This is an honest evaluation, no selling, no leading you to a new product…..just an honest evaluation based on a number of years of experience. May I also state that this article has no reflection on my own gym and educational academy. I opened my gym and educational academy in an attempt to buck the trend – we ALWAYS do it the proper way. And to be honest, that in itself is made very difficult…..to make a lot of money, we would need to fall in to line with everyone else…..and that’s worrying.
Read on to see my evaluation:
I’m Mike – owner of New Body Gym and an educational academy that offer qualifications like the Diploma in Personal Training.
I have worked in the industry for a number of years. I’ve been a gym instructor, personal trainer, massage specialist, advanced rehab specialist and now a gym owner and owner of an academy.
You name it, I’ve seen it. So, what’s my evaluation? I’ll tell you below what I’ve seen and some of the meetings I’ve had with people high up in large chain gyms, and you can make your own opinion……
So, here goes…..
*Many personal trainers struggle. They either pay high rental fees or have a large chunk of their income taken by the gym/studio within which they work. OR, they simply lack the necessary skills (outlined below) as a result of poor education to recruit clients and run a business. As a result, it’s either:
1. Get as many clients as possible and run sessions back to back all day to earn some form of income. Do they have time to plan? NOPE. I’ve seen the same sessions run all day for different clients.
2. Deliver sessions with clients that are quite literally pointless. The trainer lacks the necessary understanding and advanced level of comprehension to programme advanced routines – put simply, a glorified gym instructor who never really succeeds very well because they lack the confidence and knowledge to build a business and have not been taught to ‘clinically reason’ with
*EDUCATION: many large training providers have become very successful for one reason and one reason only – a corporate money making machine. How do you make lots of profit with these courses? Easy – charge anything from £1500 – £3000+ and ‘deliver’ courses with VERY little classroom teaching. This reduces overheads and enables as much profit as possible.
Furthermore, turnaround time – the quicker students graduate the quicker academies can get their income…..more students = more money!
So, the result……what used to take over a year to study, with compulsory work experience to be gained during this time, is now something that anyone can do with no prior experience within 4-6 weeks.
How do you do a quick turnaround! Simple – deliver the most basic personal training qualification, chuck in a couple of one day short courses to make the course more attractive, and churn out students quickly.
The impact on the industry:
If I was to approach many trainers and ask them to justify to me the reasons behind much of their exercise selection, from a muscular perspective, many would not be able to answer me.
Ladies and gents, there is a HUGE number of trainers out there who ticked the boxes to pass a course, but simply do not remember much of what they were “taught” (very often by simply given a manual to read and come back for final assessment!). It’s impossible to remember so much in such a short space of time!
As a result, the qualifications themselves have even been watered down when compared to when I studied them a number of years ago.
So, we now have:
*Trainers who aren’t educated as well as they could be, which is both unfair on them and the people they train
*Unfair branding and promises of great salaries for aspiring trainers, along with a wonderful life of independence, that simply doesn’t work out most of the time due to not being educated on business and marketing. AND doing courses super fast! Over a year in 4-6 weeks?!!!
*Super cheap membership gyms that also reduce costs by no longer offering inductions with programmes being written for EVERY new member……full inductions used to be standard!
Again, promises to members of great bodies and wonderful achievements – how do you do that with no guidance?!! Worse still, even if you invest in a trainer, the probability is they’re not actually very knowledgeable themselves!!
2% of gym goers achieve the results they want. Come on! That’s not good!!
This is not an attack on personal trainers, nor an attack on gyms or educational academies.
All of the above are merely conforming to the situation as it is today. There simply isn’t the investment, opportunity or leeway for everyone to do a proper job! There’s simply too much money to be made by cutting corners on all fronts.
Who else suffers? Members and clients – how do you know how good your trainer is? They make you work up a sweat perhaps? Surely that’s good?? Not always! Unless you have a sound knowledge on the workings of the human body, you never know for sure you’re getting the service you deserve.
One indication is the following:
*Did you get a comprehensive consultation where your trainer simply talked with you? And I mean around an hour!!
*Did you get a number of relevant assessments such as posture analysis, movement assessments, blood pressure, body fat checks, nutrition analysis…….the list goes on
*Does your trainer educate you as they train you? Do they tell you why you’re doing certain exercises etc…..
*Are you being provided with written material to educate you?
This is the basics!
I’m not saying it’s all bad – there are some trainers out there that are incredible. There is the odd gym here and there that actually cares and has maintained its integrity. I have met one or two other academies that deliver courses professionally.
But overall, there is much more poor practice than there is good – across the board.
Such a shame.
So, what do you think? What experience have you had?
Are you getting the basics? Do you get regular support and guidance? Even with a standard membership you should be getting some support; such as programme design and demos…..
Let me know.