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Personal Training and Group Exercise Training for Older Adults

The Personal Training and Group Exercise Training for Older Adults is a comprehensive Web-based program (with an Optional Field Internship course) designed to establish a national standard to ensure the development of safe and effective exercise programs for older adults by personal trainers, allied health/medical and fitness professionals, and the general public.  The certificate program has been designed to incorporate curriculum standards from the " International Curriculum Guidelines for Preparing Physical Activity Instructors of Older Adults" in collaboration with and endorsed by the World Health Organization.  The program will supply essential educational pathways and job opportunities to begin a career working with senior/older adults in the emerging fitness/health industry; for established fitness professionals who desire advanced education in working with older adults; and for allied health and medical professionals from all fields seeking to design specialized exercise and wellness programs for their older adult clients and patients. 

Graduating students will be prepared for a career working with older adults at senior centers, medically-based fitness facilities, retirement communities, YMCA/JCC’s, hospitals, community wellness programs, personal training studios, physical therapy clinics, long-term care facilities, corporate fitness centers, collegiate settings, and private and commercial health clubs.  In addition, the certificate will also prepare individual 50+ exercise enthusiasts in the development of a personalized program based on current research and organizational guidelines. 

The program is offered in partnership with the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA), the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA), the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) , and Healthways SilverSneakersĀ® Fitness Program. Graduating students will receive preferred discounts for the SFA's certification exams (Senior Personal Trainer Certification or the Senior Fitness Instructor Certification), the AEA's certification exam (Aquatic Exercise Association Fitness Professional Certification), and for Healthways Instructor Accreditation for Older Adult Exercise. In addition, the ICAA has provided content/curriculum for the program.

“With the burgeoning growth of the 50+ "Baby Boomer" market, the fitness industry needs qualified instructors that can safely and effectively design exercise programs that take into account the needs and interests of this group. Students will learn how to develop programs for older adults based on important factors such as their age, gender, functional level, health status, medication usage and personal interests."--Cody Sipe, PhD
Former Program Coordinator for the senior certificate program and past winner of IDEA’s Program Director of the Year Award

Who Should Attend

  • Current allied health/medical and fitness professionals and personal trainers interested in developing safe and effective exercise programs for older adults
  • Current fitness managers and directors wishing to manage and market new programs to older adults
  • Education directors of multi-site facilities or chains training fitness professionals to work with older adults
  • Companies that require the certificate program as a professional development program for employees to achieve key business goals, career objectives, and skills to advance beyond entry-level positions
  • Individual senior and older exercise enthusiasts interested in seeking to stay current in exercise program design, health, and wellness would benefit from this program as well

Workplace Advantages and Benefits

  • On-going guidance, instruction, and interaction from instructors that hold either a Master’s or Ph.D. degree in exercise science, biomechanics, exercise physiology, kinesiology, physical therapy, nutrition or an exercise science-related degree.  Our instructors will support their students and become valuable resources and mentors well after they graduate.
  • Optional-Field Internship in Older Adult Exercise (Elective)
  • A professional certificate from an accredited institution.
  • College courses provide CECs or CEUs for personal trainers and allied health/medical professionals seeking re-certification, re-licensure, or career advancement.
  • Networking opportunities with industry experts.

Program Requirements

To earn the certificate you are required to complete all four core courses.  You may also elect to take the optional field internship course.  The four core courses are offered in a two-module format; the modules consist of two courses each that may be taken at the same time.  You are not required to take the courses in any order; however it is highly recommended that you begin with the two courses in module 1: Socio-Physiological Aspects of Aging & Designing Older Adult Exercise Programs.  You may also register for individual courses if desired.  The two-module series is scheduled on a rolling basis, so you can enroll whenever you are ready.

Award of the Certificate:

To receive the certificate, students must:

  • Complete all four core courses within a period of two years
  • Complete and receive a passing grade of (C- or above) in all courses, including quizzes, exams, written/research projects, and class assignments
  • Certificates will be mailed to students upon successful completion of the program.

Courses are offered on a rolling basis.

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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.

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Related Links

Course Descriptions

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Last modified on 10/24/2014.
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