Personal Training is the best way to start a simple training practice paying you high hourly rates -you need about a dozen clients to earn pretty damn close to six figures. Just make sure that even when things are small, you stay smart and treat it like a real business.
From there you can grow into semi-private sessions, and even larger than that are bootcamps. But the process is much easier said than done, which is obvious to anyone that’s started one. Getting and retaining clients in today’s competitive marketplace isn’t as easy as it’s often made out. Also, not all trainers are suited to starting a bootcamp because of their personalities and career goals.
I got to thinking about this subject because of a recent feature I saw in PFP Magazine discussing the pros and cons of fitness bootcamps. One of the experts featured in that article was Georgette Pann. Georgette’s a veteran in this business, and has been running her own packed bootcamps and teaching trainers how to succeed with them for some time. She’s also the creator of the all time highest selling bootcamp toolkit, SURE VICTORY BOOTCAMPS, and has taught tens of thousands of trainers how to start fitness bootcamps through her bootcamp owners membership site.
I got in touch with Georgette about the article, and in keeping with the type of insider info you’re used to on Super-Trainer, I got Georgette to actually send over the questions she was asked by PFP Magazine, and she sent me her answers too. In this Q + A you’ll get some provocative questions and Georgette’s take on the state of bootcamps today.
There are a lot of trainers doing really well with their own fitness bootcamps, but is it right for you? You be the judge. And if you want some info on how to succeed with bootcamps, get your hand on Georgette’s program that’s already sold thousands of copies: THE SURE VICTORY FITNESS BOOTCAMP KIT.
The Evolution of Fitness Boot Camps
PFP panel of experts article – March 2010
1. When was your boot camp developed? Is it licensed, franchised, or independent? Who is the target market for your boot camp? What was the need that you recognized in fitness that prompted you to start your boot camp?
NutriFitnessLLC /Sure Victory Fitness Bootcamps are independent and target largly to the baby boomer. We saw the need in our area for a new and innovative way to train in 2004-2005 as a result simultaneously started NutriFitness personal training studio along with starting fitness bootcamps…both these were totally new to my local area
2. How is your boot camp different than the others that are out there?
In our case we jumped on this style of training and were the first fitness bootcamps in our local area. Being the first or “original”fitness bootcamp in your area is a huge plus from a marketing standpoint.
Our style of training includes not only bodyweight training but we also make use of innovative equipement such as TRX, Lebert Equalizers Ropes,Tires, sled (proweler), etc. for an added dimension as well as offering customized meal plans and an indoor/outdoor bootcamp option.
3. It seems that there is a boot camp now on every corner. Is the market saturated? Where will future growth come from for boot camp operators?
I feel the market is not saturated at this point but in some larger cities it can be an issue so my advice would be to niche out your camps..kids camps,athletic bootcamps,womans/mens only camps, senior camps,corporate bootcamps etc. The other more obvious advice would be to get your campers results and add that social proof,since word of mouth is best form of advertising
4. Is boot camp a fitness fad that will eventually play itself out (like Jazzercise), or is it a form of exercise that will continue to grow and evolve? If the latter, how so?
Bootcamps will continue to grow and evolve..it is no more of a fitness fad than small group training or partner training.These are just ways to not only help the trainer leverage their time but to help offer the client a more affordable solution to reaching their fitness goals
5. Do you believe boot camps will continue to segment the populations they serve in order to differentiate themselves?
Personally I looked at my demographics and have experimented with offering youth and senior camps,as well as athletic camps..and more importantly I see a huge opportunity for corporate bootcamps and we are developing that right now for 2010.
6. Boot camps have been great for fitness professionals who want to run a program of their own without the overhead of a studio or gym. Do you foresee continued demand from independent trainers? How are they maneuvering to stay ahead of the big gyms that offer boot camps as just another revenue stream?
I see more of a demand from independent trainers as they can position themselves to joint venture with the big gyms and run their camps as well.
7. What qualities – within the coach, the program, and the market – make a lasting and lucrative boot camp?
8. The coach/trainer must not only be comfortable training groups but have high energy,they must be able to think on their feet and adapt to situations quickly…if the program is to be successful you must spend time planning out your vision as well as planning your specifics(where,when,how),planning your workout programs and getting clients results is top priority. The market is not only there but growing,as fitness bootcamps are more affordable,fun, and offer group support all while getting clients to their goals most efficiently!
What does 2010 hold for fitness boot camps? Describe what the boot camp landscape will look like in 5 years.
I see the bootcamp business continuing to grow with trends leaning to corporate fitness and wellness
Georgette Pann, BS,CSN,CPT,LPTA
Georgette Pann: owner of NutriFitness LLC. http://thenutrifitness.com She has 20+ years experience in the Health and Fitness field with expertise in fitness bootcamps.She is author and creator of the best selling “Sure Victory Fitness Bootcamp Kit” at http://thefitnessbootcamp.com and The Fitness Bootcamp Inner Circle community for fitness bootcamp trainers at http://thefitnessbootcampinnercircle.com
Also just released:Volume2 Sure Results:The Ultimate Book Of Boot Camp Workouts http://fitnessbootcampworkout.com and Customized Fitness Bootcamp Marketing Materials at http://fitnessbootcampmarketing.com
Got you thinking huh? It would be good to ask yourself these questions too before you get started. And if you do decide bootcamps are right for you, just be sure to give them everything you’ve got.
