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Fitness Leader Certificate VRE004

Learn to be a Fitness Leader online -ACS Distance Education Course

  • Work in the fitness industry
  • Obtain Professional Indemnity cover through Tower or OAMPS
  • Articulate with advance standing into a wide range of courses, through us or any of 18 affiliated colleges in seven countries.


To obtain a Fitness Leaders Certificate, students must meet the following five requirements:

1.  Complete the Fitness Leader's Certificate Core Theory which incorporates key sections of Human Biology IA, Human Biology IB, and Health and Finess I.

2.  Undertake 40 hours of practical at an approved fitness centre (Under the supervision of a reputable instructor).

3.  Obtain a current First Aid Certificate which includes rescusitation (Red Cross, St. John's Ambulance for example).

4. Sit and pass four examinations.


The aim of the Core theory course is to elevate the standard of core knowledge and competency for people working in the field of fitness through the provision of a pre-service education program.

The aim of specialty modules is to contextualise and expands the leaning process and competencies into one of the recognised registered categories.

On successful completion of this module you will have developed:

  • abilities in describing the nature and extent of the health and fitness industry,
  • abilities in explaining exercise and its importance to health and fitness,
  • skills in preparation and delivery of basic fitness programs,
  • an ability to explain basic human anatomy and physiology, and
  • and ability to describe bioenergetics and environmental aspects of human biology.


The two parts I and 2 are made up of two units each with several lessons in each unit. Part I, unit 1 has three lessons, unit 2 three lessons. Part 2, unit 3 has three lessons and unit 4 has three lessons.

Part 1

UNIT ONE – Anatomy and Physiology and Exercise

Lesson 1. Introduction to Health and Fitness

Lesson 2. Exercise Physiology

Lesson 3. Exercise Principles and Cardio-respiratory Programming

Lesson 4. Physiology: Digestion, Excretion, Physiological Systems

UNIT TWO - Biomechanics

Lesson 5. Introduction to Biomechanics: The skeleton and muscles

Lesson 6. Biomechanics and Risk

Lesson 7. Aquafitness, exercise, routines, and equipment


UNIT THREE – Program Design and Performance

Lesson 8. Fitness Program Design

Lesson 9. Delivering A Fitness Program

Lesson 10. Ergogenic Aids to Performance

UNIT FOUR – Safety, Injury, and Body Physiology

Lesson 11. Regulating Body Physiology

Lesson 12. Safety, Injury and General Wellbeing

Lesson 13. Fitness Programs for Special Groups





a) To explain the nature of the health and fitness industries.

b) To explain the human body at a microscopic level, including the structure and function of cells, tissues, and membranes.

The components of fitness

  • Fitness
  • Physical fitness
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Muscular strength and muscular endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Motor fitness




To explain the relationship between the body and health, fitness and exercise, with reference to physiological processes, including energy pathways during resting, work and recovery, and how energy is used in the human body to create work and power.

  • The cardio-respiratory system
  • The heart
  • The cardiac cycle
  • The vascular system
  • Circulation
  • Energy systems
  • Objectives
  • Energy
  • The ATP cycle
  • The phosphocreatine, lactic acid and aerobic energy systems




To explain the relationship between the body and health, fitness and exercise, with respect to risk involved in exercise.

  • The cardio-respiratory system
  • The heart
  • The cardiac cycle
  • The vascular system
  • Circulation

Lesson 4.



a) To explain different physiological systems of the body.

b) To explain movement of materials in and out of living cells.

  • Osmosis and Diffusion
  • Digestive system
  • Urinary system
  • Endocrine system
  • Respiratory System
  • Breathing action

Lesson 5.



To explain features of the human skeletal system, and the human muscular system, in terms of structure and basic function.

  • Bones and joints and Muscles and muscle actions
  • The skeleton
  • Four types of bone
  • Factors affecting bone structure
  • The three types of joint
  • Synovial joints
  • Joint movement terms
  • Muscles
  • Muscle group actions
  • Muscle group actions on the joint(s)




a) To evaluate body movements during different exercises.

b) To explain the human nervous system, in terms of structure and basic functions.

  • Nervous system
  • Training and risk
  • Injury prevention tips

Lesson 7.



To develop an understanding of how aquafitness activities differ from other fitness activities.

