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Assessing Risks Before Exercise

Assessing possible risks in fitness testing and creating tests the may indicate or help to list the factors involved is important in training and making a profit. It can make or break a business. Risk management takes on many faces in business, from operational risk to financial risk to security risk. The first thing to do is to list the risks to be evaluated and looked at and then to create an outline of the tests that may indicate and manage these risks. It is important to note that one of the first risks is that a person may not be prepared physically to take the test. Also, to make sure that the trainer is sufficiently educated in their role as observer and administrator of the test.

Below are some specific guidelines to ensure prompt and professional response to emergencies and to aid the fitness trainer or gym in risk prevention as well as considerations deemed important for risk management. These protocols have been are created to test and minimize exposure to risks.


· Participant Screening - It is important to note health and age of the individual

· Researcher Training – Making sure that all staff has some form of emergency medical training, or that you always have an appropriately trained/qualified staff member

· Risk Prevention During Exercise Test and Training

· Testing Environment – Should have appropriate space and equipment

· Instructions and Precautions Risk – pre-testing instructions and precautions

· Pre-Testing Requirements – knowledge of when to notify physicians as well as knowing signs and symptoms of cardiovascular problems

· Defining Risk as well as training risk prevention – risks and risk prevention to older adults
Emergency Response Protocol

There is no doubt that there are opportunities for profit, but there are also numerous obstacles. Not only must the facilities have a lot to offer in terms of qualified staff, equipment, and today, space accommodations for child care services; but the staff must be trained and well-versed in all facets of the operation of these kinds of facilities. The fitness industry is very competitive, the more and the better quality facilities you can provide, the more clients you will attract and the more you can charge them.


Before conducting any fitness test, the client should always be asked a series of questions. This is because the "current" status of the client (on the day of the test -as well as previously) can impact on both the safety and relevant reliability of the test.

For example, if the person is suffering Hay Fever or a sore neck on the day of the test, their fitness will not be properly reflected. It may also be unhealthy for them to undertake exercises involved in the testing procedure.

Important Questions to Ask Your Client Before Testing

• Have you ever been diagnosed with a heart or lung condition and advised to be careful

about exercise or not perform some exercises?

• Do you have any tendency to faint?

• Have you experienced abnormal chest pain or dizziness in the past month? If so do you have medical clearance?

• Are you suffering any infection or illness at present?

• Are you taking any medication, or has medication been prescribed?

• Do you have any muscular, bone or joint problem which is sometimes aggravated by exercise?

• Do you smoke?

• Do you have any questions about the test?

Going through this check list will help to minimize and manage the risk of the client. It necessary to have a procedure and form set in place that all trainers use to evaluate their clients.

Fitness tests are conducted for various reasons. Testing before and after a program is ideal to determine whether improved results have been achieved as well as the level achieved. It is also important to note any risks involved that may affect training. The following reasons are why fitness tests are commonly carried out:

• Determine the maximum aerobic capacity of a person, in order to properly design an appropriate exercise program for them.

• Evaluate competencies and limitations in muscles, skeletal and nervous systems which might impact on movements which can be undertaken during exercise (eg. knee injury, flexibility).

• To test body fat levels.

• Measurement of body to evaluate a decrease in body fat or increase in muscle.

• To determine progressive changes in the various indicators of fitness (aerobic capacity, heart rate, fat levels, flexibility) during and after completion of an exercise program.

To evaluate and recognize possible complications or hazards that could occur from the tests above. Assisting with possible detection of any abnormalities or risk factors associated with exercise, before embarking on an exercise program as well as during the exercising.

Article by Staff of ACS Distance Education

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