DC's War on CrossFit

In DC's latest war on consumers, entrepreneurs, and anyone who dares to offer competition and better services than entrenched interests, the Washington, DC Board of Physical Therapy is set to soon release regulations that could reek havoc on CrossFit boxes across the District.

But why is the DC regulatory agency writing rules defining personal trainers you might ask? Well, it actually stems from the "Affordable" Care Act (which doubled both my premium and my deductible, by the way). The Washington Post explains:

The credit — or blame — for the newfound urgency can be traced in part to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. A variety of workplace wellness programs and preventive health-care initiatives called for in the law could soon translate into rivers of billable hours for those with credentials to keep American waistlines in check.

And that means the race is on to be eligible for those credentials, which could eventually lead to the ability to bill insurance companies for services, much like such professionals as dieticians and physical therapists. With billions of dollars potentially at stake, lawyers and lobbyists are engaged in a no-holds-barred fight to shape the nation’s first-ever rules over who has the right to tell someone else how to exercise.

As with all government (or in this case, government-mandated) money, there comes strings and regulations and the necessary questions to answer such as, who is a personal trainer? Currently the personal training industry enjoys (for now) a great deal of competition and essentially no national standards. There are competing licensing and certification boards and each workout facility usually requires its own specific standards to meet the needs of its members and clients.

This is a great system. Its puts the consumers in charge by allowing them to decide which gym and personal trainer works best for them

The DC Board of Physical Therapy is currently drafting standard regulations that would standardize the certification process for trainers. As with all licensing requirements, this would enrich some while hurting others. CrossFit argues that new regulations would hurt them the most.

And it looks like they are right. One insane regulation that was floated was one requiring personal trainers to get 4-year degrees. Thankfully that idiotic notion is off the table (for now), but since CrossFit certifies its trainers in a weekend course, it is hard to imagine how regulations coming out of a board of bureaucrats would not drastically harm CrossFit.

At the end of the day, this is just an attempt for the government to try to tell people how to exercise. Seeing that the government has literally been recommending Americans eat food that makes us fat for decades, we should take its advice on how to exercise with a grain of salt (which the government was also wrong about too).

Full disclosure: Eating the government recommended low-fat high-carb diet made me fat. Thanks to CrossFit and rejecting government nutrition standards, now I'm not. So I take this fight pretty personally.

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