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Quick Facts

About the Fitness Trainer/Instructor Certificate

The Fitness Trainer/ Instructor certificate provides students with a cross-disciplinary foundation in the fields of exercise science, sports nutrition, wellness and first aid as applied to personal training and group fitness programming and instruction. It is an ideal path for students needing ACE exam review preparation, for those planning to pursue a bachelor's degree in a similar area of study, or for current professionals seeking to update and enhance their knowledge and skills.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Fitness Trainer/Instructor Certificate program, the learner will be able to:

  1. Identify terms and functions pertaining to the systems of the body as they relate to exercise, wellness, fitness and sport. (BIO 160 or higher, PHE 152, PHE 157, PHE 251, PHE 252)
  2. Explain the basic functions of the biological, anatomical, biomechanical, and physiological mechanisms of human motor performance as it relates to exercise, wellness, fitness and sport. (BIO 160 or higher, PHE 152, PHE 153, PHE 157, PHE 251, PHE 252)
  3. Measure, identify, design and evaluate effectiveness of basic regiments of exercise across diverse populations pertaining to human motor performance as it relates to exercise, wellness and fitness. (PHE 153, PHE 251, PHE 252)

Program-Specific Requirements

Course Course Title Hours
BIO160 Intro Human Anat & Physiology  1

BIO 160. Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology (4). Principles of scientific method. Structural organization, homeostasis and control mechanisms of the body. Specific chemistry concepts. Structure and function of the major systems of the body. Prerequisite: Reading Proficiency. Three lecture. Three lab.

1. Scientific method and physiological measurements
2. Structural organization of the body
3. Homeostasis and homeostatic control mechanisms
4. Specific chemistry concepts of the body
5. Integumentary system
6. Skeletal system and joints
7. Muscular system
8. Nervous system
9. Endocrine system
10. Cardiovascular system
11. Lymphatics and immune system
12. Respiratory system
13. Digestive system
14. Urinary system
15. Reproductive system

1. Use the scientific method to evaluate basic principles of human physiology. (1) (PBS 1,2)
2. Identify the unifying themes of human anatomy and physiology. (2) (PBS 2)
3. Interpret numerical and graphical presentations of physiological data. (1, 12) (PBS 2,3)
4. Explain the role of specific tools and equipment utilized in clinical evaluation of human physiology. (1) (PBS 2,4)
5. Record or evaluate investigative results. (1) (PBS 2,3,5)
6. Describe the structural organization of the body. (2)
7. Describe homeostasis and homeostatic control mechanisms. (3)
8. Describe the specific chemistry concepts of the body. (4)
9. Describe the structure and function of the integumentary system and body membranes, skeletal system and joints, muscular system, nervous system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, lymphatic system and immunity, respiratory system, digestive system, urinary system, and the reproductive system. (5-15)

             OR Higher level Anatomy & Physiology course
PHE152 Personal Health & Wellness

PHE 152. Personal Health and Wellness (3). Explore issues related to health and wellness. Emphasis on current topics and individual choices affected by psychological, sociological and environmental factors. Pre-requisite: Reading Proficiency. Three lecture.

1. Introduction to personal health and wellness
2. Factors that affect personal health and wellness
3. Personal health and wellness research methods
4. Personal health and wellness assessment techniques
5. Societal and environmental health issues

1. Define personal health and the 7 dimensions of wellness (physical, mental, emotional, social, environmental, occupational, and spiritual). (1) (BS 3)
2. Evaluate the components of personal health and wellness promoting positive behavior. (1,2,5) (BS 2)
3. Explain and apply research methods and assessment techniques for establishing cause and effect of personal health and wellness related issues and treatment. (3,4) (BS 1, 3)
4. Evaluate extrinsic and intrinsic factors that impact personal health and wellness. (1-5) (BS 2)
5. Analyze societal and environmental influences on personal health and wellness. (5) (BS 4)

1. Demonstrate thoughtful and precise writing skills by completing at least 1500 words of monitored writing.

PHE153 First Aid/CPR/AED and Safety

PHE 153. First Aid/CPR/AED and Safety (2). Instruction, theory and practice in first aid/CPR/AED and safety. Upon successful completion, students receive certification from the American Heart Association or American Red Cross. Two lecture.

