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How to Run a Successful Online Group Training Program or Fitness Challenge
How to Run a Successful Online Group Training Program or Fitness Challenge

Make more money with online group training and fitness challenges delivered through Trainerfu.

Manobal Jain avatar
Written by Manobal Jain
Updated over a week ago

To sustainably grow your personal training business, it can be helpful to step outside the traditional 1 on 1 training model. Personal trainers that offer online group training or fitness challenges can train more clients at once, making more money in less time.

With the Trainerfu app, you can seamlessly make online group training a part of your repertoire. We have some tips to get you started.

There are 2 really important things that will make your online group fitness challenges successful.

  1. It should be scalable.

    It takes a large investment of time to build a comprehensive group fitness challenge, but you can't expect to charge the same way you do for 1 on 1 personal training.

    To be profitable you have to make your fitness challenge scalable. By scalable, we mean that the time it takes to run the challenge for 100 participants should be roughly the same when you grow it to 200 participants. This means that you can train more clients in the same amount of time.

    So how do you make sure that the group fitness program is scalable? By automation. You need to automate 90% of things that you deliver in a challenge so that less of your valuable time goes to repetitive tasks. This will help you continue to grow your fitness program without having to increase the time you spend working with clients and doing administrative tasks.

  2. It should be packed with value.

    People have different expectations when it comes to an online group challenge. They don't expect you to provide them with 1-on-1 personal training, but they definitely still want more than a simple group workout plan. They want results. Besides a group workout plan, successful group fitness challenge deliver more value with content, community, habit coaching and more.

You can meet these requirements and create all the right components of successful online training program in Trainerfu.

Part I: Elements of successful online fitness program and how to build them in Trainerfu.

Group workout plan

You can build group workout plans in Trainerfu for online training participants. For group challenges, it's ideal for all the participants to have similar starting points and end goals. For example, you wouldn't put a group of senior citizens working on mobility on the same workout plan as college students trying to build strength. To add the most value and get your clients results, tailor the program for a specific type of client.

Within your group, there may be some variations like whether or not members have access to a gym. We recommend creating 2-3 group workout plans to meet everyone's needs.

To do this in Trainerfu:

  1. Go to More > Plan Template

  2. Create a new Template. Name it appropriately. For example:

    1. 12-Weeks Fitness Challenge - Gym version

    2. 12-Weeks Transformation Challenge - Home version

  3. Now click on the name of the plan template.

  4. Here you can build the group workout plan.

  5. You can make the plan as long as you like. Ideally you should make one span the duration of the challenge.

Later when we put together everything in a training package, you will see how you can automatically assign this plan to people who signup for this challenge.

Create a Group
We highly recommend that you create a separate group for challenge participants. This is because once you have a group then you can perform group related actions like sending a group message, schedule group messages and reminders, and more from inside of this group.

To create a group in Trainerfu:

  1. Click on Groups

  2. Click on Add Group

  3. Give the group an appropriate name

  4. Select the news feed settings (shown in the photo below). Selecting Yes allows group members to see each other's activities on the news feed. This helps them motivate and support each other, and is the easiest way to build a community for your participants.

Onboarding is a process of helping participants get started. It's an important part of working with clients that can eat up a lot of your time as a trainer. Here are few important things that you should do to help onboard participants more quickly and easily with Trainerfu.

  • Welcome Message

    The first thing you need to do after someone signup for your program is to send them a welcome message. This should make them feel at home and give a brief overview of what's to come.

    To do this in Trainerfu, simply add a scheduled message inside the new group you created for this challenge:

    1. Go to Groups

    2. Click on the Scheduled Messages next to the new group you created.

    3. Click on Schedule New Message

    4. Write your welcome message.

    5. You can also attach files like a welcome pack or any additional materials you might want clients to start with.

    6. Schedule it to be sent out as soon as someone joins the group.

  • Paperwork (PAR-Q, Waiver)
    Do you want participants to complete paperwork before they start the challenge? If so, you can again automate this using scheduled messages.

    To do that create new schedule messages in the same group.

    • If you want participants to complete a form, create a Google form or Jot form and include the link to these forms in the scheduled messages.

    • If you want them to complete a PDF, include the PDF as an attachment with the message.

