spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
Logo Starting a Personal Training Business spacer
Home Sitemap Contact Support Our Site spacer
Trainer Directory Discussion Forum What's New spacer

Get Started - 8 Simple Steps to Success

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

EnglishFrenchGermanItalianPortugueseRussianSpanish


Step 1:
Is Personal Training
Right for Me?

arrow
Step 2:
Get Certified
arrow
Step 3:
Get the Job
arrow
Step 4:
Launch Your Business
arrow
Step 5:
Train Smarter



- Popular Pages -

Exam Prep Course

Complete Training System

Business Plan

List of PT Schools

Cert Comparison

Cert Discounts

CEU Discounts

Free Starter Kit

Job Board

Salary Calculator

Shop

Blog



Site Search


How to start? NSCA or ACSM; no fitness degree; Please help!

by Prospective Trainer
(Chicago)

I have a bachelors degree in psychology and have decided to get my personal trainer certification to work part time, full time if I can make enough money. I spoke with a trainer at my gym and she suggested NSCA, which she has, or ACSM. I have read on this site that both NSCA and ACSM are difficult. I consider myself an intelligent person but am getting nervous already for the exam and I have not even ordered the materials yet! How do I choose? Are these good to start with? I have also been told I should try to shadow a trainer. I called a couple of chain gyms but they said I need my certification. Any suggestions on shadowing or getting a mentor? Any help in getting started is appreciated!

Comments for How to start? NSCA or ACSM; no fitness degree; Please help!

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
ACSM -> Health NSCA-> performance
by: Anonymous

ACSM is good certification if you are working with diseased, sedentary and unfit people. Their guidelines are the standard for this type of population.
-
NSCA is mostly based on performance. If you want to train athletes or Fit people go for NSCA.
-
YOU HAVE A BACHELORS!! dont waist your time go for the NSCA-CSCS.
-
This certification can only be taken if you have a bacherlos degree(Does not matter if it is Pychology). This is the next level of the NSCA CPT.

Remember ACSM or NSCA depends on the clients you are woking with.

LC CPT


Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Thanks for the comments!
by: Prospective Trainer

Thank you both for the comments. I called NSCA and spoke with a gentleman who also suggested I go for the CSCS; however, he said it does not focus on personal training but more working with athletes. He also suggested I may want to get the cpt first as it may help me with passing the CSCS due to the material being completely new to me. Decisions, decisions....

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
not just any any bachelors!
by: Tim L

Just because a trainer has a bachelors degree, in ANY field, doesn't qualify to help in fitness.
As I have said before, I will put my BS in Health, PE and Fitness, and my MA, and MA research in the fitness field against ANY certification.As well as my 21 years of actual classroom instruction in the same. Would you take advice on counseling from the local bartender? He, he talks to a lot of people. The PT business is too easy and too many certs, and not enough quality, college level educated people.

I went to school in the fitness field for 7 years and have 10 hours toward a PHD in wellness. Who is more qualified/ The ACE NSCA certified person, or the college educated professional with a state instructional LICENSE that states MASTER on it? THAT hangs on my wall.

So, takes some advice, go back and at least take college level courses in anatomy, physiology, exercise physio, biomechanics, adapted PE, greriatric wellness, and then apply that to a decent cert.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
TIM L you are a freak
by: LC CPT

WE ARE HERE TO HELP PEOPLE -- NOT TO TRY TO GET THEIR ATTENTION BY JUDGING THEM TO MAKE THEM FEEL BAD

Go tell your mom about your personal issues because we don't care.

I understand you want our field to be well known but everybody has to start somewhere to work our way up.

If you have a masters, great for you use it to help people not to judge them.


LC CPT

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
u took it too hard
by: TimL

Read what I say
It is too easy to get a cert. WE NEED EDUCATION, not just certification.
I would be glad to help. But right is right.
Too many gym rats, that's all.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
name calling not the way to respond
by: Tim L

I meant to harm or offense to anyone. Calling me a freak is way off the mark.
I have dedicated 30 years of my life to fitness, and you say I have a Master, true, but it's much more than a degree.
I am merely saying too many people that work out think they can be a trainer. Psychology is great: you have to know people and read them. I have several courses in that as well.
My point is the best way to give the best, most informed, and SAFEST training is to take the courses in college for that area.
If a person wants to be a PT and has college in mechanical engineering, does that mean he/she will be a good trainer because they work out?
The fact is most PTs are underqualified and have a piece of paper that says they have training.
I have taught actual classroom courses for 21 years. I took courses that lasted 3 months for 10 years, done dissertations, research, and applied them to what I do.
In the very least, get at least college level courses in these areas: anatomy, kiniesiology, exercise science, and nutrition. Add to that wellness, and you got cake.
As well as helping those who want to start it up? I am relocating to Tampa in late august and will offer any Tampa area trainer, or someone aspiring to be a trainer a start. And as a former fitness educator, they will be taught properly, effectively, caringly, and will be successful. Sorry if I offended you: you mistook passion and love for what I do for glory. That is not me. Again, anyone in Tampa that wants a chance to get in the biz, I will have the equipment, the space, and the advertising, and you will get taught by me: a fitness TEACHER, willing to share his 30 plus years of knowledge.

