SharePoint
USREPS
View the Registry
CREP® Definitions - Exercise Professional Roles

There are a number of exercise professional roles that cover a broad range of physical activity programming for health, ​fitness or athletic performance. The following represents definitions of some of the most common professional roles:

Group Exercise Instructor:

An exercise professional with specific qualifications to provide choreographed exercise leadership to music, with or without modifications for participants, using varied pieces of equipment, to groups of people. This definition does not include Pilates teachers.

Exercise Physiologist:

A health fitness professional with a minimum of a bachelor's degree in exercise science. An exercise physiologist performs pre-participation health screenings, conducts physical fitness assessments, interprets results, develops exercise prescriptions, and applies behavioral and motivational strategies to apparently healthy individuals and individuals with medically controlled diseases and health conditions to support clients in adopting and maintaining healthy lifestyle behaviors. An exercise physiologist is typically employed or self-employed in commercial, community, studio, corporate, university, and hospital settings.

Clinical Exercise Physiologist:

A certified healthcare professional who utilizes scientific rationale to design, implement and supervise exercise programming for those with chronic diseases, conditions and other physical conditions where exercise training has been shown to be of therapeutic benefit. Services provided by a clinical exercise physiologist include, but are not limited to, individuals with cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease, and metabolic disorders.

Personal Fitness Trainer:

An exercise professional with specific qualifications who develops and implements an individualized approach to exercise using premeditated, non-choreographed exercise programs, including technical coaching and instruction in physical fitness and conditioning for an individual client, or organized groups of clients, who require pre-participation evaluation or instruction prior to engaging in the exercise regimen. Personal fitness trainers may work with any individual who does not require medical clearance prior to engaging in exercise or who has been cleared for exercise by a medical physician with a recommendation to participate in physical activity without the need for medical supervision. 'Personal fitness trainers' include personal trainers, professional fitness trainers, fitness coaches and persons performing similar physical fitness training instruction regardless of the designation used. This definition does not include group exercise instructors, physical activity leaders, certified athletic trainers or Pilates teachers.

Pilates Teacher:

An exercise professional with specific qualifications who develops and implements individualized and/or group exercise programs using premeditated, choreographed and non-choreographed exercise programs, including technical coaching and instruction in physical fitness and conditioning, for an individual client, or organized groups of clients, who require pre-participation evaluation or instruction prior to engaging in the exercise regimen. Pilates teachers may work with any individual who does not require medical clearance prior to engaging in exercise or who has been cleared for exercise by a medical physician with a recommendation to participate in physical activity without the need for medical supervision. As Pilates is a distinct method that uses unique movements and equipment, certified Pilates teachers must be proficient to teach all Pilates exercises on the Mat, Reformer, Trapeze Table, Barrel, Chair, and Ped-O-Pull.

Strength and Conditioning Coach:

An exercise professional who applies scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. Strength and conditioning coaches conduct sport-specific testing sessions, design and implement safe and effective strength training and conditioning programs and provide guidance regarding nutrition and injury prevention.

Physical Activity Leader:

An individual who provides varied levels of organized instruction to promote public engagement in physical activity to groups of people but does not possess a professional credential that has been earned by passing a competency-based exam for an exercise professional role.