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Certificate in Advanced Personal Training

The FIT College NZ Certificate in Advanced Personal Training is designed to equip you with all the knowledge and skills to become a confident and competent Personal Trainer.

Our comprehensive program covers everything you need to know for working within the fitness industry. From excercise and healthy eating right through to fitness science and business studies. Studying with FIT College NZ will equip you with all the tools to succeed.

Once qualified, you will have a huge range of career opportunities in the fitness industry! This includes; working as a Personal Trainer with your own business or within a gym environment, working as a Fitness instructor taking clients for health assessments or Group Exercise. Running Boot Camps or Outdoor programmes, working with Allied Health Professionals such as Physiotherapists or Massage Therapists or working on Cruise Ships or in 30+ countries around the world!

Throughout the course you’ll learn all about the following areas of health & fitness:

This topic aims to educate students about the Fitness industry today. By completion of this topic you will be able to; define career options, and respective responsibilities within the fitness industry, understand the registration requirements of the fitness industry, identify work place health and safety issues and develop a thorough knowledge of fitness equipment such as cardio, resistance and free weights used as a fitness professional.


Module 1 – Welcome to the Fitness Industry
  • The V.E.T Package
  • Course Outcomes
  • FIT College Expectations
  • Studying Online

Module 2 – Fitness Registration & Networking
  • Blue Cards
  • Fitness Industry Registration
  • Networking
  • Fitness Career Options
  • Qualities of a Fitness Professional

Module 3 – Workplace Health & Safety
  • Workplace Safety
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Duty of Care
  • Negligence
  • Hazards
  • Risk Analysis

Module 4 – Equipment Maintenance
  • Know the tools of your trade
  • Cardio Equipment
  • Resistance Equipment
  • Free Weights
  • Specialised Equipment
  • Equipment design and function
  • Equipment maintenance
  • Plan & arrange fitness equipment


This topic aims to educate students about Exercise Prescription and the foundations of science. By completion of this topic you will be able to identify all anatomical features of the human body, which includes bones, joints and muscles. Describe physiological functions of the human body including specific functioning of the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive and nervous system. You will also develop comprehensive knowledge of muscle composition, muscle physiology and energy systems.


Module 1 – Anatomical Definitions 
  • Anatomical Position
  • Movement Terminology
  • Structure and function of the Skeleton

Module 2 – Bone Names, Landmarks and Joint Types
  • Identify and locate bones of the skeleton
  • Landmarks on bones
  • Joint types

Module 3 – Upper Body Muscular Anatomy
  • What are Muscles
  • Naming of Muscles

Module 4 – Lower Body & Trunk Muscular Anatomy 
  • Revision of Upper Body Muscles
  • Muscles of Trunk & Lower Body
  • Exercises which use these Muscles

Module 5 – Physiological Systems 1 
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Cardiorespiratory System

Module 6 – Physiological Systems 2 
  • Digestive System
  • Nervous System

Module 7 – Muscle Physiology 
  • Muscle Physiology
  • Muscle Contractions
  • Muscle Structures
  • Muscle Shapes

Module 8 – Energy Systems 
  • Energy Systems
  • Anaerobic and Aerobic Systems


This topic aims to educate students about clients. By the completion of this topic the student will be able to; conduct fitness orientation and health assessments, conduct fitness testing such as heart rate and blood pressure and basic anthropometric measurements. Students will also have comprehensive knowledge of strength and fitness testing.


Module 1 – Docs, Pre-Screen and Needs Analysis 
  • Client start up procedures
  • Policies, Terms and Conditions for Client start up
  • Client Health Screening
  • Client Needs Analysis

Module 2 – Testing, HR and BP
  • Testing
  • Heart Rate
  • Blood Pressure

Module 3 – Basic Anthropometric Measurements 
  • Girth Measurements
  • Body Mass Index
  • Waist to Hip ratio

Module 4 – Skin Fold 
  • Skin Fold Testing

Module 5 – Case Studies
  • Performing Needs Analysis
  • Taking Skin Folds
  • Taking Girth Measurements
  • BMI and Waist to Hip Ratio
  • Fitness Testing

Module 6 – Strength Testing
  • Strength Testing

Module 7 – Strength and Fitness Tests
  • Maximal Strength Testing
  • Aerobic Fitness Testing


This topic aims to educate students about nutrition and healthy eating. By completion of this topic students will have extensive knowledge of the structure and function of the digestive system, will be able to provide healthy eating information based on anthropometrical measurements and will have relative knowledge in relation to body composition management.

Module 1 – Digestion and Principles of Healthy Eating 
  • Digestion
  • Fundamental Principles of healthy eating
  • Limitations of Personal Trainers
  • Referrals for Clients

Module 2 – Body Composition Management 
  • Blood Pressure
  • Limb Girths & Waist/Hip Ratio
  • Skin Fold measurements
  • Results Analysis and Interpretation

Module 3 – Healthy Eating Information 
  • Provide and promote healthy eating information based on anthropometrical measurements


This topic aims to educate students about business and processes within the fitness industry so that they can present themselves as a professional.

