ISSA Certified Personal Trainer Certification Review (Fall 2022 Update)

Private coaching could be a profitable and fulfilling profession path because it means that you can assist others discover their ardour for health. The Worldwide Sports activities Science Affiliation (ISSA) is a widely known private coaching certification that provides 10 nationally acknowledged packages, together with certifications for private coaching, bodybuilding, well being teaching, and a corrective exercise specialist. This evaluate will take an in-depth have a look at their private coaching certification (CPT).

ISSA was based in 1988 and has been serving to individuals discover their ardour for health ever since. Their private coaching certification is greatest for people who find themselves “captivated with health and wish skilled and practical programming to get outcomes.” To turn into licensed, you could go the ultimate open-book check with a 75 p.c or greater, although the go price total is 90 p.c. This certification covers the fundamentals of private coaching for the overall inhabitants, how you can function a private coaching enterprise, and how you can assist shoppers attain their fitness goals. This certification is greatest for many who are new to non-public coaching and, don’t have an educational background in kinesiology or health, but nonetheless wish to work for a gymnasium or begin their very own enterprise.

Major Takeaways

  • ISSA is an internationally acknowledged private coach certification, and is accepted in just about any gymnasium.
  • Additionally they provide an open-book examination, which may alleviate stress for many who aren’t the perfect check takers.
  • ISSA affords tons of sources, together with audio lectures, readings, one on one periods, and a “genius” that will help you with any questions.

ISSA Private Coaching Certification

ISSA Personal Training Certification

ISSA has licensed over 475,000 college students by way of their varied private coach certifications since 1988. It has a 90 p.c check price, a free retest, and tons of sources that will help you turn into the perfect private coach you may be.

ISSA Private Coach Certification Highlights

ISSA has licensed over 475,000 college students throughout their quite a few certifications since 1989. This system affords a textbook, boot camps, movies, supporting materials, a quick monitor to the certification, a self-paced monitor, and a hit coach who may help you put together for the ultimate examination. There’s a 90 p.c go price for check takers, and 95 p.c of those that go the check are employed throughout the first six months of acquiring their private coach certification, in response to the ISSA. 

There are three routes you’ll be able to take through their web site: Licensed Private Coach (CPT), Health Coach, and Elite Coach (which requires a mix of certifications). Probably the most fundamental package deal gives solely the Private Coaching Certification, Health Coach affords a daily coaching certification, in addition to a specialization, akin to powerlifting instruction or corrective train specialist. The final degree is Elite Coach, which incorporates CPT, specialization, and a vitamin coach course. 

The non-public coach certification is completed by way of textbook finding out (on-line until you decide to purchase a tough copy of the textbook) or audio classes on-line. The fundamental course covers anatomy and physiology, vitamin, well being and bodily health, program design, and damage and illness. The check consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. Additionally they enable for a free retest inside 30 days of the unique test-taking date — an enormous perk in comparison with others in the marketplace that will have a steep retest charge of $100 or extra. 

Who Ought to Get the ISSA Private Coach Certification

  • Future trainers trying to work with most of the people. This can be a basic certification that doesn’t go into particular demographics or populations, akin to athletes or individuals with accidents. 
  • Of us who need the choice for various private coaching packages, akin to an addition of a specialization (like glute specialist), or those that wish to double down with a vitamin certification, as effectively.
  • Those that need an inexpensive certification that doesn’t make you pay retest charges. 

Who Shouldn’t Get the ISSA Private Coach Certification

  • Those that have already got an intensive background in kinesiology or health. The ISSA Private Coach Certification covers extra fundamental data that you’d have already coated in a level. 
  • Individuals who desire a hardcopy textbook, however don’t wish to pay additional. You get the web textbook free however should pay $40 if you would like a bodily copy. 
  • Of us who wish to work with skilled and school athletes might wish to go for a level relatively than a certification. 

How A lot Does The ISSA CPT Certification Value?

Relying on which route you wish to take along with your certification, you’ll have totally different fee choices. For many who need a easy Private Coach Certification, you’ll be paying $69 a month for 12 months, equaling about $830.00 in whole. For the Health Coach degree, which gives a CPT and specialization, you’ll pay about $79 a month for a complete of round $950. Lastly, for the Elite Coach, you’ll pay $99 a month for 12 months totaling round $1,190. 

All three shopping for choices embrace a versatile research schedule and the choice for an open e book, Nationwide Fee for Certifying Businesses (NCCA) accredited check. You’ll even have limitless research help from their success coaches and assured job placement otherwise you get your a reimbursement. As with most different organizations, ISSA requires you to resume your certification each two years. This implies you’ll need to earn 20 persevering with schooling credit (CEUs) each two years. If you happen to receive these CEUs by way of ISSA, you don’t need to pay a renewal charge, however when you select to go exterior of ISSA for these CEUs, you’ll pay $99 to your renewal charge. 

Who’s ISSA?

