Fitness Law Academy

Enhancing Fitness Safety through Education

Fitness Law Academy

              Our Mission

Founded in 2013, our mission is to advance the exercise profession by providing educational programs and resources that will help minimize legal liability and enhance fitness safety.


By learning and applying legal concepts and risk management strategies, fitness managers and exercise professionals will be well-prepared to carry out their many legal duties, provide high quality (safe and effective) programs for their participants, and advance the exercise profession. 


Dr. JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek (Dr. JES)

President and Founder


Contact Dr. JES

  The Need For Legal and Risk            Management Education

Academic and certification programs often provide little or no legal/risk management education.

Did You Know That:

1. The number of exercise/exercise equipment injuries have significantly increased in recent years (e.g., a nearly 90% increase occurred between 2007 and 2018 based on NEISS data that track the number of visits to hospital emergency rooms).

2. Numerous negligence claims and lawsuits are filed against exercise professionals and their employers every year. Given our litigious society, injured parties will not hesitate to file a lawsuit against you.

3. Common negligence claims against exercise professionals involve improper instruction such as (a) instructing a beginner to perform a high intensity or advanced/complex exercise and (b) designing and delivering an exercise program for someone with medical conditions without having the advanced knowledge and skills to do so. 

4. Common negligence claims against fitness managers/owners include failing to properly (a) hire, train, and supervise personnel, (b) maintain the facility and equipment, and (c) have and carry out an emergency action plan. 

5. In addition to negligence, fitness managers and exercise professionals should comply with laws related to (a) technological applications, (b) working/partnering with the healthcare industry, (c) data privacy, and (d) various forms of discrimination.

6. Most Important: Situations that can lead to legal liability risks can be effectively managed by developing and implementing a comprehensive risk management plan.

What Can You Do?

Start Your Legal/Risk Management Education by browsing through our website to learn about our educational courses and resources to help you:

  • Create a safety culture in your facility/program that will minimize injuries
  • Learn about and comply with federal, state, and local laws
  • Enhance the reputation of your business and the exercise profession


     Your "Must Have" Resource  

Law for Fitness Managers and
Exercise Professionals

Three years in the making, this ground-breaking, comprehensive, 538-page textbook is the “go-to” resource for fitness managers and exercise professionals. It covers what, why and how:


WHAT laws do fitness managers and exercise professionals need to know?
WHY do fitness managers and exercise professionals need to know the laws?
HOW do fitness managers and exercise professionals apply the laws?


For more information and how to order, go to the Textbook page.

Authors:  JoAnn M. Eickhoff-Shemek, PhD, FACSM

                  Barbara J Zabawa, JD, MPH

                  Paul R. Fenaroli, JD

Publisher:  Fitness Law Academy, LLC, 2020