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Legal Issues

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Sexual Harassment and the Fitness Industry

By Carrie Myers Smith | July 11, 2018 |

One day, while stretching my client Jim, I was taken aback when I realized he wasn’t wearing underwear. His shorts were swim trunks with interior netting. I quickly looked away and continued to stretch him. This happened with Jim on several other occasions, but I never mentioned it because I wasn’t sure how to broach the matter. I also didn’t feel as if he was doing this intentionally, nor did I believe he meant harm.

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Are You Ready to Sell Your Fitness Business?

By Shirley Archer, JD, MA | May 10, 2018 |

Are you thinking about selling your personal training studio or fitness business? Your business is probably your primary source of income, and selling it will mean you’ll lose that annual income but achieve a one-time capital gain. Are you prepared for that? IDEA member Toby Davis, senior adviser at Sun Acquisitions, Chicago, shares the following tips for anyone preparing to turn over the keys:

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Crowdfunding 101

By Ryan Halvorson | September 24, 2015 |

In August 2014, personal trainer Lyam White learned that one of the owners of the studio where he was renting space was looking to sell. The Seattle-based location had worked well for him, and he was concerned that he might have to search for a new place to train.

“I talked to the other owner about buying in, to ensure that I would still be able to train at this location,” says White. “Additionally, my wife is a massage therapist, and it occurred to us that the space could be used to consolidate our services and offer a ‘whole body shop’ storefront.”

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Nutrition Coaching: A Primer for Health and Fitness Professionals

By Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD | April 16, 2015 |

Fitness professionals should discuss nutrition with their clients. 


Historically, many fitness pros have either avoided nutrition
discussions for fear of straying outside their scope of practice or gone
overboard by exceeding their scope of practice—recommending nutritional
supplements or individualized meal plans. 


There is a better way: Staying within scope of practice while adopting a
coaching philosophy that uses proven methods of behavior change. 


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Creating an Injury Policy for Instructors

By | March 19, 2014 |

I started teaching (like many of you fellow managers) more than 25 years ago. The 1980s were great: We jumped around in our spandex with little concern for our safety. We were obsessed with being fit and toned, and our mission was to “bring it.”

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Insurance Considerations for Fitness Professionals

By Ted Devine | July 23, 2013 |

When was the last time you took a hard look at the risks your business faces and the systems that you have—or don’t have—in place to safeguard yourself when disaster strikes? In this article you’ll learn how to manage the most costly risks to your business and how to stay ahead of the risk-management curve as your business grows

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Client Confidentiality Is Crucial

By Jacqueline Klosek | July 23, 2013 |

As a fitness professional and a business owner, you often develop close working relationships with your clients, and you learn a great deal about their lives, health, medical conditions, goals and fears. Your clients have every right to expect that such information will be kept confidential. It is in your best interests to ensure that it is protected.

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“Safe Harbor” for Home Office Expenses

By Mark E. Battersby | April 24, 2013 |

Tax season may have just ended, but that doesn’t mean preparation should take a vacation. Here’s news that every fitness professional who runs his or her business from a home office or uses a home office for management chores will be happy to learn: The Internal Revenue Service has announced that beginning with the 2013 tax year, a new “safe harbor” will allow qualified taxpayers to deduct as much as $1,500 in home office expenses—while reducing the administrative, recordkeeping and compliance burdens of claiming this deduction.

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The HIPAA Effect

By Tricia Schafer, JD | November 9, 2012 |

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (42 United States Code § 1320d), which took effect nearly 10 years ago, has had a profound impact on the healthcare industry. Though HIPAA covers many areas, the privacy rule in particular is noteworthy.

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Identifying and Managing Risk Among Trainers

By Darren Jacobson | November 1, 2008 |

 9  Business Basics:
Pricing Your Services
13  Technology:
From Mobile to Mobility
17  Training for Growth:
The Struggle for Significance
21  Best Practices:
Build Your Team

By nature, personal trainers are passionate, driven, organized and excellent at communicating, or so we would like to believe. In reality, within any team there are radical differences in terms of trainer competencies.

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Determining Your Legal Structure, Part 2

By Kristen Horler, MS | May 31, 2008 |

The April issue of this column examined the myriad issues that you should consider before deciding on a legal structure for your new or existing business. If you have chosen to incorporate your company, there are several ways to go about it. Each of these options comes with its own price tag and its own advantages and disadvantages.

Hire an Attorney

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Determining Your Corporate Structure, Part 1

By Kristen Horler, MS | March 31, 2008 |

One of the most important decisions you will make as a business owner is how to legally structure your company. Your own assessment of the risks and costs involved, together with guidance from your professional advisers, should determine your corporate structure.
Many personal trainers open their studios as sole proprietorships and then find that as their businesses grow, that st…

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Sexual Harassment in the Fitness Workplace

By Amanda Vogel, MA | October 31, 2007 |

Beverly and Barb are best friends in their 40s who’ve hired 22-year-old Trainer Tom for partner personal training. Dur­ing their first session, Tom demonstrates how to do a squat, offering cues to help the women understand proper technique. “You want to be feeling this in your butt muscles,” he says, in a matter-of-fact manner. “I want to be feeling your butt muscles,” blurts Beverly, gently pa…

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AEDs Required in California Fitness Facilities

By Joy Keller | September 30, 2007 |

It’s been 3 months since all
fitness facilities and studios in California were required to have an automated external defibrillator (AED) program in place (the implementation date was July 1). If this requirement applies to you, are you up to code? If you don’t live in California, visit www.ncsl.org/programs/health/
aed.htm to see if your state
requires …

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Where There’s a WILL … There’s a Way!

By Terrie Heinrich Rizzo, MAS | February 28, 2007 |

You hope to die after a long life, all your affairs in order. Unfortunately that’s not always what happens—and the result can be a mess for heirs. Ensure that your estate and loved ones are protected with a valid will. Discover why you need to have a will, how to craft one that serves you well and common mistakes to avoid.

Why a Will Is a Mu…

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Are You Qualified to Work With At-Risk Clients?

By Sean Riley, JD, MS | October 31, 2006 |

Legal & Risk Management
By Sean Riley, MS, JD

Are You Qualified to Work With At-Risk Clients?
Why personal fitness trainers who work with postrehab and special populations are at greater legal risk themselves. Health clubs are becoming increasingly occupied by older clients and those who have special medical needs. This is partly due to referrals from physicians who have begun to appreciate the b…

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Liability and Damages for Fitness-Based Lawsuits

By Sean Riley, JD, MS | May 31, 2006 |

Over the past several issues, we have examined the risks involved in failing to prioritize legal responsibilities in your fitness career and discussed how to actively manage those risks in your daily operations. Now it is time to take the next step and learn about the different categories of legal damages you might have to pay should you be liable for another’s injuries. Although this material can be highly technical, a general understanding of it is indispensable to anyone training clients in today’s highly litigious society.

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IDEA Fitness Journal

IDEA Fitness Journal

Current Issue:
December 2019

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