not issue me one for tax purposes. In other words he was taking 'under the table' cash only payments. I complained to him and he casually mentioned that if I wanted cheaper sessions I would have to arrange a FEMALE only training partner. I was not born yesterday. This particular personal trainer wanted to pump up his ego on the gym floor by training teams of female clients. I told him I was not interested. I still train at the fitness centre where this personal trainer works - he trains every single girl the same! There is not any specific tailoring to his clients.

On the odd occassion that he does any training with the male variety - the sessions look the same as the female clients.

Posted by: Skye Jones | 19-Jul-2010 11:00 AM | 5 out of 5 stars

My advice is to do some research on your PT before you agree, sign or offer any money for training sessions. If you have a specific goal - work with a specific trainer. This means if you want to compete in a marathon - work with a running coach or a trainer with actual credentials in this field. It would be even more ideal if your trainer has previously competed or currently still is. Your Personal Trainer will resonate with you and will have a deeper underdstanding of what you are going through.

Like most things in life - there is the good, the bad and the ugly! There are some really good PTs out there and there are of course some cowboys. Happy researching! =)

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 11:04 AM | 1 out of 5 stars

Are you saying that personal trainers don't spend time planning and preparing their workouts for their clients as compared with group ex instructors???? How do you work that out? I work out what my clients goals are, what their current status is and how long it will take them to achieve their goals, then develop their plans accordingly. This is not a 5 minute job - so the money I charge goes into this time, research and development.

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 11:07 AM | 5 out of 5 stars

At the risk of oversimplifying an important topic, I liken this to a hairdresser. I don't care where they studied or if they charge more than my physio as long as: they don't hurt me, they use my time and money wisely, and I'm happy with the result.

Posted by: A.S. | 19-Jul-2010 11:16 AM | 4 out of 5 stars

It seems as if some respondents to the blog have allowed an instinctually emotional response to cloud their ability to read the article for what it is: not an attack on PT's in general but a question about HOW we justify what we charge.
Anonymous, I too spend a significant amount of time on preparing individual programs, nutrition information, daily motivation check ins, etc and as such I can happily (and objectively) justify the figure my sessions attract.

Posted by: Peter V. | 19-Jul-2010 11:25 AM | 5 out of 5 stars

I absolutely agree. They should build up a portfolio before they can demand those prices. Those prices sound about the same for a celebrity PT. How ridiculous! However, it does not come as such a surprise to me as all other costs in Australia are completely ridiculous. Let's start with our gym memberships...

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 12:28 PM |

"Are you saying that personal trainers don't spend time planning and preparing their workouts for their clients as compared with group ex instructors????"

Well Anonymous, I applaud the fact that you are surprised by this. It shows that you are obviously planning your sessions and conducting yourself in a manner that we all should be. HOWEVER, sadly, after ten years in this industry, I can tell you for a fact that there are countless trainers who charge upwards of $90 and make up the sessions on the day according to what THEY feel like doing rather than conducting a session that is in line with the goals and specific needs of their clients.

Posted by: Graeme | 19-Jul-2010 12:54 PM |

Anything is only ever worth what the market will pay, but it's wrong to compare a short course with a 4 year course. There are many professionals who spent 4,5 or more years at Uni & have learnt nothing since. Are they worth more than the PT who spent 12 weeks & has been constantly researching, learning & updating skills ever since?
I spent 20 years participating in, coaching & being coached in various sports & fitness regimes before jumpingf into the 12 week PT course. Now 2 years on & lots of supplemental research, client planning, conferences & courses later the whole health & fitness thing consumes all my time. Do the first 20 years count for nothing & do you consider the whole lot to be a learninmg experience? My view is most PT's or at least successful ones have come from a fitness journey & life experience of one sort or another before formalising that more than makes up for lack of formal chalkboard time. Hire one & draw on that experience; it's worth much more than $30 or $40.

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 01:54 PM | 5 out of 5 stars

I'd love to read a comment from the Brad Sheppards of the world who charge $440 per hour!!!

Posted by: Pam Robinson | 19-Jul-2010 02:00 PM | 5 out of 5 stars

I can totally understand why some people would protest paying good money for a person who just did a quick few week course. My clients understand that what they are paying for is quality!!
As for spending time on creating your next exercise plan... I learnt long ago that you should be able to work out a plan within seconds. What if you planned a leg workout and your client arrives with a leg injury? You need to be able to plan something else within seconds!!!
The reason why my business is so successful is because I don't work from a gym where 'kids' fresh from training school work. My clients stick with me because i'm nothing like the newbies

Posted by: Samantha Gentry | 19-Jul-2010 02:04 PM |

I am a university trained fitness professional.

I do spend much more than just the time I am with the client working on things for them. I also supply very detailed and thorough nutritional guidance which is included in the cost of my sessions.
I only train 30min session, so the cost per session is lower than if you were training an hour. I also teach group fitness and spend far less personal time and energy on my classes than I do on my PT clients. I also offer my PT client a money-back garentee.

I have been training for several years. I do agree that perhaps just-out-of training PTs should be charging much less, but I personally think that trainers should have at least a full-time year of study before they are let loose on the population at large! I specialise in rehab and do get many clients from other gyms and trainers who have been injured by inappropriate programming or lack of supervision.

Do your research before you choose a trainer, make sure they are just as comitted as you to getting you the results that you want.

Posted by: Heather | 19-Jul-2010 02:07 PM |

As an older PT working in a council gym, I have had no trouble establishing a solid base of clients. I am happy to charge the fee set by the Council, which is a lot less than the $100 disucssed. Experience, knowledge and results are what people should pay for.
The Industry itself causes some new, idealistic trainers to have unrealistic expectations. At my first Filex, 4 years ago, I attended a PT Business session, where some PT was telling everyone that they could have a Porsche by the end of their first year, and people will pay anything if you ask it, you just have to look like a good trainer. The young new trainers eyes were bulging out of their heads.
Our communites are full of overweight, chronically ill, people who would benefit so much more from a Personal Trainer, to give them the motivation encouragement and the results they need to be healthier, but often the costs are so high, that we only only end up preaching to the converted.

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 02:09 PM |

As a personal Trainer with about one years 'experience' I absolutely think I am worth every cent I charge and I know my clients would say the same thing - It should be ability to get results that counts not years in the industry. Yes the fee looks like $80 per hour, but that is only the face-time with the client. There is also the travel, rarely less than 30 minutes per client, plus the time I take outside of my session to prepare programmes, assess results, contact my client to discuss his or her progress, and so on. I also have a good 20 years experience in business which does give me a wide range of experience to offer my clients (even if not specifically focused on training) - in particular in the area of customer service. A physiotherapist, for example, has back to back clients, rarely do appointments (in my experience) last more than half an hour, and follow-up is normally done at the next session, rather than out of hours. Now I am not trying to downplay physiotherapists and others like them -quite the contrary, just pointing out that it is not a fair comparison.
In the end, the market decides. From my perspective, I dont have any trouble filling my book at my rate, so that tells me I must be doing something right...

