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Ultimate Guide To Becoming An ISSA Certified Personal Trainer

Written by
Chayan Garg

An ISSA personal trainer certification requires minimum qualification while being widely accepted. Learn the more prominent benefits the blog discusses below.

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Ultimate Guide To Becoming An ISSA Certified Personal Trainer

Are you looking to become a certified personal trainer? If so, you have come to the right place. 

In this article, we will walk you through the process of becoming ISSA certified.

Whether you are just starting out in your personal training career or looking to switch certification providers, this guide is for you! 

What is ISSA (International Sports Sciences Association)? 

ISSA stands for The International Sports Sciences Association. 

It was founded in 1988 by a team of fitness experts and exercise scientists. 

ISSA has around 400,000 students and trainers spread around 174 countries and is deemed to be one of the best personal training certifications. They are seen as a leader in fitness education and fitness training and even offer the gold-standard NCCA accreditation exam process in their CPT program. 

NCCA stands for the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.

ISSA acts as a teaching institution for personal trainers, gym trainers, coaches, physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists, and professionals in every field of health care.

The Benefits of Completing Your Personal Training Certification from ISSA

The ISSA CPT certification is one certification that is considered supremely valuable by everyone in the fitness industry.

It affirms your expertise in your personal training field as it demonstrates that your skills can be adapted to new clients. 

Following are the advantages of completing the ISSA certified trainer course:

1. Widely accepted

ISSA personal training certification is globally renowned and is accepted worldwide.

Fitness professionals and employers widely recognize the certification for its ability to educate and qualify students to train a variety of individuals with unique needs to meet their fitness goals.

2. Fast track to passing

Most of ISSA's Certified Personal Trainer programs can be completed in as little as four weeks!

This means you have to invest just a month of your time to get Issa accredited. Of course, the right program for you will be the one that is relevant to your field of interest and training.

3. Increases your credibility

With so many personal trainers out there, clients, as well as gym owners, trust and hire the one that has some sort of certification and hence is credible and knows what they are doing.

After taking the Issa course and passing the Issa exam, your credibility as a personal trainer gets affirmed, and you can now scale your fitness business as now you will be able to attract more clients.

4. Specialized skill sets

During the Issa course, you will learn new skills and knowledge in exercise science, physical fitness, resistance training, and special population training, which will help you coach your clients in a more specialized way. 

Minimum Qualifications for Becoming an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer

ISSA certification is an incredible way to get in the health and fitness industry.

The certification requires you to be at least 18 years old. You must have completed high school and additionally are supposed to provide proof of Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR certification) or Automated external defibrillator (AED certification). 

One of the best aspects of Issa certification is that trainers can study and take their tests from the comfort of their homes. They can work at their own pace until they've learned the topic completely and then move forward with the next topic. 

Bonus tip: ISSA now even offers a CPR/AED certification program that takes only 30 to 60 minutes to complete.

ISSA Personal Training Certification: Pricing & Eligibility  

  • Exam cost: $69 per month for 12 months
  • Study material cost: $69 – $119 per month for 12 months
  • Prerequisites: 18 years of age, CPR/AED cert/high school diploma
  • Exam passing score: 70% and a score of 75% or better on all sections of the final examination
  • Exam pass rate: 90% (non-accredited), 65 – 70% (accredited)
  • Average completion time: 3 – 6 months 

To know more visit the ISSA Website

ISSA CPT Certification Programs

ISSA has four different programs for their CPT program, and each one offers something unique in terms of course material and has a monthly based payment model. 

Each of the programs add something of value as the tiers go up.

Here are the four packages: 

  1. Certified trainer CPT Certification: This is the starter program for the CPT studying, and it is a solid deal for personal training as this is an entry level course to become a personal trainer.
    Pricing: $69 per month for 12 months
  2. Fitness coach CPT Certification: This is the second-tier option for the CPT program and will help you kickstart your professional fitness career.
    The main addition here is that you can choose any specialization you want to pursue. Whether it is Bodybuilding, Group Exercise Instructor, Certified Yoga Instructor, or Nutritionist, you can choose any specialization, and you will attain an ISSA Fitness Coach status.
    Pricing: $79 per month for 12 months
  3. Elite trainer CPT Certification: This is the third tier option for the personal trainer program, and it comes with the ISSA Nutritionist course along with an additional specialization certification. This is great for personal trainers looking for advanced coursework.
    Pricing: $99 per month for 12 months 
  4. Master trainer CPT Certification: In this last tier option, you’ll get to study four specializations.
    As a Master Trainer, you will have the tools to demonstrate a balanced knowledge of fitness and nutrition and in-depth expertise across many areas of fitness.
    Pricing: $150 per month for 12 months 

Overall, Issa certifications hold a good value in the fitness industry. The packages include all primary study materials in all organizations’ programs for certified personal trainers.

