Personal Training - The Market in Germany

edelhelfer report edition 2015

Time after time, the personal trainers of the stars are in the news. They accompany the movie stars, singers and athletes on their journeys around the world and look after their clients’ physical and mental fitness. In return, the stars reward them with enormous salaries for this service. Especially in an industry without protected professional titles, the prospects of high income and flexible self-determined time management without the need for extensive professional training create a partially opaque market. edelhelfer has therefore analysed this interesting segment of the fitness industry in its first report on personal training in Germany.

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In an online survey together with „Trainer Magazin“ and “Premium Personal Trainer Club”, edelhelfer interviewed trainers who are active in the field of personal training in Germany. With 78% classical 1-on-1 coaching still represents the largest fraction of the service range. 7% of the clients book 1-on-2 sessions. The remaining 15% take part in small group trainings supervised by a personal trainer with a maximum of seven participants on average.

According to the survey, 74% of the participants work full time as a personal trainer (PT). While 86% are purely self-employed, 11% are also active as an employee beyond their self-employment. Only 2% are solely working as an employed personal trainer. Regarding the open question about the three major trends for the next five years not less than 76 different answers were made. “Functional fitness” was mentioned most frequently by far, followed by “rehabilitation and prevention”, outdoor, fascial fitness and small group training. Also EMS and bodyweight training were named by many personal trainers.

Graph: Share of personal trainers in Germany by type of occupation

According to the current survey, coaches charge EUR 87 on average for one hour of 1-on-1 personal training. Prices exhibit geographic differences: Where possible, statistic estimates were calculated for the individual states; all other states were aggregated to regional groups in order to guarantee sufficient sample size. In the west of Germany (Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland) as well as in Baden-Württemberg, training sessions are priced at slightly above EUR 94. In comparison, the mean price of an hour of training is less than EUR 76 in the east (Berlin, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt); however, in Berlin the units tend to be more expensive than in the other newly-formed German states.

The majority of the respondents mentioned weight reduction as an important motivational factor with respect to the choice of a personal trainer. Muscle development, a more athletic appearance as well as rehabilitation are other common reasons. Further goals that were often mentioned are amongst others the improvement of endurance, stress reduction and the achievement of specific athletic goals.