Advance Your Personal Training and Fitness Skills

Associate Degree in Advanced Personal Training and Exercise Science

Request Information

By submitting this form, I agree that Bryan University may contact me regarding educational services via email, telephone, text message, or automated technology at the email address and phone numbers provided. I understand this consent is not required to enroll. For more information, please call: 1-800-878-5515.

Career Outlook and Growth

The benefits of living a healthy lifestyle are numerous and converting your passion for exercise and fitness into a career is yet another reward. A degree in Advanced Personal Training and Exercise Science (APTES) from Bryan University will prepare you for a fulfilling career in a growing industry.

Expanding Careers

Careers for health and fitness professionals, instructors, and personal trainers are projected to grow faster than average through the year 2026 at a rate of 10-14 percent with projected job openings of 54,800 in the US.1

Preparing now means you’ll be ready for the jobs of the future.

Diverse Employers

Health and fitness professionals have a range of opportunities for employment. From corporate settings to healthcare facilities to high-energy gyms and fitness centers, there’s a work environment for different personality types, which may include:

  • Gyms and fitness facilities
  • Corporate fitness centers
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Self-employment

Attractive Opportunities

In this growing industry, a degree in APTES can put you on the path to a fulfilling career field. Aside from financial rewards, it’s a career where each day provides the opportunity to enhance the health and well-being of others in positions such as:

  • Certified Personal Trainer – prepare to become a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
  • Group Fitness Instructor/Group Exercise Instructor – conduct a safe and effective group exercise class for various modalities offered at fitness centers.
  • Sports Performance Coach/Athletic Conditioning – conduct health screenings of individuals seeking to achieve a performance goal in conjunction with athletics. Design a resistance training and cardiovascular exercise prescription to achieve a performance-oriented goal.  Provide motivation and corrective feedback.
  • Corrective Exercise Trainer – conduct health screenings and physical fitness assessments of clients who have experienced an injury and who have been medically released for independent physical activity.

Program Overview

The associate degree program at Bryan University in Advanced Personal Training and Exercise Science (APTES) offers you a broad range of learning competencies. In addition to preparing for highly-regarded industry certifications, you'll receive interactive learning experiences, live coaching and feedback, and in-depth health and fitness expertise.

The APTES program was designed based on current competencies outlined by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) so you learn the skills employers demand.

Gain the Skills Employers Need

As a student at Bryan University, you’ll gain extensive knowledge in our interactive classrooms from faculty who have real-world industry experience. Your APTES courses will provide:

  • An intensive curriculum reviewed by industry experts which includes a core focus on exercise science, nutrition, and personal trainer certification.
  • Technical fitness knowledge needed to give you an advantage in your career.
  • Critical business skills you’ll need to succeed in today’s competitive environment.
  • The cost to take a national certification through NASM is included in the program tuition.
  • All books and courseware are included in the program tuition!

When you receive an accredited associate’s degree in APTES from Bryan University, you’re immediately prepared for the job market.

Online & On-Campus Options Available

At Bryan University, we believe that success in the field of health and fitness training demands a different approach to education. That’s why we’re dedicated to building a more innovative, interactive learning environment that adapts to your unique needs and provides you with individual coaching and feedback.

For students choosing the Online learning option, you'll experience live, interactive classes where you’ll be able to see, hear and interact with your instructors right from your computer at home. You’ll also be able to participate in online, collaborative learning with other students, view multimedia presentations of course content, and engage in ongoing forum discussions with instructors and students.

For students living in Phoenix or the surrounding area, you'll have the option to attend our modern campus located in Tempe, Arizona. We invite you to visit our campus for a tour of the facilities, plus you'll have the opportunity to meet and speak with instructors. Please complete the Request Information form or call 888-768-6861 to learn more.

Continue to the Bachelor's Degree Level
Once you complete your APTES associate degree, you may consider continuing your education at the bachelor's degree level. Bryan University offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Professional Fitness Training & Exercise Science, developed in partnership with Personal Training Global (PTA Global).

Footnotes

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm. Also see http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/39-9031.00.

Meet the Program Director

“Our goal for graduates of the personal training certificate and associate degree program is to be job-ready with the ability to walk into an employer, grab a group of people, and train them and earn money.”

