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40+ Best Personal Trainer Continuing Education Courses in 2024

40+ Best Personal Trainer Continuing Education Courses in 2024

Compare the best personal trainer continuing education courses from ACE, NASM, ACSM, NSCA, ISSA, and more.

Best Personal Trainer Continuing Education Courses

Continuing education for personal trainers is an important reality of holding any of the best personal trainer certifications. You can find free continuing education for personal trainers if you know where to look, so use our guide to free fitness CEUs and CECs so that you can find the best continuing education for fitness professionals that won’t break the bank.

Read on for a list of more than 40 popular online CEUs and CECs for certified personal trainers (CPT) on a variety of health, fitness, and nutrition topics. Then see how the best personal training software can help you take your personal training business to the next level.

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Best Continuing Education Courses for Personal Trainers

Here’s what you need to know about finding the best personal trainer continuing education courses online.

  • Certified Personal Trainers (CPTs) must obtain continuing education credits to maintain their certification.
  • Many professional organizations offer a variety of different CEU or CEC courses in various formats.
  • It’s important for personal trainers to know how many CEUs or CECs are required from your certifying organization and the length of time to obtain them
  • Learn about 40 popular CEU and CEC courses offered by seven reputable organizations.

Continuing Education Credits (CECs) or Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are required for recertification for all certified personal trainers (CPTs). This is important because professionals must stay up to speed in their field and continue to learn new and updated information in the areas of health, fitness, nutrition, and wellness.

ACSM developed a chart to compare the difference in these five common continuing education personal training certification requirements.

Accredited by NCCAYesYesYesYesNo
For-profit or NonprofitNonprofitNonprofitNonprofitFor-profitFor-profit
CECs or CEUs (contact hours) Required45 (every three years)20 (every two years)60 (every three years)20 (every two years)20 (every two years)
Year Established19541985197819871988
Exam Cost$349$399$435$599$599+
Exam Retake Cost$175$199$435$199First retake free then $50
Recertification Cost$45 (every three years)$129 (every two years)$75 (every three years)$99 (every two years)$99 (every two years)

There are a variety of different formats for CEU and CEC courses to get continuing education credits for personal trainers. There are online videos with quizzes, journal articles with quizzes, recorded presentations, specializations, certificate programs, textbooks or e-texts with quizzes, and live courses.

Some fitness continuing education organizations offer discounts on CEU or CEC courses to their members and some organizations offer sales or specials. There are also opportunities for complimentary CEUs or CECs or free offerings on occasion, so keep a lookout for those.

Continuing Education Courses Overview

There are various ways to earn continuing education units or continuing education credits. One way is by attending local, national, or international conferences. It is important to make sure to attend conferences that offer CEUs or CECs for the certifying organization and to attend the sessions that offer CEUs or CECs as some conferences may have sessions that do not offer CEUs or CECs for attendance.

Other ways to earn CEUs or CECs are by taking college or university courses in health, fitness, nutrition, or wellness, getting an additional or another certification, obtaining a fitness specialization or certificate, reading and taking quizzes from articles or newsletters, or participating in organizational committees.

One of the easiest ways to earn CEUs or CECs is by taking continuing education courses online. The great thing about these courses is that they can be taken from the comfort of your home at any time. There are no travel expenses and no need to take time off away from training your clients.

The required number of CECs or CEUs varies by each professional organization. Here are five of the most popular CPT certifications and how many CEUs or CECs each requires.

  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certified Personal Trainers must obtain 45 CECs (45 hours) every three years.
  • American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certified Personal Trainers must obtain 2.0 CECs (20 hours) every two years for recertification.
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainers must obtain 2.0 CEUs (20 hours) every two years for recertification.
  • The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) does their CEUs a little differently than other organizations for Certified Personal Trainers. They categorize each three-year period into a reporting period, so the current reporting period is for 2018, 2019, and 2020. The amount of CEUs needed varies depending on when you received your certification. For example, if you were certified before 2018, you need to obtain 6.0 (60 hours) of CEUs between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2020. Those who were certified during 2018 would need 4.0 CEUs (40 hours) and those certified during 2019 need 2.0 (20 hours) CEUs by December 31, 2020.
  • International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) Certified Personal Trainers must obtain 20 hours of CEUs every two years for recertification.

Here are 40 of the most popular online continuing education courses for certified personal trainers. Some courses may count only for that organization’s CEUs or CECs, but some courses may count for outside organizations too.

Before you purchase a course, make sure it is approved for CEUs or CECs for your certifying organization and comes from a reputable organization.

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) CEC courses

Industry Presented Webinar: Protein Myths vs. Facts: What Active Individuals Need to Know About Protein Intake, Timing and More

This webinar costs $20 and counts for 2.0 CECs (2 hours). The webinar is all about protein myths, protein needs, distribution of protein throughout the day, the timing of protein intake, and types of protein for active individuals.

