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9 Key Personal Trainer Target Markets

Most people who value their health want to be in better shape or want to maintain their current level of fitness. This is something they can do on their own, of course. However, many would prefer to have the expertise of a personal trainer to help them reach their fitness goals. Fitness entrepreneurs who choose to run a personal training business can use their love for physical fitness to grow a lucrative business.

While the personal training business is a great one to be in, success in this area is not guaranteed. In fact, 80% of personal trainers are out of the field by their second year. This is surprising since the industry is valued at $9 billion annually. To avoid becoming just another statistic, personal trainers should establish clear business goals for their ventures.

They should also be very clear on who their customers are and what their customers want. This means understanding their target market before starting their business. In this article, we will outline ten of the best target markets for personal trainers to pursue.

1. Weight Loss Seekers

51% of the US, population attempted to lose weight within the past 12 months. If you think that’s a high percentage, hang on. Another survey found that 95% of Americans attempted to lose weight during the past 5 years. Needless to say, individuals wanting to shed extra pounds are an unavoidable target market for most personal trainers to focus on. It is clear that even with the rise of the acceptance of different body sizes, many people still feel the desire to lower their weight.

This creates an incredible opportunity for personal trainers as it seems losing weight will never go out of style. For personal trainers to appeal to this market, they need to really understand the science and best methods for weight loss and weight management seekers. While the concept of losing weight is pretty basic (burn more calories than you consume) the best way to burn those calories is up for grabs.

The key is for the personal trainer to find the workout that helps their client burn calories. However, it has to be in a way that is engaging to the client and plays on the strength of the personal trainer. For example, if a personal trainer works best with an individual client, they may need to focus on putting a client through a personalized workout. If the trainer is great at motivating a group, perhaps they need to customize a group HIIT workout or perhaps host a spin class.

To add to their value, personal trainers should learn more about nutrition or develop a meal plan that may go along with their workouts. This way, they can guide their clients toward healthier eating habits. Understanding both sides is important for appealing to the target market for any health and wellness business. 

2. Older Adults and Seniors

As the population ages, there is a growing need for fitness programs tailored to older adults and seniors. This target audience requires exercise routines that focus on strength, flexibility, balance, and overall health maintenance. Balance is especially important if a trainer wants to target this demographic.

Balance problems become more common with age. In adults over age 65, balance problems are linked to falls. One-third of adults in this age group and over half of people over the age of 75 years fall each year. Men and women are affected equally.

Personal trainers in this market must be well-versed in the physiological changes associated with aging and knowledgeable about common age-related conditions. Designing low-impact, safe, and effective exercise programs is essential. Trainers should also be empathetic and patient. 

The key is to provide encouragement and adapt programs to meet the varying abilities and health statuses of older clients. Working with this group often involves helping them maintain independence, prevent falls, and improve their quality of life through physical activity.

3. Youth and Teenagers

Over the past 15-20 years, schools across the US have been lowering physical education requirements for students. This started as a way to improve the academic performance of students. The logic for many school districts is that if they cut PE, they can allow students to spend more time on other subjects. This well-intended decision may have long-lasting negative consequences as the rise of juvenile obesity can be partially attributed to children and teens not getting enough exercise. 

Concerned parents need to find ways to make sure their children get the recommended amount of physical activity daily that will help keep them healthy. Personal trainers can step in to help these parents improve the physical fitness of their children.

Trainers working with youth and teenagers might focus on improving sports performance, addressing health concerns like obesity, or simply fostering a love for physical activity. The challenge in this market is to make exercise fun and engaging while ensuring it is age-appropriate and safe. Trainers must understand the physical and psychological development stages of this age group and be skilled in communicating effectively with younger clients and their parents.


4. Rehabilitation and Physical Therapy

Another significant market for personal trainers is individuals recovering from injuries or surgeries. In collaboration with healthcare professionals, trainers in this field design rehabilitation programs that aid in recovery and help prevent future injuries.

This requires a thorough understanding of the injury or condition, knowledge of post-rehabilitation exercise principles, and the ability to closely collaborate with medical professionals. Trainers must be patient, attentive, and able to adjust programs based on the client’s healing progress.

They play a critical role in helping clients regain strength, mobility, and confidence post-injury, which can significantly impact their overall recovery and return to daily activities.

5. Sports Athletes and Teams

Personal trainers targeting sports athletes and teams enter a highly specialized and competitive arena. Trainers need to be able to provide sport-specific training. The training needs to focus on enhancing athletic performance. It also needs to be done in a way that will help reduce the risk of injury.

