Fitness Certification

This is a general question to anyone in or out of the business. How do you rate the validity of fitness certifacation? Is N.S.C.A. better than A.C.E.? I’ve just completed my test for I.S.S.A. Does anyone have an opinion about their credentials? Thanks for all your Thoughts

NSCA and ACE are both very respected certifications and I don’t think one or the other would be much better than the other.

Never heard of ISSA though

It really depends on what area you want to go into.

ACSM would be best if you’re looking to go into the academic side of training (teaching classes at the college level).

NSCA would be best if you want to get into training teams of athletes.

ACE is a good choice for a personal trainer.

AFAA is a good choice for a fitness instructor.

Don’t know too much about ISSA, have heard of it, and know it’s fairly well respected and accepted, but once again don’t know any details.

In the end though, just realize that being certified doesn’t give you the ability to teach what you know. It takes practice, experience, and in my opinion some innate ability to become a really good teacher (whether it be coach, professor, trainer, etc…).

Certifications only get your foot in the door. From there you must continue to educate yourself (both on exercise methods and teaching methods) if you wish to really develop your skills as a coach/professor/trainer/instructor.

Also realize that most gyms don’t care who you are certified through, only that you are certified.

Good training,


how much time/money does it take to get fully certified

Thanks for all the reply’s Heck, I think T-Nation should have certifacation program!
The course book (which was written by Dr. Fred Hatfield)and Test which has 160 questions(t/f, multiple choice) 2 case studies and 6 essays, was 595.00
I hope it was worth it. It was a lot of work for some one who has been out of school fo 20 years.

cwattsdrum, ISSA is a very credible cert.

If you’re going to work in a gym, or as an independent trainer, it’s all you need. The other certs are redundant.

Thanks SurgeFreak,
I hope to be an independent trainer. I have a home gym in my garage I intend to use as my facility. For about a 1000$ investment, I have a powere rack, treadmill, 400lbs of weight(mostly bumper plates), various kettlbells,bands, chains, and powerblocks.