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Fitness Australia rejects claims that outdoor personal training is a ‘middle class’ indugence
Industry peak body Fitness Australia has rejected claims in the Sydney Morning Herald that outdoor personal training is a "middle class" indulgence that can embarrass onlookers and deter others from exercising.
The news item, 'Personal trainers under pressure' (published Wednesday 13th March), quotes Dr Garry Egger as saying "there are obviously people who do it (personal training) because it does send a statement and make them look good.
"We need better programs to appeal to the majority of the population who are inactive, rather than visible high-cost programs to a small minority who can afford it."
The SMH news item then focussed on Waverly Council concerns that licensed outdoor group training providers are using fitness 'equipment' on the beach (cones and sandbags).
Here, Dr Egger added that councils needed to stringently enforce their rules "where trainers are interfering with other people's right to common recreational services."
The SMH has frequently reported criticism of outdoor group and personal training in recent years, highlighting to conflicts over access to open space and wear and tear on recreational facilities.
However, the comments from Dr Egger, one of Australia's leading authority on lifestyle and chronic disease, who has advised the Federal government on exercise and weight control and who founded the men's Gutbuster program in the 1980s, has puzzled many in the fitness industry.
In a vigorous response to the claims, Fitness Australia Chief Executive Lauretta Stace countered in a later article in the SMH ('Redesign Sydney's public areas to cater for exercise, fitness industry urges').
Stace highlighted that personal and small group training provides "individually tailored exercise programs and services" that suit the needs of participants.
She added "as obesity and inactivity levels are on the rise, public areas should be redesigned to encourage physical activity participation and the fun side of fitness amongst the whole community."
Stace rejected claims Dr Egger's claims that exercising in public was embarrassing or a deterrent for others to participate.
In respect of conflicts involving group outdoor training, Stace added that Fitness Australia had clear guidelines for registered exercise professionals, which included "acting in an ethical, responsible and professional manner".
In the latter article, Dr Egger conceded that the community needed to become more involved in exercise "and these people do serve a function in doing that", but said personal training was "an elite approach to something that should be quite egalitarian."
Click here to read the SMH story 'Redesign Sydney's public areas to cater for exercise, fitness industry urges'.
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