The ISSA Personal Trainer Certification is very different than most! You can do everything entirely online. This is a very handy feature for people who may not have the time to participate in workshops or the means to transport them to testing facilities. And if you fail the final exam the first time you can retake it a second time for free! After that there is a $50 fee to take the exam again. Some other certifications charge up to $185 to retake their test. Another is that they give you a whole two years to complete the program. Some other agencies offer only 90 days, making the exam a lot tougher to pass with such a short studying time frame.
The information that this certification provides is talked about in multiple colleges and universities. The information they teach is very broad. This is a good choice for a person who is just starting Training. I would put it right in my top 5. It teaches you the essential basics.
Some quick facts about the ISSA personal trainer certification:
The certifying agency was established in 1988. The overall program cost is $595. This includes all the materials. You get a textbook, eligibility to take the exam, access to free training resources on their website and free phone technical support. ISSA is accredited by DETC. The prerequisites are: having a high school diploma, being 18 years old and having an adult CPR/AED certificate. On top of the $595 cost you can also attend a two day workshop for an additional $149. You cannot take the workshop by itself without enrollment in the full program. The test consists of multiple-choice, a true false section, six short essay’s and two case studies to review and prescribe an exercise routine.
The Test and Recertification:
You must score 75% overall to pass the certification exam. You will be required to make a 12 week program for the fictitious case study individuals that were assigned in the exam. The material in the textbook will help you in developing workout plans for clients with different needs. Study that section extensively because this is the most difficult part of the test.
Recertification happens every two years. You have to show proof to ISSA that you have completed some form of continuing education in the health and fitness field. Most certifying agencies have their own workshops for continuing education credits. In my experience workshops can be quite expensive and time-consuming. Most workshops are only held in major US cities and can be difficult to get to for people living in urban areas. There are plenty of less expensive, online options that allow you to study from home and do everything online. That would be my recommendation.
Likes and Dislikes:
One of the things I like about the ISSA trainer cert is how in depth they go into on the business aspect of personal training. Although working for a large gym is a great way to start your personal training career, a lot more money can be made working for yourself. As long as you can get a strong client base you can make up to four times as much working for yourself then working for a gym. Some gyms take up to 75% of what clients actually pay! A gym might be the best option to start off because it gives you a good environment with built-in equipment. In most gyms the clients will get handed off to you. ISSA does a great job of going over the business aspect of personal training and the options you have once you get certified.
The first thing to watch out for is that they are not accredited by the NCCA. And because of this some gyms my not accept this certification! Some things that ISSA is lacking is a more in-depth section on corrective exercise. It seems they do not have much information on how to design a program for sedentary individuals returning to exercise. This population may have taken many years off and developed multiple muscular imbalances. ISAA or ACE are the best options, especially if you are getting certified for the first time! But if you are looking for a more corrective exercise cert I would check out NASM. Check out my comparison of ISSA vs NASM! I hope this in-depth review of ISSA has helped you out! For a complete personal trainer certification comparison click here. Also if you are just starting out(i’m assuming) you might want to check out my articles on how to become a personal trainer as well as my article on personal trainer salary! Now go out there and get studying so you can start your personal training career today!!