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Bob

Top Personal Training Certification Organizations - Here Is The List Of Top Certification Agencies

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When looking to become a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer, the hardest thing most folks have is picking a good Personal Training Certification organization. In this article I am going to try and make it as simple as possible for those who are currently currently looking for a personal training certification organization. This list is NOT in any particular order. TIP: If you are considering working for a particular gym, do yourself a favor and ask them which certification they accept before you enroll in a program.

*Information up to date as of August 25th 2010

NASM - National Academy of Sports Medicine

Requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • NASM exam enrollment must be paid in full
  • Must have current Emergency Cardiac Care (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Certification
  • Must pass exams
Cost:

$629 - Includes the Text, Exam, etc. essentially everything you need to get certified.

Points To Consider:

The NASM is a well accepted personal training certification most training facilities have heard of and accept. The main issue I have with this certifying agency is their relatively high cost.

NSCA - National Strength and Conditioning Association

Requirements:

CPT Requirements (Certified Personal Trainer)
  • Must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Current CPR and AED certification is also a requirement.
  • Must have a hands-on training component (certification through a course completed entirely online will not be accepted)
  • Must pass exams

Cost:

Non Member: $370 Exam fee, + $731.95 for materials for a total of: $1101.95.

Member: $235 Exam fee + $459.95 for materials for a total of: $694.95.

Points to Consider:

The NSCA is extremely expensive when compared to similar personal training certifications. One thing to take into consideration is that the NSCA is probably the most well known personal training certifying organization in the US, and they are accepted almost everywhere. They also offer a CSCS certification, but it requires a Bachelors Degree, and it doesn't matter what that degree major is in (silly IMO). I have met many NSCA certified personal fitness trainers and they are no more informed than other personal fitness trainers I have met with non-NSCA personal training certifications. But if you want a well known certification, the NSCA is one of the top known certifying agencies around, but personally I think they are over-priced.

ISSA - International Sports Sciences Association

Requirements:

  • Submission of all course quizzes.
  • A score of 75% or better on all sections of the final examination
  • Proof of current Adult CPR/AED
Cost:

$595.00 for all the materials and the exams, but you can get an additional $100 off as of August 25th 2010 by entering code: CEL09.

Points to Consider:

The ISSA is a steal when you consider their prices to the competition.The ISSA is also a very well known personal training certification, and I feel their materials are adequate for those who are completely new to the world of personal training. The ISSA has produce a lot of well known personal trainers. Another plus regarding the ISSA is that you can take their entire course online.

AFPA - American Fitness Professionals and Associates

Requirements:
  • 18 years of age
  • Functional knowledge of English and arithmetic
  • No CPR requirement

Cost:

$370.00 for all the materials and exams.

Points to Consider:

The AFPA is one of the cheaper and lessor known personal training certification agencies. My personal experience with this personal training certification organization is not very positive. I found the organization to be rather unprofessional and the materials to be bland and not very informative. The one positive thing about the AFPA is that you can take their entire personal fitness training certification online, but that is the only positive thing I can say about them.

ACE - American Council on Exercise

Requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age.
  • You must hold a current adult CPR and AED.
Cost:

$579.95 for all materials and exams.

Points to Consider:

ACE is probably the oldest personal training certification agency in the US. They have been around for a very long time, recently celebrating 25 years in the industry. ACE has taken some flak from those who believe they put far too much emphasis on aerobic type of training. Even though they are one of the better known personal training certification agencies, I wouldn't say they are are a very respected personal certification agency, but that is just my opinion derived from dealing with a lot of fitness professionals. I believe you must attend one of their seminars in order to take the certification exams.

AFAA - Aerobics and Fitness Association of America

Requirements:
  • Current CPR required before certification is issued

Cost:

$489 for all materials and exams.

Points to Consider:

I have never heard of this company before and I have never met an AFAA certified personal trainer.

NFPT - National Federation of Professional Trainers

Requirements:

Cost:

$550 for all materials and $49 for the exam.

Points to Consider:

I have very little information on this personal trianing certifying agency and couldn't find their requirements on their website. I would probably pass on this organization. For that price you can get a better known certification.

ACSM - American College of Sports Medicine

Requirements:

  • 18 years of age or older.
  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Current Adult CPR certification with a practical skills component (such as the American Heart Association or American Red Cross).

Cost:

Their pricing schedule is confusing.

Points to Consider:

I had a very hard time finding their cost and had to actually give them my e-mail and wait for the prices to arrive in my email in order to figure out how much they charge. I find this to be very unprofessional. I know the ACSM is a fairly well known personal training certification organization, but I am not a fan after trying to gather information for this article. Their pricing schedule is confusing and I would stay away form this personal training certification agency.

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