LWT 240 - Health Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer
Introduces the skills and knowledge needed to become a certified personal trainer. Covers how to screen and evaluate prospective clients, design safe and effective exercise programs, identify physiological and psychological response to exercise, promote lifestyle behavior modification, quantify the energy cost of work (physical activity), and communicate effectively. Includes self-employment issues as well as legal issues.
Prerequisite(s): Prerequisites: BIO 101W or BIO 152W ; and LWT 251 or BIO 251; and LWT 230 with a "C" (2.0) minimum grade.
Lecture Hours: 60 Lab Hours: 0
Meets MTA Requirement: None
Outcomes and Objectives Outcome 1: Explain the specific components of physical fitness and the health value of
A. Describe the elements of total fitness.
B. Demonstrate the role of physical activity in affecting quality of life.
C. Describe the goals and behaviors of a healthy lifestyle.
D. Describe the link between physical activity and lowered risk of premature health problems.
Outcome 2: Explain the guidelines for medical screening and safety as applied to
individual and group exercise program.
A. Understand the pathophysiology of arteriosclerosis and other cardiovascular problems.
B. Identify risk factors for coronary heart disease and designate those that may be favorable to
modify by regular and appropriate physical activity habits.
C. Differentiate between the amount and type of exercise required for various health benefits
and that required for fitness development.
D. Identify short- and long-term benefits associated with fitness participation.
E. Be aware of the risks associated with exercise participation.
Outcome 3: Explain and demonstrate basic knowledge of exercise physiology.
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A. Indicate the methods by which muscle produces energy aerobically and anaerobically and
evaluate the importance of each type of energy production in fitness and sport activities.
B. Describe the structure of skeletal muscle and the sliding filament theory of muscle contraction.
C. Describe tension development in terms of twitch, summation, and tetanus, and describe the
role of recruitment of muscle fiber types in exercise of increasing intensities.
D. Describe the various fuels for muscle work and the effect of exercise intensity and duration
on the respiratory exchange ratio.
E. Describe the effect of types of exercise tests, training, heredity, gender, age, altitude, carbon
monoxide, and cardiovascular and pulmonary disease on VO2 max.
F. Describe how the ventilatory threshold and the lactate threshold are indicators of fitness as
well as predictors of performance in endurance events.
G. Explain the changes in heart rate, stroke volume, cardiac output, and oxygen extraction
during a graded exercise test and the effect of training on those responses.
H. Link the variation in VO2 max in the population to differences in maximal cardiac output and
I. Describe the changes in systolic blood pressure and the double product during a graded
exercise test and how they differ for arm and leg work.
J. Summarize the effects of endurance training on muscle, metabolic, and cardiovascular
responses to submaximal work, and VO2 max.
K. Describe the effect of reduced training or cessation of training on VO2 max, and the degree
to which endurance training effects are specific to the muscles involved in the training.
L. Describe how men and women differ in their cardiovascular responses to graded exercise.
M. Contrast the cardiovascular responses measured during dynamic exercise with those
measured during isometric exercise or heavy resistance training exercise.
N. Contrast the importance of the different mechanisms for heat loss during heavy exercise and
during submaximal exercise in a hot environment, and describe the effect of training in a hot
and humid environment with no heat tolerance.
Outcome 4: Explain and demonstrate basic knowledge of kinesiology.
A. Distinguish between synarthrodial, amphiathrodial, and diathrodial joints, both structurally and
functionally, and identify the structure of a diathrodial joint.
B. List the factors that determine range and direction of motion at the joints.
C. Name and demonstrate the movements possible at each joint.
D. Describe forces that can cause joint movement and that can resist movement caused by
E. Describe the gross structure of a muscle.
F. Explain how muscle tension can be increased.
G. Describe the phases of a ballistic movement including the type of muscle contraction.
H. Explain the differences between concentric, eccentric, and isometric muscle contractions.
I. Describe the role of muscles.
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J. List the major muscles in each muscle group, and identify the major actions and joint(s) of
involvement of the following muscles: trapezius, serratus anterior, deltoid, pectoralis major,
latissimus dorsi, biceps
K. Cite specific errors that occur during exercise for the vertebral column, lumbosacral joints,
and knee joint.
