SGL is an innovative and progressive lifestyle, leisure and community consulting practice, operated by Phillip Gray and active since 1988. SGL has undertaken an extensive range of sport,…read more
Calls for stricter regulation of booming Gold Coast fitness industry
A leading Gold Coast gym owner has warned of the dangers of exercisers working out with “uninsured, undertrained ‘cowboy’” fitness trainers.
As reported today by the Gold Coast Bulletin, Mark Mathie, owner of the Wicked Bodz gym in Surfers Paradise, said the industry had become a “complete circus” and was in dire need of regulation.
Mathie, who has spent over three decades working in the fitness industry, said there had been an explosion in the number of uninsured, undertrained ‘cowboy operators’, warning “the first word that comes to mind when talking about the industry is saturation. The second is under-regulated. It is dangerous.
“We now have insta fitness gurus that don’t even have qualifications selling programs and diets to look like them. Chances are they don’t even look like that.
“It’s just so easy with next to zero qualifications or licenses to open a small gym or studio. It’s a mad house out there.
“To take someone’s health and wellbeing in their hands without the right training, it’s crazy.”
With all three levels of government only having limited standards in relation to the fitness industry,Mathie called for standardised qualifications across the industry so consumers knew they were in safe hands.
He added “we need compulsory traineeships for at least a six to 12 months.
“You need a four-year apprenticeship to cut someone’s hair or cook their food, but you can make decisions on someone’s body with a qualification you received in a few weeks.”
Bill Moore, Chief Executive of the nation’s largest accreditation body, Fitness Australia was reported as saying that the level of self regulation in the fitness industry had deteriorated in recent years.
Moore told the Gold Coast Bulletin “those that register with Fitness Australia have annual training commitments and standards but it’s not mandatory for those who aren’t affiliated with us.
“I think the level of self-regulation has deteriorated. When I say that, I feel there are more exercise professionals working outside system than in the past.”
Fitness Australia is currently attempting to establish a code of practice for all councils and states to adopt, which would include a need for insurance, CPR training and minimum qualifications.
Mark Stitt, the founder of international fitness training organisation Fit College, said the industry needed help.
Stitt advised “unfortunately, sometimes the only reason people seek quick training is so they can be insured to be a PT.
“But I don’t believe they survive too long into the market place, trainers don’t just need to have fitness experience but have training to run a business, and look after their client’s needs.”
Stitt, who has been on the board of Fitness Australia and Fitness Queensland, said there was an overabundance of unqualified trainers, adding “when you talk about regulation, you also need to start regulating how many gyms operate in the same areas.
“Insurance companies have also made it too easy for those who are unqualified to get insurance.”
Federal government body Sport Australia last year committed to a national accreditation scheme for sports scientists, and strength and conditioning coaches.
However, it did not include personal trainers or gym operators.
Images: Mark Mathie (top, courtesy of Wicked Bodz) and Bill Moore (below).
10th July 2018 - Fitness Australia’s Bill Moore announces retirement
18th January 2018 - Fitness Australia’s Bill Moore flags industry challenges for 2018
21st December 2017 - Australian Sports Commission commits to national standard for sport science
1st October 2017 - Unsupervised 15-year-old dies after gym accident
28th November 2016 - Fitness Australia announce formation of Industry Standards Council
15th April 2016 - Michelle Bridges says unqualified personal trainers put lives at risk
12th March 2016 - Leading personal trainer sick of ‘fakes’ and ‘cash-grabbers’
11th February 2016 - Fitness instructor numbers set to grow by up to 50% in five years
25th April 2014 - Fitness Australia explains role in developing industry safety standards
24th July 2013 - ESSA slams Government’s lack of action in Senate Inquiry report
4th March 2010 - Cowboys don’t last in the modern fitness industry
28th October 2008 - Childcare regulations anger fitness industry leaders
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
At easyemployer we've come up with a software solution that manages one of your most important, and often most costly, business resources - your staff. We are helping 100s of clients to…read more
Technogym is the leading company in the Wellness and Fitness field all over the world. With 2,200 employees, 14 branches in Europe, U.S., South America, Asia and Australia, Technogym exports its…read more
Vlocker Pty Ltd has been designing, manufacturing, installing and servicing locker systems worldwide since 1995. Vlocker specialises in providing locker solutions to suit client requirements in…read more
Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…read more
We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…read more
Links Modular Solutions are a leading provider of high-quality, innovative software solutions for leisure facilities. Our software suite includes modules such as POS, Classes, Members, Facility…read more
Aflex Technology are the experts in all things inflatable. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach inflatables on the market. All products…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!