Coaching HIIT – A Practical Approach to Programming

This course is $200, counts for 10.0 CECs (10 hours), and covers the basics of HIIT programming, how trainers can help prepare their clients for HIIT programming, correct exercise technique for HIIT, and coaching cues for HIIT. There is also a demonstration of common exercises, such as squats and push-ups along with common mistakes and how to correct them.

ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal: CEC Course Quiz Bundle

This quiz bundle costs $60 but is discounted to $28.20 for ACSM members. It counts for 8.0 CECs (8 hours) and includes four topics:

  • EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) facts
  • Aquatic exercise for health
  • Hydration for ultra-endurance distance athletes
  • Partnering with health care settings to increase physical activity promotion

ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal: CEC Course #4: Revisiting Heart Rate Target Zones Through the Lens of Wearable Technology

This journal course is $32 but is discounted to $15.04 for ACSM members. It counts for 2.0 CECs (2 hours) and discusses monitoring heart rate during exercise using wearable devices and a discussion about heart rate reserve vs. percent of maximal heart rate to monitor intensity during aerobic exercises.

ACSM’s International Health & Fitness Summit Video CEC: Farm to Fork to Fitness Professional

This video CEC is $60 and counts for 3.0 CECs (3 hours). This is a video recording from the 2019 Summit on farming, agriculture, sustainability, and marketing label claims. This includes information on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides used in agriculture.

ACSM Industry Presented Webinar Bundle

This webinar bundle costs $100 and counts for 10.0 CECs (10 hours). The five webinars are:

  • Myth-busting and scientific information about dairy products
  • Protein myths vs. facts and all about protein intake and timing
  • Carbohydrates: Are they essential or obsolete?
  • Nutrition for performance: Theory and effective practice guidelines
  • Wearable technology to understand acceleration and heart rate data

EXOS Presents: Medicine Ball

Currently, this course is being offered for free and counts for 0.5 CECs (0.5 hours). This course discusses how to integrate medicine balls into training to improve performance and decrease the risk of injury. Specific emphasis will be on instruction, error identification and correction, and cueing.

You can find all of ACSM’s continuing education courses on their website.

American Council on Exercise (ACE) CEC courses

ACE IFT Model: Personal Training Program Design

This course is free, counts for 0.1 CEC (1 hour), and is a good general blueprint on how to design exercise programs that improve posture, flexibility, muscular fitness, cardiorespiratory endurance, and balance for all ages.

Improving Wellness Through Behavior Change

This course costs $24.95, counts for 0.3 CECs (3 hours), and discusses techniques and strategies to help clients establish healthy habits. Specific topics include strength in numbers, coaching clients with chronic pain, and weight management behaviors.

Applying Nutrition Principles

This course is priced at $24.95, counts for 0.3 CECs (3 hours), and discusses nutrition coaching, nutritional balance, and helping clients make better eating choices when participating in fitness activities.

The Key to a Successful and Effective Client Consultation

This course costs $19.95, counts for 0.1 CEC (1 hour), and emphasizes planning and preparation strategies for effective consultations with clients. Strategies for active listening, identifying the needs of the client, and the development of a script for consultations will be covered.

Active Aging: Your Guide to Training a Booming Population

This course costs $19.95, counts for 0.1 CEC (1 hour), and is all about aging – the five types of aging, special considerations, and how to design workout programs and protocols for Baby Boomers.

Athletic Performance for Sport and Life

This course costs $19.95, counts for 0.1 CEC (1 hour), and focuses on the science of athletic movement and how to improve athletic performance. It includes information on the science of athletic movement, drills, and the four pillars of athletic performance.

Busy Days Call for HIIT

This course costs $19.95, counts for 0.1 CEC (1 hour), and discusses HIIT workouts, the difference between HIIT and Tabata methods, designing an effective warm-up, and how to create interval-based workouts for all clients.

Small-Group Training Workshop

This course costs $129, counts for 0.5 CECs (5 hours), and discusses building a successful small group training program. Topics such as the benefits of small group training, how to create a challenging program, and progressions/regressions for small group training.

You can find all of ACE’s continuing education courses on their website.

Human Kinetics Continuing Education

Strength Band Training

For this course, you will need to purchase a package containing both an e-text and continuing education exam for $59, or the physical text and exam for $69. This course counts for 0.5 CEUs or CECs (5 hours) for most organizations, but counts for 0.4 CEUs for NSCA CPTs. The topic of this course focuses on using strength bands, or resistance bands, for strength and flexibility. The text contains assessments, exercises (with pictures), working with older adults, and 27 different workout programs.

Complete Guide to Foam Rolling

For this course, you will need to purchase a package containing both an e-text and continuing education exam for $69, or the physical text and exam for $79. This course counts for 0.8 CEUs or CECs (8 hours) and covers everything you need to know about foam rolling. There is information on the benefits, equipment, performance enhancement, recovery and rehabilitation, and 27 foam-rolling techniques.

