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GoodLife Fitness / goodlife personal training standards

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Reading all these complaints regarding GoodLife Fitness Centers doesn't surprise me one bit. As a GoodLife employee I have seen countless incidents that make me question why it is I have chosen this sector to make my living. The only answer I have come up with so far is that I truly love health and fitness and that they are such a big player in Canada's gym industry, that it is a good place to build up my reputation as an excellent trainer. Saying this however, I have no quams about pointing the finger at their pathetic hiring practices when it comes to deciding who gets to put on those Personal Trainer shirts at their 200 plus locations. For those who don't know, all that is absolutely required to become a GoodLife Personal Trainer is a certification from CanFit Pro. Now here is the fun part. CanFit Pro a certifying body owned by GoodLife Fitness originator Patch Evans. This means that if someone is hired at GoodLife Fitness, they have three months to get their CanFit Pro Personal Trainers certification. This certification is a joke as so many "successful" GoodLife trainers with their high school educations can attest. Why would the largest chain of fitness centers in the land have any problem hiring the best, most experienced, most highly educated human kinetics grads? The truth is that their size allows them to get away with hiring practices not afforded to most private, smaller fitness clubs. They can charge more for training, and have more members to sell to than any other club in the land so they need trainers available to them at a moments notice with the life of a trainer only being an average of 3 months.
Once hired, these "trainers" are drilled with marketing, hard selling tactics and GoodLife propaganda at nauseum with an absolutely minuscule amount of time given to education as it pertains to personal training. Why is this a big deal? I have seen barristas, miners, high school grads and others with no fitness or health training rise to the levels of not only personal trainers, but even level 2 and 3 trainers as well. They had no idea of what they were doing and just learned on the fly which wouldn't be alarming at McDonalds but these people were charging fifty dollars a session at a minimum! You can't blame GoodLife alone for this occurence, but what I can say is that until personal training is regulated like physios, chiros and so forth, the customer needs to ask questions to make sure that the person in the tight-fitting shirt is actually who he claims he/she is. Often at GoodLife, they are just wearing the uniform which allows them to charge a whopping amount to stand there and watch you hurt yourself. The truth is that if you turn to your right or left when you are on the elliptical at your local GoodLife, you will be looking at people with more education and actual gym experience than the ones up on the employee profile board. There are good trainers at GoodLife, but they need to be seeked out and buyer beware: the levels at GoodLife are all sales-based and have NO bearing on actual quality.
Fitness is a very good investment and worth every penny, if you decide that personal training will allow you to adopt a healthier lifestyle. You need to be careful however that your hard-earned dollars are going to someone who has th actual experience, education and passion for health and fitness and not just a certification owned by the company itself. Ask questions when the sales pressure is being put on you. Watch the trainers for insight into their quality and ask cients already getting training for their impressions. GoodLife is a business and that is what is emphasized more than anything to its trainers. Selling more is everything so trainers will be pushy because they have to. You will get let go if you do not keep them in the money, regardless of how happy your clients are or your quality. They hire even less qualified people to run the trainers so quality is not even recognized at most locations. GoodLife will be a power in the fitness field for some time, until Canada starts to put controls on who is able to use the title personal trainer. Until then, it is the consummer that has the power because they have the money that GoodLife wants so act empowered and educate yourselves on the industry. It really is a cash grab for those who can manipulate the current system so understanding it will put you at a lesser risk of getting misled in your quest for health.