Thanks

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
misspelled my word
by: TIm L

last post may have had a misprint:
first line should read "I meant no" not "to"
Sorry

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
My coment was too harsh
by: LC CPT

Yes I understand where you are coming from and it's great that people like you are making our field well known. I makes sense what you say about people who want quick money and not to learn and they make our field look bad.

I was too harsh with my comment too.


Rating
starstarstarstarstar
PLEASE
by: MD

Tim my friend, relax. You sound offensive, which means your not comfortable with your abilities. I myself posess a BA in HISTORY with minor in Phys Ed. and an Advanced PT cert from International Fitness Professionals Association (IFPA). Street smarts and desire will get you further in this business than brains. Obviously you need to have the desire, ability, and initiative to learn. I am now upgrading to a CSCS. BUT I also have 8 years of PT experience, which is what adds value to my time.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Tim
by: Anonymous

I am just starting out to get my certification in PT and I am fixing to order the study materials...I will Take my exam in April if all goes well. I don't have a degree but I am very centered and passionate about working out and learning the right way. I am 46 years old and a great motivator. What certification would You suggest that I start with...I was going for the ACSM...any suggestions?

Bethy
Natchez, Ms

P.S. Tim , how much would you charge for your help?

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Learn to spell
by: Anonymous

TIM L, since you're correcting your spelling I thought I might point out that greriatric isn't a word.


Rating
starstarstarstarstar
incorrect
by: Anonymous

First response is incorrect. NSCA certifies you to work with not just healthy people, but also special needs. ACSM is for healthy people only.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
No education??
by: Rick in MN

I am a 45 yr. old man, have been into fitness all my life I have wanted to be a trainer for about 15 yrs now. I lost my job that I had for 16 yrs and I have had the chance to study and I passed and am now NSCA certified, with that yes I would have loved to have gone to college but with kids and no money it wasnt realistic. Getting to the point I take it very personally that basically I dont know squat because I dont have a degree, it's thinking like that, that has caused part of our economic problems ppl thinking he/she isnt qualified because he/she doesnt have a degree, how about hard work, and integrity..I studied HARD for that exam and passed the first time, tell my wife and kids it doesnt mean anything

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Nice Rick
by: Theresa MN

I like your comment Rick, way to rock the MN

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Rick
by: Anonymous

Good point Rick. College is a great option for many people, and the easiest way to ensure thorough knowledge, but not the only way. With information available like never before people can learn just as much from books and internet if they use reputable sources like .edu, .org, and .gov sites. It helps to own college books but not everyone needs instructor supervision to learn. What most people do need is a way to apply knowledge as they learn it (maybe a video camera to demonstrate new knowledge to) and some peers to share thoughts with. I like to find out curriculum that colleges use and research it using free resources. With all of this free info you basically have a customized online class.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Tim L needs a reality check!
by: Anonymous

Tim, your intentions MAY be to help. However... your self professed passion has come off harsh and full of judgement. It's a bit discerning how you gloat on your several degrees while frowning down on those that choose an alternative route. I don't believe that your collegiate background will make you a "better" trainer than any person with certs! I also find it ironic that you are so opposed to trainers without college degrees yet you are in the business of "training" people in the field. What degree will your clients receive upon completing your course? I think you may be a bit off in your observations..

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Tim L is not an apprentice - at best - of the written english language
by: Namrepus

Dear Tim L,

Exercise science, physiology, health, etc are probably the easiest fields to attain degrees from. Let's be honest. Everyone who has taken a class in the aforementioned subjects knows this. You, a "Master," can barely even write the English language properly - and you want me to believe that you are more knowledgeable than my trainer (NASM, NSCA, ACSM, BA psychology, MA neuropsychology, PhD, clinical neurophysiology, Crossfit Level 2).

Please stop being an ironically pretentious, closeted meat-head.

P.S. LEARN ENGLISH

---Superman

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Another View
by: Anonymous

The argument that a college education is better than a certification is missing the point. It matters not where you get the information but that you know the information. A certification implies that you meet the minimum standards of knowledge to practice in the field. Different certfication have different standards of knoweldge especially NCCA accredited ones. If you need to go to college to learn the information than more power to you but dont imply that you automatically know more than everyone else who does not have one. After all, Bill gates never received a degree but it would be remiss to not call him an expert. Also, Exercise Science degrees rarely focus on actual training but on physiology and kinesiology. By the way, I have a graduate degree and it only means that I paid someone to teach me rather than just buying the books on my own and teaching myself. Lab exercises are the only advantages of degrees

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Like It or Not, Facts Are Facts.
by: Jim

Despite all the hate directed toward Tim L his comments are backed by facts.

