The Gear You Need to be an Independent Personal Trainer

When it comes time to go work as an independent fitness instructor, the things you need to get started may surprise you. That means there is going to be costs involved, besides your liability insurance. Whether you’re meeting your clients, and training them at their homes, or doing classes down the local community centre, you’re going to need access to equipment.

Don’t worry though, you’re not going to need haul around static bikes, rowers, elliptical trainers, and mammoth bench pressing equipment.

The Gear You Need to be an Independent Personal Trainer


You have to be realistic and use equipment that’s light, portable, durable, and more importantly for your budget, it needs to be cost effective. The best way to ensure your overheads are kept down is to keep your equipment as minimal as possible, to only the essentials you’ll need and shop around for used equipment, on places like eBay.

The good thing about personal training is that clients expect your equipment to be used. It’s going to look somewhat odd, when you open your holdall and everything is looking brand spanking new.

The list of equipment a personal trainer is going to need

1)     Exercise Mats

You’ll need to be equipped with exercise mats for your clients to do their basic warm up workouts. That’s going to be sit-ups, press-ups, and they also come in handy for things like yoga lessons.

2)     Speed ropes

Part of the exercise routines is going to involve cardiovascular training. Since you don’t have access to static bikes, and treadmills, the next best thing is a set of speed ropes, and your clients can use them for their cardio exercises.

3)     Gym Balls/Swiss Balls

These are used to strengthen the abs and provide back strengthening exercises. It’s one of the most effective pieces of light and portable fitness equipment for a personal trainer to use.

4)     Compact Adjustable Weight Set

Apart from cardio training, you’ll need to work on target muscle groups with some resistance training. An alternative to the adjustable weight set is to use resistance bands instead. That can be a more practical solution for you.

5)     Dumbbells

Since there’s different weight training techniques, that work different muscles of the body, you’ll need to have a set of dumbbells with you, so your clients can get a full body strength training, or muscle toning workout.

6)     Power Bars (not nutritional power bars for a pick me up)

These replace the need for bench presses with dumbbells, as there more portable. The ones you’ll be best to have are a 6 KG power bar and a 10 KG power bar.

7)     Resistance bands

At least 4 different levels of resistance bands are handy to have for body sculpting and strength workouts.

8)     A Stepper

If you’re going to offer step-aerobic lessons, you’ll definitely need a stepper in your arsenal.

9)     Stopwatch

This is one of the most essential needed, as it lets you time your clients’ sessions, and intervals.

10) A holdall

You’ll need a holdall to carry all the bits and bobs between appointments with you, in a way that’s practical and professional.

11) A flexible measuring tape

Whilst you can’t get an accurate reading of your clients body fat index using a tape measure, it will give you a good indication. You’ll need to know that to record your clients’ fitness progression. Whether their end goal is to lose weight or gain muscle, the measuring tape is an indispensible tool to bring with you, so you can record your clients’ progression.

12) Skinfold Callipers

Need an accurate reading of your clients’ body fat consumption? Then you’ll need to a have a set of skinfold callipers at hand. You’ll need these to measure the thickness of your clients’ skin and compare it against the fat beneath it.

Don’t forget your paperwork!

Personal trainers need to record their clients records of progression to ensure their fitness goals are being worked towards. If results aren’t being seen, then the records will let you know when you need to adapt your training to ensure your client gets the results he/she is looking for.

The typical forms you’re going to need is paperwork for your clients history, any medical papers for health screening, and ensure you’re advising on the nutritional foods to consume. You’ll also need to keep notes on the fitness goals, so you know if things aren’t progressing as they should be, and you’re always going to need your liability insurance paperwork with you, should any unfortunate accidents occur.

So a clipboard, and perhaps a small folder will definitely part of your essentials. With those 12 pieces of equipment, and your necessary documents, you’ll be able to take work as a self-employed trainer, assisting people either in group sessions, in the homes of each of your clientele.