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How many clients do most personal trainers have?

How many clients do most personal trainers have?

Posted by Tyler Spraul, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®) on June 4, 2023 — Updated on November 14, 2023

Most personal trainers have between 15 and 25 clients at any one time. But how many clients can a personal trainer reasonably support at any one time? Often, a personal trainer can support more than 25 clients at one time if utilizing technology and making smart use of online personal training sessions, distance training, and semi-private or group training sessions.

Dean Somerset - Bird Dog
“Developing an easy intake system with my apps and ways to scale the delivery of workouts has been huge. Working with 20-30 individuals who each have specific goals and restrictions can be challenging, but your platform makes it easy to organize everyone’s programs and put a plan together that will get them the best results possible. The simple, effective tools help expand and simplify my coaching process.”
Dean Somerset
Owner, Somerset Fitness

If you are considering a career as a personal trainer, you may be wondering how many clients you can expect to have at any given time. The answer is not a straightforward one, as there are many factors that can affect the number of clients a personal trainer has. In this article, we’ll explore the personal training industry, the average number of clients for personal trainers, and how personal trainers manage their client base.

Once you learn how many personal training clients you can and should have at any one time, then if you want to run an online fitness business with the best software for personal trainers, the best software for fitness influencers, and the best software for gym management, you can see why Exercise.com is the best software to run your entire fitness business all in one place. You can sell workout plans online, run online workout groups, start fitness challenges, do online personal training, and more, all from your own custom-branded fitness apps.

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Growing a Personal Training Business

The opportunity to build a successful personal training business has never been stronger. With obesity rates growing to epidemic proportions, seeking the help of a trainer has gone from being a luxury to a necessity for many people.

Consequently, the number of people looking to become trainers has skyrocketed as well.

However, even with the increasing demand for qualified personal trainers, the average lifespan of a personal training career is one to two years.

Not only is this statistically alarming, but it’s also frustrating since so many people need guidance to live a healthier lifestyle. But building a strong client base isn’t always as easy as it looks.

Manage your clients better with our All-In-One Fitness Business Management Software. Request a demo today.

Starting From Scratch

The key to being successful relies heavily on how you present yourself to both current clients and new prospects. Regardless of where you work, you need to develop a marketing strategy.

To consistently grow your business, you must lay the foundation by:

Is Less Really More?

For an experienced personal trainer, having fewer clients usually means they have succeeded in building a name for themselves. They no longer need to fill every waking moment of their day with training sessions. But this type of success doesn’t happen overnight. Typically, a personal trainer will start off working in their local gym after completing their certification courses.

Working the floor may not seem glamorous, but it’s the perfect time to get your feet wet and to start selling your services. Depending on your availability and the amount of time you’re willing to invest, you can easily take on one to two new clients within your first month on the job. And although that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s still an accomplishment.

Marketing yourself isn’t easy, particularly when there are so many other trainers with more experience than you. But having experience doesn’t always equate to more clients. Another component of signing on new clients is your personality. Since clients will come and go, so you need to stand out above your competition.

Part-Time vs. Full-Time Personal Trainers

If you choose to work through your gym, there may come a time when you want to branch out on your own. Since most gyms take a percentage of your income, it makes sense to become your own boss. But what’s better? Should you keep your current job and train clients on the weekends, or should you make being a personal trainer your full-time job?


If you’re still working another job, you need to seriously consider if working in the fitness industry full-time is for you. While having a passion for fitness is a must, you need more than that to make it as a successful full-time personal trainer.

On average, full-time trainers work 30 to 40 hours a week, training 15 to 25 clients. And even if you eat, sleep, and breathe fitness, it’s a huge undertaking.

Since most clients only sign up for a set number of sessions, you always need to be looking for new prospects. You need the time to market yourself online through a website and on social media. Most importantly, you need word-of-mouth referrals.


As a part-time personal trainer, the number of clients you have is entirely up to you. On average, you should shoot for at least four to five clients per week. Obviously, this depends on the amount of time you have to devote to being a trainer. If you are only looking for a few extra bucks, then working part-time is a great decision. You have the flexibility to work in the evenings and on the weekends.

Prepare in Advance

Whether you choose to work full-time or part-time, you need to be prepared. Before you leave your current job, you need to start saving as much money as possible.