Outcome 5: Explain and demonstrate basic knowledge of biomechanics.
A. Analyze locomotion, throwing, cycling, jumping, and swimming for the movements and muscle
B. Describe good lifting techniques.
C. Describe torque and its relationship to muscle contractions.
D. Describe how an exerciser can change body segment positions to alter the resistive torque.
Outcome 6: Determine the energy cost of all types of physical activity.
A. Describe how oxygen consumption measurements can be used to estimate energy
production and list the number of calories derived per liter of oxygen and per gram of
carbohydrate, fat, and protein.
B. Express energy expenditure as L · min-1, kcal · min-1, ml · kg-1, min-1, METs, and kcal . kg-1 .
C. Estimate the oxygen cost of walking, jogging, and running, including the cost of walking and
running one mile.
D. Estimate the oxygen cost of cycle ergometry exercise for both arm and leg work.
E. Estimate the oxygen cost of bench stepping.
F. Identify the approximate energy cost of recreational, sport, and other activities; and describe
the effect of environmental factors on the heart rate response to a fixed work rate.
Outcome 7: Explain and demonstrate knowledge of basic nutrition.
A. List the six essential nutrients, describing their role in the proper functioning of the body, and
list the recommended percentages of calories from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
B. Discuss the appropriate assessment of dietary intake.
C. Describe the role of the USDA Food Guide Pyramid and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines in making
healthy nutritional choices.
D. Explain the relationship between the blood lipid profile and cardiovascular disease and the
role of diet and exercise in modifying blood lipids.
E. Describe appropriate methods for maintaining hydration during exercise.
F. Discuss the protein, vitamin, and mineral needs of a physically active person.
G. Describe an appropriate means for maximizing glycogen storage prior to competition.
H. List the three components of the female athlete triad.
Outcome 8: Explain and demonstrate the techniques for assessment of body
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A. Discuss the impact of weight and body composition on health and physical fitness and
describe the health implications for different types of body fat distribution patterns.
B. Discuss the importance of body composition analysis in assessing physical fitness.
C. Identify common measurement sites for skinfolds.
D. Identify common measurement sites for girths.
E. Assess body compositions using a variety of techniques and describe the advantages and
disadvantages of these techniques.
Outcome 9: Describe the guidelines for safe and successful weight control and the role of
exercise in the maintenance of desirable body fat levels.
A. Describe the typical changes in body composition that occur with aging.
B. Describe the role that energy balance plays in weight loss/weight maintenance.
C. Identify the factors that contribute to obesity.
D. Prescribe guidelines for caloric intake to facilitate weight loss or weight gain.
E. Describe appropriate and inappropriate weight loss goals, discuss the role of exercise in
weight loss and weight maintenance, and prescribe safe and effective exercise programs
for obese individuals.
F. Describe appropriate behavioral change strategies for modifying and/or maintaining body
G. State the efficacy of quick-fix weight loss methods.
H. Discuss the link between body weight and self-esteem.
I. Recognize signs of eating disorders.
J. Prescribe health guidelines for gaining weight.
Outcome 10: Explain and demonstrate the techniques for assessment of
cardiorespiratory endurance and blood pressure.
A. Describe the relationship of cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) to health and list reasons for
doing CRF testing as well as risks associated with CRF testing.
B. Present a logical sequence of testing.
C. Describe procedures for conducting walking and jogging/running field tests to estimate CRF.
D. Contrast the treadmill, cycle ergometer, and bench step as instruments to use in doing graded
exercise tests (GXTs).
