Personal trainers play a crucial role in promoting fitness and a healthy lifestyle. A personal trainer helps people achieve their fitness goals by guiding them through resistance training, effective exercise programs, exercise techniques and health and fitness plans.
If you are interested in undertaking personal training certification, here are a few ways how to become a certified personal trainer!
Who Are Personal Trainers, And What Is Personal Training
A Personal trainer is a fitness professional who trains clients to help them achieve their fitness goals, such as weight management, fitness nutrition, flexibility training, and so on.
Personal trainers can work with their client base in person or by becoming online personal trainers. An online personal trainer can help clients who wish to achieve their fitness goals in the comfort of their own homes.
Personalized fitness trainers can do a detailed client assessment which will help the clients to achieve their goals at their own pace. The fitness levels of every person differ from one another. Therefore, many clients desire self-paced fitness training; this has led to high demand for personal fitness professionals in the fitness industry.
After becoming a personal trainer, the trainer can help the clients understand the fitness facilities, develop their own schedule, boost motivation, maximize workout gains, and guide them to complete the fitness goals successfully.
All these can be achieved with the help of personal training. Undertaking a certified personal trainer program is the main way how to become a certified personal trainer.
Reasons To Become A Certified Personal Trainer
The fitness industry is growing rapidly. Many people have become aware of health and fitness in recent years. The fitness sector is likely to see a boom in the coming years. It is important to be involved in certification programs to be able to train clients efficiently.
After undertaking a certified personal training program, a wide range of opportunities can open up for aspiring trainers. These opportunities can be in the field of sports medicine, fitness nutrition, fitness training, weight management, exercise science and resistance training.
Certification programs open up opportunities to train clients by becoming fitness trainers or even starting your own fitness professionals business. Nowadays, online courses are also available for personal trainer programs.
All personal training programs do not require a college degree; some require a few simple pre-requisites such as CPR/AED Certification and a high school diploma.
How To Become A Certified Personal Trainer And Enroll In A Course?
Undertaking certification programs by the recognized certifying agencies can be the right career path. Undertaking the certification examination and getting a well certified personal trainer certification are the main ways of ‘How to become a certified personal trainer?’
Here are the courses that can help in having a job guarantee in the fitness industry.
High school diploma
The personal trainer certification program requires a high school diploma. Being 18 years or above and having a high school diploma is one of the basic requisites in many national certification agencies. Personal trainers do not need a college degree; they can get training and certification from the certifying agencies.
How to become a certified personal trainer without a high school diploma? In some cases, a GED can also work to meet the basic requirement. GED is a General Educational Development test. It includes a series of four tests, passing which will certify you for having high school level academic standards.
CPT stands for Certified Personal Trainer. CPT exam is undertaken by those who want to take the training, which will be a way of ‘How to become a certified personal trainer?’
Different agencies have their CPT exams, such as the NSCA-CPT exam and NASM-CPT. There are a number of practice exams and study materials available online.
A CPR/AED Certification is the most imperative requirement before starting the journey of personal training. CPR stands for Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation, and AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. It is important to know CPR and AED to control any untoward cardiac arrest incident during personal training.
CPR involves chest compressions to restore the blood circulation and breathing of a person undergoing a cardiac arrest. AED is an electronic device used during cardiac problems. Learning CPR and AED are the essential ways how to become a certified personal trainer and ensure a safe environment for the clients.
Personal Training Educational Courses
How to become a certified personal trainer? One of the first steps after meeting all the pre-requisites is to enroll in the personal training educational courses. It helps to gain professional guidance for aspiring personal trainers in order to build a fruitful career path in personal training.
Generally, these programs cost between 500 to 1000 dollars, depending on the course. There are plenty of courses and programs that teach the human body’s health assessment, movement principles, and anatomy. Choosing the best course is a crucial step to start a career in personal training.
1) National Strength and Conditioning Association
The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is an organization dedicated to sports performance and exercise in the world. The association was established in 1978 and is prevalent in over 50 countries. It is one of the leading associations which provide evidence-based knowledge required to become a personal trainer.