Establish a solid cancellation policy, so you won’t lose money if clients cancel at the last minute. If possible, try to retain a source of steady income while growing your client base. Even one or two days a week will make a difference when you just start out. Furthermore, find other ways to supplement your income, such as teaching group classes or speaking at fitness seminars.

Becoming a personal trainer is not for everyone. Take the time to weigh the pros and cons before making any rash decisions. Most importantly, be realistic with your expectations and always have a backup plan in case things don’t work out as you imagined.

Grow and manage your business better with our All-In-One Fitness Business Management Software. Request a demo today!

Understanding the personal training industry

Personal training has become an increasingly popular profession in recent years, as more people have become interested in health and fitness. According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the global fitness industry was worth $87.2 billion in 2019, and it is expected to continue growing in the coming years.

With the rise of obesity and related health concerns, people have started to realize the importance of physical fitness. Personal trainers play a crucial role in helping people achieve their fitness goals, by providing customized workout plans and nutritional guidance.

As the industry has grown, so too has the number of personal trainers. In the United States alone, there were an estimated 382,000 personal trainers in 2018, up from just 24,000 in 1990, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This growth is expected to continue, with the demand for personal trainers projected to increase by 10% from 2016 to 2026.

The growth of the personal training profession

The growth of the personal training profession can be attributed to several factors, including increased awareness of the importance of physical fitness, the rise of boutique fitness studios and gyms, and a growing interest in functional training methods. People are no longer satisfied with generic exercise routines; they want personalized workouts that cater to their individual needs and goals.

The rise of boutique fitness studios and gyms has also contributed to the growth of the personal training industry. These facilities offer specialized classes and equipment, which require the expertise of personal trainers to ensure that clients are using them correctly and safely.

Another factor contributing to the growth of the personal training industry is the interest in functional training methods. Functional training focuses on movements that mimic everyday activities, such as lifting groceries or climbing stairs. Personal trainers who specialize in functional training can help clients improve their overall fitness and quality of life.

While the demand for personal trainers has increased, so too has the competition. There are many personal trainers competing for clients, which means that each trainer may have a different number of clients at any given time.

Factors affecting client numbers

There are several factors that can affect the number of clients a personal trainer has. One of the most important factors is experience and qualifications. Clients are more likely to choose a personal trainer who has a proven track record of success and the necessary certifications.

Location and demographics also play a role in the number of clients a personal trainer has. Personal trainers who work in affluent areas or with a specific demographic, such as athletes or seniors, may have a larger client base.

Specializations and niches can also affect the number of clients a personal trainer has. Personal trainers who specialize in a particular type of training, such as yoga or Pilates, may attract clients who are specifically interested in those types of workouts.

Pricing and economic factors can also play a role in the number of clients a personal trainer has. Personal trainers who charge higher rates may attract clients who are willing to pay for a more personalized experience, while those who charge lower rates may attract clients who are more budget-conscious.

Overall, the personal training industry is a dynamic and growing field, with many opportunities for those who are passionate about fitness and helping others achieve their goals.

The average number of clients for personal trainers

Personal training is a popular career choice for those who are passionate about fitness and helping others achieve their health goals. While there is no set number of clients that most personal trainers have, there are some general trends that can be observed.

According to industry research, the average number of clients for a personal trainer is around 20-30. However, this number can vary widely based on a number of factors.

Full-time vs. part-time trainers

Personal trainers who work full-time may have a higher number of clients than those who work part-time. This is because full-time trainers have more hours available to work with clients and may have more time to devote to client acquisition and retention. Additionally, full-time trainers may be able to offer more flexible scheduling options, which can be attractive to clients with busy schedules.

Location and demographics

The location of a personal trainer can also affect the number of clients they have. Trainers who work in urban areas or in affluent neighborhoods may have more clients than those in rural areas or less affluent neighborhoods. This is because people in these areas may have more disposable income to spend on personal training services. Demographics can also play a role, as some populations may be more interested in personal training services than others. For example, younger individuals may be more likely to seek out personal training services than older individuals.

Specializations and niches

If a personal trainer specializes in a particular area, such as strength training or post-rehabilitation, they may have fewer clients than a generalist personal trainer. However, specializing can also make it easier to market to a specific audience and can result in more loyal clients. For example, a personal trainer who specializes in working with older adults may have a smaller client base than a generalist trainer, but may have more loyal clients who appreciate their expertise in working with this population.

