The 5 Best Online Personal Trainer Certification Programs

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  • To become a personal trainer you must be certified, which you can do online.
  • Below, professional trainers Evan Williams and Kristie Alicea share tips for finding a program.
  • We’ve also included the 5 best online personal trainer certificate programs you can enroll in.

If you enjoy exercise, have a good relationship with people, and want to help them reach their fitness goals, becoming a personal trainer may be a good profession for you. Whether you are already working in the fitness industry or feeling ready to jump into a new field entirely, there are several online personal trainer certification programs that you can choose from to elevate your career goals to new ones. tops.

Determining which online certification course is right for you can be difficult, so I spoke with two certified personal trainers – Evan williams, CSCS, CPT and CEO of E2G Performance and Kristie alicea, CPT, NCSF, ACE, AFPA and co-founder of ABC Fit Collective – to provide information and advice on what to look for when choosing an online personal trainer certification.

Personal trainer Evan Williams and CEO of E2G Performance

Evan Williams, CSCS, CPT and CEO of E2G Performance

Tyie williams


“One of the most rewarding parts of being a trainer is watching your clients achieve their goals,” says Williams. “As coaches we play an important role in how they approach and view fitness, so it is important to provide them with an exceptional experience while educating them on how to safely achieve their goals. the most efficient way. ”

For Alicea, the best part of her career is making a positive difference in a person’s life. “Watching my clients, many of whom are pregnant or postpartum, feeling strong in their bodies and confident in their lives continues to fuel my passion,” she says.

Personal trainer Kristie Alicea of ​​ABC Fit Collective.

Kristie Alicea, CPT, NCSF, ACE, AFPA and co-founder of ABC Fit Collective.

ABC Fit Collective


Williams and Alicea both shared their tips on what you should keep in mind before you even research programs, what legitimate programs should have as requirements, and their own recommendations for some of the best programs.

What to know before researching or signing up for a personal training program:

A personal trainer assists a client with lifting weights.


Thomas Barwick / Getty Images


The fitness industry is competitive and becoming a personal trainer requires a lot of study and, once you have obtained your certification, looking for a job or taking the necessary steps to start your own personal training business.

Williams is blunt about what it’s like in such a competitive field, especially when you’re just starting out: “Being a personal trainer is a chore.” Alicea agrees it can be difficult at first. “Like in any other industry, the start is tough, but once you’ve got a foothold you have found there is so much to learn,” she says.

It’s also important to know that a typical schedule is the opposite of a nine-to-five job. “As a personal trainer, we work outside normal hours: think early in the morning, after work and on weekends,” explains Alicea.

5 tips for choosing an online personal training certification program:

A personal trainer helps a client do push-ups.


Guido Mieth / Getty Images


With so many personal trainer certification programs to choose from, it can be difficult to decipher which ones are legitimate and are worth the investment in money and time.

Williams and Alicea explain what you need to know to make sure you choose a program that matches your needs and career goals:

1. Check out job postings to find out what your ideal employer is looking for.

As with any profession, personal trainer jobs generally require specific education or certifications to be considered. Williams recommends browsing personal trainer job postings to get an idea of ​​the qualifications needed for the job to help you decide what may be the best fit.

2. Look for a nationally accredited certification.

Professional personal trainers go through many studies, training, and exams before they can begin working with clients.

“You should look for a nationally accredited certification: one that offers a curriculum focused on anatomy, science, reliable methodologies, and models of movement,” suggests Alicea.

3. Only consider programs that require you to take an exam to gain certification.

With so many different institutions offering personal training programs online, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish what is legitimate and what is not. But there are a couple of things to watch out for.

“You should have to take an exam to get your certification,” says Alicea. A warning sign that this is a certificate instead of a certification is how long it takes. “No program should promise that you can get certified in a day,” she adds.

4. If a program seems too simple, it may be a scam.

“Some things to look out for are certificates which are really easy to get and which require little or no preparation or knowledge to get them,” says Williams. Unfortunately, there are places that offer certifications that “just want to raise the money and don’t care about your preparation and knowledge,” he adds.

5. Think about your long term goals.

The good news is that there are a variety of legitimate certification programs available, but not all are universal.

Williams recommends that you know what type of personal training work you want to do and what types of clients you would like to work with. “I work with professional athletes so it was imperative that I get my Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification from the NSCA,” he explains.

5 of the best online personal trainer certification programs:


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