By completion of this topic the student will be able to; effectively communicate as a competent fitness professional and deliver exceptional customer service to clients and work place colleagues, devise prescriptive training programs tailored to individual client’s health and fitness needs, formulate suitable teaching and coaching methods through the assimilation of teaching and learning theories, encourage and motivate clients to maintain their programs through appropriate strategies and procedures.

Module 1 – Effective Communication
  • Communication skills and barriers
  • Listening and questioning
  • Speed Networking and presentation of Information

Module 2 – Exceptional Service
  • What is service? First point of contact
  • Code of Ethics and Boundaries
  • Dealing with and resolving complaints

Module 3 – Dealing with Clients
  • Conflict, conflict styles and resolution
  • Motivation, preparation, presentation and organisation

Module 4 – Exercise Prescription
  • Isolated and compound exercises
  • Exercise options
  • Spotting/Exercise considerations

Module 5 – Rules of Programming
  • SMARTIE Principle
  • Basic exercise order
  • Warm up sets, working sets, rep selection, rest periods
  • Speed of Movement
  • Design and review a resistance program

Module 6 – Cardiovascular Training 
  • Types of cardio training
  • Duration of training, intensity of training, rest periods
  • Design and review a cardiovascular program

Module 7 – Client Show-Through
  • Client session show-through/ Teaching strategies
  • Program adherence
  • Behaviour change and Arousal theories

Module 8 – Program Completion and Recording 
  • Tracking and reporting procedures
  • Time management and client tracker
  • Assessment, Instruction and Review session structure
  • New Program structure and service session structure


This topic aims to educate students about groups and specific populations. By completion of this topic the student will be able to; devise and deliver group fitness activities, which meet the principles of group dynamics and the needs of each member of the group. Plan, conduct and review circuit classes and apply knowledge of specific training needs to the management and correction of certain disorders.


Module 1 – Developing Groups
  • Group Dynamics
  • Types of Group Fitness
  • Music for Group Fitness
  • Safety

Module 2 – Planning Group Training
  • Planning Process
  • Session plans
  • Demonstrating technique
  • Equipment and Resources
  • Session timing

Module 3 – Conducting Circuit Classes 
  • Design a circuit class
  • Review the design
  • Peer Review
  • Conducting the session

Module 4 – Specific Populations and Heart Disease
  • What are Specific Populations
  • Why Specific Populations should exercise
  • Allied Health Network
  • Heart Disease

Module 5 – Obesity and Diabetes 
  • Health Patterns
  • Children Obesity and trends in children’s health

Module 6 – Asthma & Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Arthritis

Module 7 – Pregnancy and Psychological Disorders
  • Pregnancy
  • Psychological disorders


This topic aims to educate and prepare students for hands on personal training. Upon completion of this topic students will be able to; organise training blocks of personal training sessions using approproate documentation, complete body composition analysis of clients, understand metabolism categories, analyse data from needs analysis, develop and implement strategies for exercise adherence.


Module 1 – Plan and Deliver PT 
  • Planning & Structuring Personal Training Sessions
  • Completing initial start-up documents

Module 2 – Body Composition Analysis
  • Body composition introduction
  • Basic testing
  • Medical testing
  • Insulin resistance
  • Experts in body composition
  • Fat storage
  • Food evolution

Module 3 – Programming for Body Composition
  • Losing fat
  • Increasing muscle
  • Metabolism
  • Forms of training
  • Approaches to structuring exercise

Module 4 – Designing and Planning Programs
  • Activity – program & weekly plan designing

Module 5 – Psychology 
  • Theories of behaviour change
  • Strategies for exercise adherence

This topic aims to equip students with the knowledge about exercise prescription. Upon completion of this topic our students will be well aware of all postural assessments, hormones and abnormal environments, biomechanics and exercise progression.


Module 1 – Postural Alignment and ROM
  • Review of joints
  • Ideal posture / flexibility / range of movement

Module 2 – Spine Postural Assessment
  • What influences posture
  • Training for posture / the ideal spine
  • Using assessment forms

Module 3 – Upper Body Posture Assessment
  • Shoulder positioning
  • Conduct postural assessment / muscle function testing

Module 4 – Lower Body Posture Assessment
  • Hip posture
  • Static alignment testing – lower body
  • Muscle function testing

Module 5 – Full Body Postural Assessment
  • Common compensations
  • Training Approaches
  • Full body assessment

Module 6 – Hormones and Abnormal Environments
  • Physiological responses to physical activity
  • Environmental conditions and their relation to exercise

Module 7 – Biomechanics
  • Mechanics of the body
  • Levers and torque force / Newton’s three laws
  • Balance, equilibrium & stability force

Module 8 – Exercise Variations and Misconceptions
  • Exercise variations
  • Meth’s misconceptions
  • Evaluate training programs and overtraining

Module 9 – Principles & Types of Training
  • Principles of training
  • Types of training

Module 10 – Exercise Progression & The 3P’s
  • Exercise progression
  • Proprioception and postural demand
  • Key issues for program design

This topic aims to educate students on behavioural patterns shown in a range of different age groups. Upon successful completion of this topic students will be able tol recognise behavioural patterns in younger children and adapt strategies to deal with them if required, plan and assess programs designed for younger children, adolescents and elderly, assess clients and refer then onto relevant Allied Health Care Professionals when applicable.


