T Nation


What you do yall think of being certified by NSCA? does anyone recommend it? i have been told its the best and its tough(which i would like cuz i want to learn as much as possible). If anyone has any input from it please let me know. I just got hired by a gym to train people, and i want to try to get certified. thanks for any help


I have my CSCS through the NSCA and it is (was) a tougher test than most. I also had my ACE but I let it lapse because, as you have no doubt heard, is an absolute joke. The CSCS will go a long way, especially if you want to work with athletes. I can’t speak for the Personal Trainer cert. but I am sure it is more than adequate. Just remember, a certification is necessary to get your foot in the door. What you learn after that will set you apart from most other trainers. Unfortunately, the ACE text is the last book some trainers read once certified. Good luck.

I have a CSCS from the NSCA. It’s no big woop really. I don’t train anyone other than myself. I just got it for the hell of it, it’s not that hard. However, you do need at least a BA/BS and CPR certification to sit for the exam. If you need official credentials for your job, then the CSCS is probably the best. But you’ll learn more from this web site than from preparing for the exam. Dave Tate gave me some good advice for taking the CSCS exam. He said to get the Essentials textbook, read it, and then forget everything else you know. Just tell them what they want to here on the exam.

Just a quick follow up. Don’t get me wrong, the NSCA is a good organization, and I suggest you join and get certified for your job. Just don’t expect to come away with some breakthrough training secrets beyond the fundamentals. If you really want to learn some outstanding training theory I suggest Mel Siff’s book Supertraining.

Well I try to read as much as possible. I am a big follower of Polquin(sorry if thats not spelled correctly) and Duchain. Anyways I am going into personal training as my career. Right now I do not plan on working with a college or professional team or anything. I just am working with your typical gym people(housewifes, teenagers, etc.) My last question is about the study material. There was like 15 freakin things to purchase to help study. I mean I have my BS degree in human environmental science with an emphasis in nutrition. I have had my human anatomy, but no kinesology or biomechanics or anything…so my question is WHICH ITEMS DO I PURCHASE??? I have been told to get the book that shows proper training technique and the video tapes and also the cassettes but this crap is expenisive…do i really need all this??? Any help here will be greatly appreciated…thanks for all who responded and will respond.

I received my NSCA-CPT in Decemeber. The test was not too difficult but you have to study NSCA materials. The videos and book you need if you want to do well. There were a lot of questions that where either one or the other and the difference was minute. In those cases the videos and the reading you did from the new book, which is great by the way, will go a long way. If you arent a NSCA member now then I would suggest you do that first. You will save a lot of money in the long run getting your membership out of the way because you do get discounts. I am also certified throught the ISSA and best bang for your buck go with them. They are expensive but they are with you all the way. They have a lot of services and have done a lot of ground work for you. So far in my experience they are not as well known but that is changing. The NSCA is known world wide and name recognition can go a long way.