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  1. #1
    Registered User Young-n-Ready's Avatar
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    Is ISSA a good enough certificate?

    Hey guys, I am currently overseas and have some down time at night. I found a place where I can get my Personal Trainer and a few other certificates for free. They will all be covered by the military. I was just wondering if anybody has ever heard of this or if it legit. Will it be good enough or even recognized. Also, I was wondering if I have time to take an aditional class, which one would the best choice. I was maybe looking at diet and nutrition or and advanced fitness. If anyone could help giude me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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  2. #2
    Registered User trulyhuge1's Avatar
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    I am ISSA certified and I like it. Most places accept it. I had no trouble getting hired. PM me and I can give you all the pertinent information.

    TH
    Originally Posted by Young-n-Ready View Post
    Hey guys, I am currently overseas and have some down time at night. I found a place where I can get my Personal Trainer and a few other certificates for free. They will all be covered by the military. I was just wondering if anybody has ever heard of this or if it legit. Will it be good enough or even recognized. Also, I was wondering if I have time to take an aditional class, which one would the best choice. I was maybe looking at diet and nutrition or and advanced fitness. If anyone could help giude me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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  3. #3
    Registered User china2u's Avatar
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    Smile

    Originally Posted by Young-n-Ready View Post
    Hey guys, I am currently overseas and have some down time at night. I found a place where I can get my Personal Trainer and a few other certificates for free. They will all be covered by the military. I was just wondering if anybody has ever heard of this or if it legit. Will it be good enough or even recognized. Also, I was wondering if I have time to take an aditional class, which one would the best choice. I was maybe looking at diet and nutrition or and advanced fitness. If anyone could help giude me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    It is indeed recognized. I'm ISSA certified as a Certified Fitness Trainer, Youth Fitness Trainer and Fitness Therapist. I'm working on my advanced trainer certification. I have my own business and have found that the more versatile you are in training different populations, the more successful your business. The NSCA is another organization that offers pt certifications, as well as strength and conditioning certifications, and they're also widely recognized. Whichever you decide to go with, do your homework, research and read different comments from other people. Good luck.
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  4. #4
    Registered User TheLimit's Avatar
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    Its definately recognized by a lot of places.. So its 100% legit.. Now, my question is why would you go for one of the least recognized and not even in the top certs if uncle sam is forking over the $$? I'd suggest looking at the NASM or ACE certs.. They're more qidely recognized by training facilities all over.

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  5. #5
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    i consider it middle of the road. if you don't want to take any chances, go for one of the big 3: nsca, nasm, acsm.
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    Originally Posted by Young-n-Ready View Post
    Hey guys, I am currently overseas and have some down time at night. I found a place where I can get my Personal Trainer and a few other certificates for free. They will all be covered by the military. I was just wondering if anybody has ever heard of this or if it legit. Will it be good enough or even recognized. Also, I was wondering if I have time to take an aditional class, which one would the best choice. I was maybe looking at diet and nutrition or and advanced fitness. If anyone could help giude me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    The one thing i dont like about ISSA is, as far as I know, you just get the textbook, do an open book test, and thats it. My certification involved exams, evaluations etc etc. Someone correct me if i'm wrong, but I always thought ISSA was a cop out.
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  7. #7
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    Original Poster

    Honestly having any cert or no cert don't really matter when it comes to getting clients or getting hired. Most gyms say you have to be certified but I see a lot of trainers with no cert training. Me on the other hand have a 4 yr degree called Health fitness Specialist from ACSM and I have not gotten a job in 2 yrs after graduation.

    There are meatheads out there who might not name a single bone or know how to take BP yet they are making money. It's all about perception.
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  8. #8
    The Dude Abides notgumbel's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by johnny_canuck View Post
    The one thing i dont like about ISSA is, as far as I know, you just get the textbook, do an open book test, and thats it. My certification involved exams, evaluations etc etc. Someone correct me if i'm wrong, but I always thought ISSA was a cop out.
    I can definitely see the potential for abuse, and definitely the perception of it for anyone who's not taken an ISSA exam.

