What is a personal trainer? According to Merriam Webster’s dictionary, the word “personal” means one’s individual and interpersonal relationship to another, and his or her relationship to a particular activity, place, or condition. In other words, it covers the entire gamut of the discipline concerned with the individual fitness of an individual. The discipline in question is exercise or physical activity.
In most professional circles, a personal trainer (PC) is someone who is certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) to carry out certain specific programs and/or services in the field of exercise physiology and who has acquired a recognized certification which shows that he or she has reached a certain level of competence for making and delivering effective and safe exercise programs for otherwise healthy persons and/or groups and/or athletes who are physically fit and capable of exercising on their own.
Personal trainers are also referred to as exercise scientists, exercise professionals, exercise instructors, and exercise specialists.
The American Council on Exercise was formed in 1963 and is now recognized as the worlds largest membership organization of fitness professionals, with over 71 million members. ACE offers courses in exercise physiology, nutrition education, exercise training techniques, and re-evaluation programs. As part of its mission to “promote fitness, conditioning, and nutrition,” ACE also publishes a well-respected journal, the “ACE Journal,” and an online Research Reports section which are available to all members.
The “ACE Cardiovascular System Guide,” the” ACE Diet and Fitness Guide,” and the “ACE Fitness Test” are among the many ACE publications which provide individuals interested in exercise physiology with detailed information on the testing procedures and scores required for certification by the ACE.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), a professional association of cardiologists, orthopedic surgeons, medical physicians, and fitness experts, acknowledged in a recent article in Sports Medicine that “there is still no definitive evidence regarding the efficacy of fitness exercises.”
However, the association noted that most successful exercise training programs and medications for various cardiovascular conditions are tailored to address individual needs. Furthermore, many researchers believe that genetic, psychological, and lifestyle factors play a role in the causes and treatments of many health problems. This means that individuals who want to achieve their fitness goals, whether through weight loss, muscle building or improving cardiovascular function, should consider working with a personal trainer to make those goals realistic.