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Looking to take your career in health and fitness to the next level?

ISSA offers many different specializations that allow you to become an expert in your desired interest areas so you can stand out in your field. A specialization provides you with a deeper expertise in specific populations (e.g., youth, seniors) or areas of interest (e.g. bodybuilding, group exercise). Earn a specialization from ISSA, at home and on your schedule.

We are constantly adding new specializations in an effort to provide you with ongoing educational opportunities.

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Strength
Wellness
Group Fitness
Special Populations
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ISSA Specialization Courses

Most Popular

Nutritionist

By becoming an ISSA Nutritionist, you'll learn the foundations of how food fuels the body, plus step by step methods for implementing a healthy eating plan into clients' lifestyles.

$0.00/mo
Strength & Conditioning + NCCPT Exam

ISSA's Strength and Conditioning course bridges the gap between science and application by giving students the "how" of helping athletes achieve any sport-related goal. With this course, not only will you learn the exercise science behind strength and conditioning, but exactly how to create the perfect training program for any athlete. Further, it offers one of the only accredited exams in the strength and conditioning space, making you a hot commodity to any employer.

$0.00/mo
Bodybuilding Specialist

This distance education course covers training, recovery, motivation, and nutritional strategies to prepare the personal trainer to work with bodybuilders.

$0.00/mo
Online Coach

The ISSA Online Coaching Certification is the fastest way to transition a fitness coaching business online. This course allows you to pick and choose what you need to learn about so it fits the needs of a new or seasoned trainer. The on-demand information is delivered in bite-sized chunks and it includes everything from how to set up email campaigns and FaceBook ads to positioning and selling your product to prospective clients.

$0.00/mo

Strength

Bodybuilding Specialist

This distance education course covers training, recovery, motivation, and nutritional strategies to prepare the personal trainer to work with bodybuilders.

$0.00/mo
Glute Specialist

The ISSA Glute Training Specialist Course teaches trainers the science behind building better glutes and how to focus on these muscle groups to give clients the best results. You'll learn how to unlock the hips, create better programming, and deliver envious results. You'll master the art of developing a superior posterior and be the go-to glute expert!

$0.00/mo
Kickboxing Instructor

As a Kickboxing Instructor you will be able to help individuals work towards a stronger “mind-body connection”. Learning the history and transformation of this craft will give you the understanding and ability to communicate the benefits that come with this form of exercise.

$0.00/mo
Performance Enhancement Coach

Sports have risen to a massive platform. There is big money that requires a large support staff. By getting your Performance Enhancement Certificate, you will gain the tools, knowledge and credentials to enter this powerful and highly valued career. Professional and amateur athletes at all levels -- from grade-school club teams to the National Football League -- need the assistance of expert personal trainers to excel at their sports.

$0.00/mo
Powerlifting Instructor

ISSA Advanced Powerlifting Specialists have a desire to improve individuals' daily lives, and improve their strength. Focused on the science behind how the body moves and reacts, specifically in the three core movements: squat, deadlift and bench press. Advanced Powerlifting Specialists are knowledgeable in the why and how of this specific technique and are prepared to help individuals of all ages.

$0.00/mo
Strength & Conditioning + NCCPT Exam

ISSA's Strength and Conditioning course bridges the gap between science and application by giving students the "how" of helping athletes achieve any sport-related goal. With this course, not only will you learn the exercise science behind strength and conditioning, but exactly how to create the perfect training program for any athlete. Further, it offers one of the only accredited exams in the strength and conditioning space, making you a hot commodity to any employer.

$0.00/mo
Tactical Conditioning Coach

As an ISSA Certified Tactical Conditioning Specialist, you'll get clients to achieve the physical, physiological, and aesthetic results seen in tactical athletes training for their job. Learn how to apply specific training programs designed to match the demanding occupations that save lives. Tactical athletes need powerful programs - be the trainer who achieves powerful results.