Sports Supplements

For this course, you will need to purchase a package containing both an e-text and continuing education exam for $119, or the physical text and exam for $129. This course counts for 0.8 CEUs or CECs (8 hours) and covers 120 supplements used in sports and exercise. The book discusses how the supplement works, as well as the benefits, research, dosages, and health concerns of supplements. The text would be a good reference book for personal trainers.

Practical Yoga for Personal Trainers

This course counts for 2.20 CECs for ACE, 22.0 CECs for ACSM, 22.0 CEUs for ISSA, 0.9 CEUs for NSCA, and 1.90 CEUs for NASM. It costs $239 which includes the workbook and continuing education exam. This course covers yoga for active individuals, including sport-specific recommendations, 50 yoga poses, breathing and meditation techniques, and how to customize yoga programs for clients.

Kettlebell Training

This course counts for 1.70 CECs for ACE, 17.0 CECs for ACSM, 17.0 CEUs for ISSA, 1.20 CEUs for NSCA, and 1.70 CEUs for NASM and costs $179 which includes the text, online video, study guide, and continuing education exam. This course introduces 95 kettlebell exercises to improve strength, endurance, balance, and coordination. Instructions, common errors, corrections, tips, and safety information is included with the exercises. A study guide is included that has clips of 43 common exercises with proper technique and form.

You can find all of Human Kinetics continuing education offerings via their website.

IDEA Health & Fitness Association Continuing Education

– It Takes Guts! Connecting the Brain, Diet, and Microbiome

This course costs $64 ($59 for IDEA members) and counts for 0.1 CECs (1 hour). This course focuses on the connection between the gut, the brain, the microbiome, and our diet. New research-based information about how diet connects to both physical and mental health.

TriggerPoint™: Total-Body Self-Myofascial Release Certificate

This online certificate is priced at $179 and counts for 0.8 CECs (8 hours). This course discusses myofascial compression technique methods, common mobility dysfunctions, anatomy and mobility of select body regions, and how to move safely and reduce the risk for injuries.

Nutrition & Behavior Change Certificate Volume 1 and Volume 2

These are actually separate courses, but each one costs $199 and counts for 0.7 CECs (7 hours). Volume 1 covers tools, techniques, and strategies to use with clients to help transform their nutrition behaviors to meet their weight management and fitness goals. Volume 2 contains nine mini-lessons on meal prepping, mindfulness, protein, macronutrients, motivational interviewing, body clock science, current nutrition science, gut health, and a panel on sustainable weight loss.

The Death of Crunches: 20 True Core Exercises

This online video course costs $64 ($59 for IDEA members) and counts for 0.2 CECs (2 hours). This course provides a toolbox of 20 core exercises for better stability, posture, and strength.

Functional Anatomy Certificate

The cost of this course is $169 and counts for 0.7 CECs (7 hours). This course focuses on human anatomy and how muscles work together to produce movements. Assessments and corrective exercises will be shared to help connect the use of anatomy while working with clients.

IDEA Health and Fitness Association continuing education courses available on their website.

International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)

Marathon Training 101: What Every Personal Trainer Needs to Know

This online course costs $119 and counts for 0.5 CEUs (5 hours). This course covers details about marathon training, including the mental and physical aspects of training for and running a marathon. A 20-week training program to use with clients is also provided with this course.

About BCAAs

This course costs $19.95 and counts for 0.1 CEU (1 hour). This online course covers the four branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) and their role in exercise, including immunity, fatigue, protein synthesis, and other physiological effects of BCAAs.

The Personal Trainer’s Guide to Owning a Fitness Franchise

This online course costs $69 and counts for 0.5 CEUs (5 hours). This course covers many details about owning a fitness franchise, including financing, how to operate a facility, the obligations of franchise owners, and how to be a successful business owner. Participants will also receive a confidential report of 46 different fitness franchise comparison details.

Hormones and Exercise Part 1: What Every Professional Trainer Should Know and Hormones and Exercise Part 2: Exercise and Training Effects

Each one of these courses costs $120 and offers 0.3 CEUs (3 hours). Part 1 discusses how hormones affect exercise, including information about testosterone and insulin and how these hormones relate to chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Part 2 covers the exercise effects on the endocrine system, how testosterone and growth hormone are affected by strength training, immune function, and the “exercise high” and how that relates to hormones.

All of the continuing education credits offered by ISSA are available on their website.

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) CEU courses

Ultimate Cardio Trainer

This course costs $97 and counts for 0.6 CEUs (6 hours). This topic is focused on cardiorespiratory training to improve both weight management and sports performance. Also included are cardiorespiratory fitness assessments, determining improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness, and program design for fitness and sports performance.

Balance Training

This course costs $49, counts for 0.3 CEUs (3 hours), and covers 100 exercises for enhancing balance and stability. Also covered are balance assessments and balance training progressions in exercise programs.

