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How to start an Online Personal Training Business

Written by Ben Camara on 23rd July 2020.

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Covid19 is here to stay. And we humans need to strengthen our immune system to keep on fighting the virus that has brought a halt to the entire world, in every way. No one was or knew how to be prepared for this pandemic. But we as fitness professionals are lucky enough that we can migrate our business online with the help of the technology and perseverance to achieve the same results and value of services even in the sudden shift of the setup. 

I’ve jumped ahead here as this blog is of course about how to start a successful online personal training business, so let’s dive into best practices and knowledge bombs.

If you are a fitness professional and have not fully brought the business online, or haven’t tried to do it at all then I’ll give you a run-through of the first necessary steps on how to get started. But first though are you ready, to smile and be in front of the camera? Online means digital and that means it’s time to get on video, live stream or live call with a positive attitude for your clients.


Let’s look at the difference between your route to getting started.

Online fitness coach vs online virtual trainer

Fitness professionals and the industry have evolved through time. With the current global pandemic situation, many of us adopted well, but not all us. There are a lot of titles or descriptions that are suddenly sprouting up, emerging given the changes to our day to day. So before you go ahead and try to think of a fancy way of calling your personal trainer, let us all define first the terminologies on who we really are. 


We’ve heard everything from:

Online health mentor,

Digital transformation coach

Virtual Fitness Coach,

Online Personal Training Expert

VIPPT (That’s my personal favourite)


But let’s segment at this point into the two that really do matter and the differences these two have. Online fitness coach vs the new breed of fitness entrepreneur the online virtual trainer.

An online fitness coach is someone you can communicate online about your workout goals. After the consultation online, you go to the gym on your own with the workouts they’ve planned for you and you report on your progress in most cases either bi-weekly or monthly. Albeit they are less expensive than a trainer face to face, they are more flexible time wise – or so they think. Coaches can create work out regimens for clients, and provide guidance but there is no in-person help or support, and if there is please note as mentioned in how much to charge for online personal training take a note of setting your boundaries from the offset or you’ll be working 24/7 getting back to the clients you thought you’d save time with.

The quality of online trainers may vary. A certificate isn’t a guarantee that they will be a good coach. Online virtual trainer is generally defined as an online virtual trainer who teaches a specific skill or information in real-time or asynchronously, through the use of internet platforms. In our case it’s fitness in the field of strength & conditioning, general personal training or yoga, pilates and other movement based training.


Trainers can also have synchronous training sessions, we usually term this as one-to-many, wherein the trainer hosts live streaming sessions and are available to a large group of clients, as compared to asynchronous where a video or tutorial is available to clients or to the public for a specific amount of time.

Virtual training is doing live stream session

Now, in the conduct of the online training business, we call live stream sessions as virtual training. You are training your clients in real-time but just in an online environment.  Lots of personal trainers have successfully migrated to the virtual trainer platform. Some trainers are now opting for private live stream sessions whilst others are gaining 1,000 and more on their live group sessions – it’s amazing to see the earning potential.To be clear an online virtual trainer can offer a one-on-one session, one-to-many session or large group session. 

Which is best for you?

Well, that’s a very good question and one you need to weigh up. 

If you’re reading this then part of the question I am guessing also is ‘how do I earn more money, for less time’? There is no shame in that, we’ve all done the 40-50 hour weeks and come to a point where we want to explore an online business route that gives me a better work and life balance.

Are you the type of person who likes to write programs all day and have check-ins with clients every few weeks? Your package price will usually be between £100 – £150 per month and do take in account that if you’re speaking to them on text, or whatsapp or email – that is still working!


Are you someone that enjoys training clients still when they need you (in the session) but just maybe need to not have as many early mornings or long days. Or have you perhaps got to a price ceiling where you can’t charge more in the area you are in? 

Virtual training your packages are only limited to the clients you attract, if you only work with CEO’s and you want to charge £150 per hour, there will be enough of them in the world thats for sure. Do note though as with the online coaching boundaries are everything, although most of the questions will come within sessions so you can kill two birds with one stone as they will be seeing you more frequently.




Getting paid as an online coach (Stripe / paypal )

As we bring our business online, it is very important that we establish first ‘how are we getting paid?’. Same with all other businesses, consumers will look into the security of the payment method of the training services provided. Having a secured payment gateway will give them the assurance of the stability of your online business and the security of the payment made, should there be instances like refunds or recurring payments.  

Paypal and Stripe are just the two most commonly used payment gateways in the US and UK, so we do recommend these but also check out Shopify if you are creating a store, they do also offer solutions. It’s fast and the easiest way as and they are mostly embedded to your websites. If you’re on the Remote Coach app then you have of course seen that we handle this within the personal trainer app side of the platform. It is best to choose the best personal trainer app that manages your whole business and brings all the functionality of the business in a single app. 

This will make the business a whole lot easier!

We’ve brought you the Remote Coach app and of course I am biased when I say we are the best personal trainer platform and personal trainer app but, I do believe that from being as you are on the gym floor for many years and understanding what we need as trainers.

For more resources on getting started why not check out our Digital Coach Podcast.