How to become an online personal trainer

All around the world, more and more people are starting to look after their bodies.

So the fitness industry should be booming, right? As a personal trainer,  you should have multiple clients lined up for each day of the week…

But in reality, that’s not happening and you are just not seeing the growth you expect. Well, in today’s blog post, we will show you the next level of personal training. And that’s online!

But let’s look at the problem regular personal trainers encounter on a day to day basis. If you are not yet certified, check out my article on the top five certifications and my article on how much personal trainers earn.

I suggest you take the quiz to determine which personal trainer certification is right for you. The menu at the top of this page will answer any question related to your personal training.

What type of Certification are you looking to get?

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment here (I’ll respond within 24 hours). Also, visit the home page for the most recent and popular articles.

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The way personal training has always been done… and it’s getting stale

The way personal training has always been done… and it’s getting stale

In today’s world of social media, selfies, and modern living, people want to look as good as possible. And that often starts with looking after their bodies.

The easiest way to do that is to watch what they eat and work out a little, right?  

But many people, once the workout bug has bitten, want more.

There is only so much a person can accomplish on their own. Only so many miles can you walk or jog around the neighborhood, or situps they can do in their bedroom.

So what’s the next logical step? Yes, they join their local gym.

But then what happens?

Well, they might see results more than what they would achieve from their workout programs at home, but it’s often not as impressive as they would have hoped. Especially for what it costs them each month.

And that’s where YOU come in as an online personal trainer.

Many gym-goers are looking to improve their workouts and do so by hiring a personal trainer.

They want tailor-made programs that help them to target specific areas of their bodies that they are not happy with. Or perhaps someone to work out a weight-loss program for them.

There is so much a personal trainer can offer them.

But there’s a problem…

It’s just too darn competitive.

How to Become an Online Personal Trainer in [year] - The Full Guide 4

The thing is, fitness trainers are a dime-a-dozen. You will see them in gyms all over the city. You might even have more than one at the same gym where you currently work at.

And you know what that means? COMPETITION!

So is the world of personal training worth it? Can you continue to make a decent living?

And the answer to that is. Yes, it is, especially if you think outside the box.

Why don’t you do something a little different and get technology on your side?

And that means taking your business online!

Thanks to the advances in smartphones over the past decade, so much can be accomplished with these incredible pieces of tech… including a daily workout.

The future of fitness is moving online and it’s time for you to move with it, even if you are an already established personal trainer.

So what’s it going to take? Well, there are a few things you will need to consider:

  • You need to be certified
  • You need an online portal
  • What documentation will you need to make available?
  • How will you be paid?
  • Do you have a niche?
  • What pitfalls should you be aware of?

Certified Personal Trainer Course and NCCA Accredited Exam

Certification: It means you know what you are doing

When your car doesn’t start, you take it to a qualified mechanic, right? You need to read my article on the top five personal training certifications.

So why would someone looking for a personal trainer use anyone who isn’t certified? They want results and a guide who knows what they are talking about fitness-wise will give it to them.

The first and MOST important thing to do is get certified in online personal training.

So the question is, how to become a properly certified online personal trainer? Well, the answer is simple, really. Get your qualifications online through a reputed company.

And there are several personal trainers certifications that you can study as an online personal trainer.

It’s important to realize the difference between personal trainer certifications and online personal trainer certifications.

Personal trainer certifications are meant to teach you about exercise science and how to program and work with clients. Online personal trainer certifications teach you about how to start an online personal training business and everything that goes into that. Both of them are necessary to become legitimate online trainers.

Here are some good personal trainer certification options:

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Here are some good online personal trainer certifications (the business side):

So which is best?

Well, that’s for you to decide. Take a little time to research each of these well-established organizations and complete the accreditation that fits your needs and goals.

Consider using study materials from websites such as Trainer Academy to make getting your accreditation even easier. Check out my review on Trainer Academy here.

This will help you fly through the accreditation process and pass the various tests with flying colors.

How much does a personal trainer cost?

It will depend on the level of expertise and certification they possess.

Remember, certification is crucial. It means you know what you are talking about, and in today’s world, people only want to deal with experts. A fly-by-night operation just is not going to cut it.

Take it online!

Take it online

The next critical step in how to become an online fitness coach has to do with your online presence.

