Active IQ Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training (sample manual)

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Level 3 Certificate in

Personal Training

Version AIQ005804

Section 1: The heart and circulatory system and its relation to exercise and health

Section 1: The heart and circulatory

system and its relation to exercise and


In order to sustain exercise, the cells of the body require a continuous supply of nutrients and their waste

products must also be removed. This process is achieved by the circulatory system. The following section will

look at some key aspects of the structure and function of this system and how they are affected by exercise.

The heart

The heart is essentially a muscular pump, and its job is to push blood into the tissues. It is about the size of

a man’s clenched fist and is located behind and to the left of the sternum. It consists of four chambers: two

upper, smaller chambers called atria (the left atrium and right atrium) and two lower, larger chambers called

ventricles. The predominant tissue of the heart is cardiac muscle which is referred to as the myocardium

(‘myo’ refers to muscle and ‘cardium’ relates to the heart).



The right hand side of the heart is

responsible for receiving blood from the

upper and lower body via the veins. The

blood enters the right atrium through

either the inferior or superior vena cava.

The blood is saturated with CO 2

and is

referred to as deoxygenated blood (dark

red in colour). It is ejected to the lungs

(pulmonary circulation) by the right

ventricle via the pulmonary artery.

Anatomy and physiology for exercise and health

Figure 1.1 The position of the heart

In the pulmonary capillaries, CO 2

diffuses into the lungs to be expired

while O 2

enters the blood. This

oxygenated blood (bright red in colour)

enters the left atrium of the heart via the

pulmonary vein. The left ventricle then

ejects the blood and O 2

, via the aorta,

to the tissues of the body (systemic

circulation). It is important to note that

arteries always carry blood away from

the heart and veins always carry blood

to the heart.

Copyright © 2017 Active IQ Ltd. Not for resale | 5

Section 1: The heart and circulatory system and its relation to exercise and health

The valves of the heart

In order to function effectively as a pump, the heart needs

to direct blood through the atria, ventricles and then the

arteries of the body. The heart prevents unwanted backflow

of blood into the chambers using a number of valves.

These valves open and close in response to changes in

pressure as the heart contracts and relaxes. The structure

of the valves means that they only allow blood to flow

in one direction by shutting once blood has been pushed

through them. This is fundamental to effective circulation;

any back-flow through the heart will compromise the

efficiency of each heartbeat, which is likely to affect

exercise performance and health.

The main valves of the heart are the atrioventricular (AV)

valves and the semilunar (SL) valves. The AV valves are

located between the atria and the ventricles and prevent

the back-flow of blood from the ventricles into the atria.

As the ventricles contract, pressure rises and forces the AV

valves to snap shut, allowing blood to be directed through

the arteries leaving the heart (pulmonary artery and aorta).


As the AV valves snap

shut, they are anchored

in place by tendonlike

chords (chordae

tendineae) which prevent

the valve flaps from being

pushed too far into the


The SL valves are located at

the base of the arteries leaving

the heart (aorta and pulmonary

artery). After each contraction,

there is a relative drop in

pressure within the ventricles

as they relax. At this point, the

blood within the pulmonary

artery and aorta could potentially

flow back into the ventricles. To

prevent this, both sets of arteries

have SL valves positioned at the

point where they emerge from the ventricles. As the blood

moves back towards the ventricles, the SL valves snap

shut so blood cannot re-enter.

It is the sequential shutting of the valves during the cardiac

cycle that causes the distinct ‘lub-dub’ noises associated

with the heartbeat.












vena cava

Atrioventricular (AV)





Figure 1.2 The heart

Figure 1.3 The valves of

the heart









(SL) valves


The heart is stimulated to contract by a complex series of integrated systems. The heart’s pacemaker –

the sinoatrial (SA) node – initiates the cardiac muscle contraction. The SA node is located in the wall of

the right atrium. The myocardium (heart muscle) is stimulated to contract about 72 times per minute

by the SA node as part of the autonomic nervous system.

