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Are you passionate about fitness and dedicated to helping others achieve their health goals? If so, becoming a certified personal trainer may be the perfect career path for you. But with so many certification options out there, it can be challenging to determine which program will best equip you for success in the industry.
Our team has researched and put together a list of the top personal trainer certifications to help you make an informed decision.
1. National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
The NASM certification is one of the most widely recognized and respected certifications in the fitness industry. Their program focuses heavily on corrective exercise techniques, making it an excellent choice for trainers who specialize in injury prevention and recovery. Plus, NASM offers a range of specializations, such as nutrition coaching and behavior change, allowing you to tailor your certification to your unique interests.
According to one happy NASM certified trainer, "The NASM program gave me the knowledge and confidence I needed to start my own personal training business. I feel like I have a real edge in the industry with this certification."
Cost: The NASM Certified Personal Trainer program starts at $699.
2. American Council on Exercise (ACE)
ACE is another nationally recognized certification program with a reputation for excellence. Their program is known for its practical focus, emphasizing hands-on training and real-world experience. In addition, ACE offers an extensive array of continuing education courses to keep trainers up-to-date on the latest fitness trends and techniques.
One satisfied ACE certified trainer gushed, "The ACE certification was the best decision I ever made for my career. The program was challenging and comprehensive, and gave me the skills and knowledge I needed to succeed as a trainer."
Cost: The ACE Certified Personal Trainer program starts at $699.
3. International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
ISSA offers an online certification program that can be completed at your own pace, making it ideal for busy professionals. Their program emphasizes a holistic approach to fitness, including nutrition and lifestyle coaching in addition to exercise science. Plus, ISSA offers a range of specializations, such as strength and conditioning and exercise therapy, allowing you to tailor your certification to your unique interests.
According to one happy ISSA certified trainer, "The ISSA program was challenging but rewarding. I loved how I could complete it on my own schedule, and the specialized courses allowed me to really hone in on my area of expertise."
Cost: The ISSA Certified Personal Trainer program starts at $599.
4. National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
The NSCA is the gold standard for certifications in strength and conditioning, making it an excellent choice for trainers who specialize in athletic performance. Their program is known for its focus on science and research, emphasizing evidence-based training techniques. Plus, NSCA offers a range of specializations, such as tactical strength and conditioning and sports performance, allowing you to tailor your certification to your unique interests.
One satisfied NSCA certified trainer raved, "The NSCA certification was challenging but incredibly rewarding. The program gave me a deep understanding of the science behind exercise, and prepared me to work with elite athletes and everyday clients alike."
Cost: The NSCA Certified Personal Trainer program starts at $435.
No matter which program you choose, getting certified is just the first step in your journey as a personal trainer. Continuing education and practical experience are vital to building a successful career in the industry. So, invest in yourself, stay hungry for knowledge, and never stop learning.
"We are excited to see so many motivated and qualified individuals jumping into the fitness industry with such enthusiasm," states an industry representative.