– Nick Keeling, MS, ACSM EP-C, ACSM HFI, NSCA CSCS

Career Success

Claire Cielinski

 

 

Shane Hunnicutt

 

 

Jordan Otis

 

 

Employer Success

 

Program Details

The Associate Degree in Advanced Personal Training and Exercise Science Program prepares students for entry-level employment in the expanding fields of personal training, and health and fitness. Graduates of the program will have the knowledge and skills needed to work with clients of all ability levels in a wide variety of health and wellness environments.

Locations:
Program offered 100% online.

Program credits:
To complete the program, students must earn a minimum of 93 quarter credits.

Transfer credits:
If you apply to Bryan University with prior college credits and/or a degree, we’ll accept as many credits as possible to validate the hard work you’ve already completed. If you complete a Bryan U associate degree or undergraduate certificate, these credits are transferrable to a higher degree, such as a bachelor’s degree.

UNV-101—Student Success and Technology Foundations—3.0 credits
A course covering the information and skills needed to succeed in academic studies, including study skills, setting academic goals, managing time, and technology skills such as word processing and presentations.

EXS-100—Introduction to Personal Training—3.0 credits
This course is an overview of the field of personal training including the history of exercise science, sub-disciplines of exercise science, professional organizations, certifications and the future of the field.

EXS-101—Body Systems—3.0 credits
This course is an overview of the human body and its major systems.

EXS-103—Functional Anatomy—3.0 credits
This course will provide an in-depth look at how the human body systems interact and function in relation to exercise and movement. Students will learn the various parts and functions of the nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems.

EXS-104—Fitness Screening and Testing—3.0 credits
This course covers the fundamentals of conducting health screenings and risk stratifications, as well as tests such as body fat, cardiovascular condition, and various performance tests.

EXS-105— Human Movement Sciences—3.0 credits
This course covers the basic principles of biomechanics, with a significant focus on injury prevention for both the allied health professional and the client.

EXS-106— Group Training and Programming—3.0 credits
This course provides students with the basic skills needed to instruct group training sessions. Students will learn how to set up programs and instruct sessions for group training in a variety of settings.

EXS-107— Nutrition Fundamentals—3.0 credits
This course covers the fundamentals of nutrition and the fundamentals of how food is used by the human body. Students will be able to identify healthy food sources for the various nutrients and decipher reliable and unreliable nutritional information.

EXS-108—Weight Management—3.0 credits
A course covering the principles of achieving effective and permanent changes in weight, depending upon client goals.

EXS-109—Sales and Ethics for Fitness Professionals—3.0 credits
This course covers the various skills needed to be an effective salesperson in the health and fitness profession. This includes communication skills, interviewing, steps of the sale, fundamentals of professional conduct and ethics, and money/revenue management skills.

EXS-110—Behavior Management—3.0 credits
This course is an introduction to the motivation behind behavior change as it relates to physical activity behaviors. Topics include goal setting, motivating clients, developing an action plan, and communication strategies needed to inspire and sustain long-term healthy habits.

EXS-200—Cardiovascular Training and Programming—3.0 credits
This course covers the foundations of Cardiovascular Training and Programming and related Exercise Science.

EXS-205— Training for Special Populations—3.0 credits
This course covers modifications to standard training programs for people with existing chronic or acute disease. The fundamentals of training special populations are also addressed.

EXS-206—Applied Nutrition Concepts—3.0 credits
This course focuses on micronutrients and the practical application of making dietary recommendations to address common health concerns and meet the unique needs of athletic clients.

EXS-207—Business Management—3.0 credits
This course covers the fundamentals of operating an allied health business.

EXS-208—Coaching Psychology—3.0 credits
This course builds on skills learned in EXS-110 to help students coach clients in all aspects of wellness, not just physical activity behaviors.

EXS-209—Resistance Training and Programming: Stability/Mobility—3.0 credits
This course covers the fundamentals of designing basic programs for stability and mobility. The course focuses on appropriate exercise selection and progression.

EXS-210—Resistance Training and Programming: Strength Endurance/Hypertrophy—3.0 credits
This course covers the fundamentals of designing basic programs for strength endurance and hypertrophy. The course focuses on appropriate exercise selection and progression.

EXS-211—Resistance Training and Programming: Strength/Power—3.0 credits
This course covers the fundamentals of designing basic programs for strength and power. The course focuses on appropriate exercise selection and progression. R

EXS-212—SAQ, Power, and Plyometric Training for Performance—3.0 credits
This course covers the fundamentals of designing basic programs for speed, agility, and quickness (SAQ), power, and plyometric training. The courses emphasizes appropriate exercise selection and progression.

