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Trying to figure out how much rent to charge

by Kathy
(Mobile, Alabama)

I am a owner of a small gym in Mobile, AL and were trying to figure out how much would be a fair amount to charge our personal trainer (who wants to go to rent) for rent in this area? She has about 2-5 years of experience and has a fair amount of clients. Can you please help me with some feed back? Also, what do you recommend if her business is slow and she can't afford her rent that month? What should we do if that happens?

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Contractor - fee for service
by: Your Personal Gym

Is your gym is large enough to accommodate the trainer i.e. contractor without interrupting your sessions and/or other sessions? If so, I would recommend a fee for service model.
The contractor books time at your gym 48hrs in advance. When they come in they pay upfront a flat rate based on the average training rate in Mobile ~50/hr?? So for one person you might charge (40%) $20/hr and $5/hr for every additional person i.e. group training.
Don’t forget about liability insurance.

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You Are Awsome!
by: Steve Epperson

Kudos to you and your staff for wanting to strike a fair deal. Do you know how rare that is? Most gym owners are leaches who want to suck their members dry of all their money and blood. Most also have complete and total contempt for personal trainers. Not you. You are a rare exception and I salute you.

With all that said, you still have to protect yourself. Make sure your trainers have their own insurance. Make sure they follow the rules of your gym.

As far as rent, do not get caught up in a per session fee. Make sure it is flat and up front. 20% of her gross receipts should not make her blink. How much is 20 percent? Let's do the math. $35 avg per hour rate X 20 sessions per week X 4 = $2800. Times that by 20% and you have the amount of rent you need to charge per month. In this case, $560.

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Rent space to trainers
by: Matt

Not sure how old this post is, but GymLynx.com is an online marketplace that enables gyms to list available gym space to rent by the hour to trainers. Please check out GymLynx.com

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Using the YMCA and/or Gyms when you are independent

by Lou
(Raleigh, NC)

I recently got certified by ACSM as a personal trainer. I would like to start my own business. I am a member of the YMCA. If my client is a member, can I train her there? If I get a client that is a member of another gym, can I train there? Do I have to pay a fee?

I have an exercise room in my house but I imagine some clients will belong to gyms and want me to go there. Help!

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training in gyms
by: Anonymous

For the most part if a gym has its own trainers then it will not allow outside trainers to come in and train. Plus you would have to have a membership. That has been my experience anyway. I just train out of my home gym and it's working out well for me. That way I am 100% knowledgeable of all the equipment and I don't have to drive around which means I can schedule more sessions. I do offer sessions in the clients home but no one has wanted that yet.

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branching out
by: luke

I have recently been looking at the same situation. I was recently AFAA certified and thought I was going to work hourly at the gym I have a membership at. When that fell through I started checking around. Most gyms if they do not have hourly trainers will set up a contract with you where you are an independent contractor and you pay them usually a 20 or 30 percent fee of what you make to train there.

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Setting up my boot camp business in someone else's gym

I have a new boot camp/personal training business. I recently agreed to work with a local gym, using their facility to conduct indoor boot camp training. The gym owner is pleased and wants me to schedule regular classes, but he wants to offer me only 50% of the client fee. he claims cost of gym, equipment, insurance, etc.

It sounds like I'd be his employee and at risk. I imagine he could dismiss me at any time and keep the clients for himself???

Is this fair? Should I expect a large share? How do I formalize the agreement to protect myself?

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Boot Camp Fees
by: Michael Harrison

You're either going to be paying a "Floor Fee" which is a monthly rent charge or you can pay a per centage.

If you're new and don't have a lot of clients, you should consider the per centage option as it protects you from investing a lot of your money without a guarantee of getting a lot of clients. The other point to consider is: Are these clients who are already members of the gym or are they new clients you are bringing into the gym. If you're a super awesome Trainer and people are flocking to your classes from all over, why don't you find a local park and hold your classes out there? Then you can keep all of the money for yourself.

Bottom line, if you conduct business in someone else's gym, you should expect to pay for the liberty of using their facility. They have bills to pay and running a gym is expensive.

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Percentage to pay to a gym for just using space and equipment

by Kay
(St Paul, MN, US)

I rent space from a small gym that has free weights available. I bring in my own clients and charge them separately. (I have my own clients and own business) Most of the clients that train there with other trainers train in classroom style setting. I have one on one or small groups. What percentage of my income generated should go to the trainer that leases the space from the building owner? My fees are competitive with the classes but are slowly increasing as I am trying to build a steady full client base. I take care of cleaning up after my clients and have some of my own equipment. I do not advertise on the trainers website as the others do and my clients have to work around the other classes or the cleaning of the gym if the trainer decides to vacuum when I am training. The space I use is minimal. Should I be charged per hour, per square footage used, or per percentage of what I charge?

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Approaching a private gym with my services- what should I know?

by Dorothy
(Middletown, CA)

I became certified this year, and I have a small studio out of my home, and will start offering in-home training as well.

In addition, I want to approach a couple of local private gyms (not chain gyms) in my area, but before I go in, I want to be sure I'm not going in blind so I can get a good rate.

1) As a self-employed CPT, how should I approach a gym when I don't know how they work? I would like to keep the upper hand so to speak.

2) Should I quote my rates higher than normal so that when they tell me their cut, I get a good rate? Or just stick with my standard rate and let them add on?

3) Does one generally have to get a membership at the gym to be able to work with clients there?

