StrongBodies/Women Training

Become a StrongBodies Program Leader

The WI StrongBodies Program is based on the StrongWomen™ Program created by

Rebecca Seguin (Cornell University) and Miriam Nelson (Hampshire College)

2019 StrongBodies Wisconsin Trainings

  • June 14th – LaCrosse, WI – Days Inn of La Crosse, 101 Sky Harbour Drive, La Crosse/Black River Room
  • August 15th – Phillips, WI – North Central Technical College, 1408 Pine Ridge Road, Phillips
  • November 14th – Madison, WI – Lowell Center, 610 Langdon Street, Madison

Scroll down for more information or click here to register:

Register for an Upcoming Training

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About StrongWomen

Developed by Drs. Miriam Nelson (Hampshire College) and Rebecca Seguin (Cornell University) both formerly of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.  The StrongWomen™ training programs are designed to help women become or stay fit, strong, and healthy.  Dr. Nelson is the author of the research-based Strong Women book series, and Dr. Seguin is national program director for StrongWomen (StrongBodies in Wisconsin).

Who Should Attend?

Professionals and community leaders working or interested in the fields of public health, nutrition and exercise or wellness should attend. Participants should be in good physical health and be able to collaborate with local agencies or organizations to provide StrongBodies – StrongWomen™ program in their community.

**If you have been teaching Strong Bones for at least 6 months, you are eligible to attend Advanced Strong Bones training.

To be eligible for a workshop in the StrongBodies Strength Training Program, YOU MUST:

  1. Be an employee/staff with a nonprofit organization; independent personal trainers, consultants, and for-profit individuals/groups are not eligible to attend the training or to implement the Strong Bodies Strength Training Program. If you are not an employee/staff of a nonprofit BUT are working in partnership with a nonprofit organization to implement the program, you must submit a letter from the nonprofit organization as your sponsor. In addition, all leaders are required to sign a scope of use agreement regarding nonprofit use of the program only as well as an understanding that this is not a train-the-trainer program (you are being trained to implement programs and are not permitted to train new trainers).
  2. Be actively strength training. Being physically active in general is, of course, important. But, the expectation is that you are very familiar with lifting weights and are personally committed to and regularly practicing the behavior. This is a mandatory criteria for eligibility.
  3. Have a firm commitment to starting a program in your community. This training is to teach you how to lead a StrongWomen Strength Training class, and should not be attended simply for informational/personal purposes.

Sites Appropriate to Run a StrongBodies Strength Training Program Include:

Senior centers, hospital outpatient centers, cooperative extension services, offices on aging, assisted living facilities, independent retirement communities, community fitness centers with a large older population, places of worship, and other places where older adults convene.

Experience and Credentials

Below are the experience and qualifications that are optimal for becoming a Program Leader and running the program safely and effectively.

  • Experience in providing exercise instruction in a fitness center, community setting, outpatient hospital setting, or as a personal trainer.
  • Educational background in exercise or some aspect of public health. The appropriate educational background might include medicine, nursing, nutrition, exercise physiology, occupational/physical therapy, massage therapy, or community/public health.
  • Certification by reputable health and fitness organization. Organizations include the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the American Senior Fitness Association, the International Association of Fitness Professionals (IDEA), and the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research. We realize that this is not a complete list of organizations that certify individuals; the Program Leader may have a certification from another organization, and along with his/her education and experience, would be qualified to become a Program Leader.

Note for Potential Sites: Identifying a Program Leader with the above three attributes will contribute greatly to the safety and efficacy of the Strong Bodies Strength Training Program. We recognize that some people who want to become Program Leaders may not have any formal education regarding health and fitness, and they may not possess a fitness-related certification. The decision of who becomes a Program Leader is up to you as a site manager, and the StrongWomen (Strong Bodies) Ambassador of the workshop that your interested leader attends.

Space & Equipment

We recommended that the site have a room that is at least 200 square feet (ideally, 400 square feet) to run the program. The room should be well lit and be free of clutter. In addition, there should be sturdy, armless chairs available in the room. Preferably there should be a locked closet either in the room or nearby where the exercise equipment (dumbbells and ankles weights) can be stored between classes. Finally, the entire building should be safe for women of all ages to access. The parking lot (if applicable) should be well lit; there should be proper security of the facility; and the corridors and rest rooms should be safe and well lit.

The StrongBodies Workshop (Program Leader Training)

At the Strong Bodies Strength Training workshop, program leaders will be trained on the exercise program itself as well as how to effectively instruct and assist participants in learning the exercises. Additionally, the workshop will cover all topics found in the Toolkit such as screening, safety, and effective leadership. Program leaders will be given guidance on how to schedule their programs, discuss space and equipment needs, and strategize about issues such as transportation and gaining local support and funding. Following the workshop, sites/program leaders will then be required to initiate at least one program in their community.

What are the Benefits of StrongWomen™ Training?

The benefits of strength training for older women have been studied extensively and include:

  • Increased muscle mass and strength
  • Improved bone density and reduced risk for osteoporosis and related fractures
  • Reduced risk of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, depression, and obesity
  • Improved self-confidence, sleep and vitality

What is Included in the Registration Fee?

  • StrongWomen™ Toolkit, a manual that includes all information needed to safely promote, start, implement, and maintain the StrongWomen™ programs (Strong Women Stay Young and Strong Women Strong Bones)
  • Day long training including lunch and breaks (For an idea of the agenda see here)
  • A PowerPoint® presentation for marketing and providing informational meetings for your program
  • Exercise demonstrations, practice, and breakout sessions to learn the exercises and how to teach them to your participants
  • Support in getting your community program started and keeping it going

What will You Need?

  • Bring a Towel and an exercise mat.
  • Wear comfortable exercise clothing and close-toed shoes. 
  • 1lb or 3lb set of hand dumbbells (No substitutes such as water bottles or cans)
  • 1 adjustable ankle weight (5-10 lb)
  • CPR certification (this is highly recommended in order to teach StrongWomen and may be required by some counties)

How Do You Register?

  • Complete StrongBodies Leader Registration Google Form
  • Send your check or money order payable to UW-Extension Rock County 51 South Main St. Janesville, WI 53545 after completing the registration form
  • Receive confirmation letter that will be emailed to you prior to the training with event location and suggested hotel accommodations

Registration Fee (Strong Bones):  $250 includes training, manual, lunch, breaks and promotional materials and exercises for your own StrongWomen™ programs.

Registration Deadline:  Registration must be received TWO WEEKS prior to the training date. Enrollment is limited.

Questions about trainingAngela Flickinger at angela.flickinger@uwex.edu (608) 757-5059

Questions about registration: Tara Hanley at tara.hanley@uwex.edu (608) 757-5066