Personal training certifications are essential. This is especially true if you are interested in achieving financial freedom from the lucrative personal trainer business.
But with literally thousands of different personal training certifications out there how are you to know which one is the best and can offer you the knowledge, training and the chance at the greatest personal trainer salary?
Well, that's what we're going to help you do here. We have researched the most common personal training certifications available today and have provided you with unbiased reviews you can choose the best personal training
certification that fits your individual needs.
National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) Personal Training Certification
The National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) was founded in
1988 and their certifications for personal training are now among the
most certifications for personal training world-wide. The NFPT
currently has over 100 professional testing sites in the United States,
Canada, Mexico and elsewhere. The NFPT provides:
- Affordable, convenient, comprehensive, and applicable personal trainer education;
Credentials for consumer recognition of competence;
- Provides certified affiliates with ongoing education;
- Has a network of support and provides professional & profitable services to each certified trainer;
and encourages the exchange of ideas, knowledge, business experiences,
and financial opportunities between all fitness administrators
- A very informative and up to date member magazine.
International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) Personal Training Certification
ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) personal training
certifications are recognized world-wide and are given a very high
level of respect.Fitness trainers, athletic trainers, aerobic
instructors and medical professionals in every field of health care
covet the ISSA personal trainer certifications.
The ISSA personal training certifications also set the standards for
other certifications for personal training in the fields of exercise
assessment, nutritional planning, fitness instruction, sports medicine
practice and post rehabilitation training. Certain aspects of the ISSA
certifications for personal training are also taught in numerous
colleges and universities around the world.
In addition to the tens of thousands of personal trainers world-wide
that hold ISSA certifications for personal training hundreds of
physicians, chiropractors, coaches, physical therapists, athletic
trainers, and health & fitness professionals have various ISSA
certifications for personal training.
Another big benefit of the ISSA certifications for personal training is
the fact that, unlike other certifications for personal training, there
are no extra or hidden fees that you have to pay for after you enroll.
In addition, during and after you complete your personal trainer
certifications course or courses, you will still receive unlimited
personal training technical support. This will help you if you have
problems with any study material, client questions, training questions
or any other problem or questions you have related to personal
Along with your ISSA personal trainer certifications course you also
get training and information on how to open and run your own personal
training business. This is an important and very valuable extra benefit
because this is the area where you can earn a huge personal trainer
salary. Some gyms will only pay you $10 an hour or so but if you have
your own personal training business you can charge anywhere from $75 to
$500 per session.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of the ISSA personal trainer
certifications is that Charles Staley, B.Sc., MSS is the Vice President
of Program Development. If you don't know who Charles Staley is then
you need to find out. Mr. Charles Staley is one of the foremost
authorities in the health & fitness business and his personal
training programs are among the best and most successful. Here is a
little bit of information about Mr. Staley to better understand why the
ISSA certifications for personal training are at the top.
- Charles I. Staley, B.Sc., MSS, is a sports conditioning
specialist and Vice President of Program Development for the
International Sports Sciences Association. Mr. Staley is also an
Olympic weightlifting coach, as well as a master's level track and
- He has coached elite athletes from many
sports, including martial arts, boxing, track & field, football,
Olympic weightlifting, and bodybuilding.
- Staley has
written over 150 published articles, and has lectured extensively on
the topics of human performance and sport training.
- He has
recently authored a text on conditioning for the martial arts, and has
several other books in the planning stages. Staley's award-winning
site, myodynamics.com is ranked among the top 50 in the world in the
health & fitness category.
With the ISSA certifications for personal training and the fact that
Charles Staley is involved,you can be confident that you are getting
The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Personal Training Certification
The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) offers many
certifications including the CPT or Certified Personal Trainer which is
becoming one of the most popular and respected personal trainer
certifications in the world today.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) Personal Training Certification
American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified personal trainer has a reputation as being easy.Not much worth saying here.
