Drug and Alcohol Recovery Fitness Specialist Online Course


This product is an online, self-study course.

Course Author: Nicole Golden

This course covers the pathophysiology of Substance and Alcohol Use Disorders and comorbidities which will contribute to orthopedic, physiological, and psychological considerations when working with this population in the fitness/training setting. The course is broken into 8 modules and requires approximately 12 hours to complete.

The learner will understand how to choose appropriate assessments and create safe and effective programming to meet the unique needs of this population. The learner shall also understand how to support their clients through the immediate recovery (post-detox) phase and in the months or years to follow as a relapse prevention strategy. The learner shall also acquire strategies to apply this knowledge to grow their training business in all settings (in-patient, outpatient/halfway house, community).

MedFit Network (MFN) Membership

This course includes a free trial of a professional MFN membership. This offer is valid for new members only, and instructions for creating your MFN account will be sent a short time after your course purchase. Existing MFN members are not eligible to receive this trial membership, but do receive a preferred price on this specialization course, and other courses. Check your MFN account for details.

Payment plan available for purchases of $399 or more. Start for only 1/3 down at time of purchase.

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Learners will:

  • Demonstrate understanding of the pathophysiology of abuse of alcohol, opiates, and stimulants.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the common movement compensations which may be seen in
    this population through all phases of Recovery.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the nutritional considerations which may be relevant in this
    population as well as how to collaborate with a Registered Dietician and physician regarding
    nutrition and exercise prescription.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of all settings where this population may be encountered (inpatient, outpatient/halfway house, community) and how to create safe and effective
    programming in all settings.
  • Select appropriate fitness assessments and correctly identify the frequency of when
    assessments need to be conducted.
  • Create safe and effective programming based on the client’s individual needs taking into
    consideration their history of substance abuse and other co-morbidities in the personal training
  • Apply strategies to support their client through relapse prevention.
  • Apply knowledge to create a business plan to support this population.

Course Delivery and Assessment

This is an online course; all materials are delivered virtually.

This course is delivered through a written course manual, video narrated slide presentations, videos of sample exercises, and sample forms. Comprehension of the material will be measured via a mandatory, multiple-choice item, competency assessment requiring a minimum of 80% correct responses in order to pass.


All of the online courses 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 conferred upon those who obtain and complete this Fitness Specialist course, one must be able to show proof that he or she has the following:

  1. Evidence of a bachelor’s or master’s degree in fitness or health related field AND/OR possess a certification from a nationally-recognized certification, NCCA or ANSI/ISO accredited program AND
  2. Evidence of professional liability insurance.

Maintaining this Specialization and Continuing Education Credits

The completion of this specialization course, and the passing of its corresponding competency assessment, leads to a Certificate of Specialization. This Certificate of Specialization 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.

MedFit Classroom CEUs

This Specialist Course provides up to 10 CEUs for other MedFit Classroom Specializations. Download our CEU chart (PDF) to find out what specializations it will provide credit CEUs for.

Other Continuing Education Credits

  • American Council on Exercise (ACE) to provide 1.2 CEUs.
  • canfitpro to provide 4 CECs.
  • International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) to provide 12 CEUs.
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) to provide 1.2 CEUs.

Students must pass the competency assessment exam at the end of the course to be eligible for CEUs.

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 Author: Nicole Golden

Nicole Golden has been a health/fitness professional since 2014 when she left the field of education to pursue a full-time career in fitness. Nicole holds a Master of Science degree from Concordia University Chicago in Applied Exercise Science with a concentration in Sports Nutrition. She is a NASM Master Trainer, CES, FNS, BCS, CSCS (NSCA) and AFAA certified group fitness instructor. Nicole is a sports nutritionist certified through the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

She is the owner of FWF Wellness where she specializes in corrective exercise, nutrition coaching, and training special populations. She has a great deal of experience working with a wide variety of clients including female athletes, cancer survivors, older adults with medical comorbidities, and clients who have undergone bariatric surgery. She also has a special interest in coaching clients in recovery from Substance Use Disorders. Nicole enjoys spending time with her husband and five children when she is not training clients or teaching fitness classes.