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Personal Trainer Certification

AFAA Personal Trainer Certification

AFAA’s Personal Trainer Certification is designed to equip those seeking to become Personal Trainers with the competencies needed to design safe and effective exercise programming for the apparently healthy population.

This fully accredited (both exam and program) and globally-recognized certification program concludes with a three-day certification workshop. Facilitated by an experienced and degreed fitness professional (BA/BS; MA/MS or PhD), the workshop will review and provide practical instruction in the following areas prior to the proctored administration of the included written and practical exams (both exams are included in the $499 workshop registration fee).

  • Anatomy and kinesiology
  • Fitness assessment testing procedures (3-minute step-test, sit-and-reach, push-up, abdominal crunch, and body composition screening with skin-fold caliper measurement)
  • Program Design
  • Nutrition fundamentals and weight management
  • Special populations and medical considerations
  • Listening, leadership, and motivational skills
  • Wellness programming and screening guidelines

Upon successful completion of the AFAA Personal Trainer Certification course, participants will be able to:

  • Design and implement an exercise program for specific client situations and goals (e.g. obesity, hypertension, muscle gain, sedentary, other), based on currently accepted industry protocols
  • Assess and deliver appropriate response(s) for safety matters such as injury prevention, preexisting conditions, and emergency response
  • Comprehend and integrate exercise science subject matter (i.e. physiology, nutrition, kinesiology, and more) at rest and during exercise
  • Facilitate triage protocol within initial and ongoing assessments, health risk analysis, and liability concerns
  • Define and describe program modifications for special populations (e.g. older adult, hypertension, diabetes, asthma, obesity, basic orthopedics, youth, pregnancy, and more).
  • Communicate using verbal/non-verbal, open-ended vs. close-ended questioning, and cueing techniques to motivate individuals regarding exercise
  • Incorporate professionalism in his/her practice by following the Code of Ethics and related legal guidelines

Depending on prior education or experience, AFAA recommends no less than 1-3 months of dedicated pre-study before attending the certification workshop. The following recommended materials are available at AFAA.com to help you successfully prepare:

  • Personal Fitness Training: Theory & Practice textbook ($69.00)
  • Study Guide (included with workshop registration; shipping additional)


  • Possess Current CPR and AED Certification (proof must be received before AFAA PT Certification will be issued. Online or home study CPR/AED courses not accepted.)
  • Be at least 18 Years of Age
  • Early Registration
  • Pre-study
  • Weightroom/Weight Training Experience is Strongly Recommended (those with no prior experience are strongly advised to take the Telexercise® Resistance Training Online Course and/or the Personal Fitness Trainer Online Prep Course).


The workshop fee is $499† (less a 10% discount for current AFAA members. Corporate affiliate discounts may not be combined , 25% discount for Zin/ Military members

This fee includes:

  • Three-Day Certification Review and Practicum Workshop
  • Personal Trainer Certification Study Guide (shipping not included)
  • Written and Practical Certification Exams
  • One-year AFAA membership ($68 value) or membership extension to current members and a print or digital subscription to American Fitness magazine (does not include postage to addresses outside the U.S.)
  • AFAA Certified Personal Trainer certificate and I.D. card (upon successful completion of both written and practical examinations) CPR/AED certification required before certificate is issued.

AFAA certified professionals who wish to register only for CEU credit pay a workshop fee of $255. Receive 15 CEUs.

†Fee does not include the recommended Personal Fitness Training: Theory and Practice textbook (2010. $69 plus shipping), or the Practice Test for Personal Trainer Certification ($20).