1. First aid basics and legal issues
2. Medical emergencies
3. Injury emergencies
4. Environmental emergencies
5. Adult, Child and Infant CPR and AED for the lay rescuer or health care provider
6. Safety around the home

1. Identify and discuss legal issues of first aid. (1)
2. Analyze and prioritize first aid problems. (1-4)
3. Perform first aid. (1-4)
4. Administer CPR. (5)
5. Utilize AED. (5)
6. Identify and reduce safety hazards around the home. (6)

PHE157 Nutrition for Health/Fit/Sport

PHE 157. Nutrition for Health, Fitness and Sport (3). Basic nutritional concepts for overall health and wellness. Includes practical application to fitness and sport performance. Three lecture.

1. Basic nutrition
2. Human energy systems
3. Dietary analysis
4. Carbohydrates, protein, and fats
5. Vitamins and minerals
6. Water and electrolytes
7. Body weight and composition
8. Training pyramid and food pyramids
9. Weight management

1. List basic nutrients, vitamins and minerals. (1,5)
2. Describe how carbohydrates, protein and fats nourish the body. (4)
3. Explain the energy demands of exercise. (2)
4. Recognize warning signs of dehydration and explain steps to maintain optimal hydration. (6)
5. Identify training diets for wellness, fitness and sport. (8)
6. Define dietary challenges of special populations. (3,7)
7. Create a personal dietary plan based on personal wellness, fitness or athletic goals. (1-9)

PHE251 Integrated Exercise Science

PHE 251. Integrated and Applied Exercise Sciences (3). Study of Exercise Sciences and related topics as they impact exercise. Emphasis on anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and nutrition. Designed for students preparing to become personal trainers, fitness instructors, coaches or Physical Education majors. Three lecture.

1. Functional anatomy
2. Physiology as it relates to exercise
3. Introduction to biomechanics
4. Basic nutrition as it relates to exercise

1. Identify location of muscles, tendons, bones and other major anatomical structures using correct terminology. (1)
2. Describe processes of various body systems producing movement, balance, activity and recovery. (2)
3. Describe the physiology of a muscle contraction and the energy pathways associated with exercise. (2)
4. Identify body movements and the anatomical structures that cause these movements. (3)
5. Identify nutritional concepts that impact fitness and exercise. (4)

PHE252 ACE Personal Trainer Prep

PHE 252. ACE Personal Trainer Preparation (3) (Fall). Comprehensive system for designing individualized programs based on individual client health, fitness level and goals. Includes methods to facilitate rapport, adherence and self-efficacy in clients as well as design programs to help clients to improve posture, movement, flexibility, balance, core function, cardiorespiratory fitness, and muscular endurance and strength. Preparation for the ACE (American Council on Exercise) Personal Trainer Certificate Exam. Three lecture.

1. Human anatomy, exercise physiology, applied kinesiology, and nutrition
2. Principles of adherence, motivation, behavior change and health psychology
3. Communication and teaching techniques
4. The ACE Integrated Fitness Training (IFT) model
5. Building rapport
6. Health and exercise history information assessment
7. Functional training: assessments, programming and progressions for posture, movement, core balance and flexibility
8. Physiological assessments
9. Resistance training: programming and progressions
10. Cardiorespiratory training: programming and progressions
11. Professional and legal responsibilities, scope of practice, and business strategies for personal trainers
12. Special exercise programming topics: mind-body exercise, special populations, and exercise implications of common musculoskeletal injuries

1. Explain concepts and principles of human anatomy, exercise physiology, applied kinesiology, and nutrition as they relate to the ACE IFT model, which include functional, resistance and cardiorespiratory training and special exercise programming. (1,4,7,9,10,12)
2. Identify communication, teaching techniques and rapport that relate to the principles of adherence, motivation, behavior change, and health psychology. (2,3,5)
3. Apply assessment methods related to health and exercise history information, functional training, physiological assessments, resistance training, cardiorespiratory training and special exercise programming. (6-10,12)
4. Explain the professional and legal responsibilities, scope of practice, and business strategies for Certified ACE Fitness Personal Trainers. (11)
5. Take the ACE Personal Trainer Certificate Exam. (1-12)

1 - Or higher level Anatomy & Physiology course

Note:  It is always best to discuss educational and career goals with an academic advisor prior to enrolling in any courses.  Learn more about Academic Advising.