The Online Personal Training Business Checklist (2023)

Updated on February 27, 2023

Are you looking to start your own online personal training business?

It’s no longer necessary to be limited to working at a gym or meeting clients face-to-face to help people achieve their fitness goals and make money. In fact, there are many advantages to taking your personal training business online, including the ability to sell fitness courses and not be tied to a schedule of training clients individually. 

In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive overview of all the essential steps involved in building an online personal training business and show you why using WordPress and Sensei LMS is the best and most cost-effective way to do it.

Why Take Your Personal Training Business Online?

Going digital can be a great way to grow your fitness coaching business, reach a wider audience, and increase your revenue. Here are just a few reasons why taking your personal training business online could be a good move:

  • Greater reach: With an online personal training business, you can reach clients all over the world, rather than being limited to a specific geographic location. This, of course, increases your chances of increasing sales and revenue since your target audience is wider. To maximize your reach, consider using social media, email marketing, and other digital marketing techniques to promote your business and attract new clients.
  • Increased flexibility: If you sell online courses, you’ll have more control over your schedule and more time to focus on scaling your business. This can be especially useful if you’re trying to juggle other commitments, such as a full-time job or family responsibilities.
  • Improved resilience: An online personal training business is less reliant on your physical health than a traditional in-person business. If you get injured, your courses will still be available for purchase, allowing you to continue earning an income. On the other hand, if you work at a gym and get injured, it will be much harder to fulfill your responsibilities, such as showing your clients how to perform certain exercises.
  • Additional income streams: In addition to selling courses, you can also offer private fitness consulting to clients and charge for one-on-one sessions. To maximize your profits, consider researching the types of courses and services that are most in demand, and developing pricing and fitness marketing strategies that align with your goals.

To get started with your online personal training business, you’ll need the right tools and resources. Let’s explore this in more detail.

How to Become an Online Personal Trainer in 6 Steps

Starting an online personal training business can be a rewarding and lucrative way to help others achieve their fitness goals and live healthier lives. However, it’s important to be prepared and follow the right steps to ensure your business is successful. In this section, we’ll outline six key steps to becoming an online personal trainer and building a thriving business. Whether you’re an experienced personal trainer looking to take your business online or a beginner looking to get started in this field, these steps will guide you through the process of setting up your business, creating engaging content, and marketing your training services to potential clients.

1. Find Your Niche

One of the first steps in building an online personal training business is to find your niche and become an expert in a specific area. With so many online personal trainers out there, it can be tough to stand out and build an audience. By focusing on a particular niche, however, you can differentiate yourself and become an authority in your field.

Some examples of niches in the personal training world include hypertrophy training for different levels, powerlifting, cardio-based training, and pre or post-natal training. Choose a niche that aligns with your interests, expertise, and target market, and focus on building your brand and reputation within that space. This will help you attract the right clients and establish yourself as a go-to resource in your niche.

2. Get Certified

If you’re serious about building an online personal training business, it’s important to have the proper credentials and training. If you’re already a certified personal trainer, then you can skip this step. If you don’t have certification, however, it’s worth considering getting certified to show potential clients that you’re qualified to help them achieve their fitness goals.

There are numerous institutions that offer personal training certification, including the American Sports and Fitness Association, ACE Fitness, and NASM. Choose a program that aligns with your goals and interests, and invest in the education and training you need to succeed in your career. Having a certification can help you stand out from the competition and give your online clients confidence in your abilities as a personal trainer.

3. Work on Training Programs

Before you start building fully-fledged courses, it can be helpful to compile and work on a series of training programs that will appeal to different potential customers.

For example, if you’re creating a “Hypertrophy for Beginners” course, you might map out a training program that includes details on how many workouts per week are included, what exercises are included in each workout, and how many reps and sets are required for each exercise. This can help you get a sense of the content and structure of your courses, and give you a chance to fine-tune your approach before you start building out your courses in more detail.

One top tip for getting started with training programs is to try training your clients remotely. If you already have some clients, consider passing on your training program and checking in with them via Zoom or Skype to see how they’re progressing. This can be a great way to test your presentation skills, gather feedback, and fine-tune your approach to delivering online training.

4. Record Videos for Your First Course

Once you’ve mapped out a training program you’re confident in, it’s time to turn it into an online course. One way to do this is by recording videos that take your clients through the exercises in your program. You can record a separate video for each exercise, or record one video to go through all the exercises in a workout or muscle group. Find a format that works for you and resonates with your target audience.

Before you start recording your videos, it’s a good idea to script them out in advance. This will help you plan when you’ll talk in your videos, what you’ll say, and what camera angles you’ll use. It can also be helpful to have a reference point when you’re editing your videos later on.

