Are you interested in becoming a certified personal trainer? Are you checking out the personal training certification offered by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)?
This article will discuss becoming a NASM certified personal trainer and the benefits of selecting NASM for your program design.
By the end of this article, you will better understand what the National Academy of Sports Medicine offers, including various NASM programs such as personal training and other advanced specializations.
First, let’s discuss the ins and outs of becoming a NASM certified personal trainer.
Personal Trainer VS Certified Personal Trainer
A personal trainer is a person who helps clients achieve their health and fitness goals by sharing their knowledge and expertise.
This means assisting with advice regarding workouts, weight loss, food, nutrition, or general fitness and wellness tips.
A certified personal trainer is a trainer who matches the above descriptions but has also taken a personal training course offered by a company such as NASM and has passed the final NASM certification exam.
The additional NASM certification and the knowledge it provides are an advantage to personal trainers professional development, either as a hobby or a fitness career.
Why Should Personal Trainers Get Certified?
Certified trainers can be more knowledgeable and better trained than those without personal trainer certification and better positioned to help their clients achieve their goals.
Potential clients interviewing fitness trainers to help with training and fitness often prefer to hire a CPT (Certified Personal Trainer).
Many health and fitness gyms require certification for personal trainers that wish to work there.
It helps gyms ensure that the hired fitness professional trainers has a good foundation of knowledge and is well prepared to help their clients and others train in the gym properly.
Certified Personal Trainers Can Make More Money
Because trainers with a personal training certification are often preferred when it comes to being hired by fitness facilities and the general public, this can often lead to better income opportunities due to increase opportunities to attract more clients.
Additionally, fitness professionals with a higher level of education and learning have an opportunity to demand a higher rate of pay compared to those with lesser or no education background.
Why Should I Get A NASM Personal Trainer Certification?
Now, let’s look at the 5 reasons getting your NASM certification for personal training is worth it.
1. The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Impact
The National Academy of Sports Medicine is more than just a personal training company.
For over 30 years, NASM has been a global leader in personal training by helping personal trainers, coaches, and clients achieve their health and fitness goals, personally and through careers.
NASM is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, a nationally recognized third-party agency that ensures certification companies work at the highest standards. They aim to set the fitness sector’s standard for health and wellbeing.
The National Academy of Sports Medicine is one of the largest accredited certification companies for personal trainers, with over 1.3 million fitness professionals educated in over 100 countries with NASM trainers.
They’ve also partnered with over ten thousand gyms and health and fitness clubs to provide location and employment opportunities for new and experienced trainers.
2. The NASM Optimum Performance Training (OPT) Model
The NASM Optimum Performance Training Model, also called the OPT Model, is the creation and flagship of the NASM personal trainer certification program.
NASM defines the OPT Model as “a systematic, integrated, and functional training program that simultaneously improves an individual’s biomotor abilities and builds high functional strength, neuromuscular efficiency, and dynamic flexibility.”
This NASM personal training program model is broken down into five phases designed to help clients progress through each phase to achieve their desired goals.
The five phases of the OPT model are broken down here:
Phase 1. Stabilization and Endurance
Phase 1 of the OPT Model is designed as the beginning point and is the foundation of the overall program design.
It’s where the NASM CPT does the initial assessments to help determine a client’s overall endurance and balance, which will impact how they can perform in the following phases.
It’s also an opportunity for those not as experienced with working with a NASM CPT to start the program design with workouts and exercises designed to be the first step for personal trainers.
This phase is designed to use exercise to promote muscular endurance and the proper exercise technique necessary for the success of Phase 2: Strength Endurance.
Phase 2. Strength Endurance
In the second phase of the Optimum Performance Training Model, we see an introduction to exercise with heavier weights and exercises with higher intensities.
This is possible by the work done in the previous phase for stabilization and endurance.
We also see exercise supersets introduced into the NASM program.
This step increases overall muscle strength and endurance. And with those higher intensity workouts, there will be an increase in calorie expenditure.
Phase 3. Muscular Development/Hypertrophy
Phase 3 is all about the adaptation of maximal muscle growth.
In this phase, we are looking to increase both muscle strengths while at the same time using exercise to build the amount of muscle.
This phase is one of the most popular as it’s the most likely to create physical change in the body, creating a more robust and muscular look and resulting in a change in workout intensity and speed.
Phase 4. Maximal Strength
Phase 4, Maximal Strength, is geared towards growing the client’s abilities to produce maximal or greatest possible strength.
