How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Personal Training Business: With Companion CD-ROM

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 93%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (17) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $22.09   
  • Used (11) from $1.99   


With millions of people eager to lose weight and get in shape, personal training is one of the fastest growing careers in the health and fitness industry today. Fitness workers lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities, including cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and stretching. They work in commercial and nonprofit health clubs, country clubs, hospitals, universities, yoga and Pilates studios, resorts, and client’s homes.

Increasingly, fitness workers also go to workplaces, where they organize and direct health and fitness programs for employees of all ages. The business of personal training is growing rapidly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, personal training businesses are expected to be one of the fastest growing business segments in the U.S. economy. There has never been a better time to start your personal trainer business and get ahead of the competition.

You can operate your personal training business from home, from a private personal training studio, clients' home gyms or corporate fitness centers. Many personal trainers earn an average of $30 to $100 per hour.  To avoid pitfalls, use this manual to arm yourself with everything you need including sample business forms, leases, and contracts; worksheets and checklists for planning, starting, and running day-to-day operations; plans and layouts. The author leads you through finding a location that will bring success, learning how to draw up a winning business plan, employing basic cost control systems, pricing issues, and sample floor plans and diagrams. You will avoid trial by error when setting up equipment layouts, meeting legal and IRS requirements, and tapping into the best sales and marketing techniques and pricing formulas.

This book will even help you set up computer systems to save time and money, teach you how to hire and keep a qualified professional staff, do your own sales planning, customer service, track competitors, keep your own books, compile monthly profit and loss statements, prepare taxes. You will be able to hire and fire employees, motivate workers, manage and train employees, generate high profile public relations and publicity, and learn low cost internal marketing ideas and low and no cost ways to satisfy customers and build sales. The manual delivers literally hundreds of innovative ways demonstrated to operate streamline your business. Learn new ways to make your operation run smoother and increase performance, shut down waste, reduce costs, and increase profits. In addition, you will appreciate this valuable resource and reference in your daily activities and as a source of ready-to-use forms, Web site resources, and operating and cost cutting ideas that can be easily applied to your operation.   The companion CD-ROM is included with the print version of this book; however is not available for download with the electronic version.  It may be obtained separately by contacting Atlantic Publishing Group at

Atlantic Publishing is a small, independent publishing company based in Ocala, Florida. Founded over twenty years ago in the company president’s garage, Atlantic Publishing has grown to become a renowned resource for non-fiction books. Today, over 450 titles are in print covering subjects such as small business, healthy living, management, finance, careers, and real estate. Atlantic Publishing prides itself on producing award winning, high-quality manuals that give readers up-to-date, pertinent information, real-world examples, and case studies with expert advice.  Every book has resources, contact information, and web sites of the products or companies discussed.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601381170
  • Publisher: Atlantic Publishing Group Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/12/2008
  • Edition description: Includes CD-ROM
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 649,424
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Dedication     3
Foreword     13
Introduction     19
Are You Personal Training Compatible?     23
Skills and Traits of an Effective Personal Trainer     28
The Personal Trainer's Tasks     34
Knowledge     36
Ten Reasons for Starting a Personal Training Business     47
The Business Plan     53
Business Plan Development     57
The Business Description     78
A Marketing Plan     79
Competition     80
Test Your Idea with a Business Plan     82
Learning the Craft     85
Apprenticeship     87
Online Training Programs     90
College/University Education     94
Other Training/Educational Opportunities     98
Planning Your Approach     101
Types of Business Relationships     101
Benefits as an Employee     102
Partnerships     104
Entry Points     105
Finding a Niche     105
Primary Research     109
Secondary Research     113
Competition     116
Fitness Trends and Technology     117
EntryBarriers     118
Exit Barriers     118
Developing a Marketing Plan     120
Integrating the Business Plan     125
Credentialing     136
Business Basics 101     141
What is in a Name?     141
Sole Proprietor     148
Partnerships     149
Incorporation     153
Basics of Incorporation     156
Business Basics 102     161
Operating Procedures     161
Evaluating Your Success after Six Months     162
How to do a SWOT Analysis     163
Surveys     169
Evaluating Your Success after One Year     172
Personnel     173
Management Summary     181
Personnel Plan     182
Insurance     182
Financial Information     183
End-of-Year Financial Analysis     184
How to Assess Success     188
Advanced Business Practices     191
Mission Statement     191
Pricing Services     193
Advertising Services     197
Location - Location - Location     198
IRS Forms and Issues     199
Business Permits and Licenses     200
What is a Federal ID Number? Do I Need One?     201
Self-Employment Tax     203
Tax Tip     203
Accounting Issues     203
Independent Contractors     206
Confidentiality Issues     209
Desktop Programs that can Help     209
Is your Personal Training a Business or a Hobby?     210
Depreciation     212
Avoiding an Audit     214
When to Hire an Accountant     214
Making Your Business as Solid as Your Body     217
Legal Forms     217
Insurance     219
Maintaining Records     225
Hiring and Firing     231
Payment and Collections     233
Cancellation     236
Working with Clients     239
Medical Review     240
Case Studies     241
What Supplies/Forms do I Need?     267
Bibliography     273
Author Biography     275
Glossary     277
Index     287
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 7, 2009

