The difference between an average trainer and a great coach

Working as a personal trainer is a job that requires multiple qualities. Technical skill and book knowledge is not enough to be successful in the industry and often times having a likeable personality makes a fitness professional a lot more popular than posessing a lot of anatomy knowledge.

So what makes some fitness professionals rise to become well respected coaches and others not? Let's begin by defining what we consider being the main differences between a trainer and a coach;

Trainer; "Someone who prescribes exercises with or without any particular goal or purpose or supervises workouts, often for the sole purpose of conditioning and making people tired. Seldom or never asks questions that goes beyond what happens in the gym".

Coach: "A professional that follows principles and has a system behind the methods used to improve multiple areas of performance (physical and mental) by asking questions, critical thinking and sharing knoweldge that expand beyond the gym and positively impacts behaviour, nutrition and mindset".

Read further to learn more of what we see at HAUS No3 as the main distinguishing traits that separates an average trainer from a great coach.

Teaching skills

Being a great athlete is not the same as being a good teacher. One of the most common misunderstanding that people make is to confuse a good physique for being a good personal trainer. A great coach has the ability to break down a movement in parts, can use multiple coaching cues (kinetic, visual, verbal) that ‘connects” with the individual they are working with.


Following solid training systems is key to be a great coach. Surely, there is always a degree of spontaneity and creativity in training but the ones who have a backbone of a strong and reliable system to support their training principles is what filters the chaff from the wheat.

People skills

Being able to hold a conversation with people from different stages in life, change the tone of language according to the situation is an important skill to have as a great coach. The conversation between a 25-year old female and a +65 male can and will most likely be very different. Like it or not, people often base their decision on who is just an average trainer and who is a great coach by the people skills of that person.


There are countless of methods and “stuff” in the fitness industry that can confuse both the client and the trainer to what is truly important; principles. In fact, there are very few principles and most of the time they are independent on equipment or tools. We are talking about principles of how to improve human movement. A great coach follows principles and has an understanding that “the man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods”.


We hope you enjoyed our view on what separates an average trainer from a great coach. This post was not meant to talk bad about anyone particular in the industry; but rather to highlight some important things for aspiring fitness professionals, or aspects to consider when hiring a personal trainer.

At HAUS No3 we strive to bring the highest quality of custom design personal training to the fitness industry in Bangkok.

Read more about our story and book your consultation.

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