Learn The Skills You Need To Safely and Effectively Meet the Needs of the Clients With Parkinson's Disease

Are you ready to take on clients diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease? 

Nearly 1 million people in the U.S. live with Parkinson’s, and 60,000 more are diagnosed with the disease each year.

Research shows that exercise can improve many Parkinson’s symptoms, and is integral in helping maintain balance, mobility and daily activities.

Most fitness professionals lack the knowledge to safely and effectively design fitness programs to meet the unique needs of this population. Your typical programs likely won’t work for them.

Are you ready to gain more clients and have a bigger impact on lives by learning to deliver fitness programming for those living with Parkinson’s? This course will teach you what you need to know.

What’s Included:

  • Module 1: What is Parkinson’s Disease?
  • Module 2: Therapies Today and in the Future
  • Module 3: Benefits of Exercise
  • Module 4: Boxing and Parkinson’s Disease
  • Module 5: Effective Exercise Program Design, Part 1
  • Module 6: Effective Exercise Program Design, Part 2


What Students Are Saying...

I just completed the Parkinson's Fitness Specialist online course and have to tell you how much I loved it. I am an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist in Eugene, OR. I know the work you put in to develop this course and it was astounding. Thank you so much. It was informative and comprehensive. I work primarily with People with Parkinson’s one on one as well as classes. Right now the class is on Zoom.

After passing the Parkinson’s Fitness Specialist Program I used a sampling of your progressions in my classes. One response, and my favorite, was ‘That was the absolute best class you have ever taught!’ I owe that one all to you. Thank you!

Limited Time Offer

20% off the 12-hour Parkinson’s Disease Fitness Specialist online course. 
Enter coupon code LEARN20 during checkout.

Coupon cannot be combined with other offers.

Approved for CEUs

More About the Course

Many fitness professionals lack the knowledge to safely and effectively design fitness programs that specifically meet the needs of those with Parkinson’s Disease. As the yearly number of people diagnosed with Parkinson’s increases, so does the demand for fitness professionals who have the skills and education to deliver quality and individualized fitness programming for this population.

Course Objectives

  • Gain an understanding of the epidemiology and the effects of Parkinson’s disease on the body.
  • Gain an understanding of the treatment options and the side effects.
  • Gain an understanding the connection between exercise and Parkinson’s disease (includes a boxing tutorial).
  • Learn the WhatWhy and How to Writing an effective program design for clients with Parkinson’s disease.
  • Learn safe and effective programming through progression and regression of exercises, when necessary.

Module 1: What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Lesson 1: Introduction to the Module
Lesson 2: What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Lesson 3: James Parkinson and Scientific Advancement
Lesson 4: Interview with Renee R., Vanderbilt Research Coordinator
Lesson 5: The Brain
Lesson 6: Diagnosis and the Beginning of Motor Symptoms
Lesson 7: Facial Masking
Lesson 8: Hypophonia, Freezing, Dyshagia, and Speech Pathology
Lesson 9: Dystonia and non-Motor Symptoms
Lesson 10: Genetics vs. Environment
Lesson 11: Young Onset Parkinson’s Disease
Lesson 12: Neurologist vs. Movement Disorder Physician, Diagnostic Testing, and Stages of PD
Lesson 13: Group Interview, Discussion of PD stages, and Recap

Module 2: Therapies Today and in the Future

Lesson 14: Introduction to the Module
Lesson 15: Medication
Lesson 16: Surgical Therapies and the Duopa Pump
Lesson 17: Surgical Therapy and DBS
Lesson 18: Complementary Therapies and Developing Medical and Fitness Teams
Lesson 19: Fitness Therapies and Module Recap

Module 3: Benefits of Exercise

Lesson 20: Introduction to the Module
Lesson 21: Interview and More Research
Lesson 22: Interview and Overcoming Obstacles
Lesson 23: Virtual Training and Module Recap

Module 4: Boxing and Parkinson’s Disease

Lesson 24: Introduction to the Module and History of Boxing in Parkinson’s
Lesson 25: Equipment; How to Teach Body Positioning and the Jab
Lesson 26: The Cross
Lesson 27: The Hook
Lesson 28: The Uppercut
Lesson 29: Footwork
Lesson 30: Additional Boxing Moves
Lesson 31: Sample Group Class for PD Clients

