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Personal Training Revenue

This week, experts Barry Klein and John Atwood discuss what percentage of a club's revenue should come from personal training:

Q: “In a fitness center only club of 8,500 sf with a beginning membership of 1,000 and membership of 2,000 when mature, what is the benchmark percentage of revenue between membership fees and personal trainer fees?”

A: The target membership vs. non-membership revenue for most clubs is generally 80%-20%. For most small clubs, personal training is the key non-dues revenue source, so – assuming there might be health bar, pro shop, tanning, etc. – at least 15% of revenue will need to come from personal training.

However, specific circumstances need to be considered. An 8500 square foot club that already has 1000 members is at reasonable capacity. Growing to 2000 members implies a facility with a low price point whose success is predicated on an abundance (over abundance?) of members. It’s difficult to imagine such a club having a clientele that would lend itself to the target split of 80/20 dues vs. non-dues. Personal training might just be a “cherry on top”.

By comparison, an 8500 square foot facility with only 500 members would likely be much more dependent on personal training and other non-dues sources. At 1000 members, it seems a 15% target would be reasonable. Indeed, much more could be possible. But, to grow to 2000 members, it seems that the energy and investment of the club would have to go toward that growth, and personal training might have to take a back seat.

Barry Klein, Owner
Elevations Health Club

A: The benchmark for all clubs non-dues revenue has hovered around 30%, with 10.7% for clubs less than 20,000 feet, and 8.1% for fitness-only clubs.

The personal training piece of this shows high end clubs reporting 10%-15% of total revenue coming from personal training, while the all clubs sample shows 3%-11%; and among fitness-only clubs 6%-14%. Keep in mind that these numbers represent a fairly small sample group and include only clubs that have their act together enough to keep and report their numbers.

Personal training should be the largest piece of your non-dues revenue equation If you plan to have personal training as a major focus in your club then these numbers fall short for you. You really need to know what the benchmark would be for clubs that are your size, demographic, fitness-only, and focus on personal training. Clubs that focus on personal training of course do much bigger PT numbers and the benchmark, if it were available, would reflect that.

Personal training should be the largest piece of your non-dues revenue equation and as a goal I would recommend that you shoot for 15-20% of overall revenue from personal training.

One concern regarding your club model is that 2000 members in an 8,500 square foot club is a stretch, and if you hit 2,000 there may not be space for multiple trainers, with multiple clients, using the fitness area along with all the regular members.

John Atwood, Principal
Atwood Consulting Group


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