Blog » Becoming a Coach »  Top 10 Best Fitness Coach certifications

Top 10 Best Fitness Coach certifications

Top 10 Best Fitness Coach certifications Fitness Coach certifications  /  20th July 2022

There are many different types of fitness coach certifications available today. Which one is best for you? Certification programs vary widely in their focus, content, and requirements. There are generalist fitness certifications and specialist ones. Some require a college degree, while others don’t.

The best way to choose a fitness coach certification is to decide what type of coach you want to be and what population you want to work with.

Top 10 Best Fitness Coach certifications Fitness Coach certifications

Do you want to be a general fitness coach or a specialist? Do you want to work with athletes, the elderly, people with special needs, or the general population?

Once you’ve decided on your focus, research the different certifications available and choose the one that best fits your needs.

What is Fitness coaching, and what does a fitness coach do?

Fitness coaching is a process that helps people set and reach their fitness goals. A fitness coach works with clients to create a plan that fits their individual needs and lifestyle and provides support and accountability to help them stay on track.

A fitness coach can help people of all fitness levels, from beginners who are just starting to experienced athletes looking to take their performance to the next level. Fitness coaches come from various backgrounds, including personal trainers, physical therapists, and even nutritionists. No matter their training or experience, the best fitness coaches have one thing in common: they’re passionate about helping others reach their full potential.

What are the benefits of coaching certification programs?

There are many benefits to be gained from undertaking a coaching certification program. Some of the main benefits include:

  • Gaining an internationally recognized qualification which can help to open up new career opportunities, both in coaching and in related fields.
  • Developing essential coaching skills and knowledge can be used in personal and professional contexts.
  • Enhancing self-awareness and understanding of personal strengths and weaknesses can be beneficial in all areas of life.
  • Learning to motivate and inspire others effectively can lead to improved relationships, increased productivity, and overall success.
  • Becoming part of a community of like-minded individuals who can provide ongoing support and encouragement.

Top 10 coaching certificates for becoming a coach

Certified coaches help their clients set and achieve personal and professional goals. If you’re interested in becoming an accredited coach, there are several things you need to do. In this article, we’ll outline the top 10 coaching certificates that will help get you started on your coaching journey.

1. National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

The National Academy of Sports Medicine, or NASM, is a well-known and respected certification organization in the United States. It offers several certifications for personal trainers, including the Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) credential.

The CPT credential from NASM requires candidates to pass an exam and pay a fee. The program length varies, but most people complete it within a few months. There are no prerequisites for the CPT credential. However, NASM recommends that candidates have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. 

There are many benefits to having a CPT credential from NASM. For example, employers often prefer or require applicants to have this credential. In addition, holding the CPT credential can lead to increased earnings and job satisfaction. 

There are a few drawbacks to getting certified through NASM. First, the cost of the program can be prohibitive for some people. Second, the exam can be challenging, and candidates may need to invest significant time and effort to prepare. 

Overall, the CPT credential from NASM is a valuable asset for personal trainers. It can open doors to new employment opportunities and help trainers advance their careers. For severe candidates willing to invest time and money, becoming certified through NASM is a great way to improve their professional prospects.

2. American Council on Exercise (ACE)

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) is a nonprofit fitness certification, education and training organization. It was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

ACE offers a wide variety of certifications for personal trainers and group fitness instructors, as well as continuing education courses. The cost of certification varies depending on the type of certification you pursue but generally ranges from $399-$599. The length of the program also varies, but most programs can be completed in 4-12 weeks. There are no prerequisites for most ACE certifications, although some do require CPR/AED certification.

There are many benefits to becoming ACE certified, including access to exclusive resources and discounts, professional liability insurance, and opportunities to network with other fitness professionals. In addition, ACE certification is highly respected in the fitness industry. It can give you a competitive edge when seeking employment.

There are also some drawbacks to consider before Pursuing ACE certification. These include the cost of the program and the time commitment required to complete it. In addition, you will be required to renew your certification every two years, including completing continuing education credits and paying a renewal fee.

ACE certification can be a great way to launch or advance your career in the fitness industry. It is essential to consider the cost, time commitment, and benefits before deciding.

3. Action Personal Trainer Certification

The Action Personal Trainer Certification is a great way to get certified and become a professional trainer. The program is short, only lasting four weeks, and is relatively inexpensive. It is also great to learn about the benefits and drawbacks of working as a personal trainer.

There are some prerequisites for the Action certification. You must be 18 years old and have a high school diploma or equivalent. It would be best if you also had CPR and First Aid certificates. 

