As many individuals look to improve their overall health and fitness, the demand for certified experts to help them on their quest for better health has increased. If you enjoy fitness and have a desire to help others “live their best life”, a career in the health and wellness industry may be a perfect fit for you. However, as needs have changed over the years, so have the available certification programs offered in order to provide individuals with the best training to help meet their clients’ needs. Two popular certifications include Personal Training, and Wellness Coaching. How do you know which one is right for you? Do you need both certifications? How is Wellness Coaching different than Personal Training? Let’s take a deeper dive to explore these two options.
What is a Certified Personal Trainer?
To better understand how Wellness Coaching is different than Personal Training, it’s important to know the various services that each typically provides. Personal Trainers play a key role in helping individuals reach their fitness goals. They provide a unique combination of support, challenge, instruction and evaluation to the clients they serve. Personal Trainers help to motivate and encourage their clients. They can also help by creating personalized exercise programs to fit the client, and offering guidance on things such as proper technique. A good Personal Trainer will also typically help track your progress through various assessments and providing feedback. Most importantly, in order to become a Certified Personal Trainer, individuals must complete a certification program, such as NETA’s Personal Training Certification. This certification helps ensure that the individual has demonstrated a working knowledge of this field and is qualified to help others. A NETA-Certified Personal Trainer has demonstrated knowledge and competence in many areas including, but not limited to, communication skills, motivational techniques, goal-setting, exercise sciences, nutrition for health and performance, weight management, health and fitness assessments, and of course exercise program design.
When Would Someone Need a Personal Trainer?
There are a number of factors that might lead someone to seek out the help of a Personal Trainer. For example, a person who is looking to improve their overall body composition might seek the guidance of a Personal Trainer. Someone who needs added support and accountability when it comes to their fitness routine might also seek out these services. A client may be seeking assistance to prevent or manage a lifestyle-related chronic disease such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Others may want guidance and an extra push to achieve a fitness- or performance-related goal such as running a half marathon. Many people understand that they should exercise more often, but simply don’t know what to do or how to do it – a personal trainer is also very helpful in those instances.
What is a Certified Wellness Coach?
So how is Wellness Coaching different than Personal Training? While a Personal Trainer tends to focus more on your overall physical fitness goals and the exercises you must perform to achieve this goals, a Wellness Coach digs deeper to help uncover things like behaviors, mindset, and motivations in order to help people create strategies for lasting change. The relationship between a Wellness Coach and a client is largely conversational. The Wellness Coach asks thoughtful questions to help the client explore their internal thoughts, beliefs, and intrinsic motivation for lifestyle change, such as being more physically active. A NETA-Certified Wellness Coach has demonstrated knowledge and competence in areas such as behavioral change, motivational interviewing, and overcoming barriers to change. To learn more, please see our previous blog posts, “What is a Wellness Coach” and “How Do I Become a Wellness Coach?”.
When Would Someone Need a Wellness Coach?
Wellness Coaching needs are a bit different from Personal Training needs. A Wellness Coaching client may be trying to lose weight or manage a chronic illness. They may be looking to improve their overall health, but are having trouble getting there on their own. They may have recently been diagnosed with a medical condition and have been instructed to make lifestyle changes, but lack the motivation to begin. They may have tried other plans or options but failed, and don’t understand why. A Wellness Coach does not tell the client what to do – most clients already know what they should do (e.g., exercise more often, eat healthy foods). Nevertheless, many people struggle and can’t seem to motivate themselves to take the necessary steps to adopt and maintain healthy living behaviors. It is not uncommon to be perpetually stuck in the contemplation stage of behavioral change, always thinking about making a change, but never doing it. Through techniques like motivational interviewing, the Wellness Coach helps the client to overcome their ambivalence to behavior change and to take positive steps toward their health goals.
Can you Be Both a Personal Trainer and a Wellness Coach?
Yes! In fact, current certification in another health or fitness field (such as a Personal Trainer or Group Exercise Instructor) is actually among the prerequisites for obtaining your Wellness Coach Specialty Certification. Personal Trainers in particular will benefit greatly by adding wellness coaching to their skill-set and resume. More importantly, guided by a personal trainer with wellness coaching skills, clients will also benefit from self-discovery and lasting solutions about how to maintain a healthy lifestyle and attain meaningful health and fitness outcomes.
Ready to learn more or take the next steps to achieve certification as a Personal Trainer or Wellness Coach? Use the links below, or contact us today to get your questions answered.Get Your Personal Trainer Certification Get Your Wellness Coach Certification