Home Personal Training Here’s why you should train your clients in independent gyms

Here’s why you should train your clients in independent gyms

training client independent gym

As a personal trainer, your ultimate goal is to help your clients achieve their desired results. You’ll take several routes to get there, including designing exclusive routines, and special programs for lazy clients,. and choosing an adequate workout space. 

But which space is best for client training? Should you go with a commercial gym where there are tons of equipment and space, or do you stick with an independent gym where the atmosphere is bound to be more private?

Both of these have their merits, so don’t be quick to dismiss small gyms. Read on to discover why independent gyms are hidden gems and how your clients could get more from your training services.

Why is the workout space critical?

The place you train your clients is just as important as the workout itself. Ideally, you want an environment where your clients can be focused on you and your instructions, with enough equipment to perform a variety of exercises.

It’s also critical to find a place where your client can be comfortable enough to open up to you. Are they consistent with their nutrition and home programs? Do they struggle with self-esteem and body image issues? You’ll never know unless they tell you, and they won’t open up unless the environment is just right.

Benefits of training clients in an independent gym

Many personal trainers are partial to the privacy of a small, independent gym for a good reason. If you’re just launching your personal training career, here are some of the benefits of an independent gym.

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Training privacy

Independent gyms are private; no two ways about it. Only a select number of people will sign up for small gyms, which means there’ll be fewer people around. Independent gyms are great for those client transparency sessions that can lead to remarkable progress down the line. You can take your clients through unique training routines, from metabolic workouts to HIIT sessions with comfort and ease.

With independent gyms, you can also strike a deal with the owner and create even more privacy for your training. Heck, you could even pick up other training clients while there.


Fewer members in independent gyms often means a closer-knit community. You’ll also be glad to know that you won’t be your client’s sole source of motivation. Instead, they’ll draw encouragement from other people chasing goals, and they may even form new bonds.

The community benefit of training your client in an independent gym extends beyond your training sessions together. Even after you stop working with your client, they’ll look forward to hitting the gym because of the many workout buddies they’ve made along the way.

Access to equipment

Say goodbye to “How many sets do you have left” – a dreaded but constant question. Small gyms may mean fewer equipment, but you can be sure that your clients will have access to whatever is present.

When you’re picking an independent gym, it’s also likely that you’ll pick one that’s tailored to your client’s needs. That may mean a ton of pullup bars if your client loves CrossFit or several bench press stations if your client wants to build muscle.

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You can’t exactly buy and add every single item your clients need to your personal trainer starter kit (even though that would be so much easier.) That’s why it’s critical to consider access to equipment here.

Greater influence

You have little to no say on the kind of equipment big box gyms add to their spaces. But with a smaller, cozier gym, you can talk the owner into adding new gym equipment that you need, and they’ll listen because you’re great for business!

Challenges of training in an independent gym

challenges of training in small gyms

Using a small gym isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. While you have access to several benefits, there are downsides as well. Here are some of the biggest ones.

Steeper membership fee

One of the biggest challenges of training your clients in an Independent gym is the cost. Unless you’ve somehow factored the gym subscription into your fee, your client will have to pay out of pocket while also paying you to train them. That’s up to $155 monthly, according to MarketWatch!

But that’s not even the biggest downside. Some independent gyms don’t allow personal trainers to work on their premises unless you’re signed up with them. The ones that do allow you will charge a steep fee that may not be worth it in the end.

The good news is that you can get a gym pass and sidestep all those steep fees. Gym passes give you access to a wide range of gyms, which means you’ll have multiple places to train your client and comfortably vary your routine.

Limited program possibilities

With an independent gym, you’ll have to work with whatever equipment is available. This may not be a problem for many Workout Pros, but if you’re niching down to a specialty, the chances are that you’ll need specific equipment to give your clients the proper workout.

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So should you use an independent gym?

In the end, it really depends on what your client is trying to achieve and the kind of equipment available in the small gym. If you’re lucky enough to find a gym that compliments your specialization, you should walk up to the wonder and strike a deal immediately because you’re very lucky.

You may also find that small gyms don’t quite meet your needs. In that case, here are some alternative training spaces.

Alternative locations to train clients

Train clients in their home

Training clients in their homes might be a great idea. For one thing, clients will be more comfortable at home and more likely to follow your routine. 

But you’d need a dedicated space to work that’s free of distractions. That may be difficult to do, especially if the client has family members. This is why it’s a good idea to inspect your client’s home before deciding to use it as your training space. 

Train your personal training clients online

Taking your clients’ training online can have a ton of benefits for you. First, it allows you to manage your time more effectively because you cut out all the commute and client scheduling. You can fix a time, and the client simply logs onto zoom from their end to train.

Additionally, you can pre-record sessions so clients can do their routine at whatever time of the day or night. This also means you can use recordings for multiple clients if their needs and goals match.

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