Inappropriate behavior is more often subtle than blatant. A client of the opposite sex may never mention a problem, yet may still be formulating a perception based on how she or he feels about the circumstances.
One question we can ask ourselves before touching or spotting is: "Would I touch a person of the same sex this way?" We should not treat a member of the opposite sex any differently than we would treat a member of our own sex. This type of subtlety tends to lead to trouble.
A relatively new and interesting technique called Systematic T.O.U.C.H. Training (STT) was developed by Beth and Oscar Rothenberg to help stimulate muscular contraction. One of the benefits of the STT course curriculum is that Oscar Rothenberg, an attorney, has done a tremendous job of covering the legal ramifications of body contact between genders.
The personal trainer's level of integrity must be above reproach-for the perception of the client and of all others in the gym who may be observing the behavior.
Good Ethics Equals Good Business
The goal of the committee that wrote IDEA's Code of Ethics was to pursue a specific course of objectives while incorporating a degree of latitude for individual differences and discretion. l would like to suggest all personal trainers regularly review the code so we can continue to build our industry on a foundation we can be proud at.
I believe personal fitness trainers are knowledgeable health care professionals who are uniquely qualified to design and implement specific educational exercise programs, one person at a time. Being perceived as such will ensure the advancement of our profession to the status of a bona fide industry-an industry that can truly facilitate health care; an industry that should not be dismissed by the public for being full of hype, insincerity and questionable moral behavior.
Gregory L. Welch. MS, is an exercise physiologist and the president of SpeciFit, An Agency of Wellness, located in Seal Beach, California. He lectures nationally, is on the board of advisors of the Lifespan Wellness Center at California State University at Fullerton and is a member of the faculty of the American Academy of Fitness Professionals. Welch sat on the committee that originally developed IDEA s Code of Ethics.
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Please send us your opinion. What are the ethical issues you face in your work? Does IDEA's Code of Ethics represent all the issues you face? What would you add to or delete from the code?
Attn: Ethics, IDEA Personal Trainer
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