How to get started in the training business like a moron

When I started training people we didn’t have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Hell most of us weren’t even online. The ones that were online were too busy surfing porn to look at ways to lift.


Now, any asshole with a cert and a gym membership can proclaim himself a damn guru, slap together a webpage with WordPress and start fleecing decent people out of money.

If you want to be one of those idiots, you can follow some real simple steps to get there.

Its pretty easy to make a complete mockery of the fitness industry, in fact its so easy that thousands of people do it on a daily basis.

1.  Get business cards made up that have you specializing in 4-5 things at once, especially as a new trainer.

If you are new to the game, you don’t know jack shit. I don’t care what you say, what you think you know or what you wish you knew. There are people who are making tons of money who specialize in a few things, no successful trainer specializes in the combination of:

  • Sports performance
  • Bodybuilding
  • Contest Prep
  • General Fitness
  • Boot camps
  • Etc

As a new trainer you will want to put “Personal Trainer” on your business card, unless you are a CSCS then you can put down “I have a degree in finance, took a test and got an overrated CSCS”.

No way and no how are you a master of this craft as a new kid, so quit trying to act like it.

2.  Pay for advertising.

Hey, this is a mistake I made. I was under the false impression that you can simply pay for a nice ad in the local paper and people would flock to you like fat asses to the Krispy Kreme “HOT” sign.

I mean really…


And they would suffer greatly to run their asses to the gym, sign up for a year and pay whatever I wanted.

Yea… we all know that’s bullshit, but before we had the net, some of us had to learn the hard way… me being one of them.

Don’t be that dope who I read in the local health magazine. You will rarely get any worth out of paid advertising. Unless you have a name, a track record to impress people or some sort of video to sell, save your money and invest in better ways to get clients.

3.  Guarantee results.

No, no, no, no, no…

I see this not just in many new trainers, but a lot of established ones.

How the fuck are you going to guarantee results? Are you going to walk around with a vacuum and suck out fat? No, the only thing you can guarantee is what you can do to help them. You aren’t there when they are eating. For all you know they can write down what they eat and completely lie about it… that HAS happened to me before. They can put forth half an effort under your watch and get no benefit to the training.

You can’t guarantee a damn thing but one thing:

“You will be trained to the best of my ability”

If you ability sucks, they will suck. If you are good at what you do, they will see results but nothing is promised if they don’t listen.

4.  Take a pic of yourself for a flyer to hand out when you look like shit

One effective, and cheap, way to advertise is simple 4×6 cards you can put up at local businesses, place under wipers of cars or give to people in lieu of business cards to promote your personal trainer venture.

One very ineffective way to promote your business is to provide a picture of yourself on said card if you look like shit.

By shit I mean minimal muscle mass, overweight, sloppy, etc.

This is a narcissistic industry. Looks sell. Being physically imposing sells, being in good shape sells.

There is nothing worse than a fat fucking trainer trying to sell his product with a picture of his fat ass.

Only two types of trainers can really pull off being fat: coaches who coach lifters and coaches who coach athletes. And in both of those cases you better be fucking real good to pull off wearing a 44 pant.

So most of you aren’t of that caliber yet, so look the part before you jump into this world, and if you don’t look the part yet (and why don’t you) don’t take a pic of yourself to paste on a flyer.

They are 4×6 after all, not 8×11.

5.  Spam social network sites

I say this a lot and it bears repeating.

There is nothing more self-indulgent, more annoying, more asinine and liable to get people wishing you dropped dead than spamming social networking sites.

Re-tweets all day. Shares all day on Facebook, repetitive posting of blogs, posting your blog on other people’s walls for more exposure, etc.

This says two things to me:

  • You are an asshole
  • You have too much free fucking time on your hands

Both of which can be rectified, one very easily.

Guessing which one is the easy one will stump some people who think that buying an ad will get them mass quantities of business.

I will tell you what works.

Paying your dues. Period.

There is a very good chance you have to start off making 7 dollars an hour as a floor trainer. Fact.

There is a very good chance you will train people you don’t WANT to train. Fact.

You will work long hours to make money. Sometimes starting at 5-5:30 and working to 9-9:30 some nights. You will have to make time to train, you will deal with a gym owner and management who want to make money over education.

Not many of us will start off in this world flying with a warehouse gym and freedom to do what you want. If that is you, you are lucky and consider yourselves blessed.

For the rest of you, prepare to be humbled. This is an oversaturated industry filled with people that make money selling bullshit, people that make money doing the right thing and people that fail who are great at what they do but SUCK at business.

Nobody is going to hand you shit, but if you follow those five steps above the only thing you will be earning is a new job.


Check out the SECOND AND BRAND NEW Ashman Strength System e-book.

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Check out Pump, Dump, and Hump; a fitness group based around health, lifting, and sexuality run by my wife and myself.

To inquire about training, contact us for more information or to set up a call about remote coaching.

If you are local to Kansas City and wish to kickass at my gym, visit us at Kansas City Barbell for the ultimate training experience.


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