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Comments

  • Ry
      Feb 01, 2011

    I am very interested in the health and fitness industry as I have currently finished University and have my Kinesiology degree. I would love to become a personal trainer or kinesiologist however, they are both not regulated which has its benefits and down falls. Kinesiology is in the process of becoming regulated which is an extremely good thing. I think personal training needs to be regualted as well. This will allow a person to know what kind of people they are dealing with. Right now anybody can become a personal trainer. Obviously anybody can become or do anything in this world if they put there mind to it. However, I am currently in the CPTN-CPT course (Certified personal trainers network - certified personal trainer) and there are people taking this course that are in other fields not related to personal training or fitness and will pass and become personal trainers. Personally I believe there needs to be more of a regulating body so people understand why personal training cost as much as it does. Personal training is an investment like buying a car. You want to find the right trainer for you that will help you meet your goals and improve your life. I think you should have a degree related to the health and fitness industry as it teaches you a lot about the body that other people taking the cptn-cpt course have no idea about. If you had to have a Kinesiolgy degree or realted degree in order to right a certified persoanl trainers test than the trainers would be much more educated and worth the $40-$90 an hour. If people who just graduated high school can become persoanl trainers and train the same clients as someone with a degree obviously with the right personality the client who has the trainer with the degree will see better results. Also personal trainers do not see that full $40-$90 an hour as the fitness facilities take over 60% of that as profit for the gym. So if you are paying a personal trainer $50 an hour at a fitness club most trainers only see $15 of that $50. This makes it really hard for trainers to make a living especially after all the effort put into making a program design for a client. Im not saying that having a degree means you know everything but if personal trainers needed more of an education than just the can-fit-pro or Certified persoanl trainers network- cpt course than trainers would be more recognized and appreciated. I just feel you should know and understand how the body works in order to reach the full potential of a clients goals. Knowing how the body and its sytems react to different stressors and environments plays a big role in personal training. I dont mean to offend anyone by writing this. I just think a regualting body would be perfect for the personal training industry!

    +2 Votes
  • Im
      Aug 04, 2011

    I went through the Can Fit Personal Trainer course and although I did learn a few things about the human body, I learned nothing about training. The in-gym portion of the course was a huge 2 hours where I learned the correct bench press and squat, and nothing else. I personally have been in and out of gyms for over 25 years and was looking forward to the idea of becoming a trainer, I believed in my background and I believed in what I could do. What I also learned is that as long as GoodLife controls the "system" they set up, the low standards for teaching their trainers and having them keep paying for courses each year, gathering credits though these courses to stay certified the system is money based and less fitness based. It wasn't until after completing the couse and getting my "certification" card in the mail that I learned it was only good for 1 year and expired, in order to stay certified I would have to keep paying Goodlife. Something worng with this system. There are some very good trainers out there, unfortunately if you aren't good at selling the Goodlife trainer plan to potential clients you're out the door. I have walked away from my hope of being a trainer as I have no desire to become a salesman for Goodlife.

    0 Votes
  • Pi
      Feb 01, 2012

    funny!! When enter your phone info for your three free months they call you back in under 30 minutes! Pretty messed up! I found out tonight that they forged the signature of my son's father so that they could sign my 17 year old son! Apparently there is not limit to the horrible business practices.

    +1 Votes
  • Jo
      Oct 06, 2012

    I had absolutely no clue this is how Goodlife operates. I was always under the impression that PT have gone through university in the field and are fully qualified, what with their soaring attitudes! OH my, this is terrible and see all those innocent members taking lessons obviously oblivious of the lack of qualifications of their PT! In fact, I have seen PTs give massages after a workout as well- ha without qualifications? I go to Bloor Park club in Toronto and GL took over the Sports Club which was a superior club. Definitely. They hand picked their staff and the PT were qualified with university degrees, I know that because I had taken lessons from one of them. Besides, ALL their staff, including PT were amazing in customer service and knew how to treat members regardless of whether you were taking lessons from them. The receptionist knew us by our names and we paid the same fee we are now. But Goodlife, the receptionist will ONLY greet members he knows and likes. To others, nothing scan their card and off you go. No courtesy, nothing. And he does that in front of the fitness manager who is another jerk. A woman I know complained about something and the fitness manager at bloor park told her not to ever, ever complain! Can you believe staff doing that? In any other respectable corporation, such people would be instantly fired, but at Goodlife, this is what they need, I guess? Come on Goodlife, have some standards.

    +2 Votes
  • La
      May 18, 2013

    I have for years belonged to Good Life fitness, because of the convenience I have been using the club at 55 Bloor Street West. 4 years ago I broke my spine, therefore, between my age and a few years of limited activity I just found it very difficult to get the results that I was looking for and I started to play with the thought of a personal trainer.

    All I wanted was someone to guide me in the right direction, when working out in the club I started to check out the different trainers, such as how connected they were with their clients sessions, their attitude and personality and so on. I finally decided on one trainer, his name is Richard Chan.

    I signed a contract for 72 sessions on March 25th (which was never my intentions) but I got manhandled into to signing, not by Richard but by the person that at this time was in charge of personal training at the club, his name is David, it could also be called good salesman ship, however the total cost was $5, 207.04.

