ISSA vs ACE - Which certification should I go for in 2022?

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    Welcome to the ultimate comparison of the ACE and ISSA CPT certifications.

    Once you finish reading this excellent comparison article, you will know which of these two impressive personal training certifications is the right one for you!

    This comparison of ISSA vs. ACE will look at these certifications closely and involves diving into the similarities and differences of these domains:

    The General Pricing, Packages, and Prerequisites for Both Certs
    A Deep Dive Into the Content, Knowledge, and Skills of the Two Certs
    The Difficulty of Exams, Timelines for Preparation, and Study Material Reviews
    Explanations of the Review Methodology Used at PTPioneer

    I hope you are ready, as I will dive in, starting with the quick breakdown!

    ACE vs ISSA

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      Quick Breakdown: ACE vs ISSA

      These tables will give you a brief look at the major pros and cons of both certifications, as well as comparisons between price, difficulty, and other stats.

      But, make sure to read the rest of the article to get the most in-depth information and reasonings for the Pros and Cons.

      CPTACSM vs ACE Quick BreakdownFeaturesPrice
      ACE ACE
      • One of the most popular and highly regarded certification providers in the world
      • A non-profit organization that drives many community-based projects
      • A good entry point for new, up-and-coming fitness professionals
      • NCCA accredited
      View on the ACE website


      • Great customer experience and support
      • It goes in-depth into the business aspect of personal training
      • It tests you on a wide variety of skills
      • Relaxed testing and retesting criteria
      • In-depth, robust main text and study guide
      View on the ISSA website
      Exam cost
      Exam cost
      Study Material Cost
      Study Material Cost
      18 years of age, High School Diploma/GED, CPR/AED Certified
      18 years of age, High School Diploma/GED, CPR/AED Certified
      Exam Passing Score
      Exam Passing Score
      Exam Pass Rate
      Exam Pass Rate
      Average Completion Time
      Average Completion Time
      3-6 Months
      2-4 months

      ISSA vs ACE (Video)

      ISSA vs ACE Certification - Which is best for you in 2021? 🤷‍♂️

      ISSA vs ACE (Podcast)

      ACE vs ISSA: Comparing the Organizations

      Both ISSA and ACE are at the top of the fitness and health industry, and they are excellent choices for personal trainer certification. Let’s discuss the essential information for both of these top organizations.

      ACE is known as the American Council on Exercise, and they are a leading nonprofit exercise professional and health coaching certification organization.

      ACE prides itself in achieving its simple mission of getting people moving. 

      ACE has NCCA certification, which is a step above what ISSA offers. The NCCA is the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. They are the gold standard for certification in the fitness industry. 

      The American Council on Exercise also offers many specializations that add to their personal trainer certifications or even stand-alone, like their health coach or medical exercise specialist certifications. 

      This organization ranks up at the top with the likes of NASM or NSCA.

      Much like these two organizations we mentioned, they offer an excellent model for training, the ACE IFT model. I will expand on this in the skills and knowledge section.

      It should be noted that now, both of these certifications can be done through entirely online courses. 

      Now, let’s look at the general information from the other organization, ISSA. 

      ISSA, or the International Sports Sciences Association, is an excellent organization that is pretty similar in scope to ACE.

      It is known as an international organization because they have many certifications used throughout countries outside of the United States. 

      Even without NCCA accreditation, the ISSA certified personal trainer cert stays ranked up at the top with all of the best names in fitness. They also have some of the best deals in health certifications. 

      ISSA has a breadth of well-researched training knowledge packed together with some focuses on special population training and nutrition within their CPT certification.

      ISSA also has one of the most lenient policies on retests for their exam, basically making it hard to ever fail their exam. They have a near 90 percent passing rate.

      Even if you were to fail the test after the free retake, you would only have to pay $50 for that third test. This is nothing compared to most places requiring around $200 minimum for the first retake. 

      The ISSA CPT text teaches all of the fundamentals that are found in ACE’s CPT cert. Both will train a trainer on all of the necessary foundations of fitness, nutrition, exercise science, and first aid. 

      ISSA has many specializations, just like ACE, and they do a great job of bundling many certifications together.

      Both certifications are excellent models for distance education and great candidates for the best certified personal trainer program.

      Let’s dive in and see how these two organizations teach these domains of personal training: Exercise Science, Behavior Change, Consultation, Screening, Program Design, and Special Populations.

