8 Best Online Certified Personal Trainer Courses (Updated August 2022)

best online certified personal trainer courses

Training someone in the fitness industry is a great responsibility. The last thing anyone wants is for someone to get hurt under their watch. But time and time again we go into the gym and see individuals with a great attitude but dangerous form. Becoming a certified personal trainer can help. This is your guide to the 8 best online certified personal trainer courses.

Who Needs To Take A Personal Trainer Course?

Anyone who wants to coach individuals in the fitness industry should have a certification from a major industry. This helps prevent liability and keep your clients safe.

Anyone who wants to coach person-to-person in a gym environment.

Anyone looking to coach online via personal sessions, group sessions, or through an app.

Anyone looking to own a business within the fitness industry.

There are many reasons to be certified as a personal trainer but while it benefits your clients to have someone who knows what they are doing, it also benefits you. Understanding the muscle groups and how they work together is a great thing for one’s personal development in health and fitness.

8 Best Online Certified Personal Trainer Courses

Below you will find the 8 best personal training courses online. Each can help you start and grow your career as a personal trainer.

1. Ace Fitness (Best Certified Personal Trainer Courses)

Ace has been a leading nonprofit in the health and fitness industry since 1985 with the goal of movement in everything they do. They are a large organization offering accredited NCCA certifications to help trainers transition easily into the health sector.

Ace believes in providing a learning experience that works for different styles and different people.

What’s Included in the Course?

Right now Ace offers a few different levels to their Personal Trainer Study Program. You can work with Basic, Plus, or Advantage model systems all coming in at slightly different prices and offering different add-ons.

Basic Course
  • ACE University
  • Certification Exam
  • 1 Practice Test
  • Personal Trainer Textbook (Digital)
  • Study Companion (Digital)
  • Answers explanations
Plus Course
  • ACE University
  • Certification Exam
  • 2 Practice Tests
  • Personal Trainer Textbook (Digital & Hardcopy)
  • Study Companion (Digital & Hardcopy)
  • Answers – Live Q&A
  • Exercise science overview
Advantage Course
  • ACE University
  • Certification Exam
  • 4 Practice Tests
  • Personal Trainer Textbook (3 mediums)
  • Study Companion (Digital & Hardcopy)
  • Answers – Live Q&A & Facilitated Study Groups
  • Exercise science overview
  • Dedicated Advantage Team

What You Will Learn

Here are the main concepts taught in this program.

Core Development and Ethics
  • Ethics and responsibility to the health industry
  • Developmental paths for your career
  • Legal guidelines
Client Focus
  • Goal setting and communication
  • Recognizing behavior changes
  • Techniques that create trust
Assessments
  • How to make assessments and programs that work for each individual
  • How to track improvement
  • Program modifications for special situations
Mover Method
  • The philosophy behind empowering clients

Pricing

  • Basic – $424
  • Plus – $499
  • Advantage – $749

Requirements

  • 18 y/o minimum
  • Have completed high school
  • Being CPR/AED Certified
  • Government-issued ID

Our Rating: 4.8 out of 5


2. NASM Certified Personal Trainer Course

NASM has been offering one of the best personal trainer courses on the market graduating over 1,300,000 fitness professionals from over 80 different countries. They’ve partnered with over 10,000 companies in the health and fitness industry because of their passion for using the best scientific studies to certify students.

What’s Included in the Course?

Here are the options for getting certified with NASM.

Self-Study
  • 100% online closure
  • NCCA Exam
  • Digital Platform
  • High-End Lesson Videos
  • Exercise Demonstration Library
  • Audio Chapter Summaries
  • Practice Exam, Quizzes, Knowledge checks
  • Virtual Coaching Sessions
Premium Self-Study

All the above included and:

  • Job guarantee
  • One-Year trainer plus benefit
Guided Self-Study

All the above and:

  • Unlimited access to fitness experts
  • Exam retest
  • Hard Copy textbook
  • Bonus courses
All-inclusive

All the above and:

  • Test prep
  • Internship
  • Recertify
  • Certification

What You Will Learn

NASM offers full courses with several themes covering the most important topics of being a personal trainer.

Professional Development and Responsibility
  • Your role as a personal trainer
  • Working for an employer verse working for yourself
  • Career outlook
Client Relations and Behavior Coaching
  • Psychology and fitness from weightloss to self-esteem
  • Behavioral coaching with communications and assessments
  • Structuring optimal sessions for your client
Basic Applied Science and Nutritional Concepts
  • Covering the nervous, skeletal, and muscular systems.
  • Covering the Cardiorespiratory, endocrine, and digestive systems.
  • Biomechanics and motor skills
Assessment

Importance of assessments and how to collect data correctly
Posture movement and performance assessments

  • Exercise Technique and Training Instructions
  • Flexibility training concepts
  • Cardiovascular and respiratory training
Program Design
  • Creating and modifying exercise programs
Final Exam

Requirements

Pricing

  • Self-Study – $629
  • Self-Study Premium – $839
  • Guided Self-Study – $959
  • All-Inclusive – $1619

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5


3. ISSA Certified Personal Training Course

ISSA offers online personal trainer courses that make learning quick and easy. Once you sign up you can get started right away. They even include a free CPR training course to get certified ASAP! With a focus on personal training, nutrition, and offering multiple certifications, ISSA is a brand and company trainers keep coming back to.

