The National Certificate in Fitness is an in-depth course aimed at qualifying you as a multi-skilled fitness professional of the highest caliber. Drawing from the latest research in exercise science (with a comprehensive introduction to special population groups), it prepares you to work in a variety of fields, including personal training, wellness management and strength conditioning. It covers all facets of personal training (including an overview of injury prevention and special considerations), enabling you to provide all-inclusive personal training services to the general population, as well as people with disabilities.
You will gain a strong foundation in exercise science, learning, among other things, the fundamentals of anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and nutrition, as well as fitness principles and programme design to help your clients safely and effectively reach their training goals.
We have structured three different programmes through which this course is delivered, enabling you to study in a way that suits your time requirements, learning preferences and career goals.
The full time weekday programme is the full, value-added package; a more intensive option (with more contact time) in which you can diversify your qualification through additional specialisation electives. You can choose between a sport track to work with athletes at an amateur or professional level or a complete fitness track to broaden your range of instruction to include highly in-demand offerings including, Pilates, boot camp and weight management. This is the ideal option for those wishing to become accomplished industry players! With these additional electives you will be able to offer your clients more, earn more and have greater employment prospects!
FULL TIME STRUCTURE
The Saturday morning and blended-learning options do not include the additional specialisation electives. These options cater to more time-sensitive students who need to balance their studies with work and family commitments.
PART TIME STRUCTURE
An in-depth course covers all facets of personal training, enabling you to provide all-inclusive personal training services
It is the first year of a 2-year Diploma in Exercise Science qualification (NQF 5) that broadens your scope of practice and earning potential, allowing you to work with people who have special physical needs or athletes.
Internationally recognised by the International Register of Exercise Professionals (Work internationally and earn $$$ – we are a preferred supplier to Steiner International for cruise ship jobs)
Delivered through three different programmes, enabling you to choose a mode that suits your time requirements, learning preferences and career goals
Diversify your qualification through additional specialisation electives (sports track and complete fitness track available to enhance your expertise, scope of practice & earning potential)
The sport track prepares you to work in sports-specific roles and environments, with electives in sports conditioning, sports massage and sports nutrition
The complete fitness track will broaden your range of instruction to include highly in-demand offerings including, Pilates, boot camp and weight management
Provide all-inclusive personal training services to the general population, as well as people with disabilities
Work in a variety of fields as a personal trainer in a commercial gym, private studio or sports and recreation centre
Be your own boss, providing in-home services, online training and corporate offerings
Travel the world while you work on-board international cruise liners or for international holiday clubs
Own your own fitness facility
Work in sports-specific roles and environments (with sport track electives)
Offer more comprehensive offerings including Pilates, boot camp & weight management (with complete fitness track electives)
Full Time Weekday Programme (Value-added specialisation electives)
Saturday Morning Programme
How is this course delivered? (Study mode & duration)
We have structured three different programmes through which this course is delivered, enabling you to choose a mode that suits your time requirements, learning preferences and career goals. This makes it ideal for career changers, school leavers, working professionals, those who want to launch their careers without any delays and those who would like to take their careers all the way!
Full Time Weekday programme
The full time weekday programme is the full, value-added package; a more intensive option in which you can diversify your qualification through additional specialisation electives. You can choose between a sport track and a complete fitness track to increase your scope of practice and employment prospects.
The sport track prepares you to work in sports-specific roles and environments, with electives in:
Sports Conditioning: Learn power, strength, speed, agility and coordination techniques to improve athletic performance
Sports Massage: Learn general and sport-specific massage techniques with a focus on massage contraindications, stretching principles and trigger point therapy
Sports Nutrition: Gain adequate knowledge of sports nutrition to provide clients with basic advice to enhance general health and athletic performance
The complete fitness track provides the opportunity for you to broaden your range of instruction and provide more comprehensive offerings in a fitness environment. The electives include:
Pilates ABCs & Intermediate: Gain a solid foundation of Pilates principles to instruct at a beginner to intermediate level within a gym or studio environment
Boot Camp Instructor: Draw upon knowledge from multiple disciplines (kettlebells, group fitness, functional training and traditional boot camp training) to create and deliver dynamic boot camp classes
Weight Management Coach: Learn the basics of weight loss to safely and effectively advise clients on healthy weight management practices
This option is ideal for students who wish to take their careers all the way! It provides more contact time with classes held every Tuesday and Thursday over a 10 month period. These classes take on a practical approach in a gym environment so that students learn in a relevant and effective way.
