***I am in no way being paid to promote NASM, I’m just providing an account of my experience so far and all that I know about it.***
I first started being serious about fitness around my junior year in high school and I have been on and off for the past 3 1/2 years now. I am now going back into it again and plan on doing it absolutely right this time so I figured why not learn everything I can about it and become the expert myself. That’s how I got interested in becoming a CPT (Certified Personal Trainer.)
After reading numerous articles comparing the good and bad between every program out there I decided to go with NASM. They are the most widely accepted at gyms and I liked the overall setup of it. Another program I was considering was ISSA, but I read that they weren’t as popular as NASM. (Do your own research, ask a gym, ask a personal trainer before you make your purchase.) NASM offers multiple programs at different prices, but I chose the CPT Self-Study program which is listed as $699. I got it for around $560 because they offer 20% off for college students. The price does seem hefty, but if you simply sign up to receive updates in your email, you’ll quickly notice they send out multiple offers. For example, last week they had $100 off any program and only $49 down. So it really comes down to being patient and finding the offer that works for you. They do have payment plans so you don’t dump that large of an amount of money at once. Also, if you are considering getting this certification or any certification for any profession, remember to think of it as an investment. For example, as a CPT, you can charge clients for workout plans and programs, you can work at a gym, or you can even start your own business.
With CPT Self-Study, your money will buy you a textbook, online flashcards, online activities and videos, and the certification exam fee. The book shipped very quickly and arrived at my house 4 days after I ordered it online (there was a massive thunderstorm in the area and they delayed all deliveries.) They also provide a study guide and a suggested schedule to follow to study all the materials provided. Once you register for CPT Self-Study, you are given 180 days (6 months) to take the proctored certification exam. You can go online and look up places to take the exam that are nearest to you. Before you take the exam though, you need to have a valid CPR/AED card which you can earn through the American Heart Association, fire department, and other valid providers near you. (I have yet to earn mine, I scheduled my class for April 26th so I will keep you updated on how that goes.)
If you guys have any questions about this process, please feel free to ask me. I’m not an expert, but I can provide my personal account of things and how it all went down for me. At the very least, I can always refer you to the website where you can chat with an advisor. Both NASM and ISSA had a “Chat with an advisor” option which I found to be very helpful when making my final decision.