NASM Personal Trainer Certification Review: Is it Worth It? Pros and Cons (2024)

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Review Summary:

You can become a personal trainer in just four weeks with NASM set your own hours and enjoy the security in the industry that is growing. NASM has been educating people for over 35 years and has educated over 1.4 million individuals. Also, it is accredited by NCCA which may be an important selling point for most employers. NASM is one of the most popular personal training courses, let’s see if its worth the hype.

  • PROS:
  • Industry gold standard for personal training certificates
  • Plenty of study materials are available: online textbooks, videos, podcasts, quizzes
  • Financing option available with no Interests
  • NASM is NCCA-certified
  • CONS:
  • More expensive than other CPT programs
  • The hardcopy book and certification retest option are not included in the lowest pricing packages
  • Lower pass exam rate

Quick Facts:

Founded: 1987
Price: $809-$2159
Beginner Friendly: Yes

Risk of Injury: Minimal
Founded by: Rober Goldman
Target Audience: All Levels

Benefits Expected?: Remote learning, specialized course options available, 10,000+ gym and health club partnerships


Selecting the right certification is pivotal when venturing into the dynamic world of personal training. The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has long been regarded as a prominent choice for individuals seeking to become personal trainers.

With over 35 years of establishment, NASM has educated over 1.4 million fitness fitness professionals and operates in over 100 countries. In this NASM CPT review, we will give you guys information on this certification overviewing the course information, cost, pros and cons, difficulty, frequently asked questions, and more. 

If you want to get into personal training and online coaching and are not sure whether or not to choose NASM, the ISSA, or NCFS, then our aim is the help you make a clear decision as we know it can get overwhelming. 

What is NASM Certification

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) is a renowned institution that provides certification programs for those aspiring to become personal trainers. NASM’s curriculum is deeply rooted in scientific research and evidence-based practices, ensuring that trainers possess the knowledge and skills required for effective client training.

The NASM personal trainer program now includes two exam options, the NCCA accredited Personal Trainer Certification (NCCA exam) and the NASM Personal Trainer Certificate (non-proctored exam), providing you with more choices to fit your needs. 

Since 1977, the NCCA has been accrediting programs that offer certification based on the highest quality standards in professional certification to ensure the programs adhere to modern standards of practice in the certification industry.

According to the course provider, NASM has partnered up with 10,000 plus gym and health club memberships, the brands worth mentioning are Crunch Fitness, UFC Gym, Gold’s Gym, 24 Hour Fitness, Anytime Fitness, TRX, and many more. 

Ready to stand out in the fitness industry? NASM certification sets you apart. Don’t miss this opportunity – enroll today using our exclusive discount link.

How to Become a Personal Trainer with NASM

Achieving NASM certification follows a structured path:

  • Select the NASM certification program that aligns with your career objectives.
  • Enroll in the chosen program.
  • Study the comprehensive materials provided, including textbooks, online resources, and practice exams.
  • Complete the certification exam, which can be taken either online or at a testing center, and start your dream career 
  • Upon passing the exam, you will earn your NASM certification.

NASM Certification Benefits

  • Scientific Foundation: NASM’s curriculum is heavily rooted in scientific research, ensuring that trainers employ evidence-based practices.
  • Industry Leadership: NASM is a leading certification body with a strong reputation in the fitness industry.
  • Specializations: NASM offers specialized certifications, allowing you to focus on corrective exercise, performance enhancement, and nutrition.
  • Global Recognition: NASM’s certification is recognized worldwide, potentially broadening your career horizons.
  • Business Support: NASM provides resources to help trainers start and manage their own personal training businesses.

NASM Certification Disadvantages

  • Cost: The price of NASM certification can be relatively high, which may not align with everyone’s budget.
  • Competitive Market: The popularity of NASM can lead to increased competition among NASM-certified trainers in the job market.

How Much Does NASM Certification Cost

A chart depicting the various prices for NASM certifications in 2024.
NASM Certification Pricing for 2024

The cost of NASM certification varies depending on the program and study package chosen. Normally, it ranges from a few hundred to over a thousand dollars. NASM also offers interest-free financing options. See the NASM Specialization course below:

  • Self Study: $79/month (+$25 down + 11 payments) or $899 one time payment
  • Premium Self Study: $111/month (+$25 down + 11 payments) or $1249 one-time payment
  • CPT Essentials: $133/month (+$25 down + 11 payments) or $1499 one-time payment
  • New Year’s Exclusive Bundle (LIMITED TIME OFFER): $151/month (+$25 down + 11 payments) or $1699 one-time payment

Is the NASM Certification Worth It?

The worth of NASM certification really depends on your career aspirations, financial considerations, and the specific attributes of the certification. NASM’s scientific foundation, industry recognition, and specialization opportunities make it a valuable choice for those committed to personal training. 

We think that NASM would be worth the investment given that it’s accredited by the NCCA which is the gold standard of accreditation of programs that offer certification in health care, fitness, and wellness. With that said, you should carefully assess the costs and benefits to ensure they align with your goals.

Ready to take your fitness career to new heights? Secure your NASM certification using our exclusive discount link, and join the ranks of elite fitness professionals.

ISSA vs. NASM

Comparing ISSA with NASM plays a pivotal role in shaping your personal training career. Both providers are accredited by the NCCA which ensures the programs adhere to modern standards of practice in the fitness industry. 

Both ISSA and NASM are respected certifications, each with its unique benefits. If you’re after more flexibility, practical training, and greater accessibility for a wide range of individuals then we suggest you go for ISSA.

On the other hand, NASM is renowned for its scientific foundation, specialization options, and strong industry recognition. Also, if you’re on a budget then ISSA would be a cheaper alternative. Whereas if you have spare cash to splash, then we suggest you choose NASM. 

Your choice should align with your career aspirations, preferred learning style, budget, and regional considerations. Ultimately, both certifications can equip you with the knowledge and skills needed for a successful career in personal training. 

Want to compare NASM to other personal training course providers? Check out our rankings of the best personal training certifications in the U.S.—which includes both the ISSA and NASM.

NASM Certification Reviews

Reviews from NASM-certified trainers are generally positive. Trainers often highlight the scientific rigor of the curriculum, the reputation of NASM, and the opportunities for career advancement. See what they have to say below.

NASM CPT Salary

The average salary of a NASM-certified personal trainer is $41,543. The salary range is between $28k-$64k per year. They can vary widely depending on factors such as location, experience, and specialization. NASM’s strong reputation can positively impact earning potential.

If your goal is to become an online trainer, or maybe you’ve started but have not seen any results check out this article “What to look for in an online personal trainer” as it’ll highlight what is expected from you. 

NASM Certification 5 FAQs

Can I take the NASM exam online?

No, NASM programs are designed to accommodate individuals with varying levels of experience.

NASM certifications are valid for two years; you must complete continuing education to maintain them.

 Yes, NASM offers flexible payment plans to ease the financial burden.

NASM Certification: Our Final Thoughts

Becoming a certified personal trainer opens up many opportunities for employment and what we really like about it is that you can truly make a difference in people’s lives. These days, there are many certifications on the market, and many look at the NASM as being the “gold standard”.

NASM’s commitment to scientific rigor, industry leadership, and specialization options make it a compelling choice for those pursuing a career in personal training. In general, we like the NASM program and it has more than enough study materials on topics like nutrition, supplementation, programming, and much more. 

The course alone won’t make you a great PT, you just have to put one foot in front of the other and get out there and work with people. We would rate this program a 9.2 out of 10

Don’t wait to make your mark in the fitness industry. Enroll in NASM certification and start your transformation today! Grab yourself some money off using our exclusive discount link.

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