CPR Certification for Fitness Instructors: Why and How to Get One?

CPR Certification For a Fitness Instructor

Let’s look at what makes having a CPR Certification for Fitness Instructors so important. Besides having extensive knowledge of physical health, a fit figure, and abilities to communicate techniques effectively, a fitness instructor should also be educated on the topic of health and safety.

Working out at fitness facilities often involves high-intensity interval training that can lead to unexpected cardiac arrest. In such cases, time is not your friend, and immediate action can save a life.

Below, we point out the importance of having proper CPR training for fitness instructors and gym managers inside the facility.

Why Is CPR Certification for Fitness Instructors a Must?

While not everyone has a CPR Certification for Fitness Instructors, sometimes your job position entails you to master the technique, especially in professions exposed to on-the-job heart risks. Fitness instructors work in such an environment where intense exercise routines can be overwhelming for certain people, particularly first-timers.

Imagine a worst-case scenario where one of your visitors suddenly collapses, loses consciousness, and goes into cardiac arrest. If nobody is experienced enough to help them, the fitness facility may end up facing penalties and legal expenses.

Many patients experiencing heart issues are actually asymptomatic until a major threat happens that brings them directly into urgent care. These people usually don’t have any signs of arrhythmia or suffocation until the <a href=”https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4315801/”> increased physical effort causes a plaque rupture</a> and cardiac arrest, which can become lethal within seconds.

Thus, a CPR-certified fitness instructor can really DO make a difference and save a life.

What Can Cause Cardiac Arrest at the Gym?

Increased physical activity and cardio training can cause cardiac arrest, especially if the person has a history of heart problems.

Aside from overtraining and participating in HIIT exercises, cardiac arrests are also linked to treadmills, especially if you pick up the speed suddenly, which doesn’t usually happen when a person is regularly jogging.

The fact is: a fitness instructor is not part of the medical personnel and doesn’t have access to medical history data. In addition, gym-goers don’t carry their medical history documentation with them, which only makes the possible cardiac arrest situation even worse.

That’s why it’s important to have a CPR Certification for Fitness Instructors’.

Risky Categories for Cardiac Arrests at the Gym

Sudden cardiac arrests can occur even in the most trained athletes. In fact, about 0.75 competitive athletes out of 100,000 experience a sudden cardiac arrest So, exercise-related gym injuries and cardiac arrest are connected, and strenuous exercise can lead to one.

These injuries are more likely to occur if one doesn’t exercise regularly, or hasn’t stretched well before moving on to the heavy-lifting exercises. On top of it all, increased physical activity can influence some medical-born conditions, or surgeries. In such cases, it’s of utmost importance that the person exercising and their trainer are both aware of the risks and which exercises are safe for them.

Thus, the gym’s administration should be on the lookout for some of the most common hereditary disorders:

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

This anomaly happens when the heart muscle thickens, preventing the smooth blood flow and disrupting the entire heart function. The condition is not as common, since only about 1 person in 500 in the US has it, but that’s without taking into consideration the many undiagnosed patients.

Blood Clots

Blood clots are a common medical condition, and can contribute to gym-related injuries. It doesn’t matter whether the clot is positioned near the heart or the leg muscle – it’s equally hazardous.

This is especially true for people with a pulmonary embolism – a condition wherein a blood clot gets stuck in an artery and partially blocks the blood flow to the lungs. In such cases, when a cardiac arrest happens, the mortality rate jumps to 95%.

CPR Certification for Fitness Instructors To Help With Cardiac Arrest

Not every patient experiences cardiac arrest at the same intensity. In an identical manner, not all people share the same pain tolerance level. In this case, people with a high tolerance to pain are an extremely risky category because it might be too late once they start to succumb to the symptoms.

Here are the most frequent signs to be on the lookout for that you’ll learn when you have a CPR Certification for Fitness Instructors:

Shortness of Breath and Irregular Breathing

This is very common for people in the gym, so it should be overlooked if it’s not accompanied by some of the other symptoms on this list. But if the symptoms are long-lasting, shortness of breath can be isolated as a single symptom for a possible cardiac arrest. In such cases, it’s best to make an emergency call beforehand so that the intervention is done in a timely manner.

Chest Discomfort

One of the earliest signs is an unpleasant ache and pressure in the chest area, more specifically near the heart. The symptoms may come and go, or be persistent and even numbing. While many people experience chest discomfort, especially when under stress or when performing rigorous exercises, if the symptom persists, you may want to look into it.

Feeling Dizzy

Dizziness can be worrying if it lasts too long. This symptom is a common sign of cardiac arrest and/or unsufficient intake of water during a workout. Feeling dizzy can be accompanied by fainting or near fainting, which could point to cardiac arrest.

Skipping Heartbeat

Increased heartbeat during a workout is completely normal – especially during cardio. But if the person is experiencing palpitations, this isn’t normal. An irregular heartbeat is one of the most apparent signs of possible cardiac arrest.

Where to Get CPR Certification for Fitness Instructors?

If you’re looking to acquire a CPR certificate, you can look at various online and in-person providers. There are many federal providers like the Red Cross and the American Heart Association.

Though the Red Cross offers classes to get a CPR Certification for Fitness Instructors, both online and in-person, acquiring the actual certificate is preferably done in person. You’ll want to have actual experience administering CPR before you have to try it out on someone experiencing cardiac arrest.

There’s not a real difference in the price and approach, only the type of course. And considering the practical aspect of the specific instructions and steps to take to properly assist someone with a CPR intervention, this is totally understandable.

In some cases, your institution and gym manager might arrange this for you and include it within your work-training module. But to have significantly increased chances of landing a job in the industry – acquiring one to attach to your portfolio is highly recommended.

Understanding How a CPR Certification for Fitness Instructors Can Help

The CPR certification for fitness instructors is a common requirement for getting a job in the industry, and it’s part of the basic fitness instructor package. Gaining one is of primary importance for securely running a fitness facility and covering for unwanted legal issues in cases of injuries and cardiac arrest while working out.

The average timely response of the emergency services and 911 is between 6-14 minutes, depending on the traffic in the area. Thus, assisting someone who’s experiencing a cardiac arrest can be a crucial life-saving performance.
CPR is ensuring the heart doesn’t completely stop or the muscle doesn’t hyperventilate, and if done right, this procedure can even assure that the person doesn’t end up in a hospital. It is your best shot at saving someone’s life when no other help is around. A great skill to have on hand from your CPR class.