The Problem With Part-Time Coaches

The Problem With Part-Time Coaches

The problem with having only part-time coaches at your gym (and how to fix it)

Fitness facilities have become almost like Starbucks in Seattle or Dunkin’ Donuts in Boston: There’s one on every single street corner.

While there might be enough coffee and donut addicts in the world for Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts to pull it off, sadly, such is not the case for the small gym owner. 

The reality is, many (arguably most) small gyms struggle to turn any kind of relevant profit, much less have the ability to afford to pay full-time coaches a professional wage. Instead, they hire a couple of part-time coaches and pay them $20 an hour.

This is not only a problem for the business, it’s a problem for the aspiring career coach, who starts to believe it’s impossible to have a full-time career in the industry working at someone else’s gym. 

So often what happens next is the part-time coach leaves the industry to pursue a career elsewhere. Or the really dedicated and determined ones branch off to open their own gym, because it appears to be the only way to earn a living in the fitness industry. 

Alas, the market becomes more and more saturated with small fitness facilities…

Those coaches who do move on and open their own gyms soon realize how challenging it is, and they become just like the gym they came from: They simply don’t have the financial ability to develop and hire full-time coaches. They take on part-time coaches willing to work for $20 an hour to alleviate their workload just a little bit. 

They might even develop some really good coaches along the way, but those coaches are in the same boat they were. And the cycle perpetuates.

(Coach’s Resource: Be the one to break the perpetual cycle with this free coaching course.)

This was exactly the position Abi Hammond found herself in a few years ago.

She wanted to be a full-time coach, but wasn’t able to by working for someone else, so she became a part-time coach who worked in the evenings after working a full-time job in finance during the day.

“I couldn’t make a living coaching group classes alone, so I ran myself down and killed myself doing it, working full-time and then coaching after work because I was passionate about it, but there’s no way I could have kept that up,” she said.

Determined to be a full-time, career coach, she soon started working at a second gym to pick up more hours. The result: She burnt herself out and “could never take a vacation,” she said.

One solution was for her to open her own gym. The other solution was to become an OPEX Coach Certificate Program (CCP) coach and finally pursue a full-time career working as a fitness professional. She chose the latter.

The OPEX Model:

The OPEX model—through its OPEX-licensed gyms —is specifically designed to provide coaches the opportunity to earn a professional living coaching.

It does this by:

  • Educating coaches through OPEX CCP so coaches have the proper business of coaching tools, as well as technical tools to be successful building and working with their own book of clients. 
  • Allowing coaches to build their own business within your business (They’re paid on a percentage of revenue basis on their own personal book of clients). This means the coach is no longer a labor cost to the business. So instead of the owner being strapped to pay his coaches just $15 to $30 an hour, the coach now has the opportunity to be an entrepreneur in his own right, meaning there’s no ceiling on his earnings. The harder he works, the more he makes. Once he has a book of 50 clients, which might take him two or three years to grow, he is able to earn well over $60,000 a year (plus take vacations that don’t affect his paycheque). Read more about the ROI for the OPEX coach here.

As a result:

  • Coaches are able to pursue full-time careers within your gym and earn a professional living in the process, so there’s less incentive for the coach to leave the industry or runoff and open his own gym. 
  • The gym profits as the coaches are now revenue generators. This also frees up the gym owner to develop the business even further.
  • Clients are now better-taken care of because they have a personal coach in their corner invested in their success.

Back to Hammond’s story:

Hammond is very glad she chose the route she did. After finishing her CCP, she started working at OPEX Gold Coast in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Not only does she feel like she’s helping her clients more than she was able to before, but her lifestyle is also manageable and she’s earning a living.

“It’s totally manageable and I’m actually making money doing it,” she said, adding that she can finally take vacations now too.

Hammond has been so successful that she recently bought into OPEX Gold Coast and has become a gym owner, too. 

Of the OPEX system, she said: “It’s the only way to make a living in the industry.”

Get an introduction to the same system of coaching that has allowed Hammond to make a living in the industry by signing up for The Free Professional Coaching Blueprint. Sign up today and create a career for yourself before you’ve burned out entirely.


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