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turn fitness into money

13 Ways to Turn Fitness into Money in 2017

If you are like me, an athlete with a lot of fitness knowledge, and are looking for ways to make money, you’ve come to the right place. I will show you how to turn your fitness knowledge into money.

I hope I am not repeating what others have already said a million times. I tried to come up with a unique list and truly hope I can help some of you earn some extra cash from your fitness and athletic experiences.


The Obvious

Personal trainer

This is one that I know is on most lists online. I figured that I couldn’t leave it out, though, since it is really a viable option for a lot of you. It does usually require training, especially if you want to be really, really successful (and I want you to be really, really successful). The average salary for a full-time personal trainer is about $50,000, and the more experienced and higher-end trainers can earn in the triple digits.

Training requirements will vary. Possible training and education needed in: nutrition, exercise physiology, kinesiology, injury prevention/healing, and others for more specific skill areas. If you have previous fitness experience, though, why not turn that into money?

Open a gym

This has been a dream of mine for years now. I love the idea of opening a gym, but the more I research it, the more I realize that it is quite a ways away. There are so many different options you can choose for locations, equipment, target market, size, and so on.

Looking at what a lot of other companies have done, it doesn’t make much sense for me to calculate the total price for you. I can tell you a range for what it might cost, but don’t get mad if it’s not as crystal clear as you would have liked.

Entrepreneur says that it can cost anywhere from $10,000-50,000 to open your own gym business. However, I have to think that this is on the much lower side. A $10,000 gym is basically an old warehouse that was given to you for free by your long lost relatives with hay bales as weights and a cornfield as the treadmill. Okay, maybe not that bad, but seriously, pretty close.

I would estimate that to make a profitable gym business, it will cost anywhere from $50,000-1,000,000. Now, I’m not saying this is out of pocket, but just realize that the investment of equipment and buildings that go into this are enormous, and you should not go into it light-hearted.

If you want to start, I’ve made some build your own gym lists. I’ll be writing up more of these in the coming months, so subscribe on the sidebar to be notified when those are published.

Speakers to Put in Your Gym

Dumbbell Sets to Put in Your Gym

Running Machines to Put in our Gym

Open a store 

Brick and mortars are failing, or at least compared to e-commerce stores. So, an e-commerce store is an option, but they are not easy. Here are some things you will have to decide before getting into the online shopping industry:

Distribution: Will you order the items before putting them for sale online or will you drop-ship? Drop-shipping is a safer route in most cases, because if you fail, you won’t have useless piles of inventory (but why start if you plan to fail, right?). Another downside to drop-shipping is that you have no way to quality inspect the products before they head out. You have to leave it up to the wholesalers, which I do not trust. And don’t even get me started with return shipping. Trust me, it is a pain.

Shipping is also not cheap, especially for a new company just starting out. This makes it difficult for new businesses because shipping non-bulk orders can drain the profit very quickly.

Niche: Finding your specific product area is critical to being successful in most cases. In some cases, if you are new to a certain market, being broad is okay. But I never recommend being broad. For example, if you are selling a new long-sleeve workout shirt, don’t just advertise as a long-sleeve workout shirt. Advertise as a long-sleeve workout shirt for athletes who want to lose sweat during workouts -OR- for guys who want to look fashionable while working out -OR- for girls who want to stay warm working out in the winter…etc. Be specific and be clear.

Competitive advantage: How will you stick out from your competitors? I have seen a lot of people who thought they could start an online clothing store. They bought a website, made a cheap design, looked on a wholesale website for a product, and started selling…or at least tried to start selling.

Their product was different from their competitors, but it was not better. Anyone can make a store that is different, but not everyone can make a store that is better. How will your store be better?

Start a website

This one goes along with the last idea, except there is so much more you can do here. You can blog, make videos, sell physical products/ebooks/training courses, and the choices are nearly endless. Just remember, if you decide this path, what makes you better than all of the rest of your competitors? Try GoDaddy, 1&1, Inmotion Hosting, or IX Hosting to begin. There’s a lot of tutorials on YouTube and such to learn how to make an excellent website.


The Not-so Obvious

Run competitions/contests/sports leagues

This can be fun and rewarding financially. It takes management and organizational skills to run smoothly and profitably. Here’s an example:

Bob wants to create a flag football league. Bob lives in an area near many colleges, so most of the college students are playing for the college’s intramural league. However, he notices that the graduated college students don’t have anywhere to play since they are out of school now.

“Perfect,” Bob says. Now that Bob has found a general location and target market, he just needs to crunch the numbers and see if there is profit.


Football field rental = $30/hr (public park field) 180/week or 1800/season
Equipment (football, flags, cones) = $300
Referees = $20/game x2 = $50/game or 200/week or 2000/season


Team fees = $500/team (10 teams) = $5000



Remember, this is for only one league. If you want to manage more than one league (7 v. 7, 6 v. 6, co-ed, etc.), your profit will only increase from there. This is over 10 weeks, so $900 over 10 weeks is an extra $90 per week. $1800 is $180/wk, $2700 is $270/wk, and so on.

