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Nutrition Plans and Commission

bg091593

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My buddy has worked as a personal trainer at this gym (not a chain) for 4 years now. He just got his nutrition cert, I forget the organization that does it. He’s a competitor so he knows diets and nutrition pretty well, but the obviously having the cert brings more clients.

Anyway, he’s now selling “advanced packages” where he personal trains clients several times a week in person, takes measurements, tracks progress and adjusts their diet as needed. The gym takes 40% of all of these packages he sells along with the basic personal training package excluding nutrition.

He’s had a lot of interest from people about coaching remotely via email or text or whatever. These people go to his gym, or other gyms around the area. He has started offering online coaching on his Facebook page and already has several clients.

The gym owners have told him that he needs to pay the gym 40% commission of these sales.

This doesn’t make any sense. His clients are all over the state and are not exclusively using the gym he works at. He’s not helping these clients on gym property. He HAS NOT signed an exclusivity agreement with this gym either.

The owner of this gym is very sue-happy and has actually started this gym from winning a law suit, which makes him hesitant of continuing.

Is he responsible for paying the gym 40% of earnings?

Would like to hear from lawyers, gym owners and other personal trainers particularly.
 

bg091593

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TLDR: Gym owners want commission for online coaching services offered by one of their personal trainers.
 

RamboStallone

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I think it's a conflict of interest that he is doing what he does there outside the business on the side. That doesn't make sense. I can't work at a cell phone store then sell cell phones on the side, etc. How do they not know he isn't stealing the gym customers for his own biz? He should just leave the gym if he's doing the online thing.
 

bg091593

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I always thought that the 40% commission was/is for him using the gyms space, equipment and marketing. But I suppose that would make him an independent contractor and not a W2.
 

11111

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i was in a very similar situation a few years back (i was the trainer)... the gym owner really liked to control everything and was a money-grubbing type of guy... what i did was, for the clients i trained at the gym, he got his cut, but for all the online diets/training programs, i simply didn't mention these to him and he never found out.. so I made 100% of the profits from the online people..

also, over time, clients and i would do deals under the table where we'd sneak in extra sessions at the gym here and there where i would charge the client less per session, but I'd get 100% of the commission. it was a win/win for both the client and myself...

i know that sounds shitty, but if someone is a good trainer and is socially/emotionally intelligent, then they should have strong bonds with their clients, so much so that their clients are loyal to them and NOT the gym owner (especially if the gym owner is a "sue-happy" dick)...

on another note, a friend of mine who was a trainer at that same gym and had a HUGE client base, started doing the same thing, and the owner found out and fired him (for the online diets/training he was doing outside of the gym)... well, literally every single one of his clients were loyal to him and they all left the gym and went to a new gym where he moved to and started training them there.. the gym owner was super pissed about that, lol, as he lost a ton of revenue by all those people leaving his gym due to their loyalty to their trainer.

that's why, I really think that gyms should simply set a monthly rate for trainers to train clients there, so it's easy and no room to have to bicker over %s of commissions, etc... I.e. the trainer pays the gym owner $300/month for rent, regardless of how many clients the trainers train there each month...
 

Elvia1023

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I always thought that the 40% commission was/is for him using the gyms space, equipment and marketing. But I suppose that would make him an independent contractor and not a W2.

It is but as Rambo posted it's a conflict of interest. If some friend of a friend on Facebook see's his page who has never been to his gym hired him it would be wrong for the gym to expect money. But where do you draw the line? The gym doesn't know if he is stealing clients behind the scenes. I have heard of similar stories and the clients leave the gym but still hire the trainer outside. It's just very awkward that's why if guys want to do the online thing they need to solely do that. If they need a gym to train clients in they set up a separate agreement basically just paying to hire the space which usually is a weekly/monthly fee.
 

Ruileee

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To make the thing simple,i think its okay that he do online train,but should separate with the gym clients.
 

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