Posted by: Craig | 19-Jul-2010 02:14 PM | 3 out of 5 stars

Nice call Skye....
Having spent most of my life training in various sports and karate, I believe I have a lot of experience to draw on. I also teach and am quite used to dealing with people from all walks of like. Mum's and dad's looking to improve their fitness, the kids who like to play and the serious hard trainers that really immerse themselves in Karate.
I also know the type of person who reads from the manual and charges a lot for very little service. BTW, just because they charge, dose not mean you have to pay and train with them...
Is a house in Sydney really worth $1M ? Probably not, but that’s the market rate.

Posted by: Lou S | 19-Jul-2010 02:15 PM |

i've spent over 10yrs coaching & mentoring people prior to doing short course for pt, so courses lengths are somewhat irrelevant. as an employer of trainers, as well as being a pt, some trainers earn their 80 per hour on quality sessions, follow up, and going the extra mile for their clients, providing info, education, support at other times (such as weekend txt's to keep them on track etc), taking them out for their first bike ride etc that is uncharged, training programs for running and other exercise without additional cost. Sometimes i've worked out on an hourly rate, and it can sometimes only be $20 per hour! (cost of ph calls, insurances, gym rent etc, plus other hours that go in to clients that are uncharged). Some trainers see someone else charging 80, so they stick that as their price, and never do more than that 1 hours work for the client, i believe these trainers have a very short future in the industry!

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 02:19 PM | 1 out of 5 stars

I teach both group fitness including Les Mills Body Balance (which cosumes more of my time, learning choreography for a one hour program than planning a one hour PT session). No amount of planning can result in the obsiticles in you way, such as gym equipment in use, clients injuires, weather (outdoor session) etc. And in a group fitnes setting you will have more obsticles just from the fact you have more clients to train. So for personal trainers claiming they should earn more than group fitness staff and more so than people who study 6 year university degrees is a joke. As for the planning, how many of these trainers who research nutrition, rehabiliation to benifit their cleints actually have the qualifications to do so. My understanding of a certificate 4 in fitness is that you ARE not qualified to pescribe, only advise, thats why we have qulified physios and dietitians to advise us.
within my centre everyone is on the base pay rate of $31 an hour and even that is unfair as some of our trainers are SHIT! So as per other feedback shop around and watch trainers in action, try a one off before you commit to a session pass. And good trainers will say if you are not happy with your results talk to me and if need be I can set you up with another trainer who meets your needs. As lets face it what we can do for person A is not what we can do for person B.

Posted by: John Domandl | 19-Jul-2010 02:30 PM | 4 out of 5 stars

I may make a few enemies with my blog, but tuff. I personally think that the industry is over priced. Some people are here for the dollars and the ego. I have had my successful studio set up for over ten years now, I have numerous achievements in and out of the industry, but I didn’t put my price up. I charge between $10 and $25 for small groups and $25 and $45 one on one. I have clients with special needs and not much money and professional people who have set their own price higher than I requested. I have clients that have trained with me for over 8 years and still turn up twice a week 45 weeks a year.
I believe personal trainers should act more like personal assistance to their clients, our role is to help and facilitate, not to rip off. How many of you would do what you do for free, if you could? I would because I love doing what I do.

Posted by: Yani Burmeister | 19-Jul-2010 02:36 PM | 4 out of 5 stars

Interesting comments Robinson, "Kids' in gym's … Funny. I think it's possible the strength coaches and personal trainers that work in gym's and PT studio's might do so because they have obtained the skills and knowledge used to successfully identify incorrect movement patterns that can cause structural imbalances - and therefore, would prefer to work in an environment were the correct equipment is supplied to correct such injury causing issue's. Or, maybe they are lucky to be able to train athletes who require a little more that hill sprints and focus mitts to achieve there desired result.
And the 'newbies' - as you call them who take on internships in such establishments might be wishing to continue there education and therefore, continue to learn from such professionals. I'm happy to say that I work in a number of such establishments (such as Fitness First) and have happily been doing so for 7 years.
As for the cost of my sessions, I can only speak for myself here. I have been studying on and off for over 7 years and I'm confident that the knowledge I submit into every program designed for me and my clients is well worth the $95 per hour I charge. Feel free to check out some of my client testimonials:

Warm regards,
Yani Burmeister - Director/Strength & Conditioning Coach

Posted by: Scott Stefl | 19-Jul-2010 02:40 PM | 4 out of 5 stars

I think this is a valid concern for clients seeking PT's. I have been doing PT for 7 years, was a physical education and health teacher for five years before that, and competed in several different sports. As Graeme said, I think this background counts for something in charging the price one charges. I spend time planning, sending motivation & information (newsletter to my clients), set goals, talk about mind set & nutrition, and unlimited email contact to my clients.
I'm in Sydney and charge $80/hr. I do have similar workouts for all my clients as I want to make sure they are covering the 10 areas of fitness (cardio, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy), so my clients can participate in any athletic endeavor they choose.
I also have outdoor classes and allow my PT clients to attend these sessions at no extra cost if they are doing PT with me, but charge $15/session otherwise. I'm not after just giving my clients a hard workout, rather an effective one.
I correct my clients on their technique, which I don't see a lot of other trainers doing. Are there things I could improve on, absolutely! I still think based on the market area cahrging $80 is not unreasonable, but what is it worth to the customer?
I've recently been thinking about pricing and making some changes, so this blog has me thinking about it. I can't believe the going rate in Melbourne is $30-$40/hr. Although if the PT is booked it is better than $80+ and only having a few clients.

Posted by: Jules | 19-Jul-2010 02:58 PM |

Graeme has a good point. I, too have spent most of my adult life consumed by all things relating to health and fitness (participating in group fitness classes for the past 19 years, employing my own PT so I can learn from the best, enrolling in group fitness workshops, reading anything and everything relating to nutrition, health issues, injuries etc.). I am only now at the tail end of my Cert IV so I can train others and although my courses (Cert III and IV) were only 6 months duration each certainly doesn't mean I don't feel prepared. To me the course is the icing on the cake. I feel like a sponge soaking up all the latest information and that, along with my passion and enthusiasm, will hopefully make me a great PT. I may charge less than the going rate initially while I get started but I will work on the theory of supply & demand. If I'm in demand maybe I can afford to put the price up a bit. A bad PT will not get repeat business - word of mouth is the best form of advertising. And while it's 'fashionable' now to have a PT, like all trends, it may fizzle out so I wouldn't be taking advantage of that. I will build a steady, committed client base. Just my thoughts...