Trainers must possess a deep understanding of the physical and psychological demands of various sports. They also need to have the ability to design training programs that align with the athlete’s or team’s competitive schedule.

Additionally, trainers must be able to work collaboratively with coaches. It is really important that the skills and conditioning are in line with the role of the team the coaches see that particular player occupying. Trainers also need to be in sync with sports medicine professionals and nutritionists.

This will help to provide the athlete with a comprehensive training approach. The goal is not only to improve performance but also to educate athletes on injury prevention and long-term physical well-being.

6. Prenatal and Postnatal Women

Personal trainers focusing on prenatal and postnatal women cater to a unique and sensitive period in a woman’s life. During pregnancy and after childbirth, women’s bodies undergo significant changes. Exercise routines need to be carefully adapted to these changes. Trainers in this niche must have specialized knowledge in prenatal and postnatal fitness.

Prenatal training focuses on exercises that are safe and beneficial during pregnancy. These exercises should help to manage the discomfort that comes from pregnancy. It should also help to maintain fitness and prepare for childbirth. Postnatal training, on the other hand, is designed to help women safely regain their strength and fitness after giving birth.

This can include core rehabilitation, pelvic floor strengthening, and overall conditioning. Personal trainers must also be sensitive to the emotional and physical challenges faced by their clients during this time. A personal trainer can be a part of the circle of people who offer supportive and empathetic guidance to the mother or mother-to-be.


7. Group Fitness Enthusiasts

We mentioned earlier that some trainers are better at working with one client. On the other hand, other trainers work better with groups. Well, the same is true for clients. Some clients would rather work with one person and others want a group experience. 

Trainers working with group fitness enthusiasts must be able to manage and engage multiple clients at the same time. The key to success in this market is the ability to create fun and challenging. One way to do this is to create various workouts that cater to different fitness levels within the group.

Personal trainers must also excel in communication, leadership, and motivational skills. Trainers also need to have high energy levels. If a trainer doesn’t bring the energy to the group, clients may find another trainer that will.   

Trainers need to keep in mind that appealing to this audience is slightly different than finding the target market for a fitness center or gym. We have an article on that topic that is worth checking out if you plan to run a fitness center or studio.

8. Fitness Competition Participants

Amateur marathon runners, triathletes, and other endurance athletes are being born every day. Participation rates for running and bicycling in the US ticked up, topping 63 million and 52 million people. There are also more people over 50 joining these sports than ever before. Many state that their fitness is improving as they age. This target market requires trainers with in-depth knowledge of endurance training, sports-specific conditioning, and often, nutritional guidance tailored to long-duration events.

Training programs for these athletes must be meticulously planned to build endurance. They may focus on strength and technique while also incorporating critical elements such as injury prevention and recovery strategies. Trainers need to understand the nuances of periodization.

Periodization is the systematic planning of athletic training. This is done to ensure peak performance at the time of competition. This includes tapering strategies, where training intensity is reduced to prepare the body for the main event.

Additionally, mental toughness and coping strategies for the challenges of long-distance events are integral to the training. The trainer’s role is to provide motivation, monitor progress, and adjust training plans based on performance.


9. Online Fitness Seekers

The rise of digital technology has given birth to a significant market for online fitness seekers. These are individuals who prefer the convenience, flexibility, and variety offered by online training programs. Personal trainers catering to this market need to be adept at using digital platforms to deliver workout programs. Tech is very user-friendly so it is fairly easy now to conduct live sessions and provide virtual coaching. This market values accessibility and personalization.

Trainers must be able to create and distribute engaging and effective workout content. This means creating pre-recorded videos and live-streamed classes. They also need to hold one-on-one virtual coaching sessions. The ability to provide feedback, track client progress, and adjust programs remotely is key.

Trainers also need to maintain a strong online presence and look for their target audience on social media. Having a low online presence is not going to work if you are targeting this market. Your potential clients need to see you nearly everywhere. That means that they should be able to find your YouTube channel, Instagram and TikTok profiles, and your website. It is also best if they can read an article you wrote on a fitness website or blog.


Also read:

Understanding Target Market Demographics

7 Best Target Markets for a Gym or Fitness Center

8 Target Markets for Health and Wellness Businesses

Thomas Martin
Tom is a member of the Editorial Team at StartUp Mindset. He has over 6 years of experience with writing on business, entrepreneurship, and other topics. He mainly focuses on online businesses, digital publishing, marketing and eCommerce startups.

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Tom is a member of the Editorial Team at StartUp Mindset. He has over 6 years of experience with writing on business, entrepreneurship, and other topics. He mainly focuses on online businesses, digital publishing, marketing and eCommerce startups.

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