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  1. #1
    Godspeed You Mythic Beast's Avatar
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    QUESTION: Which certificates are the best?

    The 'Big 3' certifications are ACSM, NASM, and NSCA.



    ACSM
    http://www.acsm.org/


    NASM
    http://www.nasm.org/


    NSCA
    http://www.nsca-lift.org/
    http://www.nsca-cc.org/


    In the US, the NASM certification seems to be the most well known. I've run into gyms that require NASM. Then again, it may depend on your area. You really can't go wrong with either of the 3 though.

    Now maybe we won't have the same question asked over and over again.
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  2. #2
    Godspeed You Mythic Beast's Avatar
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    Here's a list of other recognized certifications, feel free to add more.


    ACE

    http://www.acefitness.org/

    ISSA

    http://www.issaonline.com/

    NATA

    www.nata.org

    NCSF

    http://www.ncsf.org/

    NPTI

    http://www.nationalpersonaltraininginstitute.com/
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  3. #3
    Registered User dshinton's Avatar
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    The following is a list of organizations with NOCA/NCCA accredited programs (from http://www.noca.org/NCCAAccreditatio...cationPrograms):

    ACE - American Council on Exercise - http://www.acefitness.org
    ACSM - American College of Sports Medicine - http://www.acsm.org
    The Cooper Institute - http://www.cooperinst.org
    IFPA - International Fitness Professionals Association - http://www.ifpa-fitness.com
    NASM - National Academy of Sports Medicine - http://www.nasm.org
    NCSF - National Council on Strength and Fitness - http://www.ncsf.org
    NESTA - National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association - http://www.nestacertified.com
    NETA - National Exercise Trainers Association - http://www.ndeita.com
    NFPT - National Federation of Professional Trainers - http://www.nfpt.com
    NSCA - National Strength and Conditioning Association - http://www.nsca-cc.org

    Here are some non-NOCA/NCCA accredited:

    AFAA - Aerobic and Fitness Association of America - http://www.afaa.com
    ISSA - International Sports Sciences Association - http://www.issaonline.com
    Professional Fitness Trainer
    MS, NASM, NFPT
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  4. #4
    Stay classy San Diego DLStar64's Avatar
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    just found a pretty cool site that compares alot of these, not sure if we can link but it includes cost which is was i was looking for

    http://www.starting-a-personal-train...ification.html
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  5. #5
    Godspeed You Mythic Beast's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by DLStar64 View Post
    just found a pretty cool site that compares alot of these, not sure if we can link but it includes cost which is was i was looking for

    http://www.starting-a-personal-train...ification.html
    Cool find, thanks for the link. NESTA is a 4 year certification, that's interesting. Seems like a good cert from what I've read, but not very well known.
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  6. #6
    Whats good for lower abs? kserajuddin's Avatar
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    Personal Training 4-year Degree

    Originally Posted by Mythic Beast View Post
    Cool find, thanks for the link. NESTA is a 4 year certification, that's interesting. Seems like a good cert from what I've read, but not very well known.
    It's funny that you mention a four year cert--Purdue is now offering a 4-year degree in Personal Training!!

    Seems a little excessive to me--what do you guys think about that..?
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  7. #7
    Godspeed You Mythic Beast's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kserajuddin View Post
    It's funny that you mention a four year cert--Purdue is now offering a 4-year degree in Personal Training!!

    Seems a little excessive to me--what do you guys think about that..?
    Huge waste of time and money, I hope that they don't succeed into scamming people.
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  8. #8
    Whats good for lower abs? kserajuddin's Avatar
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    Degree in PT?

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  9. #9
    Registered User netto's Avatar
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    how is NPTI compare. I looked at their website and like that it has500 hours of actuall "class time" the rest seem to just be test passing accreditations. However it doesn't seem to be nationally recognized or accepted forms of certification from any gyms or training facilities.
    It sounds like a waste of $6,300 for not getting certified by the big 3.
    any thoughts on NPTI.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by Mythic Beast View Post
    Huge waste of time and money, I hope that they don't succeed into scamming people.
    Yeah for real. hell, for all that, people are better off doing their own research and just putting it into action.
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  11. #11
    Registered User trainerclark's Avatar
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    The ACSM is the best personal training certification in the country. It's ACSM Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist, is the hardest exercise cert. to get and also the most prestigious. The NSCA's CSCS is second to it and equal to ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist. If you want a an assured hire for a training job. ACSM is the way to go
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  12. #12
    Registered User riironman's Avatar
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    i am thinking about trying this since i think i am getting layed off soon.(damn baning crises) I am having trouble finding ACE and ACSM classes in RI. The gyms around here seem to be getting cheap lately. i talked a few people who train and they arent making as much money anymore because of the gyms wanting bigger and bigger cuts.
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  13. #13
    Whats good for lower abs? kserajuddin's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by riironman View Post
    i am thinking about trying this since i think i am getting layed off soon.(damn baning crises) I am having trouble finding ACE and ACSM classes in RI. The gyms around here seem to be getting cheap lately. i talked a few people who train and they arent making as much money anymore because of the gyms wanting bigger and bigger cuts.
    What company do you work for right now in Rhode Island?
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  14. #14
    Whats good for lower abs? kserajuddin's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by FatboysFatter View Post
    Yeah for real. hell, for all that, people are better off doing their own research and just putting it into action.
    Where are you from Fatboy? Are you an independent trainer in your area>??
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  15. #15
    Registered User MonoDiablo's Avatar
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    Mythic Beast:

    I see you recommend the big 3 but you are ISSA certified? I was looking at this one as well. From what you know from experience, would you chose one of these "big 3" before ISSA?

    My highest point of interest is in nutrition and performance supplementation.

    THANKS!
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  16. #16
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    Originally Posted by MonoDiablo View Post
    Mythic Beast:

    I see you recommend the big 3 but you are ISSA certified? I was looking at this one as well. From what you know from experience, would you chose one of these "big 3" before ISSA?

    My highest point of interest is in nutrition and performance supplementation.

    THANKS!
    I would, it definitely would have made getting a job easier.

    I like ISSA though, gave me a lot of free time
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  17. #17
    Registered User MonoDiablo's Avatar
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    Im leaning torwards ISSA...Not sure 100% why. I do not plan on working for a gym. This would be a part time thing to fill in my free time from my regular job (which I hope to drop for training).

    Any other opinions?!??!?!
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    Originally Posted by MonoDiablo View Post
    Im leaning torwards ISSA...Not sure 100% why. I do not plan on working for a gym. This would be a part time thing to fill in my free time from my regular job (which I hope to drop for training).

    Any other opinions?!??!?!
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  19. #19
    Better Than Yesterday Fritz311's Avatar
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    can someone tell me why the NASM cert cost $600.....that seems like an awfull lot compared to some other ones. Im going to get certified in the next month or so, so i was just wondering. Also NASM said i needed to get CPR/AED certified, do the other certifications require this or not?
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    Originally Posted by Fritz311 View Post
    can someone tell me why the NASM cert cost $600.....that seems like an awfull lot compared to some other ones. Im going to get certified in the next month or so, so i was just wondering. Also NASM said i needed to get CPR/AED certified, do the other certifications require this or not?
    Wow that is a lot man - I'd definitely go for a cheaper one if the money is tight - I'm a big believer that the certification is just the beginning and one isn't THAT much better than the other -

    As for your CPR/AED, it's a good idea to go ahead and get this. The easiest way it to go to http://www.redcross.org/services/hss/courses/ and set an appointment in your local area to get this taken care of - it's easy and pretty cheap -
    "Do what you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life" - either Confucius or the Dalai Lama - I get them confused -
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    training certification

    I have been a full-time trainer gym owner for 10 years and some of the best trainers I know have a low-level certification but are much better in the field than some of the high level ACE type people I have met. just keep in mind those cert's are good if you going for a corporate job but if you work for yourself I say get it going and dont worry about it so much. I have never had one client ever ask me where I am certified through. I would advise to find out who is making some real money in your area and shadow them they dont teach you any of that in those course's how to make money 101..
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    Come at me, bro! foodandfitness's Avatar
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    Dallas

    If you live close to the Dallas area, look up the Cooper Institute. Otherwise ACE is well known.
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    Whats good for lower abs? kserajuddin's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by corygt3 View Post
    I have been a full-time trainer gym owner for 10 years and some of the best trainers I know have a low-level certification but are much better in the field than some of the high level ACE type people I have met. just keep in mind those cert's are good if you going for a corporate job but if you work for yourself I say get it going and dont worry about it so much. I have never had one client ever ask me where I am certified through. I would advise to find out who is making some real money in your area and shadow them they dont teach you any of that in those course's how to make money 101..
    I agree, coryG - Experience, marketing, dealing with people, running your own business, keeping clients happy - If there's a cert that teaches all of that, I'd like to know about it - lol -
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    do u even have to go to a college to get ur certificate??
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    The Pro PTA

    The Professional Private Trainer's Association, www.propta.com is the only one I know of that managed completely by IFBB pros. It's pretty legit. I'm working on it and as a part of the curriculum I spent around 30 hours in the gym with IFBB pro Derik Farnsworth at the World GYm in San Diego. It's pretty legit, but not well know of.
    Training for Strongman Nationals: http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?p=563799041#post563799041
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    Need answers to these questions!

