Reading all these complaints regarding GoodLife Fitness Centers doesn't surprise me one bit. As a GoodLife employee I have seen countless incidents that make me question why it is I have chosen this sector to make my living. The only answer I have come up with so far is that I truly love health and fitness and that they are such a big player in Canada's gym industry, that it is a good place to build up my reputation as an excellent trainer. Saying this however, I have no quams about pointing the finger at their pathetic hiring practices when it comes to deciding who gets to put on those Personal Trainer shirts at their 200 plus locations. For those who don't know, all that is absolutely required to become a GoodLife Personal Trainer is a certification from CanFit Pro. Now here is the fun part. CanFit Pro a certifying body owned by GoodLife Fitness originator Patch Evans. This means that if someone is hired at GoodLife Fitness, they have three months to get their CanFit Pro Personal Trainers certification. This certification is a joke as so many "successful" GoodLife trainers with their high school educations can attest. Why would the largest chain of fitness centers in the land have any problem hiring the best, most experienced, most highly educated human kinetics grads? The truth is that their size allows them to get away with hiring practices not afforded to most private, smaller fitness clubs. They can charge more for training, and have more members to sell to than any other club in the land so they need trainers available to them at a moments notice with the life of a trainer only being an average of 3 months.
Once hired, these "trainers" are drilled with marketing, hard selling tactics and GoodLife propaganda at nauseum with an absolutely minuscule amount of time given to education as it pertains to personal training. Why is this a big deal? I have seen barristas, miners, high school grads and others with no fitness or health training rise to the levels of not only personal trainers, but even level 2 and 3 trainers as well. They had no idea of what they were doing and just learned on the fly which wouldn't be alarming at McDonalds but these people were charging fifty dollars a session at a minimum! You can't blame GoodLife alone for this occurence, but what I can say is that until personal training is regulated like physios, chiros and so forth, the customer needs to ask questions to make sure that the person in the tight-fitting shirt is actually who he claims he/she is. Often at GoodLife, they are just wearing the uniform which allows them to charge a whopping amount to stand there and watch you hurt yourself. The truth is that if you turn to your right or left when you are on the elliptical at your local GoodLife, you will be looking at people with more education and actual gym experience than the ones up on the employee profile board. There are good trainers at GoodLife, but they need to be seeked out and buyer beware: the levels at GoodLife are all sales-based and have NO bearing on actual quality.
Fitness is a very good investment and worth every penny, if you decide that personal training will allow you to adopt a healthier lifestyle. You need to be careful however that your hard-earned dollars are going to someone who has th actual experience, education and passion for health and fitness and not just a certification owned by the company itself. Ask questions when the sales pressure is being put on you. Watch the trainers for insight into their quality and ask cients already getting training for their impressions. GoodLife is a business and that is what is emphasized more than anything to its trainers. Selling more is everything so trainers will be pushy because they have to. You will get let go if you do not keep them in the money, regardless of how happy your clients are or your quality. They hire even less qualified people to run the trainers so quality is not even recognized at most locations. GoodLife will be a power in the fitness field for some time, until Canada starts to put controls on who is able to use the title personal trainer. Until then, it is the consummer that has the power because they have the money that GoodLife wants so act empowered and educate yourselves on the industry. It really is a cash grab for those who can manipulate the current system so understanding it will put you at a lesser risk of getting misled in your quest for health.