Pinnacle Certification v. Penn Foster
Editor's Note: The text below was submitted by a reader who did a great job researching the differences between two popular online personal training programs. Thanks for sharing your research John.
There are three big differences:
Penn Foster appears to be (I repeat appears to be . . . I don’t know) a diploma mill that sells or is connected to ACE.
PCI is connected to NSCA.
In my local area there are 13 ACE certified trainers and 0 NSCA . . . NSCA is by far the more difficult to achieve.
#2 COLLEGE CREDIT
Penn Foster does not offer college credit.
PCI offers 42 semester hours/65 quarter hours which are apparently transferable. (I say apparently because again, I have not checked in depth to see where they can be transferred to.)
Penn Foster offers no hands-on component.
PCI offers four weeks (160 hours) which includes three weeks with a trainer in your local area and one week in a “boot camp” conducted at a gym in Las Vegas.
I would say that the decision to go with PCI has to be made very carefully because it is EXTREMELY expensive. When you consider that you can get certified elsewhere for $500-700 then the $15,000 PCI tuition is twenty times more expensive.
As I told PCI . . . the differential is astronomic.
A Porsche is only 5 or 6 times more expensive than a Saturn . . . the best house in my area is only 5 or 6 times more expensive than the average starter home . . . Yale law school is only twice as expensive as some rinky-dink state law school.
So it comes down to a question of whether the future CPT wants a very thorough education and preparation . . . or not.
Because PCI is the only one offering such thorough training, they can charge whatever they want. As they get other competition in good online CPT courses the market will force them to charge less to stay competitive . . . but right now they ARE the market price setter because they have no competition.
Hope that helps the next guy or gal!
Much thanks from the trenches