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In spite of the general increase in popularity fitness culture has seen in the United States over the past years, L.A. fitness culture may actually have emerged from early Hollywood. With the rise of Hollywood in the early 1900s, many people sought to attain that perfect chiseled body they admired in their favorite stars, but this ambition is especially well entrenched in Los Angeles because of the geographical proximity. 

Here, Hollywood has had a strong influence on society, and residents are used to being judged on first impressions. They’re acutely aware of their image and fitness gives them a way of controlling that image. It has become a status symbol and a tool for personal branding. Considering how many people move to L.A. with the intent of building a career in the fashion and entertainment industry, the focus on appearance may be due to how important it is to their livelihood. 

Los Angeles also has a relatively high median household income and states with higher incomes tend to place greater emphasis on working out and having a healthy, active lifestyle. This area likewise has a high density of services that cater to this lifestyle making fitness culture far more accessible and sustainable than elsewhere in the U.S. 

Millennials and Boutique Fitness Studios

Expensive coffee and avocados may have been getting the blame for why millennials can’t afford buying a house, but that must mean people are not aware of how much they spend on fitness. In recent years, this generation seems to have formed a preference for trendy boutique studios where they pay about $30 for a yoga, cycling or boot camp session. 

To get a spot with a popular trainer you have to sign up as early as two weeks in advance and some of these trainers have become celebrities with hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and their own reality TV shows. As a personal trainer, L.A. is THE place to be. 

It’s possible that millennials give fitness a different meaning. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers regarded fitness as an indulgence that took time from their work and relationships and mostly went when they felt they needed to lose weight. Millennials, on the other hand, see it more as a necessity for staying healthy and a way to meet people and make friends. Another factor to consider is the high rate of depression, anxiety and loneliness experienced by this generation. It could be that going to smaller but popular fitness studio gives them more opportunity to form connections and it’s their way of trying to improve their mental health. 

Since the financial crisis, fitness boutiques have managed to redefine the industry and have far outgrown traditional gyms in membership and revenue. They’ve achieved this, in part, by catering to the unique preferences of younger generations who wanted a different kind of experience, a sense of community and more flexibility. 

The Experience of Being a Personal Trainer in LA

In the past, having a personal trainer was considered something typical only for the wealthy and famous, but these days it has become more accessible to the general L.A. population. It’s actually considered one of the best ways to achieve your personal fitness goals. 

Due to the thriving fitness culture, employers from LA are constantly looking for the best qualified personal trainers to impress their clientele. The high expectations make nearly all employers demand that potential candidates have one or several national certifications, including a CPR certification.

If you’re a personal trainer looking to expand your career in L.A., you might also want to consider further certification in fitness niches to set yourself apart from the competition. The average hourly rate for L.A. personal trainers is $34, but this can change depending on your location, employer and level of experience. 

As a personal trainer, you’ll have many ways in which you can make money, but at the beginning of your career the most common way is to get a job at a gym. Many gyms will even be willing to hire you while you’re undergoing courses to get your certification or offer you the option of getting certified through them. However, if you’re already certified, you’ll have a much wider range of locations to choose from. 

Larger commercial gyms will usually offer trainers minimum wage and they have to clients to train with them. Once you manage to get some clients, your wages will increase because you’re now generating more revenue for your gym. You’ll also get extra commission for selling products or training packages. 

As you gain experience and a good reputation you can start working semi-independently by collaborating with these boutique fitness studios we mentioned earlier. They will typically give you a percentage of the fees their clients pay. This will increase your earnings significantly — you can expect up to $70,000 per year. 

You might also want to look into how to be an online personal trainer as the internet gives you access to more clients from different locations and there are more options in regards to what products and services you can sell to increase your revenue. Since the internet never sleeps, you could theoretically be making money 24/7 depending on how you develop your business plan. 

For example, you can sell non-personalized fitness programs that cater to specific fitness goals in video format, upload content on your own YouTube channel both to generate more income and to advertise other products and you can get money from promoting fitness supplements and training equipment. These strategies will continue bringing you income even when you’re not working. Then you can charge premiums for personalized fitness programs, email and phone counseling, tailored food tracking and nutritional advice as well as in-person or online individual training sessions.

With the outbreak of coronavirus, Mayor Eric Garcetti has ordered that all gyms close to prevent its spread. Most gyms and sought-after trainers are starting to offer online services since there’s a high demand. This means that in the following months, online fitness services will increase considerably because people are stuck at home and no longer have access to many of the venues that offered them entertainment and the chance to socialize such as restaurants, clubs, movie theaters and fitness studios.  

LA Weekly