Diploma in Fitness Trainer

The Fitness Trainer program at Missouri College is designed to educate students who will be committed to providing quality fitness and wellness services to the general public. The curriculum will promote a comprehensive healthy lifestyle through safe and effective exercise, nutrition and a general knowledge of disease management. At the completion of the program, graduates who have diligently attended class and their externship, studied, and practiced their skills should have the necessary skills to seek entry-level employment as fitness trainers.

In addition to the health and wellness curriculum, this program features courses dedicated to establishing a successful career in the industry, including marketing and sales, applied teaching and motivational techniques and the fundamentals of business management. Students are required to complete a supervised clinical externship at a fitness facility that includes competencies, logs and evaluations completed by the student. Graduates will be expected to:

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the scope of practice of a Fitness Trainer, including the ability to definitively identify the services within their scope of knowledge as well as the needs and services outside of their abilities.
  • Examine and discuss the fitness industry, the opportunities, the demands and the importance of continuing education.
  • Practice sales and marketing techniques for business development and client relations/retention.
  • Demonstrate workplace skills of maintaining interpersonal relationships and communicating effectively in a professional health environment.
  • Demonstrate ethical behavior in personal, clinical and client care.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the structure and functions of the systems of the human body.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of exercise physiology and biomechanics, including a basic knowledge of conditions and diseases inhibiting movement and body function.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of nutrition and the relationship to overall health, wellness and physical performance.
  • Perform fitness testing and health evaluation skills in order to effectively develop exercise programs.
  • Demonstrate proper usage of exercise equipment as well as the ability to teach this usage to clients for safe and effective training.
  • Explain the benefits of specialty fitness areas such as yoga, Pilates, sports-specific exercise, kettle bell training, etc.
  • Have observation time and hands-on experience training clients prior to program completion.
  • Train for national certification as well as CPR and AED training.

Accreditation/Certification Information Disclosure

Graduates of the program are encouraged to take the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certified personal trainer certification exam. This credential is nationally recognized voluntary certification that could enhance employment opportunities or income potential and is required to practice in certain states.

Certification requirements for taking and passing this examination are not controlled by Missouri College but by outside agencies and are subject to change without notice. Missouri College cannot guarantee that graduates will be eligible to take this certification exam at graduation or at any specific time, regardless of their eligibility status upon enrollment.

The core curriculum in this program cover a variety of subjects including anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, fitness assessment and exercise program design, muscle development, cardiovascular fitness, and the needs of special populations. For example:

  • In Anatomy and Physiology I, students explore the systems of the human body and their structure and function in both health and disease. They will have the opportunity to examine cellular structure and homeostasis as well as the integumentary, musculoskeletal, nervous, cardiovascular, and respiratory systems.
  • In Exercise Psychology and Lifestyle Coaching, coursework focuses on personal and professional leadership principles and motivational and situational techniques used to interact with clients and encourage positive behavioral change. Students will have the opportunity to apply a holistic, integrated and principle-centered approach to organizing personal lives and motivating people to become physically active, with an emphasis on one-on-one teaching as well as small group (e.g. 2-to-1, 3-to-1, and 4-to-1) and large group instruction.
  • In Corrective Exercise Techniques, students are taught how to assist clients with simple and complex health issues, common pathological conditions or other physical challenges. This advanced-level course helps provide the students with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to successfully work with clients experiencing musculoskeletal impairments, muscle imbalances or post-rehabilitation concerns.

Other required courses in this program include:

  • Introduction to Fitness Training
  • Student Success
  • Kinesiology and Joint Movements of the Lower Body
  • Anatomy and Physiology II
  • Kinesiology and Joint Movements of the Upper Body
  • Fundamentals of Nutrition and Wellness
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Cardiorespiratory Training Concepts
  • Client Assessment and Program Design
  • Special Populations
  • Business Management, Fitness Sales and Marketing
  • Advanced Fitness Techniques

Course curriculum is subject to change.