- by Jared
Be careful if you are considering a personal training certification, or hiring a personal trainer. I speak from experience.
My story on becoming a certified personal trainer
Years ago I used to work as a personal trainer at the gym fitness evolution.
Fitness evolution is now under a class action lawsuit for unethical personal training behaviors.
And this doesn’t not mean that being a certified personal trainer is bad…
But I do think it’s important that you need make informed purchasing decisions. Whether that’s for a certification or starting a personal training relationship.
For starters, I don’t want to say that my experiences are similar to all gyms. However, I do know a bunch of personal trainers. They all say they are underpaid and do not have guaranteed hours.
You may be thinking about getting a national American sports Medicine certification, please don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll be making a great living anytime soon.
While there are personal trainers who are established and make good money, they are few and far between.
If anything I would suggest becoming a Thumbtack personal trainer, if Thumbtack is in your area.
I was named Thumbtack top pro of the year in 2018 and highly recommend their service! For years I got all my clients from Thumbtack!
This is an affiliate link below, but I highly highly recommend this service instead of becoming a certified personal trainer slave for a gym.
Being a certified personal trainer probably doesn’t pay well, just a head up!
Most personal trainers at gyms are making hardly any money. For more trainers, their job is more of a side gig than a full-time career.
For me personally, I got about $20 an hour. And I also had to close deals bring in customers through the door and train people.
So for me, especially when the customers paying $70 for an hour session, I felt like I was severely underpaid.
This is the case with most gyms too. The bottom line is that gyms bring in people. They have the leverage. Any extra money they can make comes from the personal training upsell.
Unfortunately, that’s what most personal training is – an upsell.
Now, don’t get me wrong, a good personal trainer is by far worth it.
And, my experiences in personal training have helped shape me to become the person I am today. But in many ways, my personal training experiences motivated me to do the opposite. There were many things about personal training that I found the unethical.
In fact the district attorney of San Jose has emailed all of the fitness evolution employees as part of a class action lawsuit.
Turns out that some business practices personal trainers are told to do are not ethical. It’s these practices which have motivated me to go in a different direction.
Some of these practices are making outrageous claims, and putting people on restrictive diets.
For example, one of my bosses actually deliberately told me to make outrageous promises. One such outrageous promise was saying people would lose 3 lb per week and the fat would “melt off”.
This same boss also told me that the best way to have someone lose weight is to put them on a restrictive diet. Basically have them starve themselves.
This information in particular around a restrictive dieting is what motivated me to actually do my own research into what causes weight loss and so forth.
What I found stunned me. I found that obesity wasn’t the problem, it was more of yo yo dieting.
The problem is that for both personal trainers and people hiring personal trainers, the certification information gets thrown out the door.
It’s easy to lose weight on a restrictive diet. Often times since weight loss is the goal, what’s easiest becomes the course of action.
So weight loss might be the motivation to hiring a trainer, but this is actually a terrible way to approach your health.
And secondly, I want to be clear that the gyms want desperately or money. You can negotiate down. The gym charges outrageously high prices but at the end of the day, they will take your money if you are willing to pay.
So I would actually suggest you offer them lower prices. They will take your money. I’d also suggest negotiating for a longer refund.
The reason fitness evolution is being sued is because they had very short refund time periods. Also they would not offer refunds.
So, I would be sure to ask about how much money you can actually get back if you decide to get a refund and the deadlines on that.