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Dangerous Personal Trainers Fight Back

pictureFile Suit Against Certification Provider

A group of California personal trainers has filed a class action lawsuit alleging that the organization that certified them as personal trainers was negligent for providing defective training materials and inadequate instruction.  The suit alleges that the certified personal trainers pose a health risk to the public when using the methods endorsed in the certification program training materials. 

The class action currently consists of 18 personal trainers but more trainers are currently being sought to join the suit.  The personal trainers each paid $199 to achieve the NFFP personal trainer certification through an Internet distance learning program.  Program participants receive a 42 page study guide and have to pass a 25 question test to earn their Personal Trainer Certification.

Jeremy Thompson, the spokesperson for the group of personal trainers said “NFFP claimed that their materials would make us competent and effective personal trainers.  In reality, their materials where riddled with errors that can lead to serious injury when put in practice.” 

The suit claims that by certifying the group as personal trainers, NFFP exposed the public to unsafe exercise practices and the trainers to personal liability. 

The licensing and certification of personal trainers is unregulated in most states.  But lawmakers are starting to take notice to the rise in personal injury claims being lodged against personal trainers with inadequate experience and education. 

Many of the personal trainers involved in the suit have gone on to achieve more reputable certifications from certification agencies that require extensive education and examination.  Thompson went on to say, “Until recently there haven’t been any independent reviews of personal trainer certification programs.  That is starting to change as personal trainers clean up the industry.” 

He cited examples of personal trainers providing reviews and advice on certification programs at, and the positive effect that the National Commission of Certifying Agencies (NCCA) has had on the industry by certifying the certification providers. 

Thompson said, “Trainers are starting to speak up so that people interested in becoming personal trainers can see past the marketing message offered by the certification providers.  People need unbiased information when changing careers and becoming a personal trainer.”

Thompson isn’t optimistic that they will get their money back but he says the group of trainers filed the suit out of principle.  He hopes that people just starting out will learn from the mistakes that the group made.  A spokesperson for NFFP was unavailable for comment.


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