Do you really know about the credentials of your personal trainer or fitness instructor? Are you making a wise investment in your gym membership or personal training package? Be wary!
The "corporate" gym mentality is changing the fitness business. Many corporate gyms hire fast talking sales staff to sell personal training packages and gym memberships. The sales staff sells the package and hands off the client (you) to a trainer you have never met. The sales person is rarely a trainer, despite their claims. The sales staff usually has quotas they need to meet and are willing to make promises to a potential client to secure the sale. The trainer has the job of attempting to met the expectations that the sales person has promised the new member. After the gym and the sales person have taken their cut the trainer gets the remainder (sometimes as low as $10-$12 per hour). What fitness professional wants to work for that kind of hourly rate?
Do not fall into this trap. You are buying the services of a "here-for-now-gone-tomorrow" trainer. What happens if you do not like your trainer? What do you do if your trainer leaves?
There are plenty of complaints about these business practices. It's nothing new. But, greed can drive gym owners and managers to continue the practice. The gym and sales staff can potentially earn 75% of the personal training fee. Of course, it also drives the good trainers out of a job. What legitimate trainer wants to spend a lot of money and many hours keeping on top of the latest education and staying current with certifications to earn just $10 per hour? Hardly a wise career choice.
Here are a couple of questions to ask your trainer or instructor (taken from a recent IDEA article):
What is your exercise and educational background? Are you certified by a nationally recognized organization?
To properly design a safe and effective workout, a personal trainer should have a good grounding in exercise technique, including exercise physiology, anatomy and injury prevention. A four-year degree in a fitness-related field or certification—or, preferably, both—indicates the personal trainer knows at least the basics of conducting a quality session. Be certain that your trainer has an actual nationally recognized certification. You can check it out here on www.ideafit.com.
What is your level of personal training experience? How do you keep current on the latest personal training techniques, research and trends?
Fitness is a fast-moving field, and you want to be able to rely on your personal trainer for current information on fitness, exercise and healthy lifestyle activities. Membership in a professional association such as IDEA is one way to tell the personal trainer is staying abreast of the latest information on a variety of important topics.
Will you keep track of my workouts and conduct regular fitness assessments?
A legitimate trainer will chart your progress and have a plan to help you meet your goals in a reasonable manner. If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Look for a trainer with great credentials, references and lots of experience. A good trainer can help you get in the best shape of your life and make an impact on your future.
Make a wise investment.