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EuropeActive's Essentials for Fitness Instructors

EuropeActive's Essentials for Fitness Instructors


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    EuropeActive’s Essentials for Fitness Instructors contains the most comprehensive information and materials to guide fitness instructors towards best practices in helping clients achieve their fitness and health goals. Endorsed by EuropeActive, the fitness and health industry’s standard-setting authority in Europe, this manual is essential for all aspiring and qualified fitness instructors.

    This resource includes fundamentals and best practices of concepts, procedures, duties and responsibilities that individual and group fitness instructors perform on the job, covering the knowledge, skills and abilities needed for level 3 classification in the European Qualifications Framework (EQF), the baseline standards for registered fitness instructors in Europe. It provides mechanical and physiological information with hands-on techniques and practical examples to ensure that all fitness instructors deliver enjoyable and effective exercise sessions.

    Authored by renowned experts from all over Europe, EuropeActive’s Essentials for Fitness Instructors supports fitness instructors in promoting healthy lifestyle management and exercise adherence. Current and future fitness instructors will learn ideal ways to do the following:
    • Build rapport and motivate participants.
    • Identify participants’ motives and goals.
    • Prepare appropriate choreography and use music.
    • Provide effective and safe instruction; display and provide feedback on technique; and give advice on intensity, progressions and adaptations.
    • Deliver excellent customer service and be a positive role model for participants in a clean and safe environment.
    The book begins by addressing customer service and communication. By first detailing the principles of customer service, the importance of communication in teaching and how to provide and receive feedback, fitness instructors can receive the information that follows with the proper mind-set.

    The book then delves into the core of physiology of individual fitness training, giving instructors a solid base from which to work with clients. Chapters on cardiorespiratory exercise and resistance exercise explain the science and training methods specific to each type of workout, including optimal warm-ups and cool-downs, adaptations and matters of safety. A chapter on principles of training, including progression, dose–response relationship, specificity, overload and reversibility, ties all of these concepts together.

    The second half of the book deals with effective group instruction, specifying how to incorporate the science of training with the art of class leadership. Preparing for, delivering and even ending a class come with particular strategies that will boost retention and results, and three chapters on music and choreography take the guesswork out of structuring a routine. Finally, a chapter on stress management offers an overview of the effects of stress on health, symptoms to watch for and relaxation techniques. The book concludes with an appendix of the EuropeActive EQF level 3 standards for reference.

    Aspiring and qualified fitness instructors have a duty of care to keep up with the latest health and fitness standards. EuropeActive’s Essentials for Fitness Instructors ensures instructors are properly serving their industry and their clients. For those who promote physical activity and healthier lifestyles, there is no other title with more authority in Europe.


    For individuals working toward level 3 of the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and fitness professionals striving to comply with the latest industry standards and best practices.

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. Customer Service
    Thomas Rieger
    Principles of Customer Service
    Communicating About the Characteristics of Fitness Services
    Successful Customers Are Loyal Customers
    Managing Conflicts and Unsatisfied Customers
    Chapter 2. Communication: Giving and Gaining Feedback
    Vera Simões and Rita Santos-Rocha
    Role of Communication in Teaching
    Importance of Communication in Teaching and Retaining Clients
    Giving and Gaining Feedback During Fitness Sessions
    Characteristics of Feedback During Fitness Sessions
    Chapter 3. Cardiorespiratory Exercise
    Paolo Benvenuti and Silvano Zanuso,
    Cardiovascular Response to Exercise
    Warm-Up and Cool-Down
    Modifications to Allow for Individual Differences
    Cardiorespiratory Training Methods
    Dose–Response Relationship Based on Evidence
    Chapter 4. Resistance Exercise
    Fernando Naclerio and Jeremy Moody
    Basic Movement Analysis for Exercise Performance and Technique
    Safety and Risk of Injury in Resistance Training: Posture, Body Alignment and Range of Motion
    Safe and Effective Spotting Techniques
    Warming Up for Resistance Training
    Training Status and Individual Differences in Resistance Training Practitioners
    Dose–Response Relationship for Different Resistance Training Goals
    Chapter 5. Safe Progressive Exercise Planning
    Oscar Carballo Iglesias and Eliseo Iglesias-Soler
    Assessing Clients and Modifying Exercise Programmes
    Providing Proper Dose–Response Relationship for Individual Participants
    Communicating Effectively During Training
    Observing Physiological Changes
    Applying the Principles of Training
    Chapter 6. Preparing Fitness Programmes
    Sonia García Merino and Susana Moral González
    Gathering Information Prior to the Start of Class
    Programme Exercise Goals and Benefits
    Programme Suitability
    Required Level of Fitness and Intensity and Impact Options
    Chapter 7. Delivering a Group Fitness Class
    Simona Pajaujiene
    Helping Clients Choose Group Fitness Classes
    Core Concepts in Class Design
    Modifications to Planned Exercises
    Incorporating Functional Exercise Progression
    Intensity and Impact Options in Group Fitness Exercise
    Responding to a Medical Emergency
    Responsibilities of a Group Fitness Instructor
    Chapter 8. Teaching Group Fitness to Music
    Rita Santos-Rocha and Nuno Pimenta
    Characteristics of Music Used in Fitness Classes
    Moving to the Beat
    Using Music to Motivate Participants
    Structuring a Group Fitness to Music Class
    Basic Moves for a Self-Designed Group Fitness to Music Class
    Leading Movement and the Leading Leg
    Verbally and Visually Cueing an Exercise Routine
    Chapter 9. Music and Choreography
    Lenka Velínská
    Musical Structure
    Musical Tempo
    Use of Musical Structure
    Chapter 10. Ending a Session
    Jana Havrdová and Nuno Pimenta
    The Instructor’s Role
    The Club’s Role
    Chapter 11. Safety Guidelines for Group Fitness to Music
    Susana Moral González and Sonia García Merino
    Legal and Insurance Responsibilities
    Planning Class Activity
    Chapter 12. Stress Management Techniques
    João Moutão and Susana Franco
    Stress and Distress
    Implications of Distress for Health and Well-Being
    Symptoms of Anxiety and Depression That May Require Professional Attention
    Relaxation Techniques

