Reviewed: The 8 Best Personal Trainer Certification Courses

video play icon Top 8 Best Personal Trainer Certification Courses of 2019 | Video Review

Last Updated: June 22, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

As long as there are beautiful people on TV, there will be a market for personal trainers. A personal trainer certification course will give you the tools and credentials to train people looking to better themselves. It's an aspirational industry filled with positivity. That makes being a personal trainer one of the more rewarding jobs out there. It can also be the one thing that keeps you fit.

Personal trainer certification courses are almost completely conducted online. Students can study and often test at their own pace. That allows you to fit the course into your lifestyle no matter how busy you are.

Many of these online courses also offer some form of consultation or in-person training. Their organizations consist of working professionals who can answer questions for you via phone or email. There are also group workshops that will solidify your textbook learning and allow you to get some hands-on practice.

Once you’ve been certified, you can seek employment at a well-known gym or go into business for yourself in a private practice. Some personal trainer certification courses offer their graduates job placement help and career advice. You may also find the opportunity to study parallel fields like nutrition and first aid. These will make you a more valuable commodity in the industry. Important notice: When you click links from this website, we may receive advertising revenue.

Our Top Picks

Our #1 Pick American Council On Exercise

The American Council on Exercise personal trainer certification course comes from the world’s largest non-profit fitness certification organization. The company has certified over 700,000 people. The majority of these people currently work in a fitness field. The company does a lot to advocate for your future employment. They even offer a free career guide that you can download from the website without signing up for anything.

All four of ACE’s certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The NCCA awards its certification to programs that they believe meet its strict standards. It’s widely considered to be a stamp of approval in industries that have a lot of imitators lurking in them. It should set your mind at ease that ACE has put a lot of time and expertise into designing their program.

ACE provides its students with a lot of supplemental support. The ACE Academy Elite breaks the content of your lessons down into very easy-to-understand videos. It can drastically reduce the time it takes to reach certification. This is an ideal option for impatient learners, or those with opportunities awaiting their certification. The health and wellness industry is constantly changing. ACE also offers a personal trainer manual that is constantly evolving. The book is currently in its 5th edition. Each new edition incorporates the latest peer-reviewed scientific findings.

The ExpertRating personal trainer certification program is an online course designed for people new to the field. It breaks down concepts in a way that is very easy to understand. The course provides its students with a large amount of learning materials. These include over 120 animated and explained exercises. The entirety of the course is conducted online.

The ExpertRating personal training course consists of 17 detailed training chapters. The first several chapters are designed to get you more familiar with the human body. A deeper knowledge of human anatomy will make the subsequent chapters easier to understand. These early chapters focus on fitness theory and terminology. They also place an emphasis on the muscular system, both broken up into its individual parts and as a whole.

The ExpertRating Course is certified by a number of organizations. It holds a TRUSTe seal. This seal verifies that the company will keep your information safe. It’s also certified by the International Standards Organization. That certification reflects the company’s thorough development of its training system. The company also won the Google SME Heroes Award in 2014. This award is given to companies who excel in their area through the use of technology.

Our #3 Pick National Academy Of Sports Medicine

The National Academy of Sports Medicine personal trainer certification program offers four different kinds of study. These depend entirely on your personal preference. If you learn more effectively while studying on your own, there’s a simple self-study program. It gives you everything you need to learn by yourself. If you’re more of a group learner, you can gain access to one-on-one coaching, group seminars, and more. These hands-on experiences can drastically improve your skills.

The guided learning levels include one-on-one coaching. Each student is assigned a coach. These coaches can help you understand aspects of any lesson. They can also give you motivation when the going gets tough. They are professional trainers, after all. You can reach them by phone or email. They’re guaranteed to get back to you within one business day. You’ll never have to wait too long to have your questions answered.

NASM’s training course is based on a system specific to the company. They’ve consolidated a great deal of scientific research into a particular theory of performance. They call it Optimum Performance Training, or OPT. OPT is broken up into five phases. The first phase concentrates on stabilization. The next three phases are all about building strength. The final phase builds power. The course is designed to build flexibility, core, balance, and cardio health all at once.

Additional Options

Our #4 Pick American Sports & Fitness Association

The American Sports & Fitness Association personal trainer certification course centers its focus on the final exam. Students with a previous education in the fitness and health sectors can jump right in and take the test. This is particularly useful for medical students with degrees in fields like kinesthesiology. Anyone with a lot of prior study stands to save money on this program.

Our #5 Pick American College Of Sports Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine provides certification programs for personal trainers. Unlike other companies, however, they also offer a membership program. ACSM members receive a number of benefits. Most important among these is a deep discount for all certification programs. Members also receive subscriptions to relevant journals, directory listings, and member ID cards. Members may also maintain relationships within the field more easily.

Our #6 Pick National Council On Strength & Fitness

The National Council on Strength & Fitness personal trainer certification program offers a range of study options. You can elect to work alone in a self-study environment. This would allow you to go completely at your own pace. You can also choose a more hands-on approach. That would connect you with an instructor who could support you through your education leading up to your exam date.

Our #7 Pick National Federation Of Professional Trainers

The National Federation of Professional Trainers personal trainer certification program focuses on the core fundamentals of the craft. There is an additional emphasis on motivating your clients. A motivated client will show results, and that will snowball your client list faster than anything else. The training manual that makes up the foundation of the lesson plan is free with your purchase of any of the courses.

Our #8 Pick National Personal Training Association

The National Personal Training Association personal trainer certification program puts the health and wellness of your future clients first. That’s why they provide you with free CPR, AED, and first aid training as part of their courses. Most other certification programs charge a fee for these extra certifications. Some don’t even offer them. The company will also email you a certificate in PDF form within 24 hours of your passing the test.

Learn More About Personal Trainer Certification Courses

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