Morals come into play with any business, whether you’re a politician who is engaging in extramarital affairs on the taxpayers’ dime, a restaurant owner who pays the mafia to break another restaurant owner’s legs, or a fitness trainer who tries to give out medical advice that he is not qualified to give.


The International Fitness Association maintains that all fitness trainers should operate under a code of ethics that puts the clients’ health, safety and interests first. Whether you realize it or not, as a fitness trainer, you run into situations that involve ethics every day. Here are a few situations that would be considered unethical:


  • Selling products you know suck or are unnecessary — just to get your client’s money.
  • Creating workout schedules to meet your own quotas, rather than the client’s goals.
  • Promoting products or services that are controversial or unproven.
  • Engaging in sexual discussions with clients or physically touching them except to guide form.
  • Yapping about things your client told you in confidentiality.
  • Overhyping your expertise and training.
  • Giving out medical advice, rather than referring clients to appropriate medical personnel.
  • Soliciting clients from other trainers in your facility.
  • Discriminating against clients based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  • Using drugs, smoking or drinking on the job.
  • Living an unhealthy lifestyle off the job.
  • Providing false documents for your qualifications.
  • Associating with unethical personal trainers.
  • Lying in your advertisements.

According to Darrin Clemont, there are 10 quick points to consider when you’re trying to decide if a decision or action is, in fact, ethical. You need to ask yourself the following questions…


  1. Would I want people to do this to me?
  2. Is this fair for everyone?
  3. If everyone did this, would I want to live in that kind of world?
  4. Is this action 100% truthful?
  5. How would my parents feel if they knew about this?
  6. Would I be willing to explain this action to my children?
  7. Does this go against my religious teachings?
  8. Will I feel guilty about this later?
  9. Are there negative consequences to this action?
  10. How would I feel if this were reported on the front page of my hometown newspaper?

Let’s face it. No one wants to work in an environment where lying, thieving ba$t@rds prevail, so to keep the sanity of the fitness center, all staff personnel and fitness trainers must seek the moral high ground in order to keep the peace.