  • Physiology of an aqua fitness session
  • Stretching
  • Types of exercises
  • The components of a warm up
  • Components of a cool down




To design fitness programs, which are both safe and effective, to fulfil specified requirements of an individual.

  • Design process
  • Developing Physique
  • Basic Conditioning Exercises
  • Cardiorespiratory (Aerobic) Endurance
  • Structure of an aerobic training session
  • Weight Training
  • Qualities of A Professional
  • Leadership Communication
  • Communication Barriers




To deliver a fitness program to a small group of clients.

  • Customer service
  • Your communication skills
  • Dealing with customer complaints
  • Self Esteem
  • Communicating for effective relationships
  • Key communication strategies

Lesson 10.



Explain ergogenic aids to body performance during activity/exercise.

Ergogenic aids are substances which improve performance which can include Drugs, Vitamins, Water, Warm up activity, and Motivational talks.

Lesson 11.



Explain body regulation processes

  • The acid base balance
  • The effect of changing atmospheric pressure
  • Temperature regulation
  • Acid Base balance
  • Acidity




To manage the wellbeing of participants in a fitness program, including safety and injury.

  • Ethical practice
  • Safety and injury
  • General wellbeing, which can cover psychological as well as physiological wellbeing.
  • Sample Screening Questionnaire
  • Sample Medical Clearance form




To design fitness programs, which are both safe and effective, catering to needs of special populations (weight control programs, handicapped/disabled persons programs or for the elderly).

  • Program management
  • Exercise variables (frequency, duration, intensity)
  • Four zones of training
  • Programs for weight control and evaluation of cardiorespiratory endurance and
  • muscular strength and endurance


  • Undertake 40 hours of practical at an approved fitness centre (Under the supervision of a reputable instructor).
  • Obtain a current First Aid Certificate which includes rescusitation (Red Cross, St. John's Ambulance for example).
  • Sit and pass four examinations.


Working as a Fitness Professional

The fitness industry has emerged from almost nothing a few decades ago, to become a significant and rapidly changing field in today’s world.

Fitness Leaders are the “coal face” workers of the industry. They provide guidance to clients on development and maintenance of fitness (commonly dealing with a class or informal group using a gym). Fitness leaders often get very low rates of pay, and have relatively poor job security; but for many in this industry, this can be a starting point.

Personal Trainers provide personal guidance on fitness (dealing with one individual only in a session). Personal trainers usually earn a lot more than fitness leaders, but they are commonly self employed, and need good business and marketing skills as well as expertise in fitness if they are to be successful.

Life Coaches provide guidance on many different things that affect wellbeing. This may include fitness, career, money, general health, relationships etc. They also are commonly self employed, and require skills that are broader and deeper than a fitness leader

Fitness professionals find employment in small and large organisations, government and private enterprise, both self employed contractors and employed by others.

They may be employed in any of the following:

 Fitness leaders or instructors in Gymnasiums, health clubs or Leisure Centres
 Personal Trainers
 Life Coaches
 Sports Coaches
 Fitness Teacher or Specialist Instructor
 Facility managers
 Marketing (eg. Fitness or Sports equipment, Sales, PR, Advertising, etc)
 Event Managers

Fitness jobs range from relatively low paid part time or casual positions to highly paid professional careers that require a great deal of expertise and training.

Risks and challenges
The fitness industry is highly competitive so can be challenging to find work/clients. You will need to develop skills to make you stand out from the rest - something that makes you unique, and inspires people to train with you over other trainers.

Many people choose this profession believing it to be relatively healthy and stress free; but in reality, if you run your own business or work in a position of responsibility in any industry, there will always be times of stress.

Fitness professionals in theory should be more conscious of how to manage their own wellbeing, but it is an unavoidable occupational hazard that you will tend to attract clients with problems and helping them deal with those problems will place unavoidable pressure upon anyone who cares. You need to care in order to do a good job; but if you care too much, your own wellbeing suffers and in turn your capacity to do the job suffers.

Also keep in mind the nature of your work – the majority of the day will be spent in fitness training, so you will need to be cautious of how much of the activity you do yourself, so as not to wear yourself out too much.

How to become a Fitness Professional
People get a start in this profession by both

a/ Undertaking some study

b/ Experience (as an amateur or professional athlete)

This is an industry where ongoing professional development is essential. If you want a secure future in the fitness industry; you need to be committed to keep learning, attending seminars, workshops, courses, being involved with professional bodies and overall keeping abreast of new developments.

