So what is the best Personal Trainer model?

Hours or rent?

The question on every aspiring personal trainers lips. Do I fulfil hours or do I pay rent?

In this blog, we’ll compare the two most common PT models to provide an insight to what is to be expected of each model and help you understand what’s best for you.

Firstly, meet the models:


Simply put, you complete a number of service hours a week for the gym in return for free rent. You’re either paid for these hours and the rent equates to the same amount you’re paid, or rent payment is simply offset by completing hours.

These hours range from usually between 10 and 15. They will consist of you manning the gym floor, maintaining gym facilities and equipment, teaching classes and dealing with queries. Often, although arranged and agreed between club and trainer, these hours are fulfilled when the gym needs staffing the most. Peak times.

So, the pro’s:

  • No outgoings

  • A chance to “be in the gym” and become known by members

  • Lead generation through classes and inductions.

  • All the added benefits of being an employee

The cons:

  • 10-15 hours a week (usually at peak times) where you cannot train your own clients.


It is what it says on the tin. You pay to rent (or use) the facilities of the club. Depending on location, this could vary from £200 low end right to £1000 a month top end. You’re paying for usage of the gym and access to their members. Your clients pay you, you pay the gym, you’re a self employed personal trainer. You train your clients when you please (providing them gym is open) and what you earn you keep (except for the rent, obviously) often, there is a “rent-free” period e.g - 4 weeks of completely free rent and/or an incremental increase to full rent 0-4 weeks =25% rent, 4-8 weeks = 50% rent, 8 weeks onwards is full pay.

The pro’s:

  • You’re not tied in to service hours.

  • You come and go as (your clients please)

  • No cleaning, no classes, no manning the gym floor

  • You’re your own boss.

The cons:

  • If you don’t earn, you can’t pay, meaning you can’t PT, meaning you can’t earn (a vicious cycle)

Clearly, you can see there isn’t a “better” method for everyone. It depends on the individual. The hours model tends to lend itself to new PT’s, giving them the opportunity to earn valuable experience in the role without any overheads, whilst building their client base, whereas the rent option appeals to the more experienced trainer who has an established client base and simply cannot fit the service hours in.

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