Fitness & Massage

6 Different Facilities Personal Trainers Can Build Their Business

PT careers
25 September 2020

The fitness industry is always growing and is now worth more than £5 billion in the UK. This means there are lots of different opportunities for personal trainers to build their business, and create an enjoyable and profitable career for themselves.

We’ve outlined a number of different fitness facilities and employment routes here in Manchester and across the North West to highlight the many different places qualified personal trainers can go on to build their personal training business.

Commercial gyms

First one up is big commercial chain gyms. When people think of gyms they often think of these types of facilities. Here in Greater Manchester there are plenty, with Pure Gym, JD, Anytime Fitness, The Gym Group to name a few.

These gyms usually have high member numbers, many trainers and instructors delivering classes and manning the gym floor. New trainers often start their careers in these types of gyms, developing their sales techniques and interpersonal skills, in what some may say is the hardest place to build your personal training business. Although these gyms are seen as budget facilities, as they are owned by large organisations they usually have a vast array of equipment, kit and space, meaning they’re an ideal place to train a number of different types of clients.

Health clubs

Health clubs can come in a few forms but the most well known in Greater Manchester are David Lloyd, Total Fitness and Nuffield Health. These facilities often describe themselves as clubs rather than gyms as they have other offerings in their facilities. This may be racquet sports, spas, pools, various therapy treatments, as well as cafes.

Like commercial gyms, the equipment and kit are usually to the highest specification and the memberships are often higher meaning some trainers believe these types of clubs are an ideal place to build a business. These types of facilities often do have specialist classes and activities where trainers can earn money, such as delivering Les Mills classes or David Lloyd’s flagship Blaze functional classes for members.

David Lloyd Blaze studio

Independent fitness facilities

Independent facilities range hugely in size, budgets and membership styles. These facilities can sometimes involve delivering classes but normally involve trainers using the space for their own clients and their usually self-employed either paying a flat monthly rental directly to the facility or through the facility taking a cut from each session they deliver there.

Members predominantly have to book in with a personal trainer or a class for a set time and aren’t able to walk in and start doing their own training in the facility. This type of facility can be great for personal trainers who have already established themselves with their own client base looking to move to a more specific facility that specialises in personal training but it does require trainers to either have, or build their client base, without having the fortunes of developing business on the gym floor compared to if they worked in commercial gym.

For 2 great examples of independent gyms in Manchester check out our friends at FORM and Gymology.

Boutique gyms

Boutique gyms are popping up everywhere across the UK, and Manchester is following London’s lead with more and more entering the market in the city centre. In Manchester there is V1be, KOR, Gym and Juice and Blok to name a few.

These facilities often come at a higher premium and focus on a specific type of training. For example V1be is a high intensity class based facility that uses Myzone, as well as allowing some 1 to 1 personal training to take place in-between the group classes.

These facilities can be a great place for personal trainers to work who are interested in delivering innovative training methods and want to deliver group based classes. They can also be be employed to conduct classes, which always helps as you grow your private client base.

Leisure and hotel gyms

Almost every gym has some form of gym now, with many having fitness facilities that are their own entities and businesses. The Village Hotels have high standard gyms for the general public with personal trainers delivering group classes as well as 1 to 1 sessions. This type of facility is often a healthy mix between the commercial gyms and traditional health clubs discussed above.

There are also 1000s of community gyms run by local councils across the UK. Some like GLL facilities offer a range of quality locations and are one of the fastest growing fitness facility groups in the UK right now.

Personal trainers can build successful businesses in these types of facilities through organisations like Your Personal Training who operate in over 400 facilities in the UK. YPT provide training and guidance through mentors and regional managers to enable their trainers to build sustainable businesses.


So lastly we’ve put together some other ways personal trainers can build their own successful business. This could be through outdoor fitness, bootcamps, corporate fitness or mobile training.

There are some innovative organisations out there, such as The Fitness Truck who are a “gym that comes to you”. TFT provide personal training and outdoor group sessions anywhere, including multi-national corporations and private 1 to 1 sessions in clients home.

The Fitness Truck are in the process of launching a franchise system where you can get your own Truck, fully kitted out and you’re able to build your business with their expert training and support. If you want different environments everyday, this type of path may be for you.

Your Personal Training course should prepare you for a role in the industry

Whatever career path you go down in this wide and wonderful industry, your personal training course should equip you to be ready to get clients and build your services from day 1.

This should be through employability skills specific to the fitness industry like applications and answer interview questions related to the facility and role, and business planning such as business models, setting up your own business basics and how to write a plan for generating leads and converting them into clients.

If you’d like to find out more about the way we deliver our courses at Vector, and to find out more about our unique career pathways for our graduates check out our PT course page here.

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