What is a Certified Personal Trainer?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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Certified personal trainers are physical fitness professionals who work with individual clients and assist them in meeting their personal fitness goals. While it is possible to be a personal trainer without certification, the certified personal trainer is recognized as possessing specific skills and training that are likely to enhance the effectiveness of the training program designed for the client. The process used to become a certified personal trainer varies from one country to another, but there are usually at least a couple of organizations in most nations that certify personal trainers.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of a certified personal trainer is that the trainer is focused on the fitness goals and needs of the individual client. Rather than making use of broad programs that may be utilized with several people at one time, the personal trainer works with each client to design a workable fitness regimen that is in line with the individual’s current level of fitness. At the same time, that regimen will have the potential to help the client work incrementally toward increasing the overall level of fitness in a responsible manner.


While a certified personal trainer is mainly focused on physical fitness through exercise or body building, it is not unusual for trainers to also have some expertise in matters of diet and stress reduction. This means that the trainer is often able to make recommendations of foods to include in the daily diet that provide the body with essential nutrients while still taking into consideration any dietary restrictions that are due to existing health conditions. For example, a certified personal trainer working with an individual with Type 2 diabetes will assist the individual in designing a diet plan that makes use of complex carbohydrates in limited quantities, thus avoiding the simple carbohydrates that cause blood glucose spikes and do not provide energy throughout the day.

When asking the question “How do I get certified?” the prospective certified personal trainer often has to undergo a training period that is approved by an organization that helps to set industry standards in the country of origin. The prospect must demonstrate a familiarity with various types of exercise and body building techniques and strategies, as well as possess the interpersonal skills that are necessary to work with clients on an individual basis. Some accrediting organizations require periodic review of any certification granted in the past, in order to make sure the registered trainer is continuing to uphold the standards set by the organization.



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