Personal Training Course Description and Objectives

sergi 9018bDiscover in Detail, All the Things You Will Learn at NPTI VA

The National Personal Training Institute Program in Virginia is divided into 2 modules.  Each module is divided in 3 courses for a total of 6 standard academic courses during the program.  Students will receive progress reports after the completion of each course.  Students will also complete didactic learning and attend specialty classes.  A progress update will be provided at a minimum of every 200 hours for those courses and those course grades will be recorded on the transcript.

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.  The program can either be 6, 9, or 12 months long at NPTI.  All students receive a comparative level of education regardless of the program length and all students will be assessed using the same measures.

Module - A 240-260 hour long block of time (lasting 3-6 months) within the NPTI program.  There are two modules in the 600 hour program: Module A is 240 hours long and Module B is 260 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.  In addition to the completion of each module students must also complete their required didactic time and specialty class time to meet the 600 hour minimum.

Course - A 60-120 hour long block (lasting approximately 1-2 months) within the NPTI module.  Each module contains 3 courses.

Module A Courses

Course 101: Fundamentals of Personal Training 1
A 60 hour block of information covering the topics outlined below.  Students will be tested on the material through one written test (Test 1A), a practical project and a practical component consisting of their gym attendance and practical skills.

The objectives of Course 101 are:

  • Identifying the bones in the human skeleton
  • Identifying the major muscles on the human body
  • Knowing common anatomical and fitness terms
  • Identify the Risk Factors and Risk Stratification categories of clients
  • Understanding standard fitness assessments
  • Knowledge of the components and principles of fitness
  • Knowledge of the "Beginner Workout"
  • Completing an overview of human nutrition (Nutrition Ch 1)
  • Knowledge of common fitness mathematical formulas
  • Knowledge of the origin, insertion, action and exercises for the muscles of the core (Anatomy Book)

The above items are tested by Test 1A

  • Demonstrate proper usage of common fitness equipment and machine(s)
  • Completion of project 1A
  • Attend the gym portion as scheduled

The above items are measured as the practical grade for Course 101

Course 203: Understanding the Human Body
 An 80 hour block of information covering the topics outlined below.  Students will be tested on the material through two written tests (Test 2A and 3A), a practical project and a practical component consisting of their gym attendance and practical skills.

The objectives of Course 203 are:

  • Understanding the structure of a muscle cell (Essentials Ch 1)
  • Understanding of how a muscle contracts (Essentials Ch 1)
  • Knowledge of the types of muscle fibers and types of muscular contractions (Essentials Ch 1)
  • Understanding the effects of strength training on aerobic exercise (Essentials Ch 1)
  • Understanding the effects of aerobic exercise on strength (Essentials Ch 1)
  • Knowledge of that factors that affect force production (Essentials Ch 1)
  • A detailed understanding of carbohydrates including knowing common functions, building blocks, elements, classes, fuel factor, RDA's, simple vs complex, fiber, storage form, food forms of, and how the body uses them (Nutrition Ch 2)
  • A detailed understanding of fats including knowing common functions, building blocks, elements, classes, fuel factor, RDA's, storage form, food forms of, and how the body uses them (Nutrition Ch 3)
  • Knowledge of the origin, insertion, action and common exercises for the Pectoralis Major, Pectoralis Minor, Serratus Anterior, Latissimus Dorsi, and Teres Major (Anatomy Book)
  • General Theory on Exercise Program Design

The above items are tested by Test 2A

  • Understanding of biomechanics including levers, forces, moment arms and classes of levers (Essentials Ch 4)
  • Knowledge of joint concerns related to exercise (Essentials Ch 4)
  • Human movements and planes of movements (Essentials Ch 4)
  • Physics equations of force, work and power (Essentials Ch 4)
  • Understanding of the pros and cons of various types of resistance (Essentials Ch 4)
  • Adaptations to exercise (Essentials Ch 4)
  • A detailed understanding of protein - functions, building blocks, elements, types, fuel factor, RDA, other recommendations, storage form of, food forms of, common amounts in (Nutrition Ch 4)
  • A detailed understanding of energy balance including metabolism, metabolism formula, how to gain/lose weight, factors that affect metabolism (Nutrition Ch 6)
  • Knowledge of the origin, insertion, action and common exercises for the Deltoids (Anatomy Book)
  • Knowledge of the origin, insertion, action and common exercises for the Rotator Cuff (Anatomy Book)
  • Adaptation of bone to exercise (Essentials Ch 5)
  • Adaptation of connective tissue to exercise (Essentials Ch 5)
  • Basic program design guidelines for training various goals (Essentials Ch 5)

The above items are tested by Test 3A

  • Explain the key points of an exercise to an instructor as though the instructor were a client
  • Completion of project 2A
  • Attend the gym portion as scheduled

The above items are measured as the practical grade for Course 203

Course 305: Advanced Concepts of Personal Training 
A 100 hour block of information covering the topics outlined below.  Students will be tested on the material through two written tests (Test 4A and Test 5A), a practical project and a practical component consisting of their gym attendance and practical skills.  In addition part of this course is to prepare the students for the comprehensive Module A final exam.

