NSCA Personal Trainer Certification Review

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  • Since 1996, the NSCA has been nationally accredited and sets the standard in the industry.
  • You must have a high school diploma or have taken a high school equivalency exam and be 18 years old to become certified.
  • The NSCA does not allow individuals who have only had online training to take their exam

There are numerous online and in-person personal trainer certification programs out there, so it makes sense to compare a few before charting your career path with any single one.

NSCA stands for the National Strength and Conditioning Association. This organization has many certifications, but the most popular is the Personal Trainer Certification. This is an entry-level certification that can lead holders down the path to a career in the personal training field.

In this article, you will learn about the options, history, and requirements for this certification. Once you’re certified, request a demo of our All-In-One Fitness Business Management Software.

NSCA Personal Trainer Certification Practices

Once you hold the NSCA-CPT certification you are a fitness professional. You can work with clients at a gym, weight training facility, clinic, or start your own personal training business.

Your own business gives you the flexibility to work when you want to and to go to clients where they are. Working for a facility gives you stability and the clients come to you.

As an NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, you can help clients achieve their goals or refer clients to health care professionals or nutritionists. You become an expert in the personal training field and people will come to you for your expertise and advice on various personal training issues.

This certification also qualifies you to react in emergency situations that can occur doing personal training sessions. Things such as breathing problems, heart issues, loss of consciousness, pulled muscles, and torn ligaments can all be assessed and sometimes treated by a professional certified in this area. This certification, therefore, is not for the faint of heart.

NSCA Personal Trainer Certification History

The personal trainer industry has exploded over the past 10 years.

With all of the fitness crazes happening across the United States, and the diet fads that have been pushed in the last decade, the desire for personal trainers has greatly increased as people want specialized training to meet their fitness goals.

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Even before this craze and high demand began, NSCA launched its Personal Trainer Certification. In 1993 the certification training and testing became available to individuals interested in this unique area of study.

At first, the certification was limiting in that it only allowed individuals to work in fitness clubs.

However, in the last 20 years, the certification process has changed and the training has become more specific.

This allows the holder to work not only in fitness facilities but also in schools, workplaces, wellness clubs, and in the private homes of clients who can’t or won’t go to a fitness club. This variety of options is what is appealing to many personal trainers.

Today, there are almost 10,000 individuals who hold the NSCA-CPT certification. Since 1996, the NSCA has been nationally accredited and sets the standard in the industry.

Five years ago, the certification process further changed to allow holders to work within the area of special needs in addition to working with healthy individuals.

One of the reasons the certification through NSCA is so popular is because it is internationally accepted when an international exam is taken. This allows holders to travel to other countries through their jobs or to relocate to another country and still practice personal training.

NSCA Personal Trainer Certification Requirements

What may surprise most people is that a college degree is not required to become NSCA-CPT certified (this only applies to the CPT and not to the NSCA’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach [CSCS] certification, which does require a college degree).

You must have a high school diploma or have taken a high school equivalency exam and be 18 years old. By the time you are ready to take the exam, you must have adult CPR certification and AED (automated external defibrillator) certification.

Just because a college degree is not required does not mean that this certification is not difficult to obtain.

You must work hard and be disciplined. Those who register must have some experience or understanding of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, and how to adapt exercise to a variety of individuals.

In addition to this, individuals who are interested in testing for certification must present position papers on their philosophy of working with special groups of people such as the disabled, those with sensory issues, the mentally ill, the elderly, and those suffering from certain diseases.

Unlike other certification programs, the NSCA does not allow individuals who have only had online training to take their exam.

They require in-person gym or personal trainer shadowing experience. A skills test will be administered and evaluated to verify hands-on experience.

Personal Training Certifications FAQ

– How do I become a personal trainer?

You become a personal trainer by becoming studying for, taking, and passing a personal training certification exam.

– Is it hard to become a personal trainer?

The level of difficulty to become a personal trainer depends on which certification you choose to obtain — some certifying agencies are harder to become certified with than others and some may require extra pre-requisites like a college degree.

– Can I become a personal trainer without studying for the exam?

It is unlikely that you will pass your personal training exam for any agency if you do not study thoroughly for the exam beforehand.

As a personal trainer, you can expand your services online and make more money with our online training platform – contact us for information on how you can get started!