Action Personal Training Certificate Review 2019 – Full breakdown

Action Personal Training Certificate Review

We can agree that having an accredited certification is the only real way to gain valuable footing the PT game. Without a cert, you’re not able to really display your value to anyone but yourself, which isn’t great if you wanna start nabbing clients.

One of the main drawbacks with gaining a cert is the cost. If you’re starting out in the big brave world without much money to your name, the cost of a PT cert can seem astronomical.

Enter the Action personal training certification. A super low cost accredited certification. It is recognized by the NCCA just like the big boy certs from NASM, ACE and ISSA. It however comes at a fraction of the cost.

In this Action personal trainer certification review, I’ll break down what you can expect, the good, the bad and the ugly and give my final score on the cert which will hopefully help guide you to a decision.

Definitely make sure to take the quiz to get a good idea about which personal training certification is right for you. And if you haven’t already, check out my big article on my top five overall certifications. The menu at the top of this page will answer any question related to personal training that you have. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment here (I’ll respond within 24 hours). Also, visit the home page for the most recent and popular articles.

The Advantages of an Action Personal Training Certification

The Advantages of an Action Personal Training Certification

Right of the bat, the first real advantage is the cost. We will go into cost in more detail, but for now its worth mentioning how competitive the pricing is on this one.

Get 3 certs for 1 with the ISSA Elite Trainer Program ($1,400 of savings).

Save 25% on NASM with code PTP25 or Save $200 on the ACE CPT.

Get 50% off MVP study materials for NASM, ACE or CSCS at Trainer Academy
50% off NASM study materials or 50% off ACE study materials or 50% off CSCS study materials

It’s also a fully accredited certification. Hard to imagine considering its price point. For that, it gives you all the bare essentials of operating in the PT space.

Action CPT Certification. Pros and Cons


  • 10 years of NCCA accreditation
  • Extremely cheap compared to most other certs in its category
  • User friendly mobile app for regular learning
  • Study material available in both soft and hard copy
  • Multiple pricing tiers
  • Allows for continued education credits
  • The cheapest accredited certification currently available
  • Fee includes study materials and test center.
  • Delivered online which means your learning process is self-determined and adjusts to the flexibility of your schedule.


  • This cert doesn’t give you the intuitive edge or industry recognition of the others.
  • Not as in depth as other institution’s certs.
  • With only 10 years of delivery, this cert doesn’t have much tried and tested research behind it compared to the others.

More About the Action CPT Certification

Action CPT cert is a great platform to equip you with the basics you will need to jump start your PT career. It provides all the fundamentals necessary to coach, train, guide and educate regular PT clients in a safe and effective way.

Its gives you all the foundational knowledge you need at a fraction of the cost of anything else that has an NCAA sticker on it.

Its delivered completely online and even comes with an awesome mobile app. The app is available for both Android and iOS for a hands on interactive learning experience.

Action CPT enables you to work with individuals and groups alike.

Another interesting aspect to gaining an ACTION CPT cert is the great insurance deals you can land due to their negotiated offerings.

I must mention that the course isn’t as research rich and in depth as the other top recognized programs. This could be due to the fact that ACTION is aimed at the entry level PT and also maybe because it’s quite a new kid on the block.

This means the amount of research and evaluation that builds up over decades of testing cycles hasn’t quite been achieved by ACTION.

That being said, if you already have a sound applied knowledge of training principles or are just trying to rack up more credentials or CEUs, this is not a terrible way to do it.

Study With A Difference: Take ACTION Now!

Study With A Difference: Take ACTION Now!

The ACTION fitness certification presents a unique study experience. Of course, you can expect the bog standard study resources such as a text book, flash cards, ebook and practice exams (depending on which plan you choose).

You also have access to a mobile app which is great for learning on the go without the limitations of using a web browser.

The course is delivered completely online. The NCCA accreditation exam is available at a number of Prometric test centers around the country throughout the year. You can check out which is your nearest test center on the prometric website.

Back to the study materials, the plan tiers allow you to choose the quality and quantity of material you have to study. Here’s a quick run down:

ACTION CPT Study Material Break-Down


  • Hard copy textbook.
  • 2 Online Classes.
  • 5 real-life simulated scenarios.
  • 10 practice test questions.


  • Hard copy textbook.
  • Kindle ebook.
  • 18 Online Classes.
  • 12 real-life simulated scenarios.
  • 200 practice test questions.
  • Online CPR training.


  • Hard copy textbook.
  • Kindle ebook.
  • 28 Online Classes.
  • 21 real-life simulated scenarios.
  • 400+ practice test questions.
  • Online CPR Training.

