10 Best Personal Training Certifications in 2023

Certifications are an important part of professional development, particularly in the field of personal training.

A certification is a formal recognition that you have demonstrated competence and knowledge in a given subject or skillset

There are so many personal training certifications that it’s hard to keep count of them all.

But do you really need a certification in order to be a successful personal trainer? That depends on who you ask.

Some people believe that the more certs you have, the better qualified you are as an expert in your field. 

However, most experts will tell you that there is no single best way to train someone and no one-size-fits-all program for everyone.

However, this article will give you an idea of the best personal training certifications.

Why Are Personal Training Certifications Important?

If you want to make a career or a business out of personal training, you need to be certified.

Personal Training certifications are necessary because they help to establish your credibility.

It means that you have the proper skills and expertise to handle the task at hand, which is coaching and guiding people through their exercises.

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Becoming an Expert in Personal Training

Personal training is a growing field with plenty of opportunities to grow. It also has a lot of competition, which makes it so hard for personal trainers to get business. 

But personal trainers who can build their brand into an expert in that field will be the ones who are getting all the clients and making money hand over fist.

People look for experts because they want to know they’re hiring someone who knows what they’re doing.

They don’t have time to do the research themselves and they trust the “expert” more. But how do you become an expert?

One of the ways of becoming an expert is by acquiring a personal training certification since it contains courses and guidelines to help you develop yourself.

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10 Best Personal Training Certifications

1. National Academy of Sport Medicine (NASM) 

The National Academy of Sport Medicine (NASM) is a professional membership association dedicated to the advancement and research of human performance.

Their mission is to support scientific research, provide education, promote best practices within the industry, and serve as an advocate for individuals involved in sport and exercise.

With over 75,000 members worldwide, NASM carries out its mission through a wide array of services to include an online certification program for personal trainers, group exercise instructors, and athletic trainers; a publishing division that serves as a leader in the publishing industry by providing timely information on training and nutrition; a collegiate division that provides innovative educational services.

This is the best personal training certification on the market. It’s based off of science and real-world experience.

You can use this knowledge to help train people in your local area or even help clients overcome injuries and other problems with their bodies.

 Visit Site: www.nasm.org

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2. International Sport Science Association (ISSA) 

The International Sport Science Association (ISSA) is a non-profit organization that was founded in 1973 with the purpose of promoting sport and health through scientific research.

With over 7,500 members from more than 115 countries, ISSA is the largest organization of sports scientists in the world.

The ISSA is dedicated to promoting sport and health through scientific research and education. Its mission is to provide its members with the opportunity to share their expertise and experience, learn about new developments in their fields, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends within the industry. 

Over the past 40 years, ISSA has developed a comprehensive education system that includes 14 certifications, 2 diplomas,and 2 specialty certifications.

ISSA also offers a number of training programs to its members including safety, nutrition, and fitness. It conducts conferences throughout the year to promote fitness programs.

Visit Site: www.issaonline.com

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3. The American Council on Excercise (ACE) 

ACE is the leading nonprofit organization promoting the benefits of physical activity and ensuring that every person in America has the opportunity to be physically active.

It’s a non-profit organization founded in 1953, with more than 60 years of experience, ACE is dedicated to preventing disease and improving health through physical activity.

More than 118,000 ACE Certified professionals are helping people of all ages and activity levels achieve their health and wellness goals.

By earning a certification through ACE, you will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to excel as a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, fitness coach, health educator, or wellness manager.

For more information about ACE, please visit www.acefitness.org

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4. American College of Sport Medicine (ACSM)

ACSM is the world’s largest and most prestigious organization for exercise professionals. It has over 100,000 members and about 50,000 attendees at its annual conference.

The ACSM offers many certifications, as well as continuing education courses.

Its mission is to improve health and quality of life through physical activity and movement.

ACSM is a gold sponsor for the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association’s (IHRSA) annual convention.

They are using their sponsorship as an opportunity to educate attendees on how to increase physical activity in their communities by hosting a booth with information, giveaways, and more.

Their certifications include: Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CCEP), Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP), Certified Health Fitness Specialist (CHFS), and more.

Visit Site: www.acsm.org

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5. Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) 

AFAA is an association of licensed and certified fitness professionals that provides its members with training, education and management tools to help them achieve the highest level of success in their field. 

At AFAA, they believe that through a commitment to ongoing education and professional development, AFAA members will lead their industry to new heights of global awareness, client service and professionalism.

With more than 8,000 members in over 70 countries around the world, AFAA’s focus on creating partnerships with other associations, corporations and educational institutions has enabled them to become the world’s leading organization in the fitness industry.

Today, AFAA offers three levels of certification: Exercise Specialist, Personal Trainer and Group Exercise Instructor.

The certification process includes written, practical and video tests. Candidates must be 18 years or older to take the exams. The AFAA also has an extensive accreditation program for fitness facilities.

Visit Site: www.afaa.com

6. National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT)

The National Federation of Personal Trainers (NFPT) is the largest professional body of personal trainers in the UK, representing over 6,000 qualified professionals and associate members.