    But in defense of ISSA:

    In addition to the multiple choice and true/false questions, there are six short essay questions and two case studies.

    You must score 75% overall, as well as 75% on each section, in order to be certified.

    If you cannot create the 12 week programs for the two individuals specified, as well as supply the other requested information for these two theoretical clients, then you will not pass.

    If you cannot answer the six short essays accurately and cogently, then you will not pass.

    I suppose it would be possible to just sit down and do everything strictly from the book for the online quizzes and exams.

    However, when I took the quizzes, I did it closed book, to gauge how much I actually knew. If you choose to reinforce your knowledge this way, you will do fine.

    Then on the exam, I took the multiple choice & true/false with the book closed ... and then went back and corrected any answers I'd missed. The opportunity is given, so why not? But then again, I got 90% correct without the book's aid

    I will not claim it is the most prestigious of the certifications, and it may not suit everyone's situation or career goals. As a holder of a much sought after general studies degree, and someone for whom learning at his own pace was the ideal situation at the moment, this worked for me.
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  9. #9
    Registered User trulyhuge1's Avatar
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    Very well put! I, too, did the exam closed book, checked my answers, and had a great understanding from reading the text and doing workbook assignments. On the case studies and essays I did them w/out the book.....only used the book to make sure I had all the things needed for certain questions. Also, as stated numerous times before...a test does not make a trainer.....keep that in mind.
    Originally Posted by notgumbel View Post
    I can definitely see the potential for abuse, and definitely the perception of it for anyone who's not taken an ISSA exam.

    But in defense of ISSA:

    In addition to the multiple choice and true/false questions, there are six short essay questions and two case studies.

    You must score 75% overall, as well as 75% on each section, in order to be certified.

    If you cannot create the 12 week programs for the two individuals specified, as well as supply the other requested information for these two theoretical clients, then you will not pass.

    If you cannot answer the six short essays accurately and cogently, then you will not pass.

    I suppose it would be possible to just sit down and do everything strictly from the book for the online quizzes and exams.

    However, when I took the quizzes, I did it closed book, to gauge how much I actually knew. If you choose to reinforce your knowledge this way, you will do fine.

    Then on the exam, I took the multiple choice & true/false with the book closed ... and then went back and corrected any answers I'd missed. The opportunity is given, so why not? But then again, I got 90% correct without the book's aid

    I will not claim it is the most prestigious of the certifications, and it may not suit everyone's situation or career goals. As a holder of a much sought after general studies degree, and someone for whom learning at his own pace was the ideal situation at the moment, this worked for me.
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  10. #10
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    Wink

    Originally Posted by notgumbel View Post
    I can definitely see the potential for abuse, and definitely the perception of it for anyone who's not taken an ISSA exam.

    But in defense of ISSA:

    I will not claim it is the most prestigious of the certifications, and it may not suit everyone's situation or career goals. As a holder of a much sought after general studies degree, and someone for whom learning at his own pace was the ideal situation at the moment, this worked for me.
    To begin with, you can't sit for an ISSA exam without a pre-requisite 4 year degree, preferably in the health/science arena. And I agree, it is open book, but I chose to do closed book as well. I also studied for the NSCA's CSCS examination, and even tho the exam is overseen by a proctor, I didn't detect much difference in the level of difficulty between their exam and the study material for the ISSA exams. And at the end of the day, if you cheat, you're not only cheating yourself, but your clients as well. I took NESTA's self study course for a Bio Mechanics specialist certification, and failed it two times before I passed. It was extremely difficult, and even tho you studied on your own, if you didn't know the material, they were not going to pass you. I take pride in each and every certification that I have, and I'll put myself up against the best of the best when it comes to training. Anybody, anywhere.
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by Young-n-Ready View Post
    Hey guys, I am currently overseas and have some down time at night. I found a place where I can get my Personal Trainer and a few other certificates for free. They will all be covered by the military. I was just wondering if anybody has ever heard of this or if it legit. Will it be good enough or even recognized. Also, I was wondering if I have time to take an aditional class, which one would the best choice. I was maybe looking at diet and nutrition or and advanced fitness. If anyone could help giude me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
    Roger that. ISSA is good enough. And you are right, the military will assist financially. If you're in the sand, this is probably your best option because you can finish the course online, whereas the top three certs will not allow you to do so. Get ISSA certified, then, if you wish, you can upgrade to NASM, NSCA or ACSM when you return CONUS.