What’s Included in the Course?

ISSA has a lot to offer its clients with its jampacked online materials. While there are three different packages to choose from, all of them offer these amazing benefits.

  • Online study materials such as this 715-page book to learn from
  • Online practice quizzes
  • Both video and audio lessons covering the contents of the hefty book
  • An online workbook
  • ISSA taking the home personal certification trainer exam.
  • FREE NCCPT Accredited Exam
  • CPT Education Bootcamp
  • Fast Track Program

What You Will Learn

Here are the main concepts you will learn from this class.

  • Provide current and future clients with customized training programs. Allow them to achieve their goals with your help with scientific–backed training.
  • Understand the body’s muscle and skeletal system and how the biomechanics of the body truly functions.
  • Learn how to do proper assessments with the standard that everyone’s body is unique.
  • Help your clients realize the importance of a healthy lifestyle both in the gym and outside. Nutritional education is key as well.
  • Learn to motivate as a coach and the psychology behind it!

Requirements

  • 18 years of age
  • Certified in CPR/AED

Pricing

Their personal trainer courses are broken into three segments. Here are the differences in prices.

  • Start-Training – $69 per month for one year
  • Kickstarter – $79 per month for one year
  • Top Trainer – $99 per month for one year

Our Rating: 4.4 out of 5


4. NCSF

The National Council on Strength and Fitness offers a certified personal trainer course that is globally recognized as they have a whopping 8000 test centers all over the world. While they are in 160 different countries they also offer an online exam providing convenience to your doorstep.

With this specific certified personal training course, the requirements are a little stiffer if you want to upgrade to a CSC certified rather than a CPT.

What’s Included in the Course?

There are four different tiers of courses to choose from.

Home-Study
  • Personal training textbook 2nd edition (digital)
  • Instructional videos
  • Lesson notes
  • Q&A’s
  • Review support
  • Membership One-Year
  • Exam
  • Payment plan option
Home Study Plus

In addition to the above, you receive a hard copy of the textbook.

Workshop

The Workshop option includes everything from the Home-Study plan and includes a two-day workshop with 16 hours of training.

Workshop Plus

The Workshop Plus includes everything in all three plans above.

What You Will Learn

In this course, you will cover the major concepts and learn how to apply them as a personal trainer.

  • Develop customized training programs based on the client’s ability and goals.
  • Provide nutritional information and education to meet these goals and encourage healthier lifestyles.
  • Use advanced techniques and a variety of exercises to address different levels from older clientele to young athletes.
  • Understand and perform assessment evaluations from beginning to goal maintenance.
  • Understand ethics and personal development as a coach

Requirements

  • High school diploma
  • 18 years of age
  • CPR and AED Certification
  • An associate’s degree in an exercise-related field of study if you wish to go up to the CSC exam.

Pricing

  • Home Study – $349
  • Home Study Plus – $399
  • Workshop – $399
  • Workshop Plus – $449

Our Rating: 4.3 out of 5


5. ACSM

ACSM not only takes pride in being an accredited business by the NCCA but also as one of the oldest and best personal trainer courses around. They were established in 1954 which gives them nearly 20 years more experience as a certified personal training course than their closest competitor.

Something that is different from their competitors as well is the way they approach studying in general.

What’s Included in the Course?

Rather than a course, ACSM believes that the best way of learning is for those interested to choose their own path of study. You can choose from a variety of materials and products to help you get ready for the exam.

Here are some of your options:

ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer

This is a book by ACSM to cover a wide variety of important topics for trainers to learn and study.

Online Practice Questions

A separate product provides an online personal trainer course database of quiz questions giving you personalized reports when you are finished.

Join the Free Facebook Group

A lot of the ACSM students lean on each other by joining the Facebook group to share ideas and ask questions. This fosters community and natural study groups.

What You Will Learn

You will gain access to ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer and this will cover.

  • Coverage of anatomy
  • Exercise physiology
  • Biometrics
  • Behavior modification
  • Strength and flexibility assessment
  • Cardiovascular and respiratory training

While they have other products that can assist you in your studies, the book is the major source of learning information that ACSM provides to their students in their certified personal training course.

