NASM Certified Personal Trainer Review (Fall 2022 Update)

NASM launched the seventh iteration of their Licensed Private Coach course (CPT) in 2021, which incorporates evidence-based approaches to shopper relations, assessment, train method, program design, and nutrition. The data is offered in an easy-to-digest and interesting manner with studying instruments like movies, audio summaries, and information checks.

Every chapter additionally consists of lesson recaps and quizzes to help in your studying course of. These supplies allow you to be sure you’re retaining the important thing info you’ll have to cross the ultimate examination and start working as a private coach. 

This certification is well-respected within the health business and opens the door to working as a private coach with most people, specializing in bettering general well being and wellness. By way of this course, you’ll discover ways to be a private coach from each angle, with classes on shopper intakes, ethics, record-keeping, gross sales, advertising and marketing, and entrepreneurship.

You’ll accomplish this by way of the usage of a mix of supplemental studying supplies all through the guided studying journey NASM offers for the course (from video lectures to a remaining examination). If you wish to make a profession out of health or begin your individual private coaching enterprise, then the NASM-CPT is probably going an ideal certification program for you.

Most important Takeaways

  • This course gives a holistic method that will help you develop from somebody with a ardour for health to a business-savvy health skilled with the information to achieve the business.
  • The course information outlines a simple path to completion in 15 weeks that has you taking the ultimate examination on the fifteenth week. There may be, nevertheless, an extra week constructed into the plan, so you may brush up on areas chances are you’ll want extra research.
  • Sources are plentiful with a fresh-looking digital studying platform that options well-produced video and audio summaries. Helpful apply quizzes and information checks, and complete info are additionally included to set you up for achievement.

NASM Private Coach Certification

NASM Personal Trainer Certification

If you wish to transfer from an train fanatic to a bonafide health skilled, then you may develop your expertise in shopper evaluation, program writing, self-marketing, gross sales, physiology, psychology, and extra with the Private Coach Certification from NASM.

NASM Private Coach Certification Highlights

This complete certification can put you on the street to health entrepreneurship or a profession develop into the well being and wellness business in as little as 15 weeks should you comply with the course research information. You don’t want an exercise science degree both to get began — only a highschool diploma or GED and an accredited CPR/AED certification. 

The information gives week-by-week instructions in relation to which chapters to finish and evaluate for a refresher up till the fifteenth week, which is when you may both select to take the ultimate examination or brush up a bit extra on sure areas. All your laborious work over these weeks will culminate in a 120-question, proctored remaining examination, which you’ll take at a proctoring facility or remotely (when you have the proper {hardware}, like a microphone and digicam).

It may be a bit disturbing that you simply solely have 180 days to finish the ultimate examination, as not everybody learns on the identical fee and a few people might take longer to work by way of the research supplies. In case you’re in that group, chances are you’ll wish to begin off with buying the textbook and finding out that till you’re certain you’ve the time and information vital to leap into the course head-first. Beginning off with the textbook can be a great way to make sure that that is the precise certification for you and the trail you wish to comply with. 

The NASM-CPT certification could be fairly expensive, relying on the bundle you choose. It might be a good suggestion to make sure this cert is best for you earlier than you decide to spending the cash on it. In case you like a problem and wish to study the various elements of private coaching at a big-box gymnasium, an upscale well being membership, and even your individual enterprise, then this certification has your identify written throughout it. 

Who Ought to Get the NASM Private Coach Certification

  • Those that wish to acquire information on tips on how to flip their enthusiasm for train and well being right into a profession. This can be a good spot to begin and learn the way. 
  • Anybody who likes to have quite a lot of studying approaches to select from. Make the most of the movies, audio classes, textbook, written classes, and apply examination right here to have interaction in a complete studying journey. 
  • Individuals who wish to grow to be entrepreneurs within the health business. This certification course not solely teaches you about muscle tissues and train but in addition advertising and marketing, gross sales, and tips on how to run a enterprise, as properly. 

