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  1. #1
    Jakt fibraz! MkADcision's Avatar
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    Do most gyms make a p/t sign a non-compete?

    More specifically gyms like LA Fitness.

    Will they make a personal trainer sign a non compete as part of the employee contract preventing you from doing independent training on the side (if you want) or, if you quit, prevent you from working for another gym within a close radius?
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    Registered User TheApexHunter's Avatar
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    I'm a noob PT and not a lawyer but...

    The company I work for made me sign the non-compete. However there were different stipulations dependent on which location. My location just made me "promise" not to steal clients, but one in another city prevented the moving to another gym.

    The gym's are just trying to stop you from stealing clients.

    So in other words: Yes, but the details are diff in each one.
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  3. #3
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MkADcision View Post
    More specifically gyms like LA Fitness.

    Will they make a personal trainer sign a non compete as part of the employee contract preventing you from doing independent training on the side (if you want) or, if you quit, prevent you from working for another gym within a close radius?
    I would NOT sign a non-compete in 99% of cases. There is a difference between saying you won't steal clients and that you won't work at a competing gym within X distance. I had a previous employer try to have me sign a non-compete saying I couldn't work within 50-100 miles for 2 years. I was told by a lawyer that something such as this would probably never hold up in court. However, it is still a headache nonetheless.

    I would sign a non-compete after the probation period, assuming they are offering a full-time position with good pay and benefits (not likely to find). Even in this case, I would not sign anything that restricted future employment beyond a year and 5-10 miles. The key is that these agreements cannot prevent you from making a living in the future. If someone asked you to sign a 2 year agreement, 100 mile radius, that is essentially preventing you from working and making a living, unless you were to move. This is not reasonable.

    Even agreements that say that you won't "steal" clients can be ridiculous. If you are finding your own clients, then again I would not sign it.

    Basically, look for someplace that won't make you sign a non-compete, or make sure you are compensated for it. Never sign it without a lawyer signing it.
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    This is pretty standard in the industry, especially for chain gyms. However, I have worked for them in the past and (more than once) I have left and taken all of my clients with me and started training somewhere else close by. It simply isn't worth it to them to try to enforce it and they know that. They also realize that they have no rights over what people do in terms of your clients deciding to train elsewhere.

    However, if you don't sign it, odds are you won't get the job. I personally would sign it and then ignore it because they aren't going to spend money on legal fees to maybe recoup a few thousand in training revenue.
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by SFT View Post
    I would NOT sign a non-compete in 99% of cases. There is a difference between saying you won't steal clients and that you won't work at a competing gym within X distance. I had a previous employer try to have me sign a non-compete saying I couldn't work within 50-100 miles for 2 years. I was told by a lawyer that something such as this would probably never hold up in court. However, it is still a headache nonetheless.

    I would sign a non-compete after the probation period, assuming they are offering a full-time position with good pay and benefits (not likely to find). Even in this case, I would not sign anything that restricted future employment beyond a year and 5-10 miles. The key is that these agreements cannot prevent you from making a living in the future. If someone asked you to sign a 2 year agreement, 100 mile radius, that is essentially preventing you from working and making a living, unless you were to move. This is not reasonable.

    Even agreements that say that you won't "steal" clients can be ridiculous. If you are finding your own clients, then again I would not sign it.

    Basically, look for someplace that won't make you sign a non-compete, or make sure you are compensated for it. Never sign it without a lawyer signing it.
    This^^. Especially the bold bit. Its all too unreasonable, and you will be seen as the underdog being bullied by the large company. DOn't worry about it, but be careful about being to blatent.
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  6. #6
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    I work at 24 Hour Fitness. I didn't sign a non-compete but by agreeing to work for the company, I agreed to not work anywhere else. I'm fine with that as I'm new and they're feeding me clients. I'll probably be fine with that as long as I stay here too because I have a great manager that doesn't push sales and let's me train how I want

    That being said, if I were to train on the side, I wouldn't tell them but I wouldn't actively try to switch clients to a new locale either
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  7. #7
    Jakt fibraz! MkADcision's Avatar
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    I can understand a gym worried about a p/t taking clients with them if they choose to go elsewhere but I completely disagree with the non-compete part of it. I don't think any company should prevent a person from earning a living practicing their trade regardless if its within proximity to their location or not.
    Isn't competition part and parcel of doing business?
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  8. #8
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MkADcision View Post
    I can understand a gym worried about a p/t taking clients with them if they choose to go elsewhere but I completely disagree with the non-compete part of it. I don't think any company should prevent a person from earning a living practicing their trade regardless if its within proximity to their location or not.
    Isn't competition part and parcel of doing business?
    There are reasons that a business wouldn't want you running off. For example, if a company agrees to pay for an employee's education, they might ask for a non-compete or a certain number of years of service.
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  9. #9
    Registered User redean's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by MkADcision View Post
    More specifically gyms like LA Fitness.

    Will they make a personal trainer sign a non compete as part of the employee contract preventing you from doing independent training on the side (if you want) or, if you quit, prevent you from working for another gym within a close radius?
    I work as an attorney in Virginia, and although you should speak with an attorney in your state if you want specific advice, I can offer you general tips about signing non-compete agreements.

    Many employers - including gyms - now require non-compete contracts as a condition of employment. I would strongly encourage you to carefully review its terms before signing. To be enforceable, a non-compete has to be reasonable in scope, duration, and function. For example, it would be unreasonable to prevent you from working as a personal trainer at other gyms for five yeaRS (or more) if you only worked at your employer for a few months. The bottom line: review your contract, negotiate its terms, and if necessary, ask for an updated version.

    We regularly work with employees who have been asked to sign non-compete contracts, so check out our website for more information (Virginia Non-Compete Blog).
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  10. #10
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    Happy I work in the UK, answer is no over here. Would tell them to naff off almost 100% of the time unless they offered me a ridic package
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  11. #11
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    I make my guys sign them as more of a deterrent to take clients. I highly doubt it would really hold up in court if it came down to it. In fact i'm almost 100% sure it would mean nothing.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by redean View Post
    I work as an attorney in Virginia, and although you should speak with an attorney in your state if you want specific advice, I can offer you general tips about signing non-compete agreements.

    Many employers - including gyms - now require non-compete contracts as a condition of employment. I would strongly encourage you to carefully review its terms before signing. To be enforceable, a non-compete has to be reasonable in scope, duration, and function. For example, it would be unreasonable to prevent you from working as a personal trainer at other gyms for five yeaRS (or more) if you only worked at your employer for a few months. The bottom line: review your contract, negotiate its terms, and if necessary, ask for an updated version.

    We regularly work with employees who have been asked to sign non-compete contracts, so check out our website for more information (Virginia Non-Compete Blog).
    thanks. the agreement is fairly reasonable in scope and duration and probably is designed more to prevent trainers from poaching clients.

    Originally Posted by PeteratCastle View Post
    Happy I work in the UK, answer is no over here. Would tell them to naff off almost 100% of the time unless they offered me a ridic package
    yah buddy! thats what i felt like telling the manager!

    Originally Posted by SageFit View Post
    I make my guys sign them as more of a deterrent to take clients. I highly doubt it would really hold up in court if it came down to it. In fact i'm almost 100% sure it would mean nothing.
    yah. you're on point. they are just protecting their own interests at the end of the day.
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