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Exercise Professions

Certified Personal Trainer

Certified Personal Trainers are employable in a large variety of work settings due to the powerful relationship between exercise, health, and well-being. In many cases the population being serviced depicts the professional environments and work place activities. Role delineation studies suggest Certified Personal Trainers are primarily responsible for “determining the safest and most effective program activities for clients, based on interview, screening, assessment and evaluation, and then implementing the appropriate program components and strategies by instructing, managing, and educating their clients for health and fitness improvements” (NCSF, 2011). The specific job tasks of a Certified Personal Trainer and their supportive qualifying competencies are defined by the scope of the profession document. The scope of practice creates the boundaries of expertise and delineates the minimum competency requirements necessary for safe and effective professional activity.

Certified Strength Coach

Certified Strength Coaches have traditionally been hired in athletic facilities, schools and universities but many coaches function to enhance sports performance in non-traditional environments as well, including physical therapy and wellness clinics. The roles and responsibilities are similar across the field, but variations exist in the job role related to the total number of athletes being trained at a time and the resources afforded the professional in their work environment. Certified Strength Coaches may work with individuals, groups or teams and may or may not be subject to rules associated with a governing body such as the NCAA or IOC. Role delineation studies suggest Certified Strength Coaches focus on injury prevention, physical development, skill acquisition, and training and condition specific to improved sports performance (NCSF, 2016). The specific job tasks of a Certified Strength Coach and their supportive qualifying competencies are defined by the scope of the profession practice.

Personal Trainers work with:

  • Individuals on client specific goals
  • Individuals preparing for specific events
  • Older adults on a wide variety of health and function-based needs
  • Children to enhance physical activity, motor development and to ensure the adoption of healthy habits
  • Small homogenous groups to deliver activities geared toward diverse goal attainment and increased participation adherence
  • Health compromised individuals to reduce the effects of disease and related consequences
  • Corporations to improve the health-related performance of workers and reduce stress and absenteeism

Strength Coaches work with:

  • Individuals athletes
  • Athletes on improving performance in key areas of performance-based fitness
  • High school and collegiate teams
  • Youth programs to improve the performance related fitness
  • Small groups to provide specific training regimens aimed at the performance components of fitness
  • Military and municipalities to ensure the physical readiness of our public defenders

The responsibilities of exercise professional vary depending on the individual or group, type of services delivered, location/application of the program and if there is a sanctioning body. In some cases, a secondary degree is required from a college or university to support adequate competency to safely work with specific athletes and special populations. In other cases, as is common in personal training, meeting national minimum competency standards and maintaining a professional aptitude is an appropriate level of qualification to work with those presenting low risk. Part of the professional development and commitment to ongoing competency is participation in continued education. Continued education allows for career growth with improved and expanded service offerings. See the Recertification handbooks for more information.