Who Shouldn’t Get the NASM Private Coach Certification

  • Those that wish to work with high-level athletic populations, corresponding to collegiate or skilled athletes, will wish to take a look at different extra specialised certifications.
  • Individuals who aren’t seeking to make a profession change and easily wish to study extra about train and the human physique. There are different, more cost effective methods of doing so.
  • Anybody who plans to take a very long time to study this info. You solely have 180 days from the day you buy your course enrollment to sit down for the credentialing examination. In case you plan to take longer than that, chances are you’ll wish to begin off by buying the textbook by itself and studying from that till you’re able to make the dive. 

How A lot Does The NASM Private Coach Certification Price?

The value for taking the NASM-CPT varies based mostly on the package deal you select, from round $999 for the Self-Examine Bundle to round $2,699 for the All-Inclusive Bundle. These are the common costs, although, and there are usually coupon codes or promotions that may let you rating a less expensive worth. You even have the choice to unfold the cost out over three, 11, or 17 installments with a downpayment. We’d suggest wanting over every bundle choice to see which one most closely fits your wants, studying type, and funds earlier than making an knowledgeable determination.

Who’s the Nationwide Academy of Sports activities Medication?

Based in 1987, the Nationwide Academy of Sports activities Medication (NASM) had a mission to mix the therapeutic and corrective world of kinesiology with the utilized and prescriptive world of health. Their mission has advanced to supply world-class health professionals with the information and instruments to remodel lives. Over the previous three and a half many years, they’ve managed to teach almost 1.5 million health professionals in over 100 nations and make partnerships with over 10,000 well being golf equipment and gymnasiums. Suffice it to say, they’re well-connected and rooted within the business.

NASM Licensed Private Coach Examine Supplies

There are a ton of examination preparation and research supplies accessible for potential test-takers to make the most of. Relying on the bundle or package deal you buy, you could possibly fortify your information with studying supplies, movies, audio summaries, information checks, quizzes, apply exams, and complete research guides. We break down the research supplies extra in-depth under.

Examine Information

The research information for the NASM-CPT is designed in a linear format and builds upon every earlier lesson in a chapter for an intuitive studying development. The course general does properly to combine in movies, name out particularly vital info, and embrace visible components. There are information checks and quizzes alongside the best way that will help you gauge what you’ve locked down and what chances are you’ll want to review some extra. You’ll be able to obtain a complete PDF model of the research information that gives key info and phrases for every part to maintain you on monitor, guaranteeing you’re studying the main ideas. 

The principle course and the teachings are well-presented and interactive, with clearly outlined studying aims for every chapter and lesson, making them fairly thorough from a pedagogical perspective. There are visually stimulating figures and textual content packing containers with vital info all through. Key phrases are outlined alongside the knowledge for a broader depth of understanding. The teachings deal with quite a lot of subjects which might be pertinent to private coaching, like skilled improvement, shopper relations, train method, program design, shopper evaluation, physiology, and vitamin. Every of those broad sections is damaged down into manageable subsections for a complete of 23 chapters. 

Apply Examination

NASM extremely recommends making use of the apply examination at the least two or 3 times. Every try serves up a unique batch of questions from the pool of potential remaining examination queries. The apply examination is as shut as you may come to the true deal, offering you with a two-hour time restrict to reply 100 multiple-choice questions with the identical ratio from the assorted domains that the ultimate examination can have. 


There are periodic information checks all through the teachings to assist preserve you abreast of what info you’re dialed in on and what might use extra consideration in your research. The research course additionally consists of quizzes on the finish of every chapter, that are very carefully associated to the questions on the ultimate examination — even word-for-word in some circumstances. It’s greatest to make sure you’re being attentive to questions that you could be wrestle with, so you may improve your knowledge in that space earlier than you are taking the ultimate examination.

Examine Materials Medium 

The entire research supplies (together with the textbook, quizzes, and course information) are on-line, although you should purchase a hardcover textbook. In case you go the paper route for the e book, it’s in all probability greatest used as a complement to the net course prep supplies as they’re chock full of knowledge that’s offered in a way more easy-to-follow and digest method than the textual content. The ultimate examination is proctored both remotely or in individual and is accomplished on a pc, regardless. There aren’t any paper choices besides within the case of particular lodging for medical necessity.