Posted by: Bridget Quinn | 19-Jul-2010 03:04 PM |

After running my own cleaning business for 10+years and sticking my head down peoples toilets for a very good rate...
I finally look forward to getting up in the mornings to run my own mobile personal training business for $35 1 on 1 and just $12 per person group for 1 hour! I have my days as full as I choose and love my new life! Tell me honestly how many other trainers are charging that much out there?? really.

Posted by: Andrew | 19-Jul-2010 03:31 PM | 3 out of 5 stars

1.Supply and demand will always even out the market in the end. The responsibility lies with the client to fully research 'what' is around and how much they charge.
2. What if as a trainer I am full, why would I drop my price??? So I did more hours for the same income, that is crazy. My fees have increased over the years (been a full time PT since 2000) and my casual rate now is $110 for 45mins, prob should actually increase but haven't for several years. I find at my current rates I am doing between 30-40 sessions reg per week and I reckon thats enough

in closing I think you'll find that in most industries the cream will most always rise to the top so if someone charges a lot then usually they are worth it or else they will very quickly go out of business. This being the case then the more well off clients usually can afford the better trainers..........................this is how it works in life for the most part I guess also.

this is also why bootcamp style group exercise is popping up everywhere, to cater to the less financially gifted clients because for results and fast timeline everyone knows 1 on 1 PT is the best and nothing else compares. Therefore the bootcamp and group exercise trainers are doing this WHY???? nusually cause they have too to survive ie they arent attracting enough 1 on 1 clients for some reason or reasons.

I don't have to justify my fees, as my results speak for themselves and are clearly shown in my numerous client success stories. And as a result I attract only the serious and motivated new clients which helps my business moving forward as these are the types of clients who can achieve amazing results and so on the ball rolls.................


Posted by: Mark Berry | 19-Jul-2010 03:32 PM |

First of all, I did a short course although it was 8 weeks (Not AIF) of one on one instruction and I learned a lot however not everything and have continued studying as per the requirements of the job, not just the registration but also the ever changing landscape that is health and fitness. I believe that part of the reason why Trainers regardless of their qualifications are charging high rates is because of the issue of Licencee fees or rent, so if your rent is at $300 per week just think how much you have to charge to be able to afford to live or how many sessions you would need to do to cover your rent. So by design we are forced to charge what some people beleive to be overpriced fees. It does break my heart to see people who say they can't afford a PT but really do need one. If we as an industry start realising what our purpose is besides making lots of money then we may achieve our combined goal of improving the health of all people not just those who can afford it.

That said burning yourself out is not the way either and I've done that too.

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 03:36 PM |

having been a trainer that progressed in the industry i was able to create a standard that i was charging $95 for a 45 minute session. i was very capable of holding onto clients and had excellent retention at this level. However as i now have furthered into the industry and have reflected on this i am a firm believer that more affordable personal training should happen more often for more results. Ultimately trainers are judged on results. If this means making training more affordable I am all for it. The success in teh long term of trainers will be judged on results with professionalism. It is fair to say that people will pay high prices as people can for a T shirt, but ultimately people will charge that as they feel they have that right. At times prices are created by the situatuions trainers are put in, such as in places where more senior trainers and experinced trainers are charged a higher rental fee to operate in a facility. The industry should be promoting and help experinced trainers not hindering them so they can contribute to the development of a team, the industry and the culuture of personal training in a facility. numbers attract numbers and the more people encouraged to enter into personal training the better business is for the trainer, the better the membership retention in health clubs become and the greater the psoitive effeects health has on society.

Posted by: Gen | 19-Jul-2010 03:42 PM |

I run my own small gym in a small country town and have a steady client base. I charge $10 per head for a group fittness session and there must be 5 people attend that session. Groups are encouraged to bring some friends and enjoy Fun and Fitness at the same time. There are times when the groups are bigger than 5 people, and other times when they might be 1 short, what goes around comes around. My aim is to offer a fitness program to all people not just those who can afford it. We have seen some wonderful health changes in the gym over the years and everyone of them is a bonus to the health of that person and our community.

Posted by: Rob Derbyshire | 19-Jul-2010 03:47 PM | 3 out of 5 stars

I have 10 years experience as a PT, I have a Diploma in Fitness & Nutrition, lecture in Cert 3 & Cert 4 for trainers. I charge $90.00 for 1:1 clients or $35.00 for group training (Max 6 per group). I don;t know if this helps much but I think it's really up to the trainer what they ask for and what they offer, if the customer agrees then that is their choice. It is just as disheartening for PT's who do their diligence, (including further study, planning sessions, research and support on their clients and offer great customer service.) as it is for customers feeling ripped off by the new kid out of school who knows very little. We as PT's run our own business and there really is no limit's on what we charge. Hopefully the customers will do more research into the trainer before they commit. Also their is such a varying degree of ability and quality in new PT's fresh out of study that it's difficult to say who's worth what, $40.00 is a possible minimum in my opinion.

Posted by: Anita Clarke | 19-Jul-2010 03:51 PM |

Going rate my way is $60 for 1 on 1, $80 for 2 & $90 for 3. I pay studio rent out of this fee so its not all going in my pocket. The way I see it, once you are my client, its not just the hours spent in the gym together - I am their constant motivator and source of advise. Ensuring that my clients are doing the right thing outside the gym is just as important as what they do with me. I write programs for those who will be repeating our session in their gym. Provide food diarys and nutritional analysis, my clients can ring me whenever they want or need support or advise of any kind. I feel I am worth every penny - if the PT is committed to hardwork outside the sessions you know youre getting your moneys worth!

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 04:08 PM |

As a Personal Trainer for the past 10 years I do not charge anywhere near that amount. I am happy to take a lesser amount so that more people can afford PT. I want to help my clients and am continually updating my knowledge. A lot of Trainers come into this industry simply after the money hopefully they don't last long.

Posted by: Pat | 19-Jul-2010 04:18 PM |

Let me answer the questions 1 at a time:

1. How do you justify charging the same amount or more than a University-trained professional, and more than double that of your counterparts in other developed countries?

People will pay whatever they believe the session is worth, regardless of your qualifications. Its at the price presentation stage do you actually hit them with the price. If they say yes, then clearly they saw value, otherwise they say no, in which case you failed to do them justice by delivering them what THEY perceived the session was worth.

The justification comes from two things, qualifications and experience (that's one) and demand for service (that's two). As you increase your knowledge, experience and qualifications, naturally, your fees increase. Once you have reached saturation point, or the amount of sessions that you want to perform per week, then any more sessions you do, you can charge more. This cycle gets repeated over and over again until you can charge $200 per hour +. They either pay, or they don't. Its that simple. As you become better at delivering fantastic service, with guaranteed results, your clients will stay with you, regardless of the price, so raising your prices every time you reach saturation point becomes effortless. They dread the price increase letter but inevitably stay with you. After all, its about working smarter, NOT longer.