    Appendix. EuropeActive Standards EQF Level 3 Fitness and Group Fitness Instructor

    About EuropeActive

    About the Editor

    About EuropeActive

    The European Register of Exercise Professionals (EREPS) uses the EuropeActive standards to ensure that exercise professionals are qualified to offer safe and effective fitness programmes to their clients all across Europe. EREPS provides consumers, employers and partners in medical professions with confidence so that registered trainers are competent and work to support its Code of Ethical Practice, which defines the rights and principles of exercise professionals. Referencing the EuropeActive standards to each trainer and being registered mean that they have met the minimum standards of good practice and that they are committed to raising the standards of their skills and professional status through a process of lifelong learning.

    EREPS is regulated by the EuropeActive Standards Council using the official European Qualifications Framework, which describes the knowledge, skills and competencies exercise professionals need to achieve for registration.

    About the Editors

    Rita Santos-Rocha, PhD is an associate professor at the Sport Sciences School of Rio Maior (ESDRM) Polytechnic Institute of Santarém, Portugal. Since 1998, she has been teaching courses in physical activity and public health, exercise testing and prescription and exercise biomechanics. Dr. Santos-Rocha is also a researcher at CIPER (Neuromechanics of Human Movement Group) of the Faculty of Human Kinetics, University of Lisbon. Her research projects are funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology and the European Union National Strategic Reference Framework in the fields of active pregnancy, active school, active ageing and biomechanics. She is a member of the scientific committee of the Gymnastics Federation of Portugal and vice chair of the standards council of EuropeActive. Dr. Santos-Rocha has a BSc in sport sciences, MSc in exercise and health and PhD in human movement and health and fitness. In the past, she was a fitness instructor, group gymnastics coach, and physical education teacher.

    Thomas Rieger is the chairman of the standards council of EuropeActive. He holds a doctoral degree in social sciences with a specialization in sport science (German PhD equivalent) from the University of Tübingen and a master’s degree in public health. In 2007, he was appointed as a professor of sport management at the Business and Information Technology School (BiTS) in Iserlohn, Germany. At BiTS, he is the vice dean of the bachelor’s programme of sport and event management and the MSc programme of international sport and event management. Previously, Dr. Rieger served as the visiting professor at the Real Madrid Graduate School and the European University Cyprus in Nicosia. Before entering academia in 2006, he gained more than six years of experience in the fitness industry, especially in the fields of fitness marketing and quality management.

    Alfonso Jiménez is a professor of exercise and health and the faculty dean of the health, exercise and sport sciences department at European University of Madrid (Spain) and a member of the scientific advisory board of UKActive Research Institute. Dr. Jiménez holds a visiting professorial appointment at Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia, as the international research associate. He is the chair of the Fitness Australia/ISEAL research programme and scienntific advisory committee at the University of Greenwich in London. During the time that he was head of school and deputy dean at Victoria University, Dr. Jimenez served as a professor and head of the Centre for Sports Sciences and Human Performance at the University of Greenwich. From 2009 to 2012, Professor Jiménez was the chairman of the standards council of EuropeActive, which at the time was called the European Health & Fitness Association. He was awarded honorary membership in recognition of his outstanding service. Dr. Jiménez’s background before entering academia centred on the fitness industry in management, research and sales.