Exercise Physiology is a growing allied health profession.  I have often been asked what’s the difference between an Exercise Physiologist vs Personal Trainer.

Many people have had some experience with a personal trainer.  Some Exercise Physiologist work as Personal Trainers.  These experiences can be good and others are bad.  I think we have all heard the story of someone new joining a gym.  After the complimentary personal training session the person can hardly move for the next 2-3 days.

So what’s sets us apart as an Exercise Physiologist.  Well the short of it is an Exercise Physiologist can do everything a personal trainer can do and more!

To become a personal trainer in Australia a Certificate 4 in Fitness is the minimum qualification.   Personal trainers provide fitness assessments, instruction and supervision to individuals or small groups of clients. They may be employed by fitness centers or work on a freelance basis.  This qualification enables them  to work with the general ‘healthy’ population.  They are only insured to work with this demographic.

An Exercise Physiologist has completed a minimum 4 year undergraduate degree at University in Sport Science.  After completing 300 plus clinical hours an Exercise Physiologist can then become Accredited through Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA).  This is what sets us apart from a Personal Trainer.  Being an Accredited Exercise Physiologist we are trained in managing people with chronic medical conditions and  musculoskeletal injuries.  Some of these conditions include:

  • Musculoskeletal conditions such as Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, post Orthopaedic Surgery;
  • Cardiorespiratory conditions such as post heart attack, heart disease, high blood pressure;
  • Neurological conditions such as Motor Neuron Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Metabolic conditions such as Syndrome X, Diabetes, Dyslipidaemia and Obesity.

An Accredited Exercise Physiologist tends to work in a clinical setting.  They provide expert advice to the general ‘healthy’ population as well as those with medical conditions.  Sometimes they will form part of a multi disciplinary team which may include Doctors, Surgeons and Physiotherapists.

Consultations with an Exercise physiologist can attract a rebate from your private health fund.  Exercise Physiology is listed under Extras.  The rebate available does differ from fun to fund so check your fund to see your entitlements.