We are a non-profit organisation whose vision is to support all personal trainers and allied health professionals to maintain their high standards of professionalism and education as well as promoting and protecting their interests.

Personal trainers are not just gym instructors – they are highly trained experts with a university degree who can help you achieve your health, fitness and lifestyle goals.

The NFPT was established to promote professionalism in the industry, provide a credible method for certifying personal trainers, develop best practices for the industry, and create opportunities for continuous education.

Visit Site: www.nfpt.com

7. National Council on Strength And Fitness (NCSF)

The National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF) is a not-for-profit national organization that was founded in 1981 by a group of strength coaches dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle through strength training and proper nutrition.

The NCSF aims to support the education of strength coaches across the United States. They do this by creating a network of like-minded individuals who support one another, share best practices and research and collaborate with one another.

Their goal is to ensure that all athletes have access to quality strength training in their schools. Their certification program has become the standard for strength coaches at all levels.

NCSF offers a wide range of services to its members including: access to certified coaches; training and fitness programming; certification programs; tools for enhanced businesses operations; and advocacy on public policy.

Visit Site: www.ncsf.org

8. National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is a private individual membership association with headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The NSCA’s mission is to advance the strength and conditioning profession by providing education, research and leadership opportunities for those who are involved in the management of the fitness industry.

Today, over 80,000 professionals from varying health-related fields work in fitness centers as personal trainers. Certified personal trainers have a profound effect on their clients’ lives, health, and wellbeing. 

NSCA offers certification, education, and research & training opportunities to help you reach your goals.

NSCA is home to many great resources for strength trainers, including:

  • Athletic Trainer Board
  • Certification Program (personal fitness)
  • Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (JSOCR)
  • JSCR Digital Library
  • Education Resources
  • Research Updates & Grants Program

 Visit Site: www.nsca.com

9. The Personal Training Mentor UK (TPMUK)

Personal training is a huge business. It’s also a lucrative one. There are over 15,000 personal trainers in the UK alone and a lot of them have small businesses that employ them.

Personal Training Mentor UK (TPMUK) is a personal training company that provides training for clients, who want to lose weight and get fitter. They provide training packages for people who want to use this service and the packages range from beginner to advanced level.

The school offers a range of online training modules for personal trainers, as well as a wide variety of one-on-one coaching. The company has been operating since 2015, and has over 1,000 certified students from across the country.

It is a level 2 Award in Personal Training, accredited by the National Exercise Council (NEC). It includes Level 2 Award in Fitness Instructing and Level 1 Award in Fitness Nutrition. Their courses are unique because each student gains a lot of practical experience working in local gyms.

Visit Site: www.theptmentor.uk

10. Lift the Bar Training (LTBT) Certification

LTBT (Lift the Bar Training) is a certification for individuals who want to be able to train, coach and mentor others in the area of personal development.

The training is based on the book “Lift the Bar” by John Spencer Ellis. The purpose of the book was to provide a simple and straightforward system for anyone to lift themselves out of self-imposed limitations and move forward in their life. 

For those who have been around the fitness business for a while, you’ll know that the Lift the Bar Certification is one of the most recognized certifications in the industry.

But why?

Well, it’s simple.

The certification isn’t easy to get and doesn’t just give anyone the right to call themselves a Lift the Bar Certified Personal Trainer.

Visit Site: www.ltbtraining.co.uk


Personal training certifications have become increasingly popular in the last few years. As a result, a wide variety of personal training certification options are now available to prospective trainers.

If you are interested in becoming a certified personal trainer, consider your options carefully. The right certification can help you take your career to the next level and make you more marketable to potential clients.

Choose the best fit for you, then study hard and work hard to get the certification that will be the most beneficial to your career.


NASM and ACE which is better?

The difference between NASM certification and ACE certification is that the former is a more generic certification for personal trainers. The latter is a specific certification for those who want to work in the business world. What you will learn in the NASM education is how to work with clients, how to create an effective workout plan, how to motivate your clients, how to use resistance training, how to manage your time as a personal trainer and how to develop your business skills. On the other hand, the ACE certification will give you a better understanding of what a personal trainer should know when working in corporate fitness.

What is the cost of ISSA Certification?

The ISSA Certification costs $199.00/ exam.
When you become a Certified Fitness Trainer, you’re granted lifetime access to the ISSA online texts, which include over 175 videos and 350+ pages of e-book material.

Is ACSM accredited by NCCA?

ACSM is not accredited by NCCA. This confusion arises because ACSM’s Exercise Management certification is accredited by NCCA while the other certifications like Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor etc. offered by ACSM are not accredited by NCCA.

What personal training certification is highly respected?

If you’re looking for a good personal training certification that will provide you with a solid foundation of knowledge, then we recommend you go for either The NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) or the NCSF (National Council on Strength and Fitness). These two organizations have been around for over ten years and are very well respected. They are also accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

How much is the NASM Certification?

At the time of writing this post, the NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) certification is $199. You can also get a bundle that includes both the NASM and NCCAOM (National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine) certification for $449.


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