Certified Personal Trainer Courses and Educational Requirements

Individuals can take courses to become a personal trainer at various 2- and 4-year colleges. Most programs prepare graduates to take a national certification exam. Certified personal trainers are knowledgeable in fitness techniques, nutrition, stress management and treatment and prevention of exercise-related injuries.

Essential Information

Certified personal trainers, also known as fitness trainers, specialize in strength training and conditioning and work within the fitness industry. They help individuals train for fitness tests, lose weight or maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.

In order to become certified personal trainers, students must complete required coursework in a personal training certificate program. These programs are offered by many community colleges, and the number of required credit hours varies depending on the school. Most programs prepare graduates to take certification exams offered by national organizations, like the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American College of Sports Medicine.

Here are some common concepts found in personal trainer courses:

  • Healthy lifestyles
  • Recovery
  • Workout routines
  • Dietary recommendations
  • Fitness equipment
  • Stretching
  • Safety
  • Muscle care and conditioning

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List of Certified Personal Trainer Courses

Nutrition Fundamentals Course

A course on the basics of nutrition allows the student to learn about the nutritional requirements of individuals and how these nutrients are used. Students learn about the dietary needs for individuals to live active and healthy lifestyles. The course discusses the breakdown of nutrients during exercise and recovery, such as the digestion and absorption processes.

Fitness and Health Applications Course

Students have the opportunity to create and implement their exercise routine using cardio and weight training equipment, under the supervision of an instructor. Students design their own workout regimen and teach the class by demonstrating each fitness technique. The course also discusses safe exercise moves, diet, nutrition, stress management, fitness equipment and weight management.

Exercise Physiology Course

Exercise physiology provides students with an opportunity to apply exercise sciences to fitness training programs. Students learn about the physiology and anatomy of the human body and how it functions during workouts.

Group Fitness Instruction Course

Students learn how to plan and teach their workout for a group using music, choreographed steps and creative techniques to keep participants motivated during the workout. Some of the topics covered in the course include safety procedures, aerobics, muscle conditioning, stretching and cooling down.

Strength Training Course

Strength training practices, such as strength physiology, muscle build and exercise methods are discussed in this course. Students also learn how to manage and create their own strength training routine as well as provide safe training tips to future clients.

First Aid, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Course

First aid, CPR and AED are important abilities for personal trainers. This course provides knowledge on the practices in order to provide emergency rapid care to individuals. Students learn how to perform CPR on adults, infants and children. They also learn how to use the AED.

Fitness Injury Prevention and Treatment Course

This course prepares students to identify, treat and prevent fitness and sports injuries. Students learn how to bandage, tape, massage, strap and recondition muscles and various body parts in order to prevent injuries. The course also discusses CPR, hydrotherapy and cryotherapy.

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