ACTION CPT also comes with the option of extra study videos. These will set you back and extra $15 but are well worth the extra bucks.

Your Learning Objectives

  • Perform general and specific fitness assessments.
  • Design and administer effective, safe and scalable training programs
  • Design tailored exercise programs for a variety of different population types (e.g. senior citizens, prenatal women, etc…).
  • Help clients identify, work towards and realize their goals.
  • Inform and guide clients in matters of nutrition and diet where it concerns weight management, performance and strength.

Going Through The ACTION CPT Learning process

Action is quite a new cert. The testing protocols and depth of material are not quite up to par with some industry leaders.

The study material as well is known to have a few gaps in quality. When it comes to the textbook, the ebook version and the hard copy seem to be inconsistent both in content and quality.

While the basic plan is an absolute steal price wise, its best to go with one of the higher tiers such as professional or platinum for a full rounded learning experience. The flash cards and extra practice tests definitely help, especially if you’re somewhat of a beginner.



Despite how rudimentary the ACTION certification might come across, the final exam is no joke. It’s quite challenging and gives you a good run for your money.

If you prep reasonably you should be fine. Like I said, best you go for the professional or platinum plans. Get those videos too!

The exam is pretty straight forward in terms of structure. It’s a 2.5 hour 150 multiple-choice question exams. The passing grade is 70% or higher.

The exam is taken at a Prometric training center. If you fail, you’re allowed to retake it, but only after 90 days and at an additional $75 fee.

Passing the exam, which I’m sure is what you’re aiming for, will give you immediate access to your score report.

Get 3 certs for 1 with the ISSA Elite Trainer Program ($1,400 of savings).

Save 25% on NASM with code PTP25 or Save $200 on the ACE CPT.

Get 50% off MVP study materials for NASM, ACE or CSCS at Trainer Academy
50% off NASM study materials or 50% off ACE study materials or 50% off CSCS study materials

The results are released to you confidentially after a short verification process.

Well Done! You Are Action Certified!

Now that you’ve passed the exam, you are officially certified. What this means is the door to a career as a PT is now opened.

You can now call yourself as a certified personal trainer and market yourself to a pool of clients as you begin your journey to greatness.

You’re probably wondering, what gyms accept ACTION certification? Well, what gym doesn’t?

You are now a NCCA accredited trainer, meaning and gym, fitness club or studio worth its salt won’t discriminate on that basis. Getting accepted at a gym at this point will boil down to your personality and ability to prove you have an applied knowledge of what you need to do.

ACTION also provides many career assistive resources, depending on which plan you chose.

Career Transition Resources

These resources are unlocked once you’ve earned your ACTION cert. They are only available through the Professional and Platinum plans.

  • A personalized job reference letter                            
  • PT form library                                   
  • Structured, professional business plan                                  
  • Access to amazing insurance deals

You will also be granted the option to access to the ACTION Personal Training System free 10 week trial. This platform is a web based technology solution meant to give you the edge in trainer to client deliverables.

The ACTION Personal Training System will allow you to:

  • Provide your clients with a comprehensive workout and nutrition tracker.
  • Run group training classes such as boot camps through an easy to use booking interface.
  • Provide a client assessment system where you can lodge new clients vital data such as age, gender and medical history
  • Provide up-to-the-minute tracking of meals, caloric balance and workout targets
  • Build tailored workouts, unique to individual clients using safe and effective programming templates
  • Design and categorize training packages for easy billing

What The ACTION CPT Means For You

ACTION CPT is a great way to gain that sweet sweet NCCA accreditation without busting your wallet too hard.

Although it’s not the most highly regarded cert out there, and for good reason, it’s just enough. With added career assistive benefits, it’s not a bad way to go.

Your ability to make it in the PT world will really come down to your personality and work ethic and not how famous your cert is. That being said, Having a NASM or ACE cert up your sleeve will resonate better with the mainstream fitness consumer and your peers.

So What’s the Damage? Action Cost Break Down

So What’s the Damage? Action Cost Break Down

I’ve gone on and on about how cheap ACTION CPT is, so here are the numbers.

  • Basic               $99
  • Professional    $149
  • Platinum          $249

You have the option for a one time payment or a monthly payment, depending on which plan you chose.

Additional resources such as the videos come at an additional $15.

ACTION CPT: Final Thoughts and Conclusion

My final rating for this ACTION certification review : 3/5. Take a look at ACTION CPT here.

