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Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment

Study Health & Fitness Management with ACS

  • Explore human wellness as well as fitness.
  • The course has an emphasis on common back and weight problems.
  • Look at elements such as understanding, recognising, and addressing back problems as well as weight control methods.


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Make Fitness Safer



 With this course you will learn to: 

  • Avoid mismatching exercises with participants
  • Put precautions in place to optimise benefits and minimize any negative affects of exercise
  • Reduce the risk of accidents or injury
  • Course duration: 100 hours of self paced study



There are 9 lessons as follows:

1. Understanding Human Wellness

  • Introduction
  • Self esteem
  • Motivation for learning
  • How to motivate students or clients
  • Reinforcement
  • Understanding Stress
  • Stress and the immune system
  • Long term(chronic) problems caused by stress
  • Physical fitness (anaerobic and aerobic)
  • Safety related issues with exercise : incorrect exercises
  • Safety in other aerobic activities
  • Identifying hazards
  • Safety maintenance in an aerobic exercise area
  • Safety audit

2. Advising on Human Wellness

  • Pre screening adults
  • Medical symptoms, signs, health problems to watch for
  • Communication with clients
  • Client screening questionnaire
  • Medical clearance
  • Legal liability for fitness instructors
  • What is a liability problem
  • Contributory negligence
  • Insurance

3. Fitness Tests

  • Risk prevention
  • Before any fitness test
  • Reasons for fitness testing
  • What to test
  • What to measure: weight, blood pressure, Body weight and percentage fat
  • Heart rate
  • Lung capacity
  • Cardiovascular score
  • Evaluating cardiorespiratory endurance
  • Evaluating muscular strength and endurance
  • Designing fitness tests
  • Recommended procedure for conducting a new fitness test series
  • Test conditions
  • Combination of tests

4. Interpreting Fitness Tests

  • Introduction
  • Fatigue during fitness testing
  • Atmostpheric pressure affects
  • Calculations

5. Understanding Back Problems

  • Back terminology
  • Types of spinal injuries
  • Muscular injury
  • Neurological injuries

6. Recognising and Addressing Back Problems

  • Reducing risk
  • Ergonomics
  • Posture
  • Standing
  • Lying
  • Furniture design
  • Computer use
  • Exercises for the back
  • Workplace health and safety issues
  • Indicators of back injury

7. Preventative Back Care

  • PBL Project with the following aims:
  • To identify five common back problems and consider how these problems affect the quality of one’s life.
  • To design exercise guidelines for people already suffering from back problems, from beginner to advanced level of exercise skill.
  • To design exercise guidelines that will prevent back injury in healthy individuals, for beginners to advanced levels of exercise skill.
  • To design a management plan for an exercise facility that will allow for the guidelines in (2) and (3) to be implemented.
  • Establish a procedure for reviewing and evaluating the program.

8. Understanding Weight Control

  • Principle of weight control
  • Endochrinology
  • Nutritional advice
  • Energy required for different activities
  • The science of nutrition
  • Energy production
  • Factors affecting BMR
  • Working with an obese client
  • Working with an underweight client

9. Weight Control Methods

  • Role of exercise in weight control
  • A plan for losing weight
  • Water
  • Water retention
  • Athletes and nutrition
  • Weight management PBL Project, with the following aims:
    • To work with a client with a body mass problem and to determine the extent of this problem.
    • Be able to plan a body fat reduction and maintenance program combining both exercise and diet.
    • To consider the opposite situation, that is, where a client is underweight, and to plan a program to remedy this.
    • Design a well balanced daily meal plan for yourself incorporating all necessary food groups and nutrients.


  • Develop skills which will enable you to advise clients on basic health issues, and promote a common sense approach to fitness and well being.
  • Develop a foundation which enables the development of skills to carry out basic tests on clients.
  • Be able to recognise back problems and postural defects, and subsequently assist in prescribing safe exercises; adhering to occupational safety measures.
  • Develop skills and techniques to assess client needs then assist in prescribing programs to help clients control their body mass.

