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The Fitness Industry: The Characteristics of Good Business

The fitness industry has grown to include every option you can think of: traditional gyms, private personal training studios, high-intensity conditioning training, group training, bootcamps, cardio-exclusive clubs, etc. With such a saturated industry, there is something that has recently become more apparent within parts of the business of fitness and health.

One thing I am seeing more often is the loss of integrity from within the fitness industry. Think about this: How often do you feel like you are being up-sold? Do you ever feel like you aren't 100% clear on what it is you are actually spending your money on? Do the services you purchase seem more like a bait-and-switch business practice, where you do not receive what you were told you would after purchasing?


I was taught at a very early age that the most valuable thing you can ever have is your integrity. It was something that was never negotiable, whether in my professional or personal life. It is what I have built my own business on as a solid foundation that would never be shaken.

I believe that the relationship I have with each client should consist of 5 key elements:

1. Honesty

2. Integrity

3. Transparent Communication

4. Trust

5. Mutual Respect

Honesty between two people is one of the main elements of any relationship. I make it a point to be perfectly clear how long someone should anticipate working with me from the very beginning--even before any discussion of cost. This is something I see few fitness professionals doing, and it results in a breakdown of the remaining key elements, ultimately. If you feel you aren't getting full honesty from your trainer, or feel like you cannot be completely honest with them, it is time to find someone new.

Integrity is defined by Webster as, "the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness". If you feel like you aren't getting the full attention you are paying for, this is another sign that it is time to move on. A real professional will admit when they have made a mistake, or something in your plan needs to be changed.

Transparent communication is an absolute MUST when it comes to your health. Do you go to your doctor and not give him the whole story if something is wrong? I hope not! You need to have a close enough relationship with your trainer that you can tell them absolutely anything that is happening in your life without fear of judgement. A true professional will never pass judgement, but will offer what they can to help improve your circumstances.

Trusting someone else to guide you in your fitness and nutrition efforts is cornerstone. This is your health we are talking about! I make sure every single client knows they can trust me with their health in my hands through constantly continuing my education, staying on top of the latest research, and networking with a group of highly-qualified professionals in the health, medical, and wellness community whom I have worked with personally.

Mutual respect is always important. The professional should always respect a client's personal boundaries, and vice versa. Without mutual respect in place, a client will not feel comfortable working with the professional, and it will slow the potential progress for the client.

I refuse to lessen the quality of my services in exchange for a higher price tag. I don't believe in recommending more than a person truly needs. Yes, this is the way that I make a living--but I believe it is far more important to have a longterm group of quality, trusting, honest clientele who are loyal customers, than it is to spread myself thin to make as much money as I possibly can. I constantly remind myself of this: People never care what material items you had when you were alive; they care about how you made them feel, how you helped them become better, and how you treated them better than anyone else ever did.


Please understand, I am by no means bashing everyone in the industry. Some of the best people I know work in the same field, doing the exact same thing as I do--and I refer people to them when I think they would work well together. Not every gym is out to just take your money. Not every trainer is just looking to sell you as many things as they can to line their own pockets. But, it may be time for those in the fitness industry who are lagging behind with integrity, it might be time to re-evaluate where your true intentions lie. Are you really in it to help people, or are you just looking to get to your own early retirement no matter what? When a business holds anything of higher importance than the health and well-being of their customers, it is time to question if you should really be in the fitness industry to begin with.

In good health,



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