Fitness Coach Vs Personal Trainer: What works best for you?

For reaching your fitness goals faster and safer, you need to be working out with the right people. Depending on your fitness goals, you look for specialists in the field. But who are you actually looking for? A fitness coach or a personal trainer? We will try to answer that today through our blog.

A fitness coach and a personal trainer can be differentiated on many levels. There is knowledge, work, and even experience. But mainly, you need to know this because you might be making a big mistake while engaging with the wrong one entirely and get off track on your fitness goal. Do not forget to read our bonus section; you will be completely surprised by what you are about to know.  

How does it start?

For most of the fitness coaches, their career takes off as a personal trainer. Personal instructors that want to get a better understanding of the science behind fitness invest themselves for years in the health and fitness industry. Let’s closely investigate what happens in those years to understand the difference between a fitness coach and a personal trainer.

Difference Between a fitness coach and personal trainer


Fitness certifications are the key differentiators between personal trainers and fitness coaches. For becoming a fitness professional (fitness coach or personal trainer), a person has to get certifications from any recognized authority such as ESSA(Australia), ACSM (America), and NSCA (America). Likewise, in India, there is SAI, NSNIS, and other government-affiliated organizations.

Notably, these governing bodies have their own set of prerequisites. For example, some of the certification programs are exclusively for individuals who have shown continuous professional development in sports science. Now since both, the job profiles require a person to have a certain set of certifications, where is the difference?

Concerning education, a fitness coach is more involved in research and works exclusively with the sports fraternity. In years of their research, they learn about human physiology, the contribution of biology and chemistry, and how human psychology changes the impact of the exercises?

Meanwhile, a personal trainer must have a deep understanding of anatomy, biomechanics, performance enhancement, and human variability. They are all about enhancing your current abilities rather than managing injuries or rehabilitation.

Some of the certifications are common for fitness coaches and personal trainers. Only, a fitness coach is rather scholarly involved. A fitness coach must graduate in sports science and get themselves registered at any authorized health and fitness organization. They are required to research various aspects of health, fitness, performance, and injury management.


Sadly, awareness in the fitness industry is quite meager. Not many personal trainers have the needful knowledge about what they can do to excel in their profession. If we go by facts, just in Australia after 2004, the industry has drastically skyrocketed, and so have the registered trainers. But only 14% of these registered trainers have a complete set of certifications to become a personal trainer or a fitness coach in the later stage of their career.

Most of the personal trainers rely on the certifications that are provided by non-authorized organizations. This gives them a minimal scope of research. Surely, these certificates help them improve their skillsets, but to be a fitness coach, you have to invest a lot of time in your studies.

Another concern that arises with it is the experience. Some of the registered fitness professionals don’t even have 5 years of experience. Factually, only 45% of registered personal trainers have 5+ years of experience, and just 21% of them have reached the 6 to 10 years mark. It’s even harder to find someone with more than 10 years of experience.

Having less experience should not be taken negatively. It all depends on whether they have good enough experience to get you the desired results.  


Fitness requires structuring and planning. And it has to be tailor-made. You just can’t use something off the internet and expect it to give you shocking results. It has to be factored well as per your training phase, fitness goals, current fitness level, and then, of course, on diet and time you are ready to invest.

What differentiates a coach from a trainer is their definitive plan, pre-screening, and a long-term training structure. Most of the time, personal trainers don’t use any tailor-made program, and what you get is a plan that would help you enhance your current fitness level. But if you are someone with special needs, a personal trainer is never a good option. Even people with the most common medical conditions, such as blood pressure and diabetes, have special training needs. The need to hire a fitness coach becomes more explicit when a person is rehabilitating from a recent trauma.

Conclusively, we can say it all depends on your current fitness level whether to go for a fitness coach or a personal trainer. Also, don’t overrule the possibility of fitness coaches and personal trainers working together. In many cases, especially for athletic training, fitness coaches and personal trainers work together to get the best results.  

How to choose the right person for your fitness training?

Your fitness plan hugely depends on what your current fitness level is. The right way to approach a fitness professional is by sharing your health certificate. Usually, the general population with no health issues are good to continue with personal trainers to see the desired change in their body. But if you have a special condition, it is advisable that you choose a fitness coach who is well known for the anatomy, biology, and chemistry of the human body and will be able to draft a customized fitness plan to help you in your fitness goals.

Here are a few questions you should ask your fitness professionals before hiring one:

1. Do you have important certifications to train people?

2. What are your areas of specialization?

3. Are you a clinical population trainer?

4. Are you certified in injury prevention during training/emergency management?


Hopefully, now we have made it easier for you to differentiate between a fitness coach and a personal trainer. But the discussion is not over yet. In this blog, we have tried to highlight important aspects of training, where things can go south if you are not interacting with the right person.

But what about the online platforms? How many online fitness platforms offer you a tailor-made fitness plan? More importantly, how does the app recalibrate the fitness plans as you progress within a fitness program? And how many applications follow the safety procedures? Covid-19 has made the need to find a safe platform where people can meet certified trainers, interact with them, and stay fit at the comfort of their homes.

Till now, that was not done. But we have made it possible in Stratfit with years of our research and experience. In the app, you get auto-regulated fitness plans from certified fitness trainers. With more than 100+ fitness plans for the general-athletic-special population, the app aims to progress as you adapt.

And the best part is, it happens without you having to adjust the intensity and work weight again and again. All you have to do enter your fitness level, select your fitness goal, provide us your biometric details, and pick a fitness plan. While you progress in a fitness program, the app asks you simple questions such as “how many more reps can you do?” and uses your answers to understand your body’s adaptation level. This way, the plan adjusts as per your progress and get you to your fitness goals faster. Empowered with artificial intelligence, we give you safe, reliable, and periodized fitness plans by certified fitness coaches. Told ya! You will be surprised.




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