Attachment C: National Program Grants

Lift for Life

Page last updated: 20 April 2012

Organisation name:

Fitness Australia, in partnership with the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute

Brief outline of program:

The Lift for Life program is an evidence-based resistance (strength) training program, developed by researchers at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. The program is conducted in small groups over six months, with three distinct eight week phases. These are:
  • Phase 1 (Bronze) – two supervised sessions per week; and
  • Phase 2 (Silver) and Phase 3 (Gold) – two supervised sessions per week, plus one unsupervised session.
The program involves:
  • Medical clearance: Participants may be required to obtain and submit a GP’s clearance prior to participating in the program.
  • Baseline assessment: Participants must undertake an initial assessment to measure strength and functional capacity.
  • Progressive resistance training program: An individualised resistance training program is provided for each participant, to be undertaken in small groups under the supervision of accredited Lift for Life Trainers. Two supervised sessions are held each week. In the Silver and Gold phases, participants have the option to add a third session, which can be unsupervised.
  • Assessment/Review/Modification: Follow-up assessments, program reviews and modifications are undertaken after each eight week phase and a progress report is provided to participants at this time.
Each session is conducted in a group of up to 12 people, for approximately one hour per session. At the completion of the six month program, participants can choose to remain with the supervised group structure or use their newfound knowledge to continue effective progressive resistance training on their own.

In certain circumstances, changes or flexibility in delivery of the program can be negotiated with LGA Grant recipients. LGAs can contact Fitness Australia to discuss potential program modifications, as required.

Program target:

Lift for Life may be suitable for adults of all ages, including people with, or at risk of, Type II diabetes or other chronic diseases.

Who delivers the program?

Lift for Life is provided by licensed health and fitness businesses, including fitness centres, personal training studios and physiotherapy clinics (‘Providers’). Businesses must demonstrate they have appropriate equipment and staff who have undertaken the Lift for Life accreditation course in order to be licensed as a Provider.

Individual trainers who deliver the program must complete the Lift for Life accredited training course. To be eligible for training, individuals must be qualified in one of the following areas:
  • Registered Personal Trainer – registered Certificate IV with current first aid and CPR certificate;
  • Exercise Physiologist – accredited with Exercise and Sports Science Australia; or
  • Physiotherapist – registered with the Australian Physiotherapy Association.
If difficulties arise in remote areas in recruiting suitably qualified individuals to undertake the Lift for Life training course, exceptions to the qualification requirements may be made and different trainer accreditation models will be considered. This will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Training provided to those who deliver the program:

Lift for Life uses a train-the-trainer model to accredit Certificate IV Personal Trainers, Exercise Physiologists or Physiotherapists in the program delivery. These exercise professionals are required to undertake a two day face-to-face Lift for Life training course.

Training courses will be held in each state and territory. They are delivered by specially trained exercise physiologists and provide the necessary skills and knowledge to deliver the Lift for Life program.

On completion of the training, Lift for Life trainers will be accredited by Fitness Australia to deliver the program and will receive Continuing Education Credit points from their relevant professional body. Accredited trainers must complete a half day accreditation update every two years.

Cost of training and licensing:

The two day Lift for Life training course is normally between $550 and $660 per person, but is free for providers in Healthy Communities funded LGAs or providers that can show evidence that they are delivering the program within a LGA.

There is no cost for a Lift for Life license.

Cost of participating in the program:

Licensed Lift for Life Providers independently set the costs of the program for the participants. In the general commercial environment, participants are charged at around $10- $15 per session, depending on the size of the group. Fitness Australia will work with Providers in Healthy Communities funded LGAs to encourage alternative pricing structures, using methods such as memorandums of understanding, joint agreements, etc.

There is no cost to LGAs who want to utilise the program. However, LGA Grant recipients may choose to provide subsidies or rebates to help reduce participant fees. Alternatively, they may wish to become a licensed Provider, whereby they can provide a suitable venue at a low cost/free for trainers, resulting in reduced participant fees.

Venue and equipment:

Programs can be delivered in any facility where there is access to appropriate resistance training equipment to undertake progressive, full-body resistance training. This can be as simple as a room with variable weight dumbbells and adjustable incline benches, through to a fully equipped fitness centre.

How the organisation will engage with LGAs to offer the program:

Fitness Australia will contact LGA Grant recipients by telephone, email or in person to:
  • explain the Lift for Life program;
  • discuss opportunities for collaboration with local stakeholders, including integrating the program with existing programs and services;
  • identify existing and potential Lift for Life Providers and trainers in the local area;
  • identify potential venues;
  • discuss possible locations and dates for Lift for Life accredited training courses; and
  • discuss change management and proven quality improvement methodologies.
Fitness Australia will also contact local Divisions of General Practice and other relevant stakeholders to introduce the program and discuss opportunities for collaboration.

Information materials will be sent to LGA Grant recipients and a series of information sessions will be conducted for potential Lift for Life Provider organisations, exercise professionals and health professionals in interested LGAs.

How the organisation will support the delivery of the program in LGAs:

Fitness Australia will work in partnership with LGA Grant recipients to recruit and work with targeted communities and population groups. Fitness Australia will also provide support for ongoing promotion of the program, but it is expected that LGAs will share this activity.

Fitness Australia will help broker relationships with local community stakeholders, including Divisions of General Practice, community health services, Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisations, Rec Link coordinators, cultural community groups, etc.

Providers and trainers in each LGA will receive support to deliver the program. The program website allows Lift for Life Providers and trainers to access a secure portal to manage participant data, print participant progress reports and certificates and access program resources. Fitness Australia will also provide a telephone routing system to connect potential participants directly to their local Lift for Life Provider.

More information:

For more information, visit or contact:

Samantha Raheb on (02) 8338 3010 or or David Menzies on 0431 334 931 or