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How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer

Personal trainers are in demand.
Now is the time.

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1. Choose a study program

If you’re looking to become a fitness professional, your first step is to get your personal training certification. Getting started with ISSA is the easiest part!

First, look at your options of what materials you need to study for the personal trainer exam. Then compare that to your end goal as a fitness professional. You can always call and talk to an ISSA education advisor who can go through the process and help you decide which personal training program path is best for you to earn your certification. Then you can get started either by enrolling online or over the phone.


2. Study with your support team

ISSA is focused on helping our students achieve their goals by giving them everything they need for success, including a dedicated Student Success Coach who provides support and guidance before, during and after the certification process.

ISSA's personal training courses come with access to an online study guide and workbook, as well as online exercise demonstrations so you can see how each one is performed. This resource provides a "hands-on" experience to supplement your online learning. If you want to jumpstart your learning, ISSA's CPT Bootcamp provides you with the ultimate live guide to studying, understanding, and passing your course.

3. Pass your certification exam. Guaranteed

Between the textbook and ISSA’s online resources for the personal trainer certification exam, you will be fully prepared to pass. And while you have six months to complete the exam, ISSA can help you pass sooner – and we guarantee you will pass. When you become a trainer through ISSA, the final online exam is a mixture of multiple-choice, true or false, and matching questions. It also requires completing a case study to show that you can apply the information learned. Topics covered in ISSA’s personal trainer exam include:

  • Anatomy and physiology

  • Nutrition

  • Health and physical fitness

  • Program design

  • Injury and disease


4. Select your specialty

Becoming a certified personal trainer is just the beginning. ISSA allows you to enhance your career – and your income – by adding Specializations to your fitness resume that will expand your opportunities. Adding a specialization like Nutritionist or Glute Specialistfrom ISSA to your skillset not only gives you deeper expertise in a specific area, but it can actually help you make an additional $4,000 a year for each specialization you achieve. With updated and more certifications, you can:

  • Explore new income opportunities

  • Provide additional services to clients

  • Charge more with increased expertise

  • Stay on top of the latest in fitness and nutrition

  • Expand the populations you can market to

5. Get a job. Keep your personal trainer certification

ISSA guarantees you’ll get a job as a personal trainer when you complete your certification with us, or you’ll get your money back. We have exclusive partnerships with the nation’s leading gyms and health clubs.

And because personal trainers are required to earn 20 hours of continuing education credits every two years for recertification. ISSA offers a number of certifications, Specializations, and CEU courses to help you fulfill those renewal requirements and build your expertise.

Ready to get started on your personal training certification?

To learn more take our free evaluation now!


What Our Students Say About Us

We're honored to have outstanding reviews from our graduates who can attest to the power of our courses. Here are some of their inspiring stories:

We offer the following options to level up your career as a personal trainer:


Fitness Coach Bundle

3 Courses

Save An Additional $120
When You Pay In Full!



Elite Trainer

3 Courses

Expand your knowledge and your income.

Most Value

Master Trainer Bundle

7 Courses
75% off + 3 FREE Courses!

Save An Additional $350
When You Pay In Full!



Purchase of ISSA training materials is not an eligibility requirement to take the accredited exam nor does it imply a passing score.

What Do You Learn in a Personal Training Course?

You’ve thought about taking a personal training certification course but have yet to enroll. Understanding what you’ll learn in this type of training program can help you decide if it’s the right choice for you. From exercise science and human movement to nutrition and business tactics, it's more than just knowing your way around a gym.

How to Become a Certified Personal Trainer & How Long Does It Take

Are you ready to learn how to become a personal trainer? It's a good time to get into the fitness industry. If you're interested in becoming a fitness instructor or trainer, you may wonder how long does it take to become a personal trainer? Answering this question tells you when you can expect to start doing a job you'll love. It also gives you some idea about how to budget before you begin to get paid.

Top Personal Trainer Salary by Sector, Gym, and State

Personal trainer salary can vary not only from gym to gym, but also by sector and state. Learn what the typical pay is in a personal training role and which career opportunities pay the most.

What Is a Fitness Specialization and Do You Need One?

You can have a satisfying career as a certified personal trainer providing services in a health club or gym, online, or in clients’ homes. Another option is to take your personal training one step further. One way to do this is by earning a fitness specialization—certified strength and conditioning specialist, certified glute specialist, group fitness instructor, and more. It's an opportunity for professional development and to increase your business offerings.

Why and How to Renew Your Personal Training Certification

It’s important to realize that gaining certification as a fitness trainer isn’t the end of your journey. It’s only the beginning. You’ll need to renew that certification many times over the years if you want to stay in the industry. Certification is a commitment to keep learning with professional education and how to better serve clients.

Trainer and student reviewing training regimen

Is our Guided Study Personal Trainer Certification right for you?

Thinking about earning your personal trainer certification on your own time? Get your free evaluation kit today!


  • 5 Step plan to becoming certified

  • How to enroll with ISSA

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