Include compelling stories
I have been a personal trainer for five years now, and it has been the most rewarding job I have ever had. But when I began my career, I quickly learned that if I was going to make this a viable long-term career, I needed to stay current with industry standards, have an edge over the competition, and demonstrate a commitment to professionalism through my certifications.
So two years ago, in pursuit of these goals, I decided to pursue certification from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). It immediately upped my game as a personal trainer by giving me access to scientific resources, evidence-based best practices, and continuing education opportunities.
My clients also noticed right away that my training sessions became more focused and more effective—and more enjoyable! With ACSM-backed research informing my sessions they were able to see real results while having fun at the same time. This improved their confidence and eagerness to keep coming back for more.
I’ve realized now that early investments like ACSM certification pay tremendous dividends both professionally – such as increased job opportunities – and personally – through building strong relationships with clients. Not only does it demonstrate commitment and competence to employers but it helps build trust between the trainer and client because they know you take what you do seriously.
Include helpful visuals
Getting an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Certificate for Personal Training requires a rigorous process, starting with the Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) examination. The CPT exam is created and administered by ACSM, and consists of a three-hour, 170-question, multiple-choice test administered in a proctored setting. Once a candidate passes the CPT examination with a minimum score of 65%, they will earn their Certified Personal Trainer credential from ACSM.
The next step is earning continuing education units (CEUs). In order to maintain certification, personal trainers must complete 30 hours of CEUs every three years. CEUs are available through certification bodies such as ACSM or other approved providers including universities and colleges that specialize in exercise science related fields. After accumulating all educational credits, personal trainers will have earned their renewed ACSM certification and can begin practicing again as professionals.
Visuals can be helpful when outlining the steps to obtaining an ACSM Certification for Personal Trainers. A chart or infographic could provide a visual representation that makes it easier to understand each step of the process. Online videos showcasing what happens before, during and after the CPT exam may also be beneficial – providing visuals that show candidates preparing for their exams and celebrating afterwards once they’ve passed could help create an interesting story that inspires others to pursue ACSM certification too!
Design an accompanying worksheet
Step 1: Gather Materials
• Gather ACSM Exam Study Material and the corresponding text book.
• Create a designated area to study, preferably a space that is quiet and free of distractions.
Step 2: Understand Eligibility Requirements
• Determine if you are eligible to take the exam. Requirements will vary based on your profession and/or education level.
• Review ACSM’s step-by-step overview of eligibility requirements.
Step 3: Begin Studying
• Develop a timeline and plan for studying for the exam. This may include forming or joining a study group, using online resources, studying on your own and/or enrolling in an ACSM Preparation Course.
• Focus on prioritizing ACSM materials, reviewing computer fundamentals, health assessment skills and core exercise principles as necessary for the exam material.
Step 4: Take The Exam
• Register to take the exam by visiting RegisterBlast or calling 877-228-2539. Once registered, you should receive an email confirmation with further instructions regarding scheduling and payment options within two business days.
• Pay all fees associated with taking the exam before your scheduled test date which can be found on the RegisterBLAST website under “Fees Information”. Fees may vary depending on location as well as test type (CAT vs PBT).
Step 5: Retake or Recertify Certification If Needed
• If you do not pass your first attempt at taking the certifying exams it is important to review what areas need improvement and adjust your study efforts accordingly in order to prep for retaking or recertifying exams depending on your professions certification guidelines.
Offer additional resources
One additional resource for prospective ACSM certification personal trainer candidates is the Certification Candidate Handbook. The handbook provides detailed information on exam preparation, including sample questions and answers on the material covered in the certification exam and general tips for success. While the handbook does not provide a comprehensive overview or all of the material covered on the exam, it can be a useful tool to augment one’s own study plan and help prepare for taking the test. Additionally, potential candidates are also encouraged to view any videos or other media put out by ACSM related to their exam specifically as well as read up on topics related to fitness industry best practices which may come up during the exam.
Address real-world obstacles
Cost: The cost for the ACSM Certification exam is relatively high. However, many resources are available to help offset these costs such as financial assistance through organizations like the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Also, some employers may offer discounts or reimbursements that can help with the cost of certification.
Difficulty of Exam: The exam difficulty can vary depending on individual skill level and preparation. It is important to be well-prepared leading up to the exam in order to increase chances of success. This can involve taking an ACSM approved review course, reading through study materials, attending workshops and studying practice exams.
Available Study Materials: There are numerous study materials available online that can help prepare for the ACSM Certification exam such as study guides, webinars, podcasts, sample tests and other informative resources from outside sources like Gleim or CertMaster.
Invite reader feedback
If you have received ACSM certification as a personal trainer, we invite you to share your experience in the comments section below. Did you find the process challenging? Did you learn any valuable tips or tricks along the way? How did your certification make a difference in your career path? We look forward to hearing about your experiences and any advice you would offer to your peers considering the same certification. Thanks for sharing!
Passionate about providing useful information to anyone with an interest in the field of Personal Training, I strive to pass on to our readers quality information and to answer any questions about Personal Trainers, the work they do and how to become one.