2. How much planning and preparation goes into your sessions? Do you spend more than an hour planning each and every PT session, hence your high hourly training rate?

Planning is best done at the beggining, with tweeks done along the way. In as much as a periodisation plan is conducted to get a client from point A to point B, most of the hard work is done at the beggining. Then every time the plan is re-assessed (after every assessment) more planning is done.

3. Have you ever considered you might have more clients – and more clients seeing you more than once or twice a week – if you charged closer to $40 or $50 an hour?

No. Seeing them more often is not in my strategy. 1 x 2 sessions per week is enough. The rest of the work is for them to do on their own, flexibility, some cardio, food planning, stress relief techniques. Clients who see you 4-5 times a week leave too big a whole when they leave. Trust me they can't sustain the sessions over a long period of time.

I charge $220 per 60min session, have been in the industry for 6 yrs (only have cert IV) and work in a major gym chain (the largest in Australia) My clients know I am 5 times as much as the next expensive trainer in my club ($88 per hour) but remain loyal and I continue to collect new clients as and when I need to.

Posted by: Susan O | 19-Jul-2010 04:25 PM |

Charging $100.00 p/h for general personal training is over the top. Unfortunately I know of some personal trainers who are out to get as much as they can financially rather than provide regular training sessions at an affordable price thus ensuring retention of client/s.

I would suggest $50.00 p/h or in that vicinity would be more in keeping with what the general public can afford.

However in respect of training athletes the pricing issue might be revisited when taking into account their fitness and rehabilitation requirements.

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 04:26 PM |

The going rate for PT per hour in the gym I work at is between $60 and $140 per hour. Despite the large variation in cost, all the trainers in my gym (there are 20 of them) have full diaries and each promotes a different area of specialisation. The reality is, most sessions should adhere to some key principles, and may look quite similar to the untrained person. So to reiterate previous comments, it is worth shopping around to find the trainer that is best suited to you both professionally and personally. Also, ask what they offer to get you to your results. There seems to be a traditional view that PT is all about making clients work harder while being safe in the gym than they normally would. There is currently a shift happing in the industry with more trainers offering more skilled help to ensure clients work towards their goals 'outside' of PT sessions. My personal belief is that it is all about results while being safe and ensuring clients don't 'drop out' of exercise. Again, the reality is that new PTs just don't have the track record to support this, so.... ask LOTS of questions!

Posted by: Gabriella Raimondi | 19-Jul-2010 04:55 PM | 5 out of 5 stars

I have been a personal trainer for a couple of years now. When I tried searching for a npt for my own needs I too was shocked at their hourly rates. They only have a cert III & IV.. Not even a diploma or degree and have the nerve to aske for anything from $55.00. I have to admit that from what I overheard, the majority of people get into PT-ing for a short course and the ability to charge big bucks. Most are yiung kids who want to make money fast. I've heard some real horror stories from clients. I spent nearly 20 years as a chage nurse and oly got $25.00 per hour managing an entire ward. How can they charge such high fees. I have pensioner discount rates and charge $25.00 casual and $21.00 per hour for 10 session packages. People should shop around. There's no way anyone should pay more than $35.00 for someone to make you exercise. I should mention that all of my clients have lost bidy fat and centimetres, so you don't have to pay lots to get results!!! Also, all my clients get a receipt, whether they ask for it or not.

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 05:09 PM |

I dont charge anymore than $40 an hour. Ive heard of pts charging astronomical amounts! I had a trainer who charged me $90 per session which obviously i could NOT afford on a more than once a week basis. I charge $100 to my clients who choose to train 3 sessions per week and this includes weekends. I suppose at the end of the day, its the competitive ones who actually get results for their clients who will survive in the industrty rather than the overpriced who can only manage the odd client here or there.

Posted by: Kylie | 19-Jul-2010 05:09 PM |

Altruistic as it may seem, I entered this industry over 8 years ago to help regular people achieve their health, fitness and wellness goals. The majority of my clients are single parents, carers, seniors and people on disability pensions. As I only charge $30 for a 30 minute session and $20 for a small group (3) PT, some of these clients are able to see me more than once a week, which better caters to their needs. I also work from home and have a very loyal client base. As such I have not had to spend any money on advertising for 3 years.
To focus so much on money in PT can set a dangerous precedence. Promotions for PT's to earn over $100 an hour is not only attracting people who care more about money than people, it is also creating a new elitism and putting a very valuable service out of reach of some of the people who need it the most.

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 05:41 PM |

The price of personal training is an interesting debate. Firstly how do you price anything? The price of something is always what someone is prepared to pay.

The cost of personal training is no different, it is a product or service just like anything else. If there is a market and people will pay, why not charge what you can?

If you live in a more affluent area, you will have to pay the premium to live there too, so generally rates will be higher in those areas. If your cost of living is lower and the area dictates lower fees then you will go out of business if you charge too much.

What I found interesting about the article is that Personal training is being compared to a doctor or a physiotherapist why not a hairdresser or beautician. I pay my hairdresser and my beautician far more by the hour than I receive myself. Are we in the medical business? Or do we fall into a different category? If you look in the classifieds on a Saturday, fitness jobs are under 'Beauty, Health and Fitness'.

PTs do tend to cover a wide area. For some it is about getting fit and having fun and others are working very closely with the physios.

Interestingly, as a PT who does specialise in pilates and rehabilitation I do find myself in a situation where I can't compete financially with Physiotherapists who offer pilates classes. By the time the patients have received their health fund rebates they can be paying as little as $12 for a half hour class. We do have to consider that doctors, physios etc. are being subsidised by Medicare and the health funds where PTs are not registered health providers and not able to offer a health fund rebate. Therefore, we have to find our niche such as providing an afterhours service or a mobile service that a doctor or physio wouldn't provide.

It is very flattering that a client would want us to lower our rates so she can have 2 sessions. Perhaps I should ask my hairdresser if he can lower his rates so I can afford to see him more often?

PT/pilates instructor (Mosman)
To use the L'Oreal buyline .... You're worth it!

Posted by: Chris | 19-Jul-2010 07:03 PM |

Hi everyone, I am a personal trainer and work on the North Shore and have done so for 5-6 years now. I have a great client base and do come highly recommended. I have been studying for the entire duration of my time on improving my knowledge base and skills.
It does outrage me that trainers come straight out of the academies and start charging premium prices for their first year apprentice knowledge. Where are their experiences? I have asked some of these trainers what their goals are and where do they see themselves in the future, they do not know?! Some are here to make a quick dollar, then leave. Some i know went to another area/place of work due to the fact that they did not renew their qualifications(first aid/CPR or CEC's), so now they are hiding, and still training people. I want this industry to be seen as a profession, yet these people are holding it down.
Check the qualifications of your trainers. Ask to see references or even paperwork/certificates. Get to know other clients of the trainers and talk to them about experiences you've had with them. Do the background research. This is the same as any other profession, you wouldn't get your car serviced by someone that you've heard is terrible, would you?

