Fitness and Nutrition

Question regarding Personal Trainer at Goodlife

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  • May 3rd, 2011 10:19 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
May 4, 2006
115 posts
1 upvote

Question regarding Personal Trainer at Goodlife

I want to become a personal trainer at goodlife and was wondering if it is easy to get clients there and how hard is it to become one. I look into the GLPTI on their website and it doesn't give me too much information. Any goodlife fitness instructors out there willing to help me out. Please note that I only want to be one as a part-time or evening on weekdays at the moment as I am working full time at another job.

Will this work out for me? All help is greatly appreciated.
13 replies
Deal Fanatic
Mar 12, 2010
5975 posts
551 upvotes
SW Ontario
My wife just went through training to be a trainer, not there though. Around here the reputation for goodlife (and other large clubs) is that they rip-off the clients big time, and don't pay the trainer well. The client pays upwards of $70/hr, and the trainer gets just a small portion. The trainer also has to sell packages to the clients, and I believe the trainer basically does piece work. This could vary however, I'm not sure. She ended up starting to do private training sessions at affordable rates, an still makes more per hour than at a club, however finding clients is not easy. I do know that around here goodlife seems to be regarded as the biggest rip off for clients (I was one at one time), but I'm sure that varries in different markets.
Deal Addict
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Aug 3, 2006
3812 posts
487 upvotes
Being a personal trainer is 90% sales. At Goodlife and most other gyms you'll be expected to sell 80+ sessions to a client at a time.
Sr. Member
Oct 7, 2009
814 posts
49 upvotes
You'll learn the basics at GoodLife. However, you'll have to study a tremendous amount about a variety of subjects (exercise science, physiology, nutrition, kinesiology etc.) if you want to be a good trainer. I'm about to start writing a book on what I've learned in my 8 years as a full time trainer. If you have about a year or so, you can have a signed copy :)

The best advice I can give you: don't hurt your client. If something doesn't feel right for him/her, don't push him just because you think it's a great exercise, or the program calls for it. In my previous job as a trainer for a major chain, my specialty was working with people with injuries. I had to turn people away sometimes, while others were struggling for clients. So, the second best advice I can give you: make yourself different. Have something the other trainers don't. Knowledge of a certain subject, personality, enthusiasm, great at sales... Ideally all of them.

As far as how easy it is to become a trainer at GL, it is not hard at all. They are always looking for more people because of the high turn-over. Trainers work crappy hours, have uncertain income due to clients quitting or being away, and most large chains don't pay them much. They will make you take the Can-Fit-Pro certification, which is extremely basic. They will make you pay for it, which is how they make money on their trainers before they pay them a cent. But, once you know your way around as a trainer, you can apply to a better gym as a part-time trainer. Every gym, even the good ones, need part-timers to fill the busy spots.

Third piece of advice: write down everything you do with clients. Set them goals, try to reach those goals, and test them so they have a clear road-map. If you just do random workouts with clients, they are far less likely to stick with you. If they want to lose weight, check their weight every week. If they want to get stronger, test their bench press. Make some charts so they can see their progress.

Hope that helps.
Follow me on Twitter for fitness and nutrition tips: @tomtothiron
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 4, 2006
115 posts
1 upvote
Thanks everyone for the info. The information was really helpful, but now I'm just wondering if I should actually pursue being a part-time personal trainer as it seems somewhat a hit or miss thing for a person like me that is just starting out. I'm not even sure how I can go abouts in getting clients and secondly, I've never done any schooling with regards to kinesiology or other health information -- only what I've learned over the years by exercising.

I just wanted to make some extra income on the side doing something that I liked, but it seems like it is going to be kinda hard at this point.
Sr. Member
Oct 7, 2009
814 posts
49 upvotes
Let me put it this way, would you entrust your taxes to someone who has no schooling or experience, but "has been using Excel for a few years now"?

There's a big difference between working out and teaching exercise to other people. This is why Ontario needs a college of Trainers/licensing system for PT.
Follow me on Twitter for fitness and nutrition tips: @tomtothiron
Deal Expert
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May 8, 2005
31842 posts
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Therion wrote:
Apr 27th, 2011 12:43 pm
Let me put it this way, would you entrust your taxes to someone who has no schooling or experience, but "has been using Excel for a few years now"?

There's a big difference between working out and teaching exercise to other people. This is why Ontario needs a college of Trainers/licensing system for PT.

