Coach Vs Personal Trainer

Personal Training or Sports CoachingThere are many different terms used to describe professionals in the fitness industry, from the most common “Personal Trainer” followed by the less common but more specialised terms including: Sports Coach, Strength Coach, Sports Trainer and more but which one do you need to achieve your fitness goals ?

What is a Personal Trainer

“A personal trainer is a professional in the fitness industry who is involved in exercise prescription and instruction.  Personal Trainers motivate clients through goal setting and providing  accountability and feedback to clients. Personal Trainers measure a client’s strengths and weaknesses with fitness assessments.”

Personal Trainers are a great motivator for people entering back into exercise, or who need ongoing instruction for maintaining fitness but they are not coaches. The goals for Personal Training clients is more about loosing weight and feeling fitter using terms such as  “I want to get fitter” , “I want to lose weight” and probably the most common “I want to tone up” . Ultimately a personal trainers role is to help the general population with decreasing weight, feeling healthy and improving physical appearance.

A personal trainers scope of practice does not include “Sports Coaching” as per the Fitness Australia position statement. This is why Personal Trainers or Fitness Trainers are not insured for bodybuilding and powerlifting style training: it’s sports coaching, not fitness.

What is a Sports Trainer

“A Sports Trainer, or in the US , Athletics Trainers are health care professionals who collaborate with medical professionals by providing preventative and emergency care for athletes and  assist with rehabilitation of injured athletes under the direction of the team doctor or physiotherapist. “

These are the people who run onto the field when an athlete is injured. They are the trainers that athletes go see when they have an injury that needs treatment. They can assess injuries and rehabilitative methods to recover from injuries. Athletic training requires an entirely different qualification to a personal trainer or sports coach.

What is a Coach

“A coach is a physical performance and fitness professional who uses exercise prescription to specifically improve athletic performance in competition. Coaches also assist athletes with injury prevention and the correct mechanics within their sports performances.”

Both sports coaches and personal trainers help people achieve their goals, but their roles are very different. Personal trainers deal with normal people, those who want to lose weight and get in shape, Coaches work with athletes. A coach is usually a specialist in a certain type of sport like Powerlifting, Bodybuilding or Football. they help clients train for specific events and successes.

Coaches don’t write workouts, they write programs. Programs designed to overcome an athlete’s weak points to allow them to grow and get bigger, faster and stronger and more skilled. Personal trainers use buzzwords like ‘tone’, ‘shape’ and ‘build that booty’. Coaches use terms like ‘explosive’, dynamic’ and ‘aggressive’.

A coach must understand how to create an exercise program specific to the demands of the sport. Coaches must know how to prevent injuries in athletes and what volumes and protocols are appropriate given the time of season to avoid over training.


Do you live in Gympie or the Cooloola region ? Do you need to improve your strength for general sports performance? Are you interested in learning more about the sport of Powerlifting ? I am happy to answer questions and can be contacted for  Powerlifting and training questions here..

This entry was posted in Fitness, Gympie, Powerlifting and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

1 Comment on "Coach Vs Personal Trainer"

Leave a Reply

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted

[…] Powerlifting coaches are they coaches or personal trainers who happen to include the power lifts when training their […]