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 07:37 PM | 5 out of 5 stars

I am someone that hired a PT for a very specific goal and that is to complete Kokoda.

Whilst I was always committed, I knew that the exercises I was doing may not have been specific for my goal. I really wanted a programme with 1 monthly session. I tried a few sessions with a trainer at the gym. He was new but I gave it a shot, though I was really specific with my needs and questions he trained my friend (who's goal was to lose weight) exactly how he trained me!

Luckily someone pointed me towards a trainer that could help someone that is incredibly knowledgeable, understands what it takes for my specific goal (hence all the steam room sessions I have to do at the moment).

Difference between the 2 including the money side-

Trainer 1- no experience, no understanding of my goal, no weekly check ins to see how I was going, no extra information such nutrition, hydration, I couldn't email for extra support or questions, Wanted something like $200 (no way sunshine) for a 6 week programme, what the??? He didn't even want to do a programme so I would have weekly sessions instead. The guy had no idea on Kokoda or what it takes to get there. He didn't listen and hence lost a client, that he should not have taken in the 1st place.

Trainer 2-Loads of experience, similar session rate, on my 1st assessment I was given notes on training for a humid environment, fluid /hydration info and more!

The front of my personal folder had a map of the Kokoda track on it, she listened to what I needed and my concerns, straight after my assessment she sent me a text on how well I did, the very next day there was a inspirational quote in my inbox. Programme done within 2 days! Thank you! Did I feel special and like someone really wanted to help me with what is the biggest goal of my life...hell yeah. I am not saying you have to go all out and baby sit a client, but a little extra support is really nice.

How much for a programme? only $60 per programme with all the support I needed.

Soooo who would you like to train you?

Trainer 1 or trainer B

My advice from the other side of the fence is this

1/ If you know nothing about a specific goal or field don't accept the client. You will gain more respect by being honest, ultimately you won't harm the clients goal.

2/ No I don't think you can justify high prices with little experience. To be honest I think really I should have been paying a little more for the level of experience and service.

Kokoda here I come, am I confident? Yep cause I have done all the specific training I should have. All the hard work is done! Now it is up to me. Thanks to an amazing PT!!!!

Who by the way I would go back to in a heart beat.

How many of your clients would come back again and are really really happy with what you offer?

Posted by: | 19-Jul-2010 08:27 PM |

All good valid comments and i totally agree with the fact that someone fresh out of a 12 week course has no right to charge upwards of $70. You must offer a complete service and that is learnt over a period of time, no doubt about that. That being said, does anyone actually know what we are selling as personal trainers? many will often say, results, quality training blah blah blah... To be a good trainer you must understand that you are offering more than all that bulls*it. Your offering a 'Training Experience' so make that session as enjoyable and relative to your client as possible and they will never question the amount you charge. The Experience is what they are after. Everything else is a given.

Posted by: Dean Martin | 19-Jul-2010 09:35 PM |

I have been a personal trianer for 20 years now. I have opened my open personal training studio in perth and have got 3 trainers working for me with approx. 150 pt clietns between us. My philosophy when it comes to determining what to charge for pt as a business owner is ás much as the parket will bare'. If a trainer can charge $100 (or even $150) per session because somebody is willing to pay them that much, then good luck for them. My issue relates more to why somebody is willing to pay sooo much money just for 1 workout. After all its only 1 workout at a time. We only do 30 minute pt sessions at my gym that start at $45 per session but become cheaper for each extrare session a person each week down to $25 for their 4th session in a week.

Posted by: Antonia Daroux | 19-Jul-2010 09:46 PM |

Just a quick note on the education/qualification side of personal training.

I have completed a three year Sport and Exercise degree and am currently in my second year of a chiropractic education program. I have been working in the fitness industry for five years. As a personal trainer, I feel like I use more knowledge from my 10 years experience as a gymnast than any of my academic education. Although I have enjoyed all of my studies and feel that all I have learnt is great for a thorough background education and rehabilitation/injury prevention, knowledge from my own training experience (particularly regarding motivation, psychology and lilfestyle choices) has been much more applicable to building and enjoying a successful personal training business than anything I have read or 'studied'.

Posted by: Anonymous | 19-Jul-2010 10:51 PM |

Im working towards become a PT soon. I was a professional athlete for 20 yrs. I trained myself during that time, I was my own coach and trainer. I learnt by pure practice and collective understanding. I never study throughout those yrs but after 20 yrs of it I do consider myself knowledgeable from my own practice and studies. Now, someone who never had much past experience and becomes a PT in 9 weeks, charging $70 to $100 a session, to me it is a bit of a joke. Im from Brazil and in Brazil for anyone to become a PT or physical educator(as we called there) you need to take 5 yrs university. You walk into a gym area in most of the best gym's in Brazil and somewhere will be there to make sure you are doing it right. The weighted room is never unattended and those people working in there had to be gone through university to be able to be there in first place. That's quality...That is worth paying $100 a session...

Posted by: Anonymous | 20-Jul-2010 08:22 AM |

I also come from a background of representative sport. I am now 23 and have spent the best part of 9 years developing my own training and strength & conditioning regimes. I had to laugh at some of the people that come through these courses, some have clearly spent little to know time in the gym on the track or on the sporting field. I think what we are seeing is what occurred in the late 90's and early 2000's with the IT and .com boom, people think they have found an easy career charging up to $100 an hour just by doing a short course. I am not here to bag on these short intensive courses, but most of my knowledge I now have as a trainer has come purely from my own experience and research. As for trainers charging more than physios, osteos etc., an appointment usually lasts only up to 30 mins compared to one hour with a trainer. You must also take into account travel time for a trainer - we are usually mobile and in most cases come to you. The thing about these trainers who are "over-charging" eventually get found out, as their knowledge base and experience is not justified in the price and people will not pay for the sub-optimal service. As consumers you have the ultimate say in what we as trainers charge by what you are willing to pay. But remember to look at a trainers experience (personal and industry) before engaging one, because that is just as, if not more, important than a peice of paper that says they know it. I'm a trainer with a degree in applied finance, I have a degree but certainly would never in a million years consult myself for investment advice. The same goes for trainers - look for someone who lives and breathes the stuff. In the end you're paying for the results you want and not someone's time. With this in mind a trainer charging $80/hr may give u results in 6-8 weeks whereas one charging $50 may take 12-16 weeks, which costs you more in the long run, it's a false economy. Do your research and ask questions all the time.

