Book Review: “Personal Trainers’ Guide to Earning Top Dollar” by Ben Greenfield

After well over a decade and a half as a personal trainer, nutritionist, and more, I actually learned some things reading this book and that is a rare thing indeed.

personal trainers' guide, ben greenfield, personal training business, training

So, you want to be a personal trainer. Or maybe you already earned your certification and even have a job at a gym. But maybe after all that you still feel a little lost. There’s a good reason why many personal trainers have this experience and it has to do with the nature of personal training.

A certification will teach you some of what you need to know about exercise (although sadly, most are not so great at doing even that much). But there’s a lot more than knowing how to exercise when it comes to being a personal trainer. It’s a business. You have a service to sell. You even have yourself to sell. Most training certifications do not prepare you for that. But the Personal Trainers’ Guide to Earning Top Dollar by Ben Greenfield will help you with just that.

Ben is a successful long-time personal trainer, recognized as the 2008 Personal Trainer of the Year by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. He’s also a competitive athlete, competing actively in triathlons after a college stint playing several sports. He knows his stuff.

While Ben offers services as a trainer and nutritionist, this book is about the business of training others. Anything you can make money at as a trainer, including online and in-person fitness, nutrition, supplements, and books are topics he covers.

As a trainer myself I’ve read a few books on the topic, and all are fairly comparable but there’s a few key ways in which this book stands out. Firstly, at 155 pages it’s not the longest book I’ve read on personal training. While I would like to see more from Ben, I will say that the book’s short length is in part because there is no filler at all. Each chapter stands alone, and gets straight to the point.

And in this book the point is the nuts and bolts of time-tested strategies for business. Maybe you want to train clients outside of a gym setting. This book tells you the advantages and disadvantages of every imagined method of doing so, and even gives you the sample waivers to get started. Maybe you’ve already started training clients and want to go to the next level but don’t know how to proceed. Not to fear, the book explains the different types of business entities you can have. Maybe you want to take to the Internet, create a blog, write a book, and so on. Yeah, that’s all in there.

Even better, this isn’t just information on a page from someone who took a class on business once. Ben offers critical information that’s important to this specific industry, such as how to identify your niche, why you need to do that, and where to go once you have. This is a required part of success in this business and yet so many people miss it. And nothing is kept from you in terms of how to be successful. Ben even puts his own prices in the book. You won’t find that anywhere else.

After well over a decade and a half as a personal trainer, nutritionist, and more, I actually learned some things reading this book and that is a rare thing indeed. If you’re a personal trainer or aspiring to be one and you’re looking to be more than just the average box-gym lackey, understanding the business end of training is paramount. This book will help get you there.

“Personal Trainers’ Guide to Earning Top Dollar” is available for $17.96 at