What is a personal trainer trained to do and when must they differ to other professionals in the health care industry?

I will share with you what is in my certifier's (NASM - National Academy of Sports Medicine) official handbook.

  • Personal trainers are health and fitness professionals who perform individualized assessments, and design safe, effective and individualized exercise and conditioning programs which are scientifically valid and based on clinical evidence to clients with no medical or special needs.
  • They provide the guidance to help clients achieve their personal health, fitness and performance goals via the implementation of exercise programs, nutritional recommendations and suggestions in lifestyle modification.
  • They hold a current emergency cardiac care (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) certification and respond appropriately in emergency situations.
  • Certified Personal Trainers do not diagnose and/or treat areas of pain or disease and will refer clients to other health care professionals/ practitioners when appropriate. 

If your trainer lets his enthusiasm to help you cause his scope of practice move into areas that he is not trained (or even possibly insured for) to do, beware. Such activity or advice may not turn out well for you. 

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