      Skills and Knowledge Covered in ACE and ISSA

      ACE vs ISSA Quick Information

      Both ISSA and ACE trainer certs teach all of these main domains to various degrees. Let’s dive into each one and see how the organizations handle exercise science, behavior change, consultation, screening, program design, and special populations.

      Here we can see which one is the best personal training certification for each domain of knowledge.

      If you want a bit more detail into the individual certs, make sure to look at the rest of PTPioneer for articles like this: ISSA personal trainer review.

      Exercise Science

      All fitness certifications will cover the foundations of exercise science and kinesiology in some way, and both ACE and ISSA do a good job, in general. 

      The American Council on Exercise handles the basics of exercise science in the same textbook sections as their practical skills. 

      It doesn’t actually make it too confusing, but it could be more precise if they were more separate. But, ACE does a great job of merging this exercise science information with their IFT model for designing programs. 

      The actual taught exercise science is excellent in its coverage. ACE will detail everything from anatomy to physiology and the basics of nutrition. 

      When we go over and compare to the ISSA, we will find there is a lot of crossover, as these are two of the top certifications in the industry. They have the basics of exercise science down. 

      ISSA has the main idea of teaching their personal trainers to develop great programs. But, they still meet the expected mark for their exercise science foundations. They do not go above and beyond the required materials. 

      ACE has more of a focus of being based on scientific research in exercise science and clinical exercise, while ISSA aims to primarily teach training program design, which could be more important in getting trainers working.

      Both ACE and ISSA offer specializations requiring further exercise science education, like a bachelor’s degree.

      Let’s look at Behavioral Coaching next.

      Behavioral Coaching

      ACE does an excellent job with behavioral coaching, as most of the top certifications in personal training do. But, they have their own behavioral change system for coaching that is known as the Mover Method. 

      I would say that the Mover Method stands above all other PT certifications as the best behavioral change system I have reviewed. 

      The Mover Method is a philosophical approach that believes healthy lifestyle behaviors begin with empowering clients to take on their personalized journey where they will achieve self-efficacy. 

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      This happens due to the empathy and trust set up through the personal trainer, as well as proper communication and collaboration as a team with the client. 

      It truly is the better approach to behavior change when compared to most other CPT certifications. That doesn’t mean other certificates offer bad behavior change ideas, as ISSA still provides in-depth materials to study optimally. 

      ISSA covers all of the motivational interviewing and other required materials well in their chapter on behavior change. They do a good job setting up how to set smart goals for clients to succeed. 

      This is all stuff that ACE offers, but it is not presented in as good of a way as the Mover Method does. It is much easier to apply a behavioral change system like ACE teaches than it is to use a bunch of topics covered more randomly. 

      This means that ACE gets the upper hand in this portion of study, even though they contain most of the same required information within the text.

      Let’s look at Client Health Screening next.

      Client Health Screening

      ACE uses the risk screening protocols from ACSM, and ISSA has a very similar offering, albeit a bit less than that of ACE.

      So, ACE uses some reliable information from which they receive from outside certification organizations. When it comes to the movement assessments, they actually offer more than what ISSA looks for. 

      ACE has the best movement screening protocols, and they handle working with the general population better than most. 

      Corrective exercise that usually stems from the screening protocols is a little shorthanded in this ACE CPT certification, but they do have specializations to fill in these gaps. 

      ISSA covers the essentials of health screening and pre-program preparation within three different chapters. They handle this portion better than ACE does, and they have some of this implemented into other portions of their online course.  

      The health screening documents are mostly all the same, as all CPT certifications handle this subject well. But, when it comes to the movement screening and such, this should be touched on with a bit more care. 

      They still emphasize it well enough to see why they are at the top of the fitness industry along with ACE.

      All in all, these two certifications cancel out, as ISSA wins for health screening and ACE wins when it comes to movement screening. If we were to compare specializations and such, then perhaps the tide could shift toward ISSA with their better deals.

      Next, let’s look at the Program Design and Resistance/Aerobic Exercise Technique.

      Program Design and Resistance/Aerobic Exercise Technique

      ACE is at the top of the game when it comes to setting up exercise program design for both resistance and aerobic training. They provide a library of thousands of exercises for the user to access, which ISSA matches rather well.