6 | Copyright © 2017 Active IQ Ltd. Not for resale

Section 2: The musculoskeletal system and exercise


Epimysium: the tough membrane that surrounds the whole muscle belly and holds the smaller fasciculi

units together.

Perimysium: the membrane which surrounds the bundles of muscle fibres (the fasciculi).

Endomysium: the membrane that surrounds the individual muscle fibres, which contain the myofibrils.

Tendon: tough, inelastic fibres which wrap around the end of the muscle and attach it to the outer layer

of the bone.

Myofibril: the smallest unit, or fibril, within the individual muscle fibres.

Myofilaments: the contractile proteins myosin and actin arranged within compartments in the myofibril

called sarcomeres.

Force generation and the sliding filament theory

Force generation begins with the two contractile proteins myosin and actin (often referred to as thick and

thin filaments respectively). As previously stated, these are arranged in a series of compartments called

sarcomeres that run the length of the myofibril.

Actin filament



Myosin filament

Muscle fibre


Figure 2.2 The sliding filament theory

The actin (thin filament) is

anchored to the ends of the

sarcomere and the myosin

(thick filament) sits within

the middle of the sarcomere,

pulling the actin from either

end towards the middle to

generate tension. Spiralling

from the myosin filament is a

series of ‘hook like’ projections

referred to as myosin

heads. During muscular

contraction, these heads

attach themselves to the actin

filaments and rotate, pulling

on these filaments. The result

of this is that the thinner

actin filaments are drawn

inwards, dragging the ends of

the sarcomeres together; this

is referred to as the sliding

filament mechanism. The

characteristic contraction of

muscles is caused by multiple

sarcomeres shortening


Anatomy and physiology for exercise and health

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Section 2: The musculoskeletal system and exercise


The shoulder joint

is referred to as the

glenohumeral joint

because it is the

articulation of the head

of the humerus (the ball)

and the glenoid cavity

(fossa) of the scapula

(the socket).

The shoulder joint

The shoulder joint is formed by the articulation of the scapula and the humerus.

The round head of the humerus interacts with the scapula to form a shallow ball

and socket joint, which allows for a generous range of movement and a wide

variety of potential joint actions. Joint movements that can occur at a ball and

socket joint include flexion, extension, horizontal flexion and extension, abduction,

adduction, internal and external rotation and circumduction.

Large, superficial muscles, such as the pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi and the

deltoids, provide the majority of movement at this joint.



The subscapularis

is the largest and

strongest rotator

cuff muscle. Its role

in internal rotation

and adduction of

the shoulder joint

make it essential in

overhead sports such

as swimming, racquet

sports and throwing






Pectoralis major


Deep musculature of the shoulder

Beneath the larger muscles of the shoulder joint is a smaller, more subtle arrangement

of muscle types. Each one of these originates from the scapula and inserts on the

upper aspect of the humerus. Although they are not capable of generating much

force, they play a fundamental role in stabilising and controlling movement at the

shoulder joint. This group of muscles are often referred to as the rotator cuff muscles

and as stabilisers of the shoulder joint; the integrity and coordinated function of these

muscles reduces the potential for injury at the joint. The muscles of the rotator cuff


This runs laterally from the scapula to the humerus and helps with

adduction and external rotation.

This runs superiorly from the scapula to the top of the humerus and

helps with shoulder abduction.

This runs laterally from the scapula (slightly higher than the teres

minor) to the humerus. It helps with horizontal extension, external

rotation and adduction.

This runs from the underside of the scapula to the front of the

humerus and helps with internal rotation and adduction.

Latissimus dorsi

Figure 2.5 Muscles of the shoulder


The rotator

cuff muscles

are important

stabilisers of

the shoulder


Teres minor Supraspinatus Infraspinatus Subscapularis

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Figure 2.6 Deep musculature of the shoulder

Section 1: The principles and key guidelines of nutrition

Section 1: The principles and

key guidelines of nutrition

Defining nutrition

Nutrition involves the delivery of essential materials (required to promote

optimal health and growth) to cells and organisms.

