By Joe Salant, NCCPT GM
Every year the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) publishes a forecast of rising fitness trends. In 2015 one of the biggest indicators of significant movement in the fitness industry was the sharp increase in older client participation in fitness programs as an essential component of physician-recommended longevity health regimens. In other words, professional medical advice for seniors is starting to concentrate heavily on exercise.
The media is amplifying the prescription for the senior population to implement a structured exercise program to increase life quality and expectancy ( For example, see this piece on Functional Training for seniors on CNN ). Combine the professional medical fitness advice seniors are receiving with the fact the population of the United States is aging considerably (projected to double from 35 million to 72 million by the year 2030  , and it makes for a fitness industry trend toward senior programs that is already revolutionizing the direction of the professional fitness world.
What this means for personal trainers is there should be an urgency to get certified as a Senior Fitness Instructor and make senior fitness specialization a portion of emphasis in marketing, program development, and implementation. Gym owners and fitness managers in the big box gym setting are experiencing an aging population rush and are scrambling to find trainers who specialize in servicing the waves of seniors entering the gym with what basically amounts to a medical prescription to enroll in group and individual personal training classes.
In response to the demand for personal trainers who specialize in catering individual and group programs for seniors, the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT) just released a certification specifically for senior fitness, the Certified Senior Fitness Instructor . NCCPT Owner/CEO John Platero was interviewed in regard to the new senior certification course and the impact of supervised fitness programs on the aging client population by NBC News ( See coverage ). The NCCPT Senior Fitness Instructor certification prepares the personal trainer with the essential components of a successful senior fitness program including elements such as:
- Understanding and motivating older clients
- Addressing older client anxiety
- Designing nutrition plans for the aging client
- Practical personal training senior assessments (physiological, anthropometric, etc.)
- Senior Cardio
- Program design for seniors
Having this knowledge and being on the books as a Certified Senior Fitness Instructor is guaranteed to increase a personal trainer’s ability, access, and client profile in the commercial fitness industry. To speak with an NCCPT Career Adviser to learn more about becoming a Certified Senior Fitness Instructor, call 1.800.778.6060 .