This pre-convention event scheduled for October 12 at IHRSA 2021 has been cancelled. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you were registered for this event, full refunds have been issued.  Contact with questions.

MedFit at IHRSA 2021

Medical Fitness: Adding New Services & Programs to Your Business or Club

Why Medical Fitness?

There are millions of “unwell” potential clients and members — those with medical conditions or chronic disease — seeking specialized personal trainers; trainers who understand their condition and can create programming to improve the quality of their life.

Why add medical fitness services?

  1. You, your gym or health club will be on the front line of healthcare by aiding in the management and prevention of medical conditions and chronic disease.
  2. Your business will be positioned as an essential part of the healthcare continuum.
  3. You’ll be expanding your offerings and scope of practice to target the largest, fastest-growing demographic.
  4. You’ll gain credibility and network with other healthcare providers.
  5. You’ll increase income by expanding service offerings.

Join us for this pre-conference track at IHRSA 2021 to learn about the essential continuing education you will need to integrate medical fitness services into your business, studio, club or center.

This track will show you how your business can be part of the healthcare continuum and expand your scope of services & programs to target the largest, fastest-growing demographic.

Schedule of Sessions

Joint replacements are common and occurring in even younger clients/members. Over 1 million hip and total knee replacement procedures are performed every year in the United States. Most joint replacements are due to progressive, ongoing movement dysfunction, not acute injury. So once a joint is replaced, is the root cause for getting the replacement being addressed?

This session will help participants understand the benefit of offering pre-and post-joint replacement fitness services, including sensory input training for improved proprioception, joint-specific motor control training for the affected and supporting joints, and unique strength training exercises. Joint Replacement Fitness Specialists can have a template for using a neuro-biomechanical model of exercise therapy to regain proper joint function and movement quality after joint replacement, opening access to this unique population as well as help clients and members get ready for these surgeries – “stronger in – stronger out”.

Worldwide, rates of obesity have tripled in the past 45 years, with more than 42% of Americans having been diagnosed with obesity. Physical activity is a key strategy to prevent and treat risk factors associated with obesity, yet, research has shown that people with obesity often avoid health & fitness facilities due to a variety of weight stigma experiences or anticipated fear of stigmatization. This presents a critical calling for medical fitness specialists to cultivate inclusive professional relationships with a community of people not currently accessing or benefiting from these essential services.

This session will provide attendees an introduction to the specialized knowledge and expertise needed to expand their membership base and clientele by meeting the unique needs of clients with obesity, while creating an inclusive environment that encourages lifelong healthy behavior and engagement.

Individuals in recovery from Substance Use Disorders have not traditionally been recognized as a special population in the fitness industry despite the benefits of an exercise program and significant special needs of this group. We are here to change that!

Join Nicole Golden, author of the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Fitness Specialist course for an exciting session to explore fitness programming for a new “special population” in the fitness industry.

This session will provide an introductory overview of how to create and structure a group fitness class in an inpatient Drug/Alcohol Rehabilitation Facility.

Attendees will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of common medical co-morbidities associated with drug and alcohol addiction including the immediate post-detox period.
  • Explain the benefits of a regular exercise program and its role in recovery from Substance Use Disorders.
  • Explain which types of group fitness formats are appropriate for use with this population.
  • Explain how to modify popular group fitness formats/modalities to account for the diverse physiologic and psychological needs of this population.
  • Identify strategies to motivate participants to keep coming back.

As of 2017, 1 in 3 people in the world aged 18-64 had one or more forms of arthritis. As of 2021, that number continues to grow. In order to improve the overall health and wellness of the arthritic community, it is imperative for fitness professionals to gain the knowledge to safely and effectively design fitness programs that meet the needs of this population.

This session will provide fitness professionals an introduction to the types of arthritis, symptoms that stem from the disease process, as well as the tools necessary to improve muscle strength, balance, flexibility, and range of motion. As the yearly number of people diagnosed with one or more types of arthritis increases, so does the demand for fitness professionals who have the skills and education to deliver quality and individualized fitness programming.

Every woman alive will go through menopause. Six thousand women a day begin it, and on average a woman spends 40-50% of her life in or post-menopause. Over 80% of women negatively experience menopause symptoms and seek support. Many are not finding it. Is your club ready to serve this population of women who influence 3 generations and at least 85% of household decisions?

