HPE-156: Personal Training

This course is INACTIVE
Health & Human Services
Fitness Leadership
Academic Level
Course Subject
Health & Physical Education
Course Number
Course Title
Personal Training
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
47.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
Catalog Course Description

Offers preparation for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) Personal Trainer Certification Exam and other national exams. Covers the skill set and information necessary to provide personal training to clients in a fitness center as well as one-on-one instruction.

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement

The goal of this course is to prepare the individual to train clients in a safe and knowledgeable manner.

Core Course Topics
  1. Role of Personal Trainer and Scope of Practice
  2. Exercise Science: Exercise Physiology, Human Anatomy, Biomechanics and Applied Kinesiology
  3. Screening and Evaluation: Health Screening, Testing and Evaluation, Functional Assessments and Physiological Assessments
  4. Principles and Methods of Training: Cardiorespiratory Training (Programs and Progression), Muscular Strength and Endurance, Resistance Training Program Design (Programming and Progressions), and Flexibility
  5. Individualized Program Design: Programming for the Healthy Adult, Special Populations and Health Concerns
  6. Leadership and Implementation: Principlesof Adherence Motivations and Behavior Change, Communication and Teaching Techniques and Building Rapport
  7. Injury Prevention and First Aid: Musculoskeletal Injuries, and Emergency Procedures
  8. Legal Issues: Legal Guidelines and Business Strategies
Core Course Learning Objectives (Separated)
  1. Identify unsafe and/or ineffective exercise techniques.
  2. Facilitate use of proper technique and determine exercise equipment operation (e.g. set-up, use, maintenance, safety).
  3. Identify proper spotting techniques for various activities and equipment (e.g. free weights, selectorized resistance machines, calisthenics).
  4. Use of quantitative (i.e., objective) data (e.g., frequency, intensity, duration to guide program implementation and modification.
  5. Determine exercise progression and modification required for various situations (e.g., plateaus, changes in intensity, compensation for injury or newly diagnosed conditions with physician approval to exercise).
  6. Determine scope of practice with respect to advice given to an injured client.
  7. Differentiate negligence laws, both comparative and contributory, as they pertain to personal training and other legal issues.
  8. Selection and proper usage of informed consent, waivers, and other such documents.
  9. Determine the limitations of waivers and informed consent.
  10. Summarize the characteristics, types of coverage, and appropriate units for professional and general liability insurance.
  11. Summarize the practices and procedures for acquiring, recording and securing all client information to ensure confidentiality.
  12. Discuss established protocols for obtaining heart rate and blood pressure.
  13. Discuss established protocols to assess cardiovascular disease, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition.
  14. Explain methods for each test/assessment procedure.
  15. Identify normal and abnormal physiological responses to cardiorespiratory endurance tests and criteria for test termination.
  16. Discuss current issues related to the personal trainer’s role in client assessment.
  17. Calculate energy cost of exercise for different populations.
  18. Combine behavioral and exercise science (e.g., goal-setting theory, metabolism, cardiorespiratory response).
  19. Discuss applicable standards, guidelines, and position statements published by accepted organizations (e.g., ACSM; ACOG; National Heart, Lung; and Blood Institute (NHLBI); American Dietetic Association (ADA); and AHA to use in the formulation of   recommendations)
  20. Discuss current standards and guidelines (e.g., ACSM, ACOG, AHA).
  21. Construct safety considerations as they apply to program design.
  22. Establish cardiorespiratory parameters (e.g., frequency, intensity, duration, type, and progression).
  23. Establish intensity for cardiorespiratory conditioning (e.g., MET, age-predicted heart rate, Karvonen, talk test, RPE).
  24. Calculate target heart-rate zone (THRZ) using heart-rate reserve (HRR) and age-predicted formulas.
  25. Evaluate techniques of cardiorespiratory conditioning (e.g., interval, Fartlek, endurance).
  26. Evaluate principles of muscular strength and endurance (e.g., sets and reps, load, order, rest periods).
  27. Assess and evaluate muscular training techniques (e.g., strength, power, hypertrophy, plyometrics, endurance).*
  28. Assess and evaluate principles and techniques for flexibility (e.g., proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation {PNF}, active-isolated, dynamic, & static).
  29. Combine the components of fitness (cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility) into a comprehensive physical activity program.
  30. Discuss biomechanical principles as they apply to exercise technique.
  31. Discuss weight management (e.g. NIH Guidelines on safe and effective weight loss methods, body weight and body composition, and the role of exercise and nutrition in weight management).
  32. Evaluate physical activity programming and potential adaptations for clients.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement
  1. Written Exams
  2. Demonstration of exercises and teaching techniques
  3. Practical-Design Personal Training Program


Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Credit for Prior College-Level Learning

Options for Credit for Prior College-Level Learning
Other Details

Current ACSM certification as a personal trainer.

Approval Dates

Effective Term
Fall 2019
Deactivation Date
ILT Approval Date
AALC Approval Date
Curriculum Committee Approval Date