SIUE’s Webb travels to China to coach instructors of future personal trainers

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Benjamin Webb, PhD, brought his expertise in exercise psychology, personal training, and strength and conditioning to Quanzhou, China, where he helped train 60 Chinese scholars and practitioners who will serve as instructors of a certified personal trainer preparatory course.

Webb is an assistant professor in the School of Education, Health and Human Behavior’s Department of Applied Health. He was invited to participate in the international seminar series as a representative for the American College of Sports Medicine.

“I am obligated by the ideals I profess in my classroom to use my knowledge and experience to influence the health and well-being of others, regardless of which country they live in,” Webb explained. “Although I may not be able to directly influence the health and well-being of Chinese citizens, I might be able to indirectly, by helping Chinese instructors who will be preparing their students to become credentialed personal trainers.”

The international collaboration transpired due to increasing concerns about obesity and diabetes in China. According to Webb, that concern has led to increased interest in exercise as a means to promote public health.

The trip was conducted Aug. 6 to 11.

“The Chinese Association of Sports Medicine, under the direction of President Guoping Li, recognized that China had a need for exercise professionals qualified to provide fitness assessments and exercise prescriptions,” said Webb, “so it established a partnership with the ACSM to develop a credentialed personal trainer course in China. To my knowledge, this if the first partnership of its kind in China.”

The ACSM Chinese CPT Course Instructor Training II seminar included daily lectures related to human anatomy, biomechanics, exercise physiology, exercise psychology, exercise prescription, and ethics and legal issues in personal training. ACSM representatives also led practical lab sessions each day to provide the future instructors with opportunities to learn and improve their skills related to health and fitness assessments, exercise prescription, and exercise adherence.

“My master’s education in exercise physiology and doctorate in the psychology of physical activity, combined with 10 years of experience working as a certified personal trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist, gave me ample skills to lead multiple lectures as part of this series,” Webb concluded.

According to the ACSM, the purpose of the in-person instructor training was to have U.S.-based subject matter experts guide select Chinese professors in how to provide consistent, high-quality learning experiences in lecture and laboratory settings. CASM professors had the opportunity to discuss all aspects of a course that spanned navigating the curriculum matrix through live demonstration of practical assessments.

PHOTO: SIUE’s Benjamin Webb, PhD, (middle dark blue polo) poses among participants in the ACSM Chinese CPT Course Instructor Training II in Quanzhou, China.

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