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How to create a small bootcamp without being held liable for any injuries

by Marco
(Long Island, New York)

I wanted to start a weekly bootcamp for athletes. I live in Long Island, New York and want to know what I can do to do this but without being liable for their injuries.

I am not looking to have them do anything extreme but I understand anything can happen and I want to obviously look out for myself in terms of legal issues and being sued.

I DO NOT HAVE ANY CERTIFICATIONS.

Can I have them sign some type of waiver form, explaining I am not certified and I am not responsible. With their signature and confirmation, is that enough?

Is there anything else? Does anything change if its free or if their paying me? Does anything change if its paid off as some type of donation(s)?

If its not enough, what do I have to do and what are the costs?

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Seriously
by: Anonymous

This doesn't seem like a serious post. If your clients are injured due to your negligence -- and given the fact that you have no certifications this is a likely possibility -- you can and should be sued. You do not operate in the fitness industry without liability insurance, of which you usually need a certification to get. Plus, your clients deserve a competent instructor.

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^ ^ Seriously?
by: Anonymous

He asks a valid question as I myself am in the same boat. I have been teaching & training in martial arts for the past 10 years & yet according to the council - I hold no qualifications. I am more fit & knowledgable then most of the wannabe PTs out there considering within 1 week i have over 25 people training at a park with me for free. Have you considered that people may actually want to train with the person that wrote the post? NEXT!

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not certified..not a real trainer
by: nitrobucket

you train 25 people a week for free? yea ok. I could sprinkle some sugar on a turd and some homeless people might actually eat it..that doesn't make me a chef

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1st guy douche, 2nd guy all around great person
by: Anonymous

I agree with the second anonymous guy!! Go Martial Arts guy

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No legal requirement
by: Anonymous

There are no laws in the U.S. that requires anyone to be certified in order to act as a personal trainer at this time. Of course, certified personal trainers will frown upon this, but that is our emotional response to someone treading on our territory and potentially causing unnecessary harm to others.

I have previously trained athletes without certification, but I am a basketball & track & field coach, and I have been an athlete for most of my life.

I would consult an attorney, and as long as you disclose that you are not certified, have them sign waivers of liability and full disclosures, and make sure to perform at least a health assessment prior to training anyone. Furthermore, I wouldn't train anyone that has any health issues, period. Doctors are required to be licensed and still get sued, so don't think that waivers and disclosure are concrete.

There are places that will sell you liability insurance without certification, but it may cost a bit more.

That said, I would make sure that the areas that you choose to use has no divots (outside) or other issues that may cause injuries. I would also work on, at least a minimal certification for PT. The moment that someone breaks a nail in your camp & spreads the word, you may see business dry up pretty quickly. That may end up being too difficult of a hurdle to overcome in the end. One last thing; so much has been learned over the last several years, even since I retired from athletics, that getting a certification permits you to stay up on the latest scientific gains.

Example; if as an uncertified PT, you have someone perform military presses behind their head, you may create issues in the shoulders that may end up being long term.

Good luck in your endeavors
Naz

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No certification required
by: Anonymous

I've been a personal trainer for over two decades. I have had certifications and simply let them go as I left the corporate fitness world and went solo. My clients don't care about certifications. I simply carry insurance just in case. Never injured anyone or had a claim.

Certification does not mean you know what you are doing. I know plenty of certified quacks.


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Personal training without a certificate...

by Valerie Gangi
(Rocklin, CA)

I have been training in bodybuilding for over 25yrs, turned Professional in 1995 and have competed in numerous Pro events including been invited to & competed in the Ms. Olympia twice. I have set up an LLC and started a business for helping people by customizing diets and putting together training schedules, etc... I have been asked to train with people and my client contract states that I am "Not" certified and they are to have full knowledge of how to operate gym equipment. What is my possible exposure??

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you should get insurance
by: Anonymous

First off, it is good that your contract is up front about your status so that your clients are aware and accept it. However, you are still open to tremendous liability if you can not prove your competence. The easiest way to do this is through an established certification.

You may be a great trainer with lots of experience. But it wouldn't hold up in court without independent verification.

You should get certified and get insurance. Otherwise you are one mistake away from bankruptcy (you don't even have to make a mistake... people can sue you for anything.)


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Thank u
by: Anonymous

Sound advise... Will do.. Thnks

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Should I keep teaching while not certified?

by Carmen
(Jersey Shore, PA)

I am NOT certified in any fitness. I do work at a gym and my boss wants me to teach yoga, pilates and stability ball classes. I do have the classes set up but I am not certified in any of it!!

I asked her about certification and liability issues but to be honest with you I do not feel comfortable teaching it, even though my boss says I do fine and it will be ok. I have a wide range of ages and I do not want to hurt anyone!! Don't you NEED to be certified to teach these classes??

I have tried to look it up and cannot find any LAWS so to speak, just says you SHOULD BE not supposed to be so I do not have an argument with it so far and do not want to quit my job but If I do not teach I will lose my job. I cannot afford to be certified and not sure I want to spend the cash to be certified since this is just a part time job. I just do not feel comfortable. If SHE paid for my certification I would do it but it is a hobby for me not a career. Any idea on how I should handle this??

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Trust your intuition
by: Anonymous

Trust youre intuition. There is a reason there is certification in the fitness industry.
I am sure even if there are no laws in your State geverning certification, I am sure if someone in your class was injured because you did not have proper knowledge or instruction,they would be compelled to take action against you and the club.
When I attend a class I EXPECT that the people teaching the class have at least a basic certifiation.
If you choose to teach these classes, I think you have an obligation to inform your participants that you are not certified, let them knowingly choose if they want to participate in your class.