People need to eat to survive, but health-conscious individuals want to do more

than survive. They want to choose a diet that optimises their health.

How do we know what an optimal diet is? We know it should contain just the

right amount of each nutrient, but what is the right amount? Is it the amount

needed to prevent a deficiency, the amount needed to maintain a certain nutrient

level in the blood, or the amount that minimises the risk of cancer?

For each nutrient, the optimal amount may vary depending on the parameter

being measured. The optimum level is also different for each individual,

depending on genetic make-up and the quantity of other nutrients in their

diet. For example, men have different needs to women, growing children

have different needs to adults, and athletes have different needs to sedentary


Diet and healthy eating

Assuming that the digestive system is working properly, optimal well-being and

function can be encouraged through the consumption of a ‘healthy, balanced

diet’. ‘Healthy’ eating involves eating food that promotes the optimal health

of all body systems and prevents the development of disease. A ‘balanced’

diet involves regulating the quantities of the various food groups consumed.

Regardless of the underlying quality of the foods ingested, overconsumption of

one food group at the expense of another has the potential to upset the body’s

delicate balance.

In recent times, the word ‘diet’ has become synonymous with cutting back on

certain foods and restricting calories in order to initiate physical change (usually

weight loss). However, the word simply refers to an individual’s current eating

pattern, i.e. all of the food and drink consumed by a person over a given period

of time. Everyone has a diet; some are good and others are not so good. The

focus of the next part of the unit is to explore the question: What constitutes a

healthy, balanced diet?


To eat is a


but to eat


is an art.

La Rochefoucauld

Applying the principles of nutrition to a physical activity programme


Diet = the current eating pattern.

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Section 1: The principles and key guidelines of nutrition

Food quality and preparation

Although the national guidelines encourage the consumption of fresh, whole foods, there are factors that can

affect the quality of even this kind of produce. Beyond the distinction between refined and unrefined grains

(e.g. white flour has fewer nutrients than wholemeal flour), there is little other focus on what makes good

quality food as identified by the national guidelines. This is a very important area as it determines the overall

nutrient content of the food we eat at the table.

There are many stages of handling, farming, manufacturing and preparation

between when a seed is planted or an animal is born and when the food is eaten

at the table. Each of these stages can affect the final product that will be eaten

by man and the nutrient levels found within them. It is also possible to select

good quality food as part of our regular shopping experience, but then cook and

prepare the food in such a way that it will lose its nutritional value before it is

eaten. For example, chopping vegetables hours before cooking or eating allows

more micronutrients to be lost; frying or roasting increases the added fat content of

a food further than grilling or baking; and slow cooking meat at low temperatures

causes less damage to proteins and increases the amount of other nutrients that

can be absorbed from the food.






It is important to

understand how best to

cook and prepare food

to optimise the available

nutrients and make them

easily accessible to us.

This cycle of food quality identifies some of the issues and concerns regarding our food production cycle.


Applying the principles of nutrition to a physical activity programme






Figure 1.9 Cycle of food quality

Copyright © 2017 Active IQ Ltd. Not for resale | 89

Section 5: Planning and adapting personal training programmes

Section 5: Planning and adapting

personal training programmes

Planning individualised programmes for clients is a key part of the personal trainer role. When planning

programmes personal trainers must follow specific guidelines and principles.

These guidelines and principles will apply to all exercises programmes in environments designed for exercise

as well as those not designed for exercise. The different training environments include:

• Gyms.

• Studios.

• Swimming pools.

• Clients’ homes.

Personal trainers’ homes.

• Public parks or countryside.

• Public streets.

• Community or village halls.

• Clients’ places of work.

• Beaches.

• Sports halls, arenas or



Choose three different training

environments and list three potential

hazards and risks that need to be

accounted for when conducting

personal training in these settings.

166 | Copyright © 2017 Active IQ Ltd. Not for resale

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