The objectives of Course 305 are:

  • Understanding of human energy systems including name, fuel source, fuel location, duration, key points, rank in power, rank in total energy production, common examples of (Essentials Ch 2)
  • Understanding of key hormones in the body including categories of, specific functions of, and how exercise releases Testosterone, Growth Hormone, Insulin, Cortisol, Catecholamines, and Glucagon (Essentials Ch 3)
  • Understanding of human water balance including % of water in the body, functions of body water, water input and output, water location, pH balance, acid/base balance, hormones that control water balance, what moves water in the body, definition of electrolytes (Nutrition Ch 9)
  • Understanding of human digestion including definition of digestion and absorption, digestion sites in order of sequence, types of digestion, examples of mechanical and chemical digestion and where they take place, function of bile, function of liver and pancreas, function of small and large intestine, what increases surface area of small intestine, size of small and large intestine (Nutrition Ch 5)
  • Knowledge of the origin, insertion, action and common exercises for the Rhomboids and Trapezius (Anatomy Book)
  • Knowledge of the origin, insertion, action and common exercises for the Biceps Brachii, Brachialis, and Brachioradialis (Anatomy Book)

The above items are tested by Test 4A

  • Knowledge of the regulation of drugs and supplements in fitness (Essentials Ch 9)
  • Familiarity with the effects of steroids, growth hormone, beta agonists, beta blockers, and EPO in athletes (Essentials Ch 9)
  • Familiarity with the basics of drug testing in sports
  • Know common supplements, theories and claims, and scientific evidence for or against (Essentials Ch 9)
  • Basic understanding of sports psychology including stress, factors that increase stress, the ideal performance state, skill level and arousal level, use of cues, motivation, reinforcement, punishment, types of goals and goal setting (Essentials Ch 8)
  • Knowledge of the origin, insertion, action and common exercises for the Triceps Brachii (Anatomy Book)
  • Knowledge of action, common exercises, and specific guidelines for the muscles of the forearm (Anatomy Book)

The above items are tested by Test 5A

  • Practice creating sample meal plans
  • Practice training fellow students in the gym
  • Completion of project 3A
  • Attend the gym portion as scheduled
  • Review and prepare for Module A Final

The above items are measured as the practical grade for Course 305

On the last day of Module A (unless otherwise noted) students will take a comprehensive Final of Module A.  All of the information covered in Courses 101, 203, and 305 are eligible for the exam.  

Module B Courses

Course 102: Fundamentals of Personal Training 2
A 60 hour block of information covering the topics outlined below.  Students will be tested on the material through one written test (Test 1B), practical projects, and a practical component consisting of their gym attendance and practical skills.

The objectives of Course 102 are:

  • Knowledge of important mathematical formulas related to fitness
  • Knowledge of the RDA's and basic functions of the macronutrients (Nutrition Ch 1)
  • Identifying the bones in the human skeleton (Anatomy Book)
  • Identifying the major muscles on the human body
  • Knowing common anatomical and fitness terms
  • Knowledge of the components and principles of fitness
  • Knowledge of the "Beginner Workout"
  • Completing an overview of human nutrition (Nutrition Ch 1)
  • Knowledge of the types of human movements and the planes of movement (Anatomy Book)
  • Knowledge of muscle fiber types and types of contractions
  • To present a sample guideline as to how to sell oneself as a personal trainer
  • Knowledge of various ways to market oneself
  • General knowledge on the business of personal training - including the rate of pay, general insurance overview, pros and cons of being an employee vs an independent contractor, and how to price one's services

The above items are tested by Test 1B

  • Completion of practical project(s) 1B
  • Demonstrate proper usage of common fitness equipment and machines
  • Attend the gym portion as scheduled

The above items are measured as the practical grade for Course 102

Course 204: Practical Methodology of Training
An 80 hour block of information covering the topics outlined below.  Students will be tested on the material through two written tests (Test 2B and 3B), a practical project and a practical component consisting of their gym attendance and practical skills.

