The Difference Between Personal Training and PTs

Many people read health and fitness articles and feel inspired to start a new journey. Unfortunately, they often struggle to make a lifestyle change without the help of a professional.

With a tailored workout program, accountability, and support, a trainer can help you meet your goals and keep you motivated along the way. But how do you find the right trainer for you?

Education and Certification

While they share some common goals, such as helping their clients improve their strength and fitness levels, personal trainers and physical therapists (PTs) work in two very different professions. The educational backgrounds and specialized training of each professional differ significantly.

Many aspiring personal trainers pursue certification programs that take just a few months to complete and cover topics such as anatomy, physiology, and exercise techniques. Several organizations offer these credentials, including the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. Certification requirements typically also include certification in first aid and the use of an automated external defibrillator.

Those interested in becoming a personal trainer should consider whether they are able to develop and maintain close working relationships with their clients. The ability to build loyalty can help a trainer establish and maintain a sustainable business. In addition, a trainer should have strong interpersonal communication skills and be able to motivate and support clients while they are challenging themselves to achieve their goals.


Personal training requires a lot of time and energy, both physical and mental. Many trainers work early mornings, evenings, and weekends. Depending on the number of clients you have, your work may include travel.

Some trainers obtain practical experience through internships or on-the-job training. Others pursue certification programs. Typical curriculums in these programs cover anatomy and physiology, fitness assessment, and program design. Some schools also offer online learning for students that prefer to study at home. In these instances, you will be given access to the course materials through a portal and may attend lectures with an instructor or a group of students. However, most personal training courses will require you to attend hands-on sessions to learn weight-lifting techniques and other skills that aren’t as well suited to online learning.


Personal trainers work with a lot of different people, each with their own personality and goals. It is important for a trainer to be able to adapt their style to the clients they are working with in order to ensure their success, reports Bryan University.

For instance, a client may be having emotional struggles with their body image or self-esteem and it is the trainer’s job to empathize and guide them through these issues. They should also be able to recognize when a client is pushing too hard, and know how to modify their instruction accordingly.

Additionally, a trainer should be punctual for their sessions. This is very important, as it can be a huge deterrent to potential clients if they are showing up to their appointment only to find that the trainer has been running late or even worse, has cancelled on them! This can be frustrating for both parties, and is likely to make the client less motivated in the future.

Communication Skills

While sharpening your knowledge of anatomy, exercise programming and client interaction is important for personal trainers, it’s just as essential to develop strong communication skills. This includes both verbal and non-verbal aspects of communication, such as body language and facial expressions.

Clients will be more comfortable with a personal trainer who is friendly and interested in their fitness goals. A great way to show this is to ask them questions about their health history and exercise preferences, rather than offering a set solution straight away.

A good personal trainer will also be able to listen to their clients carefully and not interrupt them while they’re talking. They should reflect back what they’ve heard to show that they have understood what their clients are saying, and provide a chance for them to correct the trainer if necessary.Personlig träning

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