Virgin Active members are not allowed to train their friends or family at the company’s gyms unless they are official personal trainers.
However, members are allowed to use training videos to inform their training sessions.
This was confirmed to by Virgin Active following a recent incident where a gym member received an official warning for helping friends with their workouts.
The Virgin Active member who received the warning used to work as a personal trainer at the gym.
While she ceased to be an official personal trainer, she continued to attend her local Virgin Active gym for her own workouts.
Late in 2019, she was working out with friends and helping them with one of their exercises.
She was subsequently reported to the gym’s manager for “training” her friends while not being an official trainer at the gym, and she received a warning.
The warning said that further rule infractions may lead to her being expelled from Virgin Active.
Videos are fine
MyBroadband readers were curious whether this rule extended to the use of training videos, as these also serve as a replacement for official trainers.
However, Virgin Active told MyBroadband that it has no problem with training apps or videos as they are not similar services to those offered by a personal trainer.
“A PT [personal trainer] is essentially a member’s own coach and cheerleader motivating them consistently throughout a workout,” said Virgin Active.
“There is a relationship and two-way communication that an app does not offer.”
Virgin Active added that it actively encourages gym members to use their mobile devices and apps to enhance their workouts.
“Technology is changing the workout landscape, and members are welcome to use their smartphones,” said Virgin Active.
“These apps, and our very own online exercise library on myvirginactive.com, offer a very different service to the personalised programme a personal trainer will put together and work through with a member.”
Why Virgin Active doesn’t allow unofficial personal trainers
Virgin Active said it invests significantly into its personal training programme so that its members are “offered the very best when they opt to use the services of a personal trainer”.
“Virgin Active can vouch for each personal trainer, their qualifications, and that they meet their continued education criteria,” it said.
“For the safety of our members, non-accredited people may not deliver training.”
Each personal trainer is basically a small business which runs in Virgin Active, it added.
Therefore, Virgin Active supports these personal trainers’ business growth by not allowing personal training by members who are not authorised by Virgin Active.
“It is a reciprocal relationship, whereby the personal trainers pay Virgin Active a rental for exclusive access to our member base.”
“Someone not authorised as a Virgin Active personal trainer who trains other members – be they friends, relatives, or spouses – disrupts this supply and demand chain.”