Ideal for personal trainers, coaches, sporting club and health club managers, the Certificate of Fitness Risk Management will give you insights into managing risk in a gym, health club or coaching situation. It is the ideal course for activating your fitness career opportunities!
In this fitness risk management course, you will learn how to assess client needs and deliver safe exercise programs that improve individuals’ health and wellbeing. You will study how to facilitate basic fitness tests, advise clients on health issues, and promote a safe and successful approach to achieving fitness and wellbeing goals. You will also learn to recognise common health complaints and prescribe safe programs that adhere to occupational safety measures.
Outcomes achieved by undertaking a fitness risk management course include:
- Understanding human wellness
- Exploring self-esteem
- Gaining an understanding of the motivation for learning
- Studying how to motivate clients and students
- Examining reinforcement and understanding stress and the immune system
- Understanding the long term (chronic) problems caused by stress
- Attaining knowledge of physical fitness (anaerobic and aerobic)
- Gaining insights into safety issues with exercise, identifying hazards and conducting audits
- Learning about pre-screening adults, medical symptoms, signs and problems to watch for
- Exploring how to communicate with clients and undertake a client screening questionnaire
- Gaining an understanding of medical clearance and the legal liability for fitness instructors
- Studying what is a liability problem, contributory negligence and insurance
- Examining fitness tests, risk prevention, what to test and the reasons for fitness testing
- Understanding what to measure — weight, blood pressure, body weight and percentage fat
- Attaining knowledge of heart rate, lung capacity and cardiovascular score
- Gaining insights into evaluating cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular strength and endurance
- Learning about designing fitness tests, test conditions and the recommended procedure for conducting a new fitness test series
- Exploring how to interpret a fitness test
- Gaining an understanding of fatigue during fitness testing
- Studying atmospheric pressure effects
- Examining back problems
- Understanding back terminology and recognising and addressing back problems
- Attaining knowledge of the types of spinal injuries including muscular and neurological injuries
- Gaining insights into reducing risk, ergonomics, posture, standing, lying, furniture design and computer use
- Learning about back exercises and indicators of back injuries
- Exploring workplace health and safety issues
- Gaining an understanding of preventative back care
- Studying how to identify five common back problems and how they can affect the quality of life
- Examining how to design exercise guidelines for people with back problems
- Understanding how to design exercise guidelines to prevent back injuries in healthy individuals
- Attaining knowledge of designing a management plan for an exercise facility
- Gaining insights into establishing a procedure for reviewing and evaluating the program
- Learning about weight control and the principles of weight control
- Exploring endocrinology and nutritional advice
- Gaining an understanding of the energy required for different activities
- Studying the science of nutrition, energy production and the factors affecting BMR
- Examining working with obese and underweight clients
- Understanding weight control methods, the roles of exercise in weight control and plans for losing weight
- Attaining knowledge of water and water retention
- Gaining insights into athletes and nutrition
- Learning how to work with clients with a body mass problem and how to determine the extent of the problem
- Exploring how to plan a body fat reduction and maintenance program combining both exercise and diet
- Gaining an understanding of when a client is underweight and plan a program to remedy this
- Studying how to design a daily meal plan incorporating all necessary food groups and nutrients
The Top Safety Concerns in the Australian Fitness Industry
In 2014, the Australian Fitness Industry Risk Management (AFIRM) Project was set up to explore the operation of rules and regulations for the delivery of safe fitness services. This document, the Australian Fitness Industry Risk Management Manual, provides the fitness industry with insights that will help fitness professionals, fitness facility operators and fitness service users navigate their risk management obligations and legal risk management. It is valuable food for thought if you decide to undertake our fitness risk management course!
The Focus Groups
Focus group research conducted by the AFIRM team involved fifty-eight fitness professionals sampled from seven urban and regional locations across four Australian States (Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia). The fitness professionals participating in the focus groups identified the following as their top six most important concerns (in order of importance):
- The competency of fitness professionals.