Posted by: Vanessa | 20-Jul-2010 09:12 AM | 5 out of 5 stars


I have just recently started my own PT business and i had no hesitations starting my rates at $20p/hr as time goes on I'll gradually increase the rate as i felt the exact same way, why charge people $80p/hr when i am not "THAT" experienced.
So i totally agree! PT's out there who are charging $70-$100p/hr are way over priced, even if they are experienced i feel it's way too high for people to be paying that much money! If you want to keep clients coming back you need to make it worth their while! and need to understand that you are building a business, i have a part time job as well i have not paid myself a single cent for the work i have done the past 12months, i invest it all back into business and continue to grow and branch out into different options. I love what i do, so should most PT's out there.

From my studies most PT's did the course for the "I'm a Personal Trainer" factor, not for the love of helping people achieve goals and the reward! it truly disappointed me that there are trainers out there that have that feeling! most trainers i observed didn't even correct technique!!!!! that absolutely horrified me, that these "Qualified" trainers couldn't even take care of their clients and teach them the right way to do an exercise!

So i totally agree with this article 100%

Posted by: Corinne | 20-Jul-2010 09:54 AM |

As with any trade, the value you place on yourself in a context is simply a reflection of your perception of yourself within that specific context (i.e. in this case Personal Training). The subjective value (i.e. what others percieve you to be worth) is at the opposite end of the spectrum. The price you put onto your own PT sessions should take into account both your percieved value of yourself as well as the value that others think you are worth. Your client base (whether you are jam-packed with clients and run a wait-list, or if you are struggling to obtain new clients) is the strongest indicator of whether you are charging too high, too low, or the correct amount. Experience and qualifications within the field most certainly should add value. Personal Trainers who have only completed 6 weeks of Tertiary Qualification (in any field, not necessarily just Exercise Science/PTing) and have little experience working with people in an exercise context should be valued less than those who have extensive tertiary qualification and a vast and varied range of experience working with people. However, there is certainly the exception out there. Further, it is often the naive person who has never been able to know the BEST Personal Trainers in the world who will say that $80 an hour is over-charging - if only they knew how many hours we actually spent on each client, not just in prescribing and designing new programmes, but in all the little things like endless email communication, phone calls and texts to keep motivation up, attending industry events and conferences to keep up to date, and hours of research to keep our sessions fun and challenging, motivating and inspiring.

Posted by: Wayne Tokley | 20-Jul-2010 10:08 AM |

I think people are often unaware that we do not receive wages and our only income is from clients unlike most professionals that are paid an income for the entire day and receive sickness benefits and annual leave, bereavement leave etc... If you pay for sessions you are unhappy with then explain to your trainer why you cant see him or her anymore, if they are able they may reduce the charge for multiple visits per week. The charge for the session is very low the main cost comes from preparation for that session writing and reviewing the clients progress, time that is often not realised by most clients. Clearly you have had a bad experience with your trainer and I would be the first to admit that there are some unworthy trainers in the industry. My advice to anyone taking on a trainer is to ask if they give any complimentary sessions so that you and your trainer can decide whether you want to train together. then decide if you think his or her training style is right for you and can you afford it (we only charge this because people feel our services are worth it). After your complimentary session/s you can then choose to continue or go looking for a better trainer, hey they may be cheaper.

Posted by: anonymous | 20-Jul-2010 11:40 AM |

I agree that it is not right that new trainers should be charging that much. I am a physiotherapist who works as a personal trainer and charge 80/hr and my clients get tax receipts to claim. Physiotherapy charges higher rate as your clients are not on going for years(you hope) and come to you for a short period of time. Working as a Physio you dont earn the same money, it is alot less if you work for someone, it is contracted. The 75$ mentionned at the start was probably for a helf hr appointment as is the case with most private physio. As for overseas, I come from the UK and the training charge is the same over there as here. In the end if provide a great service, have experience and continuing CPD you can charge higher prices.

Posted by: Anonymous | 20-Jul-2010 02:05 PM |

As an Exercise Physiologist and experienced Group Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer, i do find it frustrating that brand new PTs with limited experience and knowledge charge more than i do! I have to query that.. espeically as my clients get rebated by their Private Health Insurance for my service provision. In regards to Physios, EPs and other Allied Health Professionals fees, their level of training and knowledge base allows for being able to get quite specific in tailoring their exercise prescription, especially where injury and other conditions or population-specific traiining advice is required. They are worth it! As as Assessor and Trainer(of group x and PTs) for a gym, i find it incredibly annoying that new PTs look at the dollars rather than the clients. An example of this is a trainer picking up a client with TIAs and SIJ issues mentioned in their pre-exercise questionnaire.. without knowing what either issue was, the trainer took them on and charged through the nose, when there is a team on EPs on site. I think it's time to get professional and credible so that the reputationof our Industry improves and so we can all work together, without stepping on toes and encroaching on other's jobs.. al for the sake of the dollar!

Posted by: Mirian Fernandez | 20-Jul-2010 03:47 PM | 3 out of 5 stars

As any business it depends on a lot of things. First of all, short or long courses for becoming a PT, they are not cheal, they are not for free. You have to drive there everyday, you've to eat, dress up and overall, if you are a honest PT, it means that you had to study a lot for knowing what are you doing. Second, it depens on your clients group, if you are a PT for older adults you are not going to charge $ 100 the hour...or depending the area where you work too. If you work in a BIG GYM, ha! know how much they charge to the clients...but how much the PT gets paid???? Fernwood (at southBrisbane) was paying, 15 x half an hour if you got the client yourself, 12 if the "sales" girls got it for you and $ 7yessss....7...for the FREE trial PT session that Fernwood wants to give away to the are we talking about? It's very unfair to charge $ 100 and not to be provide anything to your client more than your show up and always the same session...
it's very unfair to pay 7 or 15 for going to work everyday (you finally pay from your pocket for going to work!)...I agree that it's a lot better and fair for all of us, to charge a reasonable rate (let's say 40 to 50) and to have more clients. We have to pay taxes, clothes, equipment, fees in some parks, insurance, registrations, first aid and cpr every year now...we don't get anything for free, we should not work for free either!
PT is still a luxury, it would be nice to make it more affordable to everyone, people in this country need it a lot!!!!

Posted by: | 20-Jul-2010 05:11 PM | 3 out of 5 stars

Supply and demand will usually sort things out. If you are good and know how to let prospective clients know this, and then you actually can consistenly keep getting results and therefore have good retention rates the sky is the limit.
Therefore as a general rule the better trainers and the better business people they are will attract a higher per session fee than the rest. My fees have steadily gone up over the years and I am now in my 10th year of operaqting my studio. And funnily enough as myh fees increased so did the quality of my clients. So now I get paid very well to train serious people that value their exercise and what they are trying to achieve. between 30-40 sessions a week I am happy with and my fees structure seems to keep this number very steady (of course I do get busier just before Summer lasting thru to coming into Winter. All the best everyone

Posted by: Anonymous | 20-Jul-2010 07:24 PM |

You dont always need the full hour. Go for 1/2 hour sessions and that way you could afford to see your PT for 2 sessions per week rather than waiting a whole week or fortnight for another. Pay upfront and get an extra 2 session free etc. Your PT should be able to put some kind of package together for you. Do your homework. Are you getting your monies worth. Dont pay for time spent on the cardio dont need PT for that! A good PT will train you till he feels fit, then let you go for it on your own.

