Become a Strong Bodies Program Leader – OLD

Become a Strong Bodies
Program Leader


In order to be eligible for a workshop in the StrongWomen Strong Bodies Program, you must:

Have CPR certification. Intense exercise has the potential to cause sudden health events, such as stroke or heart attack. Therefore, we ask that all Program Leaders have an active CPR certification before leading a program.

Be an employee/staff with a nonprofit organization; If you are not an employee/staff of a nonprofit but are working in partnership with a nonprofit organization to implement the program, you must submit a letter from the nonprofit organization as your sponsor. In addition, all leaders are required to sign a scope of use agreement regarding nonprofit use of the program only.

Be actively strength training. Being physically active in general is, of course, important. But the expectation is that you are very familiar with lifting weights and are personally committed to and regularly practicing the behavior yourself.

Have a firm commitment to starting a program in your community.

Experience and Credentials

Experience in providing health program instruction in a fitness center, community setting, or outpatient hospital setting or as a personal trainer.

Educational background in exercise or some aspect of public health. The appropriate educational background might include medicine, nursing, nutrition, exercise physiology, occupational/physical therapy, massage therapy, or community/public health.

We recommend, but do not require, certification by a reputable health and fitness organization. Organizations include the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the American Senior Fitness Association (ASFA), and the International Association of Fitness Professionals (IDEA). We realize that this is not a complete list of organizations that certify individuals; the Program Leader may have a certification from another organization, and along with her/his education and experience, would be qualified to become a Program Leader.

Note for Potential Sites: Identifying a Program Leader with the above three attributes will contribute to the safety and efficacy of the StrongPeople Strong Bodies Program. We recognize that some people who want to become Program Leaders may not have formal education in health and fitness, and/or may not possess a fitness-related certification. The decision of who becomes a Program Leader is up to you as a site manager.

Sites Appropriate to Run a StrongPeople Strong Bodies Program

The Program is appropriate for urban, suburban, and rural community organizations, such as community centers, county NIFA (Extension) offices, senior centers, older adult housing complexes, health and fitness centers, hospital outpatient centers, employee wellness programs, places of worship, or any other community site where people come together.

Space & Equipment

We recommended that the site have a room that is at least 200 square feet (ideally, 400 square feet) to run the program. The room should be well lit and be free of clutter. In addition, there should be sturdy chairs available in the room. Preferably there should be a locked closet either in the room or nearby where exercise equipment (dumbbells and ankles weights) can be stored between classes. Finally, the entire building should be safe for people of all ages to access. The parking lot (if applicable) should be well lit; there should be proper security of the facility; and the corridors and restrooms should be safe and well lit. Water should be available to fill water bottles.

Program Investment

The initial investment to become a leader for those who qualify is $500 for the online training. If the Final Exam from the course is not passed on the first try, it is an additional $150 to retake the test as many times as needed. There may be scholarships available if these training costs are prohibitive.

In order to teach classes, current CPR certification is also needed. There are various in-person and online certification programs available; prices vary.

After the training, the costs to run a program include acquiring a space for class and the required equipment for each participant including chairs, yoga or exercise mats, dumbbells and ankle weights, and the optional program Participant Handbooks ($15-20). Participants may be asked to provide their own weights in some cases, but if the program is providing them, you may also need sturdy storage and/or transportation. You may also need to consider printing and promotion costs.

Leaders may decide to charge participants a small fee for the program to help cover costs, but this should be in line with the policies of the associated non-profit.

The StrongPeople Workshop
(Program Leader)

At the StrongPeople Strong Bodies workshop, program leaders will be trained on the exercise program itself, as well as how to effectively instruct and assist participants in learning the exercises. Additionally, the workshop will cover all topics found in the Toolkit, such as screening, safety, and effective leadership. Program leaders will be given guidance on how to schedule their programs, discuss space and equipment needs, and strategize about issues such as transportation and gaining local support and funding. Following the workshop, sites/program leaders will then be required to initiate at least one program in their community.