    Practical Advice

    think this book covered every single aspect of starting a personal training business. I liked that its started off with what makes a successful personal trainer on an individual basis before jumping into how to start and operate a successful business. It even gave examples of dialogue between trainer and clients. I think anyone who reads this book will pick up a few tips on how to improve themselves as a trainer, making this a good book to read even if you don't end up running your own business.

    Another thing that I like about this book is that it's a great resource for institutions where once can gain certification in a variety of fitness areas. I also liked that it gives realistic marketing ideas like creating published advertisements and even blogging.
    If you are considering starting a personal training business, this book is a great place to start.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2008

    Invaluable resource

    This is a great book for anyone interested in being a personal trainer and especially for someone who would like to be in business for themselves as a personal trainer. It¿s well-written, well-organized and thorough. Peragine constantly stresses the positive while at the same time underscoring the absolute need to love being a personal trainer. He¿s goes over all the types of information someone needs to go into business for themselves including coming up with a business plan and marketing strategy that will impress possible investors. I love the checklists that are interspersed throughout the book. He has a checklist for everything from determining if I would be suited to a career as a personal trainer to one for when all the different federal business taxes are due. I just really think anyone considering being a self-employed personal trainer should invest in this book as an invaluable resource.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2008

    Great information for all entrepreneurs

    Starting a business can be an exercise in paperwork and regulations. When the business revolves around physical training, there are other considerations, such as client health, certification requirements and many more. Making sense of all of these aspects can be maddening, but John Peragine¿s excellent guide to starting a personal training business, How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Personal Training Business, goes a long way toward making the process palatable and simpler to follow. In fact, Peragine¿s book is so detailed and logical, it can be read by aspiring business entrepreneurs in nearly any field. Peragine begins with a basic breakdown of what the personal trainer field requires, in terms of background, personality and knowledge base. He goes on to an exhaustive yet easy-to-follow series of steps for planning out how to go about creating a business plan, followed by detailed examinations of different approaches to incorporation (sole proprietorships, LLCs, etc.), basic business practices, various legal and financial forms and so on. After laying down a solid foundation, he follows up with several case studies of practicing personal trainers, including contact information, who are putting their knowledge to use in the field now. Best of all, this prodigiously informative guide is written in a clear and sensible fashion Peragine¿s writing style is informative but informal, and takes every chance to explain difficult or novel concepts in layman¿s terms. The only caveat that stops this book from achieving a perfect rating is that the manuscript needs another trip to the copy editor¿s desk. There were numerous examples of misspellings (the word ¿particular¿ is a frequent victim here) and grammatical misconstructions that a basic spell checker should have caught, in addition to several spacing errors and a section in one of the appendices where material is duplicated verbatim from a previous page. However, if one can overlook the occasional errors in the copy, Peragine¿s detailed guide to starting a personal trainer business has a wealth of good sense and assistance to offer to any entrepreneur.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2008