+1

Big fan of the CSCS designation myself.
" The placebo effect is the most powerful supplement of all "
" The pain of discipline weighs ounces, the pain of neglect weighs tons "
" The best training in the world can't overcome a lousy diet "
TRAIN HARD !!!!
Deal Addict
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Dec 28, 2005
1456 posts
74 upvotes
I quit recently from goodlife as a pt. I was only planning on staying on board for 4mths to get some experience working in a commercial gym till my school year starts but it got so bad to the pt that I had to resign earlier. Goodlife is a joke altogether. When you first join, they try to brainwash you into believing the company is a great place to work and how everyone is one big family. People on the other hand are always resigning. This contradicts what they are saying. During my second week working there, they had 3 ppl resign at the club. They also make you take glpti (goodlife personal training institute) certification as soon as possible which is one big cash grab by the company. Prior to working at goodlife, I was already certified through both canfitpro (needed to take for school) and csep as a cpt and I also have a college diploma in fitness and health, yet I still had to pay $100 and waste 3 days of my time attending their stupid course where you will be stuck in a room full of wannable trainers who can't tell the difference between a bicep and tricep muscle. Your also required to purchase your own uniform which cost me about $50. So during your first month or two your would probably be out anywhere from $150-550 depending on whether or not you have your certifications. Training is unpaid and your expected to put in a minimum of 35 hrs a week.

Don't expect to be working a typical 9-5 hr shift. You'll be at the gym really early say 6am working till lunchtime, then returning back around 5pm and staying till 8-9pm. The job is like 90% sales. When you first come aboard you will starve. You will make little to nothing during your first 3 mths. For my first paycheque I made like around $150 for 80+ hrs of work for 2 weeks. You don't get nothing handed to you working here, which means you don't get clients given to you. Your expected to do at least 2 consultations a day where new gym members are required to sit in a room with you do a really quick basic fitness assessment test and you try to pressure people into signing up for $5000+ training packages. You try to break them down and make them feel guilty about it. Oh ya there's a high interest rate if they decide to pay mthly for training. Your not allowed to sell less than between 48-72 sessions depending on your club. None of these people are expecting to have a $5000+ package pitched to them so you will practically sell none of these. Did I mention you don't get paid to do these? You get starter package clients when you first start. These are people who bought 3 and 6 package sessions. Your only allowed to take them through a machine circuit workout, nothing else otherwise you will get yelled at by your boss. You only get paid $12 an hr to train these ppl. What you need to do is try to convert these ppl into premium clients where you get paid your regular rate which starts at $20 an hr for a lvl 2 trainer. Again you will probably get maybe 1-2 of these after going through 15-20 starter clients depending on how good of a salesman you are and if your lucky. Your also required to do walkarounds on the gym floor trying to prospect. A lot of the gym members have already been approached by a trainer one way or another regarding training. You will find out that you will see the same people in the gym every week leading to very few prospects.

When I was working there I spoke to two of the trainers. One trainer told me it took him 100 consultations before he got his first sale. He told me it took about 4 months before he got this first sale. Another trainer told me that the previous trainer almost cried when he got that sale. Unfortunately a few days later the client canceled their contract. Another trainer told me it took him 2 whole mths before he got his first sale. Every week your required to attend weekly group meetings where all you talk about is sales and if everyone is meeting their goals (quotas), every month your required to travel to another club to attend a regional meeting where they praise their top trainers while **** on the ones who aren't cutting it. You will get yelled at a lot for not meeting there quotas. If you do well one week and then not so well the following, expect to get written up.

Because of the high turn over ratio, goodlife is always hiring trainers. Some of them aren't even certified yet. They pump out wannable trainers every week through their glpti course. You will be competing for prospects and clients with all these new hires the company hires every month. A lot of the trainers got pissed off that the company keep on hiring new trainers when they weren't even meeting there own quotas yet and now had to face even more competition.

I came to the realization a few weeks of working there that the top trainers at the clubs weren't necessary the best trainers nor had the best qualifications by rather were the best salesmen and had luck on their side. When I say luck I mean, they either were working at the club when other trainers resigned and then got all those clients passed onto them or were at the right place at the right time when a prospect wanted to sign up for training. When I was working there as a trainer I witnessed a lot of horrendous things from the trainers they hired:

1. there were either not certified at all or only did a weekend course ie. canfitpro, glpti

2. They had no experience at all training other demographics and thought just because they worked out they were qualified. These trainers are a joke and make the industry look bad. There was 1 trainer at my gym who was a bodybuilder. He was putting an obese old lady through a bodybuilding routine. The lady looked no different body composition wise when I first started than she did a few months later. Terrible form taught by the trainers. Most of the trainers didn't even know how to calculate nor take heart rate measurements. Some of the trainers even wrote up nutrition meal plans for clients yet weren't certified as a nutritionist or dietitian.

