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“Choose a niche that you will love. That way it won't feel like work when you earn extra certifications in your niche.” (about me)

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Starting a Personal Training Business

Finding Your Target Market

We continue on through Step 1 of our guide to starting a personal training business by exploring some of the market niches available to you. Niche is one of those words that gets used in Business Schools but rarely anywhere else. But it is a very important concept to understand.

Its all about Specializing!

A niche is a specialty. A market niche is the group of people who are potentially in need of your specialty.

Why are they "potentially" in need?

Because most people don't have a clue what market they belong to. Let me give you an example.

Helen is 55 years old and interested in personal training. She seeks out a trainer through her gym which assigns her to the next available trainer. She trains successfully with the trainer but she doesn't know that she has special needs due to her advancing age.


How it Could Be

Helen is 55 years old and interested in personal training. She noticed a flyer at the Doctor's office (or grocery store) that offered personal training services for mature age women. Helen contacted the trainer and successfully trained with the trainer. She received valuable advice and an exercise program that was expertly tailored to her needs. Helen and some of the other trainer's clients formed a walking group so they can exercise together when not working with the trainer.

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Targeting Small Niches Leads to Faster Growth

It seems wrong. But by targeting a small niche when starting a personal training business, your business will actually grow faster.

Question: In the example above, which trainer is Helen more likely to talk about with her friends?

Answer: The one that made her feel like she was getting expert advice just for her.

Question: Who are Helen's friends?

Answer: They are likely to be other mature age women. Your exact target market!

Why not target everybody?

Nobody wants a one-size-fits-all workout outfit, and nobody wants a one-size-fits-all personal trainer. By trying to specialize in everything, you end up specializing in nothing.

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Its perfectly acceptable to have multiple specialties, just try to limit to two main areas. And while your specialty niche business is building, there are plenty of healthy adult clients you can serve.

So What are the Specialties

The main niche markets to consider when starting a personal training business are:

Athletes require training programs that increase performance and minimize the risk of injury. You can further specialize by focusing on individual sports: Running, Basketball, Football, Martial Arts, etc. These sports already have "coaches" but coaches are lousy personal trainers. Coaches can be a great source of client referrals. personal trainer certification course
Training kids is a lot different than adults. Their bodies are still growing and their maturity isn't fully developed. But if you have a way with kids this can be a great specialty. With the "obesity epidemic" facing kids today, this market is growing fast.
Older people have special needs as well. As their bodies change their exercise programs need to change to maximize the benefits and minimize injuries. And with the ageing of our population and the impending retirement of the baby boomers, this is a huge area. In the example above, the trainer further specialized in mature age women.
Pregnant Women
It has become common to see pregnant women at the gym almost up to their due dates. While I think pregnant women are beautiful, our clients don't always share that self-image. A personal trainer can help them maintain their fitness and even improve their flexibility before the birth which can reduce labor pains. Of course, there is a special responsibility to the health of the child as well. Most clients will continue training after the birth and even past their child bearing years.

And of course, you should always have healthy adults in sight. In fact, you will probably start off training healthy adults when starting a personal training business. That's because they are the easiest group. They don't have any "special needs".

You can also jump in one trends like Pilates and Fitness Boxing.


In Step 2 of our starting a personal training business guide we will discuss your personal trainer certification options (and there are a lot of them!). But for now, you need to understand that all certifications will prepare you to train healthy adults. But you will likely require additional certifications to train the niche markets above. The specialty certifications usually build upon what you learned in the general certification program. So make sure you have an eye on your future specialty when choosing a personal trainer certification program.


What do you think about Targeting a Personal Training Niche Market?

Share your best tip or ask a question about servicing special needs clients.

Personal Trainer Niche Market Discussion

Check out what other personal trainers are saying about working with special needs clients or targeting particular niche markets. Jump in and share your views and answer questions.

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