E. List variables measured during a GXT.
F. Describe procedures used prior to, during, and following testing.
G. Contrast submaximal and maximal GXTs.
H. Describe the heart rate extrapolation procedures to estimate VO2 max using submaximal
treadmill, cycle, and bench step GXTs.
Outcome 11: Explain and demonstrate the techniques for assessment of muscular
strength and endurance.
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A. Define muscular strength and endurance and list the factors related to muscle strength.
B. List the physiological adaptations associated with strength training in males and females and
describe maturational changes in bone and muscle as people age.
C. Describe the common theories related to the cause of delayed-onset muscle soreness
D. List the factors related to muscle fatigue and contrast fast-twitch muscle fibers in terms of
E. Describe isometric, dynamic (isotonic), and isokinetic test to assess muscular strength.
F. Describe field tests to evaluate muscular endurance.
Outcome 12: Explain and demonstrate the techniques for assessment of flexibility and the
relationship with range of motion.
A. Describe the relationship between flexibility/range of motion (ROM) and low-back function.
B. List five factors that can affect the degree of an individual's flexibility/ROM.
C. Describe the amount of flexion that can occur between the rib cage and the sacrum and
state a rule of thumb to follow in performing lumbar extension exercises.
D. Explain why having good ROM at the hip joint is important to having a healthy back.
E. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of the sit-and-reach tests.
F. Characterize the “dose” of exercise in an exercise prescription and identify means by which
a health-related effect might occur.
G. Explain the concepts of overload and specificity as they relate to training programs.
H. Describe general guidelines related to cardiorespiratory fitness programs, including those
related to warm-up and cool-down.
I. Develop an exercise prescription for correct exercise intensity, duration, and frequency to
achieve and maintain cardiorespiratory fitness goals.
J. Express exercise intensity in terms of energy production, heart rate, and rating of perceived
K. Contrast the approaches used for developing exercise prescriptions for the general public,
the fit population, and for people whose complete GXT results are available; and describe the
differences between a supervised and an unsupervised program.
L. Describe the effects of temperature and humidity, altitude, and pollution on the exercise
Outcome 13: Explain and demonstrate the techniques for improvement of muscular
strength and endurance.
A. Explain the principles of overload, specificity, and progression and how they relate to
B. Describe the adaptations of muscle to aerobic and anaerobic training.
C. Describe the following methods of resistance training: isometric, dynamic (constant
resistance, variable resistance, and circuit training), isokinetic, and plyometric.
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D. Compare the effectiveness of the different methods of resistance training.
E. Describe the following systems of resistance training: super set, pyramid set, and split
F. Describe a resistance training program for increasing or maintaining bone mass.
G. Contrast the training program used for strength gains versus maintenance of strength and
describe the symptoms of over-training.
H. Identify the physiological principles related to warm-up and cool-down exercises.
I. Describe the basic precautions to take in a weight room to ensure participant safety.
J. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship among number of repetitions, intensity,
number of sets, and rest with regard to resistance training programs for strength and
Outcome 14: Explain and demonstrate knowledge of injury prevention.
A. Describe a motion segment, the shock absorbers of the spine, and the role of the facet joints.
B. Differentiate between functional and structural spinal curves and describe limitations that
either may impose on exercise programs for the afflicted individual.
C. Explain why it is important that the muscles of the trunk should be able to control pelvic
D. Differentiate between the low-back problems typically seen in adults and those seen in youth.
E. Explain why full sit-ups should not be done.
F. Describe how the anatomical limitations of range of motion (ROM) should be a factor as you
prescribe ROM exercises for your clients.
Outcome 15: Identify risk factors for both apparently healthy individuals and those with
A. Modify the exercise prescription for the following populations and controlled diseases and
3. Pregnant women
4. Orthopedic limitation
5. Type I diabetes
6. Type II diabetes
9. Seizure disorder
10. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
11. Cardiac disease
Outcome 16: Effectively demonstrate counseling individuals concerning lifestyle stress
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A. Describe how the HFI deals with different personalities in an exercise setting.
