Monetizing Bodybuilding: How Do Bodybuilders Make Money

Are you passionate about bodybuilding and wondering if you can turn this passion into a career? You’ve even probably asked yourself the question, “How do bodybuilders make money?”.

In general, bodybuilders make the majority of their money through multiple income streams. They can earn competition prize money, get sponsorships from supplement companies or other brands, and sell personal training, but the most lucrative is building a brand and selling products.

There are other ways a bodybuilder makes money, and down below I’ll discuss the 7 most popular ways to make money with bodybuilding.

Most people will think entering and winning competitions against professional bodybuilders is the only way to make it in this field…

But, you’ll be surprised to know that even an average bodybuilder or even someone just sharing their passion for the fitness industry can make money within this industry. (especially if you are using the 6th or 7th method from the list below)

Bodybuilder Ripping Apart His Tank Top

7 Different Ways To Make Money As A Bodybuilder

According to Zippia, the earning potential of a bodybuilder can be anywhere between $19,000 to over 7 figures a year. And the median salary is around $32,000. (1)

You can see that there’s a huge difference between what the best bodybuilders make and what other bodybuilders are making…

And you’ll be surprised that the “best bodybuilders” who are making the “big bucks” aren’t doing so with traditional monetizing methods like winning competitions.

Instead, they focus on building their own brand and following within the fitness industry…

We’ll talk more about this later on in this post, but that’s the secret if you really want to earn money through bodybuilding.

Now, let’s talk about the 7 ways you can earn money through bodybuilding…

Trophy With Hands Reaching Up Into Sky

1. Winning Fitness Competition Prize Money

Going into the fitness industry and trying to compete in bodybuilding shows and competitions is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think about how to make money as a bodybuilder.

This is completely valid. But, the prize money you earn is honestly not enough money to make a living usually…

First off, you won’t make money doing small amateur shows. You usually do these shows to earn your pro card, build a name for yourself, and possibly pick up endorsement deals or sponsorships.

It’s typical for prize money to be given out only to professional shows.

The real prize money earned is through big shows like the Mr. Olympia competition, where winners can receive anywhere from $20,000 to 6-figure checks.

And you need to be the best in the world or the top of your class in order to get one of those prizes.

Two Business People Shaking Hands

2. Getting Sponsorships Within The Fitness Industry

Getting endorsements, brand deals, or sponsorships is like the holy grail for most bodybuilders.

But there are different types of sponsorships within the fitness industry, and usually, how much a bodybuilder makes from a sponsorship comes down to how much of a social media presence they have…

There are different business models when it comes to brand deals, sponsorships, etc.

Here are just a few examples…

Some companies will give you a unique code, and you just make a percentage of the sales you generate. This is low risk for them since they aren’t paying you unless you are able to generate sales.

Or if you have an established social media presence, then you may get sponsorships where they’ll pay you to post on your profiles, do shoutouts, talk about their products, etc.

Lastly, you can have a full-on sponsorship where they pay you a salary and possibly get free products, but you have certain quotas you need to hit.

These can be quotas on how many products you push for their company, how often you post about their products, appearing at events, or a combination of everything.

Each company has its own way of doing sponsorships and brand deals, so you will never know the terms until you talk with one another.

Personal Trainer Coaching Deadlifts

3. Selling Your Services As A Personal Trainer

Another way to make money with your passion for bodybuilding is to do personal training.

I know a few bodybuilders at my local gym that do this as their full-time job while they continue to build some of the other streams of income I’ve listed in this post.

Now, you can go out and become one of the personal trainers at your gym. But in the world of the internet, online personal training has become all the rage, and lots of bodybuilding professionals tend to go with the online personal training method.

Variety Of Supplements On Table

4. Start Selling Your Own Merchandise And Supplements

This is where lots of bodybuilders can start to make money that changes the trajectory of their lives.

And it’s common to see this being done…

Lots of bodybuilders will make a big following or get recognized worldwide and then create physical products like clothing and supplements to start selling.

And you don’t have to be Mr. Olympia to do this.

You just need to be able to build a following on social media or other platforms to start selling your own merchandise.

5. Create And Sell Digital Products

If you don’t want to be trading time for money like you would with personal training. Another option is to make and sell your own digital products.

People buy digital guides all the time on topics like muscle growth, eating the right food, proper nutrition, the best diet for weight loss, etc.

You can easily put your knowledge of bodybuilding into different digital info products and sell them online.

Social Media Platforms On Computer

6. Creating A Following On Social Media As An Influencer

If you’ve noticed, many doors open when you are an “influencer”…

In my opinion, building your following online is where the real money is if you really want to turn your passion for body building into a career…

Having a following opens up opportunities for sponsorship deals, making and selling your own products, and even online coaching opportunities.

Even if you didn’t want to sell anything, you could just share free information online and get paid through ad revenue like plenty of YouTubers do…

You can use these platforms to build the following:

  • YouTube
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • X
  • And any other social media site really
Someone On Computer With Camera

7. Building Your Own Brand With A Bodybuilding Blog

Last but not least is building your very own website or blog…

I think if you are focused on building a brand for yourself, you definitely need one.

A blog is something you own…

Unlike social media, where they can ban you if you don’t play by their rules, a blog is your own digital property that you control.

You can build helpful resources to share with others, have people find you through Google, have a place to cross-promote all your social media channels, and have a hub to sell different services or products.

You can even sell advertising space on your blog to be able to make money passively if you want to.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg…

So many different options open up, and it can be possible if you have your own website!

Final Thoughts On How To Make Money As A Bodybuilder

This wraps up my post on how bodybuilders can make money.

But remember, everything revolves around being able to build a following and get the attention of people within the fitness industry.

This is the true asset and what you really get paid for…

If you can get attention, lots of different businesses will want to work with you, and you have the option to build and sell your own products, too!

I’m sure there are other unconventional methods to make money through bodybuilding, but these are the 7 most popular ways.

And building your blog and social media presence is what can really start bringing in the bacon.

I hope you enjoyed this post and it was able to answer your questions!

Jordan Arenas

My name is Jordan Arenas and I am the owner and author of RFKN Fit. I created RFKN Fit to help others achieve their fitness goals. My mission is to share helpful workouts, nutrition tips, delicious recipes, tips on mindset, some motivation, and some good ol' gym humor with this blog of mine. Hope you enjoy!

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