Posted by: F | 21-Jul-2010 11:00 AM | 5 out of 5 stars

I teach fitness and Personal training and I totally agree with you. I think the P T industry has lost the reason for doing this job and let money be their driver. They are forgetting the client who should be the most important. It is supposed to be a real quality session for them, not about how much can the trainer make and how many clients he can fit into a week, that is not success, success should be how your clients feel about you and their session. They should not feel it is a pity I can't afford to get the best out of my sessions. The trainer does need to be valued because some of us work hard to satisfy the clients but there has to be a balance. You need some passion in this job or why are you doing it? I charge $35 1/2 hr and $50 1 hr. Works for me. I also work with the number of clients where I feel I can cope and give my best, not all crambed up, butt to butt like at the gym, it is no wonder they go stale and burn out.

Posted by: Shane (husband of a PT) | 21-Jul-2010 11:15 AM |

What the big problem is is quite simple really. As the industry is a mystery to the general public, we see 6 week qualified people presenting as PTs and THEY assume they can charge as much as a FULLY qualified PT with experience and a full client load. The general public has no way of knowing to even ask what quals or experience they have or if there even is a qualification. In essence they don’t know what they don’t know.

Whereas, the general public knows a Physio has to be qualified. I’m not sure how everyone knows but they just do. Qualified = Higher Rate. Experience = Higher Rate. Reputation = Higher Rate. Demand = Higher Rate. A PT needs at least 3 of these factors to reputably charge a “higher rate”.

All PTS are not equal. Some are more equal than others.

Posted by: Ariel Gonzalez-Motivate You Fitness & Personal Training | 23-Jul-2010 12:04 PM | 5 out of 5 stars

The answer is Simple!

If you think your worth $35 per hr then you are.
If you think your worth $200 per hr, then you are, but you MUST PROVE IT!

What do you do to justify your rate compared to someone charging less?

Provided you are honest, ethical, diligent, supportive, technically sound & guarantee results; then fine.

Clients are NOT stupid. They will know if they are being ripped off and not getting value for money, and YOU will go out of business very quickly.

As with any profession, there are great practioners and there are crap practioners. After a while, people will know where you sit.

PS. It is pointless for other health care professionals to complain or compare what personal trainers earn. No one cares what you earn! If your not happy with your own rates, then put them up and stop bashing the fitness industry.

Posted by: Anonymous | 24-Jul-2010 09:26 AM |

I teach group fitness and Personal Train. Both take time outside of actual work hours but Personal training takes way more time by far.
I charge $100 for my sessions, this includes 4 weekly programmes, nutritional guidelines that change with progress, fitness testing every 4 weeks, results chart and graphs presented and constant researching. If I really looked into how many hours I spent working for my $100 it would probably take my hourly rate down to about $40.
That said there are definitely cowboys out there that make a session up as they go and have no real concern about their clients results, they just want the money and that is it.

It is unfortunate that these sorts of trainers exist as people then start to raise questions as you have about how can we charge this amount? and how is it worth it?
Research into who you get to train you. They should be continuing with education each year, and most decent courses cost in excess of $1000 each.
You wouldn't get a sparky to come and fit the wiring in your house that had let his qualifications lapse from 5 years ago, so why would you let someone with little knowledge and enthusiasm train you.
Bottom line is shop around, get a referral and realise that there are a lot of us out their that are worth every $ that we charge.

Posted by: Scott | 24-Jul-2010 02:32 PM | 3 out of 5 stars

People will only pay what they think is fare. If you provide a quality service and they see value for money then they will pay for that service. We aren't in bubbles, people almost always shop around and find the best service for the best price. If they are happy with my service they will pay the price - it's as simple as that.

The max I currently charge is $60 per session and I am a mobile PT. I hope to be able to charge more than this with time and furthered training. If people are after a cheaper session than that, they are more than welcome to find another trainer. My time and effort is as important as my clients.

Posted by: Anonymous | 26-Jul-2010 03:17 PM |

I have qualifications in both pt and group x yet I've chosen only to work as a group x I earn 45 an hour yet spent alot more times than any pt I know preparing , apart from teching 10 classes a week I have to do at least an extra 4. Hrs working out ( we must b fitter than our clients ) , 2 hours making now non copyright CDs for my freestyle classes, also buying and learning choreo for Les mills which at launchtime I can spend 4 hrs a day for 2 weeks perfecting plus planning my freestyle and HAVE to buy 200$ worth of music and workshops every 3 months , how can a pt justify charging $80 an hour, ? They plan clients but it's still sitting at a desk and people can't afford it! They'd get more clients charging less

Posted by: Anonymous | 26-Jul-2010 05:00 PM |

I think PTs need to revise their prices. They have to think what kind of people they train in terms of expectation and financial ability. It seems some of them are not clever enough to understand who they deal with.
In my opinion, we can not have a fixed rate such as $80 or whatever per work out (hourly/45 min). It really should depend on the quality of the PT, the variety of the workouts, experiences and references and most important the goal and expectation of the trainee.
They should understand that People are getting clever to find better PT with better prices some where else otherwise they will lose their customers
I had my PT in one of the so-called professional gym and found him really boring and completely out of knowledge so I dropped him and surprisingly found a good PT with hourly rate $55 in another gym. Not only does he knows what he is doing but also got a master degree in Sport education.
Some smaller gym or University gyms are fairer. At least you know people are educated there and not putting our bodies in the trouble.
Overall I am so disappointed with PTs. May be they are just good for old people

Posted by: Anonymous | 26-Jul-2010 05:10 PM |

I almost forgot to say, some PTs act like a sales person which they don't know people will find out eventually and they end up loosing their customers. They just want to fill the sales margin and sell their product to people

Posted by: Anonymous | 26-Jul-2010 08:36 PM | 5 out of 5 stars

I completely agree it really irritates me as I am a university graduate Dietitian, exercise physiologist, personal trainer and group exercise instructor. I am over qualifed to be a PT however I train old time clients and charge $65 under the going rate.
I don't believe Trainers should ask for too much more. We want to encourage people to exercise and be healthy and show them the right way todo things- not scare them with the price!.
Some times I think new trainers are a little greedy they dont have enough experience or qualifications to be charging high end prices.
In terms of taking time to plan sessions- yes I certainly do plan sessions how ever its not rocket science after you've done it a few times and certainly not worth $100.

