Wanna get your piece of the pie as a corporate trainer? Understand the big picture.

Carlos Anthony Castro
3 min readNov 20, 2023


Shown above: me arriving on time for a 5am Session where I Currently Work as personal trainer At EQUINOX. I’m big on being well ahead of schedule.

I was like a lot of folks interested in working as a personal trainer. Working out was my “passion”(ie; I enjoyed exercising and training). And I got the impression that personal trainers made lots of money while working little hours. So I got a baseline certification as a personal trainer in 2019. Prior to getting my certification I’d only even heard about Equinox about 2 years ago, some kind of luxury gym. I definitely loved the way they marketed their brand.

BUT, I was definitely not interested in going corporate at the time. I didn’t consider myself a corporate guy, honestly I still don’t today. I tried personal training on my own while working another full time job. And through lack of business understanding, and time, it was becoming more and more of a hobby.

So, I reached a point where it was apparent, if I’m going to make a personal training what I do I’ve gotta go corporate. And if thats the reality, theres only one option, EQUINOX.

As an independent trainer working with clients on the weekends I made mistakes, largely relating lack of communication. That lack of communication resulted in my clients overall experience not being what I hoped, the big picture. And I learned from that, and felt like a company like EQUINOX was big on their member’s overall experience (I wasn’t asked about this in the interview, but boy I was ready!!).

2 years into working at Equinox I’ve seen a lot of trainers come and go, likely for a few reasons.

  • Were false expectations set from the beginning?(yes)
  • If the aspiring personal trainer knew the true expectations from the beginning would he/she have hung around(Likely no. And to be fair I’m a bit older than the average personal trainer. So the answer would’ve been the same for me 15 years ago).

So lets cut to the chase, how much money can we make as corporate personal trainers?

Lots of box gyms take a huge cut of the money for good reasons:

  • Mgmt and marketing get all clientele into the gym and help their trainers get clients. All the trainers have to do is train their clients. And if they lose them, mgmt will get them more clients. That alone justifies a low wage.

At EQUINOX, trainers are incentivized, and get paid more the more sessions we perform. In fact, at a certain point we can take half the session rate if we’re performing enough sessions. Thats not half bad considering the gym carries all the expenses (rent, equipment, marketing, insurance, potential legal fees, utilities).

Then theres the inter structure. Just like trainers are incentivized so are various levels of management. Long story short, trainers are at the bottom of the totem pole in this hierarchy (again totally fair). Remember:

  • Marketing gets members into the gym
  • Mgmt and various mgmt teams get members to sign up
  • Then us personal trainers get our opportunities for business

Wanna go independent, then try all that on your own. But if you’re struggling as a new corporate trainer, think about the bigger picture.

How much money can we make as corporate trainers, potentially six figures, if you’re willing to put in the work. But it takes lots of time! Is it worth to put in the work? Well I have no plans of leaving anytime soon.



Carlos Anthony Castro

*Personal Trainer* Marathon Runner * Instagram @iron_endurance_training