Comparing Exercise Physiologists and Personal Trainers. Who’s Right For Me?

Exercise Physiology vs personal trainers | Effect Exercise Physiology

You just decided, this year is the year! I’m going to lose weight, improve my fitness, feel healthier and happier. Maybe you’re looking for someone to help facilitate this change? Knowing the difference between different health professionals may help you find who is right for your needs and goals.

We have created a cheat sheet for you to find out the difference between Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) and Personal Trainers (PTs).

Exercise Physiologists Personal Trainers
Qualification 4 year minimum bachelors degree and/or 2 years masters degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology obtained from a university. 6-18 week certificate 4 in fitness obtained from organisations such as TAFE, Australian Institute of Fitness (AIF) Australian Institute of Personal Training (AIPT) and some collages.
Registered with Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) No one governing body. Eg. PTs can register with many organisations such as Fitness Australia, Physical activity Australia, Fitness Network, etc.
Registration requirements
  • CPR & First Aid
  • Minimum of 360 hours practical placement
  • 20 hours per year of professional development
  • Hold and maintain appropriate professional indemnity insurance
  • Uphold the ESSA Code of Professional Conduct and Ethical Practice
  • CPR & First Aid
  • Minimum of 30 hours practical placement and 50 hours professional practice logbook
  • 20 hours every 2 years of continuing education
  • Hold and maintain appropriate professional indemnity insurance
Who do they help?
  • Low to high risk populations
  • People who may be at risk of an adverse event or injury when exercising
  • People with acute and/or chronic injury
  • Healthy individuals over the age of 65
  • Healthy individuals
  • Low risk populations (‘low risk’ is defined by pre exercise screening criteria)
What do they do?
  • Initial assessment to determine safe and effective exercise for you
  • Goal setting and treatment plan with ongoing review
  • Create and deliver individualised and evidence based exercise programs
  • Improves your motivation and ability to take control of your own health using psychologically informed motivational strategies
  • Offers comprehensive health and lifestyle advice to make sustainable changes to your health
  • Collaboration and reporting with other medical and health professionals as required
*Taken from Fitness Australia*

  • Helps you make the best use of your exercise time
  • Helps you with technique (efficiency and safety)
  • Monitors your progress
  • Adjusts your exercise program in response to your changing fitness level
  • Offers sound advice on your health and lifestyle choices
  • Varies your exercise options to keep you motivated, interested and enjoying your workouts
Private Health Rebates Yes for majority of health funds (see here) Optional extra for some limited funds (see here)


We believe that both Exercise Physiologists and Personal Trainers (yes, we even work together) can effectively help you achieve some amazing results no matter who you are! Just like anything, if you want to work with someone for a health related goal, make sure they…

– Have the right personality for you (will you enjoy working with them?)
– Will motivate you to achieve your goal and keep you consistent
– Genuinely care about you and your needs

If you think we could help you become fitter, healthier or even rehab an injury. Call 0491001559 or click our booking link and book your first appointment with us today.

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