B. Explain how to enhance motivation to begin and continue exercise.
C. List techniques to communicate with individuals in group programs.
D. Describe the components of stress.
E. Explain how physical activity may affect stress.
F. List ways to minimize unhealthy stress levels.
G. Identify techniques that can be used in an exercise program to facilitate skill development in
H. Describe the trans-theoretical model and stages involved in health behavior change.
I. Discuss the role of motivation in exercise adoption and adherence and identify six specific
behavior change strategies for facilitating and adoption and maintenance of exercise.
J. Describe strategy health fitness instructors (HFIs) and personal fitness trainers (PFTs) can
use to monitor and support behavior change.
K. Describe ways that relapse prevention can be applied to exercise behavior.
L. Identify effective communication skills useful in motivating and fostering health behavior
Outcome 17: Demonstrate abilities and qualities of the HFI.
A. Demonstrate the qualities of an effective Health Fitness Instructor
1. Access to material resources and services
2. Knowledge and experience
3. Legitimate authority
4. Ability to generate expectations of success
5. Believable instructions and plans
6. Model of healthy behavior
7. Patience to help the participant build small changes upon one another
8. Ability to enhance the problem-solving skills of the participant
13. Commitment to providing timely, specific feedback
Outcome 18: Explain and demonstrate knowledge of injury prevention.
A. Describe ways to minimize injury risk and prevent the transmission of blood borne pathogens.
B. Describe the signs and symptoms of soft-tissue injuries (sprains, strains, contusions, and
heel bruise), how to provide initial treatment of injuries, and when to use heat in long-term
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C. Identify signs, symptoms, and proper treatment measure for bone injuries, wounds, and
common skin irritations.
D. Describe the causes of heat-related disorders, how to prevent heat illness, and how to treat
a heat-related emergency when it occurs and provide guidelines for fluid replacement before
and after exercise.
E. Explain the causes of cold-related disorders and how to prevent frosting, superficial and
deep frostbite, and hypothermia, and how to treat a cold-related emergency when it occurs.
F. Distinguish between the signs and symptoms of a diabetic coma and those of insulin shock;
describe the proper treatment for each.
G. Identify common cardiovascular and pulmonary complications resulting from participation in
H. Identify the signs, symptoms, and management of common orthopedic problems; classify
injuries into mild, moderate, and severe; and recommend appropriate modification of exercise
programs when injury occurs.
I. Describe procedures to check vital signs.
J. Describe artificial respiration and cardiopulmonary techniques for adults.
Outcome 19: Explain and demonstrate basic knowledge of the heart’s anatomy and
A. Describe the basic anatomy of the heart.
B. Describe the basic electrophysiology of the heart.
C. Define the electrocardiogram and identify the standard settings for paper speed and
D. Identify the basic electrocardiogram complexes and calculate heart rate from
electrocardiograph rhythm strips.
E. Describe the various types of atrioventricular conduction defects and their probable impact
on a subject’s exercise response.
F. Identify the normal and abnormal cardiac rhythms and their significance, and predict the
probable impact of the abnormal rhythms on exercise performance.
G. Describe electrocardiographic signs and biochemical markers of a heart attack.
H. List the common categories of prescription medications used to treat cardiovascular and
related disease, some of the members of each category, and the probable impact of these
medications on exercise performance.
Outcome 20: Explain the guidelines for medical screening and safety as applied to
individual and group exercise programs.
A. Describe the importance of long-range planning.
B. Describe the personnel and working environment recommended for a fitness program.
C. Identify the elements of a comprehensive fitness program.
D. Explain the elements of the budget.
E. Describe the equipment recommended for a fitness program.
F. Explain the importance of communication with staff, participants, and the public.
G. Describe the importance of keeping records of all aspects of a fitness program.
H. Describe the importance of evaluation.
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