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Should I Rent Gym Space as a Personal Trainer?

Reading Time: 4 minutes 58 seconds


Date: 2021-05-27T00:00:00-04:00

Did you know that renting gym space is an option for working as an independent personal trainer? Gyms want to fill their spaces with paying clients, whether those are trainers or gym members. Most offer rental spaces and time slots to certified trainers.

If you're looking to get started in training, this is a reasonable option, but is it the best one for you? There are benefits of renting and downsides too. Before you dive into a rental agreement, learn more about it and decide if it works for your business model and goals.

Just getting started as a personal trainer? Check out these tips for newbies.

Should I Rent Gym Space as a Personal Trainer? Pros and Cons

New trainers have a few options for working with clients, although you're likely limited by financing. Renting gym space to work as an independent trainer is one of the most viable options. The other is to work as a gym employee.

Working for a gym has some benefits, such as a ready-made client list, but it also puts you in a box and gives you less flexibility to train the way you want. If you like the idea of working independently, consider renting. First, weigh the pros and cons before making a deal and committing to a rental agreement.

Why Renting Gym Space Can Be a Good Choice

One of the best reasons to consider renting a gym space is that it gives a new trainer an affordable way to work independently. For some, working as an employed trainer in a gym is a safer, better option. Others want to stay independent. Renting gym space can help you do that and has other benefits too:

  • The cost of renting space in a gym is a lot less than renting or buying an entire gym or studio.

  • If you're just starting out as a trainer, you probably can't afford your own place.

  • As a new trainer, you're working to build your client roster. Renting space in a gym gives you a chance to do that without the pressure of huge monthly payments for a gym.

  • Alternative options, like training outdoors or in your home, look less professional to clients. Working in a real gym boosts your professional status.

  • In a gym, as opposed to the alternatives, you have access to more equipment. You can also use rooms for group classes.

  • Renting space, rather than working for the gym, allows you to be independent and gives you more flexibility as a trainer.

  • You can rent at different facilities for different types of training. You may be able to rent space at a big box gym, a smaller boutique gym, a boxing gym, a yoga studio, or a Pilates studio.

  • Renting space in a gym can be a steppingstone to getting your own gym one day. Build your client list and save money for your own facility.

One of the ways renting space gives you flexibility as a trainer is that it gives you the option to work part-time. Here is a comprehensive guide to part-time training to help you get started.

Are There Any Downsides if I Rent Gym Space as a Personal Trainer?

Renting space may not be an ideal way to start your personal training business. There are a lot of good reasons to consider it, but be aware of the cons:

  • If you have a slow month with clients, you still have to pay rent. Most gyms charge rent by the month, so you could see less profit or even be in the hole depending on how many clients you get in a bad month.

  • Some gyms will take a percentage of your client fees instead of charging a flat rate. This means you're not stuck during a slow month. The downside to this is that as you raise rates, you have to chip in more to the gym. Your monthly costs go up.

  • You may have to apply to rent the space and meet certain requirements, such as being certified.

  • You may or may not be covered by the gym's liability insurance. Find out before you start. If not, it's important to purchase an insurance policy before working with clients.

How Much Does It Cost to Rent Gym Space?

Before you decide to rent gym space, you need to know what it will cost you. Depending on where you live and work, it could be cost-prohibitive. Location is a major factor in rental costs. Expensive cities like New York and San Francisco are bound to have higher rates than gyms in smaller towns, for instance.

To give you an idea of what to expect, here are some examples as well as tools designed to help trainers find and rent gym space:

  • Peerspace. This is an online booking platform that includes gyms and studios. You can search your area for available spaces that rent by the hour. You may not find a long-term arrangement this way, but it is a good tool for finding a one-time deal for a class or a marketing event. Rates listed here range from $59 to nearly $200 per hour.

  • Revolve Wellness Studios. This facility outside of Baltimore offers several rental options, from physical therapy rooms to large studios. The hourly rates range from $15 to $50 per hour with no contracts.

  • Next Level Fitness Center. Located in Roseville, California outside of Sacramento, Next Level has monthly rental options. For one hour per day, trainers pay $400 per month. They limit the hours to 11 am to 3 pm and charge extra for more than four clients in a group.

  • Shed Personal Training Studio. Shed in Boston offers a lot of options, with training rentals between 30 and 60 minutes. For a shared space, trainers pay as little as $25 per hour. For exclusive space, the rate goes up to $40.

From just these few examples, you can see how much variety there is in what and how gyms offer rental space to trainers. Contact gyms in your area to find out rates, schedules, and if you can rent by the week or month. Ask about requirements too. Gyms may only rent to certified trainers and may require you to have your own liability insurance.

Can I Just Meet My Clients at a Gym Where We Both Have Memberships?

It may seem reasonable to train at a gym with a membership, but it's best to ask first. Most gyms have staff trainers, and they don't want competition unless you're paying for the space. They may also have concerns about liability. Contact a gym to see if this is an option but be prepared to be offered a rental agreement instead.

There are a lot of different ways to work as a trainer. Renting space in a gym can be a good way to start your career or to work part-time. Do your homework on rates and contracts, weigh the pros and cons, and then decide if this is the right option for your career and business.

The ISSA's Certified Personal Trainer - Self-Guided Study Program can help you get the career of your dreams and teach you not just the skills needed to be a trainer but also the knowledge you need to run a successful business.

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