Bryan University Logo

What Type of Personal Training Certificate is Best?

To start working as a personal trainer, you need to be certified. There are many different personal training certifications available, with the National Academy of Sports Medicine serving as one of the best for new trainers joining the industry. 

If everyone around you is always complimenting your passion and commitment to working out, it may be worthwhile to find out how you can turn your love for the health and fitness industry into a full-time career. Working as a personal trainer can not only be life-changing for you, but every day you’ll be making a big impact in the lives of others. 

Keep reading to learn about the difference between personal training certifications available. 

What is a Personal Trainer? 

If you’ve come this far, then it’s evident that a career as a personal trainer is right for you! But what exactly is a personal trainer? 

A personal trainer is someone that creates exercise programs for both individuals and groups to help them meet their fitness goals. As an expert in their field, a personal trainer is a valued employee at a number of different facilities, including gyms and health clubs/centers. They can work independently, owning their own studio, or on a contractual basis. 

What Does a Personal Trainer Do? 

As briefly mentioned above, a personal trainer creates exercise plans for people. These exercise plans are designed to meet clients where they are and gradually elevate them to get where they want to be. The most important aspect of this, however, is analyzing each client’s current health conditions and fitness/physical levels. 

No two personal training plans are the same, so trainers create something that’s unique for each individual, not what is believed to work the best. It is up to the personal trainer to continually monitor their client’s progress and make adjustments, as needed. 

In addition to creating these effective fitness plans, personal trainers will also demonstrate how to safely use gym equipment, inform clients about proper gym hygiene, and stay up-to-date on all the latest developments within the fitness industry. 

What Are the Differences in Personal Training Certifications? 

Every day, personal trainers get to do what they love and that, in itself, creates an incredibly rewarding career. However, to get started, you should get certified. 

While the goal of a personal training certification is the same (to demonstrate your knowledge of the industry), there are some notable differences between them. Here’s a list of several of the personal training certs available and what they specialize in:

National Academy of Sports Medicine 

A certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) is beneficial for those that are new to the industry, and is the certification included with Bryan University’s Personal Trainer Undergraduate Certificate. It is a 10-week course that offers a guided study, so beginner personal trainers get a feel for what their day-to-day will look like once they branch out on their own. 

Best of all, one of the major factors that beginner personal trainers love about this course is that the support doesn’t end upon completion. Instead, the National Academy of Sports Medicine helps personal trainers find a job. 

In order to be eligible for certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine, you must have either a high school diploma or GED, as well as current CPR and AED certifications.

International Sports Sciences Association 

A certification from the International Sports Sciences Association, or ISSA, is ideal for individuals who want to work as a personal trainer at their local gym. 

This certification demonstrates expertise in both overall fitness and bodybuilding for those considered to be “non-athlete” adults. Those interested in an ISSA certification will have four months to complete all of their coursework, but they don’t have to wait to take the test. 

National Council on Strength and Fitness

Let’s say you love working out but you also have a little bit of wanderlust. With a certification from the National Council on Strength and Fitness, or NCSF, you can satisfy your desire for both, as this certification allows you to work outside of the United States. In fact, an NCSF certification can be used in 83 countries, so you have your pick on where you’d like to work. 

This kind of certification is also beneficial for those that have future goals of opening up their own personal training company, as it will allow you to expand in different areas, furthering your reach. 

While this is not an exhaustive list of all the types of personal training certifications available, it gives you an idea of the difference in personal training certifications. 

Before signing up for a program, it’s always wise to do your homework to compare personal training certs, since the one you get can have a big impact on your employment opportunities moving forward. 

What is the Best Personal Training Certificate to Earn? 

After you compare personal training certificates, you may still be left wondering what type is best. Is there one that’s best? There are several schools of thought on this. 

What are your Needs?

In terms of determining what type is best, it all comes down to what your needs are. For example, if you’re just starting out in the industry, then a certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine is best because it is specifically designed to give new trainers all the tools they need to succeed, both during the program and upon completion. 

Will you Train Domestically or Internationally? Or Both?

In regards to both worldwide recognition and one that prepares personal trainers to pursue a career in the medical field later on, then a certification from the American College of Sports Medicine is best. 

Determining the best personal training cert to earn comes down to what your plans are in the future. That being said, the best personal training cert to earn is one that can be done on your time and from an accredited institution, like Bryan University

Why Get Certified?

Holding a certification demonstrates to clients and employers that you are an expert in the industry, and furthermore, can perform the functions of a personal trainer easily and correctly.

And, with a projected 11% in growth in 2023, there is likely to be more competition for those that want to work as personal trainers. Having this certification is a helpful way to stand out from other applicants in the eyes of an employer. 

There’s no denying that holding certification as a personal trainer is beneficial, however, before you get certified, you need to know the difference in personal training certifications so you can identify which is the right one for you. 

Jumpstart Your Career as a Personal Trainer With Bryan University!

Bryan University makes it easy to jumpstart your career as a certified personal trainer! Our Personal Training Certificate is aligned with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, so you’ll be able to get valuable online training and job placement assistance from the finest industry experts in the nation. 

At Bryan University, we set you up for success by offering study modules to help you prepare for certification exams, as well as track your progress, and gain valuable feedback to start working as a personal trainer. 

When you study to become a personal trainer at Bryan University, you will learn everything from nutrition, group exercise instruction, gym operations, anatomy, and so much more to help you succeed.

Request info about our Personal Training Undergraduate  Certificate today to get started in this rewarding and fast-growing industry. 

Request information

And Get a FREE Career Brochure
Return to Bryan Newsroom