    Good luck and stay safe out there, man.
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  12. #12
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    or you can study on your downtime on your ACE(American Council on Exercise) certification, which is "king" of the personal trainer certifications, and the test is insane.
    I was an infantry guy overseas, and when i wasnt on mission i was either in the gym or studying here and there and then took the test a couple months after i got home.
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by TheLimit View Post
    Now, my question is why would you go for one of the least recognized and not even in the top certs if uncle sam is forking over the $$? I'd suggest looking at the NASM or ACE certs.. They're more qidely recognized by training facilities all over.

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  14. #14
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    Thanks, But still a ?

    Sorry it has been awhile since I've been on. We just got back from a mission. I want to thank everyone for the great advice. I still have a few questions though if you all don't mind. First I should say that I am going with ISSA because it is the only one fully covered by the military. So my questions are, do I need a 4 year degree to get a job at the gym back home or will come certs do the trick? Also, what other certs would you recommend to go with the PT cert? They offer about 6 others that are covered by the military. Sorry for all the begginer questions, but I have realized while deployed how much I love this lifestyle. I would like to carry it into the civilian life also. Thanks again for all the help.

    SGT Andrews
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  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by china2u View Post
    To begin with, you can't sit for an ISSA exam without a pre-requisite 4 year degree, preferably in the health/science arena. And I agree, it is open book, but I chose to do closed book as well. I also studied for the NSCA's CSCS examination, and even tho the exam is overseen by a proctor, I didn't detect much difference in the level of difficulty between their exam and the study material for the ISSA exams. And at the end of the day, if you cheat, you're not only cheating yourself, but your clients as well. I took NESTA's self study course for a Bio Mechanics specialist certification, and failed it two times before I passed. It was extremely difficult, and even tho you studied on your own, if you didn't know the material, they were not going to pass you. I take pride in each and every certification that I have, and I'll put myself up against the best of the best when it comes to training. Anybody, anywhere.
    I'm pretty sure you don't need a 4 year degree for ISSA.
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    Originally Posted by Young-n-Ready View Post
    Sorry it has been awhile since I've been on. We just got back from a mission. I want to thank everyone for the great advice. I still have a few questions though if you all don't mind. First I should say that I am going with ISSA because it is the only one fully covered by the military. So my questions are, do I need a 4 year degree to get a job at the gym back home or will come certs do the trick? Also, what other certs would you recommend to go with the PT cert? They offer about 6 others that are covered by the military. Sorry for all the begginer questions, but I have realized while deployed how much I love this lifestyle. I would like to carry it into the civilian life also. Thanks again for all the help.

    SGT Andrews
    You don't need a 4 year degree to get a job, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
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  17. #17
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    The one thing I did find as a negative of sorts for ISSA is that there is no unified theory for nutrition.

    The info on nutrition in the CFT text often contradicts what is found in the SFN book. To me, they should, like the anatomy section, tell you the same thing.
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    Not ncca accredited=worthless
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    It's a good cert if you plan on being an independent trainer... But most chain gyms look for NASM, ACE, or a 4 year degree. I finished my ISSA cert a while back and am going through NASM right now to fill my remaining hours since leaving Kaiser Permanente back in September.
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  20. #20
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    good enough for what? lol . I have 3 from them and no respect for them. They've helped having them though. They're largely accepted just not largely respected. lol.
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  21. #21
    Registered User MickStewartCFT's Avatar
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    Young-and-Ready: to answer your questions about ISSA - no you do not need to have a four year degree. If you choose to go with ISSA go for the CFT and Specialist in Sports Nurtition (SSN) certifications. The price is economical and I think ISSA's written requirements are excellent. Good luck with your cert. However, realize that most gyms will not accept ISSA!