The National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA) personal training certification
The National Strength & Conditioning Association has 2
certifications. The CSCS or Certified Strength & Conditioning
Specialist and CPT or Certified Personal Trainer. The NSCA-CPT
certification is known to have one of the most challenging exams of all
certifications. NSCA certifications require a 4-year college degree.
National Endurance & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA) Personal Training Certification
NESTA certifications for personal training have been around since
1992 and are growing rapidly. They have currently certified over 8,000
top personal trainers in more than 20 countries.The Nesta (National
Endurance & Sports Trainers Association)
personal training certifications have been around since 1992.
NESTA does have some minimum qualifications you need to meet before you can be accepted, they include:
- A minimum age of sixteen and possess good reading skills;
- You should have some basic resistance training, aerobic, martial arts, or yoga experience;
- You need to be familiar with resistance equipment and exercise machines.
does require CEUs for recertification of its personal fitness trainers.
Nesta requires 4.0 CEUs or 40 contact hours every 4 years to maintain
NESTA's certifications for personal training courses tend to be less expensive than a lot of others. The
majority of personal training certifications offered by NESTA are
inexpensive when compared to others. NESTA also offers an extremely
large number of diverse personal
training certifications. Chances are that if you are looking for very
specific personal training certifications you'll find it with NESTA.
Personal trainer organizations like NESTA do follow a code of ethics
and have high standards. This is very important because some just send
you on your way after you pay a large certification fee.
American Fitness Professionals & Associates (AFPA) Personal Training Certification
AFPA (American Fitness Professionals & Associates) personal training certification is
a practical and current personal training certifications course that is
based on current exercise science, sports medicine and nutrition
guidelines. The AFPA has 17 different personal training certifications
in the main fields of personal training. This helps you determine what
certification program is the most appropriate for your needs and goals.
While the AFPA personal training certification does not require any pre-requisites they do suggest that
it would be to your benefit to have some education in the field of
human anatomy. Some of their more specialized personal trainer
certifications do require that you have a minimum of a 400 documented
hours of one-on-one personal training experience.
The AFPA personal training certification also provides many
"continuing education credits" for many of the better personal training
certifications courses. This is one aspect that all of the top personal
training certifications require to keep training certifications
current. In order to keep your personal trainer certifications up to
date, in both knowledge and training ability, you must maintain current
certification by submitting "continuing education credits".
Usually your initial personal training certification is
valid for approximately one or two years. You then need to obtain extra
credits during this two-year period and submit them in order to prove
that you are up to date in the personal trainer industry and to retain
your personal training certification. The AFPA personal training certification makes this easy regardless of what personal trainer certifications you currently hold.
Private Trainers Association (PTA) Personal Training Certification
The Private Trainers Association is a certification program that has
been around for almost 30 years. The uniqueness of PTA is that it is
the certification that is supported by the most IFBB pro bodybuilders.
To become certified by the Private Trainers Association you must hold a
HS diploma, or an Associate or Bachelors degree, or you must be a
competitor and belong to an association like the IFBB, NPC, AAU, ABA,
NBA, WABBA, INBA or the PNBA.
Two certifications are available. Private Trainers Certification and Nutrition Certification.
- Level 1 & 2 Private Trainer and PPTA offers specialties such as Professional Private Trainer Certification. The Professional
Private Trainer Certification is geared towards Trainers that want to
advance in education and experience. This Certification Program
features cutting-edge information, at a university level, its taught by
university teachers and doctors. The PTA Professional Trainers
Certification Curriculum includes, human anatomy, physiology,
chemistry, kinesiology, microbiology, food nutrition and diet therapy,
sport medicine, secrets and short cuts for faster results and recovery
on a professional level, all aspects of weight training, strength
training, dealing with all athletes, from basket ball players, to long
distance runner, Olympic weight lifters, to gymnastics, self defense,
cyclists, golf, aerobics, martial arts, wrestling and so on. This
program teaches the Trainer a theoretical approach needed to excel and
apply his knowledge as a Professional Trainer.
