Visit SFA's Order Center

Home_American Senior Fitness Association

About SFA

SFA Training ProgramsSenior Fitness InstructorSenior Personal TrainerLong Term Care Fitness
Brain Fitness ProjectOrder Online Now!

SFA EDUCATIONProgram OptionsTesting OptionsProgram RenewalOrder Online Now!

DISTANCE EDUCATION Distance TestingOn-Line TestingContinuing Education

Frequent Questions

HANDY "PDF"  FORMSView All FormsProgram Order FormCertificate RenewalTest Proctor GuidelinesTest Proctor Application

SFA's College Program

SFA Membership

RESOURCESMature Fitness NetworkFitness Facts and TipsComing Events

LINKS AND CONTACTSSenior Fitness Links
Contact SFA

How to Order








































Copyright 2008-2022,
American Senior Fitness




Senior Fitness Certification Programs


The American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) has developed a versatile new program featuring state-of-the-art courses that can be conducted for college credit or as adult education classes. This new program is proving exceptionally viable and popular among colleges and universities.

Schools may choose a curriculum that prepares students for national professional Senior Fitness Instructor certification, national professional Senior Personal Trainer certification, or both.

Either program -- Senior Fitness Instructor or Senior Personal Trainer -- can be run as a one-semester three-credit-hour college course or as a short-term adult education course. Our Teacher's Guide provides complete instructions for both.

Also available are two-term plans that qualify students for both certifications. So, you may conveniently offer both courses through your school -- with even higher built-in savings for your students.

The college-credit format has been especially designed to complement a standard college semester.

The adult education format has been especially designed to match the time schedule that best serves your school and community. You can conduct an SFA adult ed class over the course of several months -- or complete it in only a few short weeks! Our excellent Teacher's Guide shows you how.

A Remarkable Program Value for Your Students

In addition to paying their course registration fee to the school, students purchase their materials package from SFA for $150.00, including one certification examination eligibility.

This package is both complete and comprehensive, including textbooks, training manuals, learning aids, video training, and certification examination privileges. And, best of all, these materials and services have been heavily discounted for your students.

Compare the savings:

  • SFA's professional certificate examination fee by itself is $100.

Without this student discount plan, Advanced Qualification program enrollment costs $364.00 to $384.00.

That is compared to $125 for your students -- including everything.

If your school runs both courses, students taking their second SFA certification course pay only $110 and that still includes their complete study materials package and their $100 examination fee.

Why does SFA offer such a substantial discount to schools? Because we appreciate the value of classroom support in implementing our training programs. We believe students gain even greater benefit from a term of study than from other training methods such as home-study/workshop combinations. And, to further reinforce our commitment, we will provide participating schools their complete Teacher's Resource Package, including our excellent Teacher's Guide, at no charge.

Course Content: Relevant, Practical, Current and Comprehensive

SFA courses address older adult exercise benefits and the rewards of adopting an active lifestyle. Students learn senior-specific guidelines for warm-ups, cool-downs, aerobics, strengthening, and stretch exercises. In-depth study is provided regarding pre-exercise medical screening, functional fitness assessments, programming with regard to commonly prescribed medications, and programming for special conditions (such as arthritis, osteoporosis, back problems, pulmonary disease, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, balance problems, and sight/hearing deficits).

SFA courses cover senior nutrition, the psychology of aging, general health promotion, and how to help older adults maintain exercise motivation. Students gain a thorough understanding of exercise physiology, including the physiology of aging. They study professional ethics, business issues, and protective legal and liability measures.

The Senior Fitness Instructor program emphasizes group dynamics and the development of group-exercise leadership skills, movement-to-music skills, aerobic dance for seniors, chair-seated exercise classes, total-body senior workout classes, fitness walking classes, and swimming pool classes for older adults.

The Senior Personal Trainer program emphasizes gym-based programming with a strong focus on safe and effective senior strength training, personalized functional fitness training, individual wellness counseling, conditioning for popular recreations such as golf and tennis, and one-on-one training for seniors at all fitness levels from frail to athletic.

Of course, each program includes the SFA national professional certification examination.

Many opportunities for hands-on practice and experience are indicated throughout SFA courses.