    I was an ISSA-Certified trainer for several years; they were never accepted by the main gyms here in Houston, then again ... I've seen some of the trainers with the "major certifications" and I can't say I would spend my hard-earned cash to be under their tutelage. I've trained clients next to them, I have trained UNDER them and I have been trained BY them. No thanks ...

    ISSA has a good program, but they, like the other cert org's are a business geared toward making insane amounts on "re-certification", CECs, etc. I am not a fan of certification because you must "re-certify" and chase down CECs. For nurses and doctors, fine. PFTs and CFTs need to journey-apprentice, not shell out $5k for a NASM or ACE certification then re-cert at some abomidable fee. Its a racket plain and simple.

    Personal Training takes at least ten (10) solid years of hard-nosed, in-their-face work with the SAME clients (within a 2-3 year stretch) to really get to know your craft. Not a "quickie" after college. The worst trainers I have ever watched were Master's level "clinicians" who had a myriad of post nominals, certifications, and titles. They chased clients away trying to impress upon them need to understand the molecular breakdown of a fatty acid. I cannot tell you how many abortions walked through the door with that mindset .. and its not getting any better. I've seen enough of these over-educated zealots to know one thing: stay away from me.

    I will hire the UN-certificed 45-year old guy at the gym who is ripped, in shape and understands how to *TALK* to human beings ... not listen to a steroid-fueled pimp or a Hooters-looking, big-boobed fake bimbette whose looking to get nailed by her next unsuspecting client.

    My suggestion: READ eveyrthing you can find on bodybuilding, weight-lifting and nutrition, and then go out and FAIL. Build your clientele, have them quit, make mistakes, make progress, .. and LEARN your craft. BUY everything on VINCE GIRONDA you can find ... and study his techniques.

    In time, you will become a solid personal trainer.

    The problem today is: with the growth of the nanny state under the goofballs on Capital Hill, good, solid, learned PRIVATE instruction will end when *Everyone* must be certified through a national agency. And when that day comes, I will quit.

    Regards,
    Mick
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  22. #22
    Bdw4 bartwaldon's Avatar
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    Haha

    Originally Posted by BC02 View Post
    Not ncca accredited=worthless
    Actually it's the other way around partner. NCCA is NOT even recognized by the US Department of Education. ISSA is the ONLY fitness certification that is recognized and can be transferred toward a degree in exercise science. Not to mention the authors have FAR more accomplishments than any other cert. They have certified more than any of the "top" fitness organizations. Notice how ISSA is the only fitness certification website ending with ".edu"?? That's because they actually put you through learning experiences instead of preparing you for a multiple choice test that is practically worthless in promoting critical thinking and program development. ISSA exams are very challenging especially when you get into their specialized certifications. For my SSC exam I've typed up nearly 30 pages of program development and essays along with an instructional DVD. It forces me to re-read the book as well as independently research constantly. Passing a 100 question multiple choice test in my opinion isn't enough to qualify.
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  23. #23
    Registered User carl.c's Avatar
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    bartwalden: Sounds like your quoting the sales pitch from the ISSA web sight. I like the ISSA cert it looks fairly soild but it in no way beats the top 4 *****.
    thoughts two. As far a a major college taking the cert a cerdit towards a degree no college I know of takes any cert as cerdit.
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    Hahaha

