16 hours

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What will James teach you?

Coaching Clients with Obesity is specifically designed to empower the personal trainer when dealing with the unique challenges of clients with obesity. Obesity is a global epidemic, and clients with obesity need special consideration from both a nutritional and exercise standpoint.

Course Syllabus

  1. Module 1: Obesity - A Unique Challenge

    1. Unit 1: What is Obesity

      • Define obesity
      • Understand the health implications of obesity
      • Identify the countries with the highest and lowest obesity rates
      • Understand the spread of obesity in the United States of America
      6 mins
    2. Unit 2: The Primary Driver Behind Obesity

      • Understand energy balance and how it impacts body weight
      • Identify the components of energy balance that are driving obesity
      • Understand how the environment can impact food intake
      • Understand how palatability and energy density can impact food intake and food-seeking behaviours
      • Understand optimal foraging theory and how it relates to overeating
      • To identify how food technology has impacted the reinforcing characteristics of food
      • Define “settling point” and understand how palatability and reward impact it
      • Understand how food variety impacts calorie intake
      53 mins
    3. Unit 3: Secondary Drivers of Obesity

      • Identify secondary factors that are contributing to the obesity epidemic
      • Understand how food form can impact appetite and satiety
      • Understand the mechanisms via which sleep loss can contribute to obesity
      • Understand how inactivity can impact food intake
      14 mins
  2. Module 2: Nutrition Strategies for Weight Management

    1. Unit 4: Energy Balance and Setting Calorie Targets

      • Understand the adaptations that occur in the body during an energy deficit
      • Identify the advantages and disadvantages of small and large energy deficits
      • Be able to calculate calorie targets for weight loss
      23 mins
    2. Unit 5: Setting up a Sustainable Nutrition Plan

      • Identify the characteristics of a sustainable, reduced calorie diet
      • Understand appropriate protein intakes for the obese client
      • Define energy density and understand how to apply our knowledge of energy density to construct a high-satiety diet
      • Understand the basic mechanisms behind the efficacy of popular diets
      • Understand basic semi-quantitative and non-quantitative dieting strategies
      • Understand the importance of dietary adherence
      • Identify how to alter food environment to enhance adherence
      43 mins
  3. Module 3: Exercise and the Obese Client

    1. Unit 6: Components of Energy Expenditure

      • Identify the components of energy expenditure
      • Understand the relationship between metabolism and bodyweight change
      12 mins
    2. Unit 7: Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)

      • Define non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)
      • Understand the magnitude of inter-individual variances in NEAT
      • Understand what happens to NEAT with age, weight loss, exercise, and obesity
      25 mins
    3. Unit 8: Impacts of Endurance Exercise and Interval Training on Energy Expenditure Fat Loss

      • Understand how endurance exercise impacts energy expenditure during exercise and during recovery
      • Understand how interval training impacts energy expenditure during exercise and during recovery
      • Understand how interval training compares to endurance training for energy expenditure and fat loss
      10 mins
    4. Unit 9: Impacts of Resistance Exercise on Energy Expenditure and Fat Loss

      • Understand how resistance training impacts energy expenditure during exercise and during recovery
      • Understand how volume and intensity can impact energy expenditure and fat loss
      • Understand how resistance exercise compares to aerobic exercise regarding the effects on metabolism and 24-hour energy expenditure
      18 mins
    5. Unit 10: Impacts of Exercise on Abdominal Fat & FFM Retention

      • Understand how exercise intensity may impact abdominal fat
      • Understand how exercise may impact fat-free mass retention during weight loss
      • Identify the difference between fat-free mass and muscle
      • Understand the interaction between resistance training and fat-free-mass retention
      14 mins
    6. Unit 11: Impact of Exercise on Appetite

      • Understand the different appetite responses to calorie restriction and exercise
      • Identify how exercise may impact appetite
      • Understand how exercise intensity may impact appetite
      15 mins
    7. Unit 12: Impacts of Fasted vs Fed Exercise on Energy Expenditure and Fat Loss