The objectives of Course 204 are:

 

  • Knowledge of the various grips and body positions during exercise (Essentials Ch 14)
  • Knowledge of the Valsalva Maneuver (Essentials Ch 14)
  • Knowledge of spotting - purpose, benefits, why, how to, what not to do (Essentials Ch 14)
  • To become familiar with common resistance training exercises - agonist, synergists, movements, plane, how to adjust machines, how to perform them (Essentials Ch 14)
  • Knowledge of specific program design guidelines from the NSCA (Essentials Ch 15)
  • Types of exercises and their purposes (Essentials Ch 15)
  • Proper exercise order for various goals (Essentials Ch 15)
  • Familiarity with intensity techniques, their purpose and implementation (Essentials Ch 15)
  • How to read, use, and apply a conversion chart (Essentials Ch 15)
  • How to warm-up properly and program a 1 rep max attempt (Essentials Ch 15)
  • The proper load, reps, sets, and rest depending on exercise goal (Essentials Ch 15)
  • Knowledge of the various factors that affect aerobic performance (Essentials Ch 18)
  • Knowledge of specific physiological adaptations that occur from aerobic training (Essentials Ch 18)
  • Knowledge of the pros and cons of various modes of cardiovascular training (Essentials Ch 18)
  • Familiarity with various ways to measure cardiovascular intensity (Essentials Ch 18)
  • Knowledge of the various types of aerobic exercise programs and how to design those aerobic programs (Essentials Ch 18)
  • Familiarity with the concepts of cross training and tapering (Essentials Ch 18)
  • Knowledge of origin, insertion, action, common exercises, and specific guidelines for the Glutes (Anatomy Book)
  • Knowledge of origin, insertion, action, common exercises, and specific guidelines for the Iliopsoas (Anatomy Book)
  • An understanding of protein - building blocks, fuel factor, storage form, classes of amino acids, recommended amounts, function (Essentials Ch 10)
  • An understanding of carbs - building blocks, fuel factor, storage form, classes of, recommended amounts, function, glycemic index, hypoglycemia (Essentials Ch 10)
  • An understanding of fats - building blocks, fuel factor, storage form, classes of amino acids, recommended amounts, function (Essentials Ch 10)
  • Knowledge of proper levels of water intake during exercise (Essentials Ch 10)
  • To know pre and post workout food intake guidelines (Essentials Ch 10)
  • To know the pros and cons of sports drinks (Nutrition Ch 16)
  • Knowledge of how to manipulate caloric intake to gain or lose weight (Nutrition Ch 16)
  • Knowledge of specific guidelines and tips for how to gain or lose weight (Nutrition Ch 16)
  • Knowledge of general categories of exercise (Nutrition Ch 16)
  • Knowledge of the health benefits of exercise (Nutrition Ch 16)
  • Familiarity with the female athlete triad (Nutrition Ch 16)
  • Familiarity with carbohydrate loading - how to and purpose of (Essentials Ch 10)
  • Familiarity with common food myths and misconceptions (Nutrition Ch 16)

 

The above items are tested by Test 2B

  • Knowledge of ways and methods to measure bodyfat (Nutrition Ch 15)
  • Knowledge of various health problems with being overweight (Nutrition Ch 15)
  • Knowledge of the various causes/contributors to obesity (Nutrition Ch 15)
  • Familiarity with various extreme practices employed to lose weight - fad diets, fasting, drugs, surgery (Nutrition Ch 15)
  • Knowledge of sound weight management principles and guidelines (Nutrition Ch 15)
  • Knowledge of health issues associated with being underweight (Nutrition Ch 15)
  • Familiarity with eating disorders (Nutrition Ch 15)
  • Knowledge of the metabolism formula and how to calculate calories burned per day (Nutrition Ch 6)
  • Knowledge of how to gain and lose weight (Nutrition Ch 6)
  • Familiarity with different body types (endo, meso, ectomorph) (Essentials Ch 7)
  • Knowledge of training guidelines for training children (Essentials Ch 7)
  • Knowledge of training guidelines for training women (Essentials Ch 7)
  • Knowledge of training guidelines for training older adults (Essentials Ch 7)
  • Knowledge of how to warm-up - purpose, components, principles, how to program it (Essentials Ch 13)
  • Knowledge of flexibility - definition, factors that affect it (Essentials Ch 13)
  • Knowledge of when and how to stretch (Essentials Ch 13)
  • Knowledge of how proprioceptors affect stretching (Essentials Ch 13)
  • Knowledge of various types of stretching and common stretches to use (Essentials Ch 13)
  • Knowledge of origin, insertion, action, common exercises, and training guidelines for the quadriceps (Anatomy Book)
  • Knowledge of origin, insertion, action, common exercises, and training guidelines for the hamstrings (Anatomy Book)