The progression to this phase means a change in how you work out. Specifically, you’ll be lifting your max amount and at only a few reps at a time. It also means more extended rest periods in between sets.
This phase is all about one thing: optimizing your strength.
Phase 5. Power
The last phase of the optimum performance training OPT Model is Power. For many, this is the most fun of the phases.
In this phase, there is a concentration on fast and powerful movements and exercise with high force and velocity to increase power.
Examples of exercises in this phase include ball slams, high jumps, or box jumps.
3. NASM Certification Brings Credibility
People call themselves “personal trainers” online, giving advice to health and fitness.
Unfortunately, many trainers have no training or background in health and fitness.
So carrying a NASM certification can help a personal trainer stand out from the crowd.
Specifically, the NASM certification is a well-known name in the personal trainer and fitness industry.
As a NASM CPT, the NASM certification signals that you’ve placed learning and knowledge high on your requirements to serve your clients better.
The certification shows that you understand fitness, corrective practices, exercise science, nutrition, and general wellness well.
It also shows that trainers are more likely to have a plan of action when working with clients to help them achieve their goals.
The NASM online course for a personal trainer is very in-depth, and the NASM certification exam required at the end of the online course is not an easy pass, so the bar is high to achieve NASM certification status.
But this is part of why the NASM cpt tag brings extra credibility.
It’s a high bar to reach.
4. 100% Online Courses For Personal Trainers
In today’s modern age of technology, taking courses and classes online is very important.
This is why NASM offers 100% online courses to ensure that anyone can get their personal trainer certification, regardless of location.
NASM also offers a couple of options for taking the courses.
The courses range from a basic, which provides the online course with self-study and the NASM certification exam, to the premium, which offers all the basics but with perks such as Gymternship.
The premium gets you 80 hours of in-gym training experience and free recertification for life.
With four different study packages, NASM person training is at everyone’s fingertips.
5. NASM Offers Other Certification and Specialization Courses
Becoming a NASM certified personal trainer is the first step, but then you can continue with your education with the NASM library of certification and specialization opportunities.
NASM offers certifications such as Wellness Coach, Nutrition and Fitness, and Sports Nutrition certifications.
Additionally, you can expand your knowledge by taking other certification courses to increase your ability to help your clients. Some of these NASM courses include:
- Weight Loss Specialization
- Home Gym Design Specialization
- Behavioral Coaching Specialization
- And many others
NASM takes many different training concepts and provides personal trainers opportunities to expand their knowledge beyond the base NASM certification.
The Extra Bonus of Continuing Education
NASM requires that every NASM certified personal trainer must recertify every two years. All personal trainers are required to take new certification classes equaling 20 contact hours.
Continuing education greatly benefits the NASM certified personal trainer and their clients.
For clients, this means that personal trainers will constantly be learning and expanding their knowledge base with the newest and up-to-date issues in the fitness industry.
For the NASM CPT trainers, this is not just a way to create more knowledge but also to expand their professional development and what services they can offer to their clients to better their lives and achieve their health and fitness goals.
How Do I Get NASM Certified?
You will need to complete a few steps to get your NASM certification. The following criteria will walk you through them.
- You must have your high school diploma or GED
- Complete a personal training course from NASM
- Obtain your CPR Certification
- Obtain your AED certification
- Complete the NASM CPT Exam at the end of the course
Final Thoughts on the NASM CPT Programs
I highly recommend considering the certification from the National Academy of Sports Medicine if looking into personal training certifications.
I took the premium course to get my NASM CPT certificate and found it very well-paced and highly insightful.
The amount of knowledge I learned was insane, and the confidence boost from being better equipped to answer questions was one of the best benefits.
The tools I learned from this certification program helped me achieve some personal goals, like completing the 75 Hard challenge.
I also made a Youtube video with tips on how to pass the NASM CPT Exam:
Getting the NASM CPT certification isn’t just about helping clients. It’s also about helping yourself. The tools you will learn during this course can keep your clients and you as a NASM CPT headed on the right path towards achieving your fitness goals.
If you enjoyed this article about the NASM personal trainer certification, you might also enjoy:
- 7 Best Protein Shaker Bottles | Ranked and Reviewed for 2022
75 Hard Rules: Everything You Need To Know About The Hard 75 Rules
5 Best Electric Shaker Bottles of 2022 | Ranked and Reviewed
- The 7 Most Surprising Weighted Vest Workout Ideas | 2022
Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape in a quest to better himself and those around him focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.