Here are just some of the things you will be doing:
  • Describe the health status of the population living in your country, using current statistics and information.
  • Describe health habits that contribute to well being and longevity.
  • Explain the limitations of the person you interviewed and how their exercise routine may be altered/modified.
  • Explain the implications of drugs (prescribed and non-prescription drugs) to personal health and wellbeing and fitness.
  • Describe the warning signs of heart disease.
  • Outline actions for each warning sign to avoid heart problems.
  • Design a beginners fitness program for a person predisposed to CHR (Coronary Heart Risk).
  • List the medical and alternative medicine practitioners involved in the health field and describe their relationship to health service.
  • Explain how you conducted the fitness testing with respect to... -taking pulse at rest and during exercise. -using an HR monitor such as a polar. -using a sphygmomanometer
  • Explain the following:
    • VO2 max prediction test
    • PWC170 test
    • aerobic tri-level test
  • Describe how the fitness test results you obtained from a set task can be used.
  • Set a safe program for a client according to their desired outcome and ability level, using information from the screening and fitness evaluation based on a set task.
  • Identify ten (10) different health problems that may restrict exercise performance, excluding back related problems.
  • Draw a simple sketch of the spine, identifying structures and segments, including each of the spinal curvatures.
  • List any lifestyle factors you can think of that contribute to back pain?
  • Explain the purpose of a potentially dangerous or ineffective exercises and demonstrate safer alternatives.
  • What illnesses (diseases) can cause back pain?
  • What structural problems (ie. physical damage to the body), can cause back pain?
  • Identify the major postural and phasis muscles that contribute to maintaining correct body alignment and explain how they function.
  • What things might cause injury and burn out to a fitness instructor in their daily work?
  • Write down a list of guidelines or rules for fitness instructors to follow to avoid back problems.
  • Produce a small booklet that illustrates and explains basic flexibility exercises that could be performed as a prevention exercise to back pain. Also add in a list of do's and don'ts for people to follow.
  • Write down what you eat over a 24 hour period, and then:
    • Calculate the calories in this diet.
    • Determine how well the nutrients are balanced in this diet.
  • Write a report on what you believe about genetics and the environment influencing peoples weight gain and loss.
  • Write a report about anorexia and bulimia.


The health and safety of gym users is affected by how the gym is designed:
Equipment must be designed ergonomically (i.e. to fit the shape of the body using it). Everyone has a different shape, therefore the best equipment is that which is designed with the flexibility to be adapted to the shape (and personal needs) of the individual using it.
Degree of difficulty (e.g. resistance) should be adjustable over a wide range. (I.e. The least and most capable persons must both be able to use the equipment).
The machine must be adaptable for the persons size & shape (e.g. seats on bikes should raise and lower). (NB: If equipment does not properly adjust, a user may attempt to use it when it is not right for them...and that can lead to injury).\
Equipment should be spaced well apart so that:
  • movement around the gym doesn't interfere with a user
  • use of one piece of equipment does not interfere with use of other equipment.
Adequate floor space should be provided for stretching and abdominal exercises to be carried out well away from other equipment, and out of walkways.
How the equipment is being used:
  • Users must be properly informed about how to use equipment.
  • Signs, instruction cards, posters etc. are valuable tools for doing this
  • Patrons may be given a video to borrow on how to use a piece of equipment
  • A well managed gym will instruct users on equipment use before allowing them into the facility.
  • Fitness leaders may need to supervise the use of a gym to correct any misuse of equipment by patrons.
Maintenance issues
  • Equipment should be solid and well maintained
  • There should be no loose, slippery, wobbly or sharp parts on any item of equipment.
Routine maintenance
The things outlined below should be checked, and where necessary replaced, as part of the routine maintenance of any gym.
Things which are inclined to deteriorate in a gymnasium include:

a/ Any moving parts on machines

  • Cables can lose strength, wear & break.
  • Connections can weaken & break
  • Sharp or abrasive surfaces may develop
  • Screws or bolts can loosen (and even be lost).
b/ Surfaces which frequently are touched:
  • Rubber hand grips on bikes
  • Seats on bikes, rowing machines etc.
  • Treads on stepping machines
  • Hand grips on weight machines
  • Any such surfaces need to remain non slip, and non abrasive.
c/ Floor surfaces which receive frequent traffic
  • Carpets can wear thin
  • Timber floors can loose their grip or "slipperiness"
  • Timber floors may splinter in extreme cases
  • In extreme situations, holes may develop or parts of a floor covering may lift (someone may trip on such things)
d/ Electrical
  • Batteries can run down on heart monitors or similar equipment.
  • Electrical cords and plugs may become frayed, may be tripped on, wires can become loose, etc.
  • Intermittent errors may arise in electrical machines such as treadmills, rowing and stepping machines, etc.
Certain things in a gym will wear out, and should be replaced periodically.
The frequency of replacing such items will depend on:
  • Quality/nature of original equipment or item
  • Amount of use (wear & tear)
Such routine maintenance will include:
  • Replacing a power point
  • Replacing wires/cables on machines, chains on bikes etc.
  • Replacing worn, damaged or lost bolts, screws etc.
Over Use
If a gym is over used, equipment will deteriorate faster. Damaged equipment is more likely to be used. People get in each others way, and accidents are more likely to occur.
How to deal with over use:
  • restrict access times, extend access times
  • increase charges
  • restrict membership numbers
  • reorganise facilities (e.g. move gym to a larger room)
  • extend/build/buy more facilities or increase equipment.
  • manage use (Supervise the use of facilities, use more structured programs (e.g. fitness circuits),

