300,000 Certifications Worldwide

300,000 Certifications Worldwide

143 Countries Around The Globe

143 Countries Around The Globe

30+ Years in Fitness Certifications

30+ Years in Fitness Certifications

No Credit Checks. No Fees. No Taxes.

No Credit Checks. No Fees. No Taxes.

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About the International Sports Science Association (ISSA)

The ISSA is the world leader in fitness education and delivers comprehensive, cognitive and practical distance education for fitness professionals, grounded in industry research, using both traditional and innovative modalities. Founded in 1988 by Dr. Sal Arria and Dr. Frederick Hatfield, the ISSA now offers 12 fitness certifications and has certified over 300,000 trainers in 143 countries.

Mission

Our Mission

Bring healthy living to everybody in the world through education and community.

Our Vision

Connect 100M people to the power of healthy living by 2030.

Core Values

  • Prioritize Personal Connection
    • We Serve Others
    • We Provide Exceptional Service
    • We Build Solid Relationships
  • Share Wellness
    • We Promote Healthy Living
    • We Have a Reciprocal Relationship with Wellness
    • We Actively Pursue Balanced Lifestyles
  • Grit to Great
    • We are Scrappy and Tenacious
    • We Tackle Obstacles Head On
    • We "Get It Done"
  • Enjoy the Drive
    • We are Results Oriented
    • We Embrace the Sometimes Wild Ride
    • We Have Fun

Accreditations and Affiliations

The IHRSA is a trade association serving the global health club and fitness industry. The mission of IHRSA is to grow, protect and promote the health and fitness industry, and to provide its members with benefits that will help them be more successful. The IHRSA is dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and activity promotion.

The European Register of Exercise Professionals (EREPS) is an independent register of instructors, trainers and teachers working in the European health, fitness and physical activity sector.

EREPS recognises the qualifications and skills of exercise professionals and is an important assurance for the public and employers that their instructor or employee holds the appropriate qualifications to perform their role safely and effectively.

View our Certificate of Accreditation


The National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure to the public that qualified fitness professionals who have successfully passed the National Board examination have achieved an approved level of competency in the health and fitness industry. The NBFE promotes the services of qualified fitness professionals as a viable means of improving public health.


Since 1985 the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools has worked with the State's Governors, Legislature, elected officials and the numerous regulatory agencies to promote high quality education.


The New York Chiropractic College assists future doctors of chiropractic achieve their career goals, New York Chiropractic College offers a unique educational program that gives students access to many career possibilities. The mission of New York Chiropractic College is to provide leadership and academic excellence in all our degree granting programs through a commitment to quality education and patient care, research excellence, professional service, and the fostering of lifelong learning for all members of our community. ISSA is approved for continuing education credits for chiropractors through the New York Chiropractic College.


The Better Business Bureau's mission is to promote and foster the highest ethical relationship between businesses and the public through voluntary self-regulation, consumer and business education, and service excellence. ISSA maintains a A+ rating with the BBB--the highest possible rating.

ISSA Timeline

1987

At the age of 45, ISSA Co-Founder, Dr. Fred Hatfield, establishes a world record in the squat at 1014 pounds with a 255-pound body weight, making the achievement the most anyone had ever lifted in the history of powerlifting competition.

1988 — The International Sports Sciences Association

The International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) is formed by a team of renowned fitness experts under the leadership of Sal A. Arria, DC, MSS, and Frederick C. Hatfield, Ph.D., MSS, to stem the tide of physical decline. ISSA is founded with the mission of increasing the fitness of the people on our planet by helping more fitness professionals enjoy a successful career in fitness.

1990

ISSA launches Weekend Educational Workshops

1991

Dr. Fred Hatfield is awarded the prestigious Alumni Citation Award from Southern Connecticut State University "In recognition of [his] extraordinary achievements and distinguished career."

1992

The ISSA becomes the first fitness certification organization to mandate continuing education.

1994

The ISSA sees the educational and information sharing potential and power of the Internet and launches its first online site at ISSA-USA

Summer 1995

ISSA launches ProTrainer Online Magazine

Fall 1995

Specialist in Performance Nutrition Course is launched

1996

Strength & Conditioning Course is launched

1997

Youth Fitness Trainer Course is launched

1998

ISSA celebrates its 10-year anniversary

1998

Specialist in Senior Fitness Course is launched

June 2000

Dr. Fred Hatfield is inducted into the Powerlifting Hall of Fame in York, PA

2002

Certified Fitness Trainer final examination is offered online

Summer 2005

ISSA becomes a Provisional Affiliate of National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE)

2005

8th edition of ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer is launched

Summer 2006

ISSA earns an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

2006

New Study Guides added to all major certification courses

March 2008

3D Exercise Lab is launched

2008

ISSA celebrates its 20-year anniversary

2008

Public, Educational, and Provisional divisions are launched

January 2009

ISSA earns DETC accreditation

February 2009

ISSA gets listed with DANTES

April 2009

ISSA is the first fitness certification organization to receive approval from Marine, Navy, Air Force, National Guard and Coast Guard for Tuition Assistance for military active and reserve duty troops.

