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

Earn a specialization from the ISSA, at home and on your schedule. A specialization provides you with a deeper expertise in specific populations (e.g., youth, seniors) or areas of interest (e.g. bodybuilding, group exercise). The 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. We are constantly adding new specializations in an effort to provide you with ongoing educational opportunities.

View Available Specializations

Benefits of Getting a Specialization

  • Stand out with a certification that is specific to your client or gym needs
  • Become a credible expert in your area of choice
  • Receive CEUs from ISSA that are credited to your CFT recertification
  • Most credits count towards an ISSA Associates Degree in Exercise Science

ISSA Specialization Courses

Bodybuilding Specialist

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

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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.

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Exercise Therapy Certification

According to the American Sports Data Company Inc., numerous employment opportunities are opening up in facilities for health & fitness professionals who have a...

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Group Fitness Certification

This distance education course will show you how to use your knowledge and experience as an ISSA certified fitness trainer to design and lead safe and effective group training sessions...

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Genetics-Based Program Design

Distinguish yourself apart from all other trainers. The Genetic-Based Program Design 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.

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CPR / AED

Once enrolled, you will complete a online self-paced, interactive, multi-media training course. The online course takes approximately 30-60 minutes to complete...

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Nutrition Certification

As an ISSA Certified Nutritionist, you'll gain a deep understanding of the science behind nutrition. A Master's level course — without having to go back to school...

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Senior Fitness Certification

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...

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Specialist Sports Nutrition

ISSA's Specialist in Sports Nutrition (SSN) program prepares fitness trainers to expand their practices into the specialized area of sports nutrition. Trainers learn how to ...

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Strength & Conditioning Certification

Sports are big business-profitable for athletes and individuals who prepare athletes for competition. Professional and amateur athletes at all levels -- from grade-school club...

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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 ...

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Youth Fitness Certification

Dr. Hugh D. Allen stated in USA Today that 30 million of today's youth will die of heart disease as adults. Additional health problems have all been linked to childhood...

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Hear how ISSA has helped students like you

Kathy Hickey

ISSA was a great school and has taught me many things about how to do this and the correct ways.

Kathy Hickey

Jorge De La Rosa

During the process of certification, I was able to redesign my fitness approach and started creating my own plans...

Jorge De La Rosa

Bethany Hernandez

My goal is to motivate and inspire, to love and be loved, and to help people obtain a healthy mind, body and spirit.

Bethany Hernandez

Hear how ISSA has helped students like you

Ali Al-Noori

I'm so happy and proud that I chose this institute for my study to the CFT because their material gave me a lot of information and experience that I didn't know it before.

Ali Al-Noori

Beata Hughes

ISSA has taught me how to adapt various teaching methods to suit clients learning needs, allowing me to create healthy environments for teaching.

Beata Hughes

Tim Creasey

I needed a online option that would meet my needs so I could study and also work, the course more than met my needs and expectations.

Tim Creasey

Yvonne Roth

My experience with ISSA was amazing. I was so impressed with the online self-study program and how it was organized. I was equally impressed with the staff support, knowledge and integrity!

Yvonne Roth

Scott Losche

The ISSA gave me a great knowledge of fitness programming, movement screening and nutrition.

Scott Losche

Keila Lounds

I learned so much about what it takes to be a trainer. The program covers tons of information, but it was manageable and very useful and relevant.

Keila Lounds

Angela Brown

The staff was very helpful also and very nice if I had a question about anything they were always there to help me out.

Angela Brown

Pehr Torells

ISSA has given me new knowledge and helped me become a more confident and skilled instructor for seniors.

Pehr Torells

Diamond Stevens

Personally, I would recommend it to a lot of people. I learn a lot of new things and ways you can train somebody that I'm ready to use the stuff I learned to better people lives.

Diamond Stevens

Jehad Refaat Abdel Hamid

The amount of knowledge in the textbook is really satisfying for someone who’s interested in both fitness and the sciences of the human body, and who’s willing to learn about the relationships between them.

Jehad Refaat Abdel Hamid

Skyler Henson

I say this as a current high school Teacher and Coach. They truly educate you on the various topics regarding human health and physiology and the way it responds to exercise and diet.

Skyler Henson

Ryan Milton

I simply have not ever enjoyed a certification as much as I did this one. This is by far my favorite and I thought the entire program was very well worded and engaging.

Ryan Milton

How ISSA specialization certification courses work

  • 1

    Get Instant Access to Your Online Course

    Study online or with the included hard-copy textbooks. 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 12 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.

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    Online Access

    Study your course materials anytime, anywhere

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    Ongoing Support

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

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    Up-to-Date Materials

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

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    Study on Your Time

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

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    Trusted Experience

    "The Trainers' Trainer" for over 30 years and available in over 92 countries

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

We offer the following options to level up your fitness 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

Most Popular

LEVEL 1

Most Popular

Fitness Trainer Certification

7,884 Reviews

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

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  • Client assessment
  • Program design
  • Basic nutrition
  • Sports medicine
  • Business & Marketing skills
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LEVEL

2

LEVEL 2

Fitness Coach

The ISSA Fitness Coach not only has the skills and knowledge to be a fitness 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.

Learn More
  • ISSA Nutritionist
  • Bodybuilding Certification
  • Corrective Exercise Certification
  • Exercise Therapy Certification
  • Group Fitness Certification
  • Senior Fitness Certification
  • Specialist Sports Nutrition Certification
  • Strength & Conditioning Certification
  • Transformation Specialist
  • Youth Fitness Certification
Learn More

LEVEL

3

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 Fitness Trainer course, the Nutrition Certification course and has shown proficiency in a specific population or modality by completing any one of the following certifications:

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Choose any one of the following

  • Bodybuilding Certification
  • Corrective Exercise Certification
  • Exercise Therapy Certification
  • Group Fitness Certification
  • Senior Fitness Certification
  • Specialist Sports Nutrition Certification
  • Strength & Conditioning Certification
  • Transformation Specialist
  • Youth Fitness Certification
Learn More

LEVEL

4

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 fitness training. In order to become a Master Trainer, you must complete your Certified Fitness Trainer course, the Nutrition Certification course and complete any four of the following certifications:

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Choose any four of the following

  • Transformation Specialist
  • Strength & Conditioning Certification
  • Corrective Exercise Certification
  • Bodybuilding Certification
  • Group Fitness Certification
  • Exercise Therapy Certification
  • Senior Fitness Certification
  • Youth Fitness Certification
  • Specialist Sports Nutrition Certification
Learn More

ADDITIONAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES:

Certified Fitness Trainer

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
Purchase of ISSA test-prep materials is not an eligibility requirement for the Certified Fitness Trainer exam nor does it guarantee a passing score. To purchase the ISSA-CPT Certification Exam, click here.

Is ISSA right for you?

Thinking about becoming a Certified Fitness Trainer or an ISSA Nutritionist? Get your Free Evaluation Kit today and take your first step towards making money doing what you are passionate about. The kit includes:

INCLUDES:

  • 5 Step plan to becoming certified
  • Job opportunities

No cost. No obligation.

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(800) 892-4772