    Personal Training Career Success

    For anyone who has ever dreamed of self-employment in the fitness arena, this book is for you. In an easy-to-read format, How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Personal Training Business guides the reader through a process of self reflection to determine if you have what it takes to realize the dream of operating a personal training business. The book not only speaks to what skills are required from a fitness perspective, it also offers a look at the type of business savvy required to drive such a business. In a detailed layout, well-planned chapters educate the reader as to what types of business models can be considered when opening a personal training business. It also offers the reader guidance in developing a strategic business plan and marketing plan - both necessary for any successful business. If I were considering self-employment in the field of fitness, this is certainly one book I would rely on every step of the way, from initial planning and business basics to overcoming hurdles and evaluating success.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2008

    Practical Advice for Personal Trainers

    Do you know the value of personal fitness? Do you want to help others improve their lives? How would you like to work at a gym, in a club, from your home, or even on a cruise ship for $30 to $100 an hour? How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Personal Training Business is a must-read for those serious about becoming part of one of the fastest growing careers in the health and fitness industry. John Peragine, Jr. collaborated with successful trainers to bring us specific, practical advice not taught in business school. In a down to earth style John covers the pros and cons of owning a business, including possible legal problems. He gives detailed advice on certification, business plans, and marketing. He even tells how to measure success outside of making money. John gives us the four facets of success -- look, knowledge, drive, and business savvy -- and offers self diagnostic tools to identify strengths and improve weaknesses. He addresses common mistakes and offers insider tips that give an edge over the competition. How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Personal Training Business includes case studies, information about taxes and insurance, useful web links, and a CD-ROM containing all of the business forms found in the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2008

    A reviewer

    Though it starts off a bit slow, How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Personal Training Business is informative and demonstrative in explaining how to start a successful business. Peragine does a wonderful job of explaining business specifics in a way that everyone can understand, and he does so without talking down to his readers. The book opens with a lengthy introduction and follows with a self-test as to whether someone is ¿personal training compatible.¿ Its second half is a miniature business course, including strategies such as how to prepare a business plan, how to identify your niche business market and how to name your business. How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Personal Training Business even lists a number of case studies of successful personal training business-operators. Another positive aspect of this manual is the relevance it has with the 21st century. It is full of online resources and Web sites, which are easy and free to access. While reading this, it is easy to tell that this book was written with the modern business in mind. If there is a detractor, it is that the personal training sections of this book seemed a bit amateur. The book did include some good workout tips, of which there could have been more, but the information seemed to come from an amateur rather than from someone who knows a lot about fitness.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2008

    The Business Manual for Personal Training Success

    John Peragine reveals every aspect of the personal training industry in How to Open and Operate a Financially Successful Personal Training Business. This book takes on the huge task of being the 'go-to' guide for the workout hobbyist seeking to turn a hobby into a career as well as the personal training professional interested in beginning his or her own physical fitness empire. This text clearly explains every step in the process however, the order in which the reader should complete the steps is not as clear creating some repetition. Topics include business administration, professional certification, business plan development, business taxes and personal training ethics. This book also supplies useful worksheets, case studies, links and tips giving the reader an accurate picture of the requirement for success not only as a business owner but also as a personal trainer throughout the business lifecycle. While the discussion of business plans seemed to come too early in the text, making for a hefty first chapter, Peragine provides a thorough reference manual that carefully details what is necessary to build a successful personal training business.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2008

    A reviewer

    Turning a favorite hobby or sideline into a fulltime profession is a goal sometimes contemplated but usually left undone, often from a lack of knowledge of how to make the attempt. John Peragine, Jr.¿s book, How to Open & Operate a Financially Successful Personal Training Business ¿ With Companion CD-ROM, guides the novice through the steps necessary to turn a keenness for fitness into a profession in the personal training field. The first two chapters provide the information, including a self-assessment and a discussion of the training required for the profession, that will help someone contemplating the investment make sure that they have or are willing to pursue the necessary success skills prior to seriously considering establishing a personal training business. As Peragine writes, ¿Where once, personal trainers only counted push-ups, sit-ups, and other repetitions, they have evolved into highly knowledgeable professionals in the areas of exercise, diet, strength training, and personal fitness. ¿without a solid business sense, you will not survive very long.¿ The balance of the book is devoted to the details of setting up and running the business. Peragine provides detailed advice to introduce the reader to the solid business sense needed by discussing topics that range from how and where to interview a prospective client to an introduction to Social Security and Medicare taxes with Internet links to appropriate the Internal Revenue Service information sites. He guides the reader through creation of a business plan, selection of the right type of business structure, management of employees, and much other paperwork and financial considerations. The book is as much a statement of Peragine¿s philosophy as it is a business primer. Peragine¿s writing is sometimes a little unpolished, but that lends genuineness and there is no problem following his message. This is a man writing about a field he knows with honesty and enthusiasm. Although the book is aimed at people interested in the personal training business, it has tips that might benefit anyone thinking about setting up any sort of personal service type of business.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2008

