T Nation

Which Personal Trainer Cert?


Hey guys - I am deciding between the NSCA Personal Trainer program and the ACSM Personal Trainer program and do not know which one to choose. I have looked extensively on both of those sites and also on T-Nation so don't flame me for not searching. But, I haven't found any direct comparisons between these two.

Mainly, I just want to know the more "presitigious" or more respected organization to go to for it or if there really isn't any difference between these two programs. Thanks!!


Both agencies are great. I personally have the NSCA-CPT at the moment. I am in pursuit of my BS in exercise science then onto the CSCS credential from the NSCA. I have considered testing for the ACSM personal training cert. but it would just cost more money and not improve my clientele. I think either one you choose you will be pleased. They defenitly the top 2 certifications in the field of personal training, in my opinion.


Thanks for your input! anyone else have an opinion on the subject? like, any reason to pick one over the other in terms of what you get out of it (excluding costs)?


just make up a fancy certificate on your computer and print it out...

there, you're a personal trainer...

now go get some clients!


don't bother, let what you lift and how you look certify you.


haha, well for some reason that doesn't go over so well with clients and businesses looking to maximize profits as well as for my own clientele. so, any more thoughts?


I am now planning on doing the NSCA certification program because I hear ACSM focuses more on rehab situations.


ACSM almost totally focuses on cardiopulmonary aspects of exercise. Most knowledge you will have to know the considers strength training will be acute and long-term adaptations of the cardiovascular system from strength training. Strength training prescriptions are archaic at best.

Everything in the ACSM book that describes how to actually perform movements sounds great until it is actually attempted. ACSM is for cardiac rehab 100%. In my opinion it is a sin to have people with this cert going around acting like trainers. Dont get me wrong people can be good trainers and have this cert but good NSCA trainers are seen alot more.


yea, thats what I thought. I'm definitely going with NSCA then. thanks for the info!