- Certified Professional Trainer:This
certification is made available to bodybuilding competitors that have
earned a title through competition, and anyone that holds a bachelor
degree related to health , fitness and nutrition. A weekend seminar,
along with written testing and practical exams.
- Nutrition Consultant Certification:
To obtain this certification students must be a certified private
trainers, and must pass a required exam given for that specific
advanced certification.This Certification is available for online
study. The PTA doesl accept credits from other organization such ISSA,
NSCM, AFAA. The certification also requires 40 hours volunteering of
clinic time during the course in atmosphere as in a vitamin store,
hospital, clinic or nutrition department. After students pass all the
requirements for this Certification they have the right to use "CNS"
after their name. Certified Nutrition
- Sub specialities are also available.
PTA also certification sub specialities such as: PTA Olympic Weight
Lifting Coach Certification, PTA Dance and Instructor, and Youth and
Fitness Coach Certification.
Long Distance Certification. Students are able to get certified
via the internet after completing the required amount of credits via
the internet, required classes and written exams along with practical
exams. the PTA Online Private training course allows students to self
study at their own pace. All exams are taken online and the curriculum
uses graphics and soon a mixture of audio and video programs to
compliment the textbook. Lectures and the practical application Videos
that compliment the books and online study are available for purchase.
Please call us to inquire or click here (coming soon!) to check out our collection of videos by the Pros.
Offers Academy Training. The Private Trainers Association
Academy is an intensive 6 week, weekend-only, course with a curriculum
divided among practical application training and in-class study
comprised of lectures, class discussions, and guest speakers that
include IFBB professionals, business managers, nutritionists, lawyers,
and doctors affiliated with the Private Trainers Association. Although
PTA academies are predominately in southern California they have been
growing recently and expanding worldwide. Current academy locations
include: California: Venice, West Hollywood, San Diego, Palm Desert, Orange County, Nevada: Las Vegas, Missouri: St. Louis, Florida: South Beach, Lebanon, Germany, Kuwait, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Poland, Russia (coming soon), Spain (coming soon).
PTA requires continuing education. All students must obtain 10
credit units throughout the year as required ongoing education (ROE).
Classes are offered in scientific principles, anatomy, physiology,
Human sciences, Energy, human performance, nutrition, food & diet
therapy, business, conduct, Adult health & fitness, Youth health
& fitness. Costs at the time of article publication (May 2009) are
$50 per unit. Personal training certification students are able to obtain ROE via the internet, by taking classes geared toward their education advancement.
Internship programs are available. Students can attend and
observe any director or examiner on work site while training clients to
gain the knowledge and learn proper movement, proper application,
proper spotting, program application, business, communication. While
attending the internship program the student will earn a 2 credit units
for every 4 hours spent with the director or examiner. Current
locations are noted below.
Other Benefits. The PTA is the only personal training certification trainer
accreditation company that has established this FREE first-of-its-kind
Insurance Services Division, comprised of independently licensed
financial and insurance consultants and advisers. The US Private
Trainers Association (PROPTA, USPTA, PTA) is accredited and approved by
the Bureau for Private Post Secondary and Vocational Education (BPPVE),
effective July 14, 2006.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Personal Training Certification
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is highly respected,
however not gym practical as the material is more clinical than
practical for the majority of gym users. Some ACSM personal training certification require a college degree to be eligible to sit for the exam.
About the Author, Jeff Behar
Jeff Behar, MS, MBA is a recognized health, fitness and nutrition expert, regularly writing about hot topics in the areas of health, fitness, disease prevention, nutrition, anti aging and alternative medicine.
His work also often appears in several of the major health and fitness
newsletters, health and fitness magazines, and on major health, and
fitness websites. Behar is also a well sought after personal trainer, motivational speaker, and weight loss expert.
Jeff Behar, MS, MBA