WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF THE PROFESIONAL TRAINERS WHEN BIG CORPORATIONS BUY NEW GYMS AND PAY $16.00?.
All the money in many many Certifications and knowledge we spend 'Fitness Professionals" in more that 18 or 20 years of trying to get better qualifications to get paid the top rates as "Master Trainers and Groups Ex instructors" at Ballys had no value for the L.A Fitness Corporation after the purchase of 171 Bally Total Fitness clubs last Dec 6 2011.
On Tuesday Dec 6 2011 from nowhere all the employes "Personal Trainers and Group Ex instructors" got the notice that we had been sold to L.A. Fitness, that same day they cancelled all the Group Exercise classes with out a notice to members and instructors (we didn't get paid since then the classes i had in the schedule). On wednesday dec 7 again from nowhere got the notice that the club will close at 5 pm so the new owners will take the computer systems of the gym out leaving the trainers no way to redeem the session of the existing clients.On thursday Dec 9 got only rumors that we will be paid as trainers only $16.00 per 30 mins per session and not honor the p.t contracts that we had sold the month of november or before, some paid in full by our clients at the rate that "Master Trainers' WITH MORE THAN 5 YEARS in the company and have more than 3 or 4 certifications supposed to get paid $30 to $35 dollars per hour os session.
So we will be welcome to work for L.A. Fitness accepting that they lowering or paid to $16.00 and the other $22.00 that we supposed to forget and be happy that they will get in their banks what we already deserved and sold..
In my case i had told that i had being paid working for Ballys 11 years $26.00 because i was one of the more qualified instructors and was the Group ex assistant Director at Ballys Hollywood before the economic crash got into the Country. In all this years every time i ask for a raise i had the answer of management that the raises where frozen because the economy and that i should not complain since i was paid the most of the group ex instructors in Hollywood...So the crisis just hit BALLYS not the instructors " i guess that is what they thought in their small crazy minds".
i was not teaching for money his 11 years , i was teaching BECAUSE I LOVE TO TEACH not exactly for the money. So i just keept 3 classes to avoid more injuries in my body since i had 7 clients every day from Monday to Friday, and saturdays 8am till noon.
We got a "big slap on the face the trainers" who worked our harts and bodies for 18 years and in my case 11 years.We where the ones who can sale $8,000 t0 $10,000 dollars in most regular bases every single month and making Ballys Hollywood number #1 in Personal Training Sessions, had 50 to 60 people in our Group Ex Classes and again in my case NEVER MISSED OR CANCELLED ONE CLASS IN MY 11 years at this gym.
The group Ex called me and offer me $20.00. The lady told me that is what i had being paid at Ballys all this time which was SHOCKING for me to realized that all this time trusting about my decent paid, i had been stolen $6.00 FOR MANY MANY years, and she was going to offer me $20.00....VERY DISTURBING for me.
Now i think AFTER 20 YEARS OF TEACHING , spending thousand of dollars in IDEA every year, paid for Certifications and Trainings THERE IS NO ROOM TO HAVE A DECENT PAY in this big corporations of gyms as "Profesional Trainer or Group Ex.instructors" Reason why this type of gyms had THEIR OWN RECIPES AND MANDATORY FORMAT OF CLASSES so any, i mean any person have to teach the same CLASS. THE EXPERIENCE,TALENT AND CREATIVITY OF THE TEACHER is not requiere anymore.
The industry is simply mirroring existing demographic shifts. The good news for you, Octavio, is that you live in probably one of the very few places where you can make a decent living as a trainer, if you cross the 405. I don't know where you are in LA but I just switched to working in Santa Monica from the valley since the opportunity to make a living there is much higher. I still live in the valley, but work in Santa Monica, serving a higher income clientele.
10 years ago, the gym where I worked as an independent contractor closed, and the new facility offered me an 'employment opportunity' that was laughable. It seemed like a scary thing at the time, but it soon turned out the best thing that ever happened to me.
Take a deep breath and tell the corporate guys (whatever). I am sure you can do well by yourself.
I wish you good luck.
it is my understanding that in a high end corporate club, at least in California, quality personal trainers can make up to $40. Before the crash it was $60.
You might also try hospital programs, or company fitness centers. As Shawn mentioned you have other options. Today credentialing, or degrees are not enough. We can be more resilient by reinventing ourselves. This may be the start of something grand and wonderful for you.
I'm always a "silver-lining" guy and so think of it this way. Once you're able to charge your own rates, it will take many FEWER clients and training hours for you to make the same amount (and more) than you can at the gym's rate.
Embrace the change, forge ahead, and good luck!
I hope this helps.
You might want to look into getting into the field of corporate fitness and find a staff position at a worksite-based wellness facility. There are some very good co's that provide fitness management services for corporations which have state of the art facilities. It is truly a rewarding position financially and personally for trainers who love what they do as I can see that you do from your post !
Fuel the Movement,
When one door slams shut another opens wide
All the best to you.