Very good question. I would say to weigh how formal the meeting is; do you have an appointment with the owner, HR department, fitness director? Is it a meeting or are you dropping off your resume? If it is a sit down meeting I would opt for standard (non fitness) business dress. I do not believe you can go wrong dressing this way. However, I have had interviews in between clients, so sometimes there is no choice. If it is more causal I believe very professional workout wear is acceptable. This means no slogans, no tanks, no shorts, nothing tight or revealing, etc, keep it neat and clean.
this will depend on the interview setting. Since I also live in Raleigh, I am familiar with the local gyms. For example, if I were invited for an interview at Rex, I would probably go with a sporty suit, not sneakers but regular shoes. I have seen some of my fellow instructors go for an interview with Lifetime Fitness in nice slacks and a sports top.
If you anticipate being in a gym setting, I would dress for the job you are interviewing for. If you apply for a trainer job, dress as a trainer.
You can also visit the prospective place beforehand and get a feel for the place. See how all the employees are dressed from the front desk to the training staff and be just a little more ‘dressed’.
Unless I was applying for a management position I would dress the same as if I was going to train a client (since I would be working in a gym as a trainer and not management). If you go this route make sure your shirt is tucked in the sorts/pants and no slogans on the shirt. The more important part of the interview is being professional when talking to the interviewer and answering his/her questions with clear and fact-based answers. Good luck to you.
If you are just visiting the gyms to get an idea of the atmosphere and environment, I would dress the part of a professional, conservative trainer. I opt for long black workout pants and a nice, fitted zip up jacket over a conservative workout tank. You want to look like you belong in that environment (and in case you are asked to do a quick trial training session or conduct a workout–you never know).
The same might go for a sit-down interview, but you may want to check to see who you will be meeting with and what the environment is like (I would still be prepared conduct some sort of training session. They may want to see how you would take a client through a session).
I think it is always important, regardless of job, to dress at minimum business casual. I think doing so sets the tone that you are serious about the opportunity. Don’t wear what everyone else is wearing. Take it one step above and you’ll prove to them that your the best possible candidate.
Hope this helps,