Women’s Fitness Specialization

This specialization course costs $299, counts for 1.3 CEUs (13 hours), and covers in-depth training considerations for women of all ages, including exercise and fitness, nutrition, and weight management.

Core Training

This course costs $49, counts for 0.3 CEUs (3 hours), and discusses core stabilization exercises using a variety of different equipment such as stability balls, foam rollers, cables, and medicine balls.

Flexibility Training

This course costs $49, counts for 0.3 CEUs (3 hours), and emphasizes designing effective and safe stretching programs and an explanation of four different stretching techniques to improve performance and decrease the risk for injury.

Senior Fitness Specialization

This course is priced at $199, counts for 1.0 CEUs (10 hours), and discusses detailed exercise program design for older adults, including limitations, fall risks, medical conditions in older adults, and other aging considerations. The aging process and fitness obstacles in seniors.

NASM also offers twelve specializations, which count for CEUs. These specializations include sports performance, nutrition, weight loss, behavior change, youth, women, seniors, and more. All of NASM’s continuing education courses are available on their website.

National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) CEU online journal quizzes

Foundations of Fitness Programming

This class is priced at $40 for non-members and $30 for NSCA members. It counts for 0.3 CEUs (3 hours) and provides recommendations and tools from science on the components of fitness programming, including progression, specificity, and meeting the client’s goals.

Special Population Considerations

This class is priced at $40 for non-members and $30 for NSCA members. It counts for 0.3 CEUs (3 hours) and covers unique considerations for exercisers with Type 2 diabetes, neurological disorders, hypertension, and osteoporosis.

Coaching Your Athletes and Clients Through the Maze of Fad Diets

This course is priced at $30 for non-members and $20 for NSCA members. It counts for 0.2 CEUs (2 hours) and discusses the pros and cons of fad diets, how fad diets can affect training, successful dieting strategies, and resources for assisting clients in meeting their weight management goals.

Nutrition for Athletes Bundle

This course is priced at $60 for non-members and $50 for NSCA members. It counts for 0.5 CEUs (5 hours) and covers five different nutrition topics. Those topics are nutrition supplementation for body composition, aerobic training, and strength; alcohol and exercise; nighttime feeding; and recovery nutrition for high school athletes.

Personal Trainer Business Clinic

This course is priced at $60 for non-members and $50 for NSCA members. It counts for 0.5 CEUs (5 hours) and discusses marketing options, creating your personal brand/niche, and professionalism for personal trainers.

NSCA has continuing education courses available via its website.

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Understanding the Importance of Continuing Education for Personal Trainers

Continuing education for personal trainers goes beyond simply fulfilling professional certification requirements. It’s an opportunity to enhance your skills, deepen your knowledge, and provide exceptional service to your clients. By investing in your professional development, you not only stay updated with the latest industry trends but also demonstrate your commitment to continuous improvement.

Enhancing Skills and Knowledge

Continuing education courses offer personal trainers the chance to enhance their existing skills and acquire new ones. These courses cover a wide range of topics, including advanced training techniques, nutrition, injury prevention and rehabilitation, behavior change strategies, and more. By expanding your skill set, you can provide more value to your clients and help them achieve their fitness goals effectively and safely.

For example, imagine a personal trainer who specializes in strength training. By taking a continuing education course on functional training, they can learn how to incorporate exercises that mimic real-life movements into their clients’ workouts. This not only adds variety to their training sessions but also helps improve their clients’ overall functional fitness, making them better equipped to perform everyday tasks with ease.

Additionally, continuing education courses often provide personal trainers with the opportunity to learn from industry experts and thought leaders. These experts share their knowledge and experiences, offering valuable insights and practical tips that can be applied to real-life training scenarios. By taking advantage of these learning opportunities, personal trainers can stay at the forefront of their profession and provide the best possible service to their clients.

Staying Updated with Industry Trends

The fitness industry is constantly evolving, with new research, techniques, and trends emerging regularly. By participating in continuing education courses, personal trainers can stay updated with these developments. This knowledge allows you to offer the latest training methods and provide the highest level of service to your clients, ensuring they receive the most effective and innovative fitness programs available.

For instance, imagine a personal trainer who specializes in working with older adults. By attending a continuing education workshop on senior fitness, they can learn about the specific needs and considerations of this population. They can then apply this knowledge to design customized exercise programs that address age-related challenges, such as maintaining bone density and improving balance and flexibility.

Furthermore, staying updated with industry trends can also help personal trainers attract and retain clients. Clients are often drawn to trainers who are knowledgeable and up-to-date with the latest fitness trends. By showcasing your expertise in areas such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), functional training, or mindfulness-based exercise, you can position yourself as a trusted authority and differentiate yourself from competitors.

