After decades of thriving in a mostly unregulated space, personal trainers are being subjected to new scrutiny and regulations. The Board of Physical Therapy in D.C. was tasked with writing the new regulations and plans to release its rules next month, seek public comment and then publish them as law. According to the law's stipulations, no personal trainer is operating legally in D.C. since the deadline to register has passed.
Preventive healthcare initiatives called for in the law could mean billable hours for those with credentials and so the race is on to become a certified trainer. With billions of dollars at stake, lawyers and lobbyists are tied up in a no-holds-barred fight to shape the nation’s first-ever rules over who has the right to tell someone else how to exercise. Meanwhile, many are urging city lawmakers to pull back and even stop the effort, fearing the unfavorable outcomes of these rules.
CrossFit says it could be hurt the most by the new rules since being forced to revamp their training courses nationwide could cost tens of millions of dollars. In addition, new regulations could cause some gyms to close while owners and trainers obtain suitable certifications. For CrossFit and the Coalition for Registration of Exercise Professionals, a big question is which credentialing the board will recognize since they use very different organizations to certify their trainee programs. However, the bigger issue at hand is finding a way to turn personal trainers into respected healthcare professionals while keeping American consumers safe.
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