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  • ACE Weight Management Specialty Certification

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Guide Clients To Sustainable Weight Control

As an ACE Weight Management Specialist, you'll possess the knowledge needed to lead clients to long-term weight management success through a balance of behavior change strategies, exercise and nutrition. You'll also hold a greater understanding of the psyche of clients impacted by overweight or obesity, the concept of empathy, and how you can work with other health and fitness professionals to craft a sustainable path to healthy change.

Who is it designed for?

The ACE Weight Management Specialty Certification is designed for experienced health and fitness professionals certified with ACE and other organizations, nurse practitioners, registered dietitians, medical assistants, community leaders and members of the allied health team.

How do I earn one?

To earn an ACE Weight Management Specialty, candidates must complete all educational modules included in our digital learning platform. Each one incorporates expertise and practical learning opportunities from industry experts and ACE Professionals that help you apply weight-loss and behavior change strategies with clients affected by overweight or obesity, utilize coaching principles, and work with other health and fitness professionals to help clients achieve a sustainable, healthy weight.

Anyone may complete the Weight Management Specialty Certification curriculum, but only those who also hold a current NCCA-accredited certification or an equivalent professional credential will be recognized as an ACE Specialist. For a list of accepted pre-requisite credentials, click here.

After you complete all modules in the curriculum, an ACE Specialty Certification and continuing education credits will be uploaded to your My ACE Account, which you'll create during the purchase process and use to access the ACE Learning Center. The purchase price includes all materials and fees necessary to become a Specialist, and your designation as a Specialist will not expire. For more information, view our FAQs.

An ACE Weight Management Specialty Certification is approved for 2.5 ACE CECs. The program is also approved by the following organizations for continuing education hours:

  • AAMA
    25.0 CEUs in General Category
  • ACSM
    25.0 CECs
  • CI
    25.0 Contact Hours
  • NASM
    1.9 CEUs
  • NCSF
    7.0 CEUs
  • NFPT
    1.5 CECs
Behind the Door

BEHIND THE DOOR
A SHORT DOCUMENTARY ON OBESITY

To work effectively with clients in the field of weight management, it’s critical to gain an understanding of what the day-to-day life is like for those whose lives are impacted by overweight and obesity. In this documentary, one woman discusses the emotional and physical challenges she has faced in her lifelong battle with obesity.

MODULE 1

MODULE 1
(EXPERT ARTICLE, VIDEO, ONLINE QUIZ)

In this module, you'll review current demographic information and research related to the financial impact of the obesity epidemic using information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine. You'll also explore the science behind obesity and the physiological impact a high body mass index can have on the body's systems.

Learn More »

Expert Article

In this research article from the American Journal of Public Health, you'll examine the relationship between body mass index and mortality rates among adults in the United States. You'll also learn the impact of obesity on premature death.

Video

In this video provided by Institute of Medicine, obesity expert William Dietz, MD, PhD, director of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the George Washington University, reviews the current epidemiology of obesity in the United States.

Online Quiz

The quiz will gauge your knowledge on material reviewed in this module. As with all other curriculum components, the multiple-choice assessment is housed within the ACE interactive, digital learning platform.

MODULE 2

MODULE 2
(EXPERT ARTICLE, VIDEO, ONLINE QUIZ)

In this module, you'll explore negative stigma associated with being overweight, and how biases that people experience may have deep and long-lasting implications. You'll learn to recognize weight bias and discover why using "people first" language is especially important when working with clients affected by obesity.

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Expert Article

In Weight Bias and Size Sensitivity, you'll be introduced to the concepts of weight bias and discrimination. You'll also explore how this form of social discrimination has a negative impact on individuals impacted by weight management issues or obesity, and new research in the field.

Video Series

In this three-part video series, author and Health at Every Size® practitioner Rochelle Rice, MA, leads discussions about weight bias and size sensitivity among industry experts, fitness professionals, and clients dealing with weight management issues.

Online Quiz

The quiz will gauge your knowledge on material reviewed in this module. As with all other curriculum components, the multiple-choice assessment is housed within the ACE interactive, digital learning platform.

MODULE 3

MODULE 3
(EXPERT ARTICLE, VIDEO, ONLINE QUIZ)

In this module, you'll discover the importance of empathy and why understanding your clients' feelings is especially important when working with those impacted by obesity. You'll also discover why communicating on a deeper level using the BRIDGE method will help facilitate a collaborative, empowering relationship.

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Expert Article

In Empathy and Its Importance in Client Engagement, you'll be introduced to the concept of empathy. You'll also explore recent research on the impact of empathic communications and appropriate definitions.

Video

In this video, ACE Certified Health Coach and Behavior Change Specialist Lee Jordan, who overcame his own battle with obesity before beginning his career as a health and fitness professional, leads a discussion about empathy with three individuals impacted by obesity. In the video, clients discuss the challenges they face when working to manage their weight and the value of empathy.

