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Course Descriptions

Online Certificate in Fitness Business Management

Course 1: Business Development and Entrepreneurship in Fitness
Dan Ritchie, MS, CSCS

This course examines the planning process for starting a new venture, as well as the most common approaches to develop a strategic business plan for specific types of health and fitness-related facilities.  The course presents the skill-sets and competencies that the fitness manager needs in order to be a successful entrepreneur, owner, or department head.  Studies of topics include planning policies and procedures, entrepreneurship, business plan development, budget formulation, and strategic planning.

Course 2: Financial Principles and Business Concepts
Ken Baldwin, M.ED, ACSM-H/FI

This course provides an introduction to financial and managerial accounting concepts, revenue and budgetary procedures, and the financial status necessary to be a successful business entity in the fitness industry.  Topics include fee structures, financial impact analysis, price setting strategies, financial forecasting, and the relationship between financial analysis and strategic business planning.  The course examines additional business concepts including purchasing, contractual agreements, risk management and negligence, technology issues, and other fiscal concerns.

Course 3: Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service Management (CSM)
Dan Ritchie, MS, CSCS

This course offers a comprehensive exploration of how successful marketing and branding guides a company’s business strategy and influences, discovers, and creates a demand for fitness services and products. Examination of the elements of the marketing mix as they pertain to the fitness enterprise include sales and service management strategies, customer relationship management methods, and sales techniques in fitness.

Course 4: Fitness Management and Business Administration
Ken Baldwin, M.ED, ACSM-H/FI

This course provides an examination of the organization and administration of for profit and not-for-profit health/fitness facilities, with emphasis on business management principles and operational concepts, including organizational structure, facility management, industry standards and guidelines, personnel management, and management practices.  The course helps the fitness manager develop leadership skills, managerial or administrative skills, and interpersonal or human skills. The course is supplemented by the analysis and review of fitness management situations through observations and case studies.   

Course 5: Optional Elective-Field Internship in Fitness Management
Ken Baldwin, M.ED, ACSM-H/FI

Prerequisite: 4 Core Courses
NOTE: This course is an optional course and is not required to receive the Professional Certificate.  Learn to work with professionals in the fitness and health industry for a Fitness Management experience interning at fitness facilities and health centers.  Students intern for 60 total hours in this course.


About the Program Coordinators and Instructors

Program Coordinator and Instructor:
Ken Baldwin, M.ED, ACSM-H/FI
Ken Baldwin, M.ED., is the Co-Coordinator for the Professional Certificate in Fitness Business Management Program.  He is the former Chair of IDEA’s National Personal Trainer Committee and Chair of the Senior Fitness Subcommittee for the Massachusetts’s Governor’s Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports.  Ken is the Senior Editor and lead author for the American College of Sports Medicine - ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer Manual (2nd Ed.) and textbook.  He continues to serve on national committees for ACSM, AAHPERD (AAPAR), and the Medical Fitness Association (MFA).   He has been honored with numerous awards including IDEA’s Personal Trainer of the Year Award, presented at the IDEA International Personal Training Summit.  If you have questions about the certificate program and courses, you may contact the Ken at

Ken Baldwin, M.ED, ACSM-H/FI
Professional Certificate in Fitness Business Management
IDEA Personal Trainer of Year Award Winner
Email Address:

Dan Ritchie, MS, CSCS
Dan Ritchie, MS, CSCS has a broad background in the fitness industry including training and management in commercial and university/hospital-based fitness, for-profit, not-for-profit and educational facilities.  His primary areas of expertise are in personal training for special populations: athletes, pregnancy, blind, stroke recovery, Parkinsons, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, etc.  He has worked with Division I athletes, as well as on state funded research on exercise for severe dementia Alzheimer’s type.  He regularly presents at national and regional conferences and has been active on committees for the American College of Sports Medicine.  In 2007 he will complete his Ph.D. in Health and Kinesiology at Purdue University.


Registration Information

The cost for each course is $249. The cost for the entire certificate is $996.

Register Now



Registration Information

The cost for each course is $249. The Optional Elective is $299. The cost for the entire certificate is $996 or $1295 with the optional elective.

Register Now

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Last modified on 9/22/14.