A personal trainer is an individual certified to have a varying degree of knowledge of general fitness involved in exercise prescription and instruction. They motivate clients by setting goals and providing feedback and accountability to clients. Trainers also measure their client's strengths and weaknesses with fitness assessments. These fitness assessments may also be performed before and after an exercise program to measure their client's improvements in physical fitness. They may also educate their clients in many other aspects of wellness besides exercise, including general health and nutrition guidelines.
Qualified personal trainers recognize their own areas of expertise. If a trainer suspects that one of their clients has a medical condition that could prevent the client from safe participation in an exercise program, they must refer the client to the proper health professional for prior clearance.
The scope of practice for a personal trainer is to enhance the components of fitness for the general, healthy population. Proper exercise prescription may result in improved body composition, physical performance, heart condition and health outcomes.
The decision to hire a trainer may be related to a perceived ability to facilitate these factors through proper prescription and instruction or factors related to motivation and adherence. A trainer pays close attention to their client's exercise form, workout routine, and nutrition plan.