What are ISSA-certified personal trainers? | Exercise.com Learn: Your Fitness Business Resource

What are ISSA-certified personal trainers?

There are a few things you should know if you're interested in becoming an ISSA-certified personal trainer. This article answers some key questions so you can determine if ISSA is the right program for you.

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: May 4, 2021

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  • ISSA personal training certification is the certification offered by the International Sports Sciences Association.
  • The ISSA course is a general training course that teaches qualified individuals how to work with the public as personal trainers.
  • The program is generally respected in the fitness community.
  • You must meet prerequisites to take the course, including graduating from high school.
  • ISSA also offers advanced coursework in a number of specialties and an associate’s degree.

ISSA training is a type of personal training certification. It’s the basic certification that the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) offers.

The course students take to earn their personal training certification covers a wide variety of fitness-related topics.

Students who complete the course are qualified to offer generalized fitness and personal training services to a wide variety of individuals who want to get fit and improve their health.

Once you have your certification in hand, request a demo of our all-in-one gym management software so that you can run your training business smoothly and efficiently.

ISSA Is the International Sports Sciences Association

An ISSA-certified personal trainer is a person who has taken and passed the personal training certification course offered by ISSA. ISSA is an organization that teaches and licenses both fitness and medical professionals.

Two doctors began the organization in 1988 to develop standards for trainers to gain education and demonstrate competency to perform their craft. ISSA has approval from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). ISSA headquarters are in Carpinteria, California.

What Do ISSA-Certified Personal Trainers Learn?

The ISSA certified personal training course requires students to demonstrate competency in a variety of topics related to understanding and teaching personal fitness. Applicants begin by studying anatomy and physiology. They learn about metabolism and the biological mechanics of exercise.

ISSA trainers must learn about the different types of fitness training including strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and flexibility. They study personal nutrition and body composition. The ISSA program teaches trainers how to assess a person’s fitness level and work with them to make an effective training plan.

The program includes education on how to train someone with special needs such as advanced age, adaptive needs, youth fitness, diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease. Finally, the course teaches basic First Aid.

How Does the Course Work?

A student can begin the ISSA personal trainer course when it’s convenient for them. A student has six months to complete the course. You may request a 2-month extension free of charge if you fail to complete the program requirements within 6 months. If you still don’t complete the requirements after the first extension period, you may request another 2-month extension for a non-refundable fee. Failure to complete the program after this final extension period requires re-enrollment.

ISSA offers a fast track, which allows you to be certified within 4 weeks. Most people take three or four months to finish the work. Once they’re confident that they’ve mastered the material, they can sit for the online exam.

Who Qualifies for ISSA Certification?

A trainer must be 18 years old to gain ISSA certification. They must also show that they’ve finished high school. ISSA checks their identity by making sure that they provide government identification. Trainers can study and take their exam online. They’re able to work at their own pace until they’ve mastered the material. Students must also prove that they have CPR certification to get their ISSA certification.

Types of ISSA Certifications

Basic personal training certification is just one of the many types of certifications that ISSA offers. The basic personal training course qualifies students to work directly with the public on individualized, personal fitness plans.

If you’re considering ISSA certification or if you’re researching your trainer’s qualifications, it’s important to look at the exact type of ISSA certification that you’re looking for. Some of the specialized certifications include fitness nutrition, group exercise, senior fitness, and strength and conditioning.

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ISSA Master Trainer and ISSA Associate’s Degree

Among ISSA’s unique offerings are its certification as a master trainer and its associate’s degree. The master trainer program is for trainers who want to complete a number of ISSA’s specialist certification programs. ISSA also offers an elite certification program that’s similar to the master trainer program but with fewer requirements.

The associate’s degree program functions much like any other collegiate associate’s degree program. Students must complete an online application to join the program. Transfer credit is a possibility for applicants that have relevant credits from other colleges.

Instructors with bachelors, masters, and terminal degrees in their field provide directed instruction. In addition to exercise coursework, students learn psychology, marketing, and math.

What Are the Pros and Cons of ISSA Certification?

ISSA certification is well respected in the fitness industry. It’s not a certification that a person can earn in an afternoon. When your trainer has an ISSA certification, you’re getting a trainer that has undergone a significant amount of study in the industry. From a trainer’s perspective, a student can complete the ISSA course and exam completely online.

Because ISSA offers advanced training programs and even an associate’s degree, it’s a good choice for students who may want advanced study after they earn their basic certification. An ISSA certification is one of several credible personal training programs that a gym might recognize for hiring a qualified personal trainer.

ISSA also accepts continuing education credits from the National Exercise and Sports Training Association (NESTA). Flexible continuing education credits can help trainers keep their certification current.

How Do Other Programs Compare?

When you’re looking for the right certification for you, it’s important to compare and contrast ISSA’s program to other programs that are available. For example, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has a program that offers a more in-depth study of anatomy. The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) structures its program to cater more to professional bodybuilders.

The ISSA program is a capable, general program for trainers who want to work with a cross-section of the community to help them reach personal fitness and health goals. It’s important to think about your career goals to choose the program that’s best for you. It’s also important to make sure that the gym you want to work for recognizes the program you choose as a prerequisite to your employment.

What ISSA Training Has to Offer

ISSA’s personal training certification is an established training and certification program. Fitness professionals and employers widely recognize the certification for its ability to educate and qualify students to train a variety of individuals with unique needs to meet their fitness goals.

ISSA offers advanced programs and even an advanced degree, so it’s a good choice for students who may want their personal training certification to be only the beginning of their professional education.

The personal training certification course typically takes between 12 and 16 weeks to complete.

After finishing the coursework, a student sits for the exam. If they pass the exam and meet all of the other qualifications, they become an ISSA certified personal trainer.

Request a demo of our comprehensive gym management software after you’ve received your ISSA certification so that you can manage your personal training business better.

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