Creating Passive Income Streams

As a personal trainer (or anyone that offers a service by time segment), we have limited hours in a day that we can work. If we want to make more money than we are currently making, we don’t have a lot of choices. You need to make more per hour, so, you could raise your prices, raise your hourly income by training more people within that time segment (small group training and/or larger boot camps), or you could take on management roles to increase your income, but, honestly, as someone that’s managed clubs for 37 years, that’s usually just more time for more money. Then, there’s the idea of passive income.


Passive income is creating something someone will want to purchase, set up an auto fulfillment program, such as, then just sit back and watch the money roll in. Well, yes and no. It’s not quite that easy. First, you have to come up with the product idea, create it, and then market the heck out of it. Coming up with the idea may not take so long, but creating it certainly can. (I just finished a book, The Business of Personal Training for Human Kinetics to be released Feb 2018, that took me the better part of 3 years to complete.) Marketing doesn’t need to take a huge amount of time, but it is ongoing and never-ending, well… as long as you want to keep selling your product.

So, let’s look at some of the types of passive income that are out there.

Subscriptions – This could be newsletters, articles, or any other product that is an ongoing by nature. My friend, Brett Contreras has a Research Review subscription where he and Chris Beardsley create a Reader’s Digest version of the research, making it easy for you to keep up with the latest. An example of a physical product subscription is a wine club, where a new bottle(s) of wine is sent to you monthly.

Memberships – Memberships and membership sites, while very similar to subscription sites, typically offer more than just the once/month (or whatever time period) delivery. They may provide on ongoing library of videos, courses, or special discounts for members for events or products. Some options include Intelivideo and powhow.

New products – This could be everything from a white paper, a book, a new piece of fitness equipment, or anything that is a one-time purchase (unless someone wants more than one of something). You can, simply take orders via or you can also check out sites like shopify where you create an online storefront.

Passive income can allow you to increase your income beyond your hourly wage position. This, for many, makes it a very attractive idea. But, while you can make money through passive income, be forewarned that the creation of the product will take time, as will the set up and marketing. It’s never completely passive. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile pursuing, though. I just wanted to help set appropriate expectations.



#9 Successful Personal Trainers Maximize Their Time

One of the limitations of having a pay-per-service career is that there are only so many hours in a day to help people, and through that, make a living. Successful Trainers know that the one person/hour training is old school. While it may still be effective and rewarding, it isn’t always the most efficient use of our time.

Small Group Training (SGT) and Boot Camps have become more popular. in part because of the recession and their decreased cost per participant, but also because Trainers realized that by training more than one person at a time, they could increase their ability to reach more people and increase their revenue/hour.
Small Group Training may be equipment specific (i.e. a TRX or BOSU SGT) or it may be goal specific programs such as a ski conditioning, weight loss, or low back health SGTs. Personally, I believe that the more program specific your SGT (know your niche), the more specific/targeted your marketing can be. The groups typically range from 2 to 10 participants (at some point you have to differentiate what number is SGT and what is Group Exercise).

Group Exercise is an extension of SGT, allowing for more participants and, as long as it’s a pay-for service, greater income for the Trainer.

boot camp1
Boot Camps have become all the rage with Personal Trainers and there are now many Boot Camp success “systems” being marketed. Boot Camps are, just for the record, Group Exercise classes with a particular style. Typically they require little equipment, can, and often are, done outside, offer a lot of variety, and have a participant expectation of “This is going to kick my #@*.” When people expect to work hard and do work hard, they see greater results. This helps feed the success seen with Boot Camps.

A word of caution, what truly separates the top Trainers from the rest is that, with more people in the mix, there is a much greater responsibility on the Trainer. You have to work harder to see and correct everyone in a group than you would in a one-on-one scenario.

Another way successful Personal Trainers maximize their time is by creating passive sources of income such as writing books, producing dvds, webinars, podcasts, etc. These sources, once produced, can keep revenue coming in with little to no additional work.

Successful Personal Trainers maximize their time by utilizing Small Group Training, Group Exercise, Boot Camps and through passive sources of income. Which ones are you currently using and which would you like to do? Let us know in the comments below.

Check out the full series.

Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #1
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #2
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #3
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #4
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #5
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #6
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #7
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #8
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #9
Top 10 Traits of Successful Personal Trainers #10

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