Specializations Offered by ISSA

Apart from the certified personal trainer certification, which is the most popular, there are other ISSA specializations that can help you advance in the fitness business by improving your knowledge and skills. 

A specialization provides you with expertise in a specific area that may become the USP of your fitness coaching services. 

Here is the list of the most popular specializations at ISSA:

  1. Nutritionist: In this specialization, you'll learn the foundations of how food fuels the body and step-by-step methods for introducing a healthy eating plan into your clients' lifestyles.
    (Read here: To know more about the nutritionist course)
  2. Strength & Conditioning + NCCPT Exam: This certification bridges the gap between science and application by giving trainers the "how" of helping athletes achieve any sport-related goal.
    With this course, you’ll be able to create the right fitness training program for any athlete. (Read here: To know more about the strength & conditioning course)
  3. Bodybuilding Specialist: This specialization course covers training, recovery, motivation, and nutritional strategies to prepare the personal trainer to work with bodybuilders. (Read here: To know more about the bodybuilding course)
  4. CPR/AED Certification Program: This online course takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes to complete. After completing your online course, you can immediately download a printable course completion certificate.
    (Read here: To know more about the CPR/AED course)

ISSA offers various specializations that aid you to become an expert in your interest areas so you can stand out in your fitness field. 

To know more, visit

What ISSA Training Has to Offer?

The ISSA education program offers an advanced program for students who want to go beyond just the basics.

It's perfect if you're searching for personal training certifications but are also interested in continuing education credits that will help your career develop further!

The personal training certification course typically takes between 12 and 16 weeks to complete.

After finishing the coursework, a student sits for the Issa exam. If a student passes their exam and meets all other qualifications, they become an ISSA certified personal trainer.

Coursework: Books & other resources

The entire ISSA curriculum is covered in the ISSA personal training book which is a new and improved edition, updated with new exercise descriptions, quizzes and the latest information on nutrition, motivation and behavior change, and exercise science.

The material is broken down into six sections and has everything you need to successfully earn your Personal Trainer Certification, including a Fast Track Study Guide to help you study and pass your exam faster.

It covers all the required subjects for exercise science without going too far beyond what is expected. The 715-page book even features a chapter on business and marketing to help you start and grow a profitable fitness training business.

Bonus: ISSA also offers many online materials outside of the text focusing on resistance training through their study portal. Personal trainers will not have a problem working with resistance training and properly implementing these techniques into their program design.

Recertification of your personal training certification

Every 2 years, all ISSA-certified personal trainers must renew their personal training certification.

The renewal fee is $99 if Continuing Education Units (CEU) credits were obtained outside ISSA and $0 if all 20 CEU credits are obtained through ISSA. 

To know further details about the recertification, visit issaonline

How Being a Certified Trainer Improves Your Fitness Career

1. Practical Knowledge

The education you complete through ISSA will not only help you to pass the certification exam but will give you practical personal training skills that you require to become a successful personal trainer.

Because the program design focuses both on theoretical and practical knowledge, you can be sure of developing skills that come in handy in the real world.

2. Networking opportunities

ISSA’s partnerships with leading gyms like Gold's Gym and other health clubs give you access to the top career opportunities in the fitness industry.

This means you will get plenty of opportunities to build your network across the industry. And who can deny the benefits of knowing others in the same job or industry?

3. Staying at the top

As stated earlier, a valuable certification course adds credibility to your fitness brand and services.

Even if you already are a certified personal trainer, continued education keeps you at the top of the fitness game in the health and fitness industry while enhancing your knowledge and expertise. 

4. Gain more clients

Having a personal trainer certification shows that you have the right qualifications and skills to coach other people and build your fitness business.

You’ll now be able to attract more in-person and online personal training clients and make way for higher earning potential.

What After You Have Taken The ISSA Fitness Certification Course?

Becoming an ISSA certified personal trainer is the first step to getting you ready to start your own personal training business.

The next step is to Build Your Own Personal Training App. 

With FitBudd, you can now run your fitness business as efficiently as possible. FitBudd is the all-in-one platform you need to run a successful personal training business.

Whether you want to launch your own custom branded fitness app or only need a dashboard to manage clients, FitBudd offers 100+ cutting-edge features for you to deliver an interactive workout experience, create personalized nutrition plans, track performance, and much more. This makes the transition to or the establishment of an online personal training business a cakewalk.

With FitBudd's personal training app for trainers, you can help people from all over the world achieve their fitness goals and turn them into long-term clients.

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