Pat Rigsby on the Past, Present and Future of Fitness Business

Pat Rigsby is a fitness business coach who has been in the industry since 1994.

Growing up in Portsmouth, Ohio, Pat never had an interest in entrepreneurship and wanted to be a Major League Baseball player.

And even though he had a season in professional baseball, he eventually realized playing the sport wasn’t his calling and set his sights on coaching.

Pat started his career as a collegiate baseball coach and later moved into the private fitness sector in the early 2000s, armed with a Bachelor’s in Sports Management from Xavier University and a Master’s in Athletic Administration from Ohio University.

Since starting that first fitness business, Pat has owned, or co-owned, over 32 businesses in the industry, from health clubs to local training facilities and franchises.

And today, he exclusively facilitates business coaching with fitness, health, and sports performance entrepreneurs, guiding them through building their ideal business.

Pat is someone I’ve known for many years and has become a trusted resource when it comes to running my business. Without him and his business aptitude, both IFAST and RTS wouldn’t be where they are today.

Pat joins me this week to share his insights into the past, present, and future of the fitness industry.

He illustrates how COVID has impacted fitness facilities in the short and long term.

He discusses how a trainer, coach, or rehab professional can tell they’re ready to start their own business and illustrates how having a fitness facility is different from working for another.

And finally, he shares his advice for fitness business owners who are worried or reluctant to transition their business online and emphasizes the fitness industry’s quality of being people-centric.


We are a people business more than any other business serving adults on earth. Our job is to coach somebody and provide accountability, motivation, and expertise. – Pat Rigsby


This week on the Physical Preparation Podcast:

  • How trainers, coaches, or rehab professionals can know that they’re ready to start their own fitness business
  • The extra responsibilities you take when you start your own business
  • How Pat realized that he wanted to take on the business ownership path
  • Being completely unemployable and the opportunity-security continuum
  • Pat’s three-step process of running a successful fitness business
  • Lead magnets and how to attract your target market
  • Building a relationship with prospects to convert them into clients
  • The impact of effective product and service delivery to clients
  • How COVID-19 has impacted the fitness industry
  • Why client-centric fitness businesses were able to weather the COVID storm more effectively
  • Why Pat thinks group training will weaken in the long-term
  • Growth in online and hybrid training, as well as a more holistic approach to wellness
  • Getting fitness business owners into the world of online training
  • The biggest excuses fitness business owners make in starting online coaching
  • What it means to create your ideal business


Resources Mentioned:


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