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Everything you need to know about Personal Training at BTF

by BTF PT
(Portland, OR)

I've worked for Bally Total Fitness in the Portland Metro area for almost 8 months now as a certified personal trainer. For anyone who is interested in working as a personal trainer for this company ask yourself these questions before applying and I'll address them in the order which they are presented.

A.Can you approach people during their workouts to offer a free workout/orientation?

B.Can you make calls to new members and offer a free workout/orientation?

C.Can you sell?

Are you effected by rejection?

Are you financially stable?

Both A and B are critical in establishing a client base. If you can't approach people or make phone calls, you won't be able to set appointments and you won't have any opportunities to sell training. The reality is, you'll have to offer a free workout session before anyone hands over their credit card.

Question C is really the most crucial part of being a personal trainer for this company. If you can set appointments, but can't close, you won't make any money and won't last very long.

Rejection is the norm. To be honest, I've lasted this long because I can sell training and have finally started to see much bigger paychecks. However, when I first started I heard "no" all the time. When trying to sell personal training, you'll probably here phrases like "it's not in the budget", "I have talk to my wife" or "let me think about it and get back to you". That's code for NO. If you can't handle rejection consider another career.

Free advice: Don't become a personal trainer for this company if you're flat broke. You're not going to make a ton of money until you have clients. Clients don't grow on trees. The only hours you really get as a new trainer are through prospecting and those only pay at minimum wage. Also, it's not as though you get 40 hours per week. You'll be lucky if you get 40 hours for the entire month. I'll break down the pay scale in another blog.

Final Thoughts:

What I do like about this company is you're paid on performance and not the amount of certs you've acquired. The more training you sell and the more sessions you service in a pay period will determine the amount of money you make.

Despite what you may have read, this company is not THAT bad. There are definitely flaws, more so at the corporate level, but take the good with the bad. I've worked really hard to establish my clientele and I'm now a front-runner to take over as the fitness director for our club. I'm not trying to toot my own horn; just illustrating that a good work ethic will still get you far, even in this company. Thanks for reading.


Comments for Everything you need to know about Personal Training at BTF

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And you recommend this?
by: Anonymous

I'm shocked but not surprised that you are actually encouraging trainers to bother people while they're working out in order to get training sales leads. HOW INCREDIBLY SLEAZY!. I'm sick and tired of being approached at gyms by "personal trainers" who are trying to get me to schedule a fitness orientation or "fitness assessment" with them so they can mine me for dollars. I have two personal training certifications, a college degree, a lifetime of fitness experience, used to manage a gym, have trained more people, and am in better shape than any of these so-called trainers who approach me for sales. It's gotten to the point where I avoid gyms and do most of my workouts now either at home or very late at night at the gym when there's no trainers there. If you like approaching people to sell them something while they are trying to enjoy a workout then you should re-evaluate why you became a trainer in the first place. Fitness is about health, not money.

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To anonymous
by: BTF PT

I make no apologies for my contribution and stand by what I wrote. No, I didn't get in this business because I like being "sleazy" as you put it. I like to help people. However, you worked at a lifetime fitness and have no idea how my club operates. Your membership volume alone would make it easier for your trainers to obtain leads without, God forbid, having to approach members on the floor. Let me ask you this, when all of the new member workouts and call lists have been exhausted, how is a trainer to get new clients? Wait for referrals? Okay, but that could take time. As a manager at Lifetime Fitness, you probably never encountered this problem. People don't just hand over their credit cards and ask to be trained. A trainer has to be creative in how they obtain leads. Besides, floor prospecting isn't just going up to someone and saying " hey, you're doing that wrong, why don't sign up for a free workout?" Yes, THAT is sleazy and rude.

I know nothing about lifetime fitness which is why my title is specifically about Bally Total Fitness. To your other point, you know nothing about me and you have no business suggesting that I should reevaluate my career choice. I enjoy training and helping my clients reach their goals. That's why I got into this business. However, it's exactly that, a BUSINESS. Training is expensive and it takes some convincing for people to invest into a program.

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BTF PT
by: Anonymous

I said in my blurb "I have a lifetime of fitness experience". I never mentioned working at Lifetime Fitness. Good reading skills are important if you are going to be training people. Wow.

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approaching people working out.
by: philip

Most people in the gym or any gym for that matter deserve to get approached by a fitness trainer since most people dont have a clue how to train in order to get real results.

Its not sleazy. Its needed. 95% of people in the gym are wasting their time, not getting results, and will be discouraged sooner or later.

Only a few, and you know who they are look like they"workout".

Thats why if I was a triner I would train all these wannabees and offer them my services.

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PT's are Sales People
by: Bea

To anonymous: You may be offended by someone approaching you for personal training because you don't need it and already know what you're doing. BUT 1) The trainer approaching you does not know that about you and 2) Most people at the gym DO NOT have your background and ARE not utilizing the gym correctly.

What's so wrong with saying no thank you?

All salespeople are NOT sleazy just bc they are sales people. Selling is the norm in this country, its part of life. If you don't want to be approached, don't go to the gym.

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Ballys training program sucks
by: Anonymous

I am a trainer at Ballys. They actually encourage you to be salesman first, trainer second. Everything comes down to hitting you "budget" every month. That's how the regional, GM and fitness director make their money. Lucky for my clients that I actually care and enjoy training them but I can't say that about most trainers I Ballys

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