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How to Design Online Personal Training Packages

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, How to Design Online Personal Training Packages

Reading Time: 5 minutes 47 seconds

Have you ever seemed to run into a roadblock when it comes to expanding your personal training business? This is a common complaint among many who make their living training clients. If you don’t have a consistent source of new clients, you can find yourself in hot water pretty fast.

One excellent way to break through the rut is to expand your sources of new clients. Under normal circumstances, this is a no-brainer. It’s the normal sales process that most certified personal trainers have to learn at some point.

But what happens when that seems to dry up, or you simply aren’t having a lot of success with it? Well, one option is to add online fitness programs to your personal training service. Initially, the industry was slow to move in this direction; however, this trend has changed dramatically, and it is quickly becoming a much more viable option than it used to be.

This can seem like a daunting challenge, especially when you’re used to face-to-face training sessions, fitness assessments, and exercise programs. How do you move this online? How do you ensure that your clients are seeing results and accomplishing their goals?

The Era of the Online Personal Trainer

The fitness industry is evolving. We are entering a new age in terms of opportunity. It’s important to note that online, pre-recorded small group training has been popular since Jane Fonda’s time. Whereas this might cause some people to roll their eyes, it’s important to remember that these workout videos have always sold, whether or not they’ve worked.

This means that people are willing to pay money to have workout instruction at home. Thus, the natural next step there is to have customized workouts for people who still need the external accountability of a person to help accomplish their goals.

Virtual personal training is a great way to take your skills and expertise to another level and bring in additional income doing what you love.

How Virtual Training Works

The beauty of having an online personal training business is that you already know the basic components.

Already, you likely reach out to leads you find, you set up an initial assessment, determine goals, then they select from your options, and you execute the plan. Online trainers work the same way—just instead of doing this in person, you do it all digitally.

So, in this, as we go through the process, remember the basics!


There are many different options for technology that can help you more effectively put together and deliver on your online program. These are the items you will need:

Reliable Email Address

This needs to be an email address that your client actually checks. You don’t want to send things here you could do via text, but email is great for documenting important aspects of your relationship with the client. You can send their workouts as PDFs or Word documents, and because it’s in their email, they will always have them to reference.

Phone Number Good for Texting

Maintenance and accountability get much more difficult with online coaching. Texting will help you help them stay on track.

A Trusted Video Chat Platform

This could be anything like FaceTime, Google Meets, or Zoom. You want to have a method for you and your client to have face-to-face interactions—and ideally with both of you set up to demonstrate and execute workouts. This is how you will be able to give hands-on coaching in terms of things like form. It can also help you create a more natural connection with your clients when you’re just getting initial information, like fitness goals and background.

Other Things

There are several options out there for online personal training software. Only you can determine if the costs are worthwhile for your business. At the very least, you should be able to put together a great experience for your clients without specialized software. But it doesn’t hurt if you can afford it.

It can be helpful to make use of free tools like Google Forms as well, especially when it comes to regular information forms that need to be filled out and saved. This can save you mountains of paperwork!

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, How to Design Online Personal Training Packages, Online Exercise

Designing an Online Program

When we go through this process, it’s helpful to think about these steps in comparison to what you already do in person. That way, it makes the climb a little easier.

Start with Fitness Goals and General Discussion

For your first meeting, you should probably conduct this via video chat. This way, you can let your personality shine through and really work to build as effective of a connection as you can. Your personal brand can absolutely translate online, you just need to find ways to make that happen.

So, just like you would do in person, ask them what they are trying to achieve. Use this time to gather whatever information you need that you haven’t already collected by other means.

And, just like you would in person, help them to tailor their goals and expectations for what will be required of them for this to work. Find out if they have access to a gym, or what fitness equipment they might have. This will help you to craft workouts in their personal training program that they can actually do (within their fitness level, of course).

Make sure they understand you will be there every step of the way, and that they can reach out to you whenever they need. One of the biggest ways to overcome your lack of in-person sessions is to be in constant communication with clients.

For this to work, your coaching skills are going to be essential to success.

Get Creative with Programming

The reason you want to know what gym equipment they have access to is that you don’t want to give them exercises in your workouts that they aren’t able to do.

Remember that because you aren’t there, you aren’t able to watch form and the like at all times. This means you also have to be careful and get a gauge of the client’s experience level with various workouts.

But also rest easy. The majority of your clients will be able to meet their goals with bodyweight exercises that require no equipment whatsoever. This might not work in terms of trying to bulk up, but for nearly every other aspect of fitness, bodyweight exercises will do the job. This just means you will need to be creative in how you problem solve.

If they do happen to have equipment, you might also have to consider creative ways to hit every muscle group that they need targeted.

Determine Your Style Offerings

There are many ways you can organize your packages, and you can price accordingly. For example, for your lowest price point option, you could offer them a monthly fee with weekly emailed workouts and text message coaching. This would require less involvement for you on a day-to-day basis, and it could be a very inexpensive way to get new clients, then upsell them later on a more comprehensive package.

Or, on the other end of the spectrum, you can go live with them for every workout, obviously at a much different rate. This would be more comparable to your regular in-person rates. The good news about this is that you will be keeping all your income from this source, as opposed to only getting a commission on the sale when training at a gym. Thus, although they will likely pay less to have you train them online, your income could still be comparable to what you would be making at a gym.

Flex Your Coaching Muscles

Keeping your clients’ heads in the game is going to be a challenge. One of the best ways to overcome this is with constant communication. This could be brief phone calls or texts. Whatever your preference, get to know your clients.

Find out what’s important to them in their lives. Ask them about their social life, work life, etc. Remind yourself to follow up when they have birthdays, anniversaries, or professional achievements. Let them know that you’re interested in them succeeding not just in fitness, but in life.

If you’re not yet certified as a personal trainer, the ISSA offers a 10-week, self-guided Certified Personal Trainer Program and a 4-week Fast Track Program. Upon completion of one of these courses, you will be able to market yourself as an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer. This shows potential clients that you have the education required to develop effective fitness programs for your clients. Check them out and begin your studies today!


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