Project Management: The Future of Personal Training?

Let's throw an idea around…

We are both personal trainers. Both of us charge $100 per session. We are hired by two identical twin females who want to drop 20 lbs of fat. You train twin number one three times a week for ten weeks (30 sessions) and succeed in reaching your goal. I train twin number two twice a week for five weeks (ten sessions) and we also reach our goal.

Under the current billing model for personal training, you would have made $3000. I would have made $1000, or significantly less, despite delivering the result in half the time that you did and with a third of the sessions (effort).

In other words, I get the same results in half the time for a third of the effort. Therefore, I HAVE TO BE worth more. Yet under normal billing models, I'd get paid less. This represents the problem in fitness training as I see it.

Most trainers are getting paid for their time, not for their results. I think the future will be short-term project management.

Does a client want to lose 20 lbs of fat? The fee is $2500 whether it takes me ten weeks or four weeks. Does a client want to bench press 200 lbs and is currently at 150 lbs? The fee is $1500, regardless of how long it takes.

Doesn't it make sense? Why should a trainer who can get better results in less time not be paid more? If it takes Trainer A eight hours to train a client and get a result, and Trainer B writes a better program and gets the same result from two hours of training, isn't Trainer B better? Absolutely. AT LEAST four times better! But under normal billing, he or she would make less than Trainer A.

A client asked how much it cost for me to design a program for them. I told them, and then they asked how long it took. I replied, “Seventeen years of intensive study, so far.” They got the point.

At this point in my career, I can write a better program in 15 minutes than most trainers can write in three hours. I literally spend one 1/12th of the time that they would. Doesn't that make me worth more as opposed to less?

I think the future of billing in our industry will be project management. The fee is based upon the clients goal and when we achieve it, not on a “per hour,” “dollars for time” arrangement.

If you can get a result faster than anyone else, you are worth more. The same reasoning applies to why a cross country flight costs more than a cross country bus ride. It gets people to their goal faster.

Just something to think about…

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