Trainer, Personal Trainer or Coach?

What are you?

There is no right or wrong answer. I find that when you enter the fitness industry, it’s a journey. A journey of experience and education. 


No matter where you are, it doesn’t matter. It is where you are planning to go and how bad you want it that counts. The individual's level of awareness is the only factor which is limiting their progression and results. Awareness comes from time, practice and realisation. 


More often than not, the individual starts as a 'trainer'. Simply training people in the gym. No assessing, no profiling, no personalisation, no nutritional support. Often stereotyped as a ‘glorified rep counter’. 


Next.  The 'personal trainer'.  Now the individual is aware of general considerations, enabling the progression to programme design. Nutritional plans are most likely implemented at this stage dependent on the personal trainers application and knowledge. This should all be tailored towards the individual's goal... However, without the understanding of why that person has that goal and not understanding the depth and power of physiology, this prevents true personalisation. 


The individual may think it's personal but are the exercises carefully tailored to work with the individual’s biomechanics to perform the movement in order to maximise return? 

  • The exercise should involve inhabitation or activations prior to hit the targeted region whilst implementing specific cues to really optimise the output of the kinetic chain. 
  • The exercise should be working towards the right muscle fibre type ratios of the muscle.
  • The exercise should dictate the right physiological response whilst avoiding any aggravation of any inflammatory or hormonal concerns. 


After a while, the individual starts to learn. Courses are booked, studying is done, questions are asked. This opens up new doors and understanding of the human complexity that we all are. This is the end result. Trail and error, experience, education, and endeavour leads to becoming a 'coach'. The 'coach' works with you – your lifestyle, psychology, physiology, nutrition, biomechanics and training is tailored to maximise the client's strengths and minimise any potential weakness, ensuring optimal results in the most efficient time. 


A coach would understand not only a goal, but your physiological and lifestyle considerations which can affect the method in achieving it. 


If necessary, the coach would also make smart sacrifices at the cost of results for the gain of adherence. 


For instance, for someone with a high work load and a poor sleeping pattern, volume would be detrimental. The body is in an excess of inflammation from the high stress and poor adaptive reserve from the inadequate recovery during sleep. 


Let's just use the example of Drop Sets. They would require too much from the CNS when the body is in an under-performing state. There is a very high amount of intra-muscular friction due to the sheer workload of the fibres, fascia and connective tissue rubbing against each other and working. This would cause inflammation to rise further. 


Inflammation is a physiological stress to the body. It's needed in small amounts for the stimulation of the immune system, recovery and as a feedback loop. However, excess is not what anyone wants. It would cause the stress hormone (cortisol) to rise. This has been repeatedly linked to an accumulation of body fat around the midsection when hormone is high for a prolonged period of time. 


Excess cortisol will also decrease testosterone through several mechanisms, one being pregnenolone steal. This is a compound that is used to create both cortisol and testosterone, but when in a state of perceived stress, the body favours survival over performance – leading to a decreased production of testosterone. Just these examples alone portray how detrimental excessive reps could be for body composition when in a hyper stressed state.


This is made aware from understanding the person as a whole through an array of perspectives and methodologies. 


The tool kit should be varied, not from one individual train of thought, but from as many successes as possible. The more acquired, the better. 


Example of a Coaches Tool Kit:


  • Paradigm Shifts
  • Self Awareness
  • Social Awareness
  • Social Support/Detox
  • Neuro-Linguistic Programming
  • Determining Inner Values 


  • Hormonal Profiling and Manipulation
  • Nutritional Optimisation
  • Heightening Gut Function
  • Inflammatory Mediation  
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine Implementation 
  • Understanding Physiological Biofeedback Markers
  • Functional Medicine Approaches
  • Boosting Neurotransmitter and Cognitive Performance
  • Circadian Rhythm (the bodies internal biological clock, including the sleep/wake cycle) Enhancement  


  • Biomechanical Assessments
  • Remedial Exercises
  • Activation Exercises 
  • Structural Balance
  • Accupressure 
  • Fibre Make-Up Testing
  • Muscle Activation Points
  • Active Recovery
  • Mobility
  • Self Myofascial Release
  • Active Release Techniques
  • Kinesiology 

Throughout this the coach provides:

  • Education
  • Support
  • Motivation
  • Accountability
  • Honest Feedback 


All this is done, so the body can work in synergy and cover all angles. The complete approach from a coach.