Ref sports games

There are leagues all over the place. Bigger cities are usually better since there are more teams and games going on. The great thing about this one is that the league doesn’t even have to be profitable for you to make money refereeing. You can referee for a non-profit organization and still make cash.

Looking on Indeed, refs usually make anywhere from $15-30 for flag football games. Youth and high school hockey refereeing tops out around $90/game. Organized high school and college games are usually the highest paying for non-professional level.

Create a sports drink (that tastes good AND is actually healthy)

Not to name anybody in particular (Powerade and Gatorade), but the big name sports drinks on the market today are not very good for you. They sure taste good, but the satisfaction of sugar in them outweighs the negatives. Yes, you are getting a little bit of electrolyte intake, which is critical for athletes, but why so much sugar? I usually drink these when I’m not working out because they are “healthier” than soda (or “pop” as we call it in Minnesota), but I may as well be drinking a Mountain Dew. Most popular sports drinks have about 21 grams of sugar per bottle, whereas popular soda drinks carry about 70+ grams of sugar. I’m not too worried about the calories because sugar is the thing that really drains athletes.

So this brings me to my point. If you are experimental and want to make a million/billion/trillion dollars, create a sports drink that athletes can feel good about drinking. Make something that will taste as good, if not better, than the popular brands out there, and make it without any of the added crud (sugar, artificial flavors/colors, sucralose, and more).

Create a training program

Not easy, but sure profitable if successful. You also are forced to get into shape in the process of creating the training program. Most successful programs are run by trusted sources.

P90X was created by Tony Horton, who had connections with 20th Century Fox. His clientele included Usher, Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Petty. He also worked as an actor and comedian, giving him the perfect fit for the P90X role.

Jeff Cavaliere, creator of Athlean-X, didn’t just come from nowhere either. Before creating his workout program, he worked as a Physical Therapist and Assistant Strength Training Coach for the New York Mets. He used that name to advertise his program and launch it into success.

In all of these popular workout programs, there is a face to the program. Someone who people recognize and trust. After all, customers are trusting them with their body image, which is very important these days.

Learn how to become unforgettable and become the new Tony Horton and Jeff Cavaliere:

Run a class

Go onto the YMCA or local gym website and see if they are hiring for class teachers. You obviously must know what you are doing before teaching, but if you have already taken classes for say, yoga, you know more than most people do.

Most likely, these places are going to pay hourly wage. I recommend starting at a gym, and then bringing the classes into your home or rent a place to hold them. This way you can earn a bigger piece of the pie, and you can run the class how you want.

Here’s a great way to learn how to teach yoga:

Create a product

If you have a great idea, start making a prototype. Once the prototype is complete, use it for a month and see how it holds up and if it would be worth paying for. Then find any flaws in the design and fix them. After flaws are fixed, locate your target market and ask them if they would spend money on your item. Actually let them use it if you want.

Once you are ready to start producing, you have to decide between a few options. You can produce the product yourself (very time consuming and expensive if you don’t have the materials and machines), find a manufacturer (usually you have to go out of country to find cheaper manufacturers), or sell the idea to a company (be careful not to give your idea to anyone until you know you can trust them).

Become a brand ambassador

There are lots of small companies out there who are looking for ways to advertise their business. If you are a well-known person in an area, find someone who sells clothing locally and ask if you can be a brand ambassador.

You can utilize YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook to advertise for them. Remember, the better job you do for them, the better chance you will get paid more and find better promotional jobs. You may have to go out and advertise yourself. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t pay well at first, big money takes time. This is a great way to stay fit and make cash at the same time.


The More Obscure

Create gyms for people

Like I said, these are obscure ideas to turning your fitness goals into money. I think this is a great idea for someone who has been around the block a few times. If you know, or get to know, the industry and the pricing, find someone who needs gym equipment. Whether they are looking for a personal gym in their basement or are starting a local gym, you can help them find what they need. After getting their products ordered, set it up for them. Make them do as little work as possible. To turn it into money, work with the client to an agreed upon price. I would recommend a commission based on how much product you order and set up, or you could also work by the hour.

Start a hiking/camping service

What better way to make money then to spend a weekend camping? If you run it by yourself, you could be in for a big payday. Bring 15 people into the mountains for a weekend and charge $100/person. That’s $1500 in one weekend. Bring only five people, and that’s still $500 for a weekend.

Make sure you know the areas very well and are First Aid certified; liability can be an issue if you are not prepared.

Learn how to lead an expedition:

If you really want to turn fitness into money, it will take hard work. I really hope people aren’t looking at this list and wishing for an easy way to make bank. Making bank takes time and hard work. The harder you work and the better fitness experience you have, the quicker it will turn into money for you.