Course Content
Please review this information prior to starting the course.
1. Current State of Health and Fitness
Learning objectives: -- Understand current statistics around physical fitness, inactivity and obesity within the US and worldwide -- Gain an understanding of how obesity and disease impact healthcare costs and overall public health -- Understand how FitLot Outdoor Fitness Parks can be part of the solution
2. History and Benefits of Outdoor Fitness
Learning objectives: -- Understand the history of outdoor fitness and outdoor fitness parks -- Describe the health benefits of exercising outdoors -- Explain the potential impact of accessible green space and outdoor fitness parks on public health and communities
3. Group Training in Public Spaces
Learning objectives: -- Understand the benefits of exercising in groups -- Identify considerations for training in outdoor and public spaces -- Identify specific areas of concern for instructors leading classes safely in outdoor public spaces
4. Circuit Training Overview
Learning Objectives -- Understand the history behind circuit training programs -- Learn the benefits of circuit training, based on research -- Understand why circuit training is effective in a community class setting
5. Review of Anatomy
Learning Objectives -- Reinforce the importance of a basic understanding of bones and muscles -- Review the basic joint actions and types of muscle contractions -- Review the anatomical planes and understand their utilization in exercise programming
6. Foundational Training Principles and Concepts
Learning Objectives -- Understand the basic components of physical fitness -- Explain basic principles of exercise programming -- Review select points of exercise physiology and the various energy pathways
7. Training Fundamentals
Learning Objectives -- Describe and demonstrate fundamental movements -- Understand the fundamental elements that are incorporated into FitLot Circuit Training classes -- Identify the 11 fixed stations of the outdoor fitness park structure and describe exercises that may be performed at each of them.
8. FitKit Resistance Band Training
Learning Objectives -- Understand the FitKit Resistance Band System and how it can be incorporated into FitLot training -- Explain how the FitKit resistance bands, and other equipment utilizing anchor points, attach to the FitLot structure -- Understand existing research that supports the effectiveness of resistance band training -- Describe specific exercises that use the FitKit resistance bands
9. FitLot Circuit Training Program
Learning Objectives -- Understand FitLot Circuit Training Program methodology -- Understand how FitLot Circuit Training classes are organized and implemented -- Learn how to plan a FitLot Circuit Training class
10. Coaching and Class Instruction
Learning Objectives -- Understand successful instruction techniques for teaching outdoor fitness classes -- Describe best practices for class execution regarding music, timing, vocal instruction, monitoring intensity, and class setup
11. Considerations for Special Populations and Health Emergencies
Learning Objectives -- Understand the importance of pre-screening and health risk assessment procedures as part of the registration process -- Identify common conditions that may present special health and safety concerns in an outdoor fitness park class -- Identify special populations that may require extra attention and modifications during an outdoor fitness park class -- Describe environmental conditions that may arise when instructing outdoor fitness classes and how to handle them safely -- Identify emergency conditions and situations and explain corresponding appropriate action
FitLot Coaches Training Course
About Lesson

Instructors leading FitLot training sessions should be aware of apparent risk factors that may affect individuals participating in the program. Class participants may be dealing with specific issues, chronic health related conditions, and physical challenges. While a trainer should never go beyond their scope of practice, awareness is paramount so that appropriate modifications, regressions and/or progressions can be provided. Please note the information in this section is not all inclusive and serves to be a reminder of the training you should have received during your fitness certification process. We recommend and expect that all practicing fitness professionals be certified, self insured and hold a current CPR certification. 


Since health risk assessment questionnaires and liability release forms are included in the registration process, a trainer’s responsibility lies in ensuring all class members have officially completed the process before participating in a training session. All participants will be informed of the importance of obtaining a doctor’s clearance before engaging in any fitness classes. Trainers and park staff members should be familiar with factors that contribute to increased health risk when exercising, in the event that appropriate action needs to be taken. Please reference Appendix B for ACSM’s intake form that may be used to assess risk.  

Common Cardiac Conditions

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

CHD is a condition resulting from the development of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries. The accumulation of hard plaque narrows the artery walls, blocking the flow of blood and oxygen. CHD is the most common cause of sudden death in people over age 65, and men are 10 times more likely to experience this than women (Matthews et al. 2016). 


Hypertension is the term for high blood pressure, categorized by a systolic blood pressure of >140 mmHg and/or a diastolic blood pressure of >90 mmHg. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 75 million American adults (32%) have high blood pressure, which is equivalent to 1 in 3 adults (Nwankwo et al. 2013). 

Recommendations for Instructors:

  • – Encourage participants to continually self-monitor exercise intensity
  • – Offer modifications to avoid abrupt changes in position, specifically seated or lying down to standing, which may cause dizziness
  • – Encourage participants to avoid holding their breath during the exertion phase of an exercise (also known as the Valsalva maneuver).

Exercise causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, which adds additional stress to the heart during training sessions and increases the risk of a cardiac event. Instructors should be aware of participants affected by both CHD and hypertension. 

Common Pulmonary Conditions

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

COPD refers to a group of diseases that cause respiratory conditions that obstruct airflow, including emphysema, asthma and bronchitis. According to the CDC, 16 million Americans suffer from COPD (National, 2018).


Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder that causes obstruction to airflow. Afflicted individuals may experience difficulty breathing, coughing, wheezing and overall feelings of chest tightness. Exercise and physical activity can induce an asthmatic response in some individuals, which is referred to as exercise-induced asthma.  

Recommendations for Instructors:

  • – Encourage participants to hold off from participating in class if symptoms are active
  • – Guide participants through extended warm ups and cool downs, in order to avoid sudden changes in intensity
  • – Remind participants to stay hydrated and to keep airways moist before, during and after class sessions.
  • – Check in with participants throughout class to observe the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and possible shortness of breath.
  • – Become familiar with techniques that may help people with COPD breath better, ie. pursed-lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing.
  • – Require participants to carry inhalers or other necessary medication on their person.
  • – Be aware of environmental factors that may exacerbate COPD symptoms, including cold temperatures, air quality, and allergen levels.

Responding to Cardiorespiratory Emergencies

All outdoor fitness park instructors are required to be trained in CPR and AED safety and hold current certifications. 


Possible Signs/Symptoms

Recommended Action

Heart Attack

Pain in chest, arms, back, jaw; breathing difficulty, nausea, dizziness, anxiety, fatigue

Call EMS

Asthma Attack

Difficulty breathing, tightness in chest and neck, wheezing, coughing, pale appearance

Instruct participants to use medication; Call EMS if symptoms persist or consciousness is lost


Coughing, unable to speak, pale or blue colored skin, loss of consciousness

Call EMS; Attempt to dislodge