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NSCA's Essentials of Training Special Populations

NSCA's Essentials of Training Special Populations


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    NSCA's Essentials of Training Special Populations is an indispensable text for aspiring and established exercise professionals working with special populations such as children, aging adults, and clients with temporary or permanent physical or cognitive conditions and disorders.Clients with special conditions often require modifications to general exercise recommendations, specific exercise facility design, and particular training equipment. This text will help exercise professionals design customized programs for clients with these unique considerations.

    NSCA's Essentials of Training Special Populations is the ideal preparatory resource for those seeking to become an NSCA Certified Special Population Specialist (CSPS) and a practical reference for anyone who assesses, motivates, educates, and trains special population clients regarding their health and fitness needs. Editor Patrick L. Jacobs and a team of qualified contributors provide evidence-based information and recommendations on particular training protocols for a breadth of conditions, including musculoskeletal conditions, cardiovascular conditions, immunologic disorders, and cancer.

    The text discusses the benefits of exercise for special populations and the exercise-related challenges they often face. This is followed by a review of the pathology and pathophysiology of numerous conditions and disorders. Tables listing exercise recommendations for specific conditions are presented, complete with training modifications, precautions, and contraindications, as well as commonly prescribed medications and their potential effects on exercise responses and adaptations.

    Ancillaries (an instructor guide, test package, and presentation package plus image bank) are available to instructors at


    Primary preparation resource for the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Special Population Specialist (CSPS) certification exam. Also a resource manual for certified exercise professionals as well as commercial, community, and corporate health and fitness facilities that have members with special needs or conditions.

    Table of Contents

    Chapter 1. Rationale and Considerations for Training Special Populations
    Patrick L. Jacobs, PhD, CSCS,*D, FNSCA
    Benefits of Exercise
    Inactivity and Costs to Individuals and to Society
    Why Are People Inactive?
    Specific Exercise Programming for Special Populations
    Scope of Practice of Those Working With Special Populations
    Professional Opportunities for Those Training Special Populations
    Expectations in the Training of Special Populations
    Appropriate Environments for Training Special Populations
    Chapter 2. Health Appraisal and Fitness Assessments
    John F. Graham, MS, CSCS,*D, RSCC*E, FNSCA
    Malcolm T. Whitehead, PhD, CSCS
    Medical and Health History Appraisal
    Fitness Assessment
    Fitness Assessment Protocols
    SMART Goal Setting
    Motivational and Coaching Techniques
    Chapter 3. Musculoskeletal Conditions and Disorders
    Carwyn Sharp, PhD, CSCS,*D
    Disorders of the Spine and Associated Musculature
    Disorders of the Skeletal System
    Disorders of Joint Structures
    Disorders of the Muscular System
    Chapter 4. Metabolic Conditions and Disorders
    Thomas P. LaFontaine, PhD, CSCS, NSCA-CPT
    Jeffrey L. Roitman, EdD
    Paul Sorace, MS, CSCS
    Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus
    Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus
    Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism
    Chronic Kidney Disease
    Chapter 5. Pulmonary Disorders and Conditions
    Kenneth W. Rundell, PhD
    James M. Smoliga, DVM, PhD, CSCS
    Pnina Weiss, MD, FAAP
    Pulmonary Hypertension
    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
    Chronic Restrictive Pulmonary Disease
    Cystic Fibrosis
    Chapter 6. Cardiovascular Conditions and Disorders
    Ann Marie Swank, PhD, CSCS
    Carwyn Sharp, PhD, CSCS,*D
    Peripheral Arterial Disease
    Chronic Heart Failure
    Myocardial Infarction
    Atrial Fibrillation
    Pacemakers and Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators
    Valvular Disorders
    Cardiovascular Surgical Procedures: Coronary Artery Bypass Graft and Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty
    Chapter 7. Immunologic and Hematologic Disorders
    Don Melrose, PhD, CSCS,*D
    Jay Dawes, PhD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D, FNSCA
    Misty Kesterson, EdD, CSCS
    Benjamin Reuter, PhD, ATC, CSCS,*D
    Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    Sickle Cell Disease
    Chapter 8. Neuromuscular Conditions and Disorders
    Patrick L. Jacobs, PhD, CSCS,*D, FNSCA
    Stephanie M. Svoboda, MS, DPT, CSCS
    Anna Lepeley, PhD, CSCS
    Multiple Sclerosis
    Parkinson’s Disease
    Muscular Dystrophy
    Cerebral Palsy
    Traumatic Brain Injuries
    Spinal Cord Injuries
    Chapter 9. Cognitive Conditions and Disorders
    William J. Kraemer, PhD, CSCS,*D, FNSCA
    Brett A. Comstock, PhD, CSCS
    James E. Clark, MS, CSCS
    General Exercise Considerations for Clients With Cognitive Disorders
    Exercise Recommendations for Clients With Cognitive Conditions and Disorders
    Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Down Syndrome
    Intellectual Disability
    Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
    Philosophy of Exercise Programming for Clients With Special Needs
    Chapter 10. Cancer
    Alejandro F. San Juan, PhD, PT
    Steven J. Fleck, PhD, CSCS, FNSCA
    Alejandro Lucia, MD, PhD
    Pathology of Cancer
    Pathophysiology of Cancer
    Specific Management and Treatment of Individuals With Cancer
    Common Medications Given to Individuals With Cancer
    Effects of Exercise in Individuals With Cancer
    Exercise Recommendations for Clients With Cancer
    Chapter 11. Children and Adolescents
    Avery D. Faigenbaum, EdD, CSCS, CSPS, FNSCA
    Trends in Youth Physical Activity
    Benefits of Physical Activity for Children and Adolescents
    Growth, Maturation, and Physical Activity
    Effects of Exercise in Children and Adolescents
    Exercise Recommendations for Children and Adolescents
    Chapter 12. Older Adults
    Wayne L. Westcott, PhD, CSCS
    Exercise Recommendations for Older Adults
    Common Medications Given to Older Adults
    Effects of Exercise in Older Adults
    Exercise Recommendations for Older Adults
    Recommended Strategies for Instructing Older Adults
    Chapter 13. Female-Specific Conditions
    Jill A. Bush, PhD, CSCS,*D
    Female Athlete Triad
    Pregnancy and Postpartum
    Menopause and Postmenopause

    About the Editor

    About the NSCA

    The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is the world’s leading organization in the field of sport conditioning. Drawing on the resources and expertise of the most recognized professionals in strength training and conditioning, sport science, performance research, education, and sports medicine, the NSCA is the world’s trusted source of knowledge and training guidelines for coaches, athletes, and tactical operators. The NSCA provides the crucial link between the lab and the field.

    About the Editor

    Patrick L. Jacobs, PhD, CSCS,*D, is the owner and head coach at Superior Performance. He earned his doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Miami. He is a Fellow of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the International Society of Sports Nutrition. He is a licensed athletic trainer (Florida) and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

    Jacobs has published many peer-reviewed scientific articles on exercise and nutritional interventions in populations ranging from people with spinal cord injuries to elite athletic competitors. He has coordinated the performance programs of collegiate and professional championship athletes in a variety of sports, including football, baseball, powerlifting, bodybuilding, auto racing, and sailing. He is also an inventor whose name appears on several exercise device patents.


    All ancillaries are free to course adopters and available at

    Instructor guide. Includes additional resources to aid in lecture preparation, including sample application questions, key terms with definitions, and chapter objectives and outlines.

    Test package. Contains a bank of more than 100 questions in multiple-choice format.

    Presentation package plus image bank. Includes more than 580 PowerPoint slides to augment classroom discussion and lectures. More than 80 figures, tables, and images from the book, organized by chapter, can be used by instructors in handouts and classroom activities to reinforce key concepts.

    The presentation package plus image bank is also available for purchase • ISBN 978-1-4925-0396-5