Provider: Functional Aging Institute
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Help your clients achieve longevity, independence and happiness through functional movement.

As a health and fitness professional, you have most likely worked with active agers at some point in your career—and you also probably know that the methodologies and programming you implement with younger clientele is not always optimal for those over 55 years old. Despite an exploding population of active agers, very few health and fitness professionals are qualified to safely and effectively work with clients over age 55. Consistent exercise through all phases of life is crucial to maintaining health, well-being and independence. As a Functional Aging Group Exercise Specialist, you’ll help older clients thrive both physically and mentally—and give them the freedom to live life to the fullest.

The Functional Aging Group Exercise Specialist program—built upon the Functional Aging Training Model (FATM)—is an innovative approach to training. The course is led by two instructors: Debi Pillarella—recipient of the prestigious Fitness Director of the Year Award and a Master Trainer and spokesperson for the American Heart Association–and Dr. Dianne McCaughey, an award-winning fitness specialist with a PhD in Gerontology. Through this course you will gain an in-depth understanding of functional training strategies and movements, and learn how to create effective group exercise programs and safely implement them in a large group setting with students who are functionally diverse.

Diversify your expertise and expand your client base

With approximately 77 million Baby Boomers in the United States—and 45 million Americans over the age of 71-the active aging fitness market is experiencing a significant boom. The Functional Aging Group Exercise Specialist program will position you to help a massive yet underserved population.

Designed for health and fitness professionals who want to become experts in safely and effectively designing and leading group exercise programs for active agers, this course will help you better understand when to fully apply a training method versus when to modify it based on range of motion limitations, joint stability and/or cardiorespiratory conditions. If you are trained in a specific modality—such as Pilates, yoga or boot camp—the Functional Aging Group Exercise Specialist program will teach you how to use those methods in a safer and more effective manner with active agers.

What’s in the curriculum?

The Functional Aging Group Exercise Specialist is a comprehensive course for group exercise instructors who want to become experts in functional aging and training older adults. You will receive in-depth instruction on functional training strategies and movements, learn how to create and develop effective group exercise programs and develop the critical skills required to be an effective group exercise professional with aging adults.

How do I become a Functional Aging Group Exercise Specialist?

This program consists of three lessons for a total of 13 modules. You must pass a 30-question examination after each lesson with a score of 80% or higher. Upon successful completion of all lessons, you will be recognized as a Functional Aging Group Exercise Specialist by the Functional Aging Institute (FAI).

In addition, you will be added to the FAI's certified professional map, where potential clients can find a FAI certified trainer in their area. Please note: This specialist program has a renewal period of two years. To renew, you must report 40 CEUs to FAI and pay a renewal fee of $49.