THE HANS AND FRANZ SYNDROME

rivals Even in the land of barbells and beautiful bodies, the slogan is becoming “let the buyer beware. ” So says
stan Tracht of Colbert Tracht Fitness Service Unlimited, Inc., who fears that a lot of unqualified trainers are
capitalizing on the trendiness of the personal trainer industry. Tracht thinks government regulation is the
solution.

“There really is a lack of awareness of what is going on in this field, ” he says. “Someone can work out for six
months, decide they want to be a trainer, and go into business. Ninety-five percent of the people [trainers] out there
are going into it without the proper training. “

By “proper training” Tracht primarily means education, specifically degrees in exercise physiology (which he has),
nutrition, or kinesiology. He would like to see certification requirements and a rating system that reflects the
amount of education and experience a trainer brings to the gym.

Tracht says his complaints aren’t sour grapes (he claims his own business is growing at 130 percent a year), but he’s
quick to point fingers at celebrity trainers like the ubiquitous Larry north as examples of the industry’s need
for supervision. For his part, North agrees that the field has problems.

“It’s scary, ” he confesses. “I think there should be some sort of licensing before a trainer can go into business,
and it should be regulated by the state. But, also, the consumer needs to pre-qualify their trainer. Ask how they got
their training and where do they get their nutrition philosophy. “

North admits that a lot of people “throw rocks at me” because he lacks formal academic training in physical education,
but he is quick to list the trainers who worked with him before he went pro. “I’m a motivator, and no degree would
give me that. “

North says he sells a look and an image: When you’re fit, eat right, and look good, you feel better about yourself.
Tracht warns that a good body does not necessarily make for a good trainer. Stay tuned. This is survival of the
fittest.

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