I know some of this info I will just have to find out by going in or calling, but I thought some of you out there working for non-chain gyms might have some pearls of wisdom about private gym work as a self-employed contractor, and how to optimize income in this environment.

Thank you!

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answers
by: Anonymous

1) As a self employed CPT, you are considered a threat to any commercial gym in the world. Commercial gyms do not allow independent trainers into their gyms. They fear that you will take their money which you will, so they will not tolerate independents in their gyms. You do have an upperhand in this situation. Some gyms like mommy/daddy owned allow independents at a rental fee, but not a commercial gym

2) If you are a good trainer, and you can provide results and actually have proof of results with past and current clients, then you are worthy! Charge up some. I see many horrible trainers charge outrageous prices. If you take care of your clients, it will lead to referrals which equal bigger paychecks. Way too many trainers are like loan officers. Always go for the big deal. There are many horrible trainers at commercial gyms, who charge a fortune. As naive as gym members are, we fail to notice the difference between a good and bad trainer

3) YES. Read 1 again! You have to bring in your own clients, and they have to join a gym and pay more money. 95% of people will not do this

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Feedback for Approaching a private gym with services.
by: Anonymous

I live in Minnesota and some gyms are starting to let CPT contract which is nice - you pay for rent of gym space but you are a contractor and do not work for the gym. Good luck in your ventures.

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how would a personal trainer work under a contract at a private gym?
by: Fit Chick

I am just starting a personal training business and I have been approached by a local gym that wants me to come and talk to them about coming to work with them. I am not sure what they want me to do but, I do know that I do not want to work for them exclusively. How would one come up with a plan to work under a contract with a gym? I have set up a meeting with them next week. Any help or web site that might help me with this question would be appreciated.

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From a private gym owner
by: Anonymous

I own a private gym. If you came to me asking for a job, I'd tell you what I'd pay you. You don't ask for a rate. That quite frankly tells me you're out to cannibalize MY business.

If you want control over your rate, go to a gym that rents space to independent trainers, you'll pay a rental fee only and charge whatever you want and bring your own clients.

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Montana Prefers Independent Trainers
by: Anonymous

In our area, the commercial gyms/clubs PREFER independent trainers. But then, there are no two clubs the same apples to apples.

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Renting Gym Space in a Hotel

by Chris K, NSCA-CPT
(Minneapolis, MN)

I am an NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer in the state of Minnesota. I was wondering, would it be unheard of to set up some kind of business deal with a building that has a gym, where I would be able to train clients independently while somehow paying them rent to use their gym space? For example, I'd ask a hotel if I could "rent" their gym space for training clients. This way I get some of the benefits of working independently, while still not having to make a huge investment in a private studio.

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where to go to train your clients
by: Anonymous

If you are a well qualified trianer and hold a certification through a reputable certification agency such as; ACSM and NASM to mention a few, then considering taking your clients to a facility that allows independent trainers. Most of these facility let you keep 60% of your earnings.Depending where you go,other training facilities will only charge you a flat rate per sessions or discount what you pay them if you are training a pair or running a small group.

I opening a training studio for independent trainers in the Roslindale area of Boston. If you are interested let me know how to contact you.

best of luck and be healthy!
com

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Independent contractor & local gyms/ facilities

I recently decided to start my own business with plans to see my clients @ parks & in their homes. Of course I can not train outdoors when its cold so I am looking ahead at other options/ places to train. I've also been looking into working out of local gyms but it seems that they want you to become staff but I don't see the benefits of me doing that.

Can anyone with previous experience in this area give me insight on contracting out to local gyms (liability insurance, negotiating prices), places to look to transition from outdoor training to indoors, and if there are any benefits of becoming staff at a local gym?

THANKS!!!

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Contracting to gyms
by: Retrobeast

Seems that most independent gyms will let you train more likely than chains.
The good part about contracting is in many cases you are responsible for your own taxes so much can be written off. On top of that Uncle Sammy does not need to know the exact amount you made unless the gym puts you on a 1099.

I find that a 25% training fee is usually a good number to throw at the gym owner especially if the client will only be at the gym when training with you.
Of course some gyms still require the client and you to buy a membership but not always.

I work as a contractor to a racqeutball club paying 25% and also work as a 1099 contractor at a very nice club paying 40%.

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Interested in contractor agreement form
by: LB

After reading the contractor agreement my gym wants me to sign as an independent contractor, I feel they are trying to dictate my actions and behavior as they would an employee. This agreement even includes a performance assessment grading how effectively the trainer flips orientations and sells other packages. Is that legal?

What is a normal contractor/gym agreement?

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LB: here's some info
by: LF

Hi, I have been trying to negotiate with a local gym and before I even went to the meeting I did a lot of homework on this kind of information. Here is an article that helped me explain to the gym why certain demands they were making wouldn't be good for them legally: http://www.protraineronline.com/past/JunJul06/article7.cfm

There was some other information too, if you want it. I thought that Varg Freeborn did a great job breaking things down in layman's terms. Good luck!

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independent contractor
by: Anonymous

Great feedback! Thanks

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Reply to LF
by: LB

Thank you for the info. Yes, I have read that article and you're right Varg does a good job. This club has operated this way for quite some time. I guess the real shocker is that the trainers working there accept the terms.

I have another career in which I have undertaken freelance assignments [ie, independent contractor] and have never been asked to submit to an evaluation or operate under such dictates. Is this standard practice?

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Great Article
by: Anonymous

Its great gain a greater understanding of the independent contractor position. The article is a definite read for all personal trainers.

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