What is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer?

Home >> Blog >> Fitness >> What is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer?

There are dozens of fitness trainer certifications. And it can be a real workout to choose one. If you want to get certified, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) is a good place to start. As a NASM certified personal trainer, you’ll stand out amongst your competitors and attract more clients.

Ready to get started? 

Great! We teach you everything you need to know about NASM certifications, what you’ll learn in the course, and how to pass your exam.

NASM certified personal trainer

How Do You Become a NASM Certified Personal Trainer?

To become a NASM-certified personal trainer, you have to pass the CPT exam. NASM offers its own online training course to help aspiring PTs nail the exam. 

But you can also take a prep course from another fitness organization or even a university. This is a great option if you’re already enrolled in college. Just make sure the price of the exam is included in any course you take!

If you choose to take NASM’s course, you use their interactive LMS to watch learning videos and take online notes from the comfort of your home.

Their course is broken up into six sections:

#1 Professional development and responsibility

The foundations of the course teach you how to operate as a fitness professional, using evidence and science-based practices to understand your client’s condition. You also learn about career opportunities and how to work for yourself. 

#2 Client Relations and Behavioural Coaching

As a trainer, you support clients physically and emotionally. In this section, you learn how exercise and weight loss affect a client’s mood and self-esteem. You also learn to navigate client communications, techniques to hold them accountable, and how to structure sessions for optimal results.  

Sign Up Fitness

#3 Basic Applied Sciences and Nutritional concepts

The section gets technical as you become an expert on the human body. You learn about different systems (nervous, digestive, etc.) and how exercise and nutrition impact the body. It also dives into fitness supplements, their risks, and how to discuss them with clients. 

#4 Assessment

You need to perform assessments to understand your client’s needs, develop custom programs and track their performance. In this section, you learn to assess their health, wellness, fitness, posture, movement, and performance. 

#5 Exercise Technique and Training instruction

Here, you learn to perform common exercise techniques, including flexibility, cardio, core, balance, plyometrics, speed, SAQ, and resistance training. And you get a glimpse into developing a training program using NASM’s OPT model. 

#6 Program Design

The penultimate course teaches you to create and modify exercise routines using NASM’s OPT model. It accounts for your client’s goals, tolerance, and chronic health conditions.

How Fast Can I Get NASM Certified?

NASM claims you can complete the personal trainer certification in four weeks, but they recommend 15 weeks.  You need a high school diploma or GED to enroll in the course. And you need to get CPR and AED certified before taking the final exam. You have 180 days after enrolling in the course to take your final exam. Good luck!

Does the Nasm Certification Expire? 

Yes. You must renew your certification every two years to remain a NASM certified personal trainer. To get recertified, you have to earn a certain amount of Continuing Education Units (CEUs), i.e., take more courses and pay a recertification fee. The recertification fee is $99 every two years. Or, pay a one-time fee of $399 to “recertify for life.” You still have to earn CEUs every two years if you pay the life time fee. You can take these courses with NASM or at other qualifying fitness organizations

NASM certified personal trainer

Is NASM’s PT Exam Hard?

According to the University of Indiana, NASM’s PT exam has a 64% pass rate. So the odds are in your favor. That said, you do need to take the course seriously or risk failing.

The exam itself has 100 questions that count toward your final score. Along with 20 research questions that don’t count. To pass, you’ll need a 70% or higher. The NASM certified personal trainer exam is proctored, whether online or in person.

If you’re worried about passing the NASM exam, don’t be! Like most things in life, it’s gonna take hard work and dedication. You’ll do well with a good prep course. And you can find study guides and learning resources online.  

You can retake the exam as many times as you need, but only once per week. But, you have to pay extra for a retest unless the cost was included in your plan.

How Much Does the NASM CPT Program Cost?

NASM’s personal trainer certification course (exam included) costs anywhere from $649 to $1484. The exam itself costs $599.00.

The cost depends on your plan. NASMs cheapest plan is an entire self-study course. The more expensive plans offer premium features like guided study, exam retests, textbooks, and an 80-hour onsite gym internship. It may be a good deal if you want hands-on experience. You have the option to pay monthly. 

Some university courses are less expensive. Rutgers offers the instructor-led course (exam included) for only $850. It’s usually $900+.

What Personal Trainer Certificate Is Most Respected?

NASM is one of many well-respected personal trainer certifications. When compared to other accredited certifications, NASM-certified personal trainers can expect the highest average income of $41,598. But their program is one of the most expensive. It’s a trade-off and totally up to you!

Do your research to determine which certificate fits your goals and your budget. Look into the ISSA certifications or ACE certifications. 

Just make sure to find a program that is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA ensures that these programs meet high standards to protect aspiring trainers and their future clients. To date, the NCCA has only accredited 15 personal training certifications. 

Gym owners and clients prefer trainers with accredited certification.

Is a Fitness Certification Worth It?

Absolutely! First off, you’re not legally required to get certified to become a personal trainer. But certified personal trainers can charge more for their services and are more likely to land a job. It’s a must if you want to build a long-lasting fitness business.

Certifications build trust with your clients. They show your dedication to your craft and expertise in the field. Not to mention, it’s a great marketing tool to add to your booking site and socials.  

Some fitness organizations promote a “Guaranteed Job” as part of their certification program. But nothing in life is certain. So, be cautious of these promises.  Still, certification organizations, like NASM, offer networking opportunities and a community of experts that could lead to your next job. 

Are You Ready to Be a Certified Pro?

Certifications are a great way to level up your fitness business. Even if you don’t become a NASM-certified personal trainer, we highly recommend getting certified. It’s sure to attract more clients to your fitness business.

And PocketSuite can help you manage those clients. PocketSuite is dedicated to seeing your business grow. Our all-in-one app lets you book clients, send contracts, sell memberships, and accept payments. It’s the perfect money-making tool.