    Originally Posted by carl.c View Post
    bartwalden: Sounds like your quoting the sales pitch from the ISSA web sight. I like the ISSA cert it looks fairly soild but it in no way beats the top 4 *****.
    thoughts two. As far a a major college taking the cert a cerdit towards a degree no college I know of takes any cert as cerdit.
    There is no "best" certification. I personally think that DETC accredation is much beter than NCCA due to the fact that DETC accredited organizations can legitimately call themselves a school or college. There is WAY too much hype with the whole certification thing. NO ONE GIVES A CRAP AS LONG AS YOU HAVE A SOLID REPUTATION! Find the one that best fits your budget and personality IMO. Unless you're certified by EVERY organization you can't say you have the best certification.
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  25. #25
    Registered User carl.c's Avatar
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    Young-an-Ready: We have gotten off topic sorry: If you can get the ISSA cert payed for by the military do it. The cert is not bad and is gaining in reconition.
    On a side note what other ***** will they pay for?
    bartwaldon: You relize your talking about two very diffrent orginizations and what they do? NCAA accredidation is about athletic performance and and skill development. SO when they reconize a cert it means that cert meets their minumum standards in terms of development and knowledge the trainer should have. The DETC is only about distance learning and the standards for edeucation over the internet or mail order cources, has nothing to do with development of athlets and the things a trainer needs to know when training an athlet.
    As far as the cert overrated thing its an old tired argument, thoughts who have the upper ***** and education understand the value of having the cert thoughts who don't think a cert is over rated the two shall never agree on the topic. This is not to say every one with an upper cert or education is a better trainer since one can prove anything with one exsample as in other profetional fields there are bad practioners and good practioners.
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    Well put

    Originally Posted by carl.c View Post
    Young-an-Ready: We have gotten off topic sorry: If you can get the ISSA cert payed for by the military do it. The cert is not bad and is gaining in reconition.
    On a side note what other ***** will they pay for?
    bartwaldon: You relize your talking about two very diffrent orginizations and what they do? NCAA accredidation is about athletic performance and and skill development. SO when they reconize a cert it means that cert meets their minumum standards in terms of development and knowledge the trainer should have. The DETC is only about distance learning and the standards for edeucation over the internet or mail order cources, has nothing to do with development of athlets and the things a trainer needs to know when training an athlet.
    As far as the cert overrated thing its an old tired argument, thoughts who have the upper ***** and education understand the value of having the cert thoughts who don't think a cert is over rated the two shall never agree on the topic. This is not to say every one with an upper cert or education is a better trainer since one can prove anything with one exsample as in other profetional fields there are bad practioners and good practioners.
    Well put, but for the money I would like my "education" to actually go towards a degree. I spent alot of money and want the most for it. ISSA is making a new division in which you can obtain your degree in exercise science. When? "supposedly" this year but who knows. I almost wish that there was only one certifying agency, then no one would be defending their credentials against the opposing side! Haha Btw why does ACSM call themselves a college when they are clearly not?? Is it a college without students or something?
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  27. #27
    Registered User Ronin4help's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bartwaldon View Post
    Well put, but for the money I would like my "education" to actually go towards a degree. I spent alot of money and want the most for it. ISSA is making a new division in which you can obtain your degree in exercise science. When? "supposedly" this year but who knows. I almost wish that there was only one certifying agency, then no one would be defending their credentials against the opposing side! Haha Btw why does ACSM call themselves a college when they are clearly not?? Is it a college without students or something?
    I wouldn't hold my breath.
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    Haha

    Originally Posted by Ronin4help View Post
    I wouldn't hold my breath.
    Thanks for answering my question?? Haha
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  29. #29
    Registered User Romantic1983's Avatar
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    I am with bartwaldon completely

    There are a number of certifications to choose from. Im sure most have good merit. I personally with ISSA fitness nutrition because it is the only one recognized by the department of education; hence the edu point. So? Obviously DOE recognized distance learning and regular degrees/certifications? I dont understand playing up the distance learning point. Most of these certifications are just that. In the fitness/training world, my opinion its probably in the top 5 (probably not top 3). I am not, however, looking to be a full on trainer or something along those lines. I want to learn something (the studying has been intense) and prepare me for getting a dietician masters so that I can become a Registered Dietican. I am fully confident I made the right choice. I may get other certifications from NCAA recognized certifications. but they would be down the line.
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