NPTI Course Descriptions

The National Personal Training Institute Program is divided into 2 Modules.  Each Module is divided in 4 Courses for a total of 8 Courses during the program.  Students may start at the beginning of either Module but once that Module is begun the Courses in each Module must be followed in order that they are listed here.  Students will receive progress reports after the completion of each Course, Module, and Program.

Operational Definitions

Program – This is the single program currently offered by NPTI.  It consists of the entire 600 hour long personal training program.  At the end of the program students will either pass or fail based on their GPA for the program and attendance in class.

Module – A 290-310 hour long block of time within the NPTI program.  There are two modules in the 600 hour program: Module A is 290 hours long and Module B is 310 hours long.  Students may begin the Program starting with either Module A or Module B, but the module must be completed consecutively once it has begun.  Students must complete both Module A and Module B to complete the program.

Course – A 50-120 hour long block within the NPTI module.  Each module contains 4 courses.  The courses must be taught consecutively in the order they are presented in each module.  

Course Outline

Course Number Course Name Lecture Hours Lab/Practical Hours Total Clock Hours
101 Fundamentals of Personal Training 1 36 24 60
102 Fundamentals of Personal Training 2 36 24 60
181 Didactic Learning 0 50 50
182 Specialty Classes 32 18 50
203 Understanding the Human Body 48 32 80
204 Practical Methodology of Training 48 32 80
305 Advanced Concepts of Personal Training 60 40 100
306 Advanced Theories of Fitness 72 48 120
  TOTAL HOURS 332 268 600

Overview

The National Training Institute teaches with an integrated curriculum.  Throughout each module common themes such as basic anatomy, types of human movement, basic adaptations, general training principles, general nutrition principles, and key themes related to personal training are referenced and taught.  The course descriptions that follow highlight the key subjects of instruction covered in each course.

Module A Courses

Course 101: Fundamentals of Personal Training 1

This 60 hour course focuses on the fundamental information necessary to be successful as a personal trainer.  Information covered includes a focus on basic musculoskeletal anatomy; key terms and definitions; scope of practice for personal trainers and understanding the components of fitness; risk stratification and fitness assessments; how beginners should train; common fitness formulas; and an overview of nutrition. 

The specific muscles focused on are the muscles of the abs, obliques, and lower back.  There are no prerequisites for course 101.

Course 181: Specialty Classes

Students are required to attend ‘specialty classes’ for a total of 50 hours of instructional time at a pace set by NPTI.  These classes will typically be on a Sunday from 8:00 to 4:30 and will cover such specialty topics as advanced strength training, training athletes, advanced cardiovascular programming, dealing with injuries, etc.  Full time students should expect to attend 1 class a month for a total of 6 classes to meet the requirement. 

Part time students should expect to attend 1 class every other month for a total of 6 classes to meet the requirement.  While course 181 is counted as part of the module A grade, it can be completed at any point in the NPTI program.  There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course 203: Understanding the Human Body

This 80 hour course goes into detail about how the human body works.  The first part of the course goes into detail on the anatomy and physiology of a muscle cell; the physiological effects of exercise; and in depth information on how the body utilizes carbohydrates and fats. 

The second part of the course focuses on biomechanics; joint concerns during exercise; and the value of free weights and machines.  It also provides an in depth look at how the body utilizes protein and the concepts of energy balance and how to use food to manipulate body weight. 

The muscles highlighted during this course are the chest, back, shoulders, and rotator cuff.  Successful completion of course 101 is a prerequisite for course 203.

Course 305: Advanced Concepts of Personal Training

This is the final course in Module A and it 100 hours in length.  It attempts to bring together all of the information learned in the previous two courses.  The first part of the course emphasizes how the body physiologically responds to exercise; the energy systems of the body and how they work; the endocrine system and the role of hormones in the body; and the importance of water balance and digestion of food. 

The second part contains information that focuses on the regulation, use, application, benefits, and side effects of common supplements and drugs in fitness; aspects of sports psychology; how to create sample meal plans; and at the end of the course there is extensive review for the Module A final exam.  In addition to the students’ normal workouts during the classes, they will be training each other in the gym during this course. 

The muscles focused on during this course include the rhomboids, traps, biceps, triceps, and forearms.  Successful completion of course 203 is a prerequisite for course 305.

Module B Courses

Course 102: Fundamentals of Personal Training 2

This 60 hour course focuses on valuable information that all personal trainers should know.  The course focuses on programming the beginner workout; how the body moves and the planes of movement; an overview of nutrition; key principles of fitness; and important business information related to training including how to market oneself, how to sell oneself, how much to charge, and information related to being in business for yourself or working for a company.  There are no prerequisites for course 102.

Course 182: Didactic Learning

During their time with NPTI, students must complete 50 hours of didactic learning.  The goal of this time is to help students become more familiar with the “real world” aspects of personal training to better prepare them for a career as a personal trainer.   Didactic training is set at the student’s individual schedule and pace, however it must always be conducted under the tutelage of an approved supervisor/instructor.  There are several options for students to complete this portion of the program and they are outlined below.  While course 182 is counted as part of the module B grade, it can be completed at any point in the NPTI program.  There are no prerequisites for this course.

  • Shadow an approved personal trainer
  • Receive training from an approved mentor
  • Intern with an approved facility/individual/company
  • Attend approved CEC’s (Continuing Education Classes)
  • Attend NPTI classes
  • Other opportunities as approved by the Director

Course 204: Practical Methodology of Training

This 80 hour course highlights important practical information students need to know to become highly qualified trainers.  The first part of the course goes into detail on key information related to common resistance training exercises; how to create exercise programs using the NASM protocol; how to train clients for specific goals; how to max out safely; in depth information on cardio programming; and how the body responds to aerobic exercise. 

The second section of the course focuses on weight management skills; how to calculate a person’s total metabolism; how to train special populations; how to most effectively warm-up the body; and key elements of flexibility training. 

The muscles focused on during this course are the glutes, hip flexor, quadriceps, and hamstrings.  Successful completion of course 102 is a prerequisite for course 204.

Course 306: Advanced Theories of Fitness

This is the last course in Module B and it 120 hours in length.  It attempts to synthesize the information the students have been learning in the first two courses.  The first part of the course focuses on how to program speed, agility, and power training; aspects of periodization; important points on vitamins and minerals; and various exercise philosophies.  Additional information taught in this course includes how the heart works and responds to training; aspects of rehabilitation and injury prevention; and postural analysis using the NASM methodology. 

The muscles highlighted during this course are the adductors, the calves, and the shin.  In addition to the students’ normal workouts during the classes, they will be training each other in the gym during this course.  A reasonable focus at the end of the course is to prepare students for the Module B Final exam.  Successful completion of course 204 is a prerequisite for course 306.

NPTI Required Personal Training Textbooks

Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning by National Strength and Conditioning Association, Copyright 2000, 3rd Edition, Human Kinetics

Basic Nutrition and Diet Therapy by Sue Rodwell Williams, Copyright 2001, 13th Edition, Mosby

Illustrated Essentials of Musculoskeletal Anatomy by Sieg and Adams, Copyright 2002, 4th Edition, Megabooks

Essentials of Personal Training by NASM, 4th Edition, Copyright 2012, Limpkincott, Williams

Suggested Reference Books

Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe, Copyright 2012, 3rd Edition, Aasgard Publishing

Strength Training Anatomy by Frederic Delavier,  Copyright 2010, 3rd Edition, Human Kinetics

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