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Advanced Personal Fitness Trainer

The Advanced Personal Fitness Trainer Online Certificate Program will help you further your personal training education and incorporate specialized resistance training and functional movements. Learn a variety of advanced training skills and how to form effective partnerships with registered dietitians so you can develop nutritional programs for your clients.

This online certificate program is offered in partnership with major colleges, universities, and other accredited education providers. The American College of Sports Medicine’s Professional Education Committee certifies that Educational Fitness Solutions, Inc, who works with us to bring you this program, meets the criteria for official ACSM Approved Provider status. Providership # 672784. This program is approved for 160 Continuing Education Credits through ACSM.

9 Months / 400 Course Hrs
Open Enrollment

Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School

George Mason University Why this school? It's been chosen based on your location or if you've visited this school's website.

Financial Assistance Available*

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Learning Method

Instructor-led Self-Paced: Study at your own schedule

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Advanced Personal Fitness Trainer

Learning Method

Instructor-led Self-Paced: Study at your own schedule

Contact Us

Advanced Personal Fitness Trainer Details + Objective

Course Code: GES105

You Will Learn
  • Prepare to work as a personal trainer in the health and fitness industry
  • Learn to network and partner with registered dietitians to develop healthy eating plans for your clients
  • Design resistance training programs
  • Learn how to implement a medically based fitness model
  • Understand the process of conducting a detailed health and fitness assessment
  • Identify the business fundamentals of administration, marketing, and management in personal training
  • Gain information regarding nutrition, exercise science, kinesiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, neurology, client testing and assessment, functional anatomy, and exercise programming
  • Prepare to take personal training certification exams from ACE, and other national organizations
How the course is taught
  • Self-paced, online course
  • 9 months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 400 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Learn a medically based fitness model to use with clients or future employers
  • Develop the vocabulary needed to communicate effectively with clients and coworkers
  • Complete a course that’s recognized by national organizations and associations, including The American Senior Fitness Association (SFA), The National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF), The National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)
  • Explore advanced skills and methods that will make you a more successful personal trainer
Advanced Personal Fitness Trainer Outline
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Introduction to Exercise

Explore the fundamentals of anatomy and kinesiology. Learn how exercise affects the different systems of the human body. Understand the various functions of the muscular, skeletal, and cardiorespiratory systems with and without exercise conditioning.

Health-Risk Profiles and Fitness Assessments

Learn how to conduct a fitness evaluation. Define client-screening procedures, medial and health history intake forms, how to perform health assessments, and the importance of building long-term, positive relationships with clients.

Business Management and Exercise Regimens

Understand how to create an exercise schedule for clients that includes resistance and weight training, flexibility, and cardiovascular considerations. Explore the process of documenting and reporting your client’s exercise needs. You’ll also learn about nutritional needs and how they tie into exercise best practices.

The Science of Weight Training

Learn a systematic approach to developing resistance and weight training programs for all age groups and body types. Create training programs that implement safe, effective exercise moves.

Flexibility, Core, and Balance

Discuss the principles and techniques for flexibility, core, and balance training. Develop an understanding of the structures of the core complex and its secondary muscular structures.

Optional Field Internship in Personal Training

Elect to intern for a total of six weeks/60 hours with professionals in the fitness and health industry for a practical experience working with members at fitness facilities and health centers.