Make sure to take the quiz to see which certification fits your training style the best.

If cost is king, the ACTION CPT should be the undisputed king of accredited certifications. It gives enough of a balanced, basic insight into the necessary principles of exercise science for a PT and at an unbeatable deal.

Sounds great, but in my seasoned opinion, it is a little too basics. If you are completely new to the world of personal training or any fitness related activity, this will open your eyes for sure, but it definitely won’t give you the right amount of beginners tools to take on a new career.

If you’re an absolute beginner, you will struggle to understand how to translate facts and figures into safe and effective applied knowledge.

Where ACTION is useful is if you already have a strong existing grasp of exercise science in theory and practice and simply want to add another notch to your belt. It’s a great way to bump up your street cred and also to earn credits for continued learning where it counts.

ACTION is a great way to complement your existing, accredited credentials and a good way to bridge the gap between re certifications with that sweet extra credit.

One problem I do have is the quality of the study material, specifically the textbook options.

Like many certs, the study material’s cornerstone textbook comes either as a soft/digital copy, or a hard copy, or an option of both. ACTION CPT presents you with both, depending of course on the plan you choose.

You;d expect this to mean that either option mirrors the other version, only different based on the delivery medium (digital copy vs a physical book).

The problem is, ACTION CPT doesn’t provide consistent study material in this way. There are notable inconsistencies in content and quality. This can affect the quality of your prep.

For that reason, ACTION CPT is nowhere near the top of my list.

Final Words

Although relatively new and limited in scope, ACTION CPT is not bad. It most certainly isn’t a scam as some early reviews may have misinformed you. It’s just a new kid on the block finding its way just as the big boys like NASM, ACE and ISSA did when they first started off.

Hopefully they improve their textbook and give a bit more depth to their research and knowledge.

A great cert to add to an existing collection or if you’re really strapped for cash, otherwise, there are many better options.

Take a look at ACTION CPT here and decide if it’s the one for you.

Don’t forget to drop a comment with your thoughts, and if you’re still not sure, take my quick quiz here.

11 thoughts on “Action Personal Training Certificate Review 2019 – Full breakdown”

  1. Thanks for the information. I just got a PT/Floor monitor job at the YMCA and my certification is through ACTION. I taking my test this Saturday and I was looking for some tips on the ACTION test.
    I know it not that strong of a cert but I have a lot of experience in training and coaching. I defiantly would like to add another certification to by belt.

    1. Hello Jeremy,
      The action personal training certification this definitely not a bad certification. It is NCCA accredited and it is recognized by a lot of people. It might not be as well-recognized as ACE or NASM, but it is still a legit certification.

  2. Hi,
    Do you have any study materials for this certification exam like you do for NASM and ACE?
    Or planning on offering soon?

    Exam study tips appreciated as well 🙂

    Thank You

  3. Hey Tyler, I am a former HS / College athlete and longtime HS coach. I want to get certified in personal training. Being new to personal training but having a sports background, would you recommend Action as a starting point or one of the other organizations ie; nasm, ace, issa etc.

    1. Hey Tony,
      Action is a decent personal training certification in my opinion. I think the three that you mentioned above are definitely more sought out by employers in terms of industry recognition for the certifications.

  4. Hey there,
    I bought the platinum plan for $149 via groupon, so it was a great deal. But if you’re considering a higher tier with ACTION, you should beware the chapter quizzes are disorganized and not based on material from the book, and there is no discussion forum anymore (they just removed it because of “low activity”) and so there are no instructors or peers you can reach out to to get help on the questions. This can be really frustrating especially for beginner/aspiring PTs. But they say the book has everything you need to pass the cert exam.

    1. Hey Ever,
      This is great information and insight into the ACTION certification. Yes this is one of the cheapest NCCA accredited personal training certifications that you can get on the market but honestly I thought that the study materials were not the best and the way that they organized the main textbook overall was okay. That’s why I prefer to go with other more reputable certifications such as the national Academy of sports medicine or the American Council on exercise. Also the international sports sciences Association is a fantastic certification and it comes at a great price with additional certifications you can get for very cheap.

  5. Hi Tyler,

    I am taking the Action certification. I feel that I need more knowledge to take the test and there are no materials to study. Do you have any recommendations? I don’t want to go and not pass the test.

    1. Hello ann,
      currently I do not have any study materials for the action personal training certification. I am not quite sure if I have seen others online as it is not one of the most popular certifications. I would simply just used the study materials that come in your package with them as going through the textbook in trying to take any practice quizzes or practice tests should be the most important thing for studying for it.

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