Fitness professional

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U.S. Navy sailors exercising in the presence of a female fitness instructor, 2010.

A fitness professional is a professional in the field of fitness and exercise, most often instruction (fitness instructor), including aerobics and yoga instructors and authors of fitness instruction books or manuals. Fitness topics may also include nutrition, weight-loss, and self-help. Fitness careers are distinguished from exercise science careers such as athletic training, however the various types of fitness certifications[1] have more and more in common: the, "distinctions...have become blurred, with more similarities than differences given the common background that all fitness professionals must possess."[2]

Fitness professionals screen participants for exercise programs, evaluate various fitness components, prescribe exercise to improve these components, and may also help people with specific or chronic conditions.[2]

Notable fitness professionals or former fitness professionals include Richard Simmons, Susan Powter, John Sitaras and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Body Workout).

Certified fitness professionals must maintain up-to-date on all certifications in order to instruct at particular health clubs and gyms. Often, fitness professionals will have some education in kinesiology, anatomy, and biomechanics to aid in their fitness career.

In Canada, Canadian Fitness Education Services (CFES) provides national fitness leadership program modules to take candidates through the steps in Aquafit, Group Fitness and/or Weight Training Instructor and Personal Trainer national certification.

Personal training, Athletic training, and physical therapy are all technically distinct specialties with different processes and requirements for certification.[3] In the United States the main certifying agency for personal trainers is ACSM (the American College of Sports Medicine),[4] while the main certifying agency for athletic trainers is NATA (the National Athletic Trainers' Association). Obtaining certification or licensure as a physical therapist requires that you attend and graduate from a masters or doctoral program in physical therapy.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Accredited Organizations Offering Fitness Certifications.,, 2010
  2. ^ a b Howley, Edward and Franks, B. Don (2007). Fitness Professional's Handbook, p.ix. 5th Edition. ISBN 0-7360-6178-9.
  3. ^ Link, Alexandra. "What's the Difference Between a Personal Trainer, Athletic Trainer and Physical Therapist?". ACE Fitness. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Get Certified". American College of Sports Medicine. Retrieved 19 September 2013. 
  5. ^ "Physical Therapist (PT) Education Overview". American Physical Therapy Association. Retrieved 19 September 2013.