Articles for Professionals, Businesses, People

Expert Tips for Outdoor Training


Anyone can train a client outdoors, but it takes a smart Trainer to do it properly!

I asked two leading business owners (Summer Nelson of MyTrainer and Stephanie Lee of Alive PT) who regularly train clients outdoors for their TOP THREE TIPS for a successful Outdoor Personal Training business.

UPDATE 14/05/15: I’m very pleased to have been able to add a contribution from Jodie Arnot of Healthy Balance Fitness.  Please scroll down for her top three tips. 

There’s some VERY valuable advice here. Please enjoy.



If you are new to the fitness industry welcome! If you have escaped the confines of the gym, to work in the fresh air congratulations! Either way, starting an outdoor fitness business is not just about throwing off the shackles and having fun outside, it’s a specific business model with strengths & weaknesses like any other. It can still be a lot of fun, but it’s not a walk in the park!

My top 3 tips for trainers looking to conduct outdoor training are:

1. Run a reputable business.

As a Personal Trainer, providing an outdoor service you are conducting a business & representing our industry as well as yourself. You should not view using public spaces as a way of “not paying rent” or a way of reducing your business obligations. Respect the space, the local residents and other businesses. Conduct yourself as a business person and have proper systems and procedures in place to account for all eventualities. This includes setting your prices so they reflect the quality of service you are providing.

2. Be mindful of the environment and how this might affect the client.

Is the area noisy, safe, easy to find (or get away from) well lit and discrete? Some clients do not want to be “on show”, so always respect their feelings about where is appropriate to train. Always have a back up plan for poor weather, and be respectful of other people using the space.

3. Be extra mindful of your training technique & appearance – you are always on show.

Work within your qualifications & training. We see people conduct sub-standard sessions in public spaces all the time. It is not always obvious who is the client, and who is the trainer. Wear an identifiable, professional, uniform with your business logo and colours consistently. Be especially careful of your technique – I have observed “Trainers” poor techniques during boxing sets, clients carrying weights over their heads on uneven ground, and children running up and down the pavement near busy roads outside studios. This is all on show to the public, and your potential clients.

In short – conduct yourself properly, take your business seriously and have fun!



My top three pieces of advice for anyone getting started in Outdoor Training:

1. Know your area

  • Do you need to notify the local Council to use the area?
  • Is it an off lead park? (If yes keep your eyes on your equipment- dogs are cheeky!!)
  • Are there public facilities for your clients if in need?
  • Check the grounds/park for hazards and lighting (if dawn/dusk training)

2. Have a weather back up plan

No one really likes to do a static weights workout in the rain BUT if they are constantly moving the rain isn’t noticed as much

3. Be friendly to others using the outdoor public area 

Always share the grounds/park.



My top 3 tips for anyone getting started with outdoor training:

First things first

Register yourself and/or your business with Fitness Australia, organise insurance and ensure that your first aid and CPR is always up to date. Councils will not approve you for outdoor training permits without this!

Develop a relationship with local council

Contact local councils to find out permit procedures, which parks you’re allowed to train in, and what rules you must abide by.

Know your environment

Scope out the area you’ve been given. What are the risks you need to manage? Have a risk management plan, hot weather policy and storm policy that you make clear to all staff and clients. How could the environment change each day and how might you need to adjust your class plan to ensure a safe and effective workout? Factors like rain, ground surface, dogs (and their droppings!), park users, rubbish and much more will need to be taken into account.

Thank you Stephanie, Summer and Jodie. Your input is greatly appreciated.

(And thank you Jamie for the inspiration on the topic)

Regards, Dennis Hosking

Picture 15Founder and Managing Director of HealthyPeople and suffer the curse of thinking all my ideas are good ones. Driven by a desire to help people enjoy the career/business in fitness that they’re looking for. Catch me at the HealthyPeople Feed – @dennishosking


2 thoughts on “Expert Tips for Outdoor Training

  1. ambarlow says:

    The need for doing a thorough risk assessment of your training area can never be underestimated. As the article contributors have all highlighted it’s important to recognise any possible hazards, no matter how minor they may seem at the time. I was doing pushups in a park recently (by myself on a morning walk, not in a class situation) and was bitten on the finger by something that I didn’t even see but certainly felt the effects of. The stinging ache on my finger was very painful and it took me over half an hour before I could get home to put ice on it to manage the pain that lasted for over 4 hours. Having small instant ice packs on hand in your PT toolkit should be an essential.


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