What is the difference between an Athletic Trainer and a Personal Trainer?

If you have been thinking about improving your physical fitness, you may have started thinking about hiring a personal trainer. The term “personal trainer” is often talked about on reality TV, in gyms, and even among your friends and family.

Unless you’re a competitive athlete, or are a sports fan, you may not be familiar with the term “athletic trainer.” If you are familiar with the term, you are probably thinking of a person on the sidelines of a sporting event ready to provide emergency care at athletic events.

Or you may even think that ‘athletic trainer’ and ‘personal trainer’ are just different labels for the same thing.

The reality is that while there is some crossover, there are definite differences. That is why I am proud to be BOTH – a Board Certified Athletic Trainer and a Personal Trainer. Having both of these qualifications gives me a unique set of skills that I can apply to help you be the best you.

So what is an Athletic Trainer?

An Athletic Trainer (AT) is a certified and licensed health care professional who practices in the field of sports medicine. The profession of ‘Athletic Trainer‘ has been recognized by the American Medical Association as an allied health care profession since 1990.

Athletic Trainers are highly qualified, multi-skilled health care professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency services, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

Some AT’s get offended when people call them “trainer” or when people think what they do is personal training. In general athletic trainers have more formal education, and are required to complete a more in depth certification and licensing process as compared to many personal trainers. You can learn more by viewing the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) factsheet Athletic Trainers – not “Trainers”

Currently, unlike Athletic Training, the field of Personal Training is unregulated. This means that holding that title doesn’t give a clear indication of the trainer’s skills, education, or knowledge. There are absolutely some personal trainers who are more than qualified for the job. But since there is no uniform standard that must be met to get that qualification, the consumer must do their homework when hiring a trainer.

Of course, labels don’t tell the whole story. Experience, passion, and desire to continually improve yourself plays a significant part of the quality of work one does. This applies to all fields, including personal trainers and athletic trainers. You will have to do your homework to find out whether the person you are considering has the expertise you need to get the results you are looking for.

I am proud to be both a Board Certified Athletic Trainer and a Personal Trainer. I am dedicated to continuing to learn more about both fields as I strive to help as many people as I can.

You can learn more about my qualifications on the About Uplyft page.

 

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