Distance learning programs have become increasingly popular. If you are limited to the amount of time you can spend in the classroom, online training is the route to go. There are several online nationally accredited personal training certifications available for those seeking a career in fitness training and related fields. Online fitness certification courses allow you to learn at your own pace, receive unlimited customer support and typically permit completion within a year of registering.
International Sports Sciences Association
International Sports Sciences Association, or ISSA, is a Distance Educational and Training Council accredited, international certification program that provides nine different fitness professional certifications -- personal trainer, fitness trainer, strength and conditioning, exercise therapy, senior fitness, youth fitness, elite and master trainer -- for individuals looking to begin or further their career in health and fitness. Your ISSA certification can be completed online within one year for $500, as of 2011. The personal trainer certification program includes text book, study guide and workbook, marketing and business guide, practice exam and section quizzes, exercise reference guide DVD, online and home-study exam, online exercise lab and complimentary professional website. In addition, ISSA has partnered with 15 of the country's leading health clubs, private facilities and gyms to ensure their personal trainers are recognized and accepted for employment.
American Council On Exercise
American Council on Exercise, or ACE, is a National Commission for Certifying Agencies accredited, national certification program that offers five different types of personal training certifications, including personal training, group fitness instructor, lifestyle and weight management coach, as well as advanced health and fitness specialist. ACE personal training certifications are widely accepted by most health clubs and other fitness facilities for hire. Course material can be reviewed at home, and the final exam must be completed within one year of purchase at the nearest testing center. The cost to test and receive your ACE personal training certification is $560, as of 2011.
National Council on Strength & Fitness
National Council on Strength & Fitness, or NCSF, is a NCCA accredited certification program that offers a certified personal trainer certification to individuals located in North America and 10 international sites. Upon enrolling in the personal trainer certification course, you will receive the course textbook, study guide manual, practical lab manual, lesson plan, concepts of training CD-ROM and the NCSF personal training technique and assessment DVD. The cost to register for the NCSF personal trainer certification ranges from $300 to a little over $500, as of 2011, depending on your enrollment options.
National Academy of Sports Medicine
National Academy of Sports Medicine, or NASM, offers a NCCA accredited certified personal trainer course that gives you the choice of taking the exam only or combination course and exam. While reviewing the course work is done at home, the final exam is taken at your nearest testing center -- in the United States and Canada. NASM's certification program is ideal for entry level and experienced fitness professionals. In addition, the program will help you excel at designing goal-specific programs, developing and modifying exercises that clients can easily adapt and gain results. You'll find that NASM personal trainer certifications are always accepted at any 24-Hour Fitness, Lifetime Fitness, Bally Total Fitness, Gold's Gym and Town Sports International health club locations. The cost to become a NASM certified personal trainer ranges from $600 to $800, as of 2011, depending on additional options.