$0.00/mo

Wellness

Corrective Exercise Specialist

The ISSA's Corrective Exercise Course will help you learn how to identify and correct the most common movement dysfunctions that you are likely to see in a wide range of clients.

$0.00/mo
DNA-Based Fitness Coach

Distinguish yourself apart from all other trainers. The DNA-Based Fitness Coach program unlocks the full potential of your clients by understanding how genetics play a role in program design. This provides greater accuracy and eliminates trial and error with clients — it's a game changer.

$0.00/mo
Exercise Recovery Specialist

ISSA's Exercise Recovery Specialization unlocks the science behind recovery techniques. As a Certified Exercise Recovery Specialist, personal trainers can apply this information to their exercise prescription and programs, helping athletes and general fitness clients alike.

$0.00/mo
Exercise Therapy Specialist

According to the American Sports Data Company Inc., numerous employment opportunities are opening up in facilities for health & fitness professionals who have an expertise in Post-Rehab exercise. Nearly 1,000 hospitals in the US alone have already opened fitness facilities and hundreds more are in various stages of development. The broad goal of this certificate program is to train students for an entry-level position in Exercise Therapy through distance education.

$0.00/mo
Health Coach

ISSA's Health Coach certification is for personal trainers and other health professionals who want to help clients overcome physical and mental health barriers to achieve their optimal wellness.

$0.00/mo
Nutritionist

By becoming an ISSA Nutritionist, you'll learn the foundations of how food fuels the body, plus step by step methods for implementing a healthy eating plan into clients' lifestyles.

$0.00/mo
Running Coach

Lose yourself on the track? Get the most out of your running ability with the NEW Running Coach Certification with ISSA and share your passion for running with others while training them to reach their personal goals.

$0.00/mo
Transformation Specialist

As a Transformation Specialist you will be armed with the skills and techniques required to truly coach and influence behavioral patterns as they relate to your clients physical, mental and emotional well-being. With this skill, your clients will see better results quicker and have an easier time with the transition to the behaviors and activities you suggest.

$0.00/mo
Yoga Fundamentals + NCCPT Exam

Learn the benefits of yoga, techniques and tools for teaching, and fundamental information for jump-starting your career.

$0.00/mo

Group Fitness

Group Exercise + NCCPT Exam

The ISSA Certified Group Exercise Instructor course is the most well-rounded program available, educating trainers on how to teach up to 12 formats in less than 6 months - for one easy price point. Take your fitness employability to the next level as a 12 in one instructor!

$0.00/mo
Group Personal Training

With the ISSA Group Personal Training Certification, you'll master the art of creating fun and effective class formats, whether you are leading small or large groups. Learn the magic of creating a fun class that pushes your members to success and brings an energy to the room that keeps them coming back from more. Again. And Again. And Again.

$0.00/mo
$0.00/mo
Lifespan Coach

The ISSA Lifespan Coach gives you the specific knowledge and skills you need to train youth and senior clients. Find out how to give youth clients the motivation and guidance they need to continue healthy habits into adulthood as you instill the value of health and fitness at an early age. While also learning how to train aging or senior clients to decrease risks caused by inactivity through carefully regimented fitness routines to keep them feeling young, vibrant and healthy.

$0.00/mo

Special Populations

Weight Management Specialist

As an ISSA Weight Management Specialist, you will be able to coach your clients with empathy and develop the skills to support them through their transformation.

$0.00/mo
Youth Fitness Instructor

Dr. Hugh D. Allen stated in USA Today that 30 million of today's youth in the US will die of heart disease as adults. Additional health problems have all been linked to childhood obesity and lack of fitness in today's youth. As a result, youth fitness training is one of the fastest-growing segments in the health club and fitness industry. In addition, youth sports are a booming industry, starting as early as 5 years old in hopes of a college scholarship. Parents are willing to invest significant time and resources to help their kids get an advantage.

$0.00/mo
Senior Fitness Instructor

Specialize in a group of clients that have the time, money and motivation to work with a Certified Personal Trainer. By the year 2030, the number of Americans over the age of 65 will grow to over 63 million. This group now constitutes the fastest growing segment of our population.