Meeting Professional Certification Requirements

Continuing education courses are often necessary to meet the continuing education requirements set by professional certification organizations. These requirements help maintain the integrity of professional certifications and ensure that personal trainers remain knowledgeable in their respective fields. By completing these courses, you not only fulfill your certification obligations but also demonstrate your commitment to maintaining high standards of professionalism in the industry.

Moreover, some certification organizations offer specialized continuing education programs that allow personal trainers to earn additional credentials in specific areas of interest. These credentials can further enhance your professional reputation and open up new opportunities for career advancement. For example, you may choose to pursue a certification in corrective exercise or sports nutrition, which can help you attract clients with specific needs or goals.

In conclusion, continuing education is a vital component of a personal trainer’s professional journey. It offers the chance to expand skills, stay updated with industry trends, and meet certification requirements. By investing in your ongoing development, you can provide exceptional service to your clients and position yourself as a knowledgeable and trusted professional in the fitness industry.

Exploring Different Types of Continuing Education Courses

Continuing education courses for personal trainers come in various forms. Understanding the different types can help you choose the most suitable courses based on your needs and preferences.

When it comes to continuing education for personal trainers, the options are endless. From online courses to in-person workshops, there is something for everyone. Let’s dive deeper into the different types of courses available.

Online vs. In-Person Courses

Online courses offer the convenience of learning from the comfort of your own home or gym. They often provide flexible schedules and allow you to work at your own pace. With the advancement of technology, online courses have become increasingly interactive, offering virtual classrooms and discussion boards where you can connect with instructors and fellow students.

On the other hand, in-person courses provide face-to-face interaction with instructors and fellow participants, promoting a more engaging and immersive learning experience. The ability to ask questions in real-time and receive immediate feedback is invaluable. In-person courses also offer networking opportunities, allowing you to connect with other professionals in the industry.

Choosing between online and in-person courses depends on your learning style, schedule, and preference for interaction. If you thrive in a structured environment and enjoy the energy of a classroom setting, in-person courses may be the way to go. However, if you prefer flexibility and the convenience of learning from anywhere, online courses offer a great alternative.

Specialization Courses

Specialization courses are designed to deepen your knowledge and skills in specific areas of fitness. These courses often focus on niche topics like sports performance, post-rehabilitation training, group fitness instruction, or working with specific populations such as pregnant women or seniors.

By taking specialization courses, you can expand your expertise and target a specific clientele, setting yourself apart from other personal trainers. These courses provide in-depth knowledge and practical skills that can enhance your ability to meet the unique needs of your clients. Whether you’re interested in becoming a specialist in a particular area or want to broaden your skill set, specialization courses offer a valuable opportunity for growth.

General Fitness Education Courses

General fitness education courses cover a broad range of topics and provide a well-rounded knowledge base for personal trainers. These courses typically include modules on exercise physiology, anatomy, program design, nutrition, and client assessment.

They are an excellent choice for personal trainers looking to strengthen their overall understanding of fitness principles and build a solid foundation for their careers. General fitness education courses offer a comprehensive curriculum that equips you with the knowledge and skills necessary to work with a diverse range of clients. Whether you’re just starting your career or have years of experience, these courses can help you stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and best practices.

Continuing education is an essential part of professional growth for personal trainers. It allows you to stay current with industry advancements, expand your knowledge base, and enhance your skills. Whether you choose online or in-person courses, specialize in a specific area or opt for general fitness education, investing in continuing education will undoubtedly benefit both you and your clients.

Top-Rated Continuing Education Courses for Personal Trainers

When choosing a continuing education course, several factors come into play. Look for courses that offer quality content, valuable resources, and industry recognition. Let’s explore some of the top-rated continuing education courses available for personal trainers.

Course Content and Structure

The best courses provide comprehensive and up-to-date content that is relevant to the industry. Look for courses that cover a wide range of topics and provide practical applications for your training practice. For example, some courses may delve into the latest research on exercise physiology, while others may focus on nutrition and its impact on fitness. By choosing a course with diverse content, you can expand your knowledge and expertise in various areas of personal training.

In addition to content, the structure of the course is also crucial. Ensure the course structure is well-organized and easy to follow, allowing you to absorb the information effectively. A well-structured course may include modules or units that break down the content into manageable sections, providing quizzes or assessments to reinforce your understanding of the material. By following a logical and structured course, you can maximize your learning experience and retain the information more effectively.

Cost and Duration

Consider your budget and time availability when selecting a course. Some courses may require a significant financial investment, while others may be more affordable. However, it’s important to remember that quality education often comes at a cost. Courses with higher price tags may offer more extensive resources, expert instructors, and additional support throughout your learning journey.

Similarly, the duration of the course can range from a few hours to several weeks or months. Shorter courses may provide a quick overview of a specific topic, while longer courses offer a more comprehensive exploration of multiple subjects. Choose a course that aligns with your budget and fits into your schedule without compromising quality. It’s essential to strike a balance between affordability and the depth of knowledge you wish to gain.

