NESTA Personal Fitness Trainer Certification Review

Get the Basics...

  • NESTA stands for the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association.
  • NESTA offers an online training program.
  • You need 40 hours of CEUs every four years to stay certified.
  • There are 400 test locations in North America.
  • The focus on business techniques is a plus for all people who successfully pass the program.

National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA) has been in operation since 1992. The agency is accredited through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

NESTA is incorporating technology into their personal training programs. An innovative technological advancement is the incorporation of real-time heart rate monitoring. This gives personal trainers immediate feedback from the client and the ability to make adjustments on the fly.

While NESTA has been in operation since 1992, they have only recently achieved accreditation through NCCA. For this reason, they are considered new to personal training certification.

NESTA does have benefits and resources that many of the other certification programs do not provide.

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NESTA Personal Trainer Certification Program

NESTA Personal Trainer Certification Logo

Enrolling with NESTA gives you immediate access to an online training system. The only requirements are that you must be at least 18 with a high school diploma or GED.

The training system includes over 10 hours of video lectures. There are 14 chapters of literature, personal training videos, and audio lessons included with your enrollment.

NESTA focuses on offering something more than other programs. They look to go beyond the basics in personal training and teach you the business side of the industry. Many personal trainers lack the business savvy that is necessary to compete in the market.

NESTA offers training and resources to help bridge the gap between training and real-world application of running a personal training business or being hired for this position.

NESTA does offer some two-day workshops in certain locations. Their program is designed for self-study from home. This may not be the best option for some people.

Think about the ways in which you learn the best before you decide to sign up for NESTA. If you are more comfortable in a classroom setting, then another certification program might be better suited for you.

The business aspect of the program is what differentiates NESTA from other programs. You will want to complete more research to find out if this is the best program for you.

While they are NCCA accredited there may still be some businesses that will not hire somebody with only NESTA certification. NESTA does have a list of popular companies that are hiring people with their certification.

The NESTA website has a wealth of resources available to personal trainers and those pursuing a career in the field. This includes materials to help you promote your personal training business as well as fitness guides and tips.

NESTA also hosts free classes and webinars for anyone to attend online.

NESTA Personal Trainer Certification Recertification

NESTA requires you to take 40 hours of continuing education credits over a four year period to stay NESTA certified.

This is a huge benefit compared to other certification programs that require you to re-certify every two years. The hours of continuing education matches other certifications.

Recertification four years instead of two years cuts down on the extra cost involved in the recertification application and processing fees.

Information on what courses will qualify for your continuing education can be found by visiting the NESTA website.

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NESTA Personal Trainer Certification Exam

The exam is comprised of 125 multiple-choice questions. You will have two hours to complete the questions.

The score required to pass is 70 or higher. There are over 400 locations to take the test in North America. If you fail to pass the exam, it can be retaken after 30 days.

NESTA does have options to just purchase the exam and not the study materials. It is recommended that you purchase the study materials to prepare for the test. The resources will be valuable in your preparation.

The exam includes about 25% of business-related questions. This goes back to NESTA’s focus on teaching its students how to compete in the personal training marketplace. A certification can land you a job.

Without knowledge of business techniques, it will be difficult to make money in the marketplace.

NESTA Personal Trainer Certification Reviews

Most negative reviews on NESTA’s PFT program are older and reference its lack of NCAA accreditation. Now that NESTA is NCAA-accredited, reviews following its accreditation have been positive.  The focus on business techniques is a plus for all people who successfully pass the program:

“The NESTA PFT Certification goes over the business of personal training more, and it goes into much greater detail on how to break down an exercise, and understand how it applies in a training situation. A program is more than how challenging an exam is. And I’ve found this program to be more useful to application in training than any of the other six courses [from NESTA’s competitors] I have taken.” – Mark, Souce

“NESTA mixes exercise science with business applications and continuing support to help make me the best trainer I can be. – Jeff, Source

Learning from your own home is not the ideal way to gain practical knowledge and experience, but the NESTA system has positive reviews with its learning resources.

“The NESTA PFT program is easy to follow and allows you to make great progress each day. NESTA prepares you for the exam. I love how I can go back to view all of the material, even now after finishing the course and completing the exam. The support system is wonderful! I love the educational emails I get with ‘success tips.'” – Kasia, Source

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