Keep in mind that your videos should be high-quality and professional in order to attract clients and establish yourself as an authority in your niche. Depending on the nature of your course, you may need to invest in professional equipment or rent a gym, track, or court to film your videos. While it may require an initial investment, the more professional your course is, the more likely you are to attract and retain clients.

5. Create a Website for Your Online Personal Training Business

You’ve identified your niche, thought about your brand, and worked on the assets for your first course. Now, it’s time to actually put together your online personal training business! For this, it’s a good idea to create a website rather than relying on external course platforms like Udemy. By building your own website, you’ll be able to avoid competition with other course creators, own all your content and revenue, and fully customize the site to match your branding.

One of the best ways to set up a website for your online personal training business is to use WordPress, which is a free and user-friendly content management system. To get started, you’ll need to pay for the services of a managed WordPress host, such as Pressable or You’ll also need to install the WooCommerce plugin, which is WordPress’s eCommerce platform, and a WordPress theme, which is the foundation of your website design and includes all the templates you need to create pages. Themes can be free or premium.

To create and manage online courses on your WordPress site, you’ll need to install an LMS (Learning Management System) plugin. One of the best options for personal trainers is Sensei LMS, which has a range of features and integrations that make it easy to create engaging online courses. Sensei offers different plans, but the Sensei Pro plan is typically the best choice for most users as it includes all premium features and integrates with WooCommerce.

Sensei LMS

Here are some ideas on how you can use Sensei Pro for your online courses:

One of the best ways would be to use Sensei Blocks, which are unique multimedia blocks you can place anywhere in your lesson layouts. If you create a more engaging experience for your clients, you could use Sensei Blocks in a number of ways.

  • Create interactive videos. This way, your clients can watch a video about a particular exercise. At a specified time point, you can launch a quiz about the type of movement/how many reps are needed, etc.
Video progress: 0%

  • Use Image Hotspots to give additional information on images. For example, you can upload an image of a bicep and create a list of exercises that are good for that muscle.
An example of an Image Hotspot created with Sensei Blocks

THe deadlift targets the hamstrings, glutes, back, hips, core, and trapezius.

  • Create a tasklist containing the full daily workout, which users have to tick off before the workout is complete.
  • Crunches – 20 reps

  • Bicep Curls – 10 Reps

  • Cardio – 25 minutes

  • Deadlifts – 10 reps

Another option is to use Sensei’s Media Attachments feature to attach training programs as PDFs.

The Art of Accomplishment, though not a fitness coaching website, offers a fantastic example of how personal trainers can use Sensei to create engaging lessons. Their approach is to pre-sell access to their courses. Students learn in groups and cohorts in order to stay more motivated throughout. This may not be the right approach for the average fitness instructor selling courses, but Sensei gives you all the options you need to map out your business model.

The Connection Course by Art of Accomplishment, made with Sensei

Automattic, the same team behind Sensei, has also launched a free WordPress theme called Course, which is specifically designed to work well with Sensei and features lots of block patterns that display Sensei’s multimedia features effectively.

Sensei LMS and the free Course theme

6. Build a Presence on Social Media and Streaming Platforms (Optional)

While it’s important to focus on building your website and creating high-quality online courses, it can also be beneficial to have an online presence on social media and streaming platforms. Many successful personal trainers in the fitness industry have YouTube channels, Instagram, and TikTok accounts. Jeff Nippard and Athlean-X are just two examples of online fitness trainers who sell courses from their websites and have a huge presence on YouTube. Tumblr’s new Live service could also be the next big platform for personal trainers who want to get into content creation.

Jeff Nippard sells workout programs and uses YouTube to maximize his reach.

By uploading free content on these platforms, you can use them to drive traffic to your website and showcase the value of your courses to potential clients. This can help you build an engaged audience and establish yourself as an authority in your niche. While building a presence on these platforms isn’t necessary, it can be a useful way to connect with potential clients and grow your online personal training business.

Build your Online Personal Training Business with WordPress and Sensei LMS

It’s possible to become a successful online personal trainer and there are many benefits to taking your business online. One of the most cost-effective ways to do this is by using WordPress, which has minimal costs and allows you to keep more of your revenue in the long term. To create and manage online courses on your WordPress site, we recommend using Sensei LMS, particularly the Sensei Pro plan, which is the best LMS plugin for personal trainers who want to create high-quality courses and fitness programs.

If you’re interested in building an online personal training business, we encourage you to try out Sensei and see how it can help you create engaging and interactive courses on your own WordPress website. With the right tools and strategies, you can build a successful online fitness business and help people achieve their fitness goals.

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