NASM ensures you a job should you cross the CPT examination. That stated, they aren’t going to easily place you in a job the following day after passing. You’ll have to finish their Gymternship program (which is included with the All-Inclusive Bundle). The Gymternship consists of them inserting you in a facility and finishing 80 hours of hands-on private coaching with shoppers. They assure that you simply’ll discover a job inside 90 days of finishing the Gymternship, or they may refund you the value of the Gymternship — which is $599 if bought by itself and never as a part of a bundle. Because the NASM-CPT credential is mostly extremely regarded, it’s unlikely you’ll need to resort to requesting a refund, although.

Last Examination for the NASM Private Coach Certification

The ultimate examination for the NASM-CPT could be daunting at first look. Nonetheless, with assistance from the useful and well-organized research supplies in addition to correct preparation, it may be manageable. Sitting for the examination, you’ll be given a proctored examination of 120 multiple-choice questions based mostly on the six domains of competency required by the NASM, which we’ll cowl under. You’ll solely be scored on 100 of the questions, although, as 20 of them are analysis questions which might be being trialed for potential inclusion in future editions of the examination. 

The examination is troublesome on objective and is getting harder over time — with a cross fee that’s declined from round 74 % to about 65 % lately. That is carried out with a purpose to elevate the usual for information the non-public trainers they credential to have. With a purpose to cross the ultimate examination, you’ll have to attain 70 % or increased, however you may retest should you don’t efficiently cross in your first try — you might have to pay to take action, nevertheless.

Examination Sections

The NASM-CPT examination is damaged down into six domains, all vital if you wish to be a well-rounded and efficient private coach. They every make up a selected proportion of the examination.

  • Primary and Utilized Sciences and Dietary Ideas — 15 %
  • Shopper Relations and Behavioral Teaching — 15 %
  • Evaluation — 16 %
  • Program Design — 20 %
  • Train Method and Coaching Instruction — 24 %
  • Skilled Growth and Duty — 10 %

Every of the domains has a substantial subset of knowledge that you simply’ll be required to know to cross the examination, and it’s all offered inside the research information. Following the research information and programs carefully will provide help to be as ready as attainable when the time comes to sit down for credentialing.

Anticipated Examine Time

You will have 180 days from while you buy the course to aim your NASM-CPT credentialing examination. The research planner that’s offered breaks down a week-by-week research plan to maintain you on monitor with time to spare on the finish for additional finding out, too. In case you comply with the research plan, you may anticipate to take the credentialing examination on week 15.

Cross Charge

NASM reported a complete of 31,385 CPT examination makes an attempt in 2020, with 23,324 of those receiving passing scores (70 % or increased) for a cross fee of 74 %. This quantity appears to be on the decline, although, and the examination might have been made harder up to now few years, with a median cross fee now hovering round 65 %. You’ll wish to go into this as ready as attainable by using all the assets accessible to review since this isn’t a very simple examination.

Retest Price

Within the unlucky case that you don’t cross the examination on the primary attempt, you’ll be granted a retake after a one-week ready interval. Do you have to be unsuccessful after the second try, you’ll have to attend 30 days earlier than taking the examination once more. After the third try, candidates are required to attend a yr earlier than trying a retake. Relying on the research package deal you choose, a retake voucher could also be included, which might imply you don’t need to pay. In any other case, examination retest charges are $199 for all retakes.

Persevering with Schooling Necessities

As a NASM-CPT, you’ll need to recertify each two years by incomes at the least 1.9 persevering with schooling models CEUs and sustaining a present CPR/AED certification, which offers the ultimate 0.1 CEU for a complete of two.0 CEUs. Fortunately, there are a selection after all subjects accessible to pick from, corresponding to corrective train, vitamin, sports activities efficiency, behavior change, and extra. Every course has a unique CEU worth relying on the size and approximate time it takes to finish. The CEUs are actually about guaranteeing that you simply’re persevering with to maintain your finger on the heart beat of present train analysis and all the time increasing your information. The recertification charge for the NASM-CPT is at the moment $99.

