Monday, August 25, 2014

How to Become a Personal Trainer: Certifications

Becoming a personal trainer can open the door to an incredibly fulfilling career. Getting started, however, can be confusing. Not only are there over 300 fitness certifications on the market, there's a lot of different routes to take on this career path. Some of the most common questions include: What personal training certifications do I need? Which fitness certifications are the best? How long will it take to become a certified personal trainer?

FitMeNow was created by personal trainers for personal trainers. We know the steps to take and the hurdles you may face as you embark on a career in the fitness industry. And because we’ve gone through the wringer, we want to help you … starting with the most popular personal training certifications to start your career.

Featured Certification #1: American Council on Exercise (ACE)

ACE Fitness Certifications feature four NCCA-accredited certifications: Personal Training, Group Fitness Instruction, Health Coaching, and Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist. ACE has also created subsets of these certifications that focus on specific health and fitness areas. If you’re interested in serving a certain demographic (think youth or senior) or a specific training focus (like sports conditioning), this is where you will find those tailored curricula.

Ensuring your fitness certification is widely recognized and respected is paramount. Just as you wouldn’t want to get a college degree from an unaccredited university, you don’t want to work hard for a training certificate just to have it ignored. According to the their website, “earning an ACE certification means more than meeting an industry standard by both the NCCA and the European Health and Fitness Association (EHFA).” With ACE, you can have peace of mind that your certification is recognized and you will be a great candidate for fitness clubs, personal training gyms and more. When you complete your training certificate, you also join the ranks of over 50,000 NCCA-accredited fitness professionals.

The American Council on Exercise has three tiers of study programs:
  1. The Standard ($599), 
  2. Premium ($699) 
  3. Premium Plus ($799). 
The main difference being, not surprisingly, what is included. The Premium Plus is going to include extras like the manual study companion and exam and re-exam vouchers. ACE also offers discounted programs and scholarships for honorably discharged veterans.

The certification process typically takes 12 weeks, and culminates in a computer-based or pencil-and-paper test. Testers must be 18 years or older. ACE also requires certificate holders complete 20 hours of continuing education programs every two years to recertify.

For more information on the various ACE personal training certifications, visit

Follow us on Facebook and stay tuned for more tips and information on personal training certification including the National Academy of Sports Medicine, National Strength and Conditioning Association and International Sports Sciences Association.

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