You aren’t going to succeed without a website, right? So what’s your best course of action?

Let’s break it down:

Get your online domain

The first thing you need is your online home. And that’s your domain.

Without it, you are not hosting your personal training website. There are some important points to consider when selecting a domain name.


So you like the sound of It does have a great ring to it, doesn’t it? But sorry, it’s taken.

Finding the right name might take a little bit of time but in the end, it’s worth the effort. Sites like are the perfect way to see if your preferred name is available.

Is it easy to remember?

There is no point in having a domain name that your clients won’t remember! So

keep it as simple as possible.

Is it legal?

Make your business legal

That’s a major consideration that people often forget. Don’t plagiarise other trainers’ websites either!

Does it stand out?

While we have covered the fact that your domain name needs to be simple, try to make it stand out if you can.

That way, it sticks in a client’s memory, and it’s easy for them to tell their friends. And there is nothing better than free word of mouth advertising.

Designing your website

While there are many online tools to design your website, it’s better to get a professional to do it right the first time.

After all, if someone wants to get personal fitness training, they don’t ask a web designer, do they?

And this is a very important step. Your website speaks for you when you can’t. For many potential clients, this is the first thing they will see when looking for an online personal trainer.

So it must stand out to compete with the other trainers in cyberspace.

But how do you do that? Well, whoever designs your website will, in all probability, have content creators and search engine optimization experts that will be able to put your vision into practice.

It’s up to you to thoroughly brief them on what you want.

Remember to include your certifications prominently. That shows you know what you are talking about regarding personal training programs.

Also, if you are an expert in a particular niche of personal training, here is the opportunity to advertise it.

Of course, if you already have a personal training website, it’s time to change the focus and show that your business is now moving online. And don’t forget to inform your existing clients either.

It cannot be stressed enough that your website will be crucial to your overall success as an online personal trainer.

Why? Well, it will drive lead generation and is the main tool in gaining online clients and keeping them happy.

Knowing the basics of how to start an online personal training business will help determine its success or failure.

Follow the correct procedures

Dealing with online leads

If you are already a fitness trainer, the chances are that you have a client base to convert into online clients.

That’s great but you’ll need to generate even more. And while your website will do that for you, there is going to be plenty of admin work involved.

Such as?

Many leads will probably come from email queries. So it would be best if you stayed on top of that. If you don’t, people will find an online personal trainer elsewhere, one who does answer their email timeously, and you will lose business.

Email marketing

A website is not the only thing that will generate your leads. You will need to conduct email marketing strategies from time to time.

Again, it’s best to use professionals who know what they are doing in this regard. Or, if you take a marketing course specializing in email, in particular, you could handle it.

It’s time-consuming, however.


The core of your online business is the actual training. That’s what clients want. So how exactly do you handle this important aspect of your job?

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NASM Gold Standard Personal Trainer Certification - Save 25&percnt off
Most Popular Cert
ISSA - Most Popular Online Personal Trainer Certification 3 Certs for
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A Good Option
ACE Certification- A Good Fitness Course Online Option - 25&percnt off
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Well, there are several ways to do this.

Members training section

The most obvious is to include a special website section just for members.

Here they can log in and find video workouts, training facts sheets, eating plans, and pretty much anything you need to help them reach their goals.

This approach won’t succeed if you only offer a few bits of theory and a video on completing the ultimate sit-up.

It will have to be packed with information pertaining to your clients and every particular training needs they might have.

So before your website goes live, make sure you have your member’s section full of the necessary content they need from you daily.

And yes, you must keep it fresh; nobody wants the same old training options repeatedly.

Offer online software

Your second option when it comes to providing online training is in the form of specialized software.

This is a more instantaneous solution and can be set up within a few days. Of course, a capital outlay is involved, so bear that in mind.

Training software you could consider includes Virtuagym and Totalcoaching. These combine personal training, eating plans, training calendars, and much more.

And smartphone apps mean that clients can access their training schedule anywhere.

So that’s the basics you need to consider regarding the online requirements of becoming an online personal trainer.

Don’t forget the deets! Dot your I’s and cross your T’s

Don’t forget the deets! Dot your I’s and cross your T’s

The question of how to be an online personal trainer would seem fairly simple, right? Yet, there are many things you might not have yet considered.

