Teaching for Skill Acquisition in Fitness – Best Practices for Fitness Pedagogy

by Dr Anthony Smith, PhD, CSCS,*D, NSCA-CPT,*D
NSCA Coach April 2021
Vol 7, Issue 4


The purpose of this article is to present pedagogical content knowledge to personal trainers aimed to enhance client performance and satisfaction.

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This article originally appeared in NSCA Coach, a quarterly publication for NSCA Members that provides valuable takeaways for every level of strength and conditioning coach. You can find scientifically based articles specific to a wide variety of your athletes’ needs with Nutrition, Programming, and Youth columns. Read more articles from NSCA Coach »

Related Reading



1. Caulfield, S, and Berninger, D. Exercise technique for free weight and machine training. In Haff, GG, and Triplett, NT (Eds.), Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning (4th Ed,). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 351-408, 2016.

2. De Lyon, A. and Cushion, C. The acquisition and development of fitness trainers’ professional knowledge. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 27(5): 1407-1422.

3. Metzler, M. Instructional Models for Physical Education (3rd Ed.). Scottsdale, AZ: Holcomb Hathaway, Publishers; 46-164, 2011.

4. Newell, K. Physical education of and through fitness and skill. Quest 63(1): 46-54, 2012.

5. Pierce, P, and Herman, S. Obtaining, maintaining, and advancing your fitness certification. Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance 75(7): 50-54, 2004.

6. Rink, J. Teaching Physical Education for Learning (6th Ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw Hill; 63-179, 2010.

7. Rovegno, I, and Bandhauer, D. Elementary Physical Education: Curriculum and Instruction (2nd ed). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 39-116, 2017.

8. SHAPE America. Instructional Framework for Fitness Education in Physical Education. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2012.

9. SHAPE America. National Standards and Grade-Level Outcomes for K-12 Physical Education. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 89-114, 2014.

10. SHAPE America. PE Metrics (3rd Ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 11-19, 2016.

11. Smith, A. Extending students’ skills and knowledge to fitness activities. In MacDonald, L, Doan, R, and Chepko, S (Eds.), Lesson Planning for High School Physical Education. SHAPE America. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 557-625, 2018.

About the author

Anthony Smith, PhD, CSCS, NSCA-CPT, TSAC-F

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