The Action Personal Trainer Certification is a great way to get certified and become a professional trainer. The program is short, only lasting four weeks, and is relatively inexpensive. It is also great to learn about the benefits and drawbacks of working as a personal trainer.

4. International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)

The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) is a well-known and respected organization in the fitness industry, and its certification is widely recognized. The ISSA offers several certifications, including personal training, strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, and more. The cost of the certificate varies depending on which one you choose but expect to spend around $600 for the personal training certification. 

The program length also varies depending on the chosen certification, but most programs can be completed within 6-12 weeks. There are no prerequisites for any of the ISSA’s certification programs; however, they do recommend that you have at least a high school diploma or GED. 

There are many benefits to becoming certified through the ISSA. One of the enormous benefits is that the ISSA is a well-known and respected organization, so having their certification will give you instant credibility. 

Additionally, the ISSA offers support to its certified trainers, including an online community, continuing education courses, and discounts on fitness products and services. There are also several drawbacks to becoming certified through the ISSA. 

First, the certification cost can be relatively high, primarily if you pursue more than one certification. Additionally, the ISSA does not have any physical locations, so if you prefer in-person support, this may not be the proper organization for you. 

Overall, the ISSA is a great option for those looking to get certified as a personal trainer or in another fitness-related field. The certification is widely recognized and will give you instant credibility. Still, it is essential to keep in mind that the cost can be high, and no in-person support is available. 

5. National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT)

The National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) is a leading certification provider for fitness professionals. NFPT offers several different types of certification, each with its own cost, program length, and prerequisites. 

The benefits of NFPT certification include access to exclusive resources, discounts on fitness products and services, and the ability to use the NFPT logo on your website and marketing materials. 

The drawbacks of NFPT certification include the cost of certification and the need to renew your certification every two years. However, many fitness professionals feel that the benefits of NFPT certification outweigh the drawbacks.

6. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is the world’s largest sports medicine and exercise science organization. ACSM promotes and integrates scientific research, education, and practical applications of sports medicine and exercise science to maintain and enhance physical performance, fitness, health, and quality of life.

Certification: ACSM offers a variety of certifications for fitness professionals, including Certified Personal Trainers (CPT), Certified Health Fitness Specialist (HFS), and Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist (RCEP).

Cost: Prices vary depending on the certification desired but range from $300-$1,000

Program length: The program varies depending on the desired certification but can range from a few weeks to a few months. 

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for taking the ACSM certification exam. However, it is recommended that candidates have a bachelor’s degree in exercise science or a related field, as well as experience working in the fitness industry.

Benefits: ACSM certifications are recognized and respected worldwide. They can open doors to new job opportunities and help you advance your career. Additionally, ACSM-certified professionals earn a higher salary on average than non-certified fitness professionals.

Drawbacks: The cost of ACSM certification can be prohibitive for some individuals. Additionally, the length of the program can be a deterrent for those who want to become certified quickly. Finally, the lack of prerequisites may mean some candidates are not fully prepared for the exam.

Use: ACSM certification can be used to pursue a fitness or exercise science career.

7. NFPT – National Federation of Professional Trainers

The National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) is a nonprofit organization that provides certification for personal trainers. The program cost is $499, which includes the exam fee. The program length is four weeks, and there are no prerequisites. 

The benefits of becoming certified through the NFPT include access to liability insurance, job resources, and continuing education opportunities. The main drawback of the NFPT certification is that it is not as widely recognized as some other certifications. 

However, the NFPT certification is still a valuable option for those looking to become certified personal trainers.

8. NCSF – National Council on Strength & Fitness

The National Council on Strength & Fitness (NCSF) is a nonprofit organization that provides certification and education for strength and fitness professionals. NCSF offers a variety of certification programs, each with its own cost, program length, prerequisites, benefits, and drawbacks.

NCSF’s certifications are generally well-respected and can help advance your career as a strength and fitness professional. However, because the NCSF is a nonprofit organization, it does not have the marketing power of some for-profit organizations. Additionally, the NCSF’s certifications are not as widely recognized as others.

If you are interested in becoming a certified strength and fitness professional, the NCSF is a great organization to consider. Just be sure to do your research and choose the program that is right for you.

9. AFAA – Athletics and Fitness Association of America

The Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) is a nonprofit organization that provides certification for fitness professionals. The organization was founded in 1983 and is headquartered in Irving, Texas.