We have already covered two of the most important aspects. We know that certification is paramount.

It means you know what you are doing, plain and simple. And the experts land the clients, that’s for sure.

We also know that there is no online training without an online presence. So getting your website up and running, setting up your member’s training section, or using the relevant software to do so is also a must.

But wait… isn’t there something you are forgetting?

And that’s the right document.

Yes, you are going to need plenty of documentation. But why? Well, protecting yourself is just one of the reasons why you need to make documents available to your clients. But what should you include:

Application forms

You will need a range of details from potential clients, including the obvious, like their name, address, and contact details. But you would also require information that will help plan their training, for example, their height, weight, and fitness level.  

Indemnity/consent forms

You will be asked to fill in an indemnity form when you join a regular gym. And your online personal training website shouldn’t be any different. Every one of your clients must fill in an indemnity form that will cover you should anything occur to them while they train using your fitness programs.

Remember, you are not there in the flesh to regulate their training and people may even lie as to their level of fitness, often out of embarrassment, especially if they are overweight and looking to shed pounds.

Other forms

There are plenty of other forms you could give your clients access to. These could include discount coupons if they help sign up a friend, forms documenting their weekly training, etc. Think clearly about what it is you want to provide for them online.

Taking in the ka-ching!

Taking in the ka-ching!

Now to make a success out of your business as a personal trainer online, you need clients and their money.

Even though everything is online, there are still overheads.

Sure, you are not paying a gym anymore to make use of their space and equipment, but there are new expenses that are now important. And we have discussed some of them already.

Things like hosting your website or perhaps having it updated often. And what about a marketing guru to get your name out there and build your client base? All of these things are important in the overall success of your new venture.

So collecting fees from your clients becomes paramount. But remember, you no longer see them face to face. So what’s the best way to do it?

The first prize is for using an online payment platform. In that way, before your clients download their personalized training program or get access to the special member’s section on your website, they would have paid the one-off fee for their specific training needs, or perhaps a monthly fee that will recur every 30 days.

And the best thing about using an online payment platform? Well, you can have clients sign up for your website from anywhere!

But what payment platforms can you consider? Well, the most obvious is something like PayPal but there are many others, including Skrill or Google Pay.

The choice is yours, but having some form of payment options built into your website is a must.

Consider your niche (at some point)

Consider your niche (at some point)

While online training can encompass many aspects of fitness, it might be worthwhile to consider and target a specific niche market.

As they say, a jack of all trades is a master of none.

But the thing is, when starting out, you certainly don’t want to advertise your specialty to clients. You may have had excellent results as a weight loss coach and trainer and you can focus on that aspect as you build your client base.

In the beginning, however, it is important to establish that client base. Once you have enough clients and are serving them their particular needs, you could look into focusing on your niche.

And you can do that in many ways. First, you could offer your niche services to your clients. Some of them may want to move from general online fitness to perhaps losing weight if that is their specialty.

Over time, you could start to focus your overall marketing on your chosen niche and continue to build your client base in that manner.

But you never should turn clients away, no matter what training they prefer, right?

So, what could go wrong?

So, what could go wrong?

So now that you are revved up to succeed as part of the personal trainers online, it’s time to look at a few negatives. Because, yes, things could go wrong. And so, it’s best to have the knowledge to look out for several pitfalls.

So what is it that you should know?

Building up your online success takes time, don’t rush it!

While you might be able to bring a host of clients with you from the gym floor to your online portal, recruiting others will certainly take some time.

And why is that? Well, think about it logically. Although you might chat with a potential client over Skype or Facetime, it’s not quite the same as gelling with them in a one-on-one meeting.

So be prepared to build your client database slowly and ensure you provide them with excellent service, which could lead to referrals.

Your free time won’t suddenly multiply.

Dealing with clients online is more about checking in to see how they are doing,

However, the fact that you won’t work with them as they exercise doesn’t mean you will have more free time on your hands.


Well, there are new activities that will now take up your time. These include generating leads, following up on potential clients, marketing your business, and creating new online training content.

Neglect these at your peril!

It might take time to get it all to work perfectly

Give it time

No matter how well you have planned, nothing will fall into place perfectly from the get-go.

Being one of the best online personal trainers will take a little more time and some hard work.

