Total Clock Hours: 300

Training Curriculum

Have a passion for fitness? Love doing what it takes to achieve your goals and help others reach new heights? Then enroll in courses at the American Academy of Personal Training (AAPT) and learn how to become a certified personal trainer.

Training Curriculum

Welcome to AAPT! We designed our rigorous personal training curriculum to produce the most skilled, the most knowledgeable and the most qualified personal trainers. In order to prepare students for the demands of the job, our instructors provide over 300 total clock hours of hands-on education at our incredible fitness center. At AAPT, we give you the tools you need to excel as a personal training coach.

AAPT offers a variety of personal trainer courses to help you get up and running in your career. Our curriculum is designed to build the foundation you need to succeed as a personal trainer, growing your clientele and business along the way. With 300 total clock hours, the courses available from AAPT take you through everything from nutrition to business to designing training programs tailored to your clients’ needs.

As you go through the program our team will be here to assist you every step of the way. AAPT can help you break down tuition costs and learn more about flexible, easy payment plans, as well as job placement opportunities once you complete the curriculum. Take the first step toward building your career with personal trainer courses from AAPT. If you have any questions about anything included in our curriculum, or to apply for admission, please contact a representative directly. We look forward to helping you reach the next level as a personal trainer!

Not a student yet? Sign up today or give us a call at (212) 242-2278 for our NY location or (617) 267-2278 for our Boston location to learn more about our personal training courses.

AAPT’s Personal Training Curriculum


Clock Hours

Clock Hours

Introduction to Fitness

  • Health, fitness and performance
  • US obesity and chronic disease
  • Physical activity and exercise requirements for adults
  • Cardiovascular risk factors
  • Benefits of exercise


  • Anatomical position
  • Planes of motion
  • Degrees of freedom
  • Upper body joint movements: Scapulohumeral rhythm
  • Lower body joint movements
  • Trunk / spine joint movements: Lumbopelvic rhythm
  • Movement evaluation: Daily activities Exercise Sports


  • Bioenergetics and ATP: Creating energy from food Aerobic energy systems Anaerobic energy systems
  • Application of energy systems to exercise and sport performance
  • Macronutrients: function and intake guidelines: Carbohydrates Fats Proteins
  • Food diaries and food labels
  • Nutrient balance
  • Energy balance: Caloric requirements and calculations Weight loss and weight gain
  • Diets


  • Skeletal muscle system: Structure and contractions Motor units and force production Types of contractions Types of muscle fibers Adaptations to acute and chronic training
  • Cardiorespiratory system: Anatomy of the heart, lungs and vascular system Cardiac output and oxygen delivery to the body Adaptations to acute and chronic training

Health and Fitness Assessments

  • Documents prior to assessment and training
  • S.M.A.R.T. goal setting
  • Selecting appropriate assessments
  • Resting assessments: Height, weight and Body Mass Index (BMI) Heart rates Calculating target heart rates Blood pressure Girth / circumference measures Body composition: skinfolds
  • Active assessments Cardiorespiratory fitness: VO2 testing, muscular strength and endurance tests Flexibility tests

Program Design I

  • Relating SMART goal setting and assessments to program design
  • Movement analysis and ADL evaluation
  • Principles of program design

Business of Personal Training

  • Scope of practice for the personal trainer
  • Successful trainer qualities and professionalism
  • Commercial gym settings
  • Alternate training settings
  • Self employment and building a business
  • Prospecting and retaining clients
  • Trainer business goal setting
  • Continuing development: National certificationsSpecialty certificationsCourses and CECs

Program Design II

  • Cardiovascular training programming
  • Resistance training programming
  • Warm-ups and cool-downs
  • Programming theory, intensity overlay
    and rep schemes
  • Exercise selection and organization
  • Periodization
  • Training protocols
  • Application to training sessions
  • Flexibility Posture analysis Normal ranges of motion Types of flexibility Stretching techniques and protocols Flexibility prescriptions

Anatomy I

  • Human skeleton Bones and connective tissues Type and structure of the joints Anatomical landmarks


  • Torque
  • Pulleys and levers
  • Muscular force-length relationship
  • Muscular force-velocity relationship
  • Pennate and fusiform muscular architecture
  • Application of biomechanical principles to
    training and program design
  • Overview of injuries and their prevention Common injuries Intrinsic and extrinsic factors Trainer responses to injuries

Anatomy II

  • Muscles of the shoulder, shoulder girdle and elbow
  • Muscles of the hip, knee and ankle
  • Muscles of the spine and pelvis
  • Muscular recruitment in movement and exercise

Exercise Selection, Creation and Technique

  • Exercise equipment: machines, cables, free weights, others
  • Exercise creation
  • Exercise set up and technique Upper body Lower body Spine / trunk
  • Multi-joint, single-joint and compound exercises
  • Exercise progression and regression

Program Enhancement

  • Balance training
  • Power and plyometrics
  • Speed training

Personal Training Sessions


Additional topics covered in the course curriculum:

  • Performing one-on-one cardiovascular and resistance training sessions
  • Preparation prior to session
  • Component design of a training session
  • Safe and effective execution of a training session
  • Trainer responsibilities and behaviors
    during a session
  • Recording of exercise performance during session