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  • Mark Cibrario

What To Look For In An Independent Training Gym

As a pioneer of the, "independent trainers working for themselves" business model, and running my own independent training gym in Northbrook and Deerfield over the last 28 years - I've learned a thing or two about what to look for in a training facility.


If you’re a personal trainer looking to train your clients at an independent training facility, here are the top 7 things to look for:


  1. Location. More specifically, proximity. When deciding on a training spot, be sure your gym is close enough to where your clients live and/or work. In fact, aim to position yourself no further than a 20-minutes drive from your clients

  2. Hours Of Operation. Though this may seem like a small matter, it's important to make sure that the gym hours align with the hours you need to work to fufill the needs of your clients. Look for an owner who will always be flexible with you and find a way to get you access if the hours of operation don't line-up with what you need. PRO TIP: Ask about the busy times, especially if you plan to work with more than one client at a time.

  3. Rent. The price must be right for renting space. Make sure you have researched competitors prices and know the comparable rates. If you are bringing in a good number of clients each week (usually 20 or more) ask for a reduced rate. Remember they want your business and most owners will adjust the standard rate based on volume.

  4. Training Equipment, Space, & Tools. Make sure that the facility you choose fits with your training style and your clients needs. Be sure to ask about all the equipment you use or would like to use - and clarify if you can bring in any of your own training tools as well.

  5. Facility Amenities. Learn what the training facility offers in the way of showers, lockers, dressing rooms, water cooler, towels, locks, etc. We often take those things for granted, ask upfront what you can expect so you can, in turn, inform your clients.

  6. Rules, Rules, Rules. Make sure you know the lay of the land, the expectations, and the proper etiquette. Some facilities have territorial rules as far as using equipment and for how long, especially cardio equipment. Trainers can be difficult about letting you work in, so to say, as well. Always be respectful and it will usually work out, there’s always exceptions, so be more flexible with challenging individuals.

  7. The Intangibles. While you're checking out a facility, get a sense of the "vibe."Take note of the cleanliness of the facility, the music being played and volume level. Take a moment and actually envision yourself training there. Do you think you could create a great training flow for yourself and your clients? What's the energy or vibe you get from the trainers? Essentially, do you like being there and do you think your clients would enjoy it as well.


So there you have it, 7 really important considerations for choosing the next home of your training business.


So what's the next step?

If you've found a facility you'd like to begin training at, be prepared to provide your insurance carrier and certification certificate and have everything up to date.


If you're on Chicago's North Shore and you're looking for a new home for your training clients, we'd love to meet you and show you around our fitness mecca, The Trainer's Club. Just click HERE and send us a note to schedule your tour today!



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