$165 a month. That’s the 2023 average cost for an unlimited group class membership at functional fitness-type gyms. 

This price hasn’t changed much in the last five years or so, while 15 years ago the going rate for a group class membership was $135 a month.


Simple: Most coaches are simply scared to charge more. Or at least you think your clients won’t pay more. Further, you see the other gyms around them charging $165, so you assume this is what you should charge too.

So, you bring on new clients and toss them straight into group classes (or maybe you put them through a few group Onramp sessions first to get them up to speed) and start collecting $165 a month.

The result: Clients churn, coaches churn, and the small gym owner is left wondering why they’re still doing this. (The average length a client stays at a gym is in and around seven months, while the average coach lasts less than two years).

There is another way. You can charge $300-plus a month for a high-value, hybrid membership, where clients receive the coaching they need to stick around for years, where coaches have the chance to become professional coaches, and where the business can actually be profitable.

High-value and professional coach: What exactly do these terms really mean?

By high-value, we mean clients who pay $300 or more, where they receive a premium service from a professional coach they have a real relationship with. A coach who knows the client’s wants, needs, training and health history, goals, priorities (ie what’s really going on in the person’s life). 

  • The process involves onboarding them with 12-18 one-on-one sessions with the same coach, and then putting them on some sort of hybrid membership that usually includes some group classes, but also continued personal training (generally one session every six weeks), and in some cases nutrition coaching or individual program design, depending on the client’s needs.
  • At Madlab School of Fitness in Vancouver, our average client value is more than $300. For $300 most clients do a combination of group classes (two to five a week) plus a one-on-one session with their personal coach every six weeks. This is effectively our base membership.

By professional coach, we mean a coach who can earn a professional wage—professional wage = > Median Household Income x 1.25—year-after-year servicing their high-value clients. 

  • At Madlab School of Fitness in Vancouver, we have five full-time professional coaches who earn a professional wage pursuing lifelong careers as coaches. They have been with us coaching since 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2018 respectively. 
  • Madlab coaches are compensated financially based on performance (based on their ability to acquire and retain clients). They earn a portion of their clients’ recurring monthly membership for the lifetime of that client. They work together in a coach co-op to manage business & class responsibilities, which effectively allows them to earn upwards of $150 an hour to coach a group class. Read more about the benefits of performance-based pay here and about the coach co-op here.

If this all sounds daunting and you’re still wondering how you can convince someone to pay twice as much as they’re paying now, consider why your current group class clients might actually want to be high-value.

A client paying $300-plus for a hybrid membership:

  • has a real relationship with a coach they trust—a coach they can talk to about what’s really going on in their life, a coach who understands their wants, needs, goals, priorities etc, and who can continuously educate them along their health and fitness journey.
  • receives a certain amount of tailored programming that caters to their unique needs (rather than just showing up for a group class coached by someone getting paid $26 an hour (the average rate in 2023).

As a result, the client sees actual long-term results, which is the ultimate key to client retention. This means they never have to find another gym, another coach, or another program again.

And for the coach, it means you can finally earn a professional wage as a full-time career coach who is truly making a difference in your clients’ lives (rather than cheerleading and time keeping during a group class to make $26 an hour).

Bottom line: To become a full-time, career coach who can earn a professional wage, you have to be more than a group class coach who tosses new clients straight into classes for $165 a month. You need to provide more, be worth more, and to charge more for it.

For more about becoming a professional coach who can earn six figures, check out this Mini Webinar for coaches.

If you found this article helpful and would like to see exactly how these types of strategies could improve your sales and dramatically increase your revenue on a consistent basis,

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