If you’re looking into becoming a certified personal trainer (PT), you might have run into a bit of an issue tryingWhat Kind of Personal Training Certification is to figure out what the best kind of certification program is for you and your personal goals. And it’s not an easy decision to make, as each of the certification programs and exams come with pros and cons that all need to be considered.
It’s possible that your top choices have a few too many things in common with each other and you just can’t make up your mind.
Are you trying to figure out what the key differences are between the Certified Strength and Conditioning
Specialist (CSCS) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE) certification programs? And have you had the opportunity to properly consider the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) certification program?
Have all of these been on your radar as far as good choices? Or are there other ones that have been top contenders for your potential future career path as well? How different are all of these in terms of how you’ll need to prepare? And how differently intense are all of the prerequisites you’ll need to consider? Ultimately, what is the best personal trainer certification for you?
Consider the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) Certification Program
More popularly known as the CSCS, this certification program is pretty well-known in the health, fitness, and sports science industries. It’s also put into strong consideration for those who want to ultimately be personal trainers for professional athletes with top profiles. And in terms of that goal, the CSCS might be the best personal trainer certification.
However, unless your goal is to train professional athletes and be responsible for another person’s career and livelihood, you might have a bit of a difficult time trying to even enroll in a learning program for the CSCS. And that’s the case because the CSCS program for personal trainer certification requires some pretty significant prerequisites before you can register.
In particular, you’ll need to get a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Science or a related program in order to be considered for enrollment. That means that you’ll actually need to dedicate a few years of your time, as well as a significant amount of money, in order to take care of the college-level requirements.
Additionally, the CSCS only gives you a very short amount of time to prepare. Once you enroll, you only have about 120 days or four months to register for the exam and complete the certification test, which is pretty short in comparison to most other certification programs.
However, if you already have a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Science and you really want to become a personal trainer, the CSCS could also be the best personal trainer certification program for you. This is largely because, in comparison to the base prices for most other programs, the CSCS is one of the least expensive.
Research the American Council on Exercise Certification for Personal Training (ACE-CPT)
You might also want to consider the ACE-CPT if you’d like to become a certified personal trainer. It’s also considered a pretty difficult exam to pass, like the CSCS. However, the pass rate for the ACE is slightly higher than the pass rate for the CSCS (65% versus 63%).
Additionally, while the ACE exam is one of the longer tests on this list, it also seems like it has the lowest barrier to entry. Why is this the case? In particular, anyone can become certified through the ACE exam as long as they are willing to pay for a certified study package, learn the material, and then pass the exam.
In comparison to the other certifications on this list, the ACE comes with the fewest prerequisites, meaning it might be the easiest course for you to access if you have limited experience with health.
However, if you like the limited barrier to entry and would like to become a certified personal trainer, the ACE might be the best personal trainer certification program for you.
Check Out the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certification Program
The NASM is one of the best-accredited certification programs that you can take, and it prides itself in providing information that is as scientifically accurate as possible for its students and future personal trainers.
In addition to the NASM being one of the most highly-respected PT certifications you can get, it’s also thought to be one of the most fiscally lucrative programs you can access. However, it comes with a couple of prerequisites that must be completed before you can attempt the exam.
In particular, you must have a high school diploma or GED, be Automated External Defibrillator (AED) certified, and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) certified before you can take the exam. While you don’t necessarily need to be CPR and AED certified before you register for the exam, you must be certified in both of these before you can be NASM certified.
If you already are CPR or AED certified, and you are interested in being scientifically accurate in your PT career, the NASM program may be the best personal trainer certification for you and your goals.