AFAA Personal Trainer Certification Review

AFAA stands for Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. AFAA personal trainer certification is a fast way to get certification, and the entire certification process can be done completely online. 

Though it may seem like the easiest route to becoming a personal trainer, there are both negatives and positives to receiving personal trainer certification through the AFAA online course. Review them below before deciding where to obtain your certification.

AFAA Certification Requirements

It is always tempting to take what seems like the easiest or cheapest road.

Some people think that once they receive certification as a personal trainer they can find a job and then work on increasing their training and knowledge as the advance in their career.

This is not always the case. Many gyms look at how you became certified as well as what certification you have.

AFAA certification can be done completely online.

Once you register you can complete online activities that correspond with what is being discussed in the textbook.

After this, you take the exam and, if you pass, you are AFAA certified as a personal trainer.

It seems easy but there are a few things to understand about these requirements.

Reviewers of the program and current students comment that the test is very difficult if the only experience you have is interaction with the textbook.

Practical experience questions are numerous and if you have never taken your training into a gym, you could be in trouble.

You may wonder how you can get practical experience if you don’t have your certification. Most gyms or weight training facilities will allow you to follow a personal trainer for a day if you are registered for a certification class. This can help immensely.

Even one day of practical training will help you to better answer questions on the exam.

The lack of practicality is the major drawback to completing a certification completely online. The cost is $149 with an additional $59 cost for the textbook. If you fail the exam, there is also a retesting fee that applies each time you need to retake the exam.

Alternatives to the Online AFAA Certification

Online courses do not work for all learning styles. It is important to understand what your learning style is before signing up for any online course.

You have to be self-disciplined and be able to seat at a computer and focus for long periods of time.

You also have to be disciplined enough to read the textbook on your own. For many people who love to workout and enjoy movement, this can be a challenge!

If the online approach doesn’t work for you, there are other AFAA certification options available for you.

AFAA certification can be obtained by attending a three day workshop. The cost is significantly higher at $469 in addition to the $59 textbook cost; however, you will receive person to person instruction.

You can then take the test at the end of the workshop and many people pass it right away. You can also wait to take the test until you have additional time to study, and retake the test if you do fail. The workshop allows you to have some practical training as well.

The three day workshop, however, is very long and intense. If you choose to go this route, be prepared for a lot of work and a lot of information in a short amount of time. If you have not had any practical personal trainer experience or gym experience, this is definitely the preferred way to go.

How to Get the Most Out of Your AFAA Personal Trainer Certification Experience

Since the test is so difficult, and even taking the course as a workshop can be challenging, it is recommended to take the Online Exam Prep Course.

This course is taken before the testing. It has over 750 practice questions, and if you get some questions wrong, they tell you specifically why you got them wrong so you can readjust your thinking.

It also includes quizzes and practice tests as well as one on one contact via online chat or e-mail with instructors.

This course costs $32.95 but it comes with a guarantee that you will pass the exam or your money back.

It is a good investment for those who have been away from school for awhile or those who have trouble testing.

As a personal trainer, you will need a good program to track clients workouts and scale your business over time. does not sell the Online Exam Prep Course but simply promotes the course as an option for aspiring trainers.

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