As fitness industry professionals we know that when consumers are looking to invest into their own health and fitness one of the most effective options available to realize results is to hire a personal trainer. Trainers are uniquely positioned to create personalized and effective workout plans to ensure that clients stay motivated enough to work long enough to make progress.
Working with a personal trainer gives the client a safe place to learn how to lift in an effective and low-risk way, but historically fitness consumers hold back from utilizing one-on-one in-person training because it’s viewed as an expensive service to use. If you’re paying for two or three sessions a week in person with your trainer there’s going to be a limit for most consumers' ability to use the service for the long-term. Eventually clients will have to transition to a different structure and as a trainer you’re back to focusing on finding a new client to fill your empty time slots. Fitness businesses and trainers clearly need a plan to handle this inevitable scenario.
Hybrid personal training is the answer for fitness businesses. This newer training service within the industry is an accessible, affordable way for people to have sustainable access to fitness professionals without the hefty price tag. It can be a great training service addition for gyms to offer and increase the revenue of your training services.
The question for fitness businesses researching this newer training service is, how do you add it to your training service offerings to ensure that it complements your pre-existing services and increases the revenue of your business overall?
In this guide, our team at StrengthPortal will give you everything you need to know about adding hybrid personal training to your fitness business training services successfully.
What is a Hybrid Personal Training Model?
A hybrid personal training program is a workout program that combines in-person personal training and online remote personal training. It’s a flexible training model for clients who still need the professional expertise of a trainer, but don’t have the time to visit the gym multiple times a week for face-to-face workouts and consultations. Here are a few examples for how a hybrid training program can be structured:
- Example A:
- In-person workouts - 1x a week
- Remote workouts - 1-2x a week
- Example B:
- In-person workouts - 1x every two weeks
- Remote workouts - 1-2x a week
- Example C:
- In-person workouts - 1x every four weeks
- Remote workouts - 1-2x a week
Many fitness businesses personal trainers already offer some form of hybrid model; they’re just not marketing the service or charging for the service as a unique offering in their service offerings. For example, if your trainers offer any sort of home workouts as tips for their clients, they are already on track to giving hybrid training.
The main point we’re after here is that when you package a hybrid personal training model correctly, it can appeal strongly to a wider client base and can help free up time for your trainers to do more one-on-one work with potential clients who need it.
Benefits for gyms, studios, and trainers
There are some key benefits of implementing hybrid personal training for gyms, personal training studios, and trainers:
- Client retention: The worst possible outcome of only offering one-on-one private personal training as a gym is that if your client can’t afford it anymore there aren’t any service options for them to transition to. With hybrid training you can simply offer a more cost-effective option right away if the investment into their own health and fitness is becoming too expensive to maintain.
- Increase revenue: Even though hybrid personal training is a more cost-effective training option for clients than doing only one-to-one sessions there’s upside revenue potential. Hybrid training frees up trainers time slots week-to-week so they can work to book new clients in the available slots for more one-to-ones while still retaining their hybrid training client.
- Better flexibility: Historically trainers have been stuck focusing on the pre-work early time slots and post-work time slots as their main hours for earning income. With hybrid training trainers will be earning income from their clients doing some workouts on their own remotely. If a trainer scales up their hybrid customer base to a certain point they won’t have to work those tough hour time frames 7 days a week to hit their income goals with a more flexible schedule overall.
- Better client results: Since clients are able to continue working with their trainer for a longer period of time due to the cheaper cost they will be receiving personalized workouts for a longer period of time, which gives them a greater chance at hitting their goals. Client success is the target outcome for all fitness businesses and can be leveraged into great testimonials for the effectiveness of your gy and a boost for client retention.
- Boosted reputation: Offering clients a service they really want at a great price will boost your local reputation and help you attract more clients.
Benefits for clients
It’s not just the gym that benefits from implementing a hybrid personal training model, the clients will also see some significant advantages:
- Better pricing: We’re firm believers that when it comes to quality you can’t beat one-on-one private personal training. The challenge is that the price point causes a barrier of entry for some clients to even get started and in the long-term is affordable for very few. No matter how you structure your hybrid personal training service it is going to be more cost-effective and sustainable to continue to invest in over the long-term for your clients.
- Access: When you have an app or software to view the workouts sent to you from your trainer they’ll have constant access to the curated resources and links you’ve put together to help them achieve their goals.
- Accountability: Even though you may be doing most of your training without trainer oversight the regular in-person sessions ensure that clients feel accountable for doing their workouts.
- More flexibility: As an adult it can be extremely challenging to get to the gym several times a week. WIth the hybrid model clients will have much-needed flexibility and less time required in the gym at set times with their trainer.
Hybrid Training Model: How it Works
It can feel a little daunting to implement a new training service into your gym, but the hybrid model is very easy to get clients to follow.
One-on-one sessions remain the same and clients can come into the gym for scheduled sessions as usual (there will just be less).
The difference is the online aspect of their training program. The trainer can share the program with their client through StrengthPortal and then both have access to the information to track, view, and manage the workouts and nutrition plans.
