Why I Chose the NASM Personal Trainer Certification

When it comes to personal trainer certifications, there are hundreds of programs to choose from and each one has different levels of specialization, accreditation, and acceptance at various fitness facilities, so how the heck do you know which one to choose?

When I first looked into getting certified, I didn’t know where to start, so I contacted a few friends, who are certified personal trainers, and asked them for their recommendations. Each of them specifically mentioned NASM and said it was one of the most respected certifications in the industry. Two out of three of them were certified through NASM, so I wasn’t too surprised by their endorsement, but since then, plenty of other people have said the same thing about the organization. (NASM is also the perfered certification at a lot of well-known gyms.)

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Personal recommendations from trainers working in the fitness industry were the main reason that I chose NASM over other certifications, but here are some other things that I considered:

Accreditation

NASM’s certified personal trainer program is accredited by NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies), which is a division of NOCA (National Organization for Competency Assurance), which has set standards for credentialing organizations for more than three decades. Having this approval by a qualified third party made the certification seem a lot more legit, and I wanted to make sure I had respected credentials, so accreditation was a big selling point for me.

Content

Obviously, personal training is more than lifting weights and counting reps and sets, so I wanted a well-rounded certification that would prepare me for all parts of the personal training process””from knowing and understanding movement science and physiology to performing functional assessments and creating individualized training programs for clients. I wanted a certification that was the whole package.

Support

I also liked that NASM provided a ton of support to their students. Their plethora of educational materials makes it so easy to study for the exam. Just some of the materials available to students: textbook, workbook, online course content (you can download the lessons right onto your iPod), unlimited practice exams, phone support, online exercise library, and live workshops. Additionally, there are iPhone apps and online flashcards that will help you learn the material.

Continuing Education

Finally, I love that NASM offers other certifications and tons of continuing education courses and workshops to keep growing my knowledge in the field. I’m actually considering their Fitness Nutrition Specialist certification in the near-ish future. We’ll see!

I’m still working on a blog post that answers your NASM questions, so keep a look out for it later today or tomorrow. If you have additional questions, be sure to ask them in the comments section of this post!

Breakfast

Good breakfast this morning! I had quinoa oatmeal with chia seeds, dried cranberries, peanut butter and a glass of iced coffee with soy milk. Yum!

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I cooked the quinoa last night and then mixed it with rolled oats, almond milk, and chia seeds and let it all soak overnight. In the morning, I added dried cranberries and peanut butter.

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Question of the Day

Have you ever worked with a personal trainer? How was your experience?

81 Comments

  1. Congrats on the certification, Tina! I am actually quite intrigued myself now, and am going to look into the possibility of getting certified myself. Did you need any sort of “background” related to the field going into the program?

  2. I’m considering getting certified also! I was wondering-how long is your certification last before you have to renew it? Two years? Also, how does it prepare you for setting out goals for clients, and how do you deal with your flexiblity vs. client flexiblity?

  3. I’ve worked with a few and had some really great and some really bad experiences. I’ve found a lot of mainstream gyms have trainers that get paid based on sales which leads for a mostly, in my opinion, lame experience, but the ones I’ve gone to that worked in their own space (like they rent out the space or pay a % to the facility) have been really great and super helpful! I am a hard worker, but I find the extra push from someone being there to make sure you don’t sell yourself short is well worth the extra money when I have it to spend. I’ve always wanted to get certified as well! Maybe someday 🙂

  4. My personal trainer had become a close friend. It is great to have that motivation every other week.

    I love the idea of the fitness nutrition specialist…I just told my boyfriend that I think I want to do that!

  5. Congrats Tina! I worked with a personal trainer once and my experience was so-so. He really didn’t listen to my goals and trained me like he would train a man. I would work with a trainer again but I would probably go with a woman instead of a man.

  6. I’ve worked with a couple trainers. When I was in high school, my mother and I shared her sessions with a PT at a big gym. Then we worked with a guy who trained clients in his house (I got great results this way, weight training with him there and doing cardio on my own–spin classes, etc.). Training with a trainer early on taught me not to be scared of weights, intimidated by men or trainers, etc., and how to work out! I think it’s pretty much the best way to get started.

    That second trainer told me I’d be a gym rat some day and I totally laughed and said no way! I really didn’t see it happening. Now I am finishing up a kinesiology degree and have my personal training and group fitness cert….talk about a good prediction!

    PS I have been searching for a way that I actually like quinoa — maybe for breakfast is the answer! Thanks for the idea/inspiration. 🙂

  7. I have never worked with a trainer regularly. I have had free sessions at different gyms I’ve been a member of. I’ve only ever had 1 really good training session where I felt like the trainer was actually out to help me and not just to make money. I would have worked with her if I could have!

    I am curious, how much studying did it take for the certification?

    Still so excited for you!
    ~Ang

  8. I used a personal trainer after all three of my kids were born. I gained a lot of weight with all of my children (76 lbs, 48 lbs, and 60 pounds). I am usually a small person so that was a lot of weight for my small body. I was so sick with all three and I could not allow myself to get hungry or I got extremely ill. I had c-sections with all kids and began working with a trainer a few weeks after having each child. I believe I would have never lost all that weight without her. I also chose a woman trainer because I felt like she would supply me with a workout that made me sculpted and not bulked up. Just my opinion. I worked out twice a week for a month to a month in a half with her then was able to work out another month in a half by myself and lost all of my weight. I know I could not have done that without a trainer. Congrats on your certification!

  9. Thanks for this post.. I’ve also chosen to get certified through the NASM upon asking around and talking with the trainer I had been working with. Now I just need to get the money together to start studying! Good luck on your exam!!

  10. I was certified in August by NASM for the reasons you list. I recently purchased the Fitness Nutrition Specialist as well. When I had trouble downloading the info (user error) they were extremely helpful. I even got a call from someone who wanted to check to make sure i got what i needed. And yes, it’s a highly respected cert preferred by many gyms. Good job and enjoy.

  11. Hey, I’m looking into NASM, then later another certification or two. What I want to know is …… Which package since they offer so many, and the prices range from 600-2000.

  12. I am looking forward on getting my certification as a Personal trainer but I am going to a community college my question is witch certification is better the college or NASM ?

  13. NASM is a top certification along with ACSM and NSCA. ACE and ISSA are also popular certifications that are accepted in most chain fitness clubs across the country. NASM would be the best choice for those who require hands-on experience, since they offer live workshops, and aspire to become a great trainer and not just to get a cert. http://howtobecomepersonaltrainer-pft.com/personal-training-certification/best-personal-trainer-certifications-comparison/

  14. Thanks for the input! I just passed my NASM CPT too and agree that this CPT is better-suited to trainers who want to concentrate on designing effective training programs. Personal trainer is so much more than science and physiology; the NASM cert dives into some of the lesser discussed aspects of training and concentrates much of their education on the “personal” aspect of training. Love the recipe, I’m making it tomorrow!

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