Coaching Demo

In this video, you'll go inside a coaching session between a client affected by obesity and Jordan. You'll also join ACE Behavior Change Master Coach Billie Frances, MA, who provides tips on how to demonstrate more empathy in sessions.

Online Quiz

The quiz will gauge your knowledge on material reviewed in this module. As with all other curriculum components, the multiple-choice assessment is housed within the ACE interactive, digital learning platform.

MODULE 4

MODULE 4
(EXPERT ARTICLE, VIDEO, WEBINAR, PODCAST, ONLINE QUIZ)

In this module, you'll learn the basic concepts of behavior change and key strategies to utilize with clients. You'll also review the stages of change that clients experience during their health and fitness journeys. Because many seeking help in the area of weight management will naturally be in pre-contemplation, special attention will be paid to this stage.

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Expert Article

In Behavior Change Principles and Application, you'll learn about the ACE Cycle of Change, which includes three distinct phases—awareness, choice and execution. You'll also learn how changing human behavior requires the ability to help an individual adopt an introspective approach to any situation.

Video

In our What is Motivational Interviewing? video, you'll learn from the founder of motivational interviewing, William R. Miller, PhD. The acclaimed psychologist will discuss how and when to use open-ended questions, affirmations, reflective listening, and summarizing while communicating.

Webinar Series

In our two-part webinar series, you'll hear from Certified Obesity Prevention Specialist and ACE Certified Professional Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD, on the art of effective communication and how to use the 5 As system in effective behavior change coaching.

Podcast

In our Stages of Change podcast, James O. Prochaska, PhD, professor of psychology and developer of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change, discusses how the model applies to clients impacted by obesity, especially as they become more aware of their weight and the impact it has on their lives.

Online Quiz

The quiz will gauge your knowledge on material reviewed in this module. As with all other curriculum components, the multiple-choice assessment is housed within the ACE interactive, digital learning platform.

MODULE 5

MODULE 5
(EXPERT ARTICLE, WEBINAR, PODCAST, ONLINE QUIZ)

In this module, you'll focus on how to apply nutritional guidelines to clients impacted by weight management issues or obesity. You'll review the fitness professional's scope of practice and recommended daily allowances, as well as popular diets that your clients may have tried in the past or may ask you about during sessions.

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Expert Article

In Practical Applications in Nutrition for Weight Management, you'll review major findings of the 2015 dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). You'll gain insight on popular diets and factors to consider when evaluating plans for your clients, including appropriate information to share.

Webinar

In Practical Applications in Nutrition for Weight Management, you'll discover several online resources you can utilize to help your clients match their calorie intake with their weight-loss goals. You'll also learn some simple steps on how to set up the home for success in building healthy eating habits.

Podcast

In this podcast, Certified Obesity Prevention Specialist and ACE Certified Professional Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD, speaks with registered dietitian Gina Crome, MS, MPH, who overcame a personal battle with obesity before becoming a registered dietitian and earning her ACE Health Coach Certification.

Online Quiz

The quiz will gauge your knowledge on material reviewed in this module. As with all other curriculum components, the multiple-choice assessment is housed within the ACE interactive, digital learning platform.

MODULE 6

MODULE 6
(EXPERT ARTICLE, TEXT, WEBINAR, ONLINE QUIZ)

In this module, you'll learn why starting out right with exercise is especially important when working with clients impacted weight management issues or obesity, especially considering possible past negative associations with physical activity. You'll learn how to best begin, how to progress, and how to find the right modifications for various movements.

Learn More »

Expert Articles

You'll review four articles in this module, beginning with Physical Activity: Moving Toward Obesity Solutions, a summary review from the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Obesity Solutions workshop, and continuing with Physical Activity: Finding the Right Starting Point, which explores how to create starting points that meet individual needs and abilities of your clients. You'll also review Programming: Small Wins! and Programming: Exercise Progressions, which provides a detailed look at strategies to help you create opportunities for victory using engaging, innovative programming selections.

Webinar Series

Our four-part webinar series features experienced health and fitness professionals sharing insight from working with clients impacted by overweight and obesity, and what they've found to work. In Chronic Pain and Exercise: How the Rules Have Changed, corrective exercise expert and ACE Certified Medical Exercise Specialist Anthony Carey reviews relevant exercises for clients suffering from chronic pain based on the biopsychosocial model. ACE Certified Professional and acclaimed personal trainer Jonathan Ross, MA, continues the series with Finding the Right Starting Point, which discusses why the practice is especially critical when working with weight management clients. Ross then wraps the series up with Programming: Small Wins! and Programming: Exercise Progressions.

Online Quiz

The quiz will gauge your knowledge on material reviewed in this module. As with all other curriculum components, the multiple-choice assessment is housed within the ACE interactive, digital learning platform.