Great article Kaiser. I just added boot camp as an option for training with my company. The experience has been amazing and has been growing fast. It’s a great fun way to take your training to a whole new level, leverage time, delegate to other trainers, and close six figures in working less than 3 hours a day. I think actually the experience has further enhanced me as a professional because of all the additional research I have done (and continue to do) to find ways to create fun, innovative, and effective workouts for a large amount of people of various fitness levels. In essence you’ve gotta know your stuff. I offer indoor/outdoor options, meal plans, a special eBook written by me for all of my participants, and more. It’s been more of a pro than a con, but one must really do research first and decide if it’s right for them.
You’re into bootcamps too now Roxie? You’re an early candidate for the super-trainer hustler of year award. Keep rockin girl.
Another awesome post Kaiser – I’m glad to see another woman in this business kicking ass, just like Nicki anderson.
And Roxie too – you really are a rockstar! I want to be another supertrainer successs story just like you!!!
Been there …. done that … not for me.
Got to agree with Travis. I tried a bootcamp and finding clients wasn’t a problem. I had plenty of people that wanted to trainer with me at discount rates. I just didn’t feel like yelling my lungs out and running around spotting people – I’d rather train three clients for high rates for three hours, than make the same money in one hour with a bootcamp. Buy hey, it’s a personal choice. That’s why this is a good article – it’s up to the trainer and go in with eyes open.
Another thing to remember about boot camps is that you can carve a niche and specialize.
Kaiser, as you know, I specialize in corporate boot camps and my Corporate Boot Camp System (CBCS) is in seven countries, 40+ states and Six provinces in Canada. We’ll be opening another session very soon.
Opportunity is everywhere!
You can do general boot camps, women’s only, men’s only, sport specific, corporate, or anything you want to stand apart from your competition.
Those are some amazing figures Greg. And it’s incredible how you’ve been able to satellite this service so broadly. You’ve set a new standard on what’s possible in expanding and administering a fitness business. Great work buddy.
I’ve tried to have paid classes at my gym, but with the free classes I already have, they’ve never caught on. I’ve pretty much tried everything. But some of the comments here help. In general, I’ve used some of the same instructors and just variates on the themes. I think I’ll have to go in a different direction with the whole structure of the class to make it work – and maybe this time, I’ll call it a BOOTCAMP!
I am brand New to the business of training. However my first client says I’m overqualified, and that” hiring me is the best decision he ever made.” I am reading the super trainer “Marketing Fitness” online. I know working for a gym isn’t the most profitable way,but wouldn’t I meet more potential clients there.
The reason my 1rst real client signing a 6 session package and than a 12 session package is: ” because I have been implementing Kaiser’s advice about detail to every minute of the session,pre-planning,bouncing, and more according to my client the passion I have and that I have been in health and fitness for 21 yrs.(since 15yrs old) I feel that kaiser has a gift that not many trainers have. I could use some Real advice about what to start with. what book,program,marketing etc… I will succeed one way or another. Kaiser will help to cut through a lot of time. Sincerely, Peter Khoury
Kaiser, choosing to interview Georgette was a brilliant idea. She’s an expert in this field, and those considering setting up their own boot camps now have a better understanding of the potential gold mine as well as the realities. Great read.
Glad you got something out of it Rick –
I put all of my existing clients into one group and called a bootcamp. I held them on the weekends, charged everyone about half price, told them to bring friends – the thing was a major success and a very nice piece of cash. If you know how to market, you’ve got make bootcamps a part of what you do. Kaiser, awesome post as always brother.
No hype – good shit.
Group training is by far a better business model. It’s always easier to sell a less expensive product or service, and it can be offered to a larger customer demographic in many more geographic markets. It also provides more opportunity for leverage and longer term repeat business. It’s no different for trainers than it is for chiropractors, car dealerships, clothing stores, or restaurants. Any trainer doing one on one that is happy and making good money should stick with it, but for any trainer that struggles to make money with one on one should consider switching to group training.
You highlighted all of the positives of that model Darren – great feedback –
Hey Peter – missed your comment earlier – good job getting in the business and giving the great service – yes, continue to study the marketing part – the next step is to get out of the gym – study the chapter on making deals to find a way to get out of the corporate gym, and just grow from there – keep up the good work.
Hey Anthony – yes, there is some way you can create a paid class at your gym – the reason it didn’t work in the past is the positioning, as you have identified – you will need to make it separate from both the personal training, and the free classes – you’ll need a new niche for it.
I’ve heard all of the talk about bootcamps, but I don’t think it’s really for me.
I’ve had no problem growing my business, client after client.
I’m looking to hire my assistant really soon, and just keep marketing my business. Then I’m thinking of a training studio.
I think there’s more than one way to grow a really good training business.
I’m planning on starting a bootcamp, and this post was a real help.
Great post man. I just started my first bootcamp and it’s a little harder than I thought it would be, but I’m hanging in there and things have been good so far – will keep you posted.