Level 2 Fitness Exam: Programming for Special Populations

Level 2 Fitness Exam: Programming for Special Populations

This blog will explain the adaptations you need to make when programming for Special Populations. It will help you prepare for the Level 2 Fitness Exam, and worksheets, and clarify which clients you are able to work with.

You’ll discover:

  • Why you need to know about Programming for Special Populations
  • 9 Minute Video Tutorial on the Musculoskeletal system differences in Special Population clients
  • How to adapt exercise for young adults, older adults and pre/postnatal women
  • Identify which clients you are qualified to work with
  • And Three Example Mock Questions to test your knowledge

Why you need to know about Programming for Special Populations

Understanding the physiological differences for special populations will be part of your Level 2 Fitness Exam. You can typically expect 3-8 questions that relate to understanding how the musculoskeletal system differs for each of these special populations.

At level 2 there are also worksheets that test your knowledge of adapting exercises, and clarify which client type is beyond your scope of practice.

However beyond your assessments, you also need to know bout this for your clients as a qualified FITPRO, so you can create safe and effective programming for special populations.

9 Minute Video Tutorial on the Musculokeletal system differences in Special Population clients

Leap inside this 9 mins video, it’s taken directly from our Level 2 Anatomy Revision Bootcamp, The Fitness Industry’s #1 Revision Bootcamp For Trainee Fitness Professionals To Learn, Revise & Ace Every Exam Question. 

How to adapt exercise for young adults, older adults and pre/postnatal women

Part of understanding

14-16-year-old Young Adults:

  • Avoid Heavy, strenuous and repetitive exercise
  • A good warm-up and cool down
  • Encourage bodyweight alternatives and low weights
  • High reps and lower weight – endurance rep ranges
  • Stretches should be gentle to the point of mild tension

Older Adults – 55yrs +:

  • Encourage weight-bearing exercise
  • Fall prevention exercises
  • Consider joint stability and motor skills
  • Encourage calcium-rich diet
  • Avoid Impact
  • Good Long Warm-Up

Pre/Post Natal Clients:

  • Don’t program exercise for postnatal clients until 6 weeks post-normal birth, and 12 weeks post a C-Section
  • Avoid Impact exercise – due to stress on the pelvic floor
  • Don’t do abdominal strengthening exercises
  • Avoid fast changes of direction
  • Monitor Temperature
  • Avoid Developmental Stretches
  • Never lay on the stomach (prone)
  • Avoid laying on the back (supine) in 2nd and 3rd trimester

Identify which clients you are qualified to work with

the key here is to remember that with a Level 2 Gym Certification or Level 3 Personal Trainer certificate, you are not a specialist at working with these clients.

Therefore you shouldn’t advertise specific sessions and programs to work with this client type unless you have done further qualifications, for example, the L2 children’s fitness course or L3 pre/postnatal qualification.

Without specialist qualifications, you are able to give general health-related advice to the client and adapt programming for special populations.

Before working with any client make sure:

  1. you feel comfortable that your knowledge is satisfactory to provide safe and effective advice
  2. the client knows you’re not a specialist and that you can only give generic health-related advice
  3. that a client who fails a PARQ obtains clearance from a GP and works with an exercise referral specialist.
  4. that anyone under 18years old has permission on record from a parent/ guardian

Test your exam readiness with today’s mock questions:

[NOTE: The answers are below the 3rd questions]

1. Which exercise is inappropriate for a pregnant client?
A. Cycling
B. Walking
C. Gentle Pelvic Floor Exercises
D. Sit Ups

2. Why should young adults under 16 years old avoid heavy lifting?
A. Their bones are not fully formed
B. Their muscles are not strong enough
C. The weights area is intimidating
D. Their heart and circulatory system is challenged

3. How could you adapt a complex dance exercise class for older adults?
A. Remove all cardiovascular and just do resistance training
B. Increase jumping and change of directions
C. Reduce impact and offer easier options with fewer direction changes
D. Reduce impact and do more complex balance and coordination

What’s the CORRECT answer?

Answers to the mock questions are :

Question 1= D, Question 2 = A, Question 3 = C

If you want more mock questions like this, then you can download more Free Mock Questions: DOWNLOAD NOW

Need More Help with your Level 2 Principles Revision?

For Trainee FITPROS Taking Their Level 2 Principles exam or combined “L2 Principles of Anatomy, Physiology and Fitness” Exam.

Learn, Revise & Pass Your Level 2 Anatomy & Physiology (including principles) Exam In Under 10-hours

(Without Having To Spend Hours Revising Or Feeling Overwhelmed)

If you want to get your revision structured, learn everything you need to know, and feel confident on exam day, then click the link below:


L2 Anatomy Exam

Dedicated to More

Hayley “Programming for special populations” Bergman

Parallel Coaching

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