Transform Lives Through FitnessOver 133 million Americans (or 45% of the United States) are living with at least one chronic condition. This segment of our society needs qualified personal trainers with specialized knowledge, skills, and abilities to train these individuals safely and effectively.
You can help create lasting positive change in the lives of people living with disease and seize the opportunity to tap into a new and uniquely challenging fitness landscape.
The AFPA Personal Trainer for Special Populations Certification program provides evidence-informed guidance on developing exercise programs significant in the treatment and prevention of disease. Additionally, this Special Population Fitness Certification program discusses exercise specific to: physically impaired individuals - those with limited mobility and wheelchair users; individuals living with cardiovascular, metabolic, or pulmonary diseases; elderly people; individuals with intellectual disabilities.
What Can I Do As a Personal Trainer for Special Populations?
As an AFPA Certified Personal Trainer for Special Populations, you will have the ability to:
- Analyze and implement exercise management programs for over 30 different chronic diseases, disabilities, and dysfunctions
- Employ exercise protocols within the realm of personal training for:
- Metabolic syndrome
- Stress and anxiety disorder
- Multiple chronic conditions
- Examine and integrate a physician’s recommendations into your personal training exercise program for clients
- Identify safe, effective, and targeted rehabilitation exercises for sports medicine protocols
- Apply rehabilitation techniques for various sports injuries including muscle, joint, and bone injuries and dysfunctions
Join over 119,000 AFPA certified professionals worldwide.With a 26-year legacy of accredited expertise, AFPA is a frontrunner in health and specialized fitness programs. We’re proud to offer the best variety of flexible, affordable, and accessible programs on the market.
Study Anywhere At Your Own Pace
Enjoy the freedom to study on your own time from anywhere in the world.
Study guidelines and schedules are provided to help keep you on track. Take the test online when you’re ready!
Affordable and Flexible Payment Options
Get certified without breaking the bank.
Our certifications cost significantly less than degree programs, so they’re affordable programs with minimum financial risk.Financing options are available for all AFPA certification programs.
Kickstart Your Career with Included Client Resources
Support doesn’t stop once you’re certified.
You get access to career-shaping resources that will help ensure you get a head start in your career as a Certified Senior Nutrition Specialist.
All Learning Materials Included
Your tuition covers everything.
Online Final Exam
Business Resources Included
Upon enrollment, we provide you with exclusive resources to help you establish, optimize, grow, and build your nutrition business.
Unlimited Student Support
Call, email, or chat with our educational advisors as often as you need before, during, and even after enrollment.
What You’ll Get:
- All course materials
- Comprehensive course textbook
- Course assignment
- Case studies
- Online final exam
A Look Inside The Curriculum:
The Personal Trainer for Special Populations Certification instructs trainers how to determine the functional capacity in persons with chronic diseases or conditions, as well as physical and mental impairments.
By understanding the limitations for various populations and knowing how to modify exercise to meet their needs, you’ll be prepared to design and implement effective fitness programs that will produce optimal results while slowing or preventing exercise intolerance.
Clinical Exercise Programming – Assessing and Evaluating Current Functioning
Start by examining basic physical activity and exercise recommendations for persons with chronic conditions. Topics also include:
- Art of exercise medicine: counseling and socioecological factors
- Approach to the common chronic conditions – exercise assessment and programming
- Chronic conditions strongly associated with physical inactivity – obesity, diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, back pain, osteoporosis
- Chronic conditions very strongly associated with tobacco
- Cancer - management and effects of exercise response
- Significant sequelae related to common chronic conditions – depression, lower limb amputation, frailty
Developing Programs for Cardiovascular Conditions
Assess how to provide appropriate exercise prescriptions for individuals with cardiovascular diseases and disabilities. Topics include:
- Chronic heart failure
- Atrial fibrillation
- Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators
- Valvular heart disease
- Heart transplantation
- Chronic restrictive pulmonary disease
Understanding Disease, Neurological Impairments, Mental Illness, and Other Chronic Conditions
You will analyze and implement exercise management programs for over 30 different chronic diseases and impairments. Areas of study include:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Chronic kidney and liver disease
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Hemostasis disorders
- Stroke, brain trauma, and spinal cord injuries
- Peripheral neuropathy, myopathy, and myasthenia gravis
- Cerebral palsy
- Multiple sclerosis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Muscular dystrophy
- Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
- Depression and anxiety disorders
Learn core progressions, creative exercise options, and modifications for clients that have difficulty or discomfort with traditional movement or holding certain ranges of motion. You’ll cover how to modify appropriately so as to protect the integrity of the client’s progress.
"The course has been very powerful in changing my life. Having a prior fitness background, this course has added a lot of tools that will be very helpful to clients, family, friends, and myself."
Mitchel K.Verified Buyer
Is This Program Right For Me?You’re looking in the right place if you:
- Communicate effectively. Having above-average interpersonal skills gives you an edge when it comes to motivating and relating to special populations.
- Are interested in working with clients one-on-one and guiding them toward making lasting, meaningful changes to enhance their lives
- Desire the freedom and flexibility that comes with running your own specialized personal training business
- Are looking to change careers and align yourself on a professional path that is deeply satisfying and financially rewarding
- Want to get the best education without constraints on your schedule, lifestyle or bank account
Are There Payment Plans?
Pick the loan that fits your budget and make payments over three, six, or 12 months. Our payment plans offer instant approval and are safe and secure.Learn more
Do I Qualify?
To enroll in the Special Population Fitness Certification program, you must:
- Hold a valid Personal Trainer Certification or equivalent
- Be at least 18 years of age.
Have a solid understanding of the English language.
- You need a minimum final exam grade of 85% to pass.
A $75.00 retest fee will apply.
After successful completion, you will earn the title of “Certified Personal Trainer for Special Populations” on your certificate.