Top 5 Certifications for Personal Trainers
If you want to break into the personal training industry, certification is a must. Even those of you with an Exercise Science degree from a top university will typically need to get certified.
Now for those of you without a college degree in a health & fitness related field, certification is going to be crucial since you’re going to have to prove even more so to prospective clients or employers that you know your stuff.
Fortunately, there are many great certification bodies available to help fast track you on the road towards becoming a successful personal trainer. I personally hold a few certifications from NASM so I will tell you straight up that I am a little partial to them, however, you honestly can’t go wrong with any of the certifications I’m going to cover here.
These five certifications are what I believe are the top 5 best certifications in the personal training industry. There is obviously room to debate which personal training certifications are the best, however, passing the CPT exam from any of these certification bodies will no doubt show that you are competent enough to be a personal trainer.
American Council on Exercise
ACE has been around for many years and are one of the more widely accepted personal trainer certifications available.
ACE has a reputation for being a standard certification and many believe ACE certs require the least preparation. ACE is also one of the cheaper certifications available. For these reasons an ACE cert is desirable for people who want to try out the personal training profession with the least investment of time and money.
Popular Certifications from ACE:
- Certified Personal Trainer
- Lifestyle + Weight Management Consultant Certification
- Group Fitness Instructor Certification
- Advanced Health + Fitness Specialist Certification
What are your thoughts on ACE certifications? Let me know in the comments!
International Sports Sciences Association
The ISSA has long been one of the top personal trainer certification bodies and their certifications continue to be among the top 5 personal training certifications you can get.
Straight from the ISSA website:
“Since 1988, the ISSA has certified and provided continuing fitness education to nearly 100, 000 people just like you who want to help others feel better, look better and improve the quality of their lives.
We are unconditionally committed to providing expanded access to the highest quality personal training certification and continuing fitness education programs available, advancing our industry as a whole, and developing greater access to career opportunities for those who share our vision of Creating a Stronger, Healthier World™.”
Popular Certifications from ISSA:
- Certified Fitness Trainer (Including youth fitness, senior fitness, fitness therapy, and performance nutrition & more.)
What are your thoughts on ISSA certifications? Let me know in the comments!
American College of Sports Medicine
While the ACSM is often considered the most respected personal training certification, ACSM certifications tend to focus more on the clinical side of personal training.
ACSM certifications may be unnecessary for the personal trainer who is working at the local YMCA, but for trainers with college degrees, ACSM certifications are a great way to make use of the college degree because most ACSM certifications require degrees.
ACSM certifications demand a lot of respect for possible employers so they will always be one of the best certifications to get and maintain.
Popular Certifications from the ACSM:
- Certified Health Fitness Specialist
- ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist®
- ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist®
What are your thoughts on ACSM certifications? Let me know in the comments!
National Strength & Conditioning Association
The NSCA has certifications for personal trainers and strength coaches which really focus on keeping the basic principles of strength and conditioning intact.