Law for Fitness Managers: Protect Yourself and Your Business
Law for Fitness Managers: Protect Yourself and Your Business

11 CECs

Course Description:

This self-study course will focus on the No. 1 responsibility of all fitness managers: ensuring the safety of their members and program participants. Injuries occurring in fitness facilities and programs often lead to a variety of lengthy, time-consuming and costly negligence lawsuits, creating a great deal of stress for fitness managers, who will likely be named as defendants. This course provides fitness managers with the legal and risk-management education they need to prevent injuries and avoid litigation. Course-takers will study a range of negligence lawsuits and the many legal and risk-management “lessons learned” from each.

Fitness managers who work in any setting (e.g., corporate, university/college, commercial (for-profit), community (nonprofit), government, hospital/clinical and retirement centers) and have job titles such as the following will benefit from this course:

  • Fitness manager or owner
  • Fitness director or assistant director
  • Personal trainer coordinator
  • Group exercise coordinator
  • Clinical exercise coordinator
  • Head or assistant strength and conditioning coach
  • Entrepreneurs who provide fitness programs/services

This course contains the following five modules:

Module 1 | U.S. Law, Legal Liability and Risk Management

Module 2 | Negligence and Common Defenses to Negligence

Module 3 | Legal Liability Risks: Hiring, Training and Supervising Employees

Module 4 | Legal Liability Risks: Exercise Equipment and Facility Issues

Module 5 | Legal Liability Risks: Emergency Planning and Response

Course Assignments for Each Module:

Each module will include assigned reading from the course textbook, Law for Fitness Managers and Exercise Professionals, available on Amazon. (You can read a description of the text here.) Each module also includes PowerPoint slides that cover the assigned readings, a recording elaborating on the assigned readings and PowerPoint slides (presented by Dr. JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek, lead author of the text) and a CEC quiz. Each module will take about 2.25 to 2.5 hours to complete. Course-takers who successfully complete the five modules will earn 11 CECs.

Course Presenter:

JoAnn M. Eickhoff-Shemek, Ph.D., FACSM, professor emerita of exercise science at the University of South Florida and president of the Fitness Law Academy, LLC, is an internationally known author and speaker. For more than 35 years, her teaching and research have focused on fitness safety, legal liability and risk-management issues. Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek is the lead author of a comprehensive legal/risk-management text, Law for Fitness Managers and Exercise Professionals (2020) and is the coauthor of the textbook Rule the Rules of Workplace Wellness Programs (2021). Read her complete bio here.

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, learners will be able to:

  1. Describe the basics of U.S. law as it applies to the fitness profession (e.g., functions of each branch of government, civil versus criminal law, tort law, and contract law).
  2. Define risk management and explain the four risk-management strategic-planning steps.
  3. Describe negligence and two major defenses to negligence — primary assumption of risk and waiver (release of liability).
  4. Explain the difference between standards of care (e.g., legal duties) and standards of practice (e.g., standards/guidelines published by professional organizations).
  5. Identify the major legal liability risks facing fitness facilities/programs regarding personnel, exercise equipment, facility issues and emergency planning/response.
  6. Explain the legal and risk-management “lessons learned” from negligence lawsuits that occurred in fitness facilities/programs.
  7. Distinguish legal forms (e.g., waivers, membership contracts) and risk-management forms (e.g., screening questionnaires, lesson plans, incident reports, injury reports).
  8. Develop and implement a comprehensive risk-management plan to minimize injuries and subsequent negligence lawsuits.

All course content will be presented to you electronically upon completion of your purchase. This includes the modules, self-tests and certificates (certificates awarded upon successful completion of the self-test). ACSM will not offer refunds, transfers or course credits for not completing courses prior to their expiration date or for duplicate purchases. This course expires one year after purchase date.

ACSM does not allow substitutions, refunds or credits for this course.  

For questions related to your online CEC courses or purchases, email

Membership DiscountJoin ACSM and save up to 50% on CEC courses by contacting our membership department at  Membership dues updates may take a minimum of 24 hrs. to be reflected in your account. 

Discounted member price: 165.00
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