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ACE vs. ACSM and NSCA

by Mary

I am getting re-certified through a new organization, upon learning that my previous (expensive) cert. isn't valuable outside of my previously small city. I do not want to make the same mistake again. Everyone tells me something different, they each suggest a different certification. I would like to get ACE certified for economical reasons, but have been told that it is not nearly as respected as ACSM and NSCA. I have even heard "stories" about people that couldn't get hired with an ACE certification. I just wanted to see if anyone had some good news for me; I would really prefer to get ACE certified, but don't want to do it if it's not respected in the same fashion as other certs. Any knowledge on the subject would be helpful.

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Go for it
by: georgert

Do you want to get certified to get certified, or do you want to certification to be a verification that you know your shit? If the former, go for the ACE. If you want the latter, then take the NSCA CSCS exam.

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respect comes with hard work
by: keith chittenden

Thanks to the internet, fitness/ personal trainer certifications are all over the place. If you want to get a job with just about any health and fitness facilty(prefable a upscale facility that pays well) you need to get a reputable certification. For my first personal certification I got ACE certified back in 2004, since that the only job I could get is from a chain gym such as ballys and gold. These gyms pay very low rates and your required to get your own clients; so personal training becomes a inside sales job. I realized that only way to get the respect and good job offers was to go the highier route and sit for a good certification. This takes studying in depth anatomy, physiology, and biomechanics. I recommend you get the NASM CPT. Almost any gym in the USA recognizes NASM and some require it as a entry level certification. It will take work, but its worth it. After getting the CPT; if your interested in Sports; i recommend NSCA CSCS. But first sit for NASM CPT. hope this helps you.

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ace is good
by: Trainer Mike C.

Ace certification is 2nd to ACSM because Ace often uses ACSM as a reference. Both certifications are good to have. And both should land you a personal training job.
The Ace PT exam is not easy to pass. I've heard that 80 percent of people fail the exam on their first attempt. I have a BS in Health and I did not pass my first attempt. Ace is well respected throughout the Nation. And it shouldnt matter which one of these certifications you have. The person makes the trainer, not the certificate.

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Still Unregulated
by: Steve Epperson

Unfortunately, personal trainer certifications remain subjective. Because there are no regulations in most states regarding personal trainer certification or licensing, you are at the complete and total mercy of the gym or organization you are working for.

On the bright side, there is a way to find out what the requirements are for the gym you want to work at. Just ask! The manager will let you know what certification really winds them up. Then go get it. If you are an independent, however, you can pretty much choose whichever one you want, without too much repercussion.

I started with ISSA, because I have always been independent. I think if I were to be an employee, my first instinct would be an ACE certification, especially if the gym you are trying to get a job at serves the general population. If it's a muscle-head gym like World Gym or Gold's, you may want ISSA or NASM.

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