The same government who told us tobacco is safe, fats cause heart disease, and carbs are good for you (resulting in a colossal, nation-wide health epidemic) now want complete control over how fitness trainers do their job.
They're playing with the idea of requiring state licences in order to train people, meaning we as trainers will have to follow their guidelines for exercise. The government, who are mostly oblivious to how exercise should be performed, will be setting guidelines for how personal trainers should do their jobs. I may never be able to teach anyone how to squat below parallel again. And who knows what this will mean for things like Yoga and Pilates.
This will result in the death of Crossfit certifications and Flexible Diet "nutritionists", which I'm not entirely opposed to. Both philosophies have a bad reputation for propagating junk science to justify unhealthy diet and exercise habits. Not to mention the mental damage that Flexible dieting coaches are causing to the overweight food addicts who follow them. Seeing these snake oil salemen die off wouldn't be a terrible thing, but requiring a state licence for trainers isn't the way to do it.
Flexible Dieters and Crossfit coaches will likely be hit pretty hard by the new regulations.
What worries me as a trainer is having to sacrifice my style, the thing that makes me unique as a coach. I already hold three exercise and diet certifications, been through exercise and dieting courses in college, and have blended my own experience as an athlete and a soldier into my client's routines. I've created something unique, and I couldn't imagine having to give up my style to fit the demands of a government who have already done irreversible damage to the nations health.
I think people should be able to use their own judgement and not be forced to exercise or eat a certain way because the government says so.
100,000,000 millions Americans are either diabetic or pre-diabetic with 29.1 million with diabetes, all thanks to bad advice from the Surgeon General
I don't fully believe that this move will be all bad. Like I said before, having government control will help unmuddy the waters a little bit and could make personal trainers a bit more respected as a medical profession.
I believe the silver lining to having the government take control of the fitness industry will open up the possibility for doctors to be able to prescribe fitness trainers to their patients, which would result in a massive boom for the personal training industry. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) are on board with this move and offer a new "exercise is medicine" certification, which is basically setting themselves up to be the first certification that allows doctor prescribed personal training.
So what do you think? Is this a good move? Is it worth sacrificing innovation for integrity? I obviously have mixed feelings about it, but I think overall it will have negative consequences if it isn't handled very carefully.