Traditional, conventional, even functional exercise prescriptions have merely skimmed the surface regarding the need for an inclusive approach to training women at unique hormone phases of their lives. This specific female demographic is at a point in life she can afford it, or she’ll budget for it. This session will point out the economic impact on both your business and her future, why women’s needs are not being met in the fitness market, and insight into messaging the right way to attract and keep this client base promising that can have a profoundly positive impact on your revenue for decades.

Clients/Members affected by chronic conditions, injuries, or pain can experience a devastating impact on their lifestyle and daily function. These situations frequently result in missed training sessions or membership cancellations! But knowledgeable and prepared fitness professionals can make a major difference by taking a functional approach to movement.

This session will demonstrate how the MedFit Orthopedic Fitness Specialist can help you can keep your injured clients. We will provide step-by-step guidance into the identification of unique client needs, the application of appropriate exercise programming, and implementation. Fit pros will learn to work around the issues, and support client referrals by understanding key communication strategies when working with medical professionals. Learn techniques that can be put into immediate practice including coaching clients into better stability, mobility, and strength for less pain and better daily function. Clients will gain more independence, better overall health, and will continue to progress beyond movement limitations with confidence!

Every day for the next decade, 10,000 people will celebrate their 65th birthdays. The vast majority are living with chronic conditions, joint pain and mobility difficulties that have been exacerbated by a year of lockdowns and distancing guidelines.

Older adults and their families are looking for medical fitness specialists to help them restore their health, mobility and vitality to live their independent best. It is now well-recognized that the common link between chronic conditions and mobility disability is inflammation caused by inactivity and lifestyle choices.

A stroke is a life-altering occurrence that affects almost 800,000 people every year in the United States alone and those that care for them. Most stroke survivors experience some level of physical and/or occupational therapy for weeks or months after the stroke, but what then?

Continued physical therapy is often not an option, but this is where the Stroke Recovery Fitness Specialist can become a huge “force multiplier” to the stroke survivors’ healthcare continuum. As a stroke is a brain injury, and different areas of the brain can be affected, a neuro-biomechanical approach can be taken by properly trained fitness trainers to improve or regain lost functions. This session will offer participants an understanding of neuroplasticity, and how continued care through stroke recovery fitness can help stroke survivors continue to make gains after physical therapy has ended.


Debra Atkinson, MS

Creator, Flipping 50; Author and International Lecturer

Dr. Amy Bantham

Founder & CEO, Move to Live More®

Christine Conti, MEd

Founder & CEO, Conti Fitness & Wellness

Brent Darden, MS

Former President & CEO, IHRSA

Nicole Golden, MS

Founder & Owner, FWF Wellness

Dr. Grove Higgins

Chiropractic Physician; Co-Founder, Neuroathlete

Pat Marques

Co-Founder, Neuroathlete

Bill McBride

Co-Founder & CEO, Active Wellness

Irene McCormick, MS

Global Fitness Educator, Author, Master Trainer

Dr. Rachele Pojednic

Research Associate, Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard Medical School

Cate Reade, MS

Registered Dietitian, Exercise Physiologist, Functional Medicine Practitioner

This event has been cancelled. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If you were registered for this event, please check your email for cancellation and refund notice. Contact with questions.

MedFit Classroom is part of the MedFit Education Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to facilitate and develop education and professional development opportunites for these professionals. If you’d like to learn more about the Foundation or make a donation, visit


Claim your spot now! Limited seats available.
$ 199
  • MedFit track at IHRSA will be held Tuesday, October 12 from 8:00am-5:30pm at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.
  • Registrants will be granted complimentary access to the IHRSA Trade Show.
  • Group Discounts available! Contact if you're interested in purchasing multiple tickets for a group.
  • Approved for 10 MedFit CECs (for maintaining MedFit specializations). Pending CEU approval by ACE, AFAA, ISSA, NASM and NSCA.
  • BONUS! All attendees at this pre-conference track will receive a 50% discount on MedFit Classroom specialist courses! (Discount will be available 2 weeks post event)

We hope to see you in Dallas this October!