Physical Trainer Certification


Hello again!
Okay, I have a question. What is the best way to go about getting a credible certification for physical training?
So many people around here have asked me to start teaching a class a couple of nights a week combining every thing that I do (because in my mind, I am just like Cathe, ha ha.) Right now I have around 20 people that are interested. I was thinking a 30 minute cardio, 15 minute toning class twice a week right now. But any way that isn't the important part!
I have been looking online at some of the different at-home courses that are available...NESTA, ACE, NCSF. I don't just want to pay $600 for nothing!
I have danced my entire life, so that is primarily my strength, I have taught age 3 to 18 in dance for years. So teaching isn't foreign. But I thought this might be a new challenge and make the class a little more credible if I was certified.
Thanks for any info you have!


Hey Mandy,

The ones that are most respected are NASM, NSCA and ACE. I researched this a couple of years ago when I was approached by a fitness boot camp to work for them. Family issues got in the way but I have all the materials for NSCA. Maybe someday....

Here is a link that can give you some information.

Good Luck,


I am taking classes for NSCA. It can be done on your own with study materials, but the local community college offers a certificate with some really good course work. I have taken anatomy with cadaver lab, a nutrition class, now in exercise physiology, and then will take two personal training classes. The focus is to be able to take the test for the certification.

NRG Woman

A couple of suggestions. When I got into the industry I started toward getting a certification and when I was hired they told me they didn't like that certification. What I eventually found out was that the preferred certifications are regional. What I would suggest is to go to some local clubs and ask the trainers there what certifications are most recognized where you live. Of course the big ones are always safe; NASM, ACSM, NSCA and ACE. If the only thing holding you back is cost I might suggest NETA. They are one of the 7 certifications that are accredited. I would strongly suggest going with an accredited certification. If you take the test only it is $250 plus the book for $45. If you take the weekend class it is $350 plus the book.

If you are only interested in teaching classes you could look into becoming Group Exercise Certified. Once again the preferred certification is regional. NETA is still one of the cheapest with the test only option being $150 with the $45 book and $239 for the class and test.

Good luck.



Thank you Shayne.
When I started looking there were just sooooo many to choose from and I did not know which ones were legit. The only thing holding me back right now is three kids and their schedules and now me going back to work a couple of nights a week teaching dance.
I thought about the group certification, but then again thought maybe a PT certification might serve me better in the long run.
Okay, another question for anyone that happens upon this.
Where do you get music for class? Those of you that teach.
I mentioned the Boot Camp that I was getting together. Well it looks like I will have more than 20 coming. Which is good considering I only handed out flyers at my daughter's school...
I got something called Kardio Kickbox...the bpm's were sufficient to keep the heart rate up. But how can I find good music that will run through class?



I passed my ACE Personal Trainer certification in December, which is considered a great "entry level" certification. Definitely go with a reputable and well known certification. Most gyms across the country accept ACE, NASM, ACSM. I have all the materials and am studying for the ACSM personal trainer as well as the ACE Lifestyle and Weight Mangagement consultant exam. At a recent interview I was told the magic words were, "I am studying for the ACSM exam" which is considered by many to be the best (and the hardest!). Looking through the materials, it is a lot more detailed and scientific than the ACE exam, and my medical background will definitely be a plus.
You usually get a discount for a second certification as well from ACE, not sure about the other ones. For example if you do the PT certification and go back for the Group Fitness cert, you will get a discount on that exam.



I was looking at NETA, they have a group exercise workshop near me in June. I thought I might start there. Did any of you do the home study or go to the seminar/workshop (I can't think of exactly how to word it).
I want to teach the classes at the dance studio where I work. That way a lot of the mom's that just sit there and wait could have the opportunity to do something while their daughter's wait.
I have over 20 registered for the class...which is great considering I did not advertise. So I am excited and this is really making me want to get the certification even more!


Did anyone do the home study or go to the workshops for their certification? And do you need ALL of the 'recommended' study materials?

NRG Woman

I am a presenter for NETA and teach the Group Fitness workshop, so if you have any questions feel free to PM me. I haven't really figured out how to use that feature yet, but I can learn. You always can do the homestudy option which is great if you learn by reading. The workshop is designed to be a review, and to clarify any questions you had while studying. To pass the exam you really need to put some effort into studying even if you are taking the class. One thing that you get from the class that you can't get from a book is someone helping you to count the music and get a feel for timing your cueing. Also you get to practice cueing in front of a group that is doing it the first time so there is less pressure. Of course if you work in a dance studio you are probably already really skilled at counting music.

For the exam you definately need the book, no question. The study guide can help you focus your study time. The book is extremely dense and the first time I read it the book seemed like my entire Kinesiology degree condensed into one book which is where the study guide helps. The practice exam is good for people who are nervous test takers or want a general idea of how the exam and questions are structured.

Good luck with your new adventure in fitness.


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