Ethical Concerns in the Fitness Industry
Some of the ethical concerns in the fitness industry would be the following.1) Client focus.
One of your main concerns as a personal fitness trainer must be to make your client your number one priority for the duration of the training session. They are hiring you not only for your training skills but also as a motivational element to help them achieve their goals.
Greet the client warmly. Smile, be pleasant, warm and leave your problems at home. Establish eye contact. Lean forward when you shake hands. If it's a repeat client, ask how they are doing and if they are experiencing any physical problems.
2) Unrealistic Goals.
One of your ethical concerns is to help the client learn what is both realistic an unrealistic in regards to what they can expect from the amount of time and effort that they are willing to expend. The media of today and weight management industry has tried to convince the novice that by only using their product or service (E.I. Work Out Video, Home Gym Equipment, Diet plan or "Magic Pill"). That they can achieve a fitness model or Professional bodybuilder’s physical appearance in "only six weeks with minimal effort". We all know that this is not realistic and only a marketing ploy, but the novice, as stated above may need the guidance to understand what they can realistically expect.
3) Respect of other members (If in a Gym Environment)
There are some generally accepted rules of etiquette to be followed in the gym and taught to you clients. Such as showing respect to the other members of the gym or the other clients at your home studio, if you use one. This respect can be shown in some of the following ways. Use a towel, always wipe down the equipment, both before and after its use. Few things are more irritating to the client or member as having to wipe down someone else’s sweat before they can use the said piece of equipment. You should always politely ask to "work in" if someone may be using or waiting to use a piece of equipment. Be friendly-although your client may be your first priority he or she is not to the other members. Be respectful of their needs and always remember that they are paying for the facility or service also.
4) Client Retention.
Retention starts in the waiting room. A day sheet should be kept with what goals the client has as well as his or her planed workout and progress. Greet your client as soon as possible, and avoid making them wait any longer than is reasonable. Avoid accommodating late arrivals for services, which then backlogs the clients who have showed up on time for their work out, forcing the on-time client to accommodate the late-arrival. This is a nuisance and very insulting to the punctual client. There are clients who do not honor their obligation in arriving on time for a scheduled appointment or calling to reschedule it. You should consider making the late arrival wait until another time slot is open. Many businesses hate turning away a paying customer, and often in their quest for profit, diminish the value of another paying customer, even at the risk of losing their business. which should not be accepted.
Many trainers don't recognize the hesitation that a client may be experiencing when entering the gym or home studio, or refuse to acknowledge it because their main focus is profit driven, rather than client driven. Whether you want to admit it or not, more people haven't been to these types of facilities, than have been. For the novice, going to the gym or home studio can create more anxiety than is necessary, and can be very intimidating.
5) The Use of Steroids.
The use of Steroids can be tempting to the novice that may not fully realize the risks associated with their use and should be strongly advised against it.
6) The Ethics of Business.
You should not sacrifice your ethics as a trainer in the pursuit of profit. You will receive a better clientele who will respect your talents and in return generate more business both from their repeat business and referrals to new clients then you will achieve form trying to take advantage of every new client who comes in to your facility.
7) Overstating Training or Talent.
You should never overstate your training or talents to a client as not only is this harmful and may contribute to bad form or injury but also may generate unrealistic expectations, which in the long run may put your business at risk.
When entering your business, what the client sees should immediately establish what you're all about as a business, and exactly what you're trying to convey to them as a client. Often, these areas function as waiting areas. Often the furniture is that is uncomfortable or in need of replacement, reupholstering or inadequate for the number of clients waiting to be greeted, or serviced. For facilities with a high turnaround of business, and where at all possible, should attempt to keep the exiting path away from any waiting clients. Congestion, unnecessary noise or client distraction can be the result. You should always keep in mind that your client will be trying to focus and prepare for their upcoming work out session. If this first impression shows the client that you're disorganized or don't care, etc. That will be the lasting impression your client will have of your business. If this impression is combined with unacceptable overall service, your business won't be able to maintain a base of clientele.
9) Talking to others.
As stated above your client should be your number one priority during their workout session, you should always be polite to other members or clients, but not at the risk of not keeping your client as your main focus. You should be friendly but never allow yourself to become distracted from your client or their safety by talking to or answering other member or clients questions or inquires.
The Personal Trainers Handbook
Author; Teri S. O’rien
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