In conclusion, while there is no set number of clients that most personal trainers have, there are a number of factors that can influence the number of clients a trainer has. These factors include whether the trainer works full-time or part-time, their location and demographics, and whether they specialize in a particular area. Ultimately, the number of clients a personal trainer has will depend on their individual circumstances and the effort they put into client acquisition and retention.

How personal trainers manage their client base

Personal trainers must balance client retention with client acquisition. Managing a client base effectively requires a combination of scheduling and time management, as well as utilizing technology to streamline processes.

Scheduling and time management

Personal trainers must carefully manage their schedules to ensure that they are maximizing their time and resources without overextending themselves. This can involve setting clear boundaries with clients regarding scheduling and availability.

One way personal trainers can manage their schedules is by using a scheduling software that allows clients to book sessions online. This frees up the trainer’s time and allows them to focus on other aspects of their business, such as marketing and client retention.

Another important aspect of scheduling and time management is setting realistic expectations with clients. Personal trainers should be clear about their availability and the number of clients they can take on at any given time. This helps to prevent burnout and ensures that clients receive the attention and support they need to achieve their fitness goals.

Balancing client retention and acquisition

Personal trainers must also balance client retention with client acquisition. Retaining existing clients can be less costly than acquiring new ones, but acquiring new clients is also necessary for growth. Personal trainers may use referral programs or other incentives to encourage existing clients to refer new clients.

One effective way to retain clients is by providing exceptional customer service. Personal trainers should be responsive to their clients’ needs and concerns, and should make an effort to build a personal connection with each client. This can help to create a sense of loyalty and trust that can lead to long-term client relationships.

At the same time, personal trainers should be proactive in seeking out new clients. This can involve networking with other fitness professionals, attending industry events, and marketing their services through social media and other channels.

Utilizing technology for client management

Technology can be a valuable tool for personal trainers in managing their client base. Client management software can help trainers schedule sessions, track client progress, and communicate with clients more efficiently.

In addition to scheduling software, personal trainers may also use fitness tracking apps to monitor their clients’ progress and provide personalized feedback. These apps can track everything from calories burned to sleep quality, and can help trainers identify areas where clients may need additional support or guidance.

Another useful technology tool for personal trainers is social media. By creating a strong social media presence, trainers can connect with potential clients and build their brand. They can also use social media to share fitness tips and advice, showcase client success stories, and promote their services to a wider audience.

Overall, managing a client base as a personal trainer requires a combination of scheduling and time management, client retention and acquisition, and effective use of technology. By focusing on these key areas, personal trainers can build a successful and sustainable business that helps their clients achieve their fitness goals.

Factors that influence client numbers

Being a personal trainer is a highly rewarding career, but it can also be challenging. One of the biggest challenges is building and maintaining a strong client base. While there are many factors that can influence the number of clients a personal trainer has, there are three main factors that stand out.

Marketing and self-promotion

Personal trainers who are effective at marketing themselves and their services are more likely to have higher numbers of clients. This can involve utilizing social media and other digital marketing channels, as well as networking with other professionals in the industry. It is important for personal trainers to have a strong online presence, with a professional website and active social media accounts. By sharing their knowledge and expertise online, personal trainers can attract potential clients and showcase their skills.

Networking with other professionals in the industry can also be a valuable way to gain new clients. By building relationships with doctors, physical therapists, and other healthcare professionals, personal trainers can receive referrals and recommendations.

Client satisfaction and referrals

The success of any personal trainer depends on the satisfaction of their clients. Satisfied clients are more likely to refer new clients to a personal trainer. Personal trainers must work to ensure that their clients are achieving the results they desire and that they feel valued and supported. This can involve creating personalized workout plans, offering nutritional advice, and providing ongoing motivation and support.

Personal trainers who go above and beyond for their clients are more likely to receive positive reviews and referrals. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool, and personal trainers who prioritize client satisfaction will reap the benefits.

Economic factors and pricing

The economy and pricing can also affect the number of clients a personal trainer has. During times of economic uncertainty, clients may be less likely to spend money on personal training services. Personal trainers may need to adjust their pricing and marketing strategies to attract new clients during these times.

Pricing can also play a role in the number of clients a personal trainer has. Some clients may be more willing to pay higher rates for personalized services, while others may be seeking more affordable options. Personal trainers must find a pricing strategy that works for them and their clients.