Lack of attention to some aspects of building maintenance may lead to serious health and safety problems. This in return may develop into serious liability problems if people are injured in any way. Some issues of particular concern include:
  • People can trip or fall more easily on steps than many other surfaces.
  • Hand rails reduce the likelihood of anyone tripping on a stem, but a poorly maintained hand rail can become loose, and in fact may contribute towards someone falling. Check hand rails regularly.
  • Slippery surfaces on steps are also dangerous. -If a step is at all slippery, you may need to fix a non slip tread to it (e.g. glue a piece of rubber mat).
  • Walking surfaces need to have a grip so people do not slip. Highly polished floors may be dangerous. A slippery mat placed on a highly polished floor can be particularly dangerous.
  • Playing surfaces for some sports indoors, need to be slippery (e.g. basket ball). Such surfaces may pose a problem if the same facility is used for duel purposes such as for functions such as a reception or party.
  • Slippery floors lead to injury
Check the stability of seating. Seats can become damaged and weakened. If left unattended, people may become hurt. Grand stands should not be over crowded. Floor surfaces may be uneven making seats wobble.
Legs of seats need to be strong enough to support the largest people who sit on them. Some inexpensive seats may not be adequate for this purpose. In an extreme situation, seating may collapse.
Dangerous surfaces
Some surfaces can be dangerous (e.g. hot outlets from heaters, cold parts of refrigeration equipment, electrically charged surfaces, slippery surfaces, sharp or rough surfaces etc).
Splinters, rough areas or sharp edges may develop on poorly maintained or damaged surfaces.
Guards may be necessary to protect people from dangerous surfaces such as the above.
You may need to determine needs, and supply guards where needed.
You may need to remove or repair the dangerous object (e.g. sand papering, filing, and coating the surface).
Guards need to be checked regularly to ensure they are properly fixed and in a good state of repair.
Loose Objects
Loose objects can be a serious safety hazard, if they are not expected.
If equipment (e.g. children’s toys, tools or games equipment) is left lying about, it may be stood or tripped on.
Broken windows, glasses or crockery can leave dangerous fragments on the ground or floor. Some types of classes may result in dangerous objects being left behind (e.g. dressmaking leaving pins). Areas affected in this way need to be cleaned thoroughly (e.g. a very strong and thorough vacuum) before being used again.
Various things can spill on the floor. Some create a problem with fumes given off, others make a floor slippery, and others may simply "dirty" the floor requiring restricting traffic which may compound the problem. Some spills can seriously damage a floor (Some solvents may dissolve the floor surface). Accidents with animals or children may result in a surface being covered with vomit or urine.
The way in which a spill is treated will depend on the material which is spilled, and the surface on which it is spilled. Absorbent materials need to be kept on hand for some types of spills (e.g. sawdust on a floor to soak up oil, petrol, grease etc). Carpet cleaners should also be kept on hand.
Portable barriers and appropriate signs should be kept to use when a spill occurs and cannot be immediately and effectively attended to. If a spill produces undesirable fumes, the area should be immediately ventilated by opening all windows and doors; and if need be, closing off the area to people until the fumes have gone.
Managing the maintenance of a facility will undoubtedly require frequent repairs to damage. It is important to have access to reliable and competent tradesmen, who respond quickly.
Some facilities may employ a handyman who can handle some repairs.
There will always be a need for some interim action to be taken when a problem is detected, until a permanent repair can be affected. Such action may include:
  • Temporary repairs
  • Restricting access to an area
  • Erecting signs
  • Cleaning
Broken windows
If it is not possible to repair a window immediately it may be covered temporarily with a sheet of clear, heavy duty polythene (as is used for greenhouse covers -available from greenhouse suppliers).
This should be fixed by attaching (nailing or screwing) softwood battens on all four sides (NB: nails alone will not hold polythene -it will tear easily).
Tarpaulins can be used for temporary covers.
Small holes in plaster can be easily patched (e.g. with polyfiller).
After the plaster dries, it should be sanded back to a smooth surface then the area painted over.
Ventilation equipment and air conditioners should only be repaired by qualified electricians, plumbers, etc.

So ... Why should I take this course?

  • Learn about human wellness - understand the elements that contribute to this. 
  • Learn how to make sure exercises are appropriate to participants.
  • Learn how to recognise potential injuries/problems and what processes to put into place to prevent these.
  • Fitness and wellbeing is important, but it is crucial to understand problems that arise from exercise - this course identifies issues and shows how you can avoid and manage potential risks.





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