Fitness leaders are often the lowest paid employees in this industry; and the entry level courses which fitness leaders take are often relatively basic.

There are lots of opportunities to advance to more challenging and better paid positions; but to give yourself the best chance of advancement, you need to be thinking well beyond doing a minimum entry level qualification.

Commonly fitness professionals find the best opportunity to advance will come from either:

 Starting their own business
 Moving into Management or Marketing
 Education: Teaching others to be instructors

You may need to consider joining a fitness association. There are many different bodies that are relevant to fitness industry, some amateur, some professional; some are national and others are international.

Professional Indemnity Insurance is important if you are giving advice to people on fitness. Most insurance companies will provide cover to people who have undertaken a credible course that is substantial in its content. (Note: The ACS Fitness Leader certificate and more advanced courses have been accepted for insurance in the past).

Other insurances may also be needed; particularly if you plan to be self employed. Talk with an insurance expert before establishing a business. Discuss insurance cover before accepting employment with anyone else.

Related jobs
 Nutritional counsellor
 Counsellor
 Fitness or Health Centre Manager
 Nutritionist
 Weight Loss Consultant
 Life Coach
 Personal Trainer
 Aromatherapist


Graduates can achieve additional qualifications and fitness leader registration in either (or both) the U.K. and Australia, by undertaking a small amont of additional study with one of our partner colleges: Fitness Industry Education in the U.K., or Australian College of Sports & Fitness (in Australia).


Why Choose This Course

  • Course notes and materials are unique (written by our staff) and up to date (most revised annually) –our graduates are more up to date with what they learn than many other institutions.
  • We don’t just present you with information; we also work to help you understand and remember it, develop an ability to apply it in the real world, and build networks with others who work in this field.
  • Start any time, study at your own pace, study from anywhere
  • Don’t waste time and money traveling to and from classes
  • More choices in your assignment work –courses are written to allow you more options to focus on parts of the subject that are of more interest to you.
  • Tutors more accessible than many colleges – academics are hard at work in both the UK and Australia, 5 days a week, 16 hours a day, and answering individual queries from students are top priority and always attended to within a day –often within an hour.
  • Be treated like an individual –don’t get lost in a crowd of other students. Our tutors interact with you one to one.
  • Extra help at no extra cost where needed.. If you find a task you can’t do, we will help you through it or give you another option.
  • Support after graduation –We will advise on getting work, starting a business, putting a CV together. We will promote students and their businesses through our extensive profile on the internet. Any graduate who asks will be helped.

How You Study

  • When you enroll, we send you an email that explains it all.
  • You are given a short orientation video to watch, where our principal introduces you to how the course works, and how you can access all sorts of support services
  • You are either given access to your course online, or sent a CD or course materials through the mail (or by courier).
  • You work through lessons one by one. Each lesson has at least four parts:
    • An aim -which tells you what you should be achieving in the lesson
    • Reading -notes written and regularly revised by our academic staff
    • Set Task(s) -These are practicals, research or other experiential learning tasks that strengthen and add to what you have been reading
    • Assignment -By answering questions, submitting them to a tutor, then getting feedback from the tutor, you confirm that you are on the right track, but more than that, you are guided to consider what you have been studying in different ways, broadening your perspective and reinforcing what you are learning about
    • Other - Your work in a course rarely stops at just the above four parts. Different courses and different students will need further learning experiences. Your set task or assignment may lead to other things, interacting with tutors or people in industry, reviewing additional reference materials or something else. We treat every student as an individual and supplement their learning needs as the occasion requires.
  • You are given access to and encouraged to use a range of supplementary services including an online student room, including online library; student bookshop, newsletters, social media etc.
  • You are provided with a "student manual" which you can refer to if and when needed. It provides a quick solution to most problems that might occur (some people never need to use this; but if you are studying late at night & have a problem, the manual provides a first port of call that can often get you moving again).


  • ACS is known and highly respected internationally: by employers and academics alike:
  • Recognised by International Accreditation and Recognition Council
  • ACS has been training people around the world since 1979
  • Over 100,000 have now studied ACS courses, across more than 150 countries
  • Formal affiliations with colleges in five countries
  • A faculty of over 40 internationally renowned academics –books written by our staff used by universities and colleges around the world.



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PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $869.00  1 x $790.00
B 2 x $473.00  2 x $430.00

Note: Australian prices include GST. 
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