      • Identify the proposed mechanisms for fasted exercise improving fat loss
      • Understand the research findings regarding fasted versus fed exercise
      7 mins
    8. Unit 13: Exercise Training Modalities for Obese Clients

      • Understand the unique challenges when programming exercise for an obese client
      • Identify which modalities of aerobic training, interval training, and resistance training may be most appropriate for obese clients
      • Apply programming principles to hypothetical examples of obese clients
      8 mins
    9. Unit 14: Strategies for Increasing NEAT

      • Identify strategies to help increase NEAT and how to incorporate them into a client’s lifestyle
      • Understand how to use activity tracking devices to help increase a client’s NEAT
      12 mins
  4. Module 4: Lifestyle Factors for Obesity

    1. Unit 15: Sleep & Self Monitoring

      • Understand strategies to enhance sleep quality and quantity
      • Understand the relationship between self-monitoring and success
      • Identify how self-monitoring tools can be used to enhance success rates
      12 mins
  5. Module 5: The Bigger Picture - Adherence and Long-Term Success

    1. Unit 16: Long-term Weight Maintenance

      • Identify the reasons why long-term weight maintenance success rates are low
      • Understand the characteristics of successful long-term weight maintainers
      • Understand the importance of physical activity to long-term weight maintenance
      15 mins
    2. Unit 17: Psychology of Obesity - Strategies for Adherence and Successful Weight Loss/Maintenance

      • Identify the psychological consequences and comorbidities of obesity
      • Understand strategies to set a client up for success
      • Understand variables associated with successful adherence, weight loss, and weight maintenance
      • Understand variables associated with lapses in adherence, and how to create strategies to limit lapses
      • Understand how motivation, intention, and planning are related to behavior
      • Understand the advantages of flexible versus rigid approaches
      • Understand potential sources of tension during weight maintenance, and how to manage or resolve that tension
      55 mins
  6. Module 6: Consultation and Practical Programming

    1. Unit 18: Consulting with an Obese Client and Practical Application

      • Identify the phases of consulting an obese client
      • Identify the information you need to gather during each consultation phase
      • Understand the basics of programming for an obese client
      • Understand how to use this information to make adjustments based on progress
      • Understand the special factors you need to consider when working with obese clients compared to the general population
      47 mins
    2. Unit 19: Summary

      6 mins

About James Krieger

Published scientist, author, and founder of Weightology James Krieger has over 20 years’ combined experience of teaching, working with clients and disseminating evidence-based fitness on a global scale. James teaches Coaching Clients with Obesity for the PTC.

James’ Qualifications
M.S. Nutrition, M.S. Exercise Science, B.S. Kinesiology (Exercise Science). Published over 500 articles and more than 20 peer-reviewed scientific studies.

Coaching Clients with Obesity


  1. Is this course all online?

    Yes – this course and all assessments associated with this course are online.

  2. How is this course assessed?

    This course is assessed via online multiple choice assessments which are found in the student portal.

  3. Can I do the course at my own pace?

    You can – however, you must complete all units in order. Each unit of the course has a quiz, which you must complete before progressing onto the next unit.

  4. Do I have access to the content for life?

    Yes. This is something we have always promised our students, and that doesn’t change.

  5. How much time will I need to dedicate to studying?

    This course consists of 8 Guided Learning Hours. You may find you need more or less study based on your current knowledge and experience.

  6. Is this course accredited?

    Our courses are not currently accredited or associated with CPD points

  7. Do I get a certificate?

    Yes – on completion, you will receive a virtual certificate detailing your results. We also send out physical certificates once per quarter to students who have registered their postal address with us.

  8. What are the grade boundaries?

    Any course requires a score of 80% in the online assessment in order to pass. If you score 85% or above, you will achieve a “Merit” grade, and a score of 90% or above will earn you a “Distinction”.

  9. Are there any requirements to enrolling on the course?

    We don’t insist that you have any qualifications prior to enrolling on one of our courses. You will need a strong interest in the subject matter, a desire to learn, and a willingness to ask if you need extra help. You should have a good command of spoken and written English, and a strong enough internet connection to watch standard definition videos.