Attainable Profession Paths

It might be redundant to say {that a} private coach certification can result in a profession in private coaching, however there are a selection of different doorways that this credential can open for you. Some alternate options might embrace a well being coach, virtual fitness instructor, health author, health mannequin, exercise planner and developer, and health middle supervisor, simply to call just a few. Nearly all profession paths within the health business require a fundamental stage of train schooling, and a NASM-CPT is a good credential to let folks know that you recognize your stuff.

Potential Wage

As with many industries, salaries range extensively on the subject of private coaching. Some superstar private trainers can rake in a whole lot of {dollars} an hour, whereas others working at small health facilities might earn a fraction of that. From what we might discover on wage info, the nationwide common is round $50,872 per yr, although it could take time to construct a shopper base to achieve that, and should you grow to be widespread together with your shoppers’ referrals, phrase of mouth might pump that quantity up considerably. (1

The opposite profession choices range fairly extensively as properly (from health modeling to health writing), and a median wage is troublesome to nail down. However any related profession path to private coaching will usually have the same wage vary relying on clientele, the variety of shoppers, and the way a lot you select to cost.


The NASM-CPT is accredited by the Nationwide Fee for Certifying Companies (NCCA). The NCCA offers neutral and third-party validation that the licensed program meets nationwide and worldwide credentialing requirements. They proceed to watch this system to make sure they sustain these requirements. 


The NASM-CPT is without doubt one of the hottest private coach certifications within the business, and is mostly one of the crucial extensively revered throughout massive field and industrial gyms. Their respect has solely elevated through the years as they’ve made the examination harder, and thus, the information barrier for entry is increased, leading to a extra prestigious repute. Over 30,000 folks selected to take the NASM-CPT examination in 2020 alone, with over 23,000 of them receiving a passing rating. Total, NASM has licensed greater than 1.4 million folks.

Last Phrase

Regardless of should you’ve been exercising for many years otherwise you’re simply beginning by yourself health journey, the schooling you’ll obtain from this certification is worth it and might enhance your skill to deliver results for your clients. If you will get on board with the considerably fast-paced nature of this course, then you definitely’ll be in your technique to turning into an efficient and educated coach not solely on the subject of train method, programming, and the like, but in addition advertising and marketing, gross sales, ethics, and greatest enterprise practices. 

The ultimate examination shouldn’t be a cakewalk by any means (boasting solely a 65 to 74 % cross fee), and it’s meant to be difficult to take care of the excessive customary for credentialing, so the NASM-CPT certification will proceed to carry weight over time. There are folks in over 100 nations with this certification, so you recognize it’s acknowledged the world over — regardless of being on the expensive aspect, we expect that makes it price it.


What necessities are there to be and keep credentialed by way of NASM?

You’ll need to have proof of an accredited CPR/AED certification, in addition to a highschool diploma or GED. Then you definately’ll have to review and cross the ultimate examination with a rating of at the least 70 % or increased. Then to maintain your certification, you’ll need to recertify each two years by offering proof of your CPR/AED certification renewal and finishing an extra 1.9 CEUs. On prime of that you might have to pay a recertification charge, although some bundles embrace recertification charge waivers for all times.

Does NASM provide in-person lessons for his or her CPT course?

They do provide a 10-week in-person course, although that is restricted to pick areas, corresponding to Austin and Houston. NASM additionally companions with a handful of faculties and establishments to supply lessons that may put together you to sit down for certification for the CPT and different certifications that they provide.

As soon as I grow to be a Licensed Private Coach, what different credentials can NASM provide me?

NASM gives specialised certifications for almost each facet of well being and wellness, from a Physique and Bodybuilding Coach Certification to a senior health, vitamin coach, conduct change specialist, and corrective train specialist. No matter your curiosity in well being, wellness, and health, there may be seemingly a specialization for you.


  1. What’s the common private coach wage by state – ziprecruiter. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2022, from 

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