How to be a personal trainer without a gym

how to train clients without a gym

As a trainer of trainers, I often get asked: how to be a personal trainer without a gym. I have worked in the fitness industry since 1999 and have only been a gym-based trainer for 10% of that time.

If, like me, the idea of being stuck in the same environment for your entire career frightens you, then don’t panic.

The fitness world is your oyster!

Let me briefly describe my journey covering the different environments I have trained clients. To help you understand how you can be a personal trainer without a gym.

The clients home

After a few years of working as a gym-based trainer, I moved on to training clients in their homes. I thoroughly enjoyed this because the stimulus of a changing environment kept things exciting, and I enjoyed getting out and about. It eliminated my venue costs, saving a massive amount of money. It was pleasant for the clients, too, as most did not want to go into, their words, “a scary gym environment”. From time to time, I would also take them outside for walks and runs, weather permitting, which I loved.


Whilst training so many clients in homes, I found that I would gravitate more and more towards taking them outdoors. The extra space gave me so many more options, and I felt it was great for my clients and my mental health. Eventually, I decided to make my new venue outdoors. I would keep kettlebells, bands, cones, and suspension trainers in the boot of my car. I changed my terms of service to say that the sessions go ahead, whatever the weather. Although I did have some sessions in torrential rain and even snow, this was very rare. Generally, the weather was fine, with suitable clothing.

I have very fond memories of my time as an outdoor trainer. If you are an outdoorsy person, I highly recommend it.

Home cabin/garage

When I started a family, I wanted to develop a better work-life balance, which meant using my time better. I felt the best way to do this was to have a studio at home. I could then fit more clients in and have easier access to a toilet, shower, warmth and food! I initially plasterboarded the walls and ceiling of my garage, painted them, and purchased suitable gym matting. With just these minor amendments, it was now a studio. It was great and made life a lot easier.

Since then, I have moved house a couple of times and purchased a purpose-built cabin for both homes. The cabin I have now is perfect. I love it. I deliberately went for the high ceiling to teach overhead presses, chin-ups and Olympic lifts. However, as a word of warning, you may need planning permission if your structure is quite large like mine is. Every authority has slightly different rules, so make sure you contact them first for advice before purchasing.

Online training

Overlapping my garage/cabin training days, I also started online PT. Before I get into this, firstly, I will say, this is the single most profitable way you can train clients with the most flexibility. So if money and flexibility are the most important factors for you, I would seriously explore this option. I enjoyed it, and so did my bank balance. However, I had already started helping fitness enthusiasts become fitness professionals by then, which is my number one mission. I now keep a couple of clients to train in my cabin, and the rest of my time, I focus on Storm Fitness Academy.


To summarise, you don’t have to stay in one environment. If you like change, explore the other options as I did. Decide what’s most important to you and choose an option that reflects that. Remember, nothing is set in stone.

You can always take side steps.

The great thing about fitness qualifications is they open up a world of options.

You may decide to share your passion as a vlogger, blogger or develop a training app.

So don’t forget.

The fitness world is your oyster!

If you want help structuring your fitness business then check out our Bulletproof Business course, the course is designed to help you create a six-figure income doing what you love, live a fantastic lifestyle and provide an excellent service that changes people’s lives.

Alternatively, get in touch via the form below and let’s chat.

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