Now it’s possible to get a college degree as a personal fitness trainer. Starting in the 2005 fall semester, Purdue University in West LaFayette, Indiana, will offer undergraduates an opportunity to get a personal training degree.

The personal training degree program will include a course on personal training education. Students will also participate in eight different 6-week rotations in commercial health clubs and in centers for cardiac rehabilitation, physical therapy, athletic training, senior fitness, children’s fitness and worksite wellness. To work as personal fitness trainers during these rotations, students will need to be certified by the American College of Sports Medicine. In order to obtain their personal training degree, during their senior year they will also need to be certified to work with specialized clients, such as those who have been in physical therapy rehabilitation.

“More people are turning to personal fitness trainers to design exercise programs and serve as guides to combat obesity and obtain healthy lifestyles,” says Ken Baldwin, 1999 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year and program coordinator for personal fitness training at Purdue’s department of health and kinesiology. “Because students will be learning from a medically based fitness model, they will have the skills and expertise, especially in skeletal and muscular structure, to work as part of a client’s integrated healthcare team.”