    So I've been studying for my ACE cert. but now am wondering if it's even good enough to get full-time clientele with? Is ISSA better, or should I just go for one of the certs outlined at the beginning of this thread? Btw, my goal is to work for myself, not in any particular gym. (I realize I need to work in various gyms with their permission for different clients.)
    One last question: has anyone had any problems training clients in their homes? What do you do for self protection - just in case? Yeah, I'm a newbie!
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  27. #27
    I didn't hear no bell! Rap_Rocky's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jaceeritchie View Post
    So I've been studying for my ACE cert. but now am wondering if it's even good enough to get full-time clientele with? Is ISSA better, or should I just go for one of the certs outlined at the beginning of this thread? Btw, my goal is to work for myself, not in any particular gym. (I realize I need to work in various gyms with their permission for different clients.)
    One last question: has anyone had any problems training clients in their homes? What do you do for self protection - just in case? Yeah, I'm a newbie!
    In my opinion, ACE is better. It's more widely known and accepted. ISSA isn't necessarily a BAD certification, but when it comes to the one that's more recognized and respected throughout the industry, you're definitely looking at ACE. No matter what you plan to do with training (home business, corporate field, gym trainer, etc.) the top four certifications widely respected and recognized that you should consider are ACE, NASM, NSCA, ACSM. Having one or more of those certs are best, no question.

    I train a couple clients in their homes. I have no problems training them, the only issue I may have at times is carrying equipment in my bag and traveling to their home (unless you have a car). Since you're a female, I can understand how you may feel, but no matter your gender, everybody should be cautious when training clients privately. This is why I set up an initial meeting with potential clients (at a public place) to learn more about them, their lifestyle, their goals, etc. - this way, you not only get to meet them face-to-face, but also get a good idea on their personality and character. Always trust your instincts if you get a certain vibe about someone. Keep in mind that although in this world anything can happen, very rarely, if ever, do trainers experience acts of violence or assault when training private clients.
    Last edited by Rap_Rocky; 11-23-2008 at 08:08 PM.
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  28. #28
    Registered User XtremeFitnessINC's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mythic Beast View Post
    Cool find, thanks for the link. NESTA is a 4 year certification, that's interesting. Seems like a good cert from what I've read, but not very well known.
    I am NESTA certified right now, the test is online and if you have a good printer you can print the whole e-book and take an open book test. I will warn you that it is a timed test. Flipping through the pages wasted more time for me than anything so I only used it if I was really stumped on a question.
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  29. #29
    Registered User XtremeFitnessINC's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rap_Rocky View Post
    In my opinion, ACE is better. It's more widely known and accepted. ISSA isn't necessarily a BAD certification, but when it comes to the one that's more recognized and respected throughout the industry, you're definitely looking at ACE. No matter what you plan to do with training (home business, corporate field, gym trainer, etc.) the top four certifications widely respected and recognized that you should consider are ACE, NASM, NSCA, ACSM. Having one or more of those certs are best, no question.

    I train a couple clients in their homes. I have no problems training them, the only issue I may have at times is carrying equipment in my bag and traveling to their home (unless you have a car). Since you're a female, I can understand how you may feel, but no matter your gender, everybody should be cautious when training clients privately. This is why I set up an initial meeting with potential clients (at a public place) to learn more about them, their lifestyle, their goals, etc. - this way, you not only get to meet them face-to-face, but also get a good idea on their personality and character. Always trust your instincts if you get a certain vibe about someone. Keep in mind that although in this world anything can happen, very rarely, if ever, do trainers experience acts of violence or assault when training private clients.
    Good advice.
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  30. #30
    Registered User XtremeFitnessINC's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jaceeritchie View Post
    So I've been studying for my ACE cert. but now am wondering if it's even good enough to get full-time clientele with? Is ISSA better, or should I just go for one of the certs outlined at the beginning of this thread? Btw, my goal is to work for myself, not in any particular gym. (I realize I need to work in various gyms with their permission for different clients.)
    One last question: has anyone had any problems training clients in their homes? What do you do for self protection - just in case? Yeah, I'm a newbie!
    To be completely honest with you, any recognized cert is good enough if you are working for yourself as opposed to a gym. Gym's are more specific in what type of cert but the average trainee has no idea of what certification trumphs the next. As long as you apear to be a very fit individual and if your networking skills are up to par you'll do great! I can't even begin to tell you about how many people that hired me as a trainer because of how I personally look. So no stress, I say follow through with ACE and make that money
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