Accreditation and Recognition

Look for courses that are accredited by reputable organizations or recognized within the fitness industry. Accreditation ensures that the course meets certain standards and provides reliable and valuable information. By enrolling in an accredited course, you can have confidence in the quality of the content and its alignment with industry best practices.

Additionally, consider courses that offer recognized certifications upon completion, as these can enhance your credibility and career prospects. Some courses may provide certifications from well-known fitness associations, such as the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) or the American Council on Exercise (ACE). These certifications can demonstrate your commitment to professional development and may open doors to new opportunities in the personal training field.

Furthermore, courses that are recognized by employers or industry leaders can also boost your career prospects. Employers often value candidates who have completed reputable and recognized courses, as it indicates their dedication to staying updated with the latest trends and advancements in the field. By choosing a course with accreditation and recognition, you can enhance your professional reputation and increase your chances of success in the competitive personal training industry.

Tips for Choosing the Best Personal Trainer Continuing Education Course

Choosing the right continuing education course for personal training can be a daunting task with the plethora of PT CEU options available. Use the following tips to narrow down your choices and select the most suitable course for your needs.

Identifying Your Career Goals

Start by identifying your career goals and what you want to achieve through your fitness continuing education. Are you looking to specialize in a particular area, expand your knowledge base, or gain new skills? Knowing your goals will help you focus your search and find courses that align with your professional aspirations.

For example, if you are a fitness professional, you may have different career goals depending on your specialization. If you are a personal trainer, you may want to enhance your knowledge in nutrition and exercise science. On the other hand, if you are a group fitness instructor, you may be interested in courses that focus on choreography and music selection.

By clearly defining your career goals, you can prioritize the areas where you need further education and find courses that cater to those specific needs.

Considering Your Budget and Time Availability

Take into account your budget and time availability. Set a realistic budget for continuing education and allocate your resources accordingly. Consider whether an online or in-person course would be more suitable based on your schedule and availability. Remember that investing in your professional development is an investment in your career’s long-term success.

When it comes to budgeting for continuing education, it’s important to consider not only the cost of the course itself but also any additional expenses such as travel, accommodation, and study materials. You may also want to explore if there are any scholarships, grants, or employer-sponsored programs available to help offset the costs.

Furthermore, assess your time availability and determine how much time you can dedicate to the course. Some courses may require a significant time commitment, while others may offer more flexibility. Consider your current work schedule, personal commitments, and any other responsibilities you may have before making a decision.

Evaluating Course Reviews and Feedback

Read reviews and testimonials from previous course participants to get an unbiased perspective. Look for feedback on the course content, instructor expertise, and the overall learning experience. Consider reaching out to fellow fitness professionals or checking online platforms dedicated to fitness education to gather insights and recommendations.

Course reviews and feedback can provide valuable information about the quality and effectiveness of a course. Pay attention to comments regarding the course material, whether it was relevant and up-to-date. Assess the instructor’s expertise and teaching style to ensure they align with your learning preferences. Additionally, consider the overall learning experience, including the level of interaction with other participants and the support provided by the course provider.

It can also be beneficial to seek recommendations from trusted sources within your industry. Connect with colleagues or mentors who have taken similar courses and ask for their opinions. They may be able to provide valuable insights and recommendations based on their personal experiences.

The Impact of Continuing Education on a Personal Trainer’s Career

Continuing education has a significant impact on a personal trainer’s career, contributing to both professional growth and client success. Let’s explore some of the benefits that continuing education offers.

Improved Client Satisfaction

Continuing education equips personal trainers with the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver exceptional service to their clients. By staying updated with the latest industry trends, you can offer innovative training techniques, individualized programs, and cutting-edge strategies. This not only enhances client satisfaction but also helps you build long-term relationships and foster client loyalty.

Increased Earning Potential

Investing in your professional development can lead to increased earning potential. By continually expanding your knowledge and skill set, you position yourself as an expert in the field, making you more attractive to potential clients and employers. With higher demand for your services, you have the potential to command higher rates or secure better job opportunities, ultimately increasing your income as a fitness professional.

Enhanced Career Opportunities

Continuing education opens doors to new career opportunities within the fitness industry. By acquiring specialized knowledge or certifications, you can target specific markets or industry niches, opening up unique career paths. Whether it’s working with athletes, running your own fitness business, or becoming a sought-after instructor, continuing education can provide the necessary stepping stones to propel your career forward.

Continuing education is crucial for personal trainers looking to succeed in the ever-evolving fitness industry. By investing in relevant and trusted courses, you can enhance your skills, keep up with industry trends, and advance your career. Remember, Exercise.com provides a comprehensive software solution designed specifically for fitness professionals like yourself. Book a demo with Exercise.com today to see how their platform can streamline your business operations and help you excel in your continuing education journey.

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What is the most widely accepted personal trainer certification?

The most widely accepted personal trainer certifications include those from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). These certifications are recognized for their comprehensive curriculum and adherence to industry standards.