May 2009

ISSA earns official charter for Honor Society Delta Epsilon Tau

June 2009

ISSA launches new Specialist Fitness Nutrition course authored by John Berardi

August 2009

ISSA receives GiJobs Military Friendly School honor

August 2010

ISSA receives GiJobs Military Friendly School honor for the second year in a row

November 2010

ISSA launches 10 week Guided Study On Track lecture and audio series

2010

ISSA launches LIRN library for College of Exercise Science

April 2011

ISSA begins offering Members Free Professional Website for business purposes

June 2011

ISSA Launches Public Division For the Health of It monthly newsletter

July 2011

ISSA becomes official SOCs member

August 2011

ISSA receives its third consecutive GiJobs Military Friendly School honor

September 2011

ISSA earns VA approval

October 2011

ISSA earns licensing from CA BPPE

November 2011

ISSA earns full Affiliate status with the NBFE

2012

ISSA launches Thank a Vet — Hire a Vet national campaign

2013

Champions Youth Fitness teams up with KidShape 2.0 and ISSA to boost youth fitness

2014

ISSA achieves National Accreditation through DEAC

2015

ISSA busts the myth that one-size-fits-all diets work

2016

Huffington Post names ISSA one of the top Personal Training Certifications in America

2017

ISSA recognized as DEAC Outstanding Distance Education Program

2018

Andrew Wyant, former National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) president, becomes President and CEO of ISSA. The global leader in fitness and nutrition education shapes ISSA's new headquarters in Arizona

2019

ISSA launches first certification for DNA-Based fitness training programs

2019

ISSA Certified Trainer Shannon Decker receives 2019 DEAC Famous Alumni Award

2019

Rich Brown joins ISSA from Digital Air Strike as the new CIO

2019

ISSA releases Fitness Certification Program tailored to military veterans and their families looking to make fitness training a career

2019

Rachael Cordova joins ISSA from Manifest as the new CFO

2019

ISSA launches partnership with leading online fitness and allied healthcare professionals organization, MedFit Network and MedFit Education Foundation

2019

DNA-Based Fitness Coach program is launched

2020

ISSA acquires NCCPT (National Counsel of Certified Personal Trainers), adding accredited

2020

Yoga Certification course is launched

2020

Weight Management Instructor course is launched

2020

Powerlifting Instructor course is launched

2020

Online Coaching Certification course is launched

2020

Lifespan Coach Certification course is launched

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Hear how ISSA has helped students like you

Evette Wrinkle

I was so overwhelmed at first but chatted with a master trainer on the website and they gave me some wonderful study tips that built my confidence back up. I actually finished a month early.

Evette Wrinkle

Javier Sims

I have learned to change the lifestyle of others in a positive way from good nutrition to the proper training techniques and also to help improve my overall physique.

Javier Sims

Hear how ISSA has helped students like you

Nicole Holstein

ISSA gave me the opportunity to work independently to study, complete work, and gain knowledge on becoming a personal trainer.

Nicole Holstein

Susan Umstatter

The ISSA Personal Trainer course explained every chapter very clearly and covered so many areas of health, nutrition, and fitness.

Susan Umstatter

McKenzie Chatterton

They provide you with the academic knowledge and the real world skills you need to be a success.

McKenzie Chatterton

Carmen Maendel

This program encompasses a broad amount of information across the board in physical fitness.

Carmen Maendel

John Heerschap Jr

ISSA has given me the confidence I need to train people and train them right.

John Heerschap Jr

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

DeJarrod Jones

ISSA has helped make my dreams com true of being a personal trainer and helping people become better versions of themselves.

DeJarrod Jones

Karin Singleton

ISSA has remained to be among the leaders of the fitness industry and is still an organization that is nationally recognized and has a good reputation.

Karin Singleton

Sarah Turnley

After now having received my certification through ISSA, I feel confident that I'm ready to start my business.

Sarah Turnley

Andrea De Persio

I’ve been searching for the best training a company has to offer for years, ISSA really has it all.

Andrea De Persio

Malaika Jacocks

If I had questions, comments or concerns, I would call and the staff was so very helpful, I was in shock of how much support I got!

Malaika Jacocks

Christina Walters

The site is very easy to navigate, the content is very educational and flows smoothly, I receive help quickly when I have a question.

Christina Walters

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