Saturday morning programme
This option does not include the additional specialisation electives, catering to more time-sensitive students through a mixture of interactive class-time and online learning. Classes are held every alternate Saturday over a six month period, while students have a year in which to complete the coursework and assignments via our online learning platform (OLP).
This is a well-balanced option for working professionals who would like to reap the advantages of more traditional learning, but cannot attend classes on a daily basis.
Blended-learning does not include the additional specialisation electives. It is a flexible study mode that combines online home-study with quarterly workshops. While you can complete the course entirely (and comfortably) online, these optional workshops serve as revision sessions in which you can ask questions, revise key concepts and receive hands-on guidance from our master trainers.
Although majority of this programme is completed online, you will never be alone in your studies. You will receive constant communication and on-going feedback from your very own online tutor and steadfast support from our dedicated online-support team.
Where is this course delivered? (Campuses & training centres)
Classes and revision workshops are offered throughout the country at our world-class training centres. With state-of-the-art weight and cardio equipment, studios, functional training areas and teams of fitness experts, each centre offers an ideal learning environment for aspiring fitness professionals.
Our training centres include:
What career opportunities are available once I have completed this course? (Career paths & scope of practice)
There is a highly specific scope of practice appropriate to each level of personal training education. This certification covers all facets of personal training (including an overview of injury prevention and special populations), enabling you to provide all-inclusive personal training services to the general population, as well as people with disabilities. It is an excellent choice for those who love fitness and the idea of inspiring and motivating others, working flexible hours and being part of a booming industry.
And, for those who wish to become accomplished industry players, the specialisation tracks in sport and fitness will enhance your scope of practice so that you can offer your clients more, earn more and enjoy greater employment prospects.
With the specialised sport electives you will be able to work with athletes in sport-specific roles to help improve their athletic performance, while the complete fitness track will broaden your range of instruction to include highly in-demand offerings that will meet the expectations of clients and employers.
What are the contents of this course? (Modules & chapters)
MODULE 1: ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY
Chapter 1 – Orientation concepts
Chapter 2 – The role of the neural system in movement
Chapter 3 – The role of the muscular system in movement
Chapter 4 – The muscular system
Chapter 5 – The skeletal system
Chapter 6 – Articulations
Chapter 7 – Energy systems
Chapter 8 – Respiratory system
Chapter 9 – Cardiovascular system
Chapter 10 – Lever system and Biomechanical factors in movement
MODULE 2: FORMATIVE ASSESSMENTS AND PRACTICAL TESTING
Chapter 1 – Initial Health screening
Chapter 2 – Fitness assessment
MODULE 3: DESIGN & TEACH
Chapter 1 – Periodisation of an annual exercise programme
Chapter 2 – Designing microcyles
MODULE 4: SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS
Chapter 1 – Environmental factors affecting training intensity
Chapter 2 – Injury
Chapter 3 – CPR
Chapter 4 – 21st Century clients
Chapter 5 – Disabilities
MODULE 5: PSYCHOLOGY AND LIFESTYLE ISSUES
Chapter 1 – Stress management
Chapter 2 – Physical activity and psychological well-being
MODULE 6: LEGAL AND INSURANCE ISSUES
Chapter 1 – Legal issues
Chapter 2 – Insurance requirements
Chapter 3 – The fitness industry
MODULE 7: ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Chapter 1 – Entrepreneurship
MODULE 8: NUTRITION AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
Chapter 1 – Energy balance
Chapter 2 – Designing a healthy diet
Chapter 3 – Digestion
Chapter 4 – Food groups
Chapter 5 – Macronutrients
Chapter 6 – Micronutrients
Chapter 7 – Dietary supplements
Chapter 8 – Understanding GI & GL
Chapter 9 – Food labelling
COURSE ELECTIVE – TRAINING IN DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTS
Chapter 1 – Programme design
Chapter 1 – Equipment
Chapter 2 – Flexibility
Chapter 3 – Resistance training
ADDITIONAL SPECILISATION ELECTIVES: SPORT TRACK
ADDITIONAL SPECIALISATION ELECTIVES: COMPLETE FITNESS TRACK
– Bootcamp Instructor
Do I need any previous qualifications to enroll in this course? (Entry requirements)
To be accepted into certain courses you may be required to hold a prior qualification (prerequisite) or have specific skills or experience. This is important to ensure that you can learn at a certain academic level and are comfortable and confident with the course work presented.
