April 30, 2015 Damon Hayhow

Personal Trainer Insurance Excludes Bodybuilding & Powerlifting Training

fitness insurance scam

Bodybuilding and powerlifting training is specifically excluded from the coverage of Personal Trainers by Fitness Australia’s (FA) new(ish) insurance partner, Guild Insurance. Similarly, Marsh, FA’s previous insurer, confirms that their coverage does not include bodybuilding or powerlifting training either!

Why has Fitness Australia left Personal Trainers out in the cold for doing what everyone thinks Personal Trainers are supposed to do? What’s changed? Nothing and everything! Read on!

Personal Trainer Scope of Practice

Last year (2014) Fitness Australia published a document formally outlining the scope of practice of Fitness Professionals and Personal Trainers. Most of it is the typically ambiguous, politically correct, bureaucratic fluff you’d expect from a policy document.

But a few words buried down on the last page, top of the second column, under point 6.4, item E, contains the meat of what matters to every good personal trainer in the industry:

The Registered Exercise Professional Scope of Practice does not include: Sports coaching

So what? Well, ‘sport coaching’ includes bodybuilding and powerlifting training! And that, according to the insurers, includes any weight training for strength and muscle mass beyond ‘normal’! The scope of practice is excluding precisely the kind of weights training that most people would logically expect and want from a Personal Trainer in a gym!

The 2 words buried down on the last page, second column, under point 6.4E contain the meat of what matters to every good personal trainer in the industry: The Registered Exercise Professional Scope of Practice does not include: Sports coaching

The fact that fitness training is not sport coaching is not actually a new position. It has always been the case. But most people believed they were the same thing; and the Fitness industry was happy to let the misconception perpetuate. What is new is Fitness Australia making a direct public statement clarifying the difference. And FA’s insurance partners can now take a stronger position denying coverage for these activities.

Of note, also hampering a Personal Trainers ability to help clients with body recomposition, the scope of practice reiterates the long-standing admission that Personal Training excludes: “Provision of nutritional advice outside of basic healthy eating information…”

Recomp vs Fitness Australia

If the Fitness industry wasn’t frustrating enough to good, experienced Personal Trainers, now their insurance doesn’t cover them for providing the weight training that their clients really want and need. To add insult to injury, Fitness Australia requires PT’s to pay hundreds to thousands of dollars each year for low-quality courses full of unhelpful content to stay registered. Ironically, the few good courses FA recognise are about providing services (bodybuilding style training and nutrition) outside FA’s own Scope of Practice and not covered by FA’s insurance partner!

[Recomp] registers experienced Personal Trainers who specialise in weight training coaching. And our insurance… specifically includes bodybuilding and powerlifting training!

Recomp exists to separate the vocation of Body Recompositioning from the fitness industry. We only register experienced Personal Trainers who specialise in weight training coaching. And our insurance partner offers a Body Recomposition Specialist insurance policy that specifically includes bodybuilding and powerlifting training! It also covers prescribing sports nutrition for Trainers who meet a few more standards.

As an added bonus, Recomp does not require sitting courses to maintain registration!

Fitness is not Athlete Development

I’ve harped on for years about how and why fitness is physical mediocrity and nothing more than the remedy to low-level physical disease. I’ve also written extensively about what the Fitness industry is really about.

It does not matter that most people think fitness means something more. Its not! Take up the argument with a lawyer and you will lose. And when it comes to being insured for providing a professional service, its the arguments with the lawyers that count! This is why Fitness Trainers are not insured for bodybuilding and powerlifting style training: it’s sports coaching, not fitness. And thats why Recomp is not part of the Fitness industry: because body recomposition is not fitness!

Even if a person is not planning to compete, bodybuilding and powerlifting training is training for muscle and strength beyond ‘fitness’. Technically, bodybuilding and/or powerlifting style training is actually a risk to health! Don’t blame me for this craziness. Blame the Government and lawyers who make the rules.


The Fitness industry keeps going from bad to worse for good Personal Trainers and their clients. Not only is Fitness Australia completely unnecessary, it has been happily taking registration fees to refer an insurance policy it knows doesn’t cover the activities of its best members. Interesting?

Good Personal Trainers need to drop FA and look into Recomp Registration or alternative insurance policies. Recomp’s referred policy does not cover swiss balls, outdoor training or swimming pools; so its certainly not for the majority of PT’s. But it does cover bodybuilding, powerlifting and the heavy weight training for body recomposition that good PT’s provide to serious clients.

NOTE: PT’s do not need Recomp Certification to register with Recomp. Just 2 years experience with their primary occupation as training people with weights. We even have an RTO partner to help with formal qualifications based on experience.

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Damon Hayhow

Damon Hayhow has been in the body recomposition (Recomp) and bodybuilding industry for 30 years as a coach, competitor, gym owner, teacher, sponsor, show promoter, judge and MC. He has won National competitions in both powerlifting and bodybuilding, set world records, and coached others to the same success in strength sport and physique competition.

Body recomposition diet and training concepts based on logic and reason; not scientism