What is a personal trainer?

Edward Phillips
Physical Therapy
Personal trainers are fitness specialists who can help ensure that you're doing exercises properly. While encouraging and motivating you, they can teach new skills, fine-tune your form, change up routines to beat boredom, and safely push you to the next level.

No nationwide licensing requirements exist for personal trainers, although standards for the accrediting fitness organizations that train them have been set by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. Two well-respected organizations that offer programs of study for personal trainers are the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE); others include the National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF), the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), and the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). All fitness organizations have different requirements for training and expertise. Some trainers specialize in working with particular populations—for example, older adults or athletes—and may have taken courses and possibly certifying exams in these areas.
Tina Whitlock

Great answer Dr. Phillips! A personal trainer is a teacher, a coach, cheerleader, as well as a shoulder to lean on. A personal trainer is someone who is specially trained to properly assess your fitness level in order to design safe, effective, and personalized workout regimens to suit your needs. Personal trainers are valuable tools in helping you to reach your goals, whether your goals are to lose weight, improve athletic performance or to increase muscle mass. Personal trainers also specialize in wide variety of sub-discipline's to meet the needs of specific populations, there are those who specialize in Weight loss, Youth training, Senior training, Prenatal training, Sports performance enhancement, Corrective exercise, the list goes on and on. Do your research and find someone who specializes in whatever your needs may be and make sure they are certified through an accredited organization such as NASM.

A personal trainer is one of many resources available to someone looking to improve their physique, overall health and wellness, lose weight or train for a particular sport. Personal trainers study and practice the skills needed to safely and efficiently advise and mentor an individual toward achieving his or her fitness goals.

If contemplating hiring a personal trainer, the most important item to note is whether you trust him or her and that your personalities match. If you cannot connect with your trainer, you will most likely not respect their opinion and lack trust in their in abilities. Likewise, you may not feel you can be truthful with them regarding any binges or lack of improvement. They can only help you based on the information you provide.

So, first find a compatible trainer that can still take you out of your comfort zone and you trust to do so safely. Secondly, use them as your resource; ask questions, absorb their knowledge and get your money's worth (both during your physical exercise and in expanding your knowledge).

Get Up, Get Out, Get Going...

You know what you want. The personal trainer has the training and skills to show you how to achieve that. This includes determining your fitness level, setting up an exercise program/schedule, monitoring progress and evolving your program and, yes, being a motivator to help you achieve your goals.

A personal trainer is an exercise and fitness expert. He or she has dedicated their life to helping others reach their health and fitness goals. A personal trainer is a motivator and a coach. The personal trainers job is to asses your current fitness level, set up a workout program based on the assessment results and your own fitness goals. Then the personal trainer will guide you through your workout session explaining the exercises and making sure you perform each exercise with the proper technique. 

It all depends on what you need. A personal trainer can be a motivator, coach, workout partner, or fill other shoes. The personal trainer is really whatever you need them to be to help you reach your goal while staying within our scope of practice.

Great question! An experienced personal trainer is a trusted fitness adviser: to motivate, educate, and to support your overall goals to be a healthier you. Seek out a trainer with a formal education (B.S., M.S.) a nationally recognized certification, and who is experienced in the areas you need guidance. I hope this helps and have fun!

JC Pinzon

A personal trainer helps you achieve your goals in a safe and effective manner in the quickest time possible. They can program a personalized routine with a structure and a sequence of exercises based on your goals and abilities. It is a friend that pushes you and gives you confidence and motivation when you need it. It can help you increase your flexibility, strength, coordination and many other skills that we tend to lose if not used. Balance and core training is another component of fitness that trainers can help their clients with. Attendance also increases when you hire a trainer. Many trainers become good friends with their clients. Try one that has a good certification and experience. Good luck!

While the strict definition of a Personal Trainer is a fitness professional that serves to aid in a person's journey from point A to point B in health and wellness, there is a more important aspect.

More important than mentioned about they are a Personal Trainer. They should get to know you. They should get to know what you are passionate about, things you do not like, what your goals are, and your obstacles standing in the way. 

In my experience a good trainer instilled confidence in me to accomplish my health and wellness goals in such a way it carried over to my everyday life. The experience felt amazing; I felt amazing!!

A personal trainer is an expert in fitness whom can guide you through a properly designed fitness regime inclusive of both cardiovascular exercises in addition to resistance or strength training exercises. Your routine will include warm-ups, stretching, the cardio and or strength/resistance training, some flexibility training followed by a cool down and some more stretching. Only a qualified personal trainer should be designing a routine for you. A personal trainer can also give you basic guidance in nutrition and the best way to achieve your health and fitness goals. If a topic you broach is not within the scope of practice of the personal trainer, she or he will refer you to appropriate resources to get an answer for your question.

A personal trainer is someone who ultimately helps you reach your fitness goals! Although many people feel that they can achieve their goals on their own, there is only a very small percentage that WILL! Having a personal trainer will help ensure proper form, accountability, a resource for mixing up work-out routines, and  added motivation. Although a personal trainer myself, I still find that having other trainers train me is always a better way to workout then alone. Having someone beside you to give you that extra bit of motivation and testing your limits is priceless! Especially as you conquer each goal!

A Personal Trainer is an individual who helps create an individualized approach to fitness based on client goals and present condition/limitations. A personal trainer should be certified, and/or accredited by a nationally recognized agency/group. A personal trainer can help motivate a client, and accelerate the rate at which a client could potentially see results. Personal Trainers are experts in the exercise field, and should have an extensive understanding of human anatomy. Personal Trainers are great resources for any level of fitness, from beginner to advanced.

Mr. Donovan Green
Athletic Training
A personal trainer is your perfect role model. He or she should be your inspiration and your pusher to do better in all you do. A personal trainer will guide you like a parent would to a child. He or she will make sure that your movements are perfect and keep you out of harm's way. You should feel safe and at ease with your trainer, even while you are getting your butt handed to you on a platter. A personal trainer is not your friend. Your trainer's job is to motivate you to do more than you ever thought possible.

A personal trainer plays a pivotol role in acheiving your goal to to look and feel better, perform at a higher level, or be healthier and more confident. We know the key components to achieving these goals are nutrition, physical activity, and support. A personal trainer is the support that helps you work harder, achieve more, set more effective goals and persist in the face of obsatcles.


A personal trainer is a fitness expert whose main role is to help clients achieve fitness goals. Goals can be weight loss, toning, or just practicing a more healthy lifestyle. A trainer will develop an individualized plan with smart goals.  It is up to the client whether or not they would like group training or one-on-one training. In addition, it is also the client's decision as to whether or not they train at a gym or in their home.  When seeking a personal trainer, make sure thorough research is done. You want to make sure that you are comfortable with your choice.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.