NASM vs ACE – The Big Matchup Begins
NASM vs ACE: The overall focus of Each
Welcome to my NASM vs ACE article everyone. By the end you will learn which certification will be the best for your journey into the personal training industry. Before we get started I would like to point out that the largest factor in choosing any personal training certification is knowing what type of clients you would like to train.
ACE is an extremely well recognized certification within the personal training industry. Every commercial, private or local gymnasium that I have ever talked to accepts this certification. ACE does an excellent job at helping potential trainers learn the essentials of exercise science in order for them to build effective workout routines for a wide variety of individuals. I would put the ACE certification in the general category because they go over so many topics but does not necessarily specialize in any one of them.
Their exercise routines are typically geared towards the average sedentary American that is trying to lose weight. And that is a good thing considering that most of your clients starting out will have these exact goals.
NASM is also an extremely well recognized certification within the industry. It actually might be the most sought-after certification currently. I would categorize the certification as a corrective exercise certification. While you can train average sedentary Americans, they do have a slight emphasis on muscular imbalances.
Most sedentary individuals have multiple muscular imbalances from sitting all day. NASM starts to address these imbalances before progressing these clients through a strength routine. The beginning stage of their OPT training model is called “stabilization”. This is the level that focuses on corrective training for muscular imbalances.
NASM is good for training sedentary individuals as well as clients that are coming off an injury. Here at PTpioneer we are dedicated towards helping you get started in the personal training industry.
The first post I would suggest you check out if you haven’t already is my guide on how to become a personal trainer. Secondly I would check out my post on the best personal trainer certification. If you are wondering how much money you can make as a trainer check out my article on the salaries for personal trainers. Let’s not waste time and get right into my NASM vs ACE article.
- I suggest you check out the NASM website for more info!
- Here is a link to the ACE site so you can learn more!
Information on the test, materials and pricing
NASM has 3 general packages that you could purchase through them.
The cheapest option is called their “pro-version” and will run you $699. This package includes the exam and textbook only.
The middle option is called their “Premier version” and will run you $799. This middle option includes everything that the Pro version does, but it also includes a live workshop so that you can get hands on experience.
NASM’s most expensive program will run you $999 which includes some extra online study materials, a job guarantee and a free retest in case you do not pass on the first attempt.
In my experience, the online study materials were very beneficial. After you purchase the certification, you will be given 6 months to sign up and take the test. You could sign up at any Lasergrade facility. These facilities are located in most major cities throughout the United States.
The test contains 120 multiple-choice questions. You will have 2 hours to complete the examination and you will get the results immediately after you finish. You need to score a minimum of 70% in order to pass.
Check out my full review here.
Also, Check out their site here for more and current information!
Along with NASM, there are 3 main packages that you can purchase with ACE.
The cheapest version is $599 and includes and exam voucher, training manual as well as their primary textbook.
Their middle grade version is $699 and contains everything that the previous version has as well as a video series, booklet to help master the manual and flashcards to aid in your study.
Their premier package costs $799 and contains a retest pass (in case you fail the first time), as well as a “fitness math” book.
There are 150 multiple-choice questions that you need to answer. You also get a whopping 3 hours in order to answer all these questions. In my experience that is way more time than is needed.
There is a 65% pass rate for first time test takers according to ACE.
Here is my full review on ACE.
You need to check out their website for the most current information!
Conclusion of NASM vs ACE
In terms of job potential, both are very highly recognized by employers.
They are both accredited by the NCCA which is good. I have talked to employers that prefer NASM over ACE as well as the other way around.
The gym I work at currently prefers NASM over any other certification on the market. You honestly have a great chance of getting employed and making a good living with either certification.
ACE does cost slightly less money than NASM which is a good perk. Also, some of the best personal trainers I have ever known are certified through ACE.
Both certifications have excellent study materials.
Some of the best trainers that I know are certified through both agencies.
In the end it all comes down to what type of clients you will be training in the future.
If you will be working with anybody that is coming off an injury I would go with NASM.
Both certifications are excellent for training the average sedentary American as I have mentioned above.
If you are looking to train athletes, NASM has a fantastic advanced certification called the performance enhancement specialist. I highly recommend that you check out both websites to see which one would be the best for you!
I hope my article on NASM vs ACE was helpful in choosing which certification will be right for you. Here is a list of ACE comparison articles with other certifications: ACE vs ACSM, ACE vs ISSA and ACE vs NSCA. Here is a list of NASM comparison articles against other certifications: NASM vs ISSA, NASM vs ACSM, NASM vs NSCA and NASM vs NCCPT. Shoot me a comment if you have any other questions regarding these certifications.