Renting Gym Space As a Personal Trainer

Do you have a good deal at the gym you rent from? Are you currently searching for a facility to train your clients at? Navigating the numbers can be tricky for personal trainers who are independent contractors. Some of us take what we can get without much thought and others have the option to choose between various facilities and options. It can be confusing.

One way for you to make more money as a trainer is to raise your rates.

The other way is to negotiate a better deal on the rent you pay the facility.

Compare these two scenarios:

1.

Monthly Rent – You pay the gym a flat rate of $1,000/month.
You charge $50/session x 20 sessions/week = $1,000/week x 4 weeks = $4,000/month.
You take home: $4,000 – $1,000 (rent) = $3,000/month.

Pros: It’s a flat fee, so if business is good, you see every dollar extra.

Cons: If you have a slow month, you still have to pay the same rent fee. If you’re out of town for a week, you still have to pay rent for that week. Unless you get a temporary substitute for your clients.

2.

Percentage of each session – You pay the gym 40% per session and keep 60% per session.
You charge $50/session x 20 sessions/week = $1,000/week x 4 weeks = $4,000/month.
$4,000 x 0.40 = $1,600/month to gym and $4,000 x 0.60 = $2,400/month to you.
(You earn $30/session and gym keeps $20/session)
You take home: $2,400/month.

Pros: If you have a slow month, you only pay a percentage of the sessions you did. If you are out of town for a week, you don’t pay anything.

Cons: When you earn more money, by raising rates or recruiting new clients, the gym also gets a percentage of it.

Which One is Better?
This depends on the numbers for your situation, so it’s important you plug them in to see.

In the scenarios above, 1. (rent) made $600/month more than 2. (percentage).  This would change if the rent fee was $1,600/month because then they would be equal.  $4,000 – $1,600 = $2,400.  This would also change if the gym percentage was 25% instead of 40%.  $4,000/month x 0.25 = $1,000.  At 20 sessions/week they would also be equal.

When the number of sessions each week varies, it changes the numbers.

This is why I encourage all my business coaching clients to keep track of their numbers and income each week. Data can make you more wealthy because it raises awareness and changes habits (sort of how your clients make changes when they see numbers). Paying attention to the numbers is the easiest way to earn or, rather, keep, more money.

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The Easier Answer
If you’re doing less than 20 sessions/week, paying a percentage is usually better. Especially if you’re a new trainer. You might pay more rent overall, but won’t owe anything if you’re not making money in a particular week.

If you have 5 sessions/week x $50 each = $250 x 4 weeks = $1,000 to cover your rent, but leaves you with ZERO income. With a percentage, you would still take home 60% of what you’re making. Which would be $1,000 x 0.60 = $600 take home.

If you’re doing more than 20 sessions a week, your book is always full or you have a waiting list, then a flat rent is almost always a smarter financial choice. You pay that flat amount and keep every dollar after that.

Put your own numbers into these scenarios to find out what your situation looks like.

***Realize the pros and cons are reversed for the gym.

Numbers can be tricky, but knowing how to navigate them can earn you more money easily. Now, you’re ready to negotiate!

And, if you’re an NFPT – CPT, contact us to request your free business guide template to work from when running numbers and for a bigger picture view of your options.

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About the Author:

Beverly Hosford, MA teaches anatomy and body awareness using a unique method that involves a skeleton named Andy, balloons, play-doh, ribbons, guided visualizations, and corrective exercises. She is an instructor, author, the NFPT blog editor, and a business coach for fitness professionals. Learn more about how to align your business with her coaching guide, Fitness Career Freedom and your body with her Fundamentals of Anatomy Course.