$0.00/mo
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How ISSA specialization certification courses work

    1

  • Get Instant Access to Your Online Course

    Access your digital textbook online. With 1-2 hours of studying per day, most students finish in just 12 weeks. Feel free to study at your own pace - you have up to 8 months to complete the course.

  • 2

  • Test Your Knowledge with Online Quizzes

    We offer multiple online practice quizzes throughout the course. Once you complete the quizzes, you'll gain access to the online final exam.

  • 3

  • Take the Open-Book, Untimed Final Exam from Anywhere

    You read that correctly - the final exam is online, open-book, untimed, and can also be completed over multiple sessions! You can even go back and change any answer, at any time, before you submit your exam. If you don't pass the first time, we even allow you to re-take the exam.

  • Online Access

    Study your course materials anytime, anywhere

  • Ongoing Support

    Phone support, a business guide, free trainer website after your exam, and continuing educational courses

  • Up-to-Date Materials

    Stay current with updated guides, workbooks, forums, labs & more

  • Study on Your Time

    Up to 8 months to complete; most students finish in 10-12 weeks

  • Trusted Experience

    "The Trainers' Trainer" for over 30 years and available in over 174 countries

Certified Personal Trainer posing for camera

Take your personal trainer career where you want it to go!

We offer the following options to level up your personal trainer career. Leveling up your career to become an industry expert,
earn more per hour from gyms and clients and expand your knowledge to more specialized types of clients.

Level 1: Personal Trainer Certification

The Certified Personal Trainer has the practical day-to-day skills needed to excel as a personal trainer serving the general public.

  • Client assessment

  • Program design

  • Basic nutrition

  • Sports medicine

  • Business & Marketing skills

Level 2: Fitness Coach

The ISSA Fitness Coach not only has the skills and knowledge to be a personal trainer but also has completed a specialization in fitness or nutrition. As an ISSA Specialized Coach, you will be able to better support clients on their journey to achieving their goals, while you take your career to the next level.

  • Nutritionist

  • Health Coach

  • Corrective Exercise Certification

  • Online Coach

  • Strength & Conditioning Certification

  • Bodybuilding Certification

  • Glute Specialist

  • Group Exercise Instructor

Level 3: Elite Trainer

Take your career to the next level, increase your hourly rate with gyms and / or clients. An Elite Trainer has successfully completed the Certified Personal Trainer course, the Nutritionist course and has shown proficiency in a specific population or modality by completing any one of the following certifications:

  • Strength & Conditioning Certification

  • Bodybuilding Certification

  • Glute Specialist

  • Group Exercise Instructor

  • Health Coach

  • Corrective Exercise Certification

  • Online Coach

  • Yoga Instructor

Level 4: Master Trainer

Become a leader in the fitness industry by becoming a Master Trainer. This best-in-class credential will not only earn you more money but will also help you stand out as a leader in personal training. In order to become a Master Trainer, you must complete your Certified Personal Trainer course, the Nutritionist course and complete any four of the following certifications:

  • Glute Specialist

  • Indoor Cycling Instructor

  • Tactical Conditioning Specialist

  • Yoga Instructor

  • DNA-Based Fitness Coach

  • Exercise Recovery Specialist

  • Group Exercise Instructor

  • Health Coach

  • Lifespan Coach

  • Online Coach

  • Strength & Conditioning Certification

  • Transformation Specialist

  • Corrective Exercise Certification

  • Bodybuilding Certification

  • Powerlifting Instructor

  • Exercise Therapy

Continuing Education

Continue your quest to be the best by keeping up on the latest information in your field.

View CEU Offerings

Recertification

Stay current and up-to-date by maintaining your active status.

Recertification Courses

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Trainer and student reviewing training regimen

Ready to jump-start your career?

Get your free evaluation kit today!

INCLUDES:

  • 5 Step plan to becoming certified

  • How to enroll with ISSA

No cost. No obligation.

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