Professional Coach Terrence Limbert opens up about his journey to becoming a professional coach

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Terrence Limbert is a full-time coach at Forge Valley Fitness in Vernon, B.C., a long-time MadLab Group gym.

Today, Limbert has 40 of his own clients—of which he is paid a percentage of revenue—and earns a professional wage as a full-time fitness coach. 

The journey to get there wasn’t easy, he admitted.

“It has definitely been a hard journey to get where I am today, as being successful in any industry or profession should be,” he said. “There were some hard times in the first year where I was actively searching and sending resumes to welding and machine shops.”

But something told him to stick to it and commit to the process.

“I dedicated myself to the process and was adamant that I would succeed and make it work and it has been just moving on up from there,” he said. “2016 was a growing year for sure, but I would say things started to be adding up to a good, comfortable living through 2017.”

In 2016, as he was building his book of clients, he earned just $37,000. The following year, this increased to $55,00. Fast forward to 2018, and he was close to $70,000, which he expects to eclipse this year.

Terrence and a client

What makes his life as a coach sustainable, however, for the long-term is that he doesn’t have to coach 40 energy-draining, on-floor hours to earn this living (in a small city of 40,000 people, where money goes a lot further than in a big city).

“It definitely varies week to week,” he said, but generally he works 20 to maximum 30 hours a week, with 23 to 28 of them being on-floor hours.

The breakdown:

•15-20 personal training hours

• 5 to 6 hours coaching group classes

• 3 hours of specialty program classes, (including a teen program and a 12-week program for the rugby team in Vernon)

•2 to 3 hours  on programming and planning each week  (and a bit more time doing administrative tasks, such as client management, billing, blogging and other social media tasks)

For anyone looking to become a professional coach, Terrence offered this advice:

“Two years is a realistic plan to be near a good living, but you need to work your ass off. …No one starts as a dishwasher and expects to be a sous chef in six months, so I had no intention of that being the case here. …You cannot expect the process to do the work for you,” he said. 

Today, Terrence is incredibly thankful to work in a business model that made him earn it the hard way. It has made the journey that much more rewarding, and is the reason he knows he’ll be able to continue to pursue a long career in the industry—an opportunity that wouldn’t be possible if he were being paid by the hour to coach group classes.

“This system works for me because it very much rewards the hard worker. You get what you put in,” he said.

Terrence added: “It also makes me invested and interested in the total success of the gym. If my clients aren’t returning, that’s on me. That’s a pay cut and nobody wants that. The more the gym as a whole thrives, so do I. So do we all: clients, coaches and owner.”

To learn more about what the top 1 percent of gyms do to maximize revenue, keep clients for life and pay coaches a professional wage, DM MadLab Group on Facebook the code BEERS for a completely free video training series. (

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