Don't let the name fool you. Online personal training is not just for remotely training clients on the Internet anymore. Sure, any independent trainer or fitness facility operator can launch their own online personal training business and generate additional revenue by remotely training clients all over the world — but there is much more to this technology than just building an Internet-based business. Today, online personal training can (and should) be utilized to create additional profits and to boost member retention for health clubs from within their own personal training departments.
What Is Online Personal Training?
The concept is simple. Health club members want personalized workouts that will deliver results, but they don't want to pay the premium price to work one-on-one with a personal trainer. So, what do you do? You can't drop the price of your one-on-one personal training programs — so these health club members are simply lost as personal training clients. Enter online personal training. By using this web-based software, your personal training department now has another program option for health club members. For a fraction of the cost of one-on-one personal training, your personal training department is able to create, deliver and manage workout and nutrition programs through an online control panel.
Popular online personal training software gives you access to a database filled with thousands of exercise demonstration videos, hundreds of custom workout templates and a state-of-the-art, RD-designed nutrition software. With these resources, just a few trainers can create and deliver personalized workouts and diet plans to hundreds of health club members. This technology offers your health club members two options in how they receive their workouts and diet plans. They can either log into your secure website with a unique username and password (which is included as a part of the online personal training software), or they can opt to have everything delivered to them via email.
How Can the Health Club Benefit?
There are several lucrative ways to incorporate online personal training into your club's business model in a way that will boost profits, increase member retention and improve trainer pay. You are well aware of the financial benefit that your one-on-one personal training programs deliver for the club's bottom line. But what about the gap in profits that traditional personal training programs are unable to fill? By offering your members the option of online personal training, these gaps in profit can be quickly filled with new revenue.
It is a known fact that only five percent to 15% of health club members are able to afford the higher costs of one-on-one personal training. This leaves over 80% of your members without the guidance they need to get results and to navigate their way around the facility. This also means that the club's personal training profits are derived from less than 20% of its members. What about the other 80% of your members? Don't you think they could afford personalized workouts at a lower cost than one-on-one training? Sure they can.
Your fitness facility has the opportunity to monetize the 80% of members who aren't utilizing one-on-one personal training by offering them an online personal training program. These online programs can be sold as an add-on or up-sell in addition to a member's traditional membership dues. Imagine adding $30 to $60 per month — per member — to your club's bottom line simply by making this offer: "Would you like to know how you can get personalized fitness and fat loss programs delivered to you daily via email for about one dollar a day?"
Maximizing Personal Training Profits
Let's focus on how your personal training department is able to utilize online personal training software to increase profits, reach more members and to create semi-passive revenue streams. There are two basic ways to accomplish this.

  1. Online Personal Training as an Add-On to One-on-One Personal Training Programs: How many of your current one-on-one personal training clients are able to work with their personal trainer the desired three to five days per week? It is probably a small number. Most clients either cannot afford three to five sessions per week or are unable to coordinate that number of sessions into their busy schedules. As a result, these clients work with a personal trainer one or two times per week and then work out on their own the other one to two times they visit the gym. An online personal training program is ideal for such clients. It costs less than one-on-one personal training sessions, and the personalized online workouts can be completed with flexibility to the client's schedule since he or she isn't meeting with the personal trainer face-to-face. While some of your clients cannot afford to add additional sessions to their one-on-one programs, most can afford to pay an additional $30 to $60 per month for online workouts for the days that they are not with their trainers. Not only will this give the client better results and more accountability, it will also give the personal training department a much needed revenue boost.
  2. Online Personal Training for the Previously Untapped 80% of Health Club Members: Online personal training is the perfect alternative for your members who cannot afford one-on-one personal training but who still desire some form of guidance and accountability. You can easily utilize online personal training technology to offer these members budget-friendly, trainer-designed workout programs. Using online personal training software in this way provides a two-pronged benefit to your fitness facility. First, your club can now generate more profits (by way of more dollars per member) by offering budget-friendly online personal programs to your members. Second, your club will also realize an increase in member retention because members who follow programs and get results stay and pay for longer periods of time.

Creating Additional Monthly Profits
Cutting-edge personal training software offers you more ways to generate revenue than by simply selling personalized workouts. Such software comes packed with built-in, RD-designed nutrition software. What does this mean for you? This means that your personal training department is now able to provide clients with RD-designed diet plans to accompany their personal training program. So you are able to charge a recurring monthly fee for creating results-specific diet plans that will aide the results of your clients while padding your bottom line.
Increasing Club Productivity
We've all seen it before — a handful of personal trainers gathered at one end of the gym with nothing to do. Since the schedule for each individual trainer varies according to the sessions he or she has set up for the day, most personal trainers have mastered the art of waiting around with nothing to do. When you bring online personal training technology into your personal training department, you will automatically fill each trainer's schedule with profit-building activities. During the slower times of the day, when the personal training staff has more time on their hands, is the perfect opportunity to use this technology to create and manage online training programs for members. It's a win-win for both the health club and fitness professional working in it because it allows the personal trainer to maximize his or her time, earn more pay and reach more club members. All the while, health club revenues soar and retention increases. The increase in monthly recurring revenue and the member satisfaction that goes hand-in-hand with a results-oriented fitness program will breathe new life into your club's bottom line. 
Taking Online Personal Training to the Web
In today's technology-savvy world, it has become expected for every business to have a functioning website. Health clubs and fitness facilities are no exception. If you don't have a website, you ought to consider creating a content-rich site as quickly as possible. Studies have shown that your future members and clients use the Internet to find fitness and weight loss solutions more than ever before. In fact, the Internet is more widely used than the phone book to find local businesses.
While many health clubs use their website as nothing more than a glorified business card (listing club location, operating hours and rates), you have the unique opportunity to make additional revenue on the web. Online personal training technology can give you a quick, easy and economical way to monetize your health club's website.
What to Look For
Choosing the right online personal training software for your needs is an important element in building your online personal training program. Some things to look for in a service provider are responsive customer service and support, who are both accessible via email and telephone. In addition, you'll want to choose technology that gives you the opportunity to grow — including an unlimited client capacity, an integrated nutrition programming module and high-resolution exercise demonstration videos and pictures in both genders.
Thanks to technology and the power and reach of the Internet, you can quickly begin growing your online training business on the web and in your fitness facility with only a small investment. For many health clubs, studios and independent trainers, this is the fastest, easiest and most economical way to generate additional passive income month after month.
Bedros Keuilian is the CEO and president of Hitech Trainer, a company that provides online personal training and nutrition software to personal trainers, health clubs and fitness professionals, and is the author of the PT Business Course. For more information, visit or call 877.205.3448.