T Nation

I Want to be a Personal Trainer!


Ok so I'm trying to get a life and figure out what I want to do. Its pretty obvious to everyone that my passion in life is training. I am 18 and I want to look into getting my personal training certification.

I have a couple questions such as.. How would I go about doing this, where is the best place to start off, which certification? Basically I'm just asking for some advice from someone who is a personal trainer already or someone that knows someone who is.

I'm thinking about making this my career choice, It's something I love doing and something I can see myself doing down the road. Any advice is appreciated, and no I am not going to be one of those trainers that you see in the gym making people stand on a boso ball doing squats or any of those other horrific things you see going on between personal trainers and their clients.


If you do a search you can find some good info.

Certs to check out would be

these 2 require a 4 yr degree though last I checked

other notable ones would be NASM, ACE

A certification is really just a foot in the door and a stepping stone in your education.

The key is to study your butt off outside the cert by reading material by some of the leaders in the field
(Kaplan, JC Santana, Boyle, Cressey, Berardi, Thibs, etc etc)


ACSM Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) doesn't require a 4yr the Health Fitness Instructor (HFI) does require a degree.

ACSM is the one I look for when hiring staff.

however jfit has a great point about reading outside of the required materials for any one certification.

good luck!


Forget about getting a certification, what's important is that you look swole and that you motivate clients by saying things such as, "Light weight baby!" or "Feel the burn biatch!"


Ok so far so good. I have looked into the ASCM certification and of course money is required for everything but what else is new. I am looking into other certifications too but I am gonna find out which certifications are generally accepted in my area.

Ok so the certification situation is just a place to start I realize that. I basically just want to learn as much as possible about training. Training for all different goals and training for different reasons. If I'm going to be training other people then I'm assuming every person is going to have different goals and since I learned best on how to obtain my goals I cant say I really know how to get other people to reach their goals.

So now I am going to ask for recomended books for training for strength (my goal and mostly what I want to train people in doing), training for size, training for health (obsurd lol), training for leanness, ect. Basically any books that you think will give me a good foundation.

I do my own research but obviously help from people that know the area is very valuable information.


Have you ever thought about going to college and getting a degree in Kinesiology or something related? You can always get certified as a trainer to help put you through college. Once you graduate you will have a lot more options with what you want to do including going to grad school or getting cscs certified.

I myself am ACSM certified. Make sure you study up really good because tests aren't cheap.


I see you're from NY...where exactly? I just completed a course out in Long Island and will be testing this weekend for the cert. Like everyone said it's a stepping stone. I learned afew things that I hadn't even considered before that should help. If interested p.m. me and I'll give you the details.


Don't do it... They don't know what the hell they are talking about.

j/j - you can search and find alot of information in previous threads.


If you have a bachelors degree, look no further than the nsca cscs certification. Best cert to get imo!!!!


I'm looking to get my CSCS as well. It does require a bachelors degree to actually take the test though. I'm studying exercise physiology in school which does cover things like kinesiology, A&P, Exercise science, sports medicine, etc.


The NSCA-CPT doesn't require a 4 year degree. However you need to be CPR certified to sit for the exam.



If you're looking for books, look here:

Some of these are fairly advanced and many are quite expensive if new, but it's an excellent list if you want a solid base. Btw, many of the most expensive of those are text books which can be found quite cheaply in current or old editions from online resellers.


I would recommend the NSCA, NASM, or ACSM CPT certificates.

I have NASM-CPT (my current workplace preferred it) and will be testing for my CSCS in less than a month. It is really just a foot in the door like everyone else says.

The bottom line is you really train people how you feel will work best not really what any certification book says.

NASM loves Bosu balls, Stability balls, etc... but I never use any of that stuff except in rare cases and populations where I break out the stability ball.