The Fitness Coach Definition -Understanding The Role of a Fitness Coach

Understanding the fitness coach definition means knowing the role of a fitness coach in the life of the coaching client. 

About Fitness Coaching

Reports have shown people are living longer worldwide, thanks partly to the fact that people are taking care of themselves better, improving their quality of life through health and wellness services, exercising, and eating healthily. Lifestyle changes have resulted in the emergence of more health and wellness-related professions like health coaches, nutrition educators, lifestyle coaches, and fitness coaches.

Fitness Coaching is a niche of life coaching that helps individuals realize their health goals. This form of coaching empowers your clients to develop and maintain an active lifestyle. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), fitness coaching helps clients establish healthy lifestyle behaviors outside of structured exercise sessions. The ACE also reveals several studies done over the years which shows that fitness coaching has produced significant health and physiological benefits. These studies have reassured clients that working with a qualified fitness professional like a coach will help them meet their goals and improve overall health and wellness.

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The Fitness Coach Definition

Who is a Fitness Coach?

A Fitness coach is a trained professional with vast amounts of knowledge on the human body, exercise, nutrition, and psychology.  These individuals provide advice and direction to clients on reaching their goals and performing exercises to achieve those goals, from the simplest to the most complex, and adjusting as needed for clients. To be useful as a fitness coach, you must be an effective communicator (great active listening and verbal skills), show empathy, be real/honest with your clients, set clear goals, and give constructive feedback. 

In the United States, the average annual salary of a fitness coach, according to, is $44,105 as of February 2021. These figures depend on several factors, including the level of experience, education, certification, location, and if one is self-employed or working for an organization. Most fitness coaches work in establishments such as gyms/fitness centers, universities, and professional sports organizations such as the NBA and the NFL.

You may ask, is there a difference between a personal trainer and a fitness coach? There is a slight difference between the two roles. In simple terms, the personal trainer helps clients achieve specific fitness goals, including but not limited to weight loss and strength training. In contrast, the fitness coach focuses on coaching, identifies the underlying issues that prevent a client from achieving their stated goals, and understands how to solve those problems. Often these two roles are used interchangeably because a personal trainer can also be certified or trained as a fitness coach. 

How Can Fitness Coaching Help Your Clients?

As fitness coaches, you will be capable of achieving the following:

  1. Help clients design customized and realistic action steps and goals to promote their success.
  2. Educate clients on ways to achieve good health through different activities like stress management, physical fitness, eating healthy.
  3. Change mindsets that hinder breakthrough.
  4. Provide specific tools for weight loss, time management, fitness, and health goals.
  5. Help clients decide what and if they are ready to change.
  6. Help guide clients into living a more balanced and satisfying life 

Whether you are someone seeking a fitness coach’s services or are interested in becoming one (i.e, having a career in fitness coaching), understanding the fitness coach definition is necessary to make the right decision for you. 

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Margaret K. Olubiyi
Life Coach
Writer, Coaches Training Blog community

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