Define a Key Target Market for Personal Training

Seniors may prefer a low intensity workout.
Seniors may prefer a low intensity workout. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Personal training key target markets are most succinctly summarized as demographic niches. Niche marketing is a powerful tool to improve not only the volume of customers but the price-point per client for personal trainers, since customers will be happy to pay a premium for services they feel are directly suited to their specific personal needs at a depth more general gyms cannot achieve. Customers seeking a personal trainer often fall into key demographic groups, and are often more comfortable sharing a fitness environment with direct peers with similar fitness levels and backgrounds.

The Value of Defining a Key Demographic

Some client demographics have specialized service requirements. For example, weight loss specialists may need to include a nutrition aspect to their services for maximum client satisfaction. Regardless of which exact demographic the trainer chooses to serve, he must pick one well suited to his individual skill-set to ensure success. Post secondary training in relevant areas of secondary specialization, such as dietary science, may help draw clients, since holding a professional accreditation lends both prestige and credibility. Large, well-financed gyms may consider hiring a single in-house nutritionist to consult with individual trainers regarding their clients, giving clients the best possible service while negating some of the educational costs.

Obesity Recovery Personal Training

Obesity recovery personal trainers need particularly strong interpersonal communication skills, since coaching the overweight into better health takes perseverance and the ability to motivate others. Clients with weight problems may also have self-esteem issues, so trainers who build up clients with positive feedback are likely to do better than average in the market group. Obese clients tend to value a positive, non-judgmental environment, rather than more aggressive training methods. The obese client key market includes clients with potential medical difficulties; involved trainers should study basic first aid, including CPR, or cardio pulmonary resuscitation, and the use of an AED, or automated external defibrillator, since obese clients are at a higher risk of heart attacks, particularly during exercise. The Red Cross is one of the best organizations to seek such training from, since they have branches all over the world and specialize in training basic first aid.

Personal Training for Seniors

As of 2011, the personal training market for seniors is ripe for the picking. As the “baby boomer” generation quickly retires and starts to ponder the subject of longevity, health and fitness among the elderly is sure to surge in demand. Personal trainers looking to tap into the lucrative seniors market need to be aware that the elderly often have unique health problems to take into consideration when designing a fitness regimen. One of the most common of those problems is limited mobility and pain due to arthritis. To that end, trainers with a background in kinesiology and physiotherapy are often the best suited to adapting standard fitness routines to suit the needs of the less able elderly demographic.

Personal Training for Athletic Professionals

The professional athlete target market is one of the most physically demanding sub-specializations in the personal training industry. Professional athletes expect their trainers to be athletes themselves, and demand services of their personal trainers along the lines of what they have come to expect from a coach. This can take the form of running together for extended periods and practicing the athlete's native sport with him in a one on one environment. Personal trainers for professional athletes may choose to specialize further by focusing on one type of training, be it a sport specific training studio focused on sparring or an intense weight-room circuit style program intended for building muscle mass. Former athletes, coaches and trainers in peak physical form make the best candidates for success within the professional athlete target market.

Gender-Focused Personal Training

For the average Joe or Jill, gender specific personal training programs are a popular option. There are two key variations on the concept. In the first and probably most common variation, trainers market themselves as a relaxed, friendly and non-judgmental alternative to “meat market” gyms where the client may feel ogled or judged by the opposite sex. The key to this marketing strategy is the “fitness first” concept, which allows clients to be at ease while they exercise. Fitness first style gender-focused trainers should put emphasis on a relaxed, non-judgmental fitness environment for best marketing results. The second but less common variation is applying an attraction-based marketing approach. Many clients will pay a premium to spend time with a trainer they find physically attractive. In order for a personal trainer to be successful using a physical attraction marketing approach, the trainer will need to have above average looks and pay closer attention to details like hair, makeup, body language and attire for the best impact. Some may consider using gender appeal to sell personal training services distasteful, but it is a timeless and proven marketing trick sure to get customers in the door.

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