The Idea Code of Ethics.
The fitness industry has been bruised, but fortunately not broken, by unscrupulous, unthinking “professionals” over the past few years. A string of negative publicity has put the industry under scrutiny. In 2004 there was the big splash in Newsweek about Mike Torchia, the Hollywood, California, personal trainer who boasted about his sexual conquests with more than 40 married women over 30 years as a trainer. More current is the steroid scandal in major league baseball, which has placed Barry Bonds’s personal trainer, Greg Anderson, right at the center of the action.
The foundation and future success of the fitness industry lie in each professional’s ethics. Physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, attorneys and professionals in many other fields have codes of ethics. Breach of these codes is punishable by loss of licensure, disbarment or even, in some cases, criminal law. While there is no universal code of ethics for fitness professionals, IDEA formulated a formal code and specific practice guidelines for owners and managers, personal trainers and group fitness instructors almost a decade ago. We encourage you to revisit the IDEA Code of Ethics for Owners and Managers and the Ethical Practice Guidelines for Owners and Managers on these pages.
Read them, post them, and live by them. Protect the integrity of your profession. If you see a colleague flirting with a breach of ethics, have the courage to tactfully remind him or her that the (negative) actions of individuals are often mistakenly ascribed to an entire group.