Module 5: Effective Exercise Program Design – Part 1

Lesson 32: Introduction to the Module
Lesson 33: The “What” of Effective Program Design
Lesson 34: The “Why” of Writing Up Your Program
Lesson 35: The “How” (Part One)
Lesson 36: The “How” (Part Two)
Lesson 37: Cueing
Lesson 38: Sample Workout Routine for Clients with Parkinson’s

Module 6: Effective Exercise Program Design – Part 2

Lesson 39 & 40: Effective Program Design

Course Delivery and Assessment

This is an online, self-study course. The course is delivered using video and narrated slide presentations. Comprehension of the material will be measured via a mandatory, multiple-choice/true-false item, competency assessment requiring an 80% passing grade.

Prerequisites and Certificate Information

All of the online courses here on MedFit Classroom which lead to a Certificate of Specialization are considered advanced level education, and are meant to be taken by fitness professionals who have previously acquired education and experience as a professional within the health and fitness industry. In order for one to receive the Certificate of Specialization that is conferred upon those who purchase and complete this Fitness Specialist course, one must be able to show proof that he or she has the following:

  1. Evidence of a current certification, or vocational credential, from a reputable certifying or credentialing organization, and within the health and fitness industry; OR
  2. Evidence of an associate’s degree, or higher, from an accredited college or university in the field of exercise science, kinesiology, physical education, fitness, or a related field

Continuing Education

The completion of this specialization course, and the passing of its corresponding competency assessment, leads to a Certificate of Specialization. This Certificate of Specialization to work with clients who have Parkinson’s disease will be considered valid for a period of two years. To keep the certificate current, you must complete 10 hours of continuing education, on relevant subject matter, and formally renew the certificate prior to the date of its expiration. As with many certifications and specializations in our field, professionals should anticipate some costs to continuing education and renewal of the certificate.

This course is pending application and approval to provide continuing education from industry organizations such as NASM/AFAA, ISSA and ACE. If your certifying body is not listed, you will be provided with a Certificate of Specialization at the end of the course that can be used to petition your certifying body for credit

About the Course Author

Colleen Bridges has worked for nearly 17 years as an NSCA Certified personal trainer, group exercise instructor and fitness consultant and as an independent contractor for Nashville’s first personal training center, STEPS Fitness. Her passion for understanding the body in sickness and in health, and how it moves, as fed her interest in and enhanced her talent for working with senior adults, especially those living with a neurological disorder such as Parkinson’s Disease.

Colleen earned a BA from Ouachita Baptist University and an M. Ed from Louisiana Tech University and went on to earn certifications such as NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, “Rock Steady Boxing Certification”, “Brain and Balance Certification”, “Parkinson’s Cycling Certification”, she has attended multiple conferences offered by NSCA, IDEA and completed an internship with Dr. Irv Rubenstein in 2005. Colleen’s love for special populations took a unique turn in 2016, when she began teaching “Rock Steady Boxing Music City” classes for those living with Parkinson’s disease. Almost 4 years later, Colleen has two locations, 14 classes per week, 10 assistant coaches and over 120 boxers fighting against Parkinson’s Disease.

Vanderbilt University Movement Disorder Clinic took notice of the improvements of their patients attending Rock Steady Boxing classes and invited Colleen to participate in a research project studying how exercise intervention affects Parkinson’s Disease. The international headquarters for Rock Steady Boxing invited Colleen to present her seminar “Effective Program Design Part 1 and 2” at the 2018 and 2019 conferences. In February of 2019, Colleen was invited to lead a certification training camp for 37 incoming Rock Steady Boxing Coaches.

With a desire to encourage, educate and empower coaches/personal trainers, Colleen created her website power4parkinsons.com which provides essential training for Rock Steady Boxing coaches and personal trainers as it pertains to working with those living with Parkinson’s Disease. Colleen has leveraged her formal education, her personal training expertise and her passion for helping clients to create proprietary formulae for Rock Steady Boxing coaches/personal trainers to follow as they endeavor to help those fighting Parkinson’s Disease.