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…
- Would I want people to do this to me?
- Is this fair for everyone?
- If everyone did this, would I want to live in that kind of world?
- Is this action 100% truthful?
- How would my parents feel if they knew about this?
- Would I be willing to explain this action to my children?
- Does this go against my religious teachings?
- Will I feel guilty about this later?
- Are there negative consequences to this action?
- 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.