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LIFT Program Overview

We have provided steps for before, during, and after LIFT delivery including documentation and strategies for successful delivery. Please contact your state leadership for assistance on state-specific needs, including future trainings.

All LIFT material is under copyright. Please cite:Harden SM, Wilson ML, Estabrooks PA, and Members of the Physical Activity Leadership Team of Virginia Cooperative Extension. (2018). Lifelong Improvements through Fitness Together Program Manual. Blacksburg, VA: Virginia Tech.

If you still have questions, please email the principal investigator, Samantha Harden (

LIFT Training Lecture Series

Welcome & Overview

Physical Activity Guidelines

Take a Break! Go Outside

Background & History

What it Takes to
Deliver LIFT

Take a Break! Move Your Body

Evaluating & Sharing Impacts

Wrap up & Overview

LIFT References

use of integrated photo.PNG
Harden_Assess, Plan, Do, Evaluate, and Report- Iterative Cycle to Remove Academic Control

Real world impacts!

"One participant shared that prior to LIFT, she: was completely walker dependent, unable to dress herself, had poor balance, and low energy. She had hip surgery six months prior and set a LIFT goal for herself to become less reliant on her walker and more independent. Since participating in LIFT: she has increased her stamina and energy, improved her range of motion, can touch her toes, her balance has improved, can do more things for herself (dress herself, fix her hair, put on her socks, tie her shoes) and does not use her walker in her room area anymore. One of her biggest accomplishments came with the wide leg squats. During the assessment, she wasn't able to do any, but by the end of the 8 weeks, was able to do 12."- North Carolina, August 2022

How can LIFT help with
daily functioning?
What are the physical activity guidelines(PAG)?
How can I achieve 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise?

Before: PLAN
LIFT Program Materials

We want to support your success with a few resources and ideas. You know your community best and what your community needs so you can use our resources as they are, or you can use them as inspiration! ​

  • Where is the best place to offer LIFT? Do you have the equipment you need?

  • How can you access participants with the greatest need?

  • Who do you know has the greatest social media presence to help spread the word?

  • Where can you post a flyer to let people know about your upcoming program? 

Recruitment Flyers
Adaptable recruitment flyers for advertising LIFT in your communities.


Prior to Running the Program

Orientation prepares each individual for LIFT 

During orientation you will collect paperwork and data. Consent forms, health screening and functional fitness information will be collected.

  • Are your participants healthy enough to participate in LIFT?

  • Do you have informed consent from participants to be part of data collection for LIFT research?

  • Do your participants want to see their baseline and post program functional fitness scores and changes as the LIFT program progresses?

Slidedeck for Orientation
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Complete the Pre-Program Survey and
Pre-Program Functional Fitness assessment

Keep these documents for your records

Each of your participants must fill out a Participant Consent form, a PARQ+ form, and a Physician Authorization form prior to orientation. Collect these documents during orientation.

Each of the 16 LIFT classes are
unique and engaging!

LIFT Program Manual

All 16 LIFT classes are outlined in the LIFT Program Manual. The design of classes is evidence-based, pulling from social psychology and exercise science.

  • 8 Core Strength Training Exercises

  • Group Dynamics to facilitate communication and help form relationships 

  • Promotion of increased fruit and vegetable consumption

  • Encouragement to get out and move, 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week

Process Evaluation

Every session be sure to fill out the Process Evaluation. Tell us how you modified LIFT during each session to make it work best for your group!

HOT TIP: Bookmark this page so you can fill out the Process Evaluation every session!

Materials for Instructors - During the Program 

Group Cohesion Strategies Document

Create group cohesion with goal setting strategies and introduction games listed in this document. 

Session-by-Session Guide for Class Instructors

A comprehensive guide for each of the class session in LIFT - including session objectives, preparation, session outlines, nutrition basics, group activities, and homework and reminders.

Do(s) and Don't(s) of the Core LIFT Exercises

Make sure your participants are doing the exercises correctly! For each of the core 13 exercises do and don'ts are listed so common mistakes can be avoided. 

Exercise and Warm Up Modifications

Potential modifications for LIFT exercises for ease. 

If-Then Statements Document

If-then statements for what is safe to do during exercises and how to progress through the LIFT exercises if you need something more challenging. 

LIFT+ Exercises

Modifications for increased difficulty. Click here to see the video examples. 

Session-by-Session Breakdown of Group Dynamics Strategies Used in Each LIFT Session

Learn what evidence-based strategies are used for each LIFT session. 

These resources are for participants to use and keep! 

Fruit, Vegetable, and Activity Tracker

Ask participants to bring this form to each class so you can track progress, encourage improvements and celebrate their positive changes! This form is designed for speed and ease of use for Older Adults.

HOT TIP: Have your participants bring this every class session so you can track their progress!

I can, I will, I must

In session 5, participants can develop goals and an action plan with these "I can, I will, I must" cards.

Exercise Flip Chart

Either print this document or email this document to participants so they have a guide for the core LIFT exercises. Having this guide will allow them to practice the exercises at home!

After: Evaluate

Directly after the program, complete the Post-Program Survey and Post-Program Functional Fitness Assessment! 

6-Month follow up data collection helps solidify relationships and measure impact!

We want to know who has continued to move and who hasn't. Participants often want to track their progress formally and are motivated to continue moving when they can see their results change.​

  • Which areas of functional fitness show the greatest improvements? 

  • Did people who attended more classes see more progress?

  • Are there any supportive relationships formed during LIFT that are supporting participants to continue moving?

  • Did participants change their fruit and vegetable consumption?

Complete these two forms at the 6 month follow-up! (6 months after finishing the 8-week program) 

(with new balance & flexibility options)

(older balance & flexibility options)


BEGINNER: Click on the links below to view the exercise clip tutorials.
(the links are attached to the underlined exercises below

LIFT EXERCISES: Participants must complete the exercises below over the course of 16, 1-hour sessions before they can complete the LIFT+ Exercises. These exercises must be done in this exact order every time.
Goal: Complete 2 sets of 10 repetitions within each hour of LIFT. 

Warm-up: (Example)

-Cardio pyramid


Exercise 1: Wide-leg squat

Exercise 2: Standing leg curl

Exercise 3: Knee extension

Exercise 4: Side hip raise

Exercise 5: Biceps curls

Exercise 6: Overhead press

Exercise 7: Bent over fly

Exercise 8: Toe Stand 

Cool down:

Stretch 1: Tree Pose 

Stretch 2: Seated figure Four 

Stretch 3: Pyramid Pose

Stretch 4: Half Moon Pose 

Stretch 5: Back Scratch Stretch 

Looking to Train Others to Facilitate LIFT?

Extension Agents
Master Food Volunteers
Previous LIFT Participants

Master Food Volunteers
Previous LIFT Participants

Trained Master Food Volunteers cannot train anyone -
talk to your agent and see about co-hosting!


Look below for more information!


Training Preparation

1) Read through the Training Checklist
2) Download Training PowerPoint
3) Have participants take Pre-Training Survey prior to starting training

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