In conclusion, there are many factors that can influence the number of clients a personal trainer has. By prioritizing marketing and self-promotion, client satisfaction and referrals, and understanding economic factors and pricing, personal trainers can build and maintain a strong client base and achieve success in their career.

How many clients does a personal trainer have on average?

On average, a full-time personal trainer may have between 15 to 25 clients per week. However, the number can vary widely based on factors like the trainer’s schedule, whether they work part-time or full-time, the length of each session, and how many days per week clients train.

Is it hard to get clients as a personal trainer?

Getting clients as a personal trainer can be challenging, especially when starting out. It involves marketing yourself, establishing a reputation, and building relationships. However, with effective networking, a strong online presence, and excellent service that gets results, it can become easier over time. The Exercise.com platform can assist in this, as it offers features for marketing, client management, and online service delivery.

How many clients does a personal trainer see a day?

The number of clients a personal trainer sees in a day can depend on how they structure their schedule. For example, if a trainer offers hour-long sessions and works an eight-hour day, they might see eight clients in a day, assuming no breaks. However, many trainers will have breaks or administrative tasks throughout the day, and sessions can vary in length, so the number could be less.

What is the optimal number of personal training clients?

The optimal number of personal training clients will depend on the trainer’s personal capacity, their work-life balance goals, and how much time they need for other business-related tasks. In terms of maintaining quality service, a good range might be 15-30 clients per week for a full-time personal trainer.

How many clients do online personal trainers have?

The number of clients that an online personal trainer has can vary widely. On one hand, online trainers might be able to handle more clients than in-person trainers, as they often provide pre-made workout plans and can communicate with clients asynchronously. On the other hand, the amount of attention each client requires and the trainer’s capacity to provide quality service will limit the number of clients they can effectively manage.

Some online personal trainers might manage 50-100 clients, especially if they’re providing relatively low-touch services (like selling workout plans online or giving clients access to their own branded personal trainer fitness app). However, if they’re providing more high-touch services that involve more personalized attention and interaction (like weekly check-ins, program adjustments, nutrition counseling, etc.), the number might be closer to 20-30 clients.

Again, it’s important to note that these are rough estimates and the number can vary based on a multitude of factors, including the specific business model, the services offered, the trainer’s time management skills, and the use of technology, such as Exercise.com, to streamline operations and increase efficiency.

The Exercise.com platform is specifically designed to allow online personal trainers to efficiently manage more clients by automating certain tasks and streamlining communication and service delivery.

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How can the Exercise.com platform help me run my fitness business?

Exercise.com’s comprehensive platform can be an invaluable tool for running your fitness business. It allows you to create customized workout plans, track client progress, handle scheduling, and manage payments, all in one place. For growing your client base, Exercise.com also provides marketing solutions, including a custom-branded fitness app and website, and supports online training, allowing you to reach clients anywhere. It’s designed to streamline operations, enhance your professional image, and provide a top-tier experience for your clients.

How do I become a personal trainer?

You become a personal trainer by becoming studying for, taking, and passing a personal training certification exam.

Is it hard to become a personal trainer?

The level of difficulty to become a personal trainer depends on which certification you choose to obtain — some certifying agencies are harder to become certified with than others and some may require extra pre-requisites like a college degree.

Can I become a personal trainer without studying for the exam?

It is unlikely that you will pass your personal training exam for any agency if you do not study thoroughly for the exam beforehand.

Will a gym hire me without a personal training certification?

It is unlikely that a gym will hire someone without a certification to train members. However, a gym may still hire you to perform other duties, like administrative tasks.

Can I rent space in a gym if I am not a certified personal trainer?

Gyms will likely not rent out space to someone that is not certified due to liability concerns.

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Get the Ideal Number of Clients

There is no set number of clients that most personal trainers have, as there are many factors that can influence client numbers. However, personal trainers who focus on client retention and acquisition, utilize technology and effective marketing strategies, and specialize in a particular area may be more likely to have higher numbers of clients. By carefully managing their schedules and resources, personal trainers can continue to grow their client base and achieve success in this rewarding profession.

Want to get seeing how Exercise.com can help you get started taking your personal training business to the next level with software? To see if you quality then request a demo. Get a demo now!

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist® (CSCS®). He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life.
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