If you were to brainstorm jobs that could make you a bunch of money, a personal trainer might not be first on your list. However, if a personal trainer gets noticed by a celebrity or the entertainment industry in general -- well, success is an understatement. With so much contradicting information flying around about getting in shape, the need for a personal trainer that knows exactly what they're doing is essential for folks who want to make a major transformation.
Whether creating a work-out franchise or directly assisting stars in Hollywood, personal trainers can definitely get their name out there! Here are the 10 richest personal trainers of all time.
10 Shaun Thompson - $10 million
You may better recognize Shaun Thompson as Shaun T. Fitness. Shaun was super athletic in high school, playing sports like football and baseball. When he got to college, however, he gained 50 pounds pretty quickly. This led Shaun to research health and fitness, and he eventually graduated with a degree in Sports Science.
He worked as a personal trainer and health program manager at various gyms before moving to Los Angeles and working as a dancer and choreographer. He then auditioned for a workout video, and the rest is history! The Shaun T. Fitness franchise now releases home fitness programs like T25, Insanity, and Hip-Hop Abs.
9 Jackie Warner - $10 million
Like Shaun, Jackie Warner was also athletic growing up. She played intercollegiate soccer and softball but became more interested in the entertainment industry as she aged. For example, she worked as a model, an actor, and even a script coordinator for a time before opening a gym called Sky Sport and Spa.
Jackie was able to combine her passions for fitness and the entertainment industry when she got her own reality TV show, Work Out, that documented her day-to-day life running a gym as well as her personal life. She also had a show called Thintervention with Jackie Warner where she helped clients lose weight. As of now, she works as a personal trainer.
8 Richard Simmons - $15 million
Richard Simmons started to become overweight at only age four and eventually became obese. After moving to Los Angeles, Richard noticed there were no gyms where an overweight person like himself could comfortably work out. After losing over 100 pounds, Richard opened a gym of his own to accommodate people of size and encourage them on their weight loss journey.
His quirky and eccentric personality gained him a lot of attention, and he has since released tons of successful work-out videos (most notably his Sweatin' to the Oldies series,) books, and motivational audio. He also had two TV shows: Slim Cookin and The Richard Simmons Show - both about health and fitness, of course!
7 Tony Horton - $20 million
Tony Horton said he was a "weakling" as a child, but that certainly isn't true anymore! After taking a weightlifting course in college, he fell in love with fitness. He started his personal trainer career in his garage, charging $20 per lesson. After he managed to nab an executive at 20th Century Fox as a client, Tony's name really got out there!
He began to personally train clients like Bruce Springsteen, Usher, Tom Petty, Billy Idol, and Annie Lennox. He also released a work-out video called Power 90, which was so successful it resulted in follow-up videos such as Power 90 Extreme, a.k.a P90X.
6 Billy Blanks - $30 million
As a child, Billy Blanks was obsessed with martial arts. As for how he got into the entertainment industry, he was hired as actress Catherine Bach's bodyguard while she was filming a movie.
He impressed the others on set so much that he was able to perform in various martial arts movies after that, like King of the Kickboxers and Bloodfist. He really hit his stride when he invented the Tae Bo workout, which incorporated moves from boxing and karate. This workout became a craze and even celebrities got on-board with the trend. Once he started filming Tae Bo work-out videos, he began racking in the dough more than ever.
5 Tracy Anderson - $110 million
Tracy Anderson was a dancer but was struggling to make it in the professional dancing world. She then began to try out being a fitness instructor -- and it worked. She opened multiple gyms across the nation, released various work-out DVD's (including ones for pregnant women,) and even developed an online fitness program.
Celebrity clients of hers include Ashley Greene, Jessica Simpson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kirsten Dunst, Ellen Pompeo, Kate Hudson, Shakira, Gisele Bundchen, Molly Sims, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Zooey Deschanel, Nicole Richie, and Courtney Cox. Clearly, word has spread about Tracy throughout the Hollywood Hills!
4 Jane Fonda - $120 million
To be fair, Jane Fonda didn't amass all of her huge fortune just from her work in fitness. No, most of it comes from being a movie star! In the 1980s, however, Jane went from starlet to trainer after releasing her first exercise video, which also happens to hold the record for highest-selling VHS of all-time.
Jane used to stay in shape by doing ballet, but after hurting her foot had to find another way to exercise. After discovering aerobics, she loved it so much that she just had to make a workout video of her own! As of now, she's released 25 workout videos, five workout books, and thirteen audio programs.
3 Chuck Norris - $185 million
Instead of being an actor turned trainer like Jane Fonda, Chuck Norris was a trainer turned actor. The tough guy served in the United States Air Force, and wanted to stay in shape after leaving. He began to study martial arts and won many competitions before opening up a studio of his own.
Chuck quickly gained a celebrity clientele and began to teach them martial arts. With all of the buzz going around about Chuck, he started getting cast in action movies where he could show off his martial arts skills. He even created his own form of martial arts called "Chun Kuk Do."
2 Tony Little - $200 million
Tony Little was always into fitness to the point where he was competing in bodybuilding competitions! After getting into a severe car accident, he began to come up with exercise programs that were easier to do when recovering.
Tony has now made fitness videos that have, in total, sold 47 million copies. He also wrote a book entitled One on One with Tony Little: The Complete 28-Day Body Sculpting And Weight Loss Program that sold thousands of copies. Now, he's mostly known for his fitness products and goofy infomercials he stars in. As a certified personal trainer, Tony regards himself as "America's Personal Trainer."
1 Arnold Schwarzenegger - $300 million
Arnold Schwarzenegger wears many hats. He's mostly known as an actor but was also elected the Governor of California. And while everyone knows of his large physique, not many know just how impressive his body-building past was! Heck, he got first place at the Mr. Olympia competition seven years in a row!
To share his knowledge regarding the practice, he wrote a monthly column for the bodybuilding magazines Muscle & Fitness and Flex for a few years. Now that his acting career is mostly behind him, Arnold uses social media to train others. He uploads videos of him working out, posts tips and tricks, and even answers questions in the comments directly!