EXS-213—Health Promotion Fundamentals—3.0 credits
Promoting health is an important component of fitness and wellness. Students learn about the history of health patterns; social, behavioral, and environmental factors that affect health; and the role of fitness, health, and wellness practitioners in promoting healthy behaviors.

EXS-298—Practical Fitness Capstone—3.0 credits
This is a culminating course offering students the opportunity to apply what they have learned in previous courses. Students will demonstrate best practices as a personal trainer to include, active listening, communicating with clients, articulating proper exercise technique, and managing client expectations.

EXS-299—National Test Preparation—3.0 credits
This course prepares students to take national certification exams, paying particular attention to test-taking skills, self-directed review, and improvement of weak areas of knowledge, skill, and ability.

Note that courses are subject to change based upon employer needs and marketplace requirements. The most up-to-date course descriptions and textbook information can be found in the Bryan University Course Catalog.

Nick Keeling

Program Director, Bryan University

School(s) attended:
Fresno State University, Cal U Pennsylvania, Reedley College

Degree(s) earned: 
AA Physical Education, BS Exercise Science, MS Exercise Science/ Health Promotion

Certification(s):
ACSM EP-C
ACSM HFI
NSCA CSCS
AFNA Kettlebell  level 1, level 2
ISCA Kickboxing

Contributions to the fitness field:
Book: Survival Handbook for the personal trainer and fitness enthusiast
Co-Owner Easy Fitness Marina DelRey
Co-Owner American Fitness and Nutrition Academy Pasadena

Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry:
Small Group training
Programing
Nutrition Counseling

Personal interests outside of fitness:
Backpacking, Mountain biking, hunting , fishing

Anything else you would want students to know about you, your teaching style, philosophy, or favorite quote:
“Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will”

Jesse Adarme

Instructor, Bryan University

Certification(s): 
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
Tactical Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA)

Contributions to the fitness field: 
I have been working with and training general population and athletes since 2005. In 2010, I re-branded myself as a strength coach and business owner and decided to focus specifically on tennis athletes. Now, majority of my clients are tennis players from four different tennis academies.

Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry: Sports performance specialist.

Personal interests outside of fitness: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, traveling, and watching movies.

Favorite quote: Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4

Chris Bigelow

Instructor, Bryan University

Degree(s) earned:
BS Kinesiology from Arizona State University
MS Kinesiology (May 2017) A.T. Still University

Certification(s):
NASM-CPT

Contributions to the fitness field:
Private, semi-private personal training and fitness consultation – Innova Vita Fitness L.L.C.
Physical Education K-4: Kingdom Preparatory Academy

Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry:
Exercise Psychology, exercise physiology, and motor learning

Personal interests outside of fitness:
Teaching, learning, music, and art

James Ellis

Instructor, Bryan University

Degree(s) earned: 
B.S. from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Certification(s): 
USAW-L2/National Club Coach
Certified Personal Trainer (NASM)
Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM)
Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM)
Precision Nutrition L1
CrossFit L1/Kettlebell
Functional Movement Screen

Contributions to the fitness field: 6x Nationally competitive weightlifter, Coach of every level of National competition (Junior, Senior, Collegiate, and Masters) for weightlifting

Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry: Olympic-style Weightlifting, CrossFit, Athletic Development

Personal interests outside of fitness: Camping, Hiking, Climbing, Cooking, Minimalism

Favorite quote: “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” – Seneca

Chestiny Fair

Instructor, Bryan University

Degree(s) earned:
Master of Kinesiology,  A.T. Still University (expected completion 2018)
Bachelor’s of Science, Health, and Wellness, Arizona State University
Associates of Applied Science, Dietetics,  Chandler-Gilbert Community College

Certification(s):
Weightlifting Sports performance (USAW)
Personal Training (ACSM)
CPR-AED (AHA)

Contributions to the fitness field:
I have educated over 150 volunteers that have worked for the food bank on the importance of food safety. I have educated low-income families in apache junction in the elementary schools about healthy eating and daily physical activities.

Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry:
Coaching Cardio, Strength, and Flexibility  Training; Weight Management Injury Prevention; Corporate Wellness, Nutrition and Olympic lifting,

Personal interests outside of fitness:
Spending time with my daughter and friends, Running, Reading, Weightlifting, Playing Sports, Coaching, Painting and Teaching

Favorite quotes:
“Sometimes, words get in the way of action and thinking gets in the way of doing”-unknown
If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you”-Fred DeVito

Brian Floyd

Instructor, Bryan University

Degree(s) earned:
M.S. Human Movement- Sports Conditioning from A.T. Still University
B.S. Health Science from Northern Arizona University

Certification(s):
NASM- Master Trainer
Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM)
Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM)
Group Personal Training (NASM)
Functional Movement Screen Certification
TRX Suspension Trainer
USSA-Certified Coach Level 1

Contributions to the fitness field:
Owner of Floyd Factor
Over 10 years in the fitness field

Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry:
Sports Performance, Corrective exercise, Group training, Weight loss

Personal interests outside of fitness:
Spending time with my wife and daughter

Justin Harper

Instructor, Bryan University

Degrees earned:
Grand Canyon University: Doctorate in Behavioral Health Education ABD (All but dissertation)
University of South Dakota: Masters in Health and Recreation w/emphasis in Exercise Science
University of South Dakota: Bachelors in Health, Recreation, and Physical Education
 
Certification(s):
Certified Personal Trainer (NASM) and Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM)
 
Contributions to the fitness field:
Serve on a per diem basis as a content expert helping to write test questions for the National Academy of Sports Medicine
Adjunct Instructor at Grand Canyon University teaching in their Exercise Science department
 
Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry:
I enjoy online/virtual personal training and currently own an online personal training business called Harp’s Home Fitness where I assist clients from all over the country reach their health and fitness goals by providing them with expert knowledge and individualized workout routines that they have access to through our mobile app in the palm of their hand.
 
Personal interests outside of fitness:
I enjoy playing basketball, listening to music, and am a huge football fan.  Go 49ers!!

Daniel Hartmann

Instructor, Bryan University

Degree(s) earned: 
BS Exercise Science from Western Michigan University

Certification(s): 
Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach (NSCA)
XPS- EXOS Performance Specialist
Funcitonal Movement Screen Level I
United States of America Sports Performance Coach (USAW)

Contributions to the fitness field: Over 9-years of experience in the fitness industry working in commercial and corporate fitness/wellness in management roles, personal training, and group training.

Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry: performance training, weight loss, corrective exercise, general health and fitness

Personal interests outside of fitness: traveling, skiing, hiking, trail running, playing guitar and piano.

Favorite quote: “When one teaches, two learn.”

Sean Preuss

Instructor, Bryan University

School(s) attended:
Long Island University, Southampton College (2001-2005)
Arizona School of Massage Therapy (2007-2008)
Arizona State University (2011-2013)
University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2015-Present)

Degree(s) earned:
Bachelor of Arts, English (2005)
Masters of Science, Exercise and Wellness (2013)
Doctorate of Education in Kinesiology (expected in 2020)

Certification(s):
ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
American Heart Association Basic Life Support Provider

Contributions to the fitness field:
Book: The Heart Healthy Lifestyle: The Prevention and Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes (2003)
9+ years of personal training
Over 300 research-based articles written and published as a freelance ghost writer and blogger
College/university teacher since 2013

Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry:
Disease prevention and control through exercise, nutrition, and other lifestyle changes
Lifestyle changes for longevity
Fat loss
Powerlifting and traditional strength training

Personal interests outside of fitness:
I love to travel (fly or take road trips). I’ve visited 43 states, many Caribbean islands, Australia, and Fiji, among other places. I’m also a big sports fan. I don’t catch many games, but I follow the NBA and NFL.

Anything else you would want students to know about you, your teaching style, philosophy, or favorite quote:
People learn through first-hand experience. My goal as a teacher is to create student-centered, first-hand opportunities for students to learn fitness in a way that will prepare them for what they will actually do in the field.

Kate Timp

Instructor, Bryan University

Degree(s) earned: 
BS Finance, Arizona State University
MS Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University

Certification(s): 
Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM)

Contributions to the fitness field: 
I qualified for and ran the 2011 Boston Marathon after 4 failed attempts at qualifying. Personal and Group training business owner.

Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry: 
Nutrition, kettlebell training, yoga

Personal interests outside of fitness: 
Watch my sons play baseball

What I want my students to know about me:
I love teaching and am 100% vested in your success!