Posted by: Ariel Gonzalez-Motivate You Fitness & Personal Training, | 27-Jul-2010 12:34 PM | 5 out of 5 stars

How long is a piece of string?..............Seems to me that the CLient should decide what it is worth, If they arent happy, they will find another PT. The best PT's are the ones who make a sustainable living and have longevity. Surely they must be doing something right. The crap PTS who overcharge either go broke or find another job.

Posted by: Michael Berry | 10-Aug-2010 08:54 AM | 3 out of 5 stars

1. I have trained for over 10 years and have more experience with people with real problems than a uni grad, I have spent more time reviewing the industry and refining the product that I deliver to clients.
b) Unless you are going to take world econnomics into account you really cant compare prices, australia is one of the highest taxed countries, living expenses, course costs.........

Same as a builder quoting a trainer has to cover his costs and then have a proffit margin, and we have costs, professional fees, insurance, course fees, cover work, taxes, factor in sick time, holiday loading, super payments, gym or council fees, equipment costs, travel costs, living expenses for that region, etc

2. Prep work as discussed in other posts should be more about the inital planning time for annual periodiastion, than adjustments along the way, individual session planning and reviewing last session results, this also leads to post session recording, homework follow up, time chasing confirming bookings etc.

3. I have 12 group sessions a week as well as one on one training and clients can come to both.
I have found that the majority of the population dont place a high value on their health and wellness. We live in a cost cutting percieved value society, where we have cheap (but crappy food) sales with added extras (extra percieved value).
Health and wellness is a cumilative benefit that takes a lifetime to build and cant be brought (aspects can but not all). Some people need to be onto their 2nd heart attack or have cancer before they invest in their health, but will invest the majority of their income to pay their mortage or rent weekly.
Most people spend more money on a car with initial purchase, fuel, maintance, tyers etc than they do on health and a car is a throw away asset that can be replaced or traded in.
Being the or one of the fattest nations on earth people cant afford not to have our help. A gym membership doesn't get you fit, it is an opportunity to train, a trainer gives you accountability and gets results, we are undervalued.
Ask the general population how much you would have to pay them to get out of bed at 5am in the morning every day year after year including winter mornings?

Posted by: Ariel GOnzalez- Motivate You Fitness & Personal Training | 07-Sep-2010 04:31 PM | 5 out of 5 stars

Well said Michael

Posted by: Anonymous | 14-Sep-2010 06:49 AM | 4 out of 5 stars

I've been a fitness coach for just over 2 years-not that long compared to a lot of you. I believe the client is willing to pay for the results. If you can show them that you get results, that's what matters to them. I have an extensive collection of before and afters and testimonials from past and current clients.
I charge approx. $10 per session for my Bootcamp classes (which do take lots of preparation and planning) depending on the clients' level of commitment. If they attend more often, and invest in a longer term package, each session is cheaper. So I'm rewarding them for their level of commitment and in return am able to get better results for them.
I also have a very strict criteria, minimum attendance of 3 times per week and non optional training and nutrition diary keeping.

My clients are not just paying for their training sessions, but also for the nutrition component and the accountability. I am also available to them via phone or email 24/7 and provide lots of extra information via my blog, forum and my print newsletter which is posted out 5-6 weeky.

Although we are all doing the session together, each client works at their own level in terms of the modification of each drill/exercise and the number of reps or time frame of each set. They are almost getting one on one coaching in a group environment.

I also do 2 on 1 PT coaching and the prices start at $35 per person for these. Again, minimum attendance of 3 times per week and a longer term commitment is involved. My number one objective is to get great results for my clients and in doing so am able to charge accordingly.

Posted by: Anonymous | 15-Sep-2010 10:19 AM | 4 out of 5 stars

I've been a PT for many years now and have NEVER charged more than $50 a session. Three reasons -a) I live in country N.Z. where money is tight for the average person b) I don't believe my certificate in PT allows me to charge more than say my doctor (who has a 6 year minimum degree in medicine) and c)People don't view PTs as necessary and therefore won't want to spend large amounts of money on a 1 hour weekly session. It's more important to set a moderate price that ultimately doesn't undersell your services while allowing you to establish a good rapport with the client. This client ultimately will refer their friends on to you, giving you more business in the long term. That's what it's all about.
Personally I believe anyone who charges more than $50 an hour has a much higher opinion of themselves that somehow most of us don't see!!

Posted by: Andreas Ioannou | 18-Sep-2010 10:56 PM | 4 out of 5 stars

I've just recently introduced a 50% increase in my prices after 12 months of being in the industry. Yes, I could have more clients at lower rates but that wouldn't allow me to service them at the level I aim for.
Would I do what I do now for free? Absolutely, yes. I love every minute of it, but the world doesn't work like that unfortunately.

Since I've come into the industry I've attended every workshop I could afford and read every article I had time to read. I've improved my skills up higher than other PTs in my gym that have been around for 10+ years. Why would I put myself in the same category as those with no drive to build the best PT business the country has ever seen?

I justify my prices on my unrelenting drive to constantly improve my skills and my service. I spend my time planning outside the gym, preparing program cards, going through food diaries, providing online support avenues, taking calls and replying to emails. I don't charge my clients for the time they spend with me. I charge them for the time I mentally spend away from my wife because I have their needs, goals and joys in mind.

Finally, I couldn't care less what PTs in other countries or even around the corner charge. My fees are brought on by my experience, demand for service and the lifestyle that I want to lead. For some that's enough and for others it's not. For me, that's how it is.

Posted by: Anonymous | 26-Sep-2010 11:46 PM | 4 out of 5 stars

I have no problems under cutting other PT's as business is business & I to would rather have a book full of client's than none at all. So many PT's become stagnant with their programs they see an easy way of making money the easyway. Basically they are greedy.

Posted by: C.C | 16-Feb-2011 12:42 PM |

The dollar figure of any session will only be a problem when the quality of service is questionable. There are trainers out there that would struggle to put a session together that is worth $30 and at the other end there are trainers who's services are worth more than $100. In my professional experience some of the best trainers I know are from the short course style studies and some of the worst have been longer study periods or degrees. Let results speak for themselves and you will soon see who is worth the coin!!

Posted by: Anonymous | 14-May-2011 03:12 PM |

Everyone is so focused on hourly rates of charge. As an exercise physiologist, tell me how much can you really change a person's health and fitness in one session and how you can fully value the charge for a casual session. I think needs of a client should
to be assessed and then an individual fitness package developed over a period of time - charge for the package, not the sessions. That to me is more important than what I charge for a single session - I am not interested in casual PT sessions. When you build
a house, it takes many steps to get the result, you pay for the package! I challenge the industry to provide clients with fully-tailored programs that incorporateate a long term plan to help them, and not worry about how much we can charge for a single session.
I wouldn't pay a builder for an hour to build my house, but I will pay for him to build the entire house!