    This is not why I am sharing this complain, just the background on what lead up to this disaster. On April 29th I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my left breast, there is no words to describe how it feels to be told that you have cancer, because that only happens to other people.

    At the time I went to the club to see what could be done about my money, I only had used 8 sessions at the time and I was hoping for a refund for at least 62. David was no longer there, instead a young woman by the name of Sherika “most likely the wrong spelling” when I related to her why I wanted to cancel my sessions she never acknowledged what I was saying, instead I got a song and a dance how I could put my sessions on hold, I became so angry with her attitude and indifference I had to leave, my intention was to go back a few days later when I had calmed down. Instead, just to get my anger out I sent a email to Good Life Fitness members experience but I never received a response.

    I then went back to the club to speak with Sherika and got another go around, I was told that I needed a doctor’s note, “fair enough” I went to my family doctor and got one, plus another written request of a refund which I hand delivered to Sherika on May 8th she told me that the head office would handle it from then on. Now this is what is upsetting, no one have contacted me at all, yesterday I sent them another email to please acknowledge that they had received my mail but I am just being ignored. can someone please guide me to the person who or organization who can solve this problem for me. thank you. my contact email is mr.[protected]@gmail.com

    0 Votes
  • Ar
      Aug 03, 2014

    From my own experience, I have encountered dishonesty with various employees at various Goodlife Fitness Clubs. I have no doubt the upper executives are aware such improper practices go on in their clubs, but I do not think it is of concern to them so long as the clubs continue to generate revenue. I for one would be hesitant to associate with/or hire any existing or former Goodlife employees. The Goodlife facilities I attend are well maintained, but it is unfortunate that Goodlife by way of their sales/business practice seems to tarnish its own reputation.

    +1 Votes
  • Fa
      Jul 17, 2015

    WOW, I guess I am not the only one having issue's currently with Good Life. First off I went to the Bell Trinity Location by Bay/King in Toronto. I had a friend that was going there and said that its a pretty decent gym. I was signed on by a person named George. As soon as I signed my year contract with George the TRAINING MANAGE by the name of Ray Lilani had approached me and my friend if we would be interested in personal training. We told him no thanks not interested. A month passed by and he never really bothered us, another month passed by and he approached us again. He took us into his office and did our measurements and basically told us that since we have been working out on our own nothing has changed and that a personal trainer can help out tremendously, So he basically kept my friend and I in the office closed door's for about 30 min's to the point where my friend got up and left. I am not the type to get up and leave like that since I have to run into him again and I didn't want to burn bridges, So I stayed, stupid me. I told him I need to think about need to think about it and he kept saying to me that this "OFFER" is only for today if you agree to it another day the price will be higher. Than he brings in this young dude kind of okay looking into the office and says this will be your new trainer if you sign up today. The new trainer supposedly told me what he would do and what sort of exercises he would incorporate in order for me to loose the weight that I need to loose. So he leaves and that didn't really make me any more interested in purchasing the training sessions. So I was kept in the office again for about another 30 mins. He had told me to just sign now and I can cancel in 10 days. So I did I signed, I tried DYLAN CARVALHO out for 10 days he was good to me so I kept the training. I almost finished my 72 session I think I had 10 more to go, Ray L calls me back into the office tells me about another great offer that is only AVAILABLE for today. I was doing good with my weight and getting a bit more toned and was afraid that if I didn't continue that I would go back to my old habits. So I signed another 55 session at this point I was doing a double contract double payments per month. It was so hard for me to money was so tight I couldn't buy anything for myself for months. So anyways after awhile I think my trainer and I got a bit to comfortable with each other to the point where he would burp/fart in front of me, I would tell him that I am in pain because I have had knee and hip problems in the past and all he could say is good. Didn't show any emotion or symthathy to what I was feeling. He also advised to me that he has connections with Weed if I ever need a hook up. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, apparently have the trainers at the trinity gym are all weed smokers. They are all young immature trainers every trainer there is under 25 years old just starting out. So anyways it was a back and forth thing with him one week good next week bad we would always get into a fight to the point where one time he flipped out on me and said that he felt he was dragging a horse through the mud. I got to the point where I was FED UP with all his rude comments that I had told him I AM CANCELING. His exact words were " I DONT GIVE A FLYING ****, IF YOU ARE CANCELING LESS OFF A HEADACHE FOR ME" So I went to my doctor got a note that states that to excuse me from training due to medical reasons, I sent it into head office they said it would take a week to review FINE! The head PT manager there JAMES MCQUAD called me and said they are denying my request as they have spoken to RAY/DYLAN and that my doctor's note was not DETAILED enough. So I went back to my doctor and had told her to write a more detailed note. Which she did, now I have to wait till MONDAY July 20th for the final say I am not giving up till I get my money. This is my story with the unprofessionalism at GOOD LIFE BELL TRINITY LOCATION - NO ONE GET ANY TRAINERS FROM THERE ESPECIALLY DYLAN CARVALHO