The above items are tested by Test 3B

  • Completion of practical project 2B
  • Explain the key points of an exercise to an instructor as though the instructor were a client
  • Attend the gym portion as scheduled

The above items are measured as the practical grade for Course 204

Course 306: Advanced Theories of Fitness
A 120 hour block of information covering the topics outlined below.  Students will be tested on the material through two written tests (Test 4B and Test 5B), a practical project and a practical component consisting of their gym attendance and practical skills.  In addition part of this course is to prepare the students for the comprehensive Module B final exam.

The objectives of Course 306 are:

  • Knowledge of plyometrics - purpose, key concepts, how to program, safety considerations (Essentials Ch 16)
  • Know the definitions of speed and agility (Essentials Ch 17)
  • Knowledge of sprinting - technique, resisted sprinting including examples and effects, assisted sprinting including examples and effects (Essentials Ch 17)
  • Familiarity of sport specific program design (Essentials Ch 17)
  • Know the definition of periodization (Essentials Ch 19)
  • Familiarity with the General Adaptation Syndrome and the body's reaction to stress (Essentials Ch 19)
  • Knowledge of the various cycles in periodization (macro, meso, micro) including duration and key concepts (Essentials Ch 19)
  • Familiarity with sample periodization programs for athletes (Essentials Ch 19)
  • Familiarity with practical methods of periodization for clients (Essentials Ch 19)
  • Knowledge of vitamins including discovery, classes, general functions, fuel factor (Nutrition Ch 7)
  • Knowledge of specific vitamins A, D, E, K, C, and the B vitamins including key functions of each, food sources for each, and potential deficiency states (Nutrition Ch 7)
  • Knowledge of minerals including classes, general functions, measurement of, fuel factor (Nutrition Ch 8)
  • Knowledge of the major minerals including specific examples, key functions, deficiencies, and food sources (Nutrition Ch 8)
  • Knowledge of the trace elements including specific examples, key functions, deficiencies, and food sources (Nutrition Ch 8)
  • Knowledge of origin, insertion, action, common exercises and training guidelines for the 5 adductor muscles (Pectineus, Brevis, Longus, Magnus, Gracilis) (Anatomy Book)
  • Knowledge of origin, insertion, action, common exercises and training guidelines for the Sartorius muscle (Anatomy Book)
  • Knowledge of the metabolism formula (Nutrition Ch 6)
  • Familiarity with popular exercise philosophies
  • Familiarity with other personal training certifications and the A-CPT exam

The above items are tested by Test 4B

  • Knowledge of the anatomy of the heart (Essentials Ch 1)
  • Knowledge of the flow of blood in the body (Essentials Ch 1)
  • Knowledge of acute and chronic cardiovascular responses to exercise (Essentials Ch 1)
  • Familiarity with other health professionals and their scope of practice (Essentials Ch 20)
  • Knowledge of indications and contraindications - definitions and specific contraindications (Essentials Ch 20)
  • Knowledge of types of injuries that occur - macro/micro and specifics (Essentials Ch 20)
  • Knowledge of the body responds to injury and the phases of tissue healing (Essentials Ch 20)
  • Familiarity with training guidelines for an injured person (Essentials Ch 20)
  • Open and closed chain movements - definitions, examples (Essentials Ch 20)
  • Knowledge of the movements of the ankle and the muscles responsible for those movements (Anatomy Book)
  • Knowledge of origin, insertion, action, common exercises and specific guidelines for the Gastrocnemius and Soleus (Anatomy Book)
  • Knowledge of origin, insertion, action, common exercises and specific guidelines for the Tibialis Anterior (Anatomy Book)
  • Familiarity with a dynamic postural analysis using the NASM guidelines for an overhead squat

The above information is tested by Test 5B

  • Completion of practical project 3B
  • Demonstrate ability to properly take bodyfat using skinfold calipers
  • Practice training fellow students in the gym
  • Attend the gym portion as scheduled

The above items are measured as the practical grade for Course 306

  • Familiarity with the interview process for fitness related jobs
  • Review and prepare for Module B Final

On the last day of Module B (unless otherwise noted) students will take a comprehensive Final of Module B.  All of the information covered in Courses 102, 204, and 306 are eligible for the exam.