ACTION Personal Training Certification

“I want to become a personal trainer, what should I do?”

Well… that’s a loaded question. How much time and money can you afford to allocate to that goal right now? How much knowledge do you currently have about anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, physics, kinesiology, etc? Why do you want to become a personal trainer and are you a motivated self-study course kind-of-person? And those are just the first three that pop into our head. We are asked all the time about ‘how to’ become a professional in the field of fitness and becoming a certified personal trainer is most enthusiasts’ first course of action, but what kind of weight do acronyms actually hold?


While we’re not going to go in-depth to answer that question, because it’s a much bigger issue than what we’re trying to get across at this moment, the acronyms associated with different certifying agencies are similar to brand names in the film industry. More people are going to see a movie if Marvel, Disney, or Pixar are attached to it, whether they know anything about the movie itself or not. Does that mean an independent studio can’t create a critical and commercial success? Exactly

All you need to know is that there are a few key ways to differentiate organizations that certify personal trainers, group exercise instructors, nutritionists, health coaches, etc. but at the end of the day, a huge part of the equation is how you answered the questions above. Avoiding a detailed discussion (about how state and federal governments want you to register your own business to receive a tax identification number and in order to do so you need to provide proof of insurance for that business and to acquire that you need to prove that you’re certified by an organization that is accredited so that liability can be tossed around when someone claims that they got hurt working with you)… is our current approach because the bottom line is that we have an organization that we have worked with for over four years and we want to send you their way.

Back in 2011 or 2012, we both found out about ACT, an unknown organization that had an online course to certify personal trainers. At the time, they weren’t accredited by NCCA so there wasn’t much weight to the piece of paper you receive from them when you pass their test. Still, we quickly realized that their textbook, workshops, and online study materials were in the same league as major organizations like NASM, ACE, and ACSM. There was a lot to consider in terms of investments and again, to make this shorter than it could be and to get the message across, is an undergraduate educational program (BA or BS etc.) really that much less valuable from a non-Ivy league school? Sure, a degree from Stanford holds more weight than a degree from CSU Dominguez Hills, but is it worth ten times more tuition?


I’m not carrying this argument into higher education, because we’re focusing on entry-level fitness professionals here that aren’t entirely sure what they want to do, but I have seen far too many people spend $1500-2000 on a personal trainer certification course, realize there’s too much science involved, and never take the test. Wouldn’t you rather come to that realization after spending $100-200? And since most of the questions on the tests are the same since they’re based off science, you could “upgrade” to the more well-known certifying agency at far greater ease because you know the material. The only major differences on the tests are approaches to marketing yourself, dealing with legal issues, and names for some exercises, etc.

So, to get back on track, if you’re unsure about the investment you want to make and want a taste of the material, check out ACTION, who is now NCCA-accredited, and have launched both group exercise instructor and nutrition specialties. Their team has worked nonstop over the past years to make huge waves and we appreciate what they’re doing because the inflation on education in this industry has been remarkable over the past ten years. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask and for the tenth time, we don’t want to drag this specific post into a huge discussion about the whole process of becoming a personal trainer, but you need to check ACTION out because we’ve referred so many people here over the past few years and they’ve all loved the experience!

Knowledge is power, convenience is consistency, and you can be hungry and fit!

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