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Washington, D.C., Delays Proposed Trainer Regulations

Councilman Jack Evans has introduced legislation to repeal the regulations around personal trainer certifications.

Personal trainers in Washington, D.C., breathed a little easier on Tuesday, as the D.C. City Council moved to block the proposed regulations that could have dramatically changed the face of personal training in the nation's ultra-fit capital city.

Related story: D.C. Plans New Training Regulations, Shaking Up Fitness Industry >>>

Councilman Jack Evans, who represents the city's Ward 2, said he had introduced legislation to repeal the proposed regulations. "The citizens don’t want it, and somehow it got in there, and this is an attempt to repeal that," Evans said on the dais, the Washington City Paper reported.




The city passed laws in 2014 to enact regulations on the education and certification of personal trainers; however, the city asked the Board of Physical Therapy to write the specific regulations.

Evans' new legislation earned applause online from trainers and gyms in the city.

"It looks like it’s gonna be a win for fitness professionals," says Phillip Godfrey, MES, a trainer at Medical Exercise Trainers in Washington who has followed the proposed regulations closely in public meetings. “The intent of this law was to show the difference between athletic trainers, personal trainers, and physical therapists. But the board did a 180 on that by handing the regulation of personal trainers to physical therapists. You can’t implement that law by giving one profession oversight over the others, because that implies they’re the same thing.”




The change is not final—some Evans' legislation would still need to pass, although it appears likely that it will. It's not clear whether the city's Board of Physical Therapy will eventually take up the discussion again, although trainers and gym owners are keeping an eye out in case regulation rears its head again.

"I don’t think this legislation is going to go away," Godfrey says. "They repealed it for now, but we won’t know until the board says why they’re doing away with the regulations."

Either way, Godfrey says, "you can’t do this without fitness professionals."


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