Certification with AFAA costs $299 for the initial certification and then $99 for each renewal every two years. The certification process consists of an online exam and a practical skills assessment. There are no prerequisites for taking the exam. Still, candidates must have a high school diploma or equivalent to be eligible for certification.

Benefits of AFAA certification include access to liability insurance, job placement assistance, and discounts on fitness products and services. In addition, certified professionals can use the AFAA logo on their marketing materials. Drawbacks of AFAA certification include the cost of certification and the requirement to renew every two years.

Some fitness organizations recognize AFAA certification, but not all. It is a good option for those looking for an affordable way to get started in the fitness industry. However, candidates should be aware that AFAA certification is not universally recognized and may need additional certificates to be eligible for specific jobs.

10. NESTA – National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association

NESTA is a national organization that offers certification for exercise and sports trainers. The program costs $399, and it takes approximately four weeks to complete. 

The program has no prerequisites, but benefits include access to exclusive online content and discounts on NESTA products and services. 

Drawbacks of the program include the cost and time commitment required to complete it. Certification from NESTA can be used to pursue a career in exercise and sports training or to enhance one’s existing career in this field.

What are the career prospects for someone with a Fitness coaching certificate?

With a fitness coaching certification, you can work as a professional fitness coach in various settings, including gyms, health clubs, and fitness centers. You may also be able to work as a personal trainer or group fitness instructor. Fitness coaches typically work with clients to help them improve their physical fitness and overall health.

How to become a certified Fitness coach?

You’ll need to take a few steps to become a certified fitness coach. First, you’ll need to have experience working with clients in a fitness setting – this could be anything from working as a personal trainer at a gym to leading group exercise classes. You’ll also need to complete a certification program approved by organizations such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) or the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Once you’ve completed your certification, you’ll be able to apply for coaching positions at gyms, studios, or other fitness facilities.

Questions to consider when looking for a Fitness coaching certification

There are many things to consider when looking for a fitness coach certification program. These include:

  • What are your personal goals and intentions?
  • What style of fitness coaching is being offered? Is this the style you want to focus on?
  • Do you need to be certified to teach fitness? 
  • Should you train online or in-person? 
  • What are the prerequisites for the program? 
  • How long is the program? 
  • What is the cost of the program? 
  • What is included in the program? 
  • Is there a practical component to the program? 
  • Will you receive a certificate upon completion of the program? 

Considering all of these factors will help you choose the best fitness coach certification program for you.

Is it necessary to obtain a Fitness certification for practicing as a Fitness coach?

The answer to this question may depend on several factors, such as where you live and the type of fitness coaching you plan to do. In some cases, certification can help obtain employment or work with certain types of clients. However, many successful fitness coaches do not have any formal certification.

A few different types of fitness certifications are available, each with its focus and requirements. Some popular certifications include those from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), American Council on Exercise (ACE), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), and International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA). While there is no one “best” certification, researching the different options can help you choose the one that best fits your needs.

Fitness certifications can provide essential knowledge and skills related to exercise programming, anatomy, physiology, and other aspects of fitness coaching. However, remember that a certification is not a guarantee of success. Even with a certificate, you will still need to work hard to build up your clientele and reputation as a fitness coach.

Conclusion

A fitness coach certification can be a great way to start or further your career in the fitness industry. Many different types of certificates are available, so it’s essential to do your research to find the one that best fits your needs. While a certification is not required to be a successful fitness coach, it can provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills related to exercise programming, anatomy, physiology, and other aspects of fitness coaching. Ultimately, whether or not you get a certification is up to you. Still, it is worth considering if you are serious about becoming a fitness coach.

Frequently asked questions

1. What is Fitness coaching?

Fitness coaching is a process that helps individuals reach their fitness goals. Fitness coaches work with clients to help them develop healthy habits and make lifestyle changes to improve their overall health and well-being.

2. What are the benefits of Fitness coaching certification programs?

Training certification programs provide coaches with the knowledge and skills necessary to help clients achieve their fitness goals. In addition, certification programs can also assist coaches network with other professionals in the field and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the fitness industry.

3. How to become a certified Fitness coach?

Most Fitness coaching certification programs require coaches to have a bachelor’s degree in exercise science or a related field. In addition, coaches must complete a certain number of continuing education credits and pass an exam to earn their certification.

4. Is it necessary to obtain a Fitness certification for practicing as a Fitness coach?

While there is no legal requirement to obtain a fitness certification to practice as a fitness coach, many clients may feel more comfortable working with a coach who has been certified by an accredited organization. In addition, some employers may prefer or require that their fitness coaches be certified.

0 Comment

Leave a Comment