MODULE 7

MODULE 7
(EXPERT ARTICLE, VIDEO, WEBINAR, ONLINE QUIZ)

In this module, you'll explore key considerations and strategies for working with children and families impacted by obesity. You'll learn key strategies to prevent the onset of pediatric obesity, which is especially important considering creating healthy behaviors early on leads to healthier lives as adults.

Learn More »

Expert Article

In this module, you'll review three articles, starting with A Primer on Childhood, an overview of the prevalence of childhood obesity and possible methods of intervention, and continuing with An Introduction to Physical Literacy, which explores the concept and importance of creating environments where youth can focus on basic movement skills that pave the way for more active lifestyles. You'll also review The Potential and Reality of Physical Education in Controlling Overweight and Obesity, a research article published in the American Journal of Public Health that reviews the role of physical education in schools.

Video Series

This module includes five videos, two of which provide vital, science-based information from leading researchers in the field of youth fitness, and three from ACE Certified Personal Trainer Anna Renderer that offer engaging games and age-appropriate activities to use with youth. In Everyday Physical Activity and Its Role in Preventing Obesity, Kathleen Janz, PhD, of the University of Iowa discusses the role that physical activity plays in preventing childhood obesity. Physical Activity and Pediatric Obesity Prevention: Putting Science to Work continues the series with research from Shari Barkin, PhD, of Vanderbilt University on how youth grow and are impacted by different types of physical activity and programs.

The final three videos, hosted by Renderer, Integrative Fitness Training, the ABCs of Physical Activity, and Relay Race offer demonstrations of several games and activities that teachers, parents, coaches and fitness professionals can use to add variety to playtimes. Learn how fun activities and drills can improve strength, cardio fitness, coordination and balance safely and effectively.

Webinar

In our webinar, Top Tips to Prevent Childhood Obesity, you'll get a brief look at what a healthy diet for kids should look like. You'll also review some recommendations for women to take into account during pregnancy and for parents to implement during the first few years of their child's life, all of which will help set the stage for healthier eating habits later on.

Online Quiz

The quiz will gauge your knowledge on material reviewed in this module. As with all other curriculum components, the multiple-choice assessment is housed within the ACE interactive, digital learning platform.

MODULE 8

MODULE 8
(EXPERT ARTICLE, VIDEO, ONLINE QUIZ)

In this module, you'll focus on how working with various medical and allied health sub-specialties can help you most effectively guide clients to sustainable weight management. Find out which specialists can provide your clients with the help they need along their path to change.

Learn More »

Expert Article

As a complement to the roundtable discussion, you'll review guidelines on weight management of individuals and various positions provided by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Video

ACE Chief Science Officer Cedric X. Bryant, PhD, FACSM, leads a roundtable featuring several allied health and fitness professionals discussing how a multi-disciplinary approach can help increase chances of success for clients impacted by overweight and obesity.

Online Quiz

The quiz will gauge your knowledge on material reviewed in this module. As with all other curriculum components, the multiple-choice assessment is housed within the ACE interactive, digital learning platform.

MODULE 9

MODULE 9
(EXPERT ARTICLE, WEBINAR, PODCAST, ONLINE QUIZ)

In this module, you'll explore the field of bariatric surgery. Often considered the "easy way out," bariatric surgery is often a route taken by people impacted by obesity. You'll get an inside look at surgery options through the eyes of a patient and key members of a medical team, and you'll explore the role you can play in preparing clients beforehand and providing support afterward.

Learn More »

Expert Article

In An Introduction to Bariatric Surgery: Considerations for the Health and Fitness Professional, you'll review why it is considered an effective therapy for individuals impacted by morbid obesity, as well as basics of bariatric surgery and common procedures.

Webinar

Our webinar, An Introduction to Bariatric Surgery: Considerations for the Health and Fitness Professional, complements the expert article with information regarding pre-surgery nutritional guidelines and post-surgery exercise programming.

Podcast Series

Our three-part podcast series features ACE Certified Health Coach and experienced exercise physiologist, Deborah Pillarella, discussing considerations for bariatric surgery and after care with a patient and two members of the medical team. The series begins with a patient discussion and continues with insight from Paul Stanish, MD, FACS, surgeon and medical director at Healthy 4 Life, a division of the Community Healthcare System in Indiana, and Lorri Field-Philbin, RN, director of bariatric services at Community Hospital and St. Mary Medical Center in Indiana.

Online Quiz

The quiz will gauge your knowledge on material reviewed in this module. As with all other curriculum components, the multiple-choice assessment is housed within the ACE interactive, digital learning platform. Once you've successfully passed this final quiz, you will be recognized in our system as completing all curriculum included in the ACE Weight Management Specialty Certification.

The American Council on Exercise reserves the right to discontinue the sale and/or support of any continuing education course at any time, in order to cancel, correct, or update content based on current industry standards, guidelines, and/or technological advances. Notification will be given 6 months prior to expiration to allow for course completion and no refund will be given for expiring courses.