Turning Fitness Into A Career
A lot of people are very passionate about fitness and want to turn it into a career. Good news, bad news. The bad news is that millions of other people share your passion so the competition is fierce for these jobs. It’s kind of like an animal lover fighting 10 million people with 4.0 grade averages for the 800 slots open each year in vet school. The good news is that you CAN do it if you are clever, and you ARE! For example, someone who loves dogs can become a master groomer, buy a van, and open their own mobile grooming service and rake in the money doing something they love. You can do the same for fitness!
The obvious ways to turn fitness into a career.
- Become a physical therapist (physiotherapist). This is a medical degree where you basically become a super-trainer – think of it as a doctor who does personal training. These programs take about 6 years after your bachelors degree and competition for these programs is fierce. In America, you could easily end up with six figures of debt by the time you graduate as medical schools are extremely expensive.
- Become a personal trainer. A lot of people naively assume that the career to follow if you love fitness and working out is to become a personal trainer. The only career that has a faster burnout rate than personal trainers is used car salesman. Over the last three decades I have gotten to know a LOT of personal trainers. Of the hundreds I have known, only TWO have been able to make it into a great career. The reality is that it is mentally draining to be a personal trainer. The chance that you will get a client like yourself who is excited about fitness, lifting, and self improvement is very small. Trainers get into this field because they truly want to help others but its really hard to find people who are serious about self improvement. A large number of clients really just want someone to talk to. A lot of clients have unrealistic expectations and give up after a month. A lot of clients want a great physique but when it comes down to it, are unwilling to eat clean, get enough sleep, and workout with the intensity required to make it happen. Nothing is more draining mentally than to desperately want to help people who are unwilling to help themselves. Making a living as a personal trainer is REALLY difficult and its something that very few can do. Working for a gym is a minimum wage part time job. Its fine for to help with college expenses there is no way you can make a living. To make more money with personal training requires that you start your own business and then, it can be hard to get enough clients just to break even. People forget all the costs involved. There is $800 a year for your business license, $1000 a year for your insurance, a large monthly fee to a gym owner for permission to train there. Many will find that they have to work 2-3 hours a day just to cover their expenses before they make their first dollar. To make a living as a personal trainer requires a LOT more than an ACE personal trainer certification, it requires that you have excellent people skills, marketing skills, and be in top notch condition yourself. It also requires a niche. Young hot IFBB pro physique stars will have a lot easier time making money at personal training than you will.
The easiest ways to make a fitness fortune.
- Lie to people! Not that I am recommending this but because it is one of the most common ways that people get rich with fitness I need to cover it. The number of ways you can make money by lying are endless. You can lie to sell things or lie to become popular and make money off add revenue. A very commonly used technique is to start a social media channel and pretend to be natty while you are actually using all kinds of PEDs. You then pretend to share with people your secrets to naturally gaining muscle rapidly – no surprise, people fawn all over you and you rake in the ad-sharing revenue. You can also make a lot of money by selling books. It used to be that to sell a book you had to get a publisher and publishers were very selective about the books they would publish because they had to uphold the reputation of their label. Then along came “eBooks” or books that people self publish and sell. Unlike a traditional book from a publisher where an author is lucky to get 5% of each sale, an eBook has an incredible profit margin. The biggest outlet for these eBooks is “clickbank” where the author gets somewhere between 25% and 75% and the person selling the book gets the rest. Although there are a lot of really good eBooks (a few of which I promote), there is a lot of garbage. If you are a really good liar, you can make a mint selling eBooks and many have done this. Promise people shortcuts to gaining muscle or losing fat. Promise people rapid gains. Promise people “secrets”. Several problems with this approach, the first is that it doesnt work for long because people finally catch on. The second problem is that if you have any integrity at all, you will end up spending all your ill-gotten financial gains in decades worth of therapy to assuage your guilt over stealing money from naive teens desperate for muscles.