What are CEUs for personal trainers?

CEUs for personal trainers, or Continuing Education Units, are credits that personal trainers must earn to maintain their certification and stay current with industry standards and practices. These units ensure that trainers continue to enhance their knowledge and skills in fitness training, keeping them updated on the latest research, trends, and methodologies in the field.

How can fitness professionals earn CEUs?

Fitness professionals can earn CEUs through various activities, including attending workshops, seminars, conferences, completing online courses, or participating in other approved educational programs. Organizations like NASM, ACE, and NSCA offer a range of opportunities for continuing education for fitness professionals, including personal training CEUs and fitness CEC (Continuing Education Credits). Engaging in continuing education courses for personal trainers is essential for career development and maintaining certification.

Where can I find free fitness CEUs online?

Free fitness CEUs online can be found through certifying bodies like NASM, ACE, and NSCA, which occasionally offer free CEU for personal trainers as part of membership benefits or special promotions. Additionally, websites dedicated to continuing education for personal trainers may provide free fitness CECs online or free CEUs for personal trainers to help them meet their certification requirements without financial burden. It’s beneficial to regularly check these organizations’ websites or sign up for newsletters to stay informed about available free continuing education for personal trainers.

What are the cheapest fitness CEUs online?

Finding the cheapest fitness CEUs online involves searching for continuing education courses for personal trainers that offer value at a low cost. Some certifying bodies and educational platforms offer cheap NASM CEUs, personal training CEC courses, and ACSM continuing education opportunities at discounted rates. Additionally, platforms may provide bundle deals or seasonal discounts on CECs for personal trainers, making it more affordable to fulfill continuing education personal training requirements.

Can I get free NASM CEUs?

Yes, it’s possible to obtain free NASM CEU opportunities through NASM itself or through partner organizations. NASM occasionally offers free CEUs for NASM certified professionals as part of promotional events or through free NASM CEU courses available on their website. Keeping an eye on NASM’s official site and subscribing to their communications can alert you to these NASM free CEU opportunities.

Can I get free ACE CEUs?

Similarly, obtaining free ACE CEUs is feasible for certified professionals looking to maintain their ACE certification. ACE provides access to a selection of free CEU for personal trainers through webinars, online courses, and quizzes directly on their platform or through approved third-party providers. Staying connected with ACE and monitoring their ACE continuing education credits offerings can help identify these free opportunities.

By leveraging resources from certifying organizations and educational platforms, personal trainers can access a variety of continuing education for personal trainers options, including free CEUs for personal trainers, adaptive fitness certification, and CPT continuing education, to stay certified and advance their professional development.

Can I get free ISSA CEUs?

Yes, obtaining free ISSA CEUs is possible for those certified through the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA). ISSA may offer free continuing education for personal trainers through various formats such as webinars, articles, or short courses. Keeping an eye on ISSA’s official website and subscribing to their newsletter can provide updates on when these free CEUs for personal trainers become available.

Is it hard to get continuing education credits for personal trainers?

Earning continuing education credits for personal trainers can vary in difficulty depending on the course or activity chosen. While some continuing education for personal trainers courses might be challenging and require significant study, others might be more accessible, focusing on practical skills and knowledge that can be more easily integrated into a trainer’s practice. The key is to select continuing education courses for personal trainers that align with your interests and professional goals.

How many places offer free continuing education for personal trainers?

Numerous places offer free continuing education for personal trainers. This includes major certifying bodies like NASM, ACE, and ISSA, as well as various online platforms and educational institutions that provide free fitness CECs online or free NSCA CEUs. Exploring these resources can yield a variety of options for trainers looking to earn CEUs without a financial burden.

Do some gyms help pay for personal trainer continuing education courses?

Yes, some gyms and fitness centers recognize the value of having highly qualified staff and may offer assistance in paying for personal trainer CEUs or personal training continuing education courses. This support can come in the form of reimbursement for completed CECs personal training courses or direct sponsorship of continuing education personal training programs.

Are there a lot of personal training continuing education courses online?

There is a vast array of personal training continuing education courses online, covering topics from exercise science and nutrition to business and marketing for fitness professionals. These online platforms provide a convenient way for trainers to earn CEUs for personal trainers and CECs personal training credits at their own pace.

By utilizing resources from certifying bodies, educational platforms, and supportive employers, personal trainers can access a wide range of continuing education for fitness professionals, including free CEUs for NASM, ACSM continuing education, and adaptive fitness certification. This ongoing education is crucial for maintaining certification, enhancing skills, and providing the highest quality service to clients.

What is the best education for a personal trainer?

The best education for a personal trainer typically involves a combination of formal certification from a reputable organization, such as NASM, ACE, or NSCA, and practical experience in the field. Additional education in related areas like nutrition, kinesiology, or exercise science can also be beneficial.

What is the hardest personal trainer certification?

