T Nation

ACE cert

I can?t believe I am asking this question seeing as I have made fun of the ACE cert so much but here goes. I am a telecom tech and my company is going through some changes there will be some layoffs for sure. I am hoping that I will not get axed but you never know. What I am thinking is I should pick up the ACE cert to have something to fall back on if I do get laid off. Just til I can find another tech job but who knows I may like it so much I will want to stay. Anyway long story short?what type of money could I expect to make with this cert by working at a ?chain? gym I am not talking about building a client base and all that I just need something incase and I think this sounds interesting. In case anyone would want to know I am 32 and I have been weight training since I was about 16 not an expert but I am not a dumb ass either.

  1. I don’t believe there are bad certs only bad trainers. I know an NSCA cert trainer that I wouldn’t let near my worst enemy and a few ACE trainers that are on the ball with their knowledge and skill.

  2. At the Country Club I work at they make about $30/hour. At public chains I have heard more. If you are able to run independent and have the client base you can technically charge what you want. I had close friends pay me $20-30 a session and others a lot more, depending on the person and the extent of hands on needed.

  3. In my opinion, ACE is a decent place to start but you want to look into also getting your ACSM and NASC as they will get you in more doors down the road.



ACE sucks. And although most gyms will take it, from a couple months ago, Gold’s will not. They are making all of us current employees go through NASM and won’t hire anybody new without it. So ask the gym you want to work at what they require. I had my first with ISSA, so I’m biased that direction. Hell our president was the first person to squat 1000.


ACE is easy- I can tell you that. Very basic from what I have seen. the rec i work at is offering us a cert course and test for free, so i am playing. it goes against dern near everything i have ever learned so far, and oversimplifies in most cases from what I have read thus far. simplifications like “low reps for strength and muscle gain” or “high reps for tone.” idiotic stuff like that.

Thanks for your replies! Maybe I am asking the wrong qusetion. There have been 3 other certs mentioned in this thread. How about this…What would be the best cert to get and what type of doors would that open on it’s own? I do have a degree but it is in the IT field so I don’t think a place would hire me on that unless they want their computer network fixed. Thanks again for the replies.

Well in the industry the NSCA CSCS is the most respected, but again if you go to Gold’s they won’t take it. NASM is the one they are having us go through. It’s alright, but it takes alot of rehab and makes it “funtional”. I think they were the ones that started this whole functional craze. Some of their stuff I don’t agree with, but there is also alot that you get out of it.

Research them all, find out what your gym of choice will take, then do it.


I have a ACE certification, and charge $50 a session, I get a percentage of that. I work at one of the top Health Clubs in Michigan. I chose the ACE for one reason its recognized more than some good ones like CHEK second it was freakin cheap, I spent $175 total to get on board. I didnt want to spend $400 dollars and drive 2 hrs to take a an exam that would not make me anymore profit as a trainer. I also have a B.S. in Exercise Science. Through everything I have been involved in, I learned the most from my own research. School and my certification was just somewhat helpful. What is helpful is reading anything new I can get my hands on about fitness, nutrition and exercise. Do I train like Im an ACE cert? Heck no! I know more than any Trainer at where Im at. Why? because I love the fitness lifestyle and everything about it,its my passion, and Im always looking for new info. Your specific certification alone will not get you clients, but what will is your experience and how much you help each client, and the reputation you build as a trainer. I understand some need NSCA, ACSM, to get in the door somwhere. But right now I dont, one day I might get my NSCA or other if I see it will profit me.

if your job requires you to take a cert like ace to get/stay hired then do it. but beyond that there is nothing that you will learn from that joke cert, or any cert for that matter. if that answers your question then fine, but please do not think that getting the ace cert is gonna teach you anything or make you a better trainer. if you want to learn something that you can actually apply to your clients then go with ISSA. my company requires it’s new trainers to go NASM and it’s a joke. none of these guys who have passed the test can get or keep clients cause no certification is gonna teach you anything, let alone everything. NASM is just a cheap CHEK knock off, which even in itself is limited in it’s scope and is best used with stuff from coach davies and the westside boys. this weekend i asked joe defranco what he did to get as good as his is and he banged out the names of 10 different guys from charlie francis to dave tate etc. who he studied under and attended their seminars over the last 5 years. that’s how you get good at this stuff. sorry for the rant.