Fitness Leader Certificate VRE004

Turn your passion for exercise into the job of your dreams!

What's Needed for Success?

Fitness Leader Certificates are popular courses; offered by many schools, in various forms. Most will tell you that this is what is needed to get a job as a fitness leader; and in many respects, that is true. In reality though, the type of fitness industry job which you can get with this type of certificate is fairly low on the ladder of success - and most graduates find such jobs to be insecure, poorly paid and often part time. Most graduates in fact tend to become disillusioned and often leave the industry before they really get properly started.

To be successful, and gain well paid secure work as some type of fitness instructor, you will almost certainly need something more.  There are lots of good opportunities in this industry, but it is important to recognise that it takes diverse, in depth learning combined with experience over time (at least a year or two), to get a career in fitness on track for a sustainable career.

This certificate is a great starting point - but don't plan to stop there!

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

  1. Complete the Fitness Leader's Certificate Core Theory which incorporates key sections of Human Biology IA, Human Biology IB, and Health and Fitness 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 resuscitation (Red Cross, St. John's Ambulance for example).
  4. Sit and pass two examinations - these are taken at a time and location to suit you.

COURSE AIMS: 

Students study 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.

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.
  • Ability to describe bioenergetics and environmental aspects of human biology. 

COURSE STRUCTURE 

The course is divided into two parts, comprising a total of 13 lessons. These are divided into four units comprising areas of Core study.

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

PART 2

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 Well-being

Lesson 13. Fitness Programs for Special Groups

LESSON AIMS AND CONTENT IN DETAIL

LESSON 1. INTRODUCTION TO HEALTH and FITNESS

AIMS 
  • To explain the nature of the health and fitness industries.
  • To explain the human body at a microscopic level, including the structure and function of cells, tissues, and membranes.
SUBJECT AREAS INCLUDE:
  • Fitness
  • Physical fitness
  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Muscular strength and muscular endurance
  • Flexibility
  • Motor fitness

LESSON 2. EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY

AIM

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.

SUBJECT AREAS INCLUDE:
  • 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

LESSON 3. EXERCISE PRINCIPLES and CARDIORESPIRATORY PROGRAMMING

AIM

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

SUBJECT AREAS INCLUDE:
  • The cardio-respiratory system
  • The heart
  • The cardiac cycle
  • The vascular system
  • Circulation

LESSON 4. PHYSIOLOGY SYSTEMS

AIMS
  • To explain different physiological systems of the body.
  • To explain movement of materials in and out of living cells.
SUBJECT AREAS INCLUDE:
  • Osmosis and Diffusion
  • Digestive system
  • Urinary system
  • Endocrine system
  • Respiratory System
  • Breathing action

LESSON 5. INTRODUCTION TO BIOMECHANICS

AIM

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

SUBJECT AREAS INCLUDE:
  • 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)

LESSON 6. BIOMECHANICS and RISK

AIMS
  • To evaluate body movements during different exercises.
  • To explain the human nervous system, in terms of structure and basic functions.
SUBJECT AREAS INCLUDE:
  • Nervous system
  • Training and risk
  • Injury prevention tips

LESSON 7. AQUAFITNESS

AIM

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

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

    LESSON 8. FITNESS PROGRAM DESIGN

    AIM

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

    SUBJECT AREAS INCLUDE:
      • 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

      LESSON 9. DELIVERING A FITNESS PROGRAM

      AIM

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

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

      LESSON 10. ERGOGENIC AIDS TO PERFORMANCE

      AIM

      Explain ergogenic aids to body performance during activity/exercise.

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

        LESSON 11. REGULATING BODY PHYSIOLOGY

        AIM

        Explain body regulation processes

        SUBJECT AREAS INCLUDE:
        •  The acid base balance
        • The effect of changing atmospheric pressure
        • Temperature regulation
        • Acid Base balance
        • Acidity

        LESSON 12. SAFETY, ETHICS, INJURY and GENERAL WELL-BEING

        AIM

        To manage the well-being of participants in a fitness program, including safety and injury.

        SUBJECT AREAS INCLUDE:
        • Ethical practice
        • Safety and injury
        • General well-being, which can cover psychological as well as physiological well-being.
        • Sample Screening Questionnaire
        • Sample Medical Clearance form

        LESSON 13. FITNESS PROGRAMS FOR SPECIAL GROUPS

        AIM

        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).

        SUBJECT AREAS INCLUDE:
          • 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

           

          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

          Opportunities

          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 well-being, 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 well-being 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 -

          • Undertaking some study.
          • 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

          Learn More - Study the Fitness Leader Certificate - Or ask for help in Choosing the Right Course

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          If you have any questions or need help in choosing a course - get in touch with our expert tutors today; they will be pleased to hear from you.

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