      The textbook also utilizes its own ACE IFT model, which is the integrated fitness training model. Their online study system will categorize the exercises based on that, so it is very fluid and understandable for someone once they have a little knowledge of ACE’s IFT model. 

      The ACE IFT model translates well with either aerobic or resistance training, and they really implement the program variables such as reps, weight, sets, rest time, and periodization. It is a comprehensive training program, and ACE makes it very easy to study and learn for new trainers. 

      ISSA does not have a competing model for training, like with the ACE IFT. Still, ISSA teaches the basics and beyond when it comes to exercise programming. 

      Their exercise library and other online mediums do contain the same breadth of knowledge that ACE holds. 

      The training principles and periodization techniques are all taught up to par with the competitors. This model really comes down to teaching all the information and how much they teach through sources outside of the text in their study certification programs. 

      ISSA doesn’t lack the amount of information, they just don’t have a competing model, which isn’t a deal-breaker. 

      Let’s look at how these two organizations handle special population training next.

      Special Populations

      Special population training is essential for fitness trainers, as it needs to be done correctly to teach all types of clients adequately. 

      The specific special populations that certifications will cover include groups like: 

      • Pregnant clients
      • Clients with chronic ailments
      • Obese clients
      • Adolescents
      • Senior clients
      • Clients with disability
      • Clients with other long term injuries

      Both ISSA and ACE place great importance on all of this, so you can rest assured knowing that you get a quality certification that has special population training covered well, assuming you choose one of these two certs. 

      ACE and ISSA devote many chapters to different special population groups. They do an excellent job of clarifying how the general population’s training guidelines change for these special populations. 

      They both also handle explaining these issues in their entirety. This really adds to the understanding of not just what you change in special population training plans, but also why you are doing those exact changes. 

      There are even example plans for these special population groups, which can’t be any more helpful than what they provide. Both certifying organizations receive a 10/10 in handling special population groups. 


      ACE and ISSA cover nutrition fundamentals throughout their study materials.

      Both of the programs cover this material across multiple chapters and they go through all of the standard parts of CPT nutrition coverage.

      The certification programs cover topics like basic nutrient information, metabolism of nutrients, supplementation, and more.

      The two organizations also put a lot of emphasis on hydration and fluid guidelines to help with keeping your clients healthy while exercising and in everyday life.

      You won’t miss out on any fundamental information with either of these two certifications, and they all lay excellent groundwork for their nutrition certifications.

      Next, let’s dive into the requirements for certifying with these two CPT certs.

      ACE vs ISSA Certification Requirements

      Overall focus and recognition of ISSA and ACE

      The requirements for certification are easy to compare, as there are actually no differences in the requirements to sit for the exam and get a job.

      For both ACE and ISSA certs, you will need to be 18 years of age to get the certification. 

      Trainers will also need to have a valid CPR and AED certification. This is typically a requirement to sit for a CPT exam and get a job as a trainer, and it generally exists across the board for personal training certs.

      The last requirement is a high school diploma or some equivalent degree. You could also have any form of education higher than that.

      These are the only three fundamental requirements that exist for these certifications, and they are all pretty standard when it comes to personal training.

      Let’s take a look at the pricing and quality for these two certifications next.

      Study Materials: Quality and Price

      Pricing and the quality of the pricing can be somewhat subjective. Still, I will be going over all of the options you have when it comes to these two CPT certifications from ISSA and ACE and the value as it relates to other included materials and the previously discussed skills and knowledge coverings. 

      ACE offers three main packages for their CPT certification. All of the packages are of high quality, and when choosing a certification package to pursue, it really comes down to how much someone thinks they need to study.

      Here are the three main packages:

      ACE Basic Study Package – $509 on sale, this includes:

      • ACE University
      • ACE Certification Exam
      • ACE Practice Test / Practice Exam
      • ACE Personal Trainer Textbook (digital)
      • ACE Personal Trainer Study Companion
      • ACE Answers (basic)

      ACE Plus Package – $599 on sale, this includes:

      • Everything in the previous ACE Basic Package
      • ACE Personal Trainer Textbook (both digital and hard copy)
      • ACE Personal Trainer Study Companion
      • ACE Answers (plus)
      • Exercise Science 101 Certification Course

      ACE Advantage – $899 on sale, this includes:

      • Everything in the previous ACE Plus Package
      • Facilitated Study Groups
      • Exercise Science 101
      • Dedicated Advantage Team

      Now, let’s look at the ISSA Certificate offerings for their CPT packages.

