In the 1980’s, Jerry Yost, a physical education instructor and head football coach at Joliet Junior College in Joliet, Illinois read about the results and success of the Aerobic Super Circuit Concept. He immediately set out to create, design and develop a project called The Total Fitness Center on the Joliet Junior College Campus. The project included:
- Improved facility utilization
- Comprehensive, mandatory educational orientation session prior to personal assessments and program participation
- Staff training
- Participant fitness assessments and reassessments
- Software for documentation of participants and program ongoing results
- Individualized exercise programs for each participant based on their present fitness assessment and capabilities
- All exercise equipment needed for success
- Utilization of college interns for increased staff supervision, fitness assessments and fitness center/classroom instruction
The project was a huge success with many staff and students becoming regular exercisers for the first time in their lives.
Today, there are approximately 575 universities, colleges, high schools, health facilities, communities and corporate centers around the country using the Total Fitness Center Model.
Over the next several years of nationwide fitness consulting and educational speaking engagements, Mr. Yost was continually asked why elementary and junior high schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, assisted living, elder care centers, churches, and communities with limited resources were left out of the original plan. The four main reasons so many were not able to take advantage of the original Total Fitness Center Plan were:
- Financial limitations
- Facility restrictions
- Inadequate equipment design
- Staffing requirements
Designed and Developed
Those questions spawned the design and development of the Fundamentals of Fitness Program. The new program utilized the most consistent teaching techniques and successful components of the total fitness center concept and aerobic super circuit advantages.
The most notable changes in the new program were:
- New, safe, patented equipment with all levels, physical capabilities and exercise experience factored into the design.
- Updating lesson plans, online instructional training videos and training manuals to accommodate elementary levels through elder care.
- Less dedicated facility space required.
- More relevant, less time consuming fitness assessment that produces guidelines for individualized exercise programs and documentation for participant’s results.
The new comprehensive, complete fundamentals of fitness system costs a small fraction of the original total fitness center programs. It was also designed with more options to integrate with existing programs in different settings.