Professional Coach Development

Until now, fitness coaches have had little to no opportunity to become professionals. Traditionally, there are three main choices for the fitness coach:

  1. Work at a group exercise facility as a group class coach or instructor (usually a franchise gym, such as Orange Theory, Pilates, Zumba, Curves, F45)
  2. Work at a personal training studio as a personal trainer
  3. Work at a commodity group exercise facility as a class coach and administer some personal training on the side.
1. Group Exercise Franchise Model

Coaches are generally paid by the hour or by the class, and education is slim to none. There’s no client assessment process and no chance to build a one-on-one relationship between coach and client. This model isn’t designed to take care of the clients. It isn’t designed to create a professional class of coaches, who can pursue lifelong careers in the industry. It’s designed for investors to make money.

The result: 70 percent of clients last less than nine months, and coaches last between nine and 18 months (on average). Further, the coach finds himself having to coach 30-plus hours a week, often coaching untrained people, and burning out in a hurry. The coach is but a timekeeper and class monitor. It is not possible to make $80,000 a year in this model. Not possible to take paid vacation. Not possible to save for retirement. It’s not possible to become a true professional.

2. Personal Training Studio

While the personal training model might be a slightly better model for the coach—coaches stick around a little longer, generally between 18 months and three years—often personal training studio owners become fearful coaches will take their clients and leave the gym. This leads to clients rotating from various trainers, which prevents clients from forming a real relationship with a consistent coach who knows their needs.

Financially, the result is the same as the franchise model: It’s impossible to earn a professional wage without having to work too many on-floor hours and burning out. Paid vacations are non-existent.

3. Group Exercise Gym

Again, the experience here is virtually the same as the franchise model: Clients are thrown right into a group class without being assessed, so client churn is often as high as 80 percent. Coaches get paid by the hour. They have to work too many on-floor hours and still can’t make a professional wage. No paid vacation. So like the clients, they don’t last long.

Why do we need to change this reality?

Three billion people around the world are overweight or obese. $2.5 trillion is spent annually on diabetes treatments. Fitness investors are making more money than ever, but people aren’t getting healthier and fitter. A professional coach has the opportunity to fix this.

An endocrinologist isn’t going to refer a diabetes patient to the group exercise facility down the street. A physiotherapist isn’t going to refer a hip replacement patient to the Orange Theory. But, an orthopaedic surgeon will refer a post-op client to a professional coach they know and trust and have a relationship with.

The professional coach (and the professional gym) can bridge the gap between the medical model and the traditional gym. A professional gym and the professional coach are no longer competing against the discount gym down the street; now they’re competing against the pharmaceutical companies.

This is what we do: We educate and mentor coaches to become true professionals, who can pursue lifelong careers in the fitness industry and earn a professional wage—$80,000 to $100,000-plus. Our educational programs are the result of 15 years of trial and error and data collecting (through working with thousands of gyms around the world) to discover best practice.


MadLab’s Professional Coach Diploma Program

The professional coach diploma program (MENTORED PCDP 3.0) is the educational process a MadLab coach goes through en route to becoming a professional coach.

It is the result of 15 years of trial and error and collecting data to uncover best practices to develop and retain full-time, career coaches, who consistently earn a professional wage ($80,000 +) working less than 30 on-floor coaching hours.

The PCDP is a constantly evolving, organic program, but the current model—PCDP 3.0—is broken into five phases:

  • Junior Apprentice I
  • Junior Apprentice II
  • Senior Apprentice I
  • Senior Apprentice II
  • Associate Coach

Each part of the process involves one-on-one mentorship, online coursework and practical, hands-on coaching education. Once prerequisites are met, the coach graduates to the next level of the program.

Junior Apprentice I Overview:

During this 3-month time period, coaches are introduced to working with clients in a one-on-one environment.

Junior Apprentice’s have online weekly meetings with their mentor coach, who gives them various homework to complete each week. Meanwhile, at the gym, they shadow three classes per week, as well as personal training sessions. They also devote time to lead development, technical development and completing various modules in the online school.

Junior I Graduation requirements:

For a Junior Apprentice I to graduate to Junior Apprentice II, they are required to bring in three prospects and complete intro days, or sign up at least once client they brought in on their own. Second, they must shadow a minimum of three clients through the entire fundamentals process. Finally, they must demonstrate movement proficiency, as determined by their mentor coach.

