Is my personal trainer a fitness coach?

by Chris Robrahn

Fitness Contributor

So often these days we hear the description, “fitness coach” in place of “personal trainer” and vice versa. If you enlist the services of a fitness professional, are you working with a “coach” or a trainer?   

What is the difference and is your professional living up to expectations and encouraging you to achieve your potential?

From my own perspective, a personal trainer is a professional with a background and certifications in exercise science, muscle physiology and working one on one with the client to improve their physical fitness and health through education and implementing a one on one plan to achieve articulated goals.     

So, is your personal trainer a fitness coach?   

Many are, but I generally think of a fitness coach as a professional with a broader mindset and objectives. It could be this professional may work with the client with the mind, body and spirit. He or she may have a background in psychology, communication or maybe a medical background.
It may be that a fitness coach may have an emphasis in a specific area and may not have the general physiological certifications that some personal trainers may have.

My point is, if you are shopping for a fitness professional, you need to articulate what your fitness objectives are and what kind of professional you’d prefer to help you obtain them.

Think about the names themselves. I prefer to be a fitness coach over a personal trainer simply based on the name. The term “trainer” doesn’t sound as positive as “a coach.”

If you are thinking about getting professional support with your fitness goals with the new year, now is the time to do your research. Take the time to chat with and interview personal trainers and fitness coaches. Ask about their education, background, emphasis and get references.  

If you are thinking of implementing changes in January, don’t wait until then to contact these professionals, they will be swamped by that time. Do it now.

I’ve seen instances where a personal trainer wasn’t really the best fit with a client. Consider their personality, their ability to listen and show empathy to you and your needs and goals.    

The worst thing is to employ the services of a professional, have a bad experience and quit.    Make sure it all works for you; the location of the services, cost, personality and their perceived ability to address your objectives. A great relationship can produce amazing results under the right conditions. Aim for the best for you and your needs.
Have a safe, healthy and happy holiday.

Copyright The Gayly 12/9/2018 @ 9:18 a.m. CST.