ACSM is the best cert hands down
If you go get an exercise science, an exercise and wellness, etc... Bachelor's degree, the final two years of your studies are dedicated to ACSM information. I got a Bachelor's degree from Arizona State University in Exercise and Wellness, and the final two years are dedicated to all the material you would learn through ACSM, and so is graduate school. In fact, one of the PhD professors (Dr. Swan) was selected to be ACSM's president. Those that have this sort of Bachelor's degree will have no problem passing the test - if you did well in school of course. But for those that haven't gone to school, it may be more difficult to pass. You have to have a high degree of understanding when it comes to: Health Risk Factors, Exercise Prescriptions for certain populations of people, physiology, and Joints, and then of course bones, muscles, tissues, etc.. The material will be hard to understand, but you can still pass it by learning what NOT to select on a multiple choice quiz. YOu see, as you become familiar with the material, and you're taking a test, you will recognize the answers, and most of the time you can narrow a choice down to 2 options if you don't know the answer, so you can still pass it.
Just don't go out and get a bogus certificate from some place else. The AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE is BY FAR the best organization, not just in the country, but the world. It is what the National Heart Association, the Public Health Departments, the Center for Disease Control, etc... ALL base their information on - it's like the bible of our industry.
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