Before You Register

Here are important things to know before you sign up for training.

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About You

When you register, we want to know more about you; your goals and expectations, occupation and stressors, leisure, exercise and health history. Please review and complete the registration information and history interview and return it prior to the first class. We'll discuss your answers in a pre-participation telephone call. A review of your personal goals and history helps us tailor the program to your needs and experience.

It's Always Safety First...

Your health and safety is our first priority.  Prior to registration for the strength training course, you will need to complete a health-screening questionnaire called the PAR-Q. This form is the industry standard for minimal pre-exercise screening.  It asks seven questions:

  1. Has your doctor ever said that you have a heart condition and that you should only do physical activity recommended by a doctor?

  2. Do you feel pain in your chest when you do physical activity?

  3. In the past month, have you had chest pain when you were not doing physical activity?

  4. Do you lose your balance because of dizziness or do you ever lose consciousness?

  5. Do you have a bone or joint problem (for example, back, knee or hip) that could be made worse by a change in your physical activity?

  6. Is your doctor currently prescribing drugs (for example, water pills) for your blood pressure or heart con­dition?

  7. Do you know of any other reason why you should not do physical activity?

If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise, but you may need to start more slowly and progress gradually (which is the best way for everyone!) Have a talk with your doctor to review what, if any, restrictions you should follow for your exercise program.  You will need to have a signed Medical Clearance form from your physician prior to class participation.

If you honestly answer "no" to all questions, you can be reasonably sure it is safe for you to start becoming more active.  The PAR-Q questions represent the minimum screening requirement.  If you have any concerns, you should discuss it with your doctor.

You will need to complete and sign the PAR-Q form prior to participation.

Understanding Your Risks

There is widespread agreement the benefits of exercise outweigh the risks1, but sudden death or cardiac events do occur more frequently (from 2 to 6 times more often2) during vigorous exercise compared with less intense activities.  When there is no evidence of heart disease, the risk is extremely low.  One study at YMCA sports centers found one cardiac event in 2,253,267 person hours of exercise!3,4  But the relative risk is higher for people unaccustomed to physical activity when compared to active people, and the risk is greatest (perhaps 1 in 60,000 participant hours5, 6, 7) for people with cardiovascular disease.

Before beginning a vigorous exercise program, it’s important to determine if you may be at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, so you and your personal physician can carefully assess your individual needs.  It’s a good idea to use the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) cardiovascular risk screening guidelines to determine if you should see the doctor before beginning an exercise program.


  1. ACSM’s Guidelines For Exercise Testing and Prescription, Sixth Edition, 2000, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, p 3-14.
  2. Willich SN, Lewis M, Lowel H, et al.  Physical exertion as a trigger of acute myocardial infarction. N Engl J. Med 1984:311874-877
  3. Malinow MR, McGarry DL, Keuh KS .  Is exercise testing indicated for asymptomatic active people? J. Cardiac Rehabil  1984;4:376-379
  4. Mittleman MA, Macclue M, Tofler GH, et al.  Triggering of acute MI by heavy physical exertion; protection against triggering by regular exertion.  N Engl J Med  1993;329:1677-1683
  5. Haskell WL.  The efficacy and safety of exercise programs in cardiac rehabilitation. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1994; 26:815-823
  6. Vongvanich P, Paul-Labrado MJ, Merz CNB.  Safety of medically supervised exercise in a cardiac rehabilitation center.  Am J. Cardiol 1996; 77:1383-1385
  7. Franklin BA, Bonzheim K, Gordon S., et al.  Safety of medically supervised outpatient cardiac rehabilitation exercise therapy; a 16 year follow-up. Chest 1998:114:902-906

Consent for Participation and Waiver of Liability

When all of your questions about our program have been answered to your satisfaction, you will need to sign the Consent for Participation and Waiver of Liability form acknowledging your understanding of the risks and waiving liability.

Other good things to know if you register for training...