How to Dominate the “Non-Gym” Market

The following is a guest contribution by Levi Clampitt.

They say for every market there is an equally and sometimes greater anti-market.

We have PC users and then we have anti-PC users (Mac kids). We have people that love Coke and then we have people who wouldn’t drink it if their life depended on it (Pepsi fans). And most relevant to us, we have gym goers and then those that choose to go without (non-gymmers).

This last market is much larger than actual gym goers but past attempts to crack it have been futile.

Few are currently catering to this market. This article will show you how.

The Market

Like most clients, non-gymmers are female.

While we all have a laundry list of perceived limitations, for the non-gymmers it’s a bit more real. They have less money (younger), less time (moms), less energy (easily intimidated), and perhaps most importantly, less belief that they’ll be able to commit to a rigid gym schedule.

The non-gymmer isn’t looking for anything extreme but rather searching for a solution that complements their lifestyle.

They need simple and easy, and spending two hours on a gym session isn’t it.

The Marketing

First, let’s talk about where you’re going to train.

While it’s optimistic to think you’ll be able rock outdoor sessions all the time, it’s just not realistic due to weather. Because of this, you’ll need to find a place with a roof over your head (an apartment or garage works well). While this will save you tons of time, money, and energy, it will also become the biggest obstacle you face in getting people in the door.”¨“¨

Combatting Fear

It’s a scary to start a fitness journey. It’s even scarier when the person you’re supposed to put your trust in has no backing from a Globo Gym (“proof of skills“) and, as far as you know, could be a serial killer.

The easiest way we can ease this fear is with social proof. To get this, we look towards building a community.

Here’s two ways to do it:

Step 1: Start a group training class (and give it away for free)    

We need to show people that you’re knowledgeable, worthy, and not some creep off the street.

Here’s how free group training achieves this:

  • People get to see you if you’re legit before making a commitment.
  • They’ll bring other people they know to lessen the fear (and drive more people to you in the process).
  • By making it free, we remove the last excuse.

It doesn’t matter if you have a roster full of clients or none at all — if you’re currently at zero, just recruit some buddies and go to the park (or local event center) to run through a workout that mirrors your philosophy. With time, your buddies will get their buddies to come and eventually you’ll have a full community of followers.

Step 2: Connect online

Marketing is about going where the people are and getting their attention. Since everyone is on Facebook, this is where you’ll want to set up shop. My guess is that you’re already there but are using the wrong platform (i.e., the fan page).

3 reasons you’ll want to create a group instead:

  1. It gives everyone an equal voice (less tyranny).
  2. Unless they opt out, they receive a notification every time someone posts (more views).
  3. You’re allowed to see who saw your posts.

This group will further the connection between your existing members as well as allow potential members to find you. While its role (in disguise) will be to inform people when and where you’ll run your group class, its higher purpose is to help your members develop a sense of identity.

Using The Funnel

Once you have a community full of people who know and trust you, your life is made infinitely easier:

  • Your followers will now speak for you — no advertisement is better than words coming from people we trust.
  • They will come to you when they need more help (private training)

It’s this last part I refer to as “the funnel.” Because you now have more people in your ring of influence, there are going to be more people eventually using your service (because you’re good and no else offers what you do).

With no funnel (and no way for people to check if you’re a creep), it will be hard to get people to bite on such an unconventional service.

The Workouts

So you got people in the door, now what are you going to do?

Non-gymmers don’t have the time or energy for lectures, lengthy workouts, and exercises that are for “show.” They need their fix and they need it quick.

Luckily, when you train without a gym you can be certain that you can give this to them. Fact is, any workout goal (fat loss, muscle building, strength and performance) can be done within 20 minutes, if done right.

Don’t let the name fool you, “non-gym“ doesn’t equate to “without weights.” If you want your clientele to progress quicker while making the workouts shorter, you want to use weights.

Here’s what you should use:

EZ bar

Dumbbell handles


With this, you can teach all the major lifts (clean and press, front squat, deadlift) and many secondary exercises (curls, extensions, floor press, rows, lunges) while never leaving your living room. For women, 200 pounds worth will be ideal while a little over 300 pounds will work for most males.


While not my favorite tool, they do come in handy for trips to the park or to a client’s house. Twenty-five pounds is a good starting weight for females.

That’s it. Creativity will take care of the rest.

The Caveat

Hopefully I got you all tingly with this article about the possibility of dominating your non-gym, but alas there’s a caveat:

You have to have skills.Ӭ

If you’re the type of trainer that has their clients warm-up on a treadmill then this won’t be for you. Nor will this be for those that bounce their trainees from machine to machine without any rhyme or reason.

Now while I stress the importance of having proper programming skills, this pales in comparison to the most critical one:

The ability to make fitness practical for your client.

Non-gymmers don’t have time for stringent “rules,” restrictive diets, and 5 days-a-week sessions. What they do have time for is learning principles (however slowly) that they can then use to create their own diets and at-home routines.

I know it sounds like educating people to replace you, but remember, they’ll talk — and when they do they’ll say good things.

Good luck dominating your non-gym.

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