How Many Services Should Your Training Gym Offer?


Maybe 3.

Ok, great talk, happy Thursday!

…. I kid, I kid.

Well, I’m sort of kidding. 

I actually do think “2-3” is usually a good answer in many situations. But you know how I roll; I shan’t leave you hanging without context!

Let’s start by analyzing one of the great contradictions in any business…

Should you focus on the one thing that you’re world class at? Should you go deeper on the handful of services that drive most of your revenue? Should you enjoy the perks of a simpler model, simpler messaging, and simpler staffing? 


Should you build off your reputation and offer other services to your audience? Should you grow revenue by providing other solutions that your clients need to succeed anyway? Should you go full Richard Branson and leverage your brand to start a f*cking airline??

As always, the answer is “it depends.” But 2-3 service offerings is a good guideline for most training gyms. 

So how on earth do so many wind up offering 17?

Time to pull out your Costco-sized tub of Vaseline and take a look at what a slippery ass slope this is.

Below are the various services a typical training gym could use as a Core Offer. (This is opposed to a Low Barrier Offer, which is usually free or at a reduced price point with no on-going commitment). 

For simplicity’s sake, we’ll leave out variations in agreement length. We’ll also ignore package size/ monthly allotment of sessions, as well as how you define “small group” vs. “large group.” For now I want you to focus on the sheer number of potential services and products a training gym could offer.

  • 1-on-1 personal training
  • Small group training (aka semi-private training)
  • Defined end point 4-12 week challenge (premium pricing)
  • Large group training (aka team training or bootcamp)
  • Seasonal sports-specific training for high school and college athletes
  • Open-gym access
  • Virtual 2-way broadcast live coached large group training
  • Online training with program design and accountability support
  • On-demand digital workout video access

To add to this, based on your set-up, you may also sell:

  • Nutrition coaching
  • Clothes/ merchandise
  • Cold case items (water bottles, premade protein drinks, etc.)
  • Supplements
  • Smoothie bar items
  • Body fat percentage scans
  • Equipment (bands, weights, lifting gloves, straps, etc.)
  • One-off program design consultations
  • Life coaching
  • Workshops
  • Corporate Wellness programs

Lotsa options!

So how did you decide what to offer when you initially opened up your training gym?

In reality, most of us start with what makes sense from a training perspective. Maaaaybe we check out some competitors and/or people in the industry we admire.

KEY POINT: These competitors or role models may look great on social AND be regularly missing mortgage payments. :-/

In an ideal word, we’d also consider what price points are best for our target market, our personal skill-sets, and most of all, the financial implications of that model on max revenue and margins.

Since I’m feeling magnamious today, let’s say you did all those things when you first opened up. You wound up with two main services to offer: small group and large group training. This gives you two price points and — if you run it well — two differentiated services.

You are so savvy!

 But then the requests start…


Do you start offering personal training when you have two people willing to pay top dollar for it? Should you offer a hybrid training model with on-demand video workouts that could also be a potential downsell? Maybe you should go all-in and start a smoothie bar to get extra revenue and possibly drive more foot traffic? What about partnering with a local nutritionist to offer their services through your gym?

These seemingly “no brainer” additions will divide your attention. This can make life more challenging for your staff and your messaging.

(Mostly) True Statement: Complexity is the enemy of growth.

And to stay simple, you’ll need the courage to turn down your clients’ requests when it won’t work for the business. 

You’ll have to say no to your team when they enthusiastically bring you an idea that’s too niche to really impact the business. 

And on the flipside, you can and should stay open to other solutions. But you should only offer them if it would be a win win win for all parties. And not just for the four clients who are totally stoked about you starting a powerlifting team.

Here’s a framework to consider:

  • Decide how much top line monthly revenue you’d need for the new service to make sense
  • Decide how much bottom line monthly profit you’d need for the new service to make sense
  • Create minimum terms for survival and a deadline for hitting the above targets
  • Yank the service if it doesn’t meet your criteria by a certain date
  • Write Mark a thank you email one way or the other

Believe me, I can understand the desire to want to take care of people AND get some extra revenue. It particularly sucks to be Dr. No with your team when they come back from a seminar with heartfelt-if-half-baked idea.

But over time, this creeping complexity can strangle your business. And without using the above framework, you get caught thinking that you’re “only a few months away” from your offering finally catching on. Plus you’ve already done a lot of work to build it, so why bail now? (Psychologists call this sunk cost bias.)

By all means, look for other solutions many of your clients need. It’s appropriate and desirable to grow your revenue by selling it to them. 

Just be careful you don’t build a complicated business with crappy margins that confuses the hell out of your staff and clients, all the while making your business less fun.

I believe in you!

MF Signature BFU

PS Want to check out a training-gym focused podcast with legit guests and actionable strategies?

Oh you saucy minx! I’ve got one for you right here in my back pocket…

Check out the Business for Unicorns podcast HERE.