The first few months will be the hardest. And it’s not the time to sit back and bask in your glory. This is a time to ensure everything works perfectly and iron out any kinks you may find.

The best way to do this is to listen to feedback from your clients. In fact, you should actively encourage it. Please let them know that you are also on the right track with future clients.


So there you have it! Now you know how to become an online personal trainer. If you have not yet done so, take the quiz to determine which training certification suits your style.

How to Become an Online Personal Trainer in [year] - The Full Guide 5
How to Become an Online Personal Trainer in [year] - The Full Guide 6

Of course, these are just some of the important considerations you need to consider. There are plenty more that you can research and consider.

Learning how to start a personal training business online properly is very helpful.

In fact, your planning should be extremely thorough in making a success of your online personal training website as fast as you can. Why not take some time to talk to others who have successfully transitioned to the online world?

And brainstorm ideas, from website names to marketing strategies. Proper planning will lead to success, that’s for sure. Don’t be scared to use experts where needed, especially in marketing and building your website.

Most of all, make sure that YOU are prepared. Certification is key. As an online trainer with the right certification, you are certainly credible, and potential clients will agree.

This will make it easy to get online personal trainer jobs.

People want professionals and through the correct certification, that’s what you will be!

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please drop your questions and comments in the box below the FAQ.

How to Become an online personal trainer FAQ

An online personal trainer creates unique programs that help improve clients’ fitness levels and general wellbeing during a workout without the need for face-to-face interaction.

Passing the PT exams adds credibility to your job as an online personal trainer since it depicts that you are certified by the regulating body and also possess the prerequisite knowledge.

These essentials must be in place before starting your online personal training:

  • Have a certification
  • Set up an online portal
  • Have all the necessary documentation
  • Create your payment portal
  • Specialize in a specific niche
  • Have your online training methods in place
  • Choose a certification course
  • Register for your exams within six months. During this period, endeavor to get the necessary document that will allow you to sit for the exam. Those documents are your current CPR/AED card and Identification.
  • Pass your exam, create your website, and begin to create awareness using social media tools and other workable methods.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)

American Council on Exercise (ACE)

Yes, Since online CPT work is online, you need to maximize the opportunities available on social media to increase your client base.

Being active on social media with real and verifiable testimonies and success stories will put your business in the limelight.

Having any of these certifications will set you up for your career as an online personal trainer:


They include but are not limited to Paypal, Skrill, or Google Pay.

It is advisable to have a niche in which you are a specialist as you begin to build your client base; it will set you apart from the crowd while still offering other training options as needed.

The average annual pay for an Online Personal Trainer in the United States is around $49,619 annually. Your location, specialty, and years of experience will greatly determine.

The training length depends on your chosen certification, which averages 10 weeks to 6 months.

The amount you will earn will depend on the number of clients you have, the amount you charge for your products and services, the rate of payment, level of education, years of experience, type of certification, etc.

Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read

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All content published on PTPioneer is checked and reviewed extensively by our staff of experienced personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and other Fitness Experts. This is to make sure that the content you are reading is fact-checked for accuracy, contains up-to-date information, and is relevant. We only add trustworthy citations that you can find at the bottom of each article. You can read more about our editorial integrity here.

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6 thoughts on “How to Become an Online Personal Trainer in 2024 – The Full Guide”

  1. If you are a new trainer, I would recommend with Stu. I found the site extremely helpful.

    I actually took the e-class Stu does and it really helped me get started. One cool thing I learned was how to use 2 different maps to find high-end gyms in my area to work at and how to get an interview and get hired. Stu was really helpful and super nice. If you have a question, just email him and he’ll get back to you pretty fast.

    • Hey Christina,
      yes, I have heard of his program and the six-figure trainer. I have not actually taking this course personally but I have heard good things from other trainers and visitors of my website. It’s good to hear that you had a good experience I will have to check out his course in depth and maybe do a full review on it. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      • Tyler, would love it if you would do a review. I’m hesitant to sign up for it because I can’t find any independent reviews about it. It feels like a scam. Thanks for checking it out on our behalf!

      • I would definitely recommend talking to local gymnasiums to see which personal training certifications they accept. If you want to become an online personal trainer, it really does not matter As he won’t have a gymnasium telling you what certification you need or what certification you don’t need.


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