This is my testimony about my experience working for Body of Change/LA Fitness. As an ex-employee I am a witness to their objectionable sales tactics, employee exploitation, and fraud. I think it is important that the public knows what a truly phony and reprehensible company they really are.
You might think that with a name like Body of Change and LA Fitness, that they are a company all about fitness, but the sad reality is nothing could be further from the truth. They are in fact, not at all concerned with fitness. The hierarchy of the company puts trainers in the gutter, and salesmen on top. Sales staff get great benefits like health and a big monthly bonus, Trainers get NOTHING. Trainers are insignificant to the company. Body of Change is about SALES, NOT FITNESS!
Throughout my employment at Body of Change (they handle the personal training end of LA Fitness), I've seen them hire ex-cons. high school kids, punk thugs. many with no training certification, no CPR certification and no experience. Basically, people that flat out have no idea how to train a client safely and effectively. Although a small minority of trainers are excellent, and highly qualified, they soon take their talent elsewhere after realizing that BOC couldn't care less about quality fitness training. BOC has absolutely no standards for hiring trainers. If you know what a dumbell is, your hired, its a joke.
I have witnessed BOC sales staff(assistant managers) blatantly lie to people, and give them fraudulent fitness and nutritional advice. BOC sales staff are NOT Trainers. most are NOT certified. They are hired purely on their selling ability. (In essence, their ability to B.S. people)
BOC sales staff fill the client's head with B.S. then sales staff try to make the trainers an accomplice by telling them to go along with the B.S. until the clients 3 day contract cancellation grace period is up, that way the sales rep can still get their commission, before the client gets wise to how full of crap the company is. BOC sales staff will not make it unless their integrity is seriously compromised, BOC has nothing legitimate to offer clients, so lying becomes part of the game.
The sales staff will make the trainers sound like world renowned fitness experts. they will promise you periodic body fat and body measurements, they will promise you customized training routines, customized diet plans, and then as soon as your 3 day cancellation period is up, you will be cast aside and disregarded. I've seen it happen time and time and time again. And, since the trainer turn-over rate is so high, you will be passed around from trainer to trainer for the duration of your contract. Sometimes clients are without a trainer for weeks, even months, and to add insult to injury, if the client doesn't use their sessions within 6 months, BOC deletes them. Screwing the client out of hundreds, even thousands of dollars,
I've seen the sales staff sell people on a $50 per half hour session contract, that means when the client decides to start training for an hour, he will pay $100 an hour, to be trained by a trainer who making $12 an hour!! Do you see the conflict of interest??? If I was going to pay $100 an hour for personal training, that trainer had better be a world class, highly qualified individual, and he better be getting paid at least 60%.
Clients at BOC pay $35 to $50 for a 1/2 hour session, and $50 to $80 for an hour session.
The trainer is only getting paid $6 for a 1/2 hour session and $12 for an hour,(yes you read that right!! $6 and $12!!!) no matter how much the client is paying by the hour or 1/2 hour, the trainer always gets the same rate. As you can see this is exploitation on a massive scale.
People don't realize just how important it is to ask important questions. If you are going to give your hard earned cash to some corporate giant like la fitness/body of change, it is vital that you know how much your trainer will be getting paid, what kind of certification does he or she have, and how much experience do they have. If your trainer is not getting paid at least 50% of whatever you are paying, then take a walk, Exploited trainers are not motivated trainers. Your trainer should have some type of P.T. certification. There are four certifications that are the industry model/standard.
National Academy of Sports Medicine
American College of Sports Medicine
National Strength and Conditioning Association
American Council on Exercise
Trainers are not encouraged to get these certifications. Besides, anyone who is certified by the above listed, would be out of their freakin mind to work for BOC. At the very least your trainer should be able to design a personalized, custom program to fit whatever your fitness goal is. Sadly, 9 times out of 10 you will be put through a cookie cutter workout that is totaly inadequate.
One of the main problems with BOC is that there is a middle man between the potential client and the trainer. That middle man is the sales staff (Body of Change calls them assistant managers but they are just glorified salesman) and they are part of the BOC exploitation system, They are there for 2 reasons. The first reason is, because the sales staff supplies clients for the trainers, BOC uses that as an excuse for paying the trainers such low wages.
The second reason is, If BOC raised their trainer standards, and got rid of the parasitic sales staff, then the trainers could deal with the potential clients directly, then BOC would have to pay the trainers a fair amount of money, giving up their little exploitation operation. That would also mean a much higher quality training program for the clients ,because BOC would have to start taking personal training seriously. The sad reality is, that will never happen, BOC couldn't care less about quality, all they care about is quantity, they are only concerned with how many people they can ring through their phony system, and get locked into their dirty little contracts.
Which raises another point, If they are such an upstanding company, and BOC takes training seriously (like the sales staff say they do) then why do they need to trap you in a contract?? Why not just sell you sessions? I'll tell you why, Its because they absolutely DO NOT take personal training seriously (pretty insane considering its what they are selling), their staff reflects it, the whole system reflects it, and they know that alot of people are going to be extremely dissatisfied and want out, so to ensure they still get their money, they trap them in an appalling contract. One of the things the contract says is, if you die, BOC will go after your assets, That is sick!!!!!!! As you can see, the whole Body of Change company structure is specificaly designed for exploitation,
I recently had the displeasure of talking to the vice president of BOC, and he flat out admitted to me that BOC will never give the trainers a raise, will never raise their standards for hiring trainers, will never buy training tools for the trainers like med. balls, stability balls, kettlebells etc.. to improve the quality of training for clients ( He said it isnt a priority). He also admitted that in some states Body of Change pays trainers minimum wage!!
So, basically they figure out the least amount of money they can get away with, and that is what they pay the trainers. I told him of my concerns with the company, and he just did not care. He did however offer to order me some more BOC shirts, wheeeee!
Its obvious, LA Fitness/Body of Change's only concern is making loads of money, people mean nothing to them. The amount of money they are making from exploiting trainers is obscene. BOC is just a massive money making scam., and I can't stress this enough, Body of Change/LA Fitness has absolutely no intentions of providing a genuine and effective personal training program to help people and change their lives. If anyone has ever been truly helped by BOC, it was in spite of them, not because of them.
If you are not a BOC client, do NOT even think about getting involved with them.
If you are already a BOC client, DO NOT re-new your contract, you can find a much more qualified trainer at a smaller fitness gym, where you can deal with your trainer personally, verify certifications/credentials, NOT get involved in a contract, and not have to deal with a sleazy salesman who's only concern is making a hefty commission off of you.
I wrote this email because my conscience no longer allows me to be silent about the horrible practices of LA Fitness/Body of Change against its clients and the minority of trainers there that are highly qualified and talented. They deserve far more than what BOC is giving them.
BOC is preying on innocent people who are just trying to better their lives. BOC is a predatory company, they are out of control, and they must be stopped. Please spread the word. If enough people are educated about LA Fitness/Body of Change, the company will crumble. I would also like to add that LA Fitness is just as guilty, they now own Body of Change and are doing absolutely nothing about their disgraceful business practices.
Body of Change is an insult to trainers like myself and others who take their job seriously and care about their clients.
BOYCOTT LA FITNESS/BODY OF CHANGE
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