by Matt Weik
In light of the whole Brittany Dawn Fitness scam (which is still going on by the way), I’m going to actually help people understand why this is a GOOD THING for the industry. Many of you might be scratching your head as to how this is a good thing, but it actually is. Here’s the bottom line… Are there fitness scammers out there? Absolutely! When one of the fitness scammers gets exposed, will more follow suit and get exposed down the road? You bet they will (which could actually prevent them from even starting if they were smart). In the end, this opens the eyes to the people out there who are looking for solid plans to help them reach their health and fitness goals and gives business to more of the good trainers out there in the fitness industry.
Breathe Out… Breathe In
Breathe out with the bad fitness scammers and in with the good certified professionals out there. With social media being as big as it is, that unfortunately opens the door for people who want to act all inspirational and motivational to con and scam people. Anyone who looks like they fit the part seems to be able to flock to social media, call themselves a personal trainer or nutritionist, and take on clients. No one even thinks twice about asking them for proof of their credentials – I mean, after all, they are jacked or pretty. Right?
I think the news of Brittany Dawn has opened the eyes to many people out there and they are now wondering who they can turn to for help. If you can’t trust someone with 500k+ followers, who can you trust? That’s part of the issue. Why are we putting so much trust and focus on follower counts? Just because someone has six-figure or more followers doesn’t mean they are anything more than just a pretty face or a nice body. What people don’t realize is that many of these women who are on social media have such a high follower count because they post racy pictures that are used for some guys personal spank bank and nothing more. People don’t actually care about these online personalities, they are simply there to follow the images.
With all of that being said, when fitness scammers are exposed and it makes the news (like it did with Brittany Dawn), it puts the microscope on the fitness industry as a whole which, in my opinion, is a good thing. People should be more aware of the “trainers” they are working with. If I’m paying someone good money to train me, I want to make sure I’m working with the best and not someone who sells me a cookie-cutter program and then expects me to pay hundreds of dollars (or in the case of Brittany Dawn, never get the program even after paying for it).
I hope when fitness scammers like this get called out that people will do more homework on an individual. There are trainers who say what she did “gives the industry a black eye” when in actuality it gives the fitness scammers a black eye while the good personal trainers who are actually certified and have credentials will end up with more clients who are doing their homework and looking for someone who is highly educated in their field.
How Can People Find Good Trainers?
For starters, the industry needs to continue calling out fitness scammers. If someone is giving out bad programs or cookie-cutter plans, they need to be exposed so others don’t fall victim to their fraud. It might sound mean but I hope these fitness scammers who got exposed never find work in the industry ever again and that all of their clients disappear and go find GOOD, HONEST trainers to work with.
So, how can you find good trainers to work with? It’s actually not that hard. Here are some things to ask.
Are you certified?
Find out if the person you are looking to work with is certified – and have them show you proof. Many of these fitness scammers are not certified and are basically recycling programs they were given or ones that they found online or in magazines.
Do you have a degree?
While it’s not necessary, I’d put a trainer with a kinesiology or exercise science degree up against anyone with just a certification and see who brings more value and knowledge. While continuing education and staying on top of trends and research is important, those with a degree in the field tend to have a deeper knowledge of the human body (unless someone did extensive research on their own and are self-taught which I would applaud).
How long have you been training clients?
You would need to take their word for this unless you do your own homework on the person to validate what they are saying to be accurate. A trainer who has longevity in the industry versus one that is just starting out “should” have more hands-on experience with helping clients from all walks of life and (should) be a better choice than someone who just started.
The bottom line is, people need to stop falling for individuals online and on social media who claim they are trainers simply because they know they can take advantage of people due to their huge follower count. There is no correlation between intelligence when it comes to training and the number of followers you have. All it means is that you have a lot of images that people like for whatever reason.
Don’t get fooled by these fitness scammers. Do your homework before you get out your credit card and sign up to work with them. And by all means, when you see fitness scammers out there, expose them so others don’t fall victim. We need to clean up the industry and take out the trash.