"I actually don't like this topic at all."

Jonathan Goodman kicks off Episode 17 of the Online Trainer Show with that surprising sentence.

Why? Well, hybrid training is a made-up name that actually means nothing. (Spoiler: He made it up.)

What exactly is the hybrid model of personal training, anyway?

Back when Jon came up with the original system, the idea that you didn’t have to physically be there in person to train someone was revolutionary. So he needed a name to brand it in a way that, even if it ruffled some of the old dogs’ feathers, people actually understood what he meant.

As we've watched the online fitness world evolve, however, every single trainer knows that they have to have something online. You simply cannot move forward as a fitness professional without having an understanding of how the online world works. It’s like learning to read and write for the digital age—many more doors open for those who know how.

All hybrid personal training means is that in order to be competitive, exist, and thrive in this business in the future, you have to know how to leverage technology to do a better job. That's it.


The three types of hybrid personal trainer

Just because you’re a hybrid trainer doesn't mean that you have to live online every day. In fact, you may never consider yourself an online trainer at all. Let’s dive into the three archetypes to learn more.


Someone who will never be an "online trainer"

We’re talking about someone with no internet presence, who has a fantastic local clientele, and who gets referrals like mad. When the pandemic hit, many of us had to adopt video training. But what about now, when gyms are back open?

Leverage that same technology for clients who can't make a session due to bad weather or traffic, or being out of town. Even if all of your clients are local, in situations where they can’t make it, do the session over video. The results? No more missed sessions.


A truly “hybrid” trainer

One of the trainers we worked with at the PTDC doesn’t work with anyone purely online, and yet still brings in over $250,000 in online business. They charge a monthly fee covering things like support, accountability, and check-ins, plus an in-person session price.

As all of their clients live locally, that’s where the work gets done. Plus, since they live close enough to come into the gym, they refer nearby friends.

More referrals, more money, multiple revenue streams. This is just one model, but it’s a great example of using technology to improve your margins.


The tiered service hybrid model

There’s a great story of one gym owner who also adopted technology during the pandemic and has never looked back. When they put up an online program during COVID, they actually started earning more revenue each month. So they kept it when things opened back up.

Now, this gym offers three different levels of service:

  • A baseline online program, where you can be anywhere in the world, get programs, and call into the group workouts
  • In-person/online mix where clients are able to attend a few sessions a week
  • Small group training

Once again, hybrid personal training means more monthly recurring revenue, fewer missed sessions, and a better business.


Final thoughts

The hybrid model of personal training is kind of a re-definition of what it means to be a fitness professional.

Technology isn’t there to take humans out of the equation, but rather to optimize the experience for both you and your clients. Let it handle the rote, boring tasks while you master things like being a better communicator, building a brand that works for you, being accountable and empathetic, and meeting people where they’re at so you can get them to where they want to go.

Hybrid training not only creates better schedules for us, but it also helps us be there for our clients how they need, when they need it.

Learn a flexible framework for building your online training business.

The demand for online training has been increasing over the last decade and continues to grow exponentially. As more people adapt to a virtual world, it’s time to take action on the future of your career. The Online Trainer Academy teaches you a flexible framework that adapts to you and your unique needs, so you can have the business and life perfect for YOU.