Lifetime Fitness – Customer Service Challenges with Health Assessor


My wife, interested in improving her health, went to Lifetime Fitness in Vernon Hills for a health evaluation. Her health assessment screener at Lifetime was Larry. According to my wife, it was not something she would describe as a positive experience.

You see, the health assessment occurred after 14 hours on a fast. Even though the assessment occurred in the morning, my wife was thirsty and hungry during the assessment — that appeared to go on over an hour.  As the tests and questions continued, my wife’s mind was on food and finishing this exercise. It didn’t seem that Larry was apt at the non-verbal communication exchange. Was his focus on trying to obtain another subscriber to Lifetime Fitness?

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Anyway, let’s get to the health details. My wife’s cholesterol, HDL and LDL levels were pretty much in range. Her triglycerides were higher than normal, the only main area of concern. She had researched some reasons for high triglycerides and surmised hers had to do with too many carbohydrates. She also knows she needs to lose a few pounds — that’s one of the key reasons why she visited the health club. It goes without saying that 90% of all Americans could stand to lose a stone or two or three.

Towards the end of the interaction, my wife asked him if there was anything positive he could say about her and Larry replied, “You’re here.” Really? She’s interested in this health club to improve her health and fitness, and that’s the only positive thing he can say?

Nothing about, it’s great you swim 3-4 times per week. Or, it’s great you started to do some strength training in your basement. Of course, nothing about it’s good that you do go to the park and run-walk. No, nothing, zilch, nada. Best thing Larry had to say was she was there. Isn’t some emotional intelligence needed when dealing with the public? Let alone customers interested in improving their health.

As she told me this story about Larry from Lifetime Fitness, she wondered if she should have spoken up about her swimming accomplishments. Achieving 10th place in the backstroke at Nationals in ’13 or placing in the top 35th percentile in 3 separate backstroke races this past summer at the FINA Master’s World Championships in Montreal. Or, how well she did last year in September, swimming 5,000 meters in 62 degree water in Lake Michigan for Big Shoulders Chicago? Isn’t it dangerous to judge a book by its cover? Should you not get to know someone before saying something that personal? If anyone should adhere to the principle, “Do no harm,” should it not be a personal trainer or health assessment professional?

A few days post a sub-par interaction with Larry, her overall health assessment was mailed to her. She scored 84 out of 100. She’s not in perfect shape, although a resting pulse of 60 is a respectable place to start. She may want to focus on her running stride so she can become a more effective runner. In addition, she needs to get more serious with strength training. To review this respectable health assessment score post Larry, made her even more upset about how disrespected he made her feel.

In an attempt of getting a better idea or definition of a person trainer, I went to health oriented website to find more information. A personal trainer/fitness counselor is an individual with an interest in working one-on-one with clients to develop or enhance their health and fitness goals. The key ingredient here is to develop or enhance. Some people visit a health club who are looking to lose weight and fitness. Others to generally improve their health. Needless to say, my wife was simply looking to improve her health, strength and perhaps in the process, lose a little weight. It’s too bad Larry set such an early negative tone and wasn’t quite supportive in helping my wife develop or enhance her health and fitness goals. I hope he was having a bad day, otherwise, he needs to choose a different profession.



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