Cheers

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Teaching w/out a certification
by: Ian

Well there is no law that says a personal trainer has to be certified but..there are liability issues. It depends on the insurance that covers you and the gym. If the insurance requires you to be certified then you are not covered and the liability could be on you. I would check your bosses insurance policy. I would also research some insurance companies and find one that doesn't require a cert. if there is one. Insurance is not expensive, usually less than $200 per year.

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Certification not required
by: Anonymous

Depending on what state you live in, you may or may not need certification. In CA, there is no requirement for a certification to personal train or instruct classes. The liability falls on the club when you are hired as an instructor, and most clubs have liability coverage that covers all instructors (certified or not).

Certifications are usually just to demonstrate that you know what you're talking about, but the renewals, CECs, and all these different BOSU, TRX, KettleBell, etc certifications are just a money making venue for the cert. companies. Some are helpful, but most are essentially useless.

In short, if you know your shit, you don't need a cert. If you are unsure of your abilities, take a certification class to make sure you can deliver proper instruction. Remember that as a trainer, you are a teacher; your students trust and listen to you.

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Found out that my personal trainer is not certified.

My personal trainer never informed me of not being a certified personal trainer. I recently just found out about this and he has never gone to school for this. The only reason he got the position was because he is the boyfriend of the owners daughter.

What I want to know is, is this fair to the customers and is it even legal? I don't want to pay lots of money to someone that is not certified and may be telling me or anyone else the wrong material.

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You need a certified trainer!!
by: LC

Of course he needs to be certified otherwise he has no REAL background on what is exercising.

I will tell you my personal experience. Before I went to school to be a CPT I thought I new everything about exercising because I use to read magazine (muscle fitness, Flex.... etc). Let me tell you that all you learn in those magazines is crap from the "self-called experts." The place where I learned the truth is at school.

In conclusion unless the personal trainer went to school and has a good certification is not well prepared.

Good Luck

Bye

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Working with a certified trainer
by: Jeff Moore

It use to be that a personal trainer didn't need certification to train clients, and they still aren't required to have one. On the other hand most gyms today want at the least a CERT. This is because of IHRSA and IDEA membership requires that gym trainers be certified. Myself I would want a Certified trainer, first and foremost to get a cert you need to be CPR/AED certified. One of the most IMPORTANT things are the basic skills needed to save a life. Secondly, at least the basic knowledge to create a safe and effective exercise plan. But, you should know that getting a basic CERT doens't mean a person is ready to train you. Education is ongoing and science is always introducing safer techniques. I would ask for a CERT, see if their CERT agency is NCCA accredited. This credential means their agency continually meets the highest standards in the industry. As far as the amount to pay, it depends on the skill and personability of the trainer. Myself, I would ask for another trainer, but that's up to the individual. Good Luck with your fitness goals.

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It's your body, you decide!
by: Anonymous

I find the certification useful only to state that I am ceritified. My clients don't care about white, red, fast, or slow twitch muscle fibers or units. My clients care about results! All of my real knowledge came from working out and applying clean eating and living a healthy lifestyle. I surround myself with like minded people and learned so much more than I ever would reading a book and taking a test! If you are getting the results you are looking for then keep your trainer. If not then perhaps you should look for another trainer and maybe even take a look at your own efforts, nutrition, and commitment. Accountability is key!

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PROPER EDUCATION IS KEY
by: Anonymous

THE MORE YOU START TO LEARN THE MORE YOU REALIZE IS OUT THERE! i REALLY SEE THE TRAINERS THAT THINK THAT THEY KNOW THE MOST ARE THE ONES WITH THE LEAST EDUCATION. WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF RESULTS, BUT IF SOMEONE IS UNABLE TO COMMIT AND PASS A BASIC NCCA ACCREDIDATION CERTIFICATION, DO WE REALLY UNDERSTAND THE WHY'S BEHIND THE PROGRAM DESIGN. dO THEY KNOW HOW TO FIX POSTURAL DEVITIONS TO MAKRE SURE SOMEONE IS SAFE (AND INJURY FREE FOR THE LONG HALL? hOW DO THEY KNOW WHAT THEIR DOING IS NOT HARMING SOMEONE OR CREATING WWEAR AND TEAR ON SOMEONE'S BODY.. yOU HAVE TO HAVE SOME REFERENCE TO LEARN FROM AND IF YOU HAVEN'T LEARNED IT YET~HOW DO YOU KNOW IT!!!!

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Freedom, Intuition, Results, Journey
by: Anonymous

We are free to do as we wish, there is always a risk in anything you do in life. Use your intuition, are you getting results? Ask for the trainers background and references. Wether a person is certified or not does not make them qualified, the law of averages probably points toward the people with certs as being more qualified but thats only because of the laws, meaning most get the cert because they have been told to or can only get a job with one. Its a journey, i personally have been self taught and i continue to learn without paying for classes and certifications and i train like minded people and all is well. Its really not that difficult for the basics of being healthy and fit. When it comes to training for a race such as an iron man then you need someone who has experienced it. Like i said its really simple..go back to nature and eat mostly living foods and get warm and flexible before you do any resistance training and you won't get hurt. Live and love and enjoy the Journey Namaste!

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Offering Services when not Certified

As an independent contractor in a fitness studio, is it illegal for me to hold P90X classes and advertise it as so? Or what about cross fit training, even though I am not a certified cross fit trainer, am I able to use their methods and advertise that I am teaching cross fit style?
Just curious.

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