Understanding your gym and its personal trainersPosted: Updated:
Many people who use gyms also like to go a step further and use personal trainers as well. But it's important for gym members to know who that trainer actually works for.
Many gyms employ their own personal trainers, but others contract those services to separate companies that occupy space in the gym. If you use a trainer, you might not know the difference, and that can lead to an unpleasant surprise.
"I did not know that they were separate," Leslie Paradise said.
Paradise says she loves the personal trainer she uses at Youfit Health Clubs in Phoenix. A couple weeks after she signed up for a year's worth of sessions with that trainer, Paradise showed up at Youfit to get started. She says the manager then told her the personal training program was changing.
"Then I talked to the trainer that I had been working with and she said, well, they have decided to go in a different direction," Paradise said.
It turns out Paradise had signed the contract with a company called Custom Built Personal Training - a separate company renting space in the Youfit gym. Youfit was ending that relationship and bringing in its own trainers. Paradise had no idea that was possible.
"I should have found out who these people were, that they were a separate entity," Paradise said.
Custom Built was only going to charge her for the time they were still there, but since she hadn't started yet, Paradise wanted to cancel altogether. That's when she found out her right under Arizona law to cancel a gym agreement within three days starts on the day you sign the contract, not the day you start using the services.
"I talked to two people at corporate. I talked to the contract division and I talked to customer services, and basically they said, 'You signed the contract,'" Paradise said.
Paradise now knows you should ask any health club about its personal training.
"I'm definitely going to find out what their status is at the gym," Paradise said.
Here are some questions should you ask your gym about personal trainers:
- Do you use your employees or outside contractors for personal training?
- If it's outside personnel, how long have they contracted at the gym?
- When is the current contract expiring?
- Is it being renewed?
Since you have no control over the relationship between the gym and the training contractor, it may be best to pay for personal training by the session, not yearly.
Youfit and Custom Built did nothing wrong here, this is just a good illustration of how personal training works in many gyms and how it can change without your consent.
Custom Built says it was not their decision to leave Youfit and their clients should contact customer service for further instruction about their contracts.
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