The term “coach” is thrown around a lot these days, in the wellness industry and beyond. From executive coaching to life coaching to the more traditional association with coaching sports, it has become increasingly difficult to figure out exactly what constitutes a “coach.”
Coaching refers to an interactional process whereby a coach aims to improve a person’s performance in a specific skill or area.
A coach, then, is a facilitator. Not just an expert, leader, or director, but an active partner in helping a person achieve success.
At what point, then, do personal trainers also become coaches? Or can they even use the term?
Personal trainers are individuals certified to instruct clients in appropriate forms of exercise, including specific program design, form correction, and injury prevention.
While great trainers can become great coaches, the titles do not automatically go hand in hand.
Certified coaches undergo additional training, often up to 500 hours’ worth, in fields such as psychology, nutrition, conflict management, and more.
Fitness coaches navigate not only the physical needs of their clients, but also their mental states. They ensure a holistic approach to their goals that supports not only a healthy body but a sound mind. Nutrition coaches help clients develop ways of eating that not only help them achieve healthy body weights but also sustainable and enjoyable lifestyles.
When you’re in the market for a fitness and nutrition professional, it’s helpful to determine whether you’re looking for a personal trainer, a nutritionist, and/or a coach.
The benefits to personal trainers and nutritionists are usually lower price points, less time commitment, and more availability. The advantages of hiring a fitness and nutrition coach include developing a comprehensive wellness strategy, ongoing support for long-term or multifaceted goals. Also, greater attention to mental, emotional, and spiritual lifestyle aspects.
No matter what kind of fitness and nutrition professional you choose to engage, know this: people who are accountable to someone, particularly when sharing data using a smartphone app, are more likely to maintain their healthy habits over time. If you’re serious about reaching the next level in your fitness and nutrition goals, it’s time to get an accountability partner to help get you there.