Can Person with Mild Mental Disability Be Personal Trainer?

I once knew a certified personal trainer who was mentally slow, but I’m not sure it would be considered a “disability.” But then again, if he was collecting a disability check at some point before he was hired as a personal trainer, then technically, he’d be considered to have a disability, which would be mental.

I’m a certified personal trainer. This man was hired as a personal trainer while I worked at a particular health club. New hires are required to get their personal trainer certification within 90 days of employment start-date.

What I knew about this man was that he had been in a motorcycle accident and had many screws inside his body, had a very slight limp, and his legs had been visibly damaged. The fitness director had told me that apparently, the accident affected his brain.

Whenever we had to learn something new with the computer, as far as signing in for the workday, selling a personal training package, or some other item, this particular man was clearly slow to catch on.

He needed the new information explained repeatedly, and struggled to figure out the new procedure, while the rest of the personal trainers learned it without any problems. At one point, the fitness director joked to this man with a smirk, after explaining something, “Got that?”

While other new personal trainers were succeeding at selling training packages, this man continued to be without clients, other than new members who were randomly assigned to him whose membership included some training sessions.

One day he was at the trainer’s lounge reading the textbook for the certification exam. He called me over and asked what a few lines of the text meant. I read them. It was easy stuff, but I explained what it meant.

I’d see this man working with his clients, and one day he sold a package, and the fitness director was very excited about this. The man seemed to have no deficits as far as the actual job of personal trainer.

I’d notice him explaining things to his clients. Exactly what was being spoken, I didn’t know, but he seemed to know what he was talking about, as he used his hands to explain things to attentive clients.

I left the gym’s employ before he got certified, but about a year and a half later, I ran into the fitness director (who no longer worked there) at another club, and happened to ask about this man. The director said he was still working at the club, which meant that he must have passed the certification exam.