“For someone looking to become a personal trainer, what are the best certifications to get?”
Foremost, congratulations for making the decision and commitment to become a certified personal trainer! If done correctly, this is a job that is fueled by passion, knowledge, and patience for your craft and your work with each individual client.
However, while knowing that you want to have a career in fitness, it can become incredibly overwhelming in which certification is correct for you and the business you’d wish to obtain.
There are a multitude of specialization certifications to receive that can benefit specific populations such as: pre- and post-natal, seniors, and youths. However, it’s best to become a certified personal trainer first before receiving these other specialization certifications.
While there are many credited certifications out there to choose from, and while initial costs for your personal trainer certification, cost for recertifying, and length in achieving your certification can all be in challenging factors in your decision; I have enclosed four prestigious organizations that could be considered the “best” certification for you to get depending again on your specific goals and interests.
National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
For over 20 years, NASM has certified thousands of trainers, and has sustained pride for their certified personal trainer (CPT) by requiring each student to learn the very most on anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and human physical movement based upon science. Additionally, NASM honors themselves on assessments based upon proper function and extensive program design for each and every client to help reduce injuries. With a tag line such as, “Change your life by changing the lives of others,” NASM CPT is a tremendous certification to learn the science and case studies of the human body. Furthermore, NASM even lists job board postings on their website for available personal trainer positions. NASM lists on their website that the U.S. Department of Labor expects a 13% growth in the next decade for their certified personal trainers. NASM offers exams and textbooks for home study, online materials, and live workshops.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE)
ACE was founded in 1985 and now is currently the largest nonprofit fitness organization in the world with impressive statistics such as 55,000 certified fitness professionals that have obtained over 60,00 fitness certifications. For over 25 years, ACE is proud of their heritage in their certifications, educational training, and their public outreach programs. During this time ACE has remained a very respected fitness organization based upon 30 years of scientific principles and trust with their health and fitness education. The certified personal trainer certification you obtain with ACE is their distinct ACE Integrated Fitness Training Model that also accredits you with the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the European Health and Fitness Association (EHFA) for added job opportunity. ACE-certified personal trainers are currently being represented in over 83 countries worldwide. ACE’s website has an extensive exercise video library with a variety of other educational tools to help each student. ACE offers exams and textbooks for home study, online materials, and live workshops.
The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
ISSA was established in 1988 and has 180,000 students and alumni being represented in 91 countries worldwide. ISSA is a committed organization to their students’ education by designing their personal trainer certification program upon passion into a paycheck. This organization has some of the top respected industry professionals throughout North America with a multitude of their advisors being published in college textbooks and professional publications. ISSA partners with a variety of corporate gyms such as: Equinox, New York Sports Clubs, and Curves to obtain a job after certification. ISSA is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). This means that you as a student are protected to have your specific needs and support met while obtaining your certification. Furthermore, ISSA offers unlimited educational support while studying for your certification. ISSA offers: a hardcopy textbook, online materials, quizzes, and exam test, marketing and business guides.
National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
NSCA was founded in 1978 and have become the worldwide experts on strength and conditioning, by improving athletic performance for athletes in fitness based upon applied science. Their highly regarded Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) is a title to strive for if you desire to become a strength coach, personal trainer, physical therapist, or athletic trainer for athletic performance. This certification is specific to primarily training athletes safely based upon valuable training programs all while applying proper nutritional practices to promote injury prevention. This exam is administered in person at more than 160 AMP Assessment Centers across the United States, often located in specific H&R Block® offices. It’s important to be aware that exams for CSCS must be taken within 120 days of registering. NSCA for CSCS offers home study material packages, online support, practice exams, an exam content breakdown, and even a two-day Exam Prep Symposium.
For over ten years, Shaun has successfully run his own personal training business in the New York City Metro area. Able to relate and adapt to each individual, Shaun prides himself on developing exercise plans and nutritional menus to foster every client's fitness needs. His clientele ranges from the athlete, and senior citizen, to bodybuilder, and dancer. Shaun's specialties include: strength training, power techniques, corrective injury training, and core stability training.
In addition to the highly regarded Master Trainer status, Shaun is a certified personal trainer of the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). With NASM Shaun also holds specialized certifications in: Pre- and Post-Natal, Corrective Exercise Practices, Cardiovascular Weight Loss, Youth Training, Senior Citizen Training, Balance Training, Core Stabilization, and Self Myofascial Release (SMR). Additionally, Shaun is certified by the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Sports Performance Nutrition Specialist, with training in the Female Athlete, Knee & Shoulder Rehabilitation, and Marathon Training. Shaun earned his Bachelors degree in English Literature and Writing from the University of Delaware.
Shaun's first full-length book, "Push-up Progression Workout for a Stronger Core" is currently available worldwide both in paperback and e-book formats. It was featured as one of three top books in 2013 for healthy living as selected by Dr. John Whyte of The Discovery Channel. His latest book, "Push-up Progression (2nd Edition)" has already achieved great success and notoriety in the world of fitness. It is currently featured in bookstores across the United States and United Kingdom in paperback and available wherever e-books are sold. Shaun has had a multitude of articles, program designs, and tips published within a variety of books, magazines, and on websites in the world of fitness and beyond including: Price World Publishing, Demos Medical Publishing, Livestrong, Rodale Books, OnFitness Magazine, Fitness Magazine, Brides Magazine, and GO: AirTran Magazine. Additionally, Fitness Professional Online recognizes Shaun as an "expert," answering questions for other fitness and health professionals.
Shaun also has media experience in both television and radio, ranging from fitness modeling, to hosting his own weekly radio fitness show.
Latest posts by Shaun Zetlin
- The Role of Exercise in Stress Management - May 9, 2017
- X-Push Up - December 27, 2016
- Fit Pros, How To Properly Progress Your Client’s Push-Up? - October 26, 2016