The Fitness Industry is a Mess

The fitness industry is a disgusting hodgepodge disgrace. It is unfair to our population.
You walk into a doctor’s office and you are reasonable sure that you are receiving educated, quality, and effective advice and prescriptions. Same goes for the dentist, physiotherapist, massage therapists, and a host of other professions.
Then there are personal trainers. This group of individuals have more regular access to you and in many instances have even more influence on your health and body than any other health occupation. Personal trainers can help you, heal you and add years to your life. Or, they can hurt you, harm you , and cause biomechanical problems that will hurt you in 10 years. You probably won’t correlate the two by that point.
So why are there no controls in the personal training field. Why can anyone be a personal trainer? Why can you pay a couple of hundred dollars and get a ‘certification’ during a weekend and all of a sudden you are a primary health care provider.
And anyone who thinks personal training is not a primary health care provider had best re-examine the industry and see just what it is we do.
There are so many quacks, frauds, idiots, and uneducated people in the personal training world that fear strikes my heart on a daily basis. They learn a few key words or read a book and away they go. They can sound smart and talk the talk just well enough to pull the wool over your eyes.
We need to take control of this.
Consumers MUST educate themselves. You must shop around. You have to check educational credentials. You have to research certifications.
Certifications should be from reputable certifying bodies. Look for things like peer reviewed journals and the educational credentials of the board of directors. You should see PhD’s and masters degrees. You should check the top professionals in the world and see what credentials they hold. Then find a trainer who has those.
You need to talk to trainers clients. Analyze their process. How will you do the workouts when you are no longer with them? Can you? Do you feel comfortable doing exercise if your trainer and facility were to disappear tomorrow? Does the trainer have a portfolio of past client success?
And trainers. Sigh. Get educated. Learn. Become certified. Then get another certification. Read a book a week. Learn multiple exercise modalities. Learn multiple systems. Learn anatomy, biology, biomechanics, physics, psychology, sociology, and chemistry. Learn from multiple sources. Read a book a week. Know others in the field. Learn from them. Read all the fitness magazines. Watch blogs and newsletters. Educate, educate, educate.
If you think you’re a trainer and you do not do all of these things get the fuck out of my industry. Yeah, I said it. You are a disgrace and you are ruining peoples lives. Even if you just don’t see them through to their goals you are terrible, yet alone the physical damage you are doing. You aren’t a trainer, you are a bloodsucking, scheming, shady sales person. And I wish more than anything I could ban you from calling yourself a fitness professional, personal trainer, exercise coach, whatever.
I don’t really know what else I can say. I feel helpless sometimes and have to listen to story after story after story of people wasting their money, getting turned off of fitness, and not making positive improvements to your life.
I can only do this. Give you my promise, my oath, my word that I will always strive to bring to the population the best information and techniques available to me based on scientific principles and fact. I will do this regardless of profit and sales. While I strive to be profitable and have a financially successful career, I pledge that I will never accomplish this at the expense of your health and fitness. I will never endorse, promote, or make use of products, sales techniques, and equipment that is not scientifically sound and evidence based. I will always do everything I can to ensure that people achieve their goals, improve their health, and better the long term quality of their lives both physically and emotionally.
Quote that. Save it and remember it. I vow to never drift from that mission. Nor will any aspect of my career or business. We will remain honest and focused on integrity and transparency.
We are focused on you.

  1. LauraK says:

    Hmm…I’m not sure how to explain my question.
    Why do you think it’s WORTH getting a masters or PhD with the intention of getting into personal training? Are the returns worth it? Is this why there are not as many true professionals in the field?
    From what I’ve been told, it’s hard to make ends meet working for large gyms (Golds gym, Goodlife, etc.). However I would assume that is where most of the internet-certified trainers work. Are there oppurtunities for those with a high education to make a reasonable amount of money, or would they have to open their own gym?

    • Taylor says:

      Hey Laura,
      no it is very difficult to make a decent living in the fitness business for sure. Masters or PhD credentials are more important in the field if you intend to teach, own your own business, or one day get into writing and that side of the business.
      We have adopted a business model that hopefully will allow trainers to make a good living and thus make it something someone could pursue as a profession.
      Opening your own gym means you are no longe a personal trainer, which is what many people just cannot seem to understand. When you own a business you are now a business person, which is its own career. In this case a business degree or MBA is much more valuable than anything health and fitness related.
      I definitely think this is why there are so few professionals in the field. We are striving to change it!

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