my take on why NASM is so popular in gyms
Let me start out by saying I'm a natural cynic.
I believe the real reason NASM seems to be so popular in gyms today is in no way due to the superiority of the NASM. I'm not actually criticizing the NASM's program. I know its good, but so are quite a few other organizations personal training program.
I've seen and heard many comments saying such things as "NASM looks good", or "NASM sounds good", both to the gyms, and out of the mouths of the gym fitness managers.
Why do they think this? Because it has the word "Medicine" in the name. If the NASM chose a name without "medicine" in it, I firmly believe they would be far less successful, and would have their total costs for certification, and their ridiculous renewal cost of a $100 added to the costs of the ceu's a trainer needs to earn more in line with the others. This $100 added fee is the highest of all the certifications.
Then why not just ACSM (also has medicine in it) with the gym popularity? Because the ACSM content and test has a reputation of being too full of anatomy and physiology and clinincal information. In other words, too hard to pass - too scary to take. BTW a decade ago, ACSM was incredibly valued by gyms.
I think the health club industry would actually prefer it, if their customers had the impression that a personal trainer certified by an agency with the word "medicine" in it is more qualified then they really are in terms of healthcare. And I think the NASM is more then happy to take advantage of this.