It focuses on research and certification from fitness experts. It is one of the most esteemed organizations that teaches how to become a certified personal trainer. NSCA helps aspiring personal trainers to build an efficient, comprehensive training program for their clients. NSCA also announces scholarship opportunities before its exam date.
2) National Academy of Sports medicine
The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) is one of the leading organizations worldwide. Similar to the other training centres, it also focuses on training how to become a certified personal trainer.
NASM has four learning packages and mostly aims to provide online courses. These online courses are helpful to build a certified personal training career.
NASM has over 190,000 personal trainers certified online in the past decade. The key objective of NASM is to provide Optimum Performance Training, which is called the OPT model of training and professional development. It also provides online practice tests and study materials to prepare for the final exam.
3) International Sports Sciences Association
International Sports Sciences Association provides coaching for personal trainers, popularly known as ISSA Certification.
They focus on fitness education, exercise science, personal training certification and also give job guarantees in fitness settings. It was established in 1988 and has trained personal trainers in over 174 countries.
The final exam to be ISSA Certified personal trainer includes 200 multiple-choice questions. An older high school diploma is not required to enroll in these personal training certifications.
The basic requirement is to be 18 years or older and has a CPR AED Certification. ISSA is popularly known as the “Trainer’s trainers.”
4) The National Council on Strength and Fitness
The National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF) is an organization that provides NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) accredited certification programs. It has the main objective to train people how to become a certified personal trainer. It has educated personal trainers in nearly 160 countries globally.
It offers options for hands-on learning as well as self-paced learning programs. After taking the personal training program, the final exam can be taken online as well as in-person by visiting the exam centres. They provide notes and videos before undertaking the NCSF Certification exam.
5) American College of Sports Medicine
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) provides a personal training program to nearly 90 countries all over the globe. It is one of the major centres where you can learn how to become a certified personal trainer. They are known for their personal trainer certification, which focuses on fitness training and exercises science.
To prepare for the certification examination, ACSM has journals, books and podcasts for self-paced learning for its members. The final exam can be taken in computer-based testing centres that are spread over the world. The certification exam consists of multiple-choice questions.
6) American Council of Exercise
American Council of Exercise (ACE) provides NAAC accredited personal trainer certification in the field of the fitness industry. The ACE Certification teaches how to become a certified personal trainer.
It helps people in becoming personal trainers and fitness professionals in the fitness industry. It has a personal training certification course called “Trifecta for change: How to be a top personal trainer.”
ACE is a non-profit organization. ACE follows the philosophy of promoting a healthy lifestyle worldwide. It provides evidence-based programs and certification. ACE is a place where you can get a well certified personal trainer certification program.
Curriculum Of Personal Training Certifications
The CPT exams for enrolling in the personal training program is mostly a set of multiple-choice questions on various topics.
The curriculum can be interesting for anyone who has the zeal to learn about fitness and health. Understanding the curriculum before giving the certification exam is a crucial way how to become a certified personal trainer.
The certification exam for the personal trainer program includes aspects such as client assessment, program planning, and exercise science. The curriculum will also include safety, emergency procedures and legal issues that need to be known before giving fitness training.
The program planning curriculum in the NSCA CPT exam includes subjects such as special populations, goal setting, program design and training adaptations. There are nearly 45 questions related to program planning in the CPT exam.
Techniques of Exercise
According to the NSCA CPT test, the techniques of the exercise curriculum includes:
- Machine resistance exercises.
- Flexibility exercises.
- Calisthenic and bodyweight exercises.
- Sport-specific or performance-related activities.
- Cardiovascular machines.
- Non-machine cardiovascular activities.
- Alternative training activities.
- Free weight exercises.
The NSCA CPT curriculum for client consultation or client assessment includes a medical history and health appraisal, fitness evaluation, basic nutrition review and the initial interview. This part carries a 23% weightage of marks in the exam.
Safety and Legal issues
The NSCA CPT curriculum includes a very important aspect of how to become a certified personal trainer. The safety, emergency and legal issues include emergency responses, professional, legal, and ethical responsibility, and all the safety procedures.