Requirements

  • High school graduation or similar
  • CPR and AED Certification
  • 18 years of age

Pricing

  • Non-members – $349
  • Members – $279
  • Re-Test – $175

Our Rating: 4.2 out of 5


6. NCSA

The personal trainer course provided by the NCSA is one of the best online personal trainer courses. If you are a member you can get discounts on their different study courses. And like ACSM they think everyone learns differently which is why they are offering different personal training courses and products to choose from.

What’s Included in the Course?

There are three different methods of learning to choose from in their personal trainer courses.

NSCA-CPT Essential Package
  • Essentials of Personal Training 2nd Edition
  • Study Guide
  • 200+ Practice Questions
NSCA-CPT Essential Plus Package
  • Essentials of Personal Training 2nd Edition
  • Study Guide
  • 200+ Practice Questions
  • Exercise Technique Manual 3rd Edition
NSCA-CPT Digital Package
  • Study Guide
  • Over 200 Practice Questions

What You Will Learn

There are a few main differences between the options listed above.

For instance, The Essential Package is not ideal for those who are beginners and want to learn concepts for the very first time. This is for those who have background study in this field and just need the tools to help them prepare for the exam.

The Essential Plus Package is for those who are completely new to the industry. They will learn the main concepts of becoming a personal trainer as well as a breakdown of the exercises so they can properly teach them to clients.

The digital package is for the person who just wants to study online. It can be added on to either of the two but there is crossover in these personal trainer courses.

Requirements

  • High school graduation or similar
  • CPR and AED Certification
  • 18 years of age

Pricing

Essential Package
  • Member Price: $240.30
  • Non-member Price: $290.70
Essential Plus Package
  • Member Price: $455
  • Non-member Price: $511
Digital Option
  • Member Price: $152
  • Non-member Price: $202

Our Rating: 4.1 out of 5


7. NFPT

Proud to be accredited by the NCCA, NFPT offers its students a variety of options to get the test done. And when you sign with them you enroll for a lifetime of benefits which is why they have so many students vouching for their personal training courses. They are known for their Continuing Education add-ons which is a big reason they are one of the best personal trainer courses.

What’s Included in the Course?

There are three different personal trainer courses that you can choose from so you don’t have to pay more for what you don’t need.

Exam Only
  • Exam content online
  • Home exam for certification
  • 1 exam attempt
Standard Package

Includes exam only plus:

  • Personal trainer manual
  • Workbook
  • Chapter quizzes
  • Tips for training online
  • Essential FitPro forms and docs
  • Access to education help
Premier Package

Includes exam only and premier package benefits plus: :

  • Personal trainer manual hardcopy
  • 2 practice tests
  • Exercise demo animations
  • Client assessment videos

What You Will Learn

What you will learn in their personal training courses will depend on the course you choose. For those who already possess a lot of knowledge in the field, they can sign up for the exam portion only.

Those who are new to the subject completely may want to cover all the basic concepts provided in the other options. These include professional ethics, career outlook, assessments, biomechanics, and understanding the skeletal, nervous, and muscular systems of the body.

Requirements

  • High school graduation or similar
  • Posses a government-issued ID
  • 18 years of age

Pricing

  • Exam Only – $199
  • Standard Package – $239
  • Premier Package – $349

Our Rating: 4.0 out of 5


8. NESTA

NESTA is an accredited certification business by the NCCA. They offer at the end of their courses for their students to take their exam at a PSI center with an exam proctor. They offer a course that has been taught by world-class experts since 1992 producing over 55,000 coaches in more than 50 counties.

What’s Included in the Course?

There are a few different options to choose from:

PFT Basic
  • Accredited Exam
  • Digital certificate
  • Paper certificate with official seal mailed within North America
  • 4-year renewable certification
PFT Plus

Includes all above plus a digital manual.

PFT Complete

Including everything above plus:

  • Offering 10 hours of video & audio training
  • Chapter Quizzes
  • Unlimited Practice Exams
  • 100% online training
  • Quick access to training & exam
  • Lifetime access to training

What You Will Learn

  • Perform accurate assessments based on your clients to adequately make fitness goals.
  • Use scientific-evidence design workout programs appropriate for your client and their goals/needs.
  • Using motivational principles, be able to clearly demonstrate and show your client the proper technique of exercises.
  • Understand the ethics and professionalism of being a trainer as well as understand career outlook.
  • A marketing section to help you deliver your personal brand to clients and maintain your image as you develop as a trainer.

Requirements

  • High school graduation or similar
  • CPR and AED Certification
  • 18 years of age

Pricing

  • Basic – $349
  • Plus – $399
  • Complete – $477

Our Rating: 4.0 out of 5


Conclusion

Finding the right personal training course can be tricky. These eight personal trainer courses are sure to help you meet your goals. With all of them offering different online structures and learning methods you are sure to become a certified personal trainer!

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