ISSA is the Worldwide Sports activities Sciences Affiliation that was based in 1988. It has issued over 475,000 private coaching certifications since its inception and is among the most well-known private coaching certifications in the marketplace. The corporate’s mission assertion is to “Carry wholesome dwelling to everyone on the earth by way of schooling and neighborhood”. Its core values embrace prioritizing private connection, sharing wellness, having fun with the drive, and dwelling grit and resilience. 

Past its three foremost private coach certification routes, ISSA affords a whole lot of continuous schooling courses, akin to Vitamin & Skilled Growth, Bodybuilding Specialist, DNA-Based mostly Health Coach, and Back Injury Prevention. It was the primary private coaching program to require persevering with schooling so as to maintain your private coaching cert, which it introduced in 1992. 

ISSA Licensed Private Coach Research Supplies

ISSA affords a plethora of choices for finding out and studying the knowledge you will want so as to go the ultimate examination to your CPT. You’ll have entry to the textbook on-line, however if you would like a tough copy of the textual content, you’ll need to pay an additional $40 to buy one. Additionally they break it down right into a 10-week plan that paces your studying. ISSA affords lecture movies with key factors from every chapter and audio lectures which might be damaged down into smaller chunks for simple listening and retention. You should additionally go 18 quizzes that can set you up for achievement on the ultimate examination.

You achieve entry to some useful bonus options totally free along with your account. ISSA produces an schooling boot camp — a reside information to finding out which gives suggestions for passing your examination. You additionally obtain entry to an ISSA CPT “genius”, who may help you with areas the place you’re caught or struggling. A genius is knowledgeable who works for ISSA that may reply any questions and allow you to problem-solve any points you’re having throughout the program. Lastly, you’ll have entry to 5 one-hour research periods with an ISSA genius, which you’ll decide to do reside or on demand.

Research Guides

The research guides for ISSA’s CPT examination are plentiful to set you up for achievement. You’ve the web textbook, which is damaged up into chapters. There are additionally audio lectures damaged down over 10 weeks. Every week is separated into studying assignments, lecture movies that spotlight the necessary data from every chapter, and quizzes to evaluate your understanding of the fabric. If you happen to select to stay to the 10-week program, you’ll wish to put aside between two and 4 hours of research time a day, relying in your research habits and desires. 


There are 18 quizzes you will want to finish and go (with limitless makes an attempt allowed) so as to be granted entry to your ultimate examination. They’re all multiple-choice quizzes designed to depart you with a information of what to anticipate on the ultimate examination. The quizzes will let you understand which questions you bought appropriate and which of them you could wish to research a bit extra so as to be absolutely ready for the check. 

On-line Discussion board

ISSA has a CPT Academic Bootcamp which you could take part in. They meet as soon as per week for a five-week interval that will help you along with your research and to introduce you to fellow college students. These boot camps set you up with a hit coach who can reply any questions you will have, maintain you motivated as you might be finishing your certification, and test in all through the entire course of. Additionally included are “workplace hours,” that are one-on-one periods with an ISSA genius. 

Research Materials Medium 

ISSA gives a flexible research platform which has a medium that ought to work effectively for many learners. Though many of the materials is on-line — the digital textbook, boards, success coaches, lectures, and genius conferences — you will have the choice to purchase a tough copy of the textbook for $40. This certification is generally constructed for on-line use, although, and the sources out there to you all through your certification course are greatest utilized on-line. 


ISSA believes within the high quality of its certification, a lot in order that the certs include a couple of ensures. Their first assure is that you simply’ll discover a job inside six months of finishing and passing your ultimate examination. If you happen to can show that you simply utilized to 3 gyms throughout the first six months and are unable to discover a job, they are going to absolutely refund you for the worth of the certification. 

Last Examination / Certification Sensible for the ISSA CPT Program

The ultimate examination is 200 questions, which is fairly lengthy in comparison with others in the marketplace, such because the 120-question examination from NASM. The format is multiple-choice questions all through the whole thing of the check. It’s an open-book check and permits for a free retest when you don’t go in your first strive so long as you retest inside 30 days. You’re additionally capable of open and shut the examination as typically as wanted, so the check doesn’t need to be taken in a single sitting. 

Examination Sections

There are six sections on the ultimate examination, and so they’re divided among the many 200 multiple-choice questions. The sections you’ll be examined on are Fundamental & Utilized Science, Shopper Evaluation, Particular Populations, Program Design, Vitamin, and Skilled Observe, Drawing-In Section, and Fiscal Health.

A person performs a one-arm dumbbell overhead squat to full depth.
Credit score: Lyashenko Egor / Shutterstock

The quizzes are nice indicators of what you’ll encounter in every of those sections. Lots of the examination questions are literally word-for-word from the quizzes, so it’s a good suggestion to be sure to’re taking notes if you take them.

