About seven years ago, I decided to become a Group Exercise Instructor. Back then, all you had to do was get some nationally-recognized Instructor Certification and get & "pass" an audition with any local health club facility. As the industry has changed and blossomed, the nationally-recognized certifications have changed their testing structures to keep up with the constant change in exercise science and consumer demand.
One thing that has also changed is the requirements some health clubs place on their instructors. The problem with that fact is that most health club "chains" are not equipped or do not have the man-power to keep track of who has valid credentials. As a matter of fact, rather than stick to one set of requirements, NYSC has continued to change their requirement with the hopes of "keeping" their teaching staff educated.
NOW, in order to teach for the NYSC, you must take some in-house training called Foundations. This may all seem like a fantastic idea to those of you who do not work at a health club. The problem with Foundations is that it is mostly about selling personal training to the floor client. As a matter of fact, Foundations is geared to making new instructors into salespeople. Let me remind you that salespeople are not INSTRUCTORS. A salesperson's goal is to sell you something NOT teach you something.
A friend of mine, and fellow instructor, has been going through Foundations and has complained to me about how the first two days of training were focused on how one should approach people on the gym floor and try to sell them personal training. Last I checked, if I am taking an exercise class, the VERY last thing I want is for the instructor to try to convince me to buy anything. As a matter of fact, I just want them to teach the class so that I can get the exercise benefits of it. I am not interested in personal training.
I am absolutely angered by the fact that I am being required to take a sales training course in order to teach for NYSC. Are you fucking kidding me?!?!?!??!?!?! What is more important: that I know how the body works or that I know how to work the room so that I can get more people to buy personal training? And why the fuck am I trying to sell personal training in a god-damned spin class/yoga class/step class? I'm I the only one who finds this surreal?
I could agree with being required to take Foundations if it tested my knowledge of human physiology in relation to exercise. I absolutely agree that all of us who work on the gym floor or in the studio must know the very basics of human anatomy and function. But to send me to a sales course? How about making it a Customer Service course? God knows that we all could use some help in that arena. How about trying to teach that idiot of a trainer how to be more compassionate to the people in the gym? How about teaching your damn staff how to interact with or react to the membership? We could all benefit from being trained to deal with all types of moods members can have.
What the fuck does NYSC think they are doing? I am livid that I need to even hear that this is going to be required of me or else I won't be able to teach EVEN if my nationally-recognized (also NYSC-approved) certification is valid. I'll tell you something: if they want to take away my classes because I don't want to take Foundations, they can have them. They can also tell the members that. Hey NYSC: FUCK YOUR FOUNDATIONS! Later.