Growth and Decline

Over the last fifteen years the fitness industry has seen tremendous growth. That success unfortunately hasn’t correlated with the overall health and wellness of our population.In fact, as the fitness industry has grown, so has the rates of obesity, diabetes, and sedentary lifestyles.

What has caused the biggest growth in the last 15 or so years? In no particular order I offer the following:  The Biggest Loser, Home workout programs, Celebrity Trainers (many of whom seem to have no idea what they are doing), CrossFit/CrossFit Games, The Health Supplement Industry (Over the counter and MLM), Facebook/Instagram/YouTube Fitness Guru’s, The Low Cost/High Volume Gym Model (later the Groupon and Class Pass Deals) and the Non-Gym Model.

The latter two increased membership sales, but not neccessarily actual gym attendance.  The goal of the Low Cost/Non-Gym model is to get you to sign up for a membership and NOT show up.   

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Personally, more than a few of those things needs to go, and I wouldn’t mind being the guy found holding the smoking gun.  

Within the industry, and as a response to market demands there has been an equally large growth of certifying organizations and specializations over the last 15yrs. While uncommonly known to the public, many working within the industry will state that trainers, certifications and specializations can vary widely in legitimacy, depth and quality. Some place far higher demands and expectations on course participants than others.

Certification does not equal qualification, regardless of pedigree.

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All the Sick Gainz. 

In my opinion the credentialing bodies are partly to blame as many are producing unprepared,or outright substandard trainers. There is also the matter that some gyms will hire people as trainers with no formal education whatsoever.

An unfortunate fact is that certification as a Personal Trainer, or even obtaining a specialization can sometimes be accomplished rather quickly and without much effort or expense.

An example of comedically easy….

https://www.americansportandfitness.com/collections/certifications

Digest version: “If you don’t pass, you don’t pay”. I literally guessed every answer on the Golf certification and still passed. This certification should be payable in Monopoly money.

….compared to the current Gold Standard for Golf fitness specialization

http://www.mytpi.com/certification

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While no official ranking exists, I’m sure if there was a “Worlds Top 10 Most Lethal Guys on the Golf Course” list, I would be 4 of them.   Having said that, I could very easily qualify and present myself as a Golf Specialist if I were to go the path of least resistance (and least value.) 

With an increasingly large population of trainers ranging from potentially dangerous to “ineffective, but not harmful” and a client base that isn’t getting younger,stronger or thinner I can understand why things have gone the way they have.

A positive note is that there will always be those trainers continually working towards improving themselves, and many take on a protege’ to help build a better industry.

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