How should I complete my personal training certification?

You think you might be able to learn through the online personal fitness training videos, tutorials, and the certification book since you can highlight and make notes in it…but you’re not sure. You have a job, family obligations, and still want to maintain your fitness physique. When would you have dedicated time to read and study? When would you be able to practice personal training skills, and with whom? You might even ask yourself, “Is there any other way to learn the information?”

A viable option for gaining a personal training certification is to attend a career training college that teaches the certification you would like to obtain. Career training colleges are becoming more popular due to the information being taught in a concentrated format, having a condensed timeline, and gaining hands-on experience with fellow students.

CHCP’s Personal Fitness Training Program

Which personal training certifying body should I choose?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when choosing a personal training certifying body/certification:

1.      Are they nationally accredited?

2.      What population(s) do I want to focus on?

3.      What environment do I perform best in?

4.      Do I want to train one-on-one or a group of people?

5.      Do I want to have the flexibility to learn the information when I have the time or do I need to have scheduled learning time?

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

o   “The NASM CPT is a mainstream choice for a personal trainer certification. It doesn't have the science of ACSM and has more heft than ACE. That is why it has become a popular alternative for individuals who are passionate about fitness and want to start their career as a personal trainer.”(, 2013)

American Council on Exercise (ACE)

o   “The ACE CPT credential was among the first certifications to earn NCCA accreditation and they have effectively maintained the quality of all the courses they offer.” (, 2013)

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)

o   “Personal trainer certification NSCA is one of the toughest certifications to get. (, 2013)

Nationally accredited certifications are widely recognized and accepted across all corporate gyms. For more information on nationally accredited certifications, go to Most certifying bodies, both nationally accredited and not, offer an online-based generalized certification that will encompass all common gym populations. Most certifications are mainly directed to personal training in a corporate gym setting and focus on one-on-one training.

The real question: how do you learn? Can you receive a book and online video tutorials, read and learn the information on your own, pass the certification exam, and implement it correctly with your client? Would you feel more comfortable having an instructor teach the material to you, quiz and test you, prepare you for the certification exam, and know how to implement it with your client? Knowing which learning path will best suit your learning style will truly dictate which certifying body/certification is best for you.

At CHCP, not only will you gain expertise about personal training techniques, you will learn entrepreneurship skills through our business management course which will help you to create a successful personal training business. Our hands-on technique to teaching means that when you graduate, you will be fully prepared to begin a career in gyms, fitness centers, private studios, corporate wellness programs, or even start your own business as a personal trainer.

You want to be a personal trainer: you love the gym atmosphere, the lifestyle, and the opportunity to help people who are struggling to reach their fitness goals. The problem: there are over a dozen different certifying bodies and certifications available, and you’re not sure which one is the best one for you.