coaches vs trainers

Coach Orton's unique perspective on the subtle but defining differences between these two identities.

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This is a question that I've been asked many times throughout my 20 years plus as a Strength Coach. Make no mistake I spent the majority of my time, in this profession, as a "Trainer" so by no means does the following metaphor intend any disrespect to the next generation of Coaches out there.  This is simply one man's interpretation of his trade.

To keep the comparison simple I'll use something we can ALL relate too, food.

If you were to eat at a prestigious, high end, restaurant your meal and your experience could be easily customized to your exact request. Any combination of ingredients, spices, cooking style or even the avoidance of allergies could be accommodated. If you were so inclined you could even inquire about the available options that are not even listed on the menu.

This is made possible because the person preparing your meal is a CHEF.  A Chef is a person who has spent years learning about and experiencing many different cooking methods and styles. They have also spent a great deal of time actually IN the kitchen learning from an already established Chef, applying their trade, and honing their skills. They've succeeded and failed repeatedly until finally earning the prestigious Canadian Red Seal. Think Detroit's Capital Grille, Joe Muer's or Prime and Proper. 

Often these established Chefs start off as a COOK. Cooks are either new to the trade or simply haven't had the opportunity, or the drive, to progress. They are generally limited in their ability to access the knowledge, ability, expertise and, most importantly, the judgement, based on years of experience, to adapt to and create exactly what you request. Think Windsor's Kelsey's, Moxie's or the Keg.


A Strength Coach is a Chef. A Trainer is a Cook.

These comparisons make it easy to see the differences and why prestigious restaurants demand a high caliber of professional. Having said that, there are outliers in both domains and no disrespect is intended. As I stated earlier, I was a Trainer for a long time and this is only one Coach's point of view.

At Synergy Wellness and Performance we are COACHES who have been dedicated to our craft longer than anyone else in the city. No other facility has the education, the experience or the expertise that my team does.


After all; If dining at a high end restaurant, having your meal prepared by the best Chefs in town, cost the same as the local fast food joint then why would you choose to eat anywhere else?

Coach Dave Orton