Ultimate Guide to the Best Personal Training Certification

Best Personal Training Certification

Choosing the best personal training certification is going to look a little different from person to person. “Best” is subjective, meaning that it really depends on what your goals are. If you want, for example, to become a group fitness trainer, then a personal training certification won’t be right for you at all. If you’re interested in working with children or another specialized group, like people with disabilities, then you’ll want to find the certification course that addresses this specialization. Here’s the ultimate guide to the best personal training certification for you:

What Are the Different Types of Personal Training Certifications?

Before you can decide which is the best personal training certification, you first have to know what your options are. Below is a list of nationally-accredited, generalized personal training certification programs in alphabetical order:

  • Academy of Applied Personal Training Education
  • American Council on Exercise
  • American College of Sports Medicine
  • ACTION Personal Trainer Certification
  • Athletics and Fitness Association of America
  • American Fitness Professionals and Associates
  • International Fitness Professionals Association
  • International Sports Sciences Association
  • National Academy of Sports Medicine
  • National Council for Certified Personal Trainers
  • National Council on Strength and Fitness
  • National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association
  • National Exercise Trainers Association
  • National Federation of Professional Trainers
  • National Personal Training Institute
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association

Note: The list above is taken word-for-word from another blog we wrote called “Which Certification Should I Get as a Trainer?”

This article is also designed for those looking for a general but widely-recognized personal training certification, and we go into detail about each program, stating prerequisites for the courses, costs for the exam, and more. If your definition of “best personal training certification” is just the one that’s the cheapest or the one that you meet the requirements for, then this article will be really enlightening for you!

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Which Specialized Personal Training Certification Is Right for Me?

If you’re interested in getting a specialized personal training certification, the latter part of this article might be more helpful to you. We’ll explore the different types of specialized certifications you can get as a personal trainer as well as help you discover your true passion.


Specialized Personal Training Programs

There’s a number of specializations you can choose from, so many in fact, that not all of them are listed here. We encourage you to do your own research and never settle for something that doesn’t truly speak to you.


Kinesiology Specialist

If you’re interested in the science of movement and working with clients who share your interests, then this is the specialization for you. In your certification course, you’ll go deeper into kinesiology than most other courses, so you can relay the information, in a palatable way, to your clients.


Military Physical Training Prep Specialist

For those who are interested in joining the military but who are not physically fit enough to go through PT during basic, they will want to seek out a personal trainer who specializes in military prep. You could be this person for them! If you have a passion for supporting our troops, this might be the best specialty certification for you.


Personal Training for Children

Working with children and working with adults is going to be different. When your clients are children, they’ll require a different level of attention, engagement, and direction. If you’re passionate about fitness and health education for children, consider this specialization.


Personal Training for Young Adults

In a similar vain to working with young children, adolescents and young adults will require a different teaching and instructional style. To learn to work with developing bodies and oscillating emotions, consider getting certified to work with young adults.


Personal Training for the Elderly

As we age, our bodies develop a more limited mobility. Likewise, there are certain exercises that are especially beneficial to older people because of the brain benefits. Exercise, for example, can improve memory and stave off symptoms of dementia. If you’re interested in working with the elderly, this kind of specialization would be right for you.


Rehabilitation Specialist

Rehabilitation exercises are designed for clients who have endured an injury and have newly limited mobility that they’re trying to navigate. Working with people in physical rehabilitation can be immensely rewarding as you watch your clients improve their abilities a little each session. If you’re a patient person and you want to help people with injuries, then this is the right physical training certification for you.


Autism Fitness Specialist

In the same realm that exercise provides brain benefits for the elderly, exercise also offers unique benefits to individuals on the autism spectrum. In this certification, you’ll learn exactly which parts of the brain are affected by exercise and in which ways. This way, you’ll be able to implement this knowledge in your sessions with clients who have autism.

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Where Is Your Passion Pointing You?

After reviewing the options above, you may realize that you actually have a different specialty interest than you thought you did. Or, rather, you may have realized that what you thought you were passionate about was simply an interest.

However, you may have been more attuned to your passion than you realized. After reading the list above, you may have lit up after reading about a specialty you were already interested in pursuing.

In either case, that spark you feel is pointing you in the direction you should go in. It’s telling you exactly which option is the best personal training certification for you.


Special Needs Personal Training Certification

If you’re interested in becoming a niche personal trainer who works with clients with special needs, but you want to make sure you work with people many different types of disabilities, then our special needs personal training certification is right for you. Our all-online personal training course takes about eight hours to complete on average. You’ll receive access to reading material and video tutorials that can better prepare you to work with different clients with special needs. Sign up for our affordable Level 1 course today!


Strong Education teaches personal trainers and service providers on how to adapt fitness and nutrition for children, adolescents, and adults with autism, Down Syndrome, and other disabilities through our online adaptive special needs certification course.

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Please take a look at this video to know more about what to expect in a training class. Also join our Facebook and Instagram community where we highlight stories of our clients overcoming challenges to live an abundant life. We hope to highlight your story soon.

Thank you for your interest in Special Strong

One of our local special strong trainers will reach out to you shortly.

In your area we provide virtual in home training. Please take a look at this video to know more about what to expect in a training class. Also join our Facebook and Instagram community where we highlight stories of our clients overcoming challenges to live an abundant life. We hope to highlight your story soon.

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