Program Details
  1. Introduction to Exercise Science: Level I (Anatomy and Kinesiology)
    1. Define Kinesiology, Functional Anatomy, and Biomechanics
    2. Identify Skeletal Structures and Primary, Secondary, and Stabilizing Muscles
    3. Understand Terminology Used to Describe Body Part Locations, Reference Positions, Planes of Motion, and Anatomical Directions
    4. Understand Functional Anatomy, Muscle Contractions, and the Effects of Exercise Placed on Joint Structures During Exercise Movements
  2. Introduction to Exercise Science: Level II (Exercise Physiology)
    1. Understand the Reactions and Functions of the Muscular, Skeletal, and Cardiorespiratory Systems With and Without Exercise Conditioning
    2. Review Enzymes in Their Role as a Catalyst in Cellular Reactions and Nutrients Used as Fuels During Exercise
    3. Identify High-energy Phosphates and Interactions Between Aerobic and Anaerobic ATP Production During Exercise
    4. Understand Neuromuscular Function and the Physiology of Exercise in Relation to Exercise Programs and Environmental Factors
  3. Health-Risk Profiles and Fitness Assessment Techniques
    1. Understand the Process of Conducting an Initial Health and Fitness Evaluation
    2. Define Client-screening Procedures, Medical and Health History Intake Forms, PAR-Q, and Informed Consent Forms
    3. Learn How to Perform Fitness and Health Assessments, including Posture, Cardiorespiratory Endurance, Joint Range of Motion (ROM), Body-fat Analysis, Blood Pressure, and Body Measurements
    4. Understand the Goals and Objectives of the Client and Learn the Importance of Building a Long-term Relationship
  4. Business Administration and Management Aspects for Personal Trainers
    1. Develop a Personal Career Track
    2. Analyze the State of the Fitness Industry and Personal Training Market
    3. Learn to Manage and Administer a Personal Training Department, Studio, or Business
    4. Learn Business Fundamentals in Accounting, Sales, Management, Marketing, and Business Plan Development
  5. Designing Exercise Prescriptions for Normal and Special Populations
    1. Principles of Exercise Prescription Development, Including Resistance and Weight Training, Flexibility, and Cardiovascular Programming
    2. Review the Specific Physiological Reasons to Initiate an Exercise Program and to Discontinue an Exercise Program
    3. How Exercise Is Related to and Can Help Normal to Special Populations and Conditions
    4. Document and Report Your Client's Exercise Prescription Evaluation Results and Progress
  6. Nutritional Analysis and Management
    1. Vitamins, Minerals, Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fats, and Supplements
    2. Partner With Registered Dieticians to Develop Healthy Eating Plans for Your Clients
    3. Learn the Effects of Nutrition on the Exerciser and Non-exerciser
    4. Foster Healthful Eating Habits by Identifying and Implementing Beneficial Practices
  7. The Science and Biomechanics of Resistance and Weight Training Techniques
    1. A Systematic Approach to Developing Resistance and Weight Training Programs for all Age Groups
    2. Understand Training Volume, Sets, Repetitions, Load, Frequency, and Rest Periods
    3. Key Biomechanical and Scientific Principles
    4. Design Resistance Training Programs and Implement Biomechanical Elements Into Creating Safe, Effective, and Efficient Exercise Movements
  8. Functional Flexibility, Core, and Balance Training
    1. Principles and Techniques for Flexibility, Core, and Balance Training
    2. Understanding and Implementing Functional Training and Stabilization Movements Into a Comprehensive Exercise Program
    3. The Structures of the Core Complex and Secondary Muscular Structures
    4. The Roles of Muscles During Balance and Flexibility Training
  9. Elective Program: Optional Field Internship in Personal Training
    1. Intern for a total of six weeks/60 hours with professionals in the fitness and health industry for a practical experience working with members at fitness facilities and health centers
    2. Network and interact with professionals in the health and fitness industry
    3. Develop a professional goal statement and review career opportunities
    4. Improve your ability to obtain employment or operate your own health and fitness facility
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Advanced Personal Fitness Trainer Instructors
Ken Baldwin

Ken Baldwin, M.ED., ACSM-H/FI is the program coordinator and an instructor for the Personal Fitness Trainer and Advanced Fitness Trainer Programs. He is the former chair of IDEA's National Personal Trainer Committee and chair of the Senior Fitness Subcommittee for the Massachusetts Governor's Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports. Ken is the senior editor, content expert, and lead author for ACSM's Resources for the Personal Trainer Textbook, Second Edition. He continues to serve on national committees for the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), AAHPERD, and the Medical Fitness Association. He has been honored with numerous awards, including IDEA's Personal Trainer of the Year Award, presented at the IDEA International Personal Training Summit. Ken has been involved in the fitness, wellness, and education profession for over 10 years. His background includes operating and managing a personal training company; training many types of populations, from children to seniors and beginning exercisers to athletes; and lecturing and consulting at corporations, public events, national conventions (ACSM Health and Fitness Summit, Club Industry, IDEA, International Council of Active Aging, and the Medical Fitness Association, to name a few), and international conferences. In addition to his industry experience, he's actively involved in working with national organizations and colleges and universities to develop educational standards for those wishing to enter the personal fitness training profession.

Melissa Halas-Liang

Melissa Halas-Liang, RD, MA, CDE is a registered dietitian, with a Master's in nutrition education and a certification in nutrition support. In addition to working as a clinical dietitian, she assists in clinical trials, has taught group diabetes classes, and has counseled patients on weight loss. She has spoken on a wide range of topics in the community, from diet and fitness to high school sports nutrition. She has spoken at the Woman's Health Symposium on Fad Diets and on Weight Management and Disease Prevention. Melissa has published articles in periodicals on healthy eating and edited textbook nutrition sections. She developed curriculums for medical residents and lectured to health care professionals for continuing education credits on a variety of topics. Melissa's enthusiasm for healthy eating is contagious, and her outgoing and interactive approach to learning motivates her audience to commit to new lifestyles.

