T Nation

Becoming Certified

Im planning on doing an online fitness certification and im wondering from which school to choose. Ex. ACSM OR ISSA or any other school. Who’s the Best?

Check out the ACE certification

NASM, ACSM or NSCA

ACSM, NSCA and NASM are not taken online, you have to go to designated sites to take their exams. ISSA I believe you can take online.
Whatever certification you look into, make sure it is the right one for the workplace you will be applying. For example, having an ACSM certification is pretty useless if you’re going to be training athletes in a college setting. So you better get the NSCA CSCS.
Also, some health clubs recognize ACSM but not ISSA.
FNF

[quote]fnf wrote:
ACSM, NSCA and NASM are not taken online, you have to go to designated sites to take their exams. ISSA I believe you can take online.
Whatever certification you look into, make sure it is the right one for the workplace you will be applying. For example, having an ACSM certification is pretty useless if you’re going to be training athletes in a college setting. So you better get the NSCA CSCS.
Also, some health clubs recognize ACSM but not ISSA.
FNF
[/quote]

IMO,
CSCS certification by NSCA is the most recognized by inexperienced trainees. You have to conisder how it rings in their ears. I feel like personal trainers are starting to lose respect. “Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist” just has a nicer ring (and requires a BS )

As a Pt Director for one of the biggest companies in the industry, i can tell you that he top 5 that employers look for are ACE, ACSM, ISSA, NASM, and either of the NSCA certs. Each cert has it’s pros and cons. Also be aware that both ASCM and NSCA have education requirements. ACE and ISSA are most geared toward standard one on one personal training, but neither will offer too much in the way of sports specific methods. NASM is probably the hardest working of all of the certs when you look at how they develop their programs, the number of different certs they offer, and their positioning in the idustry. NASM recently struk a deal with 24 Hour Fitness to administer both their pre employment screening and thier in house training.
The dirt on the whole deal is that the certification lend its credibility to your attempts to get into the field, but it is what you do outside of that course that will set you apart from the rest of the trainers in your gym.
Also, have your cert in hand BEFORE you go and apply. It will greatly improve the odds that you actually get an interview and keep your application and resume out of the round file.
Good luck and make sure to check them all out before you make your decision.

u’d be smart to go for either your ACSm, NASM or NSCA PT cert right now and work toward your CSCS it’s not an easy cert to get

Why do you need a cert? Are you actually wanting to learn something or just get the cert to get a job?

My personal experience is with W.I.T.S. I have a certification from them, but I didn’t learn anything in the class that I hadn’t already learned from T-Nation’s contributors. In all actuality, I learned that the certification was out of date and contradicted recent research. I knew what was bogus in the book, thanks to the incredible resources that have existed here for the last several years.

If you need a credible cert, the aforementioned are all decent except ACE. ACE is way to out-dated (unless they have updated their materials in the last two years).

~ Jack

i thought this thread was about insanity.

Thanx for the advice. I have an assoc. in exercise science and I am planning on getting a bs in the same field but i got screwed at my college and wont be able to attend til next spring. Instead of wasting the rest of the year I would like to get a Cert. simply for job reasons. I am certainly aware of all the wonderful advice on T-Nation but somethin tells me that having a cert on my resume would be better than simply stating “I read T-nation a lot.” Even though one probably would learn more going through all the archives on this site.

I remember the WITS program. I can’t blame you for feeling like you didn’t get anything out of that one. one of the main reasons to get a cert, unfortunately, is just to add credibility to their business. thankfully we are passing out of the days when anyone could just call themself a PT, collect the money, and deliver little in return. There were always some good ones out there, but there were way more scam artists. A cert show both clients and employers that you are at least financially commited on some level to the field.

In the end having at least one of the big, nationally recognized certs will help you in terms of the quality of jobs that you will be able to get.

I have actually had people come apply for a job with me using lines like that. As a manager, it is hard to shuffle those people out of my office fast enough.

Also, take the time to learn how to sell. By far selling is the aspect of the job that trips people up the most. You can get a job that doesn’t require selling, but they ALWAYS pay less. I have seen these places pay as little as half of what my gym pays, and charge the client just as much. No one wins but the CEO in that situation.
Best of luck in your search.