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AFPA or ISSA certification?

by Henry

I am undecided which of this two, ISSA or AFPA online personal trainer certifications should I be signing up for. I would really appreciate some feedback. Thanks!

Comments for AFPA or ISSA certification?

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ISSA Certification
by: Anonymous

Hi Henry,
I recently obtained my Certification through ISSA (CFT) and I must say that for an online exam it is very detailed and you must know the material in order to pass. The case studies and essays really involve a lot of research and subject knowledge. They even give you feedback on the case studies and essays.

What is great about ISSA is that they have a vast amount of resources that are available to you if you enroll in their program and after you obtain your certification. It was well worth the money for me.

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Game, Set, Match... ISSA
by: Anonymous

The ISSA materials are much more detailed and comprehensive. A better overall cert compared to AFPA.

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AFPA or ISSA
by: Randy N

I went with ISSA. The co-founders and teachers of their seminars are a whos-who in the fitness industry. Very comprehensive text book and seminar was awesome. We had several doctors and med students in our classes that said they were learning things they had not learned before.

Very good knowledge.

I will find out soon how well the certification is accepted by gyms as I will be applying for some positions and will see what they think of the certification. But ISSA is a great course.

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Go WIth Issa
by: Beth

I would go with ISSA.I just went through the seminar Dr. Jack Barnum is an excellent speaker and very well known in the fitness industry. They give you so much information. In order to pass the test you will have to know the book in order to get the answers correct.

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Perspective
by: Anonymous

Hopefully all of you who recommended ISSA have also done or go thru the AFPA. There is no way that you can say one is better than the other unless you have tried them both.

Your comments state that ISSA is more complete, effective or descriptive... but compare to what? Have you done AFPA???

I am still trying to decide which way to go, an honestly your comments do not help at all because there is no comparison, just personal one sided preference.

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ISSA or AFPA
by: Anonymous

I personally went with ISSA because it was advertised the most. I have never even heard of the AFPA. I worked on my certification when I was on Active Duty in the Air Force, and they were very supportive of the military. I even missed my completion date because of a deployment, and they waived my re-enrollment fees. The customer service was great too!
Personally, I have heard better things about the NASM certification since you are required to sit for the final exam. I knew a lot of trainers who practiced a lot of the priciples of NASM on their clients, and they said the whole program made it easier to apply the training principles. I have thought about getting the NASM as well. I know more gyms(like Gold's) are requiring the NASM over any other certification lately.
The more well known the certification, the better.

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Not sure of either - but read please
by: Robert

I have not looked at the ISSA certification but I did just get the AFPA package and I am very disappointed overall and will not test with them.

When I got the package (1 Hardcover book, 1 Soft cover book, 3 DVD's) I was excited because it looks very professional. I have been training for many years and am certified with NCSF. At first glance the material looks great so I started quickly going through the books and found a couple of exercises that are contraindicated which one is the very common Front Lunge. Their explanation says to no allow the \knee to go TO FAR in front of the toes?!?!? WHAT? The toes should never go past the toes in a stationary lunge. I called AFPA ask why this is written this way and the lady started first by ask me WHAT ARE YOUR QUALIFICATION? What does that have to do with? If the exercise is wrong it is wrong Period!. Then I looked at the 2 Exercise DVD's that had a girl explaining exercises and having clients demonstrating. She read her clips board without really watching the person much at all, she had to stop and correct what she explained in many of the exercises like she really did not know what she was talking about and was just reading off the paper in front of her. I saw about 15 different exercises that were done with poor form and she did not correct, here is the list of a few;

Body weight squat:
The person appeared to roll slight on is toes and the instructor said that you should EXHALE on the way down and INHALE on the way up?!?! HUH? I asked AFPA about this and they said you can do it either way breathing can be done how you want.

Inner and Outer Rotator Cuff Rotations:
The instructor was allowing the client to let his arm come away from his body 8-10 inches rather than keep the elbow next to the body.

Side Lateral Lunge:
The person did a side Squat not a Lunge I was told there are different way to do a lunge. A side lunge one leg is extended further than the other in this demo she was just side stepping and dropping her glutes straight down in the middle like a body weight squat.

There were many others to the above but with the same poor form and explanations.

I thought maybe I could get some explanation when I called but the girl just kept questions my qualification. I understand why she was asking but she told me I had to prove these exercises were being done wrong and then they would look into it.

I am putting these books on the shelf and will not be taking their test.


Do your research before spending $400 with these people.

Robert

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Agreed
by: Anonymous

Agreed with you Robert. I took the certification with AFPA and was not really please with the DVD content. I did point it out in my comment card, how the lady on the videos clearly showed no clue of what she was doing. Since I'd already paid for the content, I took my certification exam. Once in, I found out that there is no support at all within the AFPA. There are no discussion board, no forums, no feedback. I email Dr. Occhipinti, who is the one that runs the AFPA organization and he told me that if I needed answers, go to GOOGLE (and Im not kidding, I still have the email).

