Business GrowthFitness Clubs and StudiosStarting a Fitness Business How To Elevate Your Studio’s In-House Training Team

studio training team
Studio owners, you’re not alone! I can honestly say that running a training team is not easy! Well, let’s say that running a successful team—one that continues to grow and thrive together—is not easy.

I’ve been running a studio, and therefore managing a training team, for almost seven years. With that being said, the team has not been made up of the same set of trainers for seven whole years. Trainer turnover is natural, to some extent—but it’s still a challenge that a lot of studio owners face in the fitness industry.

I’ve learned a few things over the years to build a strong team that sticks around for a while, so if you’re a studio owner, follow along.

First though, a note on culture: When running a fitness studio, emphasis should be placed highly on culture and in particular, the meaning or motto behind your studio. It’s essentially figuring out what your business stands for and baking that into everything you do.

Clients need to know exactly what kind of coaching they are going to get when they come into your studio. Make sure you have a strong mission statement and display it on your website, in your studio, and on your merchandise.

Now, for how this relates to managing your team: Only hire trainers and coaches who also stand for the same thing. If they don’t fit into your mission statement or don’t walk the walk? Do not hire them, no matter how desperate you are to build your team. It will only end badly.
With that said, here are three steps to create a great environment at your studio, decrease trainer turnover, and empower your team.

Step 1: Hire the right people

And pay them what they’re worth

Make sure you have an in-depth interview process that looks at more aspects than just credentials or experience. I personally feel like in the fitness industry, personality and lifestyle is key. Then, credentials and experience comes second. I would rather hire someone with amazing work ethic, an awesome and energetic personality, and a desire to learn than someone with a ton of experience but a horrible attitude.

I personally feel like I know my clientele very well and I know what types of personalities they respond to. If a trainer doesn’t fit into that community, then they won’t work. I feel like the key to building a solid team is only allowing people of the same work ethic and mindset into the team. These are the people we want to surround ourselves with and they will do a lot for your business.

Lastly, I also don’t cheap out on salary. I pay my trainers what they are worth to keep them happy. Then they actually stick around and have no need to go look for work elsewhere. Often my trainers start at one rate, but have incentives to work towards to earn more. I also bump their rate up after three months of proving themselves.

Step 2: Hang out with your training team

With your team!

This is something that I feel is so important as a fitness studio owner. As a leader, I like to make sure I am engaging with my team and showing up for them. Whether this means lunch meetings, team workouts, or just going down to the studio to take a class when one of the trainers is teaching to show my support.

Keeping an open relationship between boss and trainer and encouraging a relationship between all members of the team is important. This is not only to keep your trainers happy, but to help people feel like they are part of a team. Plus, then they are more likely to work harder and stick around for a while.

Step 3: Give them opportunities

For growth, mentorship, and training

I feel as a fitness coach there is always learning to be done. We can never stop learning new skills to continue to keep up with current research and be the best at what we do. This is something I personally value and I let this spread to my training team as well!

Sometimes it’s giving them opportunities for growth and more responsibility within the studio. Sometimes it’s setting up speakers or seminars for our team to continue to grow together. This is sometimes hard as we are all so busy, but I always make sure to offer it and try to encourage trainers to attend. Even if it’s just all renewing our CPR and First Aid together, sometimes it’s nice to have someone organize this for you and to do it as a team!

These are three steps I have taken and learned over the years to work in keeping a solid team of trainers working at my studio and working hard for me! Show your team you care about them and they will care about you and your business! As lives get busy a lot of these things can be very time consuming, but it is very important in growing a fitness studio and keeping clients happy!

I hope this helps you with empowering your own team of trainers and keeping a happy growing studio or online training business!

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Michelle Roots

Michelle is the resident fitness expert for Trainerize. She has 8 years’ experience in the fitness industry training clients through her own business including: professional and elite level athletes, celebrities, online clients, and average people with fitness and fat loss goals, to name a few. She holds a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology, is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA) and a certified level 1 Nutrition Coach. Michelle wakes up happy every day because she is able to do what she loves for a living.

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