The difficulty of personal trainer certifications can vary based on the individual’s background and study habits. However, many professionals consider the NSCA’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification to be among the more challenging due to its in-depth focus on strength and conditioning.

What is the highest paid personal trainer salary?

The highest-paid personal trainer salaries can exceed $100,000 annually, especially for those with a strong client base, specialized skills, and experience. Trainers working in high-end facilities or running their own successful business tend to earn the most.

Is ACE or NASM better?

Whether ACE or NASM is better depends on your career goals and training style. NASM is often praised for its focus on corrective exercise and functional training, while ACE is known for its comprehensive approach and emphasis on behavior change. Both are highly respected certifications.

Why ISSA is better than NASM?

Some may argue that ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association) is better than NASM due to ISSA’s flexibility in study programs, comprehensive course materials, and the inclusion of business and marketing education in their certification program. However, “better” is subjective and depends on individual preferences and career objectives.

Is it better to be a personal trainer or fitness instructor?

Whether it’s better to be a personal trainer or fitness instructor depends on your interests and career goals. Personal trainers typically work one-on-one with clients to achieve specific fitness goals, while fitness instructors lead group classes and focus on general fitness. Both roles can be rewarding and impactful.

Is the ISSA certification respected?

Yes, the ISSA certification is respected within the fitness industry. ISSA is recognized for its comprehensive curriculum and is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), ensuring its programs meet certain educational standards.

How hard is the NASM CPT exam?

The NASM CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) exam is considered challenging, requiring a solid understanding of exercise science, anatomy, and training principles. Adequate preparation and study are essential for success.

What is the failure rate of personal trainers?

The failure rate of personal trainers in terms of business success can be high, with some estimates suggesting that up to 80% of personal trainers may leave the industry within the first two years, often due to challenges in building a client base and managing a business.

How many people fail NASM?

Specific failure rates for the NASM exam are not publicly disclosed by NASM. Like any certification exam, the pass rate can vary based on the preparedness of the candidates.

Is ISSA harder than NASM?

Whether ISSA is harder than NASM is subjective and can depend on the individual’s strengths and study habits. Both certifications have rigorous curriculums that require a thorough understanding of fitness and exercise principles.

Can you make 6 figures as a personal trainer?

Yes, it is possible to make six figures as a personal trainer, especially with a strong client base, specialization in high-demand areas, and additional income streams such as online coaching, group classes, or creating fitness content.

Read More: Can you make 6 figures as a personal trainer?

How profitable is being a personal trainer?

Being a personal trainer can be quite profitable, especially for those who build a strong personal brand, specialize in niche areas, and effectively market their services. Profitability can also increase with experience and additional certifications or specializations.

What is the gold standard for personal training certification?

The “gold standard” for personal training certification is often considered to be NASM, ACE, and NSCA, due to their comprehensive curriculums, industry recognition, and adherence to high standards of professionalism and competency.

Is ACSM or NASM better?

Whether ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) or NASM is better depends on your specific focus and career goals. ACSM is highly regarded for its emphasis on clinical exercise and working with special populations, while NASM is celebrated for its focus on functional training and corrective exercise.

Is NASM cheaper than ISSA?

The cost of NASM certification can be higher than ISSA, depending on the package and study materials you choose. It’s important to compare the current prices and what’s included in each package to determine which offers better value for your needs.

Is NASM recognized worldwide?

Yes, NASM is recognized worldwide and is one of the most respected certifications in the fitness industry, known for its evidence-based approach to functional exercise, performance enhancement, and corrective exercise.

What are the best personal trainer certifications?

The best personal trainer certifications include NASM, ACE, NSCA, and ACSM. Each has its strengths and areas of focus, making them respected choices within the fitness industry.

Read More: Best Personal Trainer Certifications

What is the best personal training software?

The best personal training software facilitates client management, workout planning, scheduling, and communication. Exercise.com is highly regarded for its comprehensive features and customization options, making it an excellent tool for personal trainers looking to streamline their operations and enhance client engagement.

Read More: Best Personal Training Software

Jimmy Myers Relentless Sports Performance
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  1. https://www.acsm.org/learn-develop-professionally/ceonline2
  2. https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/continuing-education/
  3. https://us.humankinetics.com/collections/continuing-education
  4. https://pro.ideafit.com/fitness-products
  5. https://www.issaonline.com/continuing-education/
  6. https://www.nsca.com/certification/continuing-education/
Melissa Morris Melissa Morris has a BS and MS in exercise science and a doctorate in educational leadership. She is an ACSM certified exercise physiologist and an ISSN certified sports nutritionist. She teaches nutrition and applied kinesiology at the University of Tampa.  She has been featured on Yahoo, HuffPost, Eat This, Bulletproof, Vitacost, LIVESTRONG, Toast Fried, The Trusty Spotter, Best Company, Healthline, Popsugar, She Knows, Thrive Global, Badass Body Project, and Carex.
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