Our free Teacher's Guide provides numerous learning activity ideas. The course outlines are flexible and rich enough for teachers to select areas for emphasis depending on the many variables that affect class supervision (for example, the teacher's assessment of students' needs and the availability of on-campus exercise facilities, swimming pools, guest experts, etc.). Likewise, SFA lesson plans permit teachers to introduce additional materials of their own, if desired. However, because the programs are so complete and well organized, teachers may well choose to follow SFA course plans exactly.


The Student Resource Package

Senior Fitness Instructor Program:

  • Full Life Fitness textbook: senior exercise programming textbook, fully illustrated.
  • Senior Fitness Instructor Training Manual: walking programs, chair programs, swimming pool programs, music guidelines, relaxation and stress management techniques, special conditions, medications, nutrition, professional ethics and business concerns, details regarding practical applications.
  • Senior Fitness Instructor Study Questions Manual: measures ongoing comprehension throughout course and provides sample questions to prepare for SFA Senior Fitness Instructor certificate examination.
  • Movin' Out Senior Style Video: 90-minute model exercise demonstration of warm-up and cool-down periods, stretches, aerobic dance choreography, and strengthening exercises using both hand-held weights and resistance bands. It features standing, chair-seated and floor-exercise positions, demonstrating not only how to design effective workouts for active seniors, but also how to adapt specific exercises for persons with physical limitations. While this video portrays excellent music use for group instructors, its practical content also extrapolates exceptionally well to personal training and long term care settings.
  • LifeSpan Training Video: step-by-step instructions for scientifically-validated, senior-specific functional fitness assessments protocol (hosted by the original researchers).
  • Health and Fitness textbook: essential issues in exercise physiology; ideal both for teaching beginners and for reviewing advanced students (since SFA examinations are demanding in terms of physiology).
  • SFA Senior Fitness Instructor professional certificate examination eligibility.

Senior Personal Trainer Program:

  • Contemporary Readings in Senior Personal Training: text featuring selected topics for senior personal trainers including procedures for sports/recreation injury prevention and management, intergenerational opportunities, promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors, basic senior exercise guidelines, and strategies for increasing overall physical activity among older clientele.
  • Senior Personal Trainer Training Manual: personal wellness counseling, sports conditioning, intensive strength training, nutrition, business management, legal and liability concerns, professional ethics.
  • Special Population Imperatives Manual: special conditions, medications, details regarding practical applications.
  • Senior Personal Trainer Study Questions Manual: measures ongoing comprehension throughout course and provides sample questions to prepare for SFA Senior Personal Trainer certification examination.
  • LifeSpan Training Video: step-by-step instructions for scientifically-validated, senior-specific functional fitness assessments protocol (hosted by the original researchers).
  • Health and Fitness textbook: essential issues in exercise physiology; ideal both for teaching beginners and for reviewing advanced students (since SFA examinations are demanding in terms of physiology).
  • SFA Senior Personal Trainer professional certificate examination eligibility.

Please do not try to combine the Senior Fitness Instructor and Senior Personal Trainer courses into one course. Doing so will compromise your students' learning experience and prove overly complicated for the teacher. Run one course at a time. Packages for students enrolling in a second SFA certification course exclude already-owned material contained in both programs, and those students receive even higher discounts.

SFA study materials form a sound foundation for students' personal resource libraries and are referred to again and again after students complete training and enter their actual workplace practices.

Added Benefits for Your Students

  • Persons who earn SFA recognition are automatically pre-qualified for professional liability insurance.
  • Whereas SFA normally charges a re-test fee for subsequent examination attempts, your students will be given unlimited testing access; in other words, they may continue testing at no additional charge until they succeed.
  • Your students will be eligible for a student discount on SFA membership, which includes the association's quarterly periodical and additional benefits. For others, first-year membership is $55, annual renewal $39. Your students' discounted rate is $29 for first-year membership (and for annual renewal so long as they remain students).
  • For students who need continuing education credits to maintain other fitness certifications, we can provide CE privileges along with this course at a special student-discount rate.

The Teacher's Resource Package

SFA will provide the first Teacher's Resource Package for both courses at no charge. It includes all of the materials contained in student packages PLUS our extremely useful Teacher's Guide.