    Get Into Shape Physically and Financially

    This book is for anyone who truly enjoys exercise and physical fitness and seriously wondered how to make a profitable career out of it. Written by an expert in the field, Matt Cole is a certified Kinesiologist with a Master¿s degree in Exercise Physiology who has decades of experience as a personal trainer and built his business from the ground up. He provides a step by step guide to becoming a certified personal trainer, starting and maintaining your own business, marketing, and finding your own niche in order to maximize your profit while still doing what you love. What makes this book different than most is the inclusion of financial and legal tips regarding taxes for your new business and how to ensure you are not legally liable should a client hurt him/herself while under your care. These are things a physical trainer usually ends up learning the hard way. Also included is a CD-ROM packed with interactive media that reiterates what the book has to teach for people who retain information better through interaction than just reading, as well as copies of all the forms and paperwork you would need to file that are essential to your small business. How To Open & Operate A Financially Successful Personal Training Business. With a title like that one might think it to be a boring or difficult read, but it actually flows very well and is written clearly and succinctly. The book starts out by explaining how quickly the health industry is growing and how high the demand for skilled physical trainers is. It outlines the necessary traits for a skilled physical trainer, being a self-motivated and energetic individual is obviously a must. Also a skill many people don¿t think of, and one I was interested to learn about, is the ability to read clients and put them at their ease so they are not self-conscience or nervous when working with you. This is to ensure that you have more enthusiastic customers who will avidly provide free word-of-mouth advertisement to their friends and neighbors. Later chapters include detailed information on becoming an accredited personal trainer familiar with a wide array of exercises, getting the funding, organizing your own business, building a list of clientele, learning to cater to your clients¿ needs, doing the paperwork, and developing a cursory medical knowledge to ensure the safety of customers who have special needs. For it¿s 290 pages I breezed through it without realizing the day had passed me by. It¿s a very gripping work and the expertise and experience of the writer is evident. I particularly liked the listing of various contacts that was provided to help get the reader started in a career as a personal trainer. I never realized just how much work went into becoming a physical trainer. They must be knowledgeable about diet and exercise, listen to their clients and provide good and reliable customer service, obviously must be in good physical condition, create a business plan, market themselves and their business, manage a busy schedule, and stay current on all their paperwork and tax information. It really gives me a new perspective on the business and a newfound respect for the people who can manage all that. I give this book a perfect 5 out of 5 stars because of the quality of the writing and the excellent job it does in covering all the individual facets of physical training. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys exercising as well as instructing and motivating others in proper fitness.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2008

    A reviewer

    With a comprehensive list of resources and suggestions, How to Open and Operate a Financially Successful Personal Training Business by John Peragine Jr. is a valuable resource for starting a personal training business, or for making an existing one more profitable. More than motivational business fluff, Peragine leads the reader to internally examine his or her suitability to a career in personal training. He addresses the qualifications for successfully running a business, delineating positives and negatives. He tackles issues such as writing and implementing a business plan with step by step instructions and suggestions, the different licensing avenues available, how to advertise, how to set up a website, and how to talk to clients. For the experienced trainer, Peragine explains how to establish a solid business, and evaluate business performance with questionnaires, forms, and lists that provide continuous support. An excellent resource for any business owner involved in personal services, Peragine¿s guide satisfies an important need regarding business aspects of personal training. If you are considering a career in personal training, are already engaged in personal training, or are considering any personal services business, Peragine¿s guide is invaluable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)