In order to enroll in our Personal Trainer course you should hold a recognised and relevant NQF 4 qualification (matric or equivelant). Alternatively, should you not meet this requirement, you can consider the below options:
Complete our Fitness Instructor course that will provide you with an NQF 4 qualification and allow you access into the Personal Trainer course.
Follow a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) process to ascertain if you can enter the course with a reasonable chance of success.
Apply for mature age exemption through Higher Education South Africa (HESA) if you are over 23 years of age.
How will I be recognised once I have completed this course? (Accreditation & certification)
An important factor in realising a successful career in health and fitness is choosing a reputable academic institution that has been through an accreditation process and is recognised and trusted by employers and recruiters in the industry.
The main function of CATHSSETA is to facilitate skills development to contribute to the economic growth of the country. By studying a CATHSSETA accredited course you are ensured of learning skills that are needed and recognised by employers in the industry and that your training is subject to quality control. On top of this, the credits earned can be accumulated with other credit-bearing skills programmes to contribute (where possible) towards a full qualification.
What opportunities exist for continuing education upon completion of this course? (Continuous professional development)
Personal trainer certifications vary according to their specialisation. Upon completion of this course, you can enter the workplace immediately with sufficient knowledge and experience in the use of equipment, training and screening techniques. And, if you have completed either the sports elective track or the complete fitness track, you will have increased scope and marketability in the industry.
However, as the fitness industry continues to grow, the demand for excellence in the field becomes higher and higher and fitness professionals can no longer get by without keeping up with evolving trends and consumer demands. We provide a number of opportunities for you to pursue further learning to continually evolve with the industry and give clients and employers what they want.
Once you have completed this course, you can gain direct access into our Exercise Specialist course in which you will gain 101 credits, learning the specifics of designing, implementing and instructing exercise for pregnancy, the youth and the elderly. You can also gain direct access into our Sports Conditioning course in which you will gain 81 credits, focusing on the principles and methods of sport fitness conditioning for pregnancy, the youth and the elderly.
Alternatively, to work with even more population groups, including those with cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, immunological, neurological and metabolic conditions, you can undergo an RPL process to enter into our Advanced Certificate in Exercise Science. With a focus on special population groups and high-performance training, as well as advanced assessment, programme design and periodisation techniques, this course will allow you to work with a referral team of medical practitioners, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, biokineticists, sports scientists and clinical dietitians. As an NQF 6 qualification it also provides further advancement for you to be able to enter some programmes at a university level.
On top of this we provide a number of short and continuing education courses focused on developing specific skills to help you stay relevant within the industry and earn your CPD points as required by the International Register of Exercise Professionals.
Pre & Post Natal Exercise
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Full Time Weekday programme available at:
Saturday morning programme available at:
Workshops for blended-learning students available at all main campuses and training centres nationwide
2017 Course Dates
Part time programmes: To commence in July 2017
Blended-learning programme: Start any time
Full Time Weekday programme R 36,000
Saturday morning programme R 23,500
Blended-learning programme R 18,000