      To learn more about how to do this checkout this tutorial.

  • Announcements
    Another type of messages that you may want to automate using scheduled messages are announcements. For example:

    • Your participants may register for the challenge awhile before it starts. In that case schedule messages that keep the participants interested in the time leading up to the challenge start date.

    • Send messages a day before the challenge starts to remind all the participants.


One of the most scalable way to add a ton of value to your participants is by delivering valuable content that help them reach their goals. Here are few examples:

  • Recipe guides

  • Sample meal plans

  • Grocery lists

  • Fitness tips

Once you have the content ready, add scheduled messages to deliver them at a set schedule to your participants.

Do you want program participants to stick to a few new healthy habits? You can create habits for your participants to track in Trainerfu.

  • Go to More > Habits

Create habits for your participants that will help them reach their health and fitness goals. Below are some examples:

Private Social Group
The Trainerfu client app has a news feed section. This is a great place for participants to support and motivate each other. It is also a great place for you to engage with everyone from time to time. You can post on the news feed to educate, inform or just have fun.

By default, participants who share the same group can see each other's updates (eg. workouts). But you can configure this by:

  • More > Settings > News feed settings

Drip Course

Finally, do you have a set course that you would like your participants to go through during the challenge? If yes, then the best way to deliver this course is by creating an auto-responder sequence.

An auto-responder sequence is simply a sequence of messages that are delivered at set schedule. For example: You can create auto-responder sequence to teach participants about nutrition over 7-10 days.

To learn more about how to set it up, go here.

Part II: Put everything together in a Training Package.

Now you have a better idea of the elements that make a great group training program. Now to make yours easy to sell online, you can use Trainerfu to put it all together in a Training Package.

But first... What is a Training package?

In Trainerfu, a training package bundles all different component of a fitness program in a single product. A training package can include a workout plan, message sequence, private social group and much more. Once your training package is created, you can then share it with a simple link on Instagram, Facebook, your website, email or anywhere else.

A prospect simply clicks on the link to buy your package. Once bought, they can download the app to access the entire fitness program. All the workouts, content, etc. would be delivered to them inside their app at a set schedule.

How to create a training package

  1. In Trainerfu, go to More > Packages and Payments.

  2. Click on Add New Package.

  3. Enter Title.
    The title should be short and give prospects a good idea of what is included in the program.

  4. Enter Description
    Your description should provide more information about the challenge and give readers a better understanding of what their money buys them. Your description should cover:

    1. What all is included in the fitness program or challenge

    2. Who the program is for

    3. Start date, duration

    4. Disclaimer, waiver, etc.

    5. Testimonials from your past clients

  5. You also have the option to include background image and video. These will show up on the fitness program registration page. A video can be a great way to build trust with potential clients and provide more information about your training and programs.

    Important tip: As you are building your a training package, you can always preview it by clicking the preview button.

  6. Once done with the basic info, click Next. This will take you to the Automation screen.

    This is where you will put together all the different components of the challenge.

  7. Select Groups, Habits, Auto-responder.
    A client would automatically be added to the groups, habits, and auto-responders you selected here.

  8. Select Workout Plan Template.
    Here you select the workout plan that you want to assign to participants of this fitness program.

  9. Select Primary Trainer

    Select a primary trainer that would be assigned to the participants. Any trainer can access any client in the app. But the primary trainer is the only one that will receive a notification when the client sends a message.

  10. Click Next to go to Payment screen.

  11. Setup Payment

    Here you can select the payment details.

    1. If you are using this fitness program as a lead magnet you may offer it free.

    2. On the other hand you can charge a one-time payment.

    3. Or charge a recurring subscription price. With recurring subscription, you also have an option to offer a free trial.

  12. Once done, click Next to go to Target screen.

  13. Select Target
    Is this program for new clients, existing clients, or both? You can make that choice here.

  14. Click Save and your challenge is ready!

Part III: Distribution

Once you create a training package, it will get its own link. You can now copy this link and share it everywhere (Instagram, Facebook, Ads, WhatsApp, email, your website).

Important tip: Hype your fitness challenge using your communication channels. Use your online platforms to start building excitement about the challenge at least a few weeks before it starts and share relevant information. This will help you attract participants to the challenge.

Further Readings

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