The SFA Teacher's Guide makes a teacher's workday hassle-free -- whether teaching for college-credit or adult education, and whether teaching the Senior Fitness Instructor program, the Senior Personal Trainer program, or both. The Teacher's Guide provides:

  • complete implementation instructions
  • detailed week-by-week lesson plans
  • assignment quizzes
  • student hand-out masters
  • supplemental readings
  • learning activity ideas
  • additional teacher's resource recommendations
  • study question answers

The teacher's Senior Personal Trainer package includes an additional video to play in the classroom for students, "Strength Training for Sedentary Adults," a 70-minute educational video featuring SFA National Advisory Board member Dr. Wayne Westcott on intensive senior strength training (video's retail price $40) and a "Movin' Out Senior Style" video for the same purpose (unless the teacher has already been issued a copy of that video for the Senior Fitness Instructor course).

Free of charge, your initial Teacher's Package(s) will be kept up-to-date by SFA. Prior to the start of each new term, you may receive new or replacement pages for your Teacher's Guide, replacement textbooks, or updated manuals. Student packages will also reflect any new improvements. More so than any other educational association, SFA maintains current-year editions of all educational programs, a major plus for colleges and universities that require their students' studies to be based on current research and the most up-to-date body of knowledge in the field. Therefore, student and teacher packages will always include any new or replacement materials the association has incorporated in order to keep the courses current, up-to-date, complete and preeminent.

Added Benefits for the Teacher

In addition to the complimentary Teacher's Resource Package, teachers receive complimentary SFA membership for as long as they serve as SFA-affiliated course instructors.

Also, teachers receive complimentary SFA testing eligibility (simply by arranging with SFA to have a fellow professor administer the examination).

Why Choose American Senior Fitness Association Courses?
  • Founded in 1992, the American Senior Fitness Association (SFA) is the international professional organization for health and fitness professionals who serve older adults. The association provides training resources, certification, educational publications including its web site at and continuing education programs for certified professionals.
  • All American Senior Fitness Association educational programs have been designed to meet or exceed accepted fitness industry safety standards. And, all programs have been extensively peer reviewed and professionally field tested.
  • SFA began the new millennium with current, year-2008 editions of all educational programs. The association reviews and updates programs annually, a major plus for colleges and universities planning to incorporate SFA training and certification procedures. Most of the association's resources go into course development and refinement, which keeps SFA programs current, complete and preeminent in the field.
  • The American Senior Fitness Association accepted the Year-2000 Raymond A. Ciszek Service Award for significant contributions to programs for older adults from the Council on Aging and Adult Development, a division of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). In past years, this prestigious international honor has been bestowed on the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, Keiser Industries, the AARP and other major service organizations.
  • The American Senior Fitness Association served on the national scientific advisory board for the LifeSpan assessments project. Involving thousands of older adult subjects across the nation, the project produced practical, scientifically-validated, senior-specific functional assessment procedures and, significantly, the first broad-based compilation of senior-specific performance norms. Headed by Drs. Roberta Rikli and Jessie Jones of California State University, Fullerton, the LifeSpan project's methods and outcomes have been extensively reported in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity (vol. 7, no. 2).
  • SFA educational programs are designed to meet the National Curriculum Standards for Preparing Senior Fitness Specialists, a coalition project involving SFA, the Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research, AAHPERD, ACE, California State University, AFAA and the Desert Southwest Center for Continuing Education. SFA president Janie Clark, M.A., was chosen by coalition chair Dr. Jessie Jones to co-author the publication of the National Standards in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity (vol. 6, no. 3). SFA has now been appointed to represent the American agencies named above on the coalition to develop International Curriculum Standards.
  • Recently SFA has been featured as an expert source by the New York Times, the Washington Post, Modern Maturity magazine, IDEA Source magazine, the AARP National News Service, and numerous other major media and news outlets.

Offer Exciting Senior Fitness Specialist Courses

  • Teach TIMELY courses in today's changing world!

  • Choose COLLEGE-CREDIT or ADULT ED formats!

  • Conduct COMPLETE courses of study!

  • Provide EXCEPTIONAL VALUE for your students!

  • Secure ECONOMICAL, EASY TO RUN courses for your school!

  • Gain national professional recognition for your students

  • Don't wait; these programs are completely READY for you!

Back to College / University general information

Go to College / University program ordering information


Copyright 2008-2022, American Senior Fitness Association


Good news for senior fitness professionals & fitness enthusiasts. SFA basic membership is now free!

There's no catch or obligation. You'll get SFA's e-newsletter, "Experience!", discounts on SFA programs and more. SFA will not share your information with any other organizations.

International Curriculum Guidelines for Preparing Physical Activity Instructors of Older Adults.  

National Standards for Preparing Senior Fitness Instructors