Are You a Personal Trainer or Aspiring Trainer Looking for Certification? These are the Best Certification Bodies For You

TrueCoach has partnered with five of the best certification programs to give you exclusive discounts from each. Now, you just need to choose which one is right for you! 

One of the best ways to elevate your personal training business is through a certification program that can give prospective clients confidence that you’re a professional. However, before you sign up for a certification program, you must decide which is best for you and your business goals. 

Each certification program differs in price, length, and type of training techniques. To better help you choose, here’s a rundown of five of the best certification programs available to personal trainers. 


ISSA is a highly-accredited association that offers training and NCCA-accredited exams. Their primary training programs include Certified Personal Trainer, Yoga Instructor, Group Exercise Instructor, Certified Indoor Cycling Instructor, and Strength Training Specialist. 

However, they also offer specializations you can add to your programming, including Glute Specialist, Tactical Conditioning Coach, Group Exercise Instructor, Lifespan Coach, and many more. Certification can take 4 to 12 weeks, depending on your chosen programs. 

“The course ISSA provides is extremely in-depth and is not something to be taken lightly; you must study and put a conscious effort into your work to succeed and pass your finals. Luckily the textbooks are extremely helpful, and their customer service is truly one of a kind.” 

-Brandon Rodriguez, Certified Through ISSA

With TrueCoach, you can receive up to 60% off ISSA fitness certifications and specializations.


Photo Credit: USA Weightlifting

USA Weightlifting offers the leading certification for coaches and trainers looking to work with athletes who utilize the snatch, clean, and jerk for sport, fitness, or health. Their Level 1 Coach certification is offered over two days, either in-person or online, and is packed with resources to help you teach, coach, correct, and program the weightlifting movements to beginners of any age and ability. They have been offering weightlifting education for over 30 years, and their Level 2 Coach course is one of only a few nationally accredited certifications.

“Allowing students to have a hands-on approach to teaching the progressions during the course helps tremendously. In addition, it highlights the importance of keeping the language simple and focusing more on the demonstration of the movements, which could go unnoticed without practice like that.” 

-Charleston Bridges, USAW Level 1 Certified 

With TrueCoach, you can receive $50 off your enrollment in their Online Level 1 course.


Another NCCA-accredited program, NCSF offers premier online certification courses for Personal Trainers, Strength Coaches, and in Sports Nutrition. In addition, every NCSF customer service staff member has a master’s degree or higher in the field, so you’re guaranteed professional service and a program that will help elevate anyone’s training.

“The NCSF program provides the next level in developing human performance. It far exceeds the content and instruction of any other certification I have seen.”

 -Cory Nelms, Strength & Conditioning Coach, University of Oklahoma, NCSF CSC

As a TrueCoach member, you can save 40% on the Certified Strength Coach Course and 50% on NCSF Dual Certifications.


NASM has educated over 1.4 million personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and wellness coaches since 1987. Their online education programs are separated into digestible sections, each preparing you for the final exam. Sections include interactive features like videos, infographics, audio lectures, practice quizzes, and activities to ensure you’re prepared to put all your learnings into practice in the real world. In addition, they offer several different package options to suit different learning styles and even have a free quiz to help you find the right fit! NASM also provides access to Program Advisors available seven days a week to help you outline your career path and determine which programs are right to take your career to the next level.

“Depending on the direction a new trainer wants to pursue, there is a specialization or accompanying certification that will give you the best evidence-based practices to make a long-term impact with your clients. Without NASM, I would still be training only three clients a day, One at 6 am, one at noon, and the last at 6 pm.”

-Bryan Vahjen, NASM-Master Trainer

TrueCoach members can receive 40% off all NASM Courses and 50% off Certified Wellness Coach Program.


ACE offers four NCCA-accredited certifications: Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Health Coach, and Medical Exercise Specialist. ACE prides itself on building a community of exercise professionals and coaches that continue their journey and careers with the ongoing support of ACE. Over 90,000+ ACE Certified Professionals have given the program a 96% satisfaction rate. 

“I chose to certify with ACE because of their simple and easy-to-navigate study programs. The website and guide made it easy for me to stay on track with my studies while not feeling overwhelmed with all the information. The practice tests provided were also very beneficial! I also plan to further my education, and all the extended study programs they offer are what I was looking for!”

-Ashleigh Garner, ACE-GFI 


One of the most challenging aspects of being a personal trainer is keeping your clients organized and on a path to completing their health goals. Spreadsheets, emails, and third-party nutrition tracking can make it hard to juggle more than a few clients weekly. TrueCoach helps your clients stay organized with workouts, video content, 1:1 communication, and collaboration with MyFitnessPal to help track your client’s progress. And, of course, our partner perks program offers special discounts on certifications, equipment, and nutrition for you and your clients. 

Sign up for TrueCoach today to see how it can help you elevate your business. 

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Article by TrueCoach

First published: December 02 2022

Last updated: January 11 2024