Continuing Education and Specialization
How to become a certified personal trainer with a specialization? Specialization can be achieved by simply continuing education courses for personal trainers.
Specializations can help target a specific client base in the fitness industry and even start your own business in that particular health and fitness industry. Specialization also improves the job guarantee.
After successfully completing the personal training program, one can take up a specialization. Continuing education and taking up specialization can enhance the quality of fitness experts. Here are some of the beneficial specializations:
Strength and Conditioning Specialist
A strength and conditioning specialist works on various training types. Their main aim is to train clients in order to improve muscular endurance, strength, power, agility, speed, and body composition. They also enhance the anaerobic and aerobic capacity, flexibility and mobility, and balance and stability.
Tactical Strength and Conditioning Facilitator
The tactical strength and conditioning facilitator undertakes training for law enforcement personnel. It helps to enhance power, muscular endurance and reduce the risk of injuries. It improves their job performance and other abilities such as flexibility, balance and stability. This type of training is useful in public service fitness settings.
Weight Management specialist
A weight management specialist is responsible for promoting a healthy lifestyle and helping the clients manage a healthy and sustainable weight. The specialists target different body types and try to improve their health by helping them manage a healthy weight in the long run. These specialists develop healthy eating plans and fitness schedules.
Bodybuilding specialists ensure healthy ways of building the body and achieving the desired body results by the clients. They plan and manage workouts for the clients. Bodybuilding specialists look into training, motivation, recovery and nutritional plans. It is extremely useful to guide heavy lifters and bodybuilders.
Corrective Exercise Specialist
The corrective exercise specialist helps to understand the structure of bones, muscles, joints and the overall skeletal system of a human body. It helps to give training with the understanding of the nervous system as well.
The specialist can guide and give training to understand the corrective exercises. It helps in structural alignment and correct joint restrictions.
As the name suggests, a kickboxing instructor provides specialized training in kickboxing techniques. Learning kickboxing is one of the ways how to become a certified personal trainer with a specialization that is highly in demand. It helps to develop the mind and body together. It is an engaging way to train the clients and ensure their physical well being.
A powerlifting instructor helps the clients to lift heavyweights. They train them about the movements and prevent any injury. It is the way of heavy physical training and enhances the overall physical ability and strength.
The client base of heavy lifters can benefit greatly and build their core strength more by hiring a powerlifting instructor. It focuses on the science behind the body’s movement.
Personal Training Career
How to become a certified personal trainer and have a successful career path? A personal trainer can kick-start their career once they are done with the training certification and meet all the other requirements.
They can start training people by taking up clients either in person or online. A well-trained personal trainer with a passion for fitness can attract many clients.
How to become a certified personal trainer with many clients? Clients who want to monitor their diet, lifestyle, and workouts can hire a personal trainer.
A fitness trainer can help people individually. They can communicate and guide on a one-to-one basis that will benefit different clients with different fitness goals to be achieved. Starting by working at gyms is also a way how to become a certified personal trainer with a stable income.
Personal trainers can be hired by a sports person, a weightlifter, a person who wants to achieve a healthy weight, a person undergoing recovery or anyone who wants help to ensure a healthy lifestyle and fix a fitness routine. A personal trainer is also hired to understand the workout machines, tools and their postures.
How long does it take to be a personal trainer?
The duration of becoming a personal trainer can vary from course to course and from the mode of learning, whether online or in person. According to some of the training programs, such as the ISSA certification, the certification can be completed in less than a year. Going for a further specialization can lead to a little more time consumption.
How to become a certified personal trainer in a short period of time? Some online courses can also be completed within three to four months. But there are also some of the other courses taught in the organizations that may even take up to two years. It all depends on the type of course and also the amount of practical learning involved in it.
The simple answer to the question of ‘How to become a certified personal trainer?’ is to undertake a training program and a certification exam.
As fitness and health is a growing industry in the modern world, a personal trainer is a fruitful career path with a lot of opportunities ahead. A personal trainer plays a vital role in promoting a healthy lifestyle among their clients.