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If you are a strength coach or personal trainer this information
provides great clarity on your role and responsibilities. 

 If you are a sport coach or manager this information can provide
guidance on the roles of each individual that work with your athletes or team.

The scope of practice for strength coaches or personal trainers who hold an FPM Program Design Specialist Distinction is to: 

  1. Help athletes or fitness clients at any level (from beginner to Olympic) improve body composition or any supplementary physical quality of the chosen sport/activity to desired, optimal levels - through mind-set and exercise training - in the absence of musculoskeletal pain. 

  2. Coordinate the exercise program with other qualified professionals – unless similar qualifications have been obtained - to ensure optimal rehabilitation (if needed), optimal and legal nutrition/supplementation (to support any stated goal) and optimal guidance on any psychological issues that are not related to physical training. 

Comments and clarifications: 

  • The word supplementary indicates the difference between strength coaches/personal trainers and sports coaches in sports that are dominated by one primary physical ability (strength, speed, power and endurance). The sprint coach, Olympic lifting coach, power lifting coach, etcetera, must help athletes improve the primary ability of the sport to maximal levels. In contrast, the strength coach or personal trainer works with the qualities that are supplementary to the final performance of the sport. For example, speed for a football player. The supplementary qualities most often must be developed to optimal levels (= the level needed to practice and compete at the desired level) rather than maximal levels. 

  • The absence of musculoskeletal pain emphasizes that the scope of practice is limited to working with pain-free athletes. 

  • The words exercise training (= the action of teaching a person or a particular skill or type of behavior) emphasize the difference between strength and conditioning and therapy (treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder). 

  • The scope of practice includes coaching the mental components of the physical training. For example: goal setting, motivation, and focus. It excludes psychological elements related to sports performance or any personal issues that go beyond the strength and conditioning process.

Download FPM-PDS Scope of Practice