Jonathan Young

Instructor, Bryan University

Degree(s) earned:
Master of Science in Exercise and Sports Studies—emphasis in Biophysical Studies from Boise State University
Bachelor of Science in Exercise Sport Science/Health and Wellness—emphasis in outdoor recreation and fitness Brigham Young University—Hawaii

Certification(s):
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (NSCA)
Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM)
USAW-1 Certified Weightlifting Coach
Brainbench Certified Nutritional Analysis
AHA Basic Life Support Instructor

Contributions to the fitness field:
Inventor of the RigRack
He’s medaled in gymnastics, baseball, badminton, tennis, volleyball, indoor/outdoor track & field, marathons, 5 & 10K runs, swimming, water polo,  judo, and natural bodybuilding.
7 years College Professor: Exercise Science, Health Sciences, Recreation
Over +5500 hours of personal training the general public
+16 years personal training career experience (2001—current)
Commercial/commission sales personal training
Personal training in the non-profit sector
Personal training on college and university campuses
Over 600 hours group exercise instructor—indoor and outdoor formats
4 years Health and Fitness Director of YMCA, coaching, certifying trainers, and fitness testing

Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry:
Coach at Diamondback Gymnastics, Technical Assistant Cheerleading Coach (stunting, pyramid building and tumbling) at BYU-Idaho, University of Guelph, Canada, and BYU-Hawaii.
Two years competitive Cheer experience at NCAA Division I and II with University of Hawaii, and BYU-Idaho.

Personal interests outside of fitness:
Professional Outdoor Expedition Guide

Chrissy Zmijewski

Instructor, Bryan University

Degree(s) earned: 
B.A. in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis
Master of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis

Certification(s):
Certified Personal Trainer (NASM),
Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM),
Specialist in Fitness Nutrition (ISSA),
Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Instructor,
Z Health Certified

Contributions to the fitness field: WNBF Professional Natural Bodybuilder and Figure Competitor (4 national titles and one world title); author of “The RAD Triad: Transform Your Mind and Body,” contributor for PT on the Net, Experience Life Magazine, Fitness & Physique Magazine; led workshops for personal trainers at Canyon Ranch Resort, Wellbridge Spa, 24 Hour Fitness, California Family Fitness, and the Nor-Cal Fitness Summit.

Areas of interest/specialties within the fitness industry: Neuroscience applications in pain and performance; bodybuilding and physique competitions; mind/body connection.

Personal interests outside of fitness:  I love being outside and enjoying nature, hiking, swimming, or just relaxing.  I also love spending time with my puppy, as she is a never-ending source of antics and laughs.  Finally, I love learning.  I am a sponge and love learning new things.

Favorite quote:  “The only limitations that exist are the ones that exist in your mind.”

Tuition Lock Guarantee
Bryan offers affordable tuition rates for all students, no matter where they reside. We don’t differentiate between residents or non-residents. We also lock-in your tuition rate when you enroll, so you can rest assured that your tuition will never increase over the length of your program.

Tuition Goes Down the Longer You’re in School
We understand the importance of helping you stay in school and graduate successfully. To help motivate you, we provide tuition discounts the longer you’re in school.

Financing Options Available
As an accredited institution, students of Bryan University who are residents of the United States may qualify for federal financial aid. Our team of dedicated financial advisors can also help you understand what other options are available to you. To learn more, please visit our financial aid page.

For students who are veterans or active duty members of the U.S. military, you may also use your military educational benefits, if qualified. Please see our military benefits page for more details.

You may also complete the Request Information form or call us at 888-768-6861 to receive immediate assistance.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please click here.

The Bryan University Difference

Tuition Lock Guarantee

We lock your tuition rate once you enroll, plus tuition goes down the longer you're in school.

Job Placement Assistance

We provide students job placement assistance while in school and once they graduate.

Accelerated Programs

You can get started - and finish - fast.

Welcome Kits Included

Once you enroll, we provide you a welcome kit package to ensure you're ready to start school.

Faculty Who Put You First

Our faculty provide you with personalized, individual attention and support.

Books and Courseware Included

We take care of shipping your textbooks and provide you easy access to electronic courseware.

Focus on Employment

You’ll graduate with a degree targeted for a specific job market and earn skills that match employers’ needs.

Learn by Doing

You’ll develop real-world skills by completing simulated job tasks and using industry technologies.

Return for Refresher Classes

As a graduate, you’ll have the privilege of auditing previously completed courses still being taught—at no charge—to keep your skills sharp.

Request Information

By submitting this form, I agree that Bryan University may contact me regarding educational services via email, telephone, text message, or automated technology at the email address and phone numbers provided. I understand this consent is not required to enroll. For more information, please call: 1-800-878-5515.