What Is the ACSM Personal Training Certification?

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is a medicine and science organization that offers the Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) designation. The ACSM is a recognized name within the fitness industry. The CPT designation is ideal if you're trying to start a career in fitness training or if you want to advance your career in the field. Learn more about ACSM training certifications here. Schools offering Fitness Trainer degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

ACSM Personal Training Certification Overview

The CPT designation from the ACSM allows you to prove your abilities and skills as a personal trainer. With this certification, you demonstrate that you know how to develop training programs. You could show others how to do exercise moves and motivate them to stay focused and committed to fitness regimens.

The CPT examination is administered at Pearson VUE-authorized testing centers. The multiple-choice test is administered via an online format. To take the CPT examination, you must be at least 18 years old, hold a high school diploma or GED, and have a current adult CPR/AED certification.

Important Facts About ACSM Personal Training Certification

Continuing Education ACSM requires recertification every 3 years; maintaining certification requires continuing education through online courses, webinars, and conferences
Online Availability In-person and online study options are available
Similar Certifications Group exercise instructor, exercise physiologist
Key Skills Client consultation and assessment, exercise programming and leadership, business, and marketing

Preparing for the Examination

The ACSM offers optional training materials and workshops that you can use to prepare for the Certified Personal Trainer examination. However, you may prepare in any way you choose as long as you are competent in the topics that will be presented. Examination questions cover the Job Task Analyses from the ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription book. You must demonstrate the ability to effectively communicate with clients, identify risk factors, create exercise routines and develop fitness programs to help clients meet goals.

College Programs

Besides using the ACSM test preparation materials, completing a certificate or diploma program at a college could also prepare you for the examination. In such programs, you might learn about anatomy, fitness principles, exercise physiology, CPR and injury prevention while building personal training skills.

CPR/AED Certification

If you don't complete a college program that includes CPR/AED training, you can take courses through the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. These courses may be offered at various locations such as community centers or colleges, and are taught by certified instructors. Earning a CPR/AED certification will allow you to meet the requirements to take the CPT examination.

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