    0 Votes
  • Dj
      Dec 18, 2018

    @Faye69 Hi. Dylan Carvalho, personal trainer at Goodlife Bell Trinity location here. I'm not here to defend Goodlife, management or anyone other than myself, but to shed a little more light on the situation with Faye, so that I don't get a picture painted of me without further context.

    I fired Faye as my client because of sexual harassment. She sent me pictures of her body that I didn't ask for (NOT PROGRESS PICS), messaged me multiple times that "she's in my hood" and wants to hang out, and quite clearly got the wrong message from the service I was trying to provide. I did lose my cool one day when asking her about her nutrition, as she measured her chicken breast with a ruler instead of a scale in a period when I was putting forth as much effort as possible to help her with her weight loss (food logs, text check-ins, meal plans, referrals, cooking suggestions, etc.) At this time, Faye hasn't lost a single pound in 5 months despite being more than 30 kilos overweight and put forth what I perceived as 10% effort in her training sessions. It is my job (the service purchased) to provide motivation, education, and to also call someone out on areas they can improve upon for their own benefit / so they can reach the goals we aimed for at the start of the program. In response to weed smoking, yes I smoke weed and am prescribed it since 2013 for anxiety/seasonal depression. Faye also smokes weed, and even introduced me to her best friend / drug dealer once before she went to have a smoking session. No judgement here, I prefer my clients to smoke weed than to drink alcohol, but just want to get the story straight. I've never smoked cannabis during my shifts or with clients.

    Ray is well known for being a very aggressive salesman, however I can't be held responsible as I was not the one making the sale. I pride myself in only signing members when it would not put them in financial jeopardy, and help them budget it in or even advise them NOT to train under certain circumstances. Admittedly, at this time I was just starting my career in personal training, and had much to learn (still do!) Faye has been a very important learning experience in my career, and it's unfortunate that she feels the way she does, but to come on to public forums to write false accusations about me isn't right. She's done this on multiple forums and enlisted her best friend to also write negative & false reviews of me. If you'd like to judge my character for yourself, you can always call Goodlife Bell Trinity & ask for me, so you can form your own opinion. Thanks for your time!

    0 Votes
  • Dj
      Dec 18, 2018

    @djc_exp Edit: Also, to this day, Faye still messages me every 2-3 months under various blocked/unblocked phone numbers "asking for a trainer." I know her intentions do not involve training, and despite not being religious I pray for her mental health. Keep in mind that at the time I was 22 and Faye was in her 30's. I do not respond because I am uncomfortable doing so, and I would like to legally protect myself against further accusations. I don't speak for the quality or morality of any other trainers at goodlife, but I'm sure if you met Faye, myself, or both you could form your own opinion. Thanks again!

    0 Votes
  • Md
      Jul 27, 2019

    I lived through it. After 4 months of training I cancelled my 6 month contract with my GoodLife trainer. It was the biggest waste of money, not because of the very high prices, but the poor quality of services offered for that steep price. My trainer had no knowledge of functional movement, bio-mechanics and the workings of the human musculature system. My routine wasn't planned for me- It was what he only knew. Lack of coaching, high volume of repetitions, and inappropriately spotting me put me in dangerous positions. Mixed with being on his phone at times while I was doing my reps, and training me without proper attire (in his flop flops!) I began to really question the accountability of GoodLife Fitness, and their managers who allow such low quality of standards to persist in their gyms. I was awfully disgusted by it.

    The health and fitness industry is based on accountability and credibility. Sadly, GoodLife lacks both and after my experience I have not stepped into a GoodLife Fitness nor would I recommend GoodLife trainers to anyone at the time being.

    More regulation is definitely needed in the personal training industry.

    0 Votes

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