The books themselves are not bad, they might have some type mistakes, but the overall information is quite complete. Since it was written by Douglas Brooks (which could be consider the most successful personal trainer of all times).

So if, you follow the book and learn from it, Im sure you'll get the training and knowledge you need to get you started. After that, I would say use what you learn from the book and your "HARD COPY CERTIFICATE" to your advantage, but do not count with AFPA to help you after that.

Hope that helps a bit.

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Skip AFPA
by: Anonymous

I got a cert with AFPA> Everything mentioned here is correct. When studying for the cert, I was told to send questions to them and those questions would be answered. They were not. When I followed up with Mark O...who with his wife Amy started and run AFPA...said he answers every question asked...that's not true. He does not. In fact he did not answer a singlel quesiton I aske. Think of AFPA as a business not as a cert program. As a business the goal is to get people to transfer their money to you in exchange for something...in this case a cert. Some businesses are concerned with what they sell and their professional reputations...some don't care. AFPA is in the latter category. In addition, AFPA won't tell you this...but if you decide to combine getting a cert with attending a conference which together they offer for a reduced price, they DO NOT SEND YOU ALL THE MATERIALS PROMISED IN THEIR DESCRIPTION OF WHAT YOU GET WHEN YOU PAY FOR THE CERT ALONE! See? It's a business. They offset the reduced cost by reducing what they send to you. So you do need to ask first what they will not be sending you and then make your decision as to what to do. My advice? Get Douglas Brooks' book The Complete Guide of Personal Training if you're afraid that you'll somehow miss some information...that's the book they use...but go somewhere else for the cert. If you email, leave voice mail messages, or write letters to resolve problems...they simply do not respond unless they happen to pick up the phone when you call...and they rarely..and not lately... pick up the phone when you call....So the more I think about it, just RUN AWAY! RUN FAR AWAY! Invest your dollars somewhere else.

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Who are these people?
by: Shelly P.

I am suspect of anyone that posts a comment as "Anonymous". You could be anybody that has an ax to grind or even a competitor?? Thats the problem with Blogs!!

I went to AFPA's website and they certainly have a lot of great testimonials. Check it out. Obviously many others have had a good experience.




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Very Hard but Respected!
by: Tim

If you are looking to take a CFT course then I strongly recommend ISSA. Reason number 1- They are accredited! This carries alot of weight in the job field. The US Department of Education, CHEA, and the DETC do not give recognition to just anybody. The process that it takes to become accredited is strenuous. It is considered very prestigious for an on-line program to receive that stamp of approval.

Reason number 2-Very in-depth course of study. You are provided with all course materials up front and with no hidden fees. Everything is explained thoroughly at the time of enrollment. And if you have a question, you can call or email ISSA and receive an almost immediate response. They are not there to just "get your money" which really impressed me. They will genuinely provide help and insight.

Do not take this course lightly! It is very difficult and will require time and research to pass but you can do it. ISSA is very well respected in the job field and will put you ahead of the rest.

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Which one
by: Anonymous

I heard NASM is one of the top certification school too bad they don't have an online course, NESTA is suppose to ba good also, I'm still doing my research. I want to take the personal trainer course, but still undecided.

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matter of opinion
by: ron

I disagree with most the comments on here before purchasing the afpa certification I personally researched a lot about the ISSA and the AFPA certs.This is what I found the are both highly accredited they both have their ups and down. However the AFPA offers more classes and certs. The ISSA doesn't even update their site what makes you think their materials are up to date. Like I said though it is a matter of opinion there are people who will disagree 100% with what I said. If you do the research you will find like I have different people will side with each program. I have heard the same bad things about ISSA as AFPA about the demonstrations in the videos being wrong and info being wrong. I also disagree with the people that say having a certification doesn't mean anything. That is not true if you wanna be a personal trainer that means you plan to deal with clients. Clients usually come to you because they do not know enough to do the physical training themselves. They expect you to know what your talking about. Most clients aren't going to know what certs are which. They are however going to take your opinions more seriously if you have a certification as opposed to not having one. I am not saying having a cert makes you more experienced but.... anyone can say they have 12 years of experience all it is is word of mouth. A certification tells your client you have knowledge. For example if you go to a DR who says he has 10 years experience but has no special certifications and graduated from a mediocre college and he wants to perform heart surgery would you let him. As opposed to a Dr who has a PH.D graduated Harvard at the top of his class and has numerous certifications. I am guessing you go with the PHD because his qualifications give you peace of mind. In reality the other dr might have been a better dr. But he lacked backing evidence.

