Fitness Boot Camp Business

One of the main reasons why people decide to start their own fitness boot camp business is to make lots of money.  It works, but only if it’s done right.  The difference between personal training, small group training, and a bootcamp with, say, 30 participants is simply the amount of people who turn up.  More people, more money right?

Well in theory that’s true, but it’s very difficult to give as much personal attention and guidance to 30 people as you could with one-on-one training.  If you ignore the needs and abilities of anyone who attends your classes, you’re going to run into trouble. You’ll spend more time recruiting and dealing with bad publicity than actually training anyone.

There are far too many people with the wrong ideas about boot camps anyway. The U.S. Army always comes to mind first, and that’s a scary prospect for an overweight mother of three.  The word “small” in small group training may be more attractive, but it still won’t help if your sessions are not planned properly and are not tailored specifically to each of you client’s needs.

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When you train someone in a one-on-one situation, you get to know him or her.  You quickly learn what they can and can’t do, what they’re good at, and what they’re physically not up to.  You also get to know their personality and, very importantly, their medical history.  If someone gets hurt in any situation, it’s probably your fault - not the client’s!

Now I’m not trying to put you off running small group sessions or boot camps, quite the opposite.  For many folks trying to keep fit or lose weight these two options are often the only ones they can afford.  A personal trainer, even at $50 an hour twice a week means a client is spending $400 a month.  If she loses 8 pounds every month, then she’s actually spending $50 for each pound she loses, and that’s more than most people can afford.  So by starting a fitness boot camp business you can help your clients to attend every day, the cost per pound is going to be significantly less.

But you still have to work with that client.  She will need nutritional advice and a workout routine that is going to give her the best results, even though you’re not spending the entire hour holding her hand and giving her directions.

Many trainers are comfortable doing one-on-one training for this very reason; client and trainer can see positive results and that’s something that should never be overlooked when offering group sessions or bootcamps.

When a new client signs up, don’t just have her fill out a questionnaire and toss it in a pile with the rest without looking at it! Never force your group or boot camp attendees to all do exactly the same workout. Take the time to get to know each client and tailor a workout to her abilities.  When a client sees you’re going the extra mile for her by personalizing her workout, she is far more likely to stick with it. It’s also important to always be available to discuss any problems she might have and keep detailed notes of her progress so you can make any necessary changes.

As an excellent trainer, you can make far more money by offering group and boot camp sessions and you’ll work fewer hours than you would doing 1:1. It will be to your advantage if you sit down with each new client to assess her needs, goals, and medical history. It will ultimately take up a lot less of your time than trying to attract new sign ups.

Before a new recruit starts the U.S. Army’s basic training course, his physical condition, and medical history are always taken into consideration, so bear that in mind.

If you’re not making enough money as a personal trainer, (and who is?) then your first step might be to start a small, specialized training group.  Invest your time by getting to know each client and slowly add new members without neglecting the others.

Small group training sessions and boot camps can be a lot of fun for members. There’s an element of healthy competition and members will feel more comfortable when they get to know others in the group – to the point where they feel like part of a family, working together to achieve similar results. That’s not going to happen with a high client turnover.

You may not be able to do it all on your own, and if you do, you may defeat one of the main purposes of starting your own fitness business – having more free time.

Successful boot camps and small group training sessions are run by dedicated people who know they must work with every member and take the time to build and maintain relationships.  There are also advantages to forming sub-groups within a bootcamp for those who have similar physical abilities and goals.

Long-standing members should be encouraged to help newcomers and if you find 30 people too difficult to maintain individual relationships with, you can always hire a certified assistant to help. She could specialize in giving personalized nutritional advice to your clients, for example.

There is really no distinction between a group training session and a small boot camp.  As a professional trainer, you should know your limitations. It’s far better to arrange two smaller bootcamps than try to run one large one on your own. If you want to start small group training sessions or a boot camp, your ultimate success and reputation will depend on each individual client’s results, just like personal training.


Posted in Boot Camp Business, Boot Camp Marketing, Boot Camp Strategies, How To Start a Fitness Boot Camp Business by Steve Hochman | No Comments Yet

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