In a study by Malek, Nalbone, Berger, & Coburn (2002) they found that education was very important with a need for a bachelors degree in exercise science and certifications by accredited organizations (e.g. ACSM & NSCA). They recommend licensing requirements based on the findings and the article, which goes on to show that experience was not a strong predictor of knowledge. Tim L’s degree is many times more valuable for any client then just someone getting a certification. Trying to undermine this fact is not giving proper education it respect it deserves. Would anyone go to see a psychologist with only a certification or a degree in business, engineering, or law? Furthermore, there is no factual bases for the comment that street smarts will make someone an efficient or effective trainer (in fact evidence supports the contrary). Just because someone may not want to get the degree does no invalidate Tim L’s comments. I urge anyone to provide statistically significant evidence that lack of sound education will make an effective trainer. Unfortunately, if can’t get the education, then their better off not trying to become a professional in any sort of exercise related field. This is why licensing needs to be put into law (any psychologist is required to do the same).

Namrepus, I have seen many people bail out of the curriculum, so it is an unjustified assumption that exercise science is in anyway an inferior degree in relation to difficulty. I have had to take at least Calc 2, General Physics 2, Chemistry 2, Organic Chemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Neurobiology, Exercise Physiology, Motor Control, General Psychology and more for sport and exercise, Biomechanics, exercise courses related to cardiovascular and muscular development, exercise prescription and development, and lots of research papers including a required senior thesis based on conducting an experiment where some lucky few could get published. This is by no means an easy degree to obtain and the very statement is insulting. This a science degree that opens the door for medical, physical therapy, clinical exercise physiology, physician assistant, occupational therapist, or personal trainer fields.

Reference

Malek, M. H., Nalbone, D. P., Berger, D. E., & Coburn, J. W. (2002). Importance of health science education for personal fitness trainers. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 16(1), 19-24.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Totally right
by: Anonymous

Jim you are totally right... Facts are facts. Not everyone has to go to school and that should be respected, however, all trainers should understand that a certification will never be the same as a degree.The depth of learning involved in biology, exercise science and the complexity of the human body is never ending information that does take a much deeper level of understanding. Tim knows this but he did come across a bit too harsh...he could use some university level classes in communication skills... but.... I also think he is right. To answer the person who asked about certifications.... Ask around the places and people you want to work with which one they take and/or respect better. In my opinion, ACSM hands down.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Listen up
by: Anonymous

Hello all. I would like ask that if someone has the time and money for years and years of college, why not go for Physical Therapy? If you want to pursue grad work to be a personal trainer, that is just silly. Fact is, if one has a bachelor's degree in anything, then it shows a certain level of general knowledge and ability to learn. But, it is not necessary. Look at computer geniuses that can write programs from learning on their own. Look at successful business owners that never went to college. MBA students waste their time learning about people that actually went out there and did it. Point is, if someone has a true passion and a good certification, it will show. After all, personal training isn't rocket science people! BTW, I have a B.S. in psych also and am C.S.C.S. certified and can tell you that personal training isn't all about exercise physiology, it is about the person as a whole and psych give the perfect background. Good Luck.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
Certifications and Degrees
by: Vinny

To answer your question about the certifications, figure out what you like to do? Do you like training athletes, do you like strength training, do you like helping unfit people? Find out what your strong point is in order to figure out what certification to take. It all comes down to what you are actually going to do with it.

And for the comments going to back and forth about certs and degrees and who's more qualified, It doesn't matter whether you have a degree or national cert. What MATTERS is the OUTCOME.

If I am training someone what matters is the RESULTS! Your clients want results that's what its about and that's why they came to you. If you can't help them accomplish the results they are after and help them accomplish their goals, then your degree, cert or whatever you have doesn't matter AT ALL!

You have to be able to apply your knowledge to the field. If I can't apply my knowledge to the field when I am training my clients, they I would have no idea what the hell I am doing.

And in that aspect your qualifications don't mean anything.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
depends on your goal
by: nor

As stated before it all depends on the population you plan on working with.

As for Tim L I did my BS in Exercise Science and didn't pursue a masters and replaced it with certifications that i though were more beneficial such as KMI, MAT, ART. My entire undergraduate program was based and try to prepare you to take the NSCA CSCS AND ACSM HFS. Any1 with patients can get a masters and it doesn't mean you are very good at what you do. cramming the material and applying it is two very different things.

Good Luck with your journey.

Rating
starstarstarstarstar
I think ACSM is the best! NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm pretty biased but I love ACSM! I'm a personal trainer as well as a licensed registered nurse and I find that ACSM really helps you work with clientele who have limitations or medical conditions. I don't know that much about NSCA so I can't say much about it. However, you can't go wrong with ACSM, they're the leader in the industry! Good luck!
"
Louben,
http://repkefitness.com/

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Best Certification - Reader recommendations.


spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer
spacer spacer

Home | Sitemap | Contact | Support Our Site | Trainer Directory | Discussion Forum | What's New | Privacy

Step 1: Is Personal Training Right for Me? | Step 2: Get Certified | Step 3 - Get the Job
Step 4 - Launch your business | Step 5 - Train Smarter

Copyright © 2007-2016. Starting a Personal Training Business. All rights reserved.