Module 1 – Interact Effectively with Children
  • Child-care blue cards
  • Limitations of a Personal Trainer
  • Dealing with children
  • Communicating with children
  • Identifying and dealing with different behavioural styles

Module 2 – Movement Skills for Children 
  • Children’s eating patterns
  • Physical activity in younger individuals
  • Limitations of a Personal Trainer
  • Stages of development
  • Childrens posture
  • Fundamental movement skills

Module 3 – Healthy Children and Adolescents
  • Training ages
  • Assessment of basic function
  • Exercise progression for youths and adolescents
  • Safety and recovery

Module 4 – Clients with Managed Conditions 
  • Communication with elderly
  • Problem solving skills
  • Exercise planning
  • Injury prevention
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Time management

Module 5 – Working with Allied Health Professionals 
  • Referrals
  • Considerations for special requirements
  • Monitoring clients progress
  • Maintaining case management files

This topic aims to educate students on business practices. On completion of this topic, students will have all of the skills necessary to set up their own business and work for themselves, such as; business planning, financial and legal considerations, marketing planning and sale opportunities.


Module 1 – Business Planning
  • Resumes and interview techniques
  • Business structures
  • Business planning

Module 2 – Business Planning and Goal Setting
  • Identify elements of the Business and Marketing Plan
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Business set up
  • Running costs – financial considerations

Module 3 – Market the Small Business
  • Marketing plan concepts
  • Target market analysis
  • Competitor research
  • External environments
  • Fitness industry Law and Governance
  • SWOT Analysis

Module 4 – Marketing Mix 1 
  • Marketing Plan – 4P’s
  • Product Mix
  • Branding
  • Price Mix
  • Selling techniques
  • Your sales kit

Module 5 – Marketing Mix 2
  • Marketing Plan – Place Mix and Strategy Formulation
  • Promotions Mix
  • Promotions Strategies
  • Measuring Success – KPI’s
  • Scripting
  • Global Marketing Case Study

This topic aims to educate students on understanding different types of sports training, long term exercise planning, adaptations to difference types of training and athlete development.
Module 1 – Understanding Sports Training
  • Understanding the sport
  • Language of periodisation
  • Different styles of periodisation
  • Sample plan
  • Training speed
  • Types of strength
Module 2 – Long Term Exercise Planning
  • Periodisation and terminology
  • Periodisation models
  • Case study programming
Module 3 – Adaptations to Training & Endurance
  • Adaptation to training
  • Unloading training
  • Peaking
  • Recovery timeline
  • Physical therapies
  • Methods of Cardiovascular training
  • Designing Cardiovascular programs
  • Weekly Plans
  • Session Plans
Module 4 – Athlete Assessment Dynamic Movements
  • Athlete Assessment
  • Athletic Profiling
  • Push/Pull Strength
  • Core Strength
  • Dynamic Movement Competency Screen
  • Using Screen Data
Module 5 – Athlete Assessment Body Stability
  • Lower Body Stability testing
  • McGill Torso Endurance testing
  • Upper Body Stability

The work experience module at FIT College NZ is designed to encourage students to seek out exposure to areas of interest to them within a gym or health and fitness setting.

The requirement is to complete 40 hours of total work experience under the supervision of a REPs recognised personal trainer or gym instructor, although more can be completed if the students wishes to do so.  FIT College NZ provide a work experience log book which the student needs to complete as they go. There are numerous tasks within the log book covering many areas of the successful operation of a gym or health and fitness facility. These range from cleaning and administration duties to the finer aspects of programme writing and implementation in both 1 on 1 and group fitness formats.

The list of tasks within the log book are a starting point and while it is desired that students complete all tasks, leeway is given to students and the time spent on tasks can vary depending on the student’s interests. As an example, the student who wishes to learn more about maximal strength training programme writing and implementation can spend more time exposed to this element of gym life if they please, as opposed to sharing time equally between tasks. Likewise, those students conducting work experience at facilities that do not offer various training modes e.g. 1 on 1 PT, are not expected to spend time exploring this area.

The student has the option to complete their PT Client Time Portfolio assessment (Task 3 of Learning Topic 8 – Foundation Personal Training) while completing their work experience. This assessment can contribute towards 10 hours of the total 30-hour requirement for work experience. It requires students to find a client – who can be a friend, relative or member of the gym where they are undertaking the work experience module – and go through the entire process of PT with them. This process includes:

  • initial start-up meetings and pre-screening
  • needs analysis and goal setting
  • physical fitness testing
  • programme writing and implementation/show-through
  • conducting training sessions
  • re-assessment and re-programming.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the resources available to them while on work experience in order to complete this assessment. Where possible, it is desired that their work experience supervisor be on hand to over-see the processes involved in this assessment task.

Once the above has been completed, all documentation for the work experience module can be scanned and emailed to the student’s tutor. All documentation for the PT Client Time Portfolio can be scanned and uploaded in order, to the student learning portal.

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