- Pimp supplements! If you have a smoking hot body, promoting un-needed, un-proven and potentially harmful supplements is the easiest way of all to make money and in terms of dollars made, its by far the most common. The supplements industry is huge, how huge? Consumers Reports magazines made a very conservative estimate of 2.7 Billion dollars, and that was nearly a decade ago which means it is probably at least 6 Billion dollars now. Supplements make more money than gyms, magazines, shows, or anything else. In fact, magazines and shows are basically just marketing material used to sell profitable supplements. So, if you have a smoking hot body, how do you make money from supplements? To be an effective supplement salesman, you need to have an amazing physique and model good looks. If you use steroids as virtually all the physique pros do, you need to hide this fact. Your job is to make the naive teenager think that they too can look just like you if they buy this companies products.
- Become a sponsored athlete. For the elite physiques, they court sponsorship from the major supplements manufacturers. What a sponsorship means is that the bodybuilder gets a yearly salary, often six figure, for being a spokesperson for the brand. These sponsored bodybuilders work the booths for the supplement company at the major trade shows. These athletes are also expected to promote the supplements in their videos, instagram posts, and all social media. The supplement makers do not sponsor these “athletes” out of the goodness of their hearts, they do it because they know that these elite athletes can give them a 10x return on their investment because the influence these folks have over the buying decisions of their fans. Here are some examples, BSN sponsored athletes, MuscleTech sponsored athletes, and Optimum Nutrition sponsored athletes.
- Discount codes. For people who are not elite level but still have large followings, you can become an affiliate of the supplement company and promote their products and you get a percentage of every item sold. The way this works is that the supplement company gives you a discount code that gives your fans a 10% or 15% discount. The real purpose of this “discount code” is to provide a tracking number to insure that you get your 10%-25% referral fee for every item sold. When you look on Instagram stories of men/women with smoking hot bods holding supplement bottles, there will almost always be a “Swipe up for 15% discount!”. Many popular YouTube fitness stars put these discount codes in the video description of every video. Some ethical people tell their fans that they make money of the supplement sales but others just pretend they are doing you a huge favor from the goodness in their heart to save you money.
- Make your own supplement line! This option is only available to the cream of the crop, the Jay Cutlers and Jeff Seids of the world. By creating your own supplement line you cut out the huge profits of the supplement makers and keep them for yourself. Its exactly the same product that everyone else sells from the same factory in China, you just slap your own label on it and use your social media channels to sell them and make a fortune.
Legitimate and creative ways to make a fitness income
People who are successful in business realize that making money is not about scamming people, its about helping them solve their problems. Give people a real value and they are a lifelong customer. If you cannot improve peoples health, fitness, and physique for less money than they are paying now then don’t waste your time because you do not have a workable business plan. You need to ask yourself is, what can YOU offer them that the other 100,000 smoking hot personal trainers cant. What are your special skills or other areas of expertise you can combine with fitness to solve their problems better? Everyone has special skills, for example, mine is software development – I love making online fitness tools. Talent is a lot harder to pin down. Everyone has special talents but often people do not realize that they have them so your first job is to figure out what they are. The odd thing about most people who have true genius is that they just assume that everyone else shares their talent when they are truly unique. Your job is to find a way to combine your special skill/talent with fitness in order to make you stand out from the crowd of 100,000 other people who love fitness and are trying to make a living at it. For example, one of the most successful YouTube channels of the last decade has been the HodgeTwins who were the first to turn fitness into entertainment. They were able to combine humor and fitness in a way that had never been done before. Be creative! Again, remember that you are trying to solve peoples problems. What is the problem you are trying to solve for people? How are you going to do it better and cheaper than anyone else?
Related Pages on Fitness Careers
How did Scooby make $60,000 per hour? Read How much money does Scooby make?
Can you still make legitimate fitness money on Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook today? Read Making a legitimate fitness income on YouTube.
Do you love fitness and want to find a way to earn a living doing it? Read How to turn fitness into a career.
Do you want to be truly rich or do you want a lot of money? There is a big difference. Chase the wrong one and you will be very unhappy. Read Is Scooby Rich?
How can you become rich so that you can follow your passions every day? Read How to get rich.