Prerequisites / Requirements

There are no specific prerequisites to enter this program, other than an Internet connection, an e-mail address, and basic computer knowledge. Students do need to receive CPR certification and approval by the program coordinator prior to beginning the Optional Field Internship Program

This program is for you if you're interested in a career in the fitness and health industry. Whether you're just starting out or you're an established fitness professional seeking advanced education, the Advanced Personal Fitness Trainer Program will provide the training you need. This program is also suitable for registered dietitians seeking CPEUs and allied health and medical professionals from all fields seeking to broaden their careers and become full- or part-time personal trainers

This program is compatible with the Windows XP and later operating systems and IE 7 and later browsers. This program can be taken using a PC or a Mac.

Technical requirements include, but are not limited to, having Internet access with a 56K modem (but it is highly recommended that you have DSL or High Speed Cable Internet Access); 64 MB system RAM; 200 MB free hard-disk space or sufficient storage; reliable e-mail account access, CD-ROM/DVD capabilities, and a reliable Internet provider. Some individual modules may have additional software or hardware requirements

Adobe Flash Player and Adobe Acrobat Reader are required for this program. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Flash Player.

These items will be provided by ed2go:

  • Manual of Structural Kinesiology
  • Exercise Physiology
  • ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription
  • Contemporary Nutrition
  • Total Body Functional Profile
  • EFS Exercise Clipart CD
  • ACE Personal Trainer Manual Set

The items below are recommended, but they're not required. These items aren't provided by ed2go, but you'll be able to purchase these materials through a discounted bookstore, if you'd like to do so.


Fitness Equipment

Advanced Personal Fitness Trainer Frequently Asked Questions
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Can I register for programs if I am an international student?

Yes, since ed2go programs are online, you never have to actually travel to the school. Most schools offer telephone or online registration.

How long does it take to complete a program?
This program is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start and finish at your own pace. Upon registering, you're given nine (9) months to complete this program.
Do I have to buy additional materials?

No, all required materials are supplied with the program. However, there are several additional items that are recommended to help you further understand the program material. These items are listed on the PC Requirements/Materials page.

Can I get financial assistance?

ed2go courses are non-credit courses, so they do not qualify for federal aid. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses.

What happens when I complete the program?
Upon successful completion of the program, you will be awarded a certificate of completion.
Am I guaranteed a job?

ed2go programs will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. We don’t provide direct job placement services, but our facilitators and career counselors will help you build your resume and are available to give advice on finding your first job. Facilitators will also be available to use as a professional reference upon completion of the program. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

Who will be my instructor?
Each student is paired with a facilitator for one-on-one interaction. The facilitator will be available (via e-mail) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our facilitators are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach.
Can I use a Mac?

Yes, you can use a Mac for this program.

How can I get more information about this program?

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us via LIVE CHAT or by calling us at (855) 598-3856. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please feel free to send us a question using the Contact Us form.

When can I start the program?

Our programs are all open enrollment. You can register and start the program as soon as you are ready.

Please note: Once the program curriculum is accessed online or through submission of a material shipment confirmation, refunds cannot be issued.

What must I do to graduate with the Personal Fitness Trainer Certificate?

Complete and receive a passing grade (of C- or above) in all modules to graduate with either the Personal Trainer Certificate or Advanced Personal Trainer Certificate.

How will I interact with the teacher?

We know how important it is for the teacher to be available to you. You can use regular e-mail, the classroom discussion boards, the chat room, or the telephone to interact with the teacher.

Where and how do I perform my Optional Field Internship Program?

Students who enter the program have three unique options for placement in a six-week, 60-hour internship experience. You may elect to intern at an approved partnered internship site, at a facility of your choice either in the U.S. or internationally (with program coordinator and instructor approval), or at a facility with which you’re currently employed.

The internship program requires students to establish informational interviews approximately four weeks prior to the internship start date with several different internship site locations. An internship information packet is provided in the Business Administration and Management module that will guide you in the process of setting up an internship, if you're interested in this opportunity. NOTE: Students do need to receive CPR certification and approval by the program coordinator prior to beginning the Optional Field Internship Program.

What is the difference between the Personal Fitness Trainer program and the Advanced Personal Fitness Trainer Program?

The Advanced Personal Fitness Trainer Program includes the entire basic Personal Fitness Trainer Program, along with additional material on nutritional management, resistance biomechanics, and functional flexibility. The Advanced Personal Fitness Trainer Program offers a more in-depth education for aspiring personal fitness trainers.

What if I don't have enough time to complete my program within the time frame provided?

The time allotted to complete your program has been calculated based on the number of course hours. If after a concerted effort, you are still unable to complete your program on time, your Student Advisor will help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that a fee may be charged for an extension.

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Got other questions? Get in touch with us via . During non-business hours, please feel free to send us a question using the "Contact Us" button. You can also reach us by phone (855) 520-6806.