Junior Apprentice II Overview:

During this 3-6 month period, coaches start to work with their own clients at the fundamentals level and begin to learn group class coaching skills.

They start to develop skills to individualize programming during fundamentals so they can effectively transition their clients into group classes and hybrid memberships. They also continue to meet with their mentor coach online once a week to go over their growing client list, and continue to work through the relevant modules in the online school. Eventually, they will also participate in marketing meetings, as well as meetings laid out in the Coach Management Course.

At the gym, they assist a senior coach in four classes per week.

At this stage, Junior II apprentices start earning a percentage of revenue on their clients (20 percent on personal training and hybrid memberships), and 30 percent if the client is a coach generated lead. Further, it is expected that by the end of this part of the program, they have a 65 percent first day close rate, and that at least 75 percent of their graduates carry on to hybrid memberships.

Junior Apprentice II Graduation requirements:

For a Junior Apprentice II to graduate to the Senior level, they need 10 active clients on hybrid memberships—people they took through the intro sessions and fundamentals and graduated them to a hybrid membership. Three of these clients must be coach generated leads.

Senior Apprentice I Overview:

During this 6-12 month period, coaches will develop a deeper understanding of biomechanics, physiology, anatomy and nutrition.

They continue to meet with their mentor coach—once every two weeks now—and continue to work through the modules in the online school, all the while continuing to build their tribe of clients.

They also begin leading group classes (6-8 per week) and start to earn 30 percent of the revenue they generate from their clients, and 40 percent if the client is a coach generated lead.

Senior Apprentice II Graduation requirements:

In order to graduate to Senior Apprentice II, the coach’s 6-month client retention rate must be 80 percent or higher. Secondly, a minimum of 30 percent of their clients must be referrals. They must also pass the Senior Apprentice I oral exam.

Finally, their target revenue for three consistent months must = 30 *BMM + (10 * PT * 4.3), or $9000 in gross revenue per month.

Senior Apprentice II Overview:

During this 12-24 month period, coaches focus on building their book of clients and servicing their current ones to ensure client retention remains well above 80 percent. They also start to master prehab/rehab concepts, as well as marketing techniques and they begin to develop their own specialty programs and run community events.

Further, they continue to meet with their mentor coach, complete the requisite coursework, and attend various marketing and sales meetings.

At this point, the coach leads approximately 7 group classes per week and earn 35 percent of their sales revenue, and 45 percent on coach generated leads.

Senior Apprentice II graduation requirements:

To graduate to become an associate coach, the Senior Apprentice II must pass a two-day in-person graduation exam.

They are also expected to bring in one new client per week during this time, and must consistently generate $13,000 in monthly gross revenue (or 50 BMM + (10* PT * 4.3). They should also have a specialty program that generates a minimum of $3,000 each quarter. Finally, a minimum of 40 percent of their clients must come from referrals.

Associate Coach Overview:

At this point, the coach is effectively a professional coach with a book of clients that consistently earn them a professional wage.

They coach 7 to 10 group classes per week, their own specialty program and personal training/fundamentals clients (17-25 total hours per week on the floor), with the rest of their time being spent on coach retention, programming, marketing, sales, and ongoing technical development.

They earn 40 percent of the revenue they generate, and 50 percent from any coach generated leads.

After one year of being an associate coach, a full-time coach should have 60-100 clients, be generating 80* BMM + (10 * PT * 4.3) or $15,000 in revenue each month, plus $2,000-$5,000 in specialty programs or personal training clients. Finally, 50 percent of their clients should come from referrals.

Take the first step toward becoming a Madlab Professional Coach

Our introductory course—the Coach Prep Course—and the more in-depth three-year Professional Coach Diploma Program (PCDP 3.0), now in its third iteration, provides coaches with technical training, sales training, business training and mentorship to develop the skills they need to become true professionals.

Coach Prep Course: This is a five-hour online course that teaches the basics of:

  • the business model,
  • the client development process,
  • the coach development process
  • The coach co-op
  • Professional compensation model so you can make $60k, 80k, $100k+ (yes we have many coaches that make over $100,000 a year (Tom, Tbear and Chris linked here all made over $100,000)


Times are strange right now, but coming out of this Madlab Professional coaches will be the future.

Today we are offering a SPECIAL DISCOUNT to prep for your future today.

Today’s price is $99.

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