3. Unprofessional and unethical trainers being hired. There was 1 douchbag wannable trainer at my gym, who would rip clients off big time. He would charge clients for sessions they hadn't used. He would still charge clients even if they gave him 48-72 hr notices. He also cut sessions short or gave clients dangerous exercises to do that was clearly outside of their ability to perform and then send them home when they said they couldn't do it. Oh ya he also acted like he was a big shot and better then everyone despite knowing jackshit about exercise.

Working at that gym you will get **** on by both management and gym members. Fitness and regional managers got promoted because they stuck around for a long time back when they didn't have any of these ridiculous quotas and minimum number of sessions that had to be sold, I doubt they themselves could constantly meet their unreasonable quotas that they themselves implemented just so they can get that extra bonus. I was told back in the day they used to allow trainers to sell 1-24 sessions but that changed. Watch out for free loaders at the gym. These are people who have no intention of signing up but just want to waste your time, try to prequalify these people so you don't waste your time and just send them packing home. If it were up to me I wouldn't pay a cent to have any of these wannable trainers train me. If your really serious about becoming a personal trainer attend a college or university program majoring in kinesiology, fitness, or exercise science or at the minimum take a real certification like nsca, csep, or acsm that is well respected instead of crap like canfitpro.

If you still want to work there have a look at this http://ratemyemployer.ca/employer/e ... &empID=517
[OP]
Jr. Member
May 4, 2006
115 posts
1 upvote
Thanks, that's all the information I needed. I was wishy washy about becoming one, and now that I've got all this info. I've made my decision! :)
Deal Addict
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Aug 15, 2003
2848 posts
250 upvotes
Ottawa
Wow, I feel even better now that I didn't quite fall for the sales pitch.
wolf30 wrote:
Apr 27th, 2011 3:18 pm
Training is unpaid and your expected to put in a minimum of 35 hrs a week.
Isn't that sufficiently illegal that someone could take them to court for lost wages? (As I recall, GoodLife already got hit once for deceptive advertising practices.)

By the way, if you're into that kind of thing, you could always look into becoming a group fitness class instructor, but they don't offer training for that very often, and it comes with its own boatload of problems.
Sr. Member
Oct 7, 2009
814 posts
49 upvotes
Wowsers, I didn't realize it was that bad. I started at Bally back before they sold all their clubs in Canada. Much better setup there. You could sell anything from 1 to 48 sessions. I had many clients buy long-term packages after "trying me" for 4 or 8 initially. Not allowing trainers to sell less than 50 or more shows no faith in the trainers, because they clearly don't think their trainers can keep renewing small packages with their clients. I had one client buy probably 15-20 8-session packages in a row, simply because he wasn't mentally prepared to part with $1500 at a time. Did it matter? Heck, no.

I went to about 30 hours a week training in about 6 weeks, because I was the only trainer new at the time and they fed me lots of leads and helped me close them. I also walked the floor constantly helping members and putting weights away, rarely actually engaging anyone except for the occasional helpful pointer to someone who looked like they both needed it and were receptive to it (ie the "don't look desperate for business" approach). This got me several long-term clients, as well. I did work 60 hours a week initially, 90% of it unpaid, but it had results.

They also paid much better (about $40/h), because the corporate policy was that if trainers also sell, they should be compensated for it. Subsequently we had a lot of trainers who switched over from other chains. It was generally a decent place to work for until just before I left in '06 because the corporation as a whole started suffering from financial issues and they began raising quotas on the trainers and generally jacking up the pressure on everyone to perform. There was a lot of grumbling from the trainers, but it seems like a worker's utopia when compared Wolf30's description of GoodLife...
Follow me on Twitter for fitness and nutrition tips: @tomtothiron
Deal Expert
User avatar
May 8, 2005
31842 posts
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Therion wrote:
Apr 28th, 2011 2:46 pm
Wowsers, I didn't realize it was that bad. I started at Bally back before they sold all their clubs in Canada.
Fond memories of Bally's. :)

Used to do a lot of my morning training at the old Ballly's by Dave and Buster's just off the 400...loved it there.

Actually, I think that's where Lee Labrada dropped by for a visit as well.
" The placebo effect is the most powerful supplement of all "
" The pain of discipline weighs ounces, the pain of neglect weighs tons "
" The best training in the world can't overcome a lousy diet "
TRAIN HARD !!!!
Sr. Member
Nov 22, 2006
712 posts
12 upvotes
For the money Goodlife charges for personal training sessions you can hire a qualified personal trainer that is a former olympian. At least that is the case if you live in the GTA area. When someone I knew became a pt at goodlife and I found out how little it took to become one at goodlife. I was embarassed for her.

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