Anticipated Research Time

ISSA has damaged its research materials right into a 10-week program. It will require round two to 4 hours of research time a day, which can fluctuate relying in your research habits, how fast your retention of recent data is, how intensive your earlier information is, and the way a lot time you wish to spend on the fabric. Ten weeks is what ISSA broke it down into, however you will have six months to finish the coursework and take the check, so work on the tempo that’s greatest for you. 

Cross Price

To go your ISSA examination, you need to rating 75 p.c or greater. The go price is pretty excessive at 90 p.c, particularly compared to different certifications in the marketplace. This can be as a result of open-book testing mannequin that ISSA has, or it could possibly be that the retesting is free, making it simpler to go the check with out penalty. 

Retest Value

Retesting for ISSA is free, which is a significant perk in comparison with another certifications the place you’ll need to pay a hefty retest charge. That is excellent news for many who have check anxiousness because it lowers the stress and means that you can retake the check inside 30 days of the unique check date. You’ll additionally solely need to retest the questions you bought incorrect. 

Persevering with Training Necessities

Each two years, you’ll need to earn 20 persevering with schooling items (CEUs) to maintain your certification. The CEUs may be obtained from exterior sources, however when you decide to do your entire persevering with schooling by way of ISSA, they are going to waive your recertification charge. If you happen to receive your CEUs by way of exterior sources, you’ll pay $99 to carry onto your certification on high of the charges you pay to your persevering with schooling. In case you are late to your persevering with schooling and nonetheless wish to be recertified, ISSA will cost a late charge of $40 when you’re three to 6 months behind or $50 when you’re six to 12 months late. 

Potential Profession Paths

The principle profession path that the majority will comply with after acquiring a private coaching certification is changing into a private coach. This might happen in a industrial gymnasium, a non-public studio, in-home, or wherever that private trainers are accepted. Private coaching isn’t the one route you’ll be able to go, although. You even have entry to profession paths like gymnasium administration, health modeling, group class teacher, affiliate, or coach.

Picture through Shutterstock/Bojan Milinkov

Relying in your area of interest information and the place your ardour lies, you could possibly decide into a number of totally different profession paths — particularly when you select a specialised course by way of ISSA to have extra particular and area of interest information. 

Anticipated Wage

The anticipated wage is tough to nail down precisely because it is determined by what you’re trying to do along with your certification and the way a lot time you dedicate to it. If you happen to’re enterprise savvy and wish to begin your individual enterprise, the sky’s the restrict to your potential earnings. If you happen to’re extra comfy in a industrial gymnasium setting, you’ll typically be paid an hourly price, and lots of gyms don’t present well being plans, 401k or financial savings plans, or a assure of shoppers. 


ISSA is a well-recognized CPT and is extensively accredited by a number of the largest organizations. They’re accredited by the Nationwide Fee for Certifying Businesses (NCAA), which is nationally acknowledged and revered. They’re additionally accredited by the Distance Training and Instructing Council (DETC), which is acknowledged by the Division of Training. 


ISSA is certainly one of many extra recognizable and well-respected certifications in the marketplace. Its inception was one of many earliest throughout the board, particularly for the truth that it doesn’t require a background in schooling so as to be licensed. It’s even partnered with gyms akin to Life Time Health, Anytime Health, Equinox, F45, 24 Hour Health, and Gold’s Gymnasium. 

Last Phrase

If you happen to’re excited by pursuing a private coach certification, whether or not or not it’s to your personal private information within the gymnasium or to make it a profession path, ISSA stands out as the certification that’s the perfect match to your wants. With a 90 p.c go price for check takers, the choice to retest totally free, its well-recognized accreditations, and a transparent research schedule, you’ll be able to’t go incorrect by choosing this certification.

It gives you with the instruments to efficiently full your course and achieve the information to make you a top-tier coach. This cert additionally means that you can additional your schooling and profession by way of their seemingly countless persevering with schooling credit. As an internationally acknowledged certification, we consider ISSA is a good certification course for these with out an educational background who wish to pursue a profession in private coaching. 


Why ought to I select ISSA over different private coaching certifications?

ISSA has many advantages together with one-on-one steering with an ISSA “genius” who can reply any questions you will have to offer their certification an especially private really feel. Additionally they help you take their check with an open e book, which is a bonus to those that expertise testing anxiousness, or who don’t reveal their information in a stereotypical test-taking format. Additionally they have free retesting when you fail your first try on the check.

Who’s an ISSA private coach certification greatest for?

ISSA is greatest suited for many who wish to pursue a private coaching profession, and don’t have already got an intensive PT background from an educational setting. It’s also a stable selection for anybody desirous to work with basic inhabitants shoppers. If you happen to’re trying to work with athletes or in a complicated setting, you could wish to contemplate an educational route. 

What do I want so as to get a private coach certification from ISSA?

You’ll have to go your 12 on-line quizzes, rating a 75 or greater in your ultimate open-book examination, and turn into CPR & AED licensed so as to receive your ISSA certification. So as to keep it, you’ll need to earn 20 CEU credit each two years, and pay the recertification charge until your entire 20 CEUs come from ISSA courses.

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