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AFPA Nutrition & Wellness Consultant
by: Cass

I am researching certification in nutrition and wellness, has anyone received this certification from afpa? was it worth it? can you get private customers with it? or is there another resource that you could recommend. Thanks

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Do your research
by: Diane

I strongly encourage you to research this question by calling the gyms and college fitness teachers in your area. I did and found that people were really consistent in the CPT certification they thought was best. Or even what they require in order to work at that gym.
Good Luck!

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Suspicious Posters
by: Anonymous

A few of these look like they were written by the same person. They had the same style of terrible grammar.

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Just an Opinion
by: courtellis

I say go with both you can't go wrong. The reality is that a degree in exercise science still requires you to have a certification from somewhere. The fact that you can get these certification either through home study or their school or some seminar type program shouldn't matter. The important thing is they get the certification and are willing to put it to use in the industry!! I think if a person gets a certification from AFPA, ISSA, NASM, ACE, NESTA, APPX RAT CAT Whatever it should be looked at, not everyone can afford $600 to $700 programs. Those looking to hire new trainers should hire them and pay for the cert if it means so much to them. At least the potential trainer is trying to improve themselves and healp others as well. Remember this is just an opinion!!

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AFPA and the NCCA accredidation
by: Jim

I can tell you this I went with AFPA and never had a problem. Yes the girl in the video could of been better, but if you still need the video after reading the very informative books. Then i suggest reread the books, you cant go wrong with that they were written by the best. And as far as they never answer the phone, return calls, write back, or answer any questions you may have along the way. In my experience they returned my call, and emailed me back. I would recommend AFPA to anyone who ask. But yes it is a personal preference. And for the reason they are not accredited through NCCA is AFPA has elected not to have the Personal Trainer Certification program accredited by NCCA because NCCA is not recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Education to grant accreditation; in addition they are not recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). NCCA does not accredit institutions or educational programs, only examinations. Therefore anyone can go take their final exam with no previous study coarse, and if they get a min of 75% right they get a cert. With AFPA you have to get 90% right before they give you a cert.

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AFPA vs. POOP
by: Anonymous

By far POOP (Professional Ostrich Online Professionals) is the best. They teach you everything you need to know. They are accreditated by the Animal Planet channel. You guys are silly. Market yourself with whatever credentials you get

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AFPA, ISSA, NESTA
by: Anonymous

I am still doing research on this.
Whatever info Im getting is really confusing...

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NASM and ISSA
by: Anonymous

I have both certs for NASM and ISSA. I will tell you that one of the harder tests i took was the NASM one. They have great materials and notoriety in the field. I did however, choose to go with ISSA for further education because of the accreditation. I just finished the AS in exercise and I am also a Master trainer through ISSA. What I can tell you about there course from the degree path is that it was very informative and the material was pretty solid stuff. Not that NASM wasn't, I just figured if I was going to pursue this career path I might as well get a degree. Another point to look at is that once you have a degree you do not have to pay bi-annually to re-certify. All these programs require that even ISSA. So if you don't want to pay $200 every other year, go the degree path. ISSA was the only one i seen that offered that.

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AFPA vs POOP
by: Court Ellis

I liked this comment and yes i have a cheap cert, I have five of them, but my business does just fine and as a matter of fact it is flourishing quite well. As you can see at 10:30 am I am chilling here. I digress, I liked the AFPA VS POOP comment because you do need to know how to market yourself, and your certs aren't going to matter just like they don't matter to your clients. I have never heard a client say: "Yeah (Insert name) is my trainer and he/she is certified be (Insert Brand)and you never will.

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NASM
by: Anonymous

I only have a cert in NASM, so take my word with a grain of salt. They DO offer an online course, but you have to take the final exam at a testing facility so its impossible to cheat. The CPT course they offer is online, but there ARE real sessions that they offer for you to go to that offer CEU's. I picked NASM over ISSA because although ISSA is recognized by the board of online learning and seemed like a harder course, they are not accredited by that racquet ball association thing that actually allows you to get a job. I picked NASM over ACE for no other reason than NASM requires a high school diploma and ACE did not and I see the lower standard as a poor selling point, despite the fact that ACE is probably the most commonly accepted cert. NASM is online, BUT it offers an exercise library so you can see a video demonstration of exercises from all stages of training of the OPT model.

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AFPA
by: T. Riley

I enrolled in the AFPA Personal Trainer Certification and never looked backed! I wanted to start a new career as a Personal Trainer and looked at a lot of certification programs. AFPA materials were very current, applicable and interesting. I could study where and when I wanted and take my exam online. Very convenient for me as a single Dad. Anyway, I would highly recommend their program - they also helped me start an online business with a business plan and booklet on best practices, etc...

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