The Personal Training for Special Populations Certification Course
K11 School of Fitness Sciences


The PT-SP Course: All You Need To Know
Apr 28, 2021
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K11 School of Fitness Sciences

Image of skeleton for special populations


As a fitness professional, your learning must never stop. That’s doubly true if you’re a K11-certified Diploma in Personal Training (DPT) holder. Your professional development as a fitness professional depends on the knowledge you amass through the years. It depends on constantly upgrading your knowledge and expanding your horizons. That is why we have a Personal Training for Special Populations (PT-SP) Certification Course, which can give you that much needed knowledge upgrade.

What’s more is that after you successfully complete the course, you can get better access to a subset of a population that is underserved because of a lack of certified fitness professionals who can handle special population clients. Why is this important? Not any personal trainer can cater to the needs of a special population client. You must carry with you knowledge of the pathologies that people suffer from to be able to effectively train such clients belonging to the special population category.

What Is “Special Populations”?

Special consideration needs to be made for preteen children, geriatric population (70 plus/senior citizens), and prenatal and postnatal women (pregnant and lactating). Their condition needs to be understood. Apart from these, all people with metabolic disorders and neuro-musculo-skeletal issues are included in the category of special populations. All of these people should have gone past the acute phase of their illnesses or pathologies, and they should be considered to be in their subdued chronic phases of the illnesses.

A trainer of special populations should understand that he or she is dealing with people who are suffering from a subdued chronic condition that has been brought in control by a medical professional. It could also mean dealing with a person who has a history of neural or cardiovascular disease (somebody who has a history of suffering from a stroke or cardiac arrest). Such a person may very well be under consistent supervision of a physician and be on lifelong medications to control his or her diabetes and/or blood pressure.

Populations suffering from infectious diseases, despite ailing from a medical condition, cannot and should not be considered special population, as they cannot be trained while their body’s immune system is fighting the infection. Once their bodies successfully combat the infections, aided by antibiotic and/or antiviral meds prescribed by a physician, they can no longer be considered as unhealthy or pathological and hence, since infectious diseases always have an acute phase and not a chronic phase, they should not be trained during the acute phase by any fitness professional. Once the infection is successfully conquered, he or she is supposed to be as not a part of special populations and can be trained by any personal trainer, not necessarily a personal trainer qualified as a special populations personal trainer.

What Is the PT-SP Certification Course?

The PT-SP Certification Course gives certified personal trainers the added knowledge of various metabolic, musculoskeletal disorders and the contraindications vis-à-vis those medical conditions. Thus, a PT-SP certificate holder is capable of appropriately programming workout regimes for people with chronic ailments and/or history of acute condition. However, it is extremely crucial for a PT-SP personal trainer to understand his or her professional boundaries. Therefore, diagnosis of an ailment, prescribing pharmaceuticals, and making efforts in any way to cure an ailment are clearly out of bounds.

Understanding how to train special populations definitely provides an edge over other personal trainers. Considering the rising number of people getting added to this category every day, it makes sense for a personal trainer to extend his or her education post the DPT.

Why Is the Diploma in Personal Training the Prerequisite for Doing the PT-SP Certification Course?

The students who are awarded the K11 PT-SP Certificate will see tremendous growth and recognition in the fitness industry. It’s important to note that in order to pursue the PT-SP Certification Course, it is compulsory to have cleared the K11 DPT Course. The clear logic behind this is that without the foundation of the DPT Course, the knowledge dispensed in the PT-SP Certification Course will be of no use. As you will recall from the paragraphs above, the PT-SP Certification Course provides you with knowledge of understanding the physical ailments or special requirements faced by people categorized as special population. A PT-SP qualified personal trainer then utilizes this knowledge and decides on a program by selecting the exercises that are not contraindicated with regard to the particular medical condition.

So, a PT-SP certified personal trainer can prescribe a program based on the indications and contraindications vis-à-vis the medical condition. It is assumed that once the program is prescribed, the said personal trainer can teach correct form and technique of the exercises prescribed. Since mastery over form and technique can only be provided through the practical module of the DPT Course, the PT-SP Certification Course should only be done by those who’ve been through the DPT practical module.

The theory module of the DPT Course is also a prerequisite for doing the PT-SP Certification Course, because the DPT Course deals with exercises for people who are physiological (normal), whereas PT-SP deals with people who have subdued chronic pathologies or a history of serious pathologies. Even in the education related to medicine for aspiring doctors (such as the MBBS degree course), physiology is taught in the first year and pathologies are taught in the second year.

The logic behind this order is very well understood by the K11 School of Fitness Sciences. The logic is as stated under the following: “Physiology is the study of normal functioning. Pathology is the study of abnormal functioning. It is logical that the diagnosis of something abnormal cannot be done without a clear knowledge of what constitutes normal.” Normally, medical professionals or doctors don’t really trust personal trainers, but the personal trainers who add to their knowledge of special populations can converse with professional practitioners and earn their trust. Thereafter, medical professionals then suggest these personal trainers to their patients, which is a huge badge of honor for us and our students.

The Curriculum

The course will bring you face to face with topics such as the following:

  • Introduction to PT-SP
  • Vital Systems of the Human Body
  • Basic Concepts in Bio-mechanics
  • Skeletal System 
  • Osteoporosis
  • Soft Tissues of the Human Body
  • Fascia Conditioning
  • Ankle & Foot Complex
  • Knee Complex
  • Hip Complex
  • Spine
  • Wrist & Hand Complex
  • Elbow Complex
  • Shoulder Complex
  • Posture Assessment
  • Arthritis
  • Poliomyelitis, Vertigo
  • Hernia, Diabetes Mellitus, Varicose Veins
  • Training in Prenatal & Postpartum Period

All in all, it’ll take you a total of 35 sessions to complete the course, and you’ll have to sit through a total of 102 hours of face-to-face, teacher-led classroom studies.

Can I Access the Course From the Comfort of My Home?

Yes, this education is accessible to people who would like to attend class from home. We understand that in these testing times, many would not like to leave the safety of their homes. We ensure through our 100% live, 2-way, interactive, and remote classroom, achieved via state-of-the-art videoconferencing system, that the experience of a student attending class from home is not diluted in the least. This holds true when compared with the experience of our student sitting in our brick-and-mortar schools and classrooms.

Another noteworthy aspect of K11’s Attend Class From Home program is that the K11 teacher dispenses the lecture from our fully-equipped, state-of-the-art, brick-and-mortar schools and classrooms. Even the assessments/examinations for earning the PT-SP certification is done via the special K11 remote assessment app. The exam is fully proctored/invigilated, and it is as closely monitored as the examinations conducted in our state-of-the-art, brick-and-mortar schools/classrooms.  


K11 provides education through the online medium with zero compromise on the learning experience. In times of slowdowns and lockdowns, you don’t have to stop, because fitness education is coming to your home. So, in case you’re a DPT holder and are waiting for the lockdowns to unlock for upgrading your knowledge, then wait no longer. Look no further than the PT-SP Certification Course. Get in touch with our course counselors today.

The PT-SP Course: All You Need To Know
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The PT-SP Course: All You Need To Know
As a fitness professional, your learning must never stop. That’s doubly true if you’re a K11-certified DPT holder. Your professional development as a fitness professional depends on the knowledge you amass through the years. It depends on constantly upgrading your knowledge and expanding your horizons. That is why we have a Personal Training for Special Populations (PT-SP) Certification Course, which can give you that much needed knowledge upgrade.
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