- The management of de-conditioned clients and the effectiveness of pre-exercise screening.
- The incorrect use of the equipment and poor supervision of fitness service users.
- Fitness trainers failing to remain within their scope of practice.
- Equipment misuse (which is different to incorrect use).
- Poor fitness training environments.
The focus groups were recorded, and the key themes raised in discussion in the focus groups were:
Competency, education, courses and knowledge
Participants expressed concern that some fitness professionals are “under-educated”. Concern was expressed that there is inadequate or minimal training in risk management in some current educational offerings. Participants said that there was a lack of support for new trainers, that fitness professionals often lack experience, and that there was also a need for further professional training and development to ensure that people have the necessary skills to be effective and manage risks (cue, our fitness risk management course!)
Pre-exercise screening and management of de-conditioned clients
Participants expressed concern about the adequacy of pre-exercise screening in the fitness industry, particularly in relation to unconditioned or de-conditioned clients. They also expressed a lack of confidence that pre-existing injuries or conditions were being captured. Some participants complained that there was no uniform pre-exercise screening tool (despite there being one available in Australia) and that the tools that do exist are not easy to implement.
Incorrect use of the equipment and poor supervision
Participants expressed concern about what they regarded as the generally low degree of supervision of clients undertaking exercise in fitness facilities. Concern was also expressed that some facilities may be inadequately staffed and that trainer fatigue might create risks in fitness facilities. Participants also identified “improper use of equipment” by clients as a significant issue. Participants commented that risks in fitness facilities can arise from failure to follow instructions, client performance of incorrect techniques and also poorly educated fitness trainers teaching incorrect techniques.
Scope of practice, nutrition and managing client expectations
Participants expressed concern that personal trainers and fitness facility employees often operate outside their scope of practice and expertise — for example, providing advice about diet or speaking with clients about personal problems. Concern was also expressed that fitness professionals might give misleading or inappropriate information in this context. Concern was expressed that some fitness professionals may not manage the (often unrealistic) expectations of their clients properly, creating a risk of adverse health outcomes and injury.
Participants identified a number of issues in their discussion of the topic of “equipment”. They expressed concern about faulty equipment, the lack of maintenance of equipment, the poor quality of equipment, equipment hygiene (machines not being cleaned or wiped down), and problems related to the positioning of equipment too close to other hazards or equipment.
Participants identified a number of issues including the lack of space in gyms and hazards created by clients — for example, leaving weights or bags lying around thus creating tripping hazards. Concern was express about the poor layout of fitness equipment in fitness facilities — specifically, space, overcrowding and ventilation issues. Concern was also raised about the risks posed by using outdoor areas as venues for the provision of fitness services. For example, the provision of services on uneven or wet ground, and/or in weather that was too hot, cold or wet.
Risk Assessments in the Fitness Sector
As you’ll discover when undertaking a fitness risk management course, a risk assessment in the fitness sector (as in many other sectors) involves considering what could happen if someone is exposed to a hazard and the likelihood of it happening. A risk assessment can help you to determine how severe a risk is, whether any existing control measures are in effect, what action you should take to control the risk, and how urgently the action needs to be taken.
The model Code of Practice: How to manage work health and safety risks provides practical guidance about how to manage WHS risks through a risk assessment process, and involves four steps:
- Identify hazards — find out what could cause harm.
- Assess risks, if necessary — understand the nature of the harm that could be caused by the hazard, how serious the harm could be and the likelihood of it happening. This step may not be necessary if you are dealing with a known risk with known controls.
- Control risks – implement the most effective control measure that is reasonably practicable in the circumstances and ensure it remains effective over time.
- Review hazards and control measures to ensure they are working as planned.
Develop the crucial skills and techniques used to assess client needs and prescribe appropriate fitness programs with a fitness risk management course such as our Certificate of Fitness Risk Management.