What is a Strength and Conditioning Coach?
Whether you're a personal trainer, in the fitness industry or just love the gym, you may have already heard of a strength and conditioning coach. In this blog, we dive into what a strength and conditioning coach does, the difference between strength and conditioning and personal training, and how to become a coach yourself.
But before we dive into what a strength and conditioning coach is, we must first understand what is strength and conditioning, because it's not just lifting weights!
Strength and conditioning (or S&C) is all about applying researched principles to athletes to help improve their athletic performance. It helps enhance an athlete's speed, power, strength, endurance and overall performance.
The beauty of strength and conditioning is it not only focuses on the performance of an athlete but also plays a part in reducing injury. This is done by training specific muscles and joints that a client uses most to protect and prevent injury.
Strength and conditioning has also been proven to help clients gain stronger bone density, improve posture, aid mental health, improve mood and increase metabolism.
You get a chance to work with athletes and actually increase their performance and general health. That’s why strength and conditioning has become a popular career path for many fitness professionals.
Now we have a grasp on what strength and conditioning is, let's take a look at what strength and conditioning coaches do.
What is a Strength and Conditioning Coach?
A strength and conditioning coach is a qualified fitness professional who works to improve an athlete's performance by delivering training programmes that they have planned.
Their role is to ultimately improve the performance of their client and achieve their fitness goals. They do this by analysing their current condition, what they want to achieve and how they will get them there.
The athletes include but aren't limited to are:
- Strength and power athletes
- Endurance athletes
- Sports teams i.e football, rugby, hockey etc
- Other athletes i.e tennis, golf, boxers etc.
There is a huge scope of athletes that strength and conditioning coaches can work with. They can also work with those recovering from injury and young athletes too.
What does a Strength and Conditioning Coach do?
A strength and conditioning coach’s day varies throughout the week. From planning workouts to training athletes to marketing themself to gain new clients, their week can involve any number of things.
From training in a gym to coaching outside, a strength and conditioning coach can choose their prefered workout space that works best for them and their athlete.
A strength and conditioning coach, as well as planning programmes and training their clients, may use their time to research and planning sessions to help an injured client back to health.
Many strength and conditioning coaches offer sports massage therapy as well to offer the complete package to their athletes.
Learn more about sports massage therapy here.
What is the Difference Between a Personal Trainer and a Strength and Conditioning Coach?
Both personal trainers and strength and conditioning coaches have similarities. They both plan and deliver training programmes to help clients achieve their fitness goals.
However, they also have some major differences. These include:
Personal trainers work with everyday people who are looking to achieve a specific fitness goal. This can be weight loss, muscle tone or training for a specific event, just to mention a few. A strength and conditioning coach works with athletes or someone who is at the peak of their personal fitness.
Personal trainers and strength and conditioning coaches differ when it comes to education and experience, To become a strength and conditioning coach, you must first attain your Level 3 personal trainer qualification. After that, you must then study and pass the Level 4 strength and conditioning qualification. Whereas a personal trainer must only complete their level 3 personal trainer qualification to safely train clients.
As a strength and conditioning coach, you will be able to adjust your prices accordingly as you’re offering a further service. This will be more than a personal trainer's salary as you have upskilled yourself offering further knowledge and the ability to train high-level clients.
What Skills Does a Strength and Conditioning Coach Need?
Strength and conditioning coaches, as well as the appropriate qualifications which will cover shortly, need to have a few skills to ensure they have a long-lasting career.
These include great communication, leadership skills, creativity, a passion for researching the latest data, positive decision making and motivation. These are just a few of the skills needed.
What Qualifications do I Need to Become a Strength and Conditioning Coach?
To become a strength and conditioning coach you need to complete your level 3 personal trainer qualification and then your level 4 strength and conditioning qualification.
Here at Fit Training International, we offer both courses online with a mixture of workshops, training and assessment days with industry-leading tutors.
Both these qualifications allow you to plan and train athletes to achieve their professional and personal fitness goals
In the level 3 personal trainer course, you will learn:
- Anatomy and physiology, functional kinesiology and concepts and components of fitness
- Client and group inductions in a gym-based environment
- Support exercise adherence and a healthy lifestyle
- Nutrition for exercise, health and fitness
- Lifestyle and medical factors that can affect wellbeing
- Analysis of client information using the most accepted techniques
- Assessment of a client’s current health and fitness status
- Planning and conducting physical activity sessions, within a variety of environments using multiple resources
- Client consultations using the most accepted methods and providing strategies for successful behaviour change
- Communication skills to effectively build successful relationships with their clients and other healthcare professionals
- Further knowledge of anatomy and physiology applicable to personal training
- Legal and professional requirements for personal training
- How to set up and manage a personal training business on a self-employed basis
In the level 4 strength and conditioning course, you will learn:
- Performance analysis of the activity and the athlete
- To plan, deliver and evaluate performance-related strength and conditioning programmes
- The role of a strength and conditioning coach as part of an athlete’s support team
- Methods of carrying out performance-related needs analysis, measurements and assessments
- Strategies to analyse and evaluate assessment findings in order to be able to develop and agree on short, medium and long-term performance goals
- Planning, delivering and evaluating performance-related strength and conditioning programme.
Once you have completed your strength and conditioning course, to develop your knowledge further, you can upgrade your skills and further develop your understanding towards supporting athletes by heading to the UKSCA (The Professional Body for Strength and Conditioning in the UK).
Strength and conditioning is the perfect course for personal trainers to gain new knowledge and attract more clients. If you’re starting from scratch, you can work towards becoming a strength and conditioning coach.
Strength and conditioning is a great way to advance in the fitness industry. To delve deeper into the course, check out the course details here.
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