T Nation

PT Certification

I am interested in getting certified as a PT but had a question. I have read all the various rants about ACE and have researched the other orgs and have decided that ISSA would be my best fit. However I have noticed that the majority of the trainers at my gym are ACE certified. Although they have no idea what they are doing (their clients…some that I have seen with the same trainer 2 or 3X a week never seem to progress) they are employed. I guess then what I am asking is an ISSA certification as widely accepted as ACE or am I going to have to learn their crap in order to get the job? Thanks - Z

I am the only ISSA certified trainer at my club (been there for about a month) and only a couple people there are ACE certified. Many are AFFA, IFTA and others, but I know more about strength training than all of them, I even picked up a client by telling him what was wrong with his routine that another trainer designed. I would go ahead and get it, cuz the ISSA is a great organization and you’ll learn a lot. Good Luck!

i just ordered the issa cert. and am wondering how easy it is to get a job and how good the pay is.in reality i am debating on if i should send it back or not

I have to agree, ISSA is pretty good compared to the rest. If you wantto be sure about Employment you should check with the gyms management and see what they accept. If they only Accept ACE than you don;t want to work there anyway. I did NASM a long time ago and thought they were very good as well. For the money and info I would do ISSA.

I am certified through ACSM and NSCA and am currently the head pt at the club I work at. If I didn’t have a degree and wanted to work with a cert, I would go with ISSA. They are really good at teaching the basics, provide excellent business info, and have a very knowledgeable support system/board.

Keep in mind whatever cert you begin with is just that, a beginning, and you will need to constantly update your education and get exposure to new ideas. I think the biggest problem with the certification process is the misconception that once you’ve got it you’re finished learning.

As for the club insisting on ACE, I wouldn’t worry too much. I don’t believe you would be shut out based on the organization you represent, but rather based on the knowledge you are capable of effectivley using. In my humble opinion, the info a newbie ACE trainer has is not very impressive if that is the sum total of their experience. Your club may have more ACE trainers simply because they are easier to find!

Anyway, good luck.

Bottom line the ISSA cert. is not. Do the ACSM cert. to get a job. The ACSM taining isn’t as good as ISSA but is no were near the level of BS that ACE is. As far as pay being a PT is about hustle, not skill, the better you sell yourself the more cash you make. It also helps to be attractive (the handsome or pretty ones make more $$ than those with knowledge) , which is unfair but the way it is…Hope this helps mack

My money is on NSCA where you can be certified as a personal trainer or a certified strength and conditioning specialisit (CSCS). However, to be eligable you must have a science based university degree which in my mind is a good thing since it weeds out most of the people with little starting knowledge. It is definitely harder than the ISS certification

Thank you all for the info
I think I will go for the ISSA. That was my original choice but I wanted some feedback before I jumped in. Now I guess it is time to test the water. frisco- I have to agree that the good looking trainers get the business (I have seen that at every gym I have been in :wink: )
At the Crunch in South Beach there was a trainer there that had NO clue but was ALWAYS busy because she looked like the living version of the blue t man’s cartoon girlfriend.

wojo, money depends on what you want to do. If you want to work for a club, most make $10 per hour and have to do some light maintenance in the down time. Some clubs like Baleys charge $50-60 per hour and give the trainers about $20 of that. You have to sell packages to make money. That’s pretty hard to do, just starting out. If you choose to go independent, its actually pretty easy. Work for a club for one year. Let people see you training for the club. Every once in a while you snag a rich client just joining the club, who wants personal training. If you are not on contract, just showing members how not to hurt themselves, you just landed the best thing to happen to your future business. Once you snag a rich client, they usually send their rich friends to you. I’m not saying to prostitute yourself. I’m just giving you the cold hard facts. Treat them right, give them a body they could never have without you and you are set. How do I know. I’ve been training for over 20 years. I am in such demand, that I turn people down all the time. I usually will at least give those who can’t train with me a program that I update every 6 weeks, but that is all the time I have. It only takes a year to build a good client base, if you are good at getting people in shape. Money…well, start off charging $30 per hour. Don’t discount, it makes you look cheap. After a year, if your business is giving you a nice steady income, raise your rates to $35 for new clients. A year later raise it to $40. You have to do the math. If you have 3 clients per day for five days a week, you make $23,400 a year. Thats only working 3 hours a day or 15 hours a week. Of course, you are working on returning call, making programs, etc. in your off time. I give my clients diets included in the price of training. Most trainers don’t. Set yourself apart from the rest. If you have a good CPA, you can write off part of your house, power, cable, paper, magazines, seminars, mileage, computer, etc. You will keep most of that money, so really you are making more than that. Good luck.

ISSA is the best cert. going. You’ll learn alot(some stuff is out dated)but definatly worth it.I’m ISSA cert. and have found LOTS of places that require ACE (Bally’s,etc). I train clients in their own homes, and run my own buisness in a local club($200 per month rent)There’s tons of options- get some sort of idea of what you want to do FIRST- if you want to work at Bally’s,you’ll need ACE–if you go on your own ISSA gives the most bang for your buck.