So, instead of clients coming into the gym two or three times a week for scheduled workout sessions, they can now come in just one day every two weeks to get a refresher with the trainer. It’s then up to them to put their program into practice in their own time.
All workouts done on their own by clients can be tracked in the StrengthPortal mobile app so their trainers can make sure they are keeping up with the workouts and making progress.
Things to consider
Although hybrid personal training does come with some significant benefits, there are a few key factors you need to consider before implementing it in your gym.
For Personal Trainers and gyms
The main issue fitness trainers will face when using a hybrid training program is accountability. Since you don’t see your clients as often, it may take a little more effort to motivate your clients to keep them on track to reach their goals.
For gym owners, one-on-one personal training is usually the highest profit margin service you offer. Many of the gyms we work with ask if adding hybrid training will lead to a decline in 1on1 training service revenue in the short term. However, there is a way to protect your revenue and margins by adding a barrier to clients accessing hybrid training services.
For example, you can require that clients have to work with a trainer for at least three to six months before they can access hybrid training. This protects your 1on1 private training and ensures that clients are ready to work on their own. This will allow you to create a steady stream of new clients that eventually shift over to hybrid or online training, allowing the gym to sign up significantly more clients overall.
Hybrid personal training isn’t for everyone. In fact, there will always be clients who prefer to do in-person training instead of working out on their own.
Shifting clients to a hybrid model too quickly could lead to injuries and a lost relationship, so it’s important to be confident a client is ready to work out alone before making the switch.
How to price Hybrid Training as a training service
Hybrid personal training appeals to clients because it’s usually less expensive than one-to-one personal training sessions. But it should still be more expensive than normal online training because it still includes in-person sessions.
We suggest locking in a training package that has a set fee for a 4-6-week workout program that has a set number of in-person training sessions at the same price as they normally are.
Example Personal Training Service Pricing Structure:
- In-person Private: 6-week training package - 2 sessions a week at $100/session = $1200
- Hybrid: 6-week training package - 3 in-person sessions at $100/session + $200 for personalized 6-week program with 3 sessions a week at $250 = $550.
How to Get More Clients for Your Hybrid Training Program
There are two types of ideal client you can target with hybrid training:
- Existing clients who no longer need intensive personal training
- New clients who are too busy for personal training
By shifting existing one-to-one clients into a hybrid training program, you free up more personal training slots for new clients. So, as a fitness instructor, you should constantly filter their long-term clients into hybrid training when they think they are ready.
On the other hand, hybrid fitness will appeal to people who want to get in shape but feel they can’t afford a one-on-one personal trainer.
In the past, clients may have never signed up for your service because they viewed 1on1 as expensive. By providing a clear long-term roadmap of your new hybrid service, you’ll help them overcome that initial investment hurdle.
Make it clear in all of your marketing that clients have to work with trainers in person first but will have the opportunity to graduate to a more cost-effective and sustainable training service with hybrid training.
Providing this roadmap is more transparent and could lower the barrier to get started for clients you struggled to sign up in the past.
Successfully Incorporating a Hybrid Training Model in Your Program
Now you know how well hybrid training programs can work and how to market them to get more clients, let’s take a look at how to incorporate a hybrid personal training program into your gym.
Outlining the structure for your new program
Creating a package out of a hybrid program is the easiest way to market it to new clients. So spend some time planning out:
- How many weeks the fitness plans will run for
- How many in-person sessions it will include
- How much contact the client can expect outside of the gym
Turn this into an easy-to-follow, long-term roadmap for your training services and workout plans on a calendar that your client will receive when they sign up to make the program run smoothly.
Next, think about how your clients will communicate with their trainer. Will they be available through phone, text, and/or email?
What are your office hours and when will your trainers be responsive? It’s important not to slip into the trap of being available to clients 24/7. This puts too much pressure on trainers and ends up costing more in trainer time.
Finally, you’ll need a tool to track performance and control the distribution of workouts. Having a dedicated online training software that keeps everything in one place and tracks progress makes life easier for your trainers and offers a better level of service for clients.
That’s where StrengthPortal’s software platform comes in.
Our personal training software allows trainers to track their hybrid personal training with each client. The client will have a dashboard where they can track their workouts, record progress, and keep up with advice from their trainer.
The software comes in an easy-to-use mobile app that is incredibly easy for clients to view and track their workouts. The app even has an exercise library of workout examples you can add to help them improve.
For training teams, there’s also a dashboard where you can keep track of your clients and schedule.
Take Your Personal Training Services to the Next Level
There is so much competition in the exercise space. With multiple gyms in every city and thousands of online programs, you need to stand out and offer a better level of service to retain clients.
Offering hybrid personal training is an easy way to appeal to more people, lower the price of training, and boost revenue.
And with our tracking software, it’s never been easier to offer hybrid personal training and get more clients on your books.
Want to make sure your clients are making the most of every exercise outside of their personal training sessions? Check out our guide on how to build an exercise library for your personal training program to give them the best resources.
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