      ISSA has the option to pay at one time, but they like to push their monthly pricing models currently. Here are the three packages they offer. 

      ISSA Start Training Package – $69 per month for 12 months, this includes:

      • Online study materials
      • Dedicated Student Success Coach
      • 4-Week Fast Track Program
      • Job Guarantee
      • Free CPR/AED course
      • ISSA Community Membership
      • Passing Protection with Free Retest
      • Online Bootcamp and Study Group

      ISSA Kickstarter Package – $69 per month for 12 months, this includes:

      • Oddly enough, everything in the last package, even though the price does not change
      • A guarantee to land 5 new clients in 5 weeks
      • Free Nutritionist Course

      ISSA Top Trainer Package – $99 per month for 12 months, this includes:

      • Everything from the previous package
      • Live Training Experience

      The ISSA online study materials include: 

      • Online textbook
      • Study guide
      • Online practice quizzes
      • Audio and video lecture options
      • Online workbook
      • Online student forum
      • ISSA take home personal trainer certification exam
      • Free NCCPT accredited exam
      • CPT education bootcamp
      • Fast track program
      • 5 in 5 client program
      • Free professional Website
      • Unlimited support

      So, there are not many differences from the ISSA CPT packages, and honestly, the website and package layouts are too advertisement-heavy, and the user experience is too in your face. 

      So, as far as pricing goes, ACE is actually the lower price once you add up the monthly costs that ISSA charges. They should advertise their final prices, instead of their monthly prices. 

      ISSA does a better job bundling their certifications together and creating a pretty solid deal for the customers with these bundles. ACE may have a slightly lower price for their intro packages, though.

      This comes in their master and elite trainer packaged. And they are not much more expensive than just the ISSA personal training certification cost alone.

      The Elite Trainer Package comes in at $119 per month for 12 months, and it includes the CPT cert, Nutrition coach cert, and a specialization of your choice. 

      Then there is the Master trainer program which allows you to get six certifications/specializations. This is perhaps the best value in fitness if you choose to go this way. It costs $139 per month for 12 months. That’s a lot of insight and knowledge in many areas of fitness. 

      So, if you choose to go for many certifications, it could be most beneficial to choose the excellent value of ISSA and their Elite and Master Training packages.

      But, if you are just looking to attain a CPT, I would recommend going for ACE and their personal training cert for the lower cost and similar offerings.

      Let’s see the difficulty of these exams.

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      Which Exam is more Challenging, ACE or ISSA?

      There is going to be a significant difference in the exam pass rate and difficulty when we consider just the included certification exams. The ISSA also includes an NCCA accredited exam, which is handled through NCCPT. We will mention that, but the organizations’ own exams should take priority. 

      The ACE CPT exam has a pass rate of right at 70%, sometimes dipping down into the upper 60s.

      The exam grade required to pass is actually 500 out of 800 on the test, which comes in at a total of 90 out of 125 scored multiple-choice questions. 

      This is a pretty standard passing score, and passing rate for the industry, whereas ISSA will have an easier and less common score. 

      If you do happen to fail the ACE exam, you will be forced to pay a fee of $249 to retake the exam. That should be motivation enough to want to study a lot for their exam.

      The ISSA exam has a pass rate of 90% for first-time test-takers. This is an absurdly high pass rate for the industry, and it is for one specific reason. 

      The ISSA test is not proctored, so no one is monitoring the activity and integrity of the test-taker.

      It is also an open-book exam, so there is nothing to stop someone from looking up all the information needed to pass the exam. Partner this with the free retake, and it is virtually impossible to fail this certification given all the retakes and open-book format.

      There is also no time constraint on the exam. 

      So, ISSA does not have NCCA accreditation for this exam and CPT course due to these reasons. But, they do offer an NCCPT exam that uses the ISSA materials. You just have to pay out of pocket for the proctored exam. 

      It is much more valuable to have the NCCA accredited CPT than not. It actually shows you have an understanding of the things taught within the ISSA study materials. 

      All in all, if we do not consider the NCCPT and just look at ISSA and ACE exams, ACE wins for its NCCA accreditation and actual guidelines set for their personal trainer exam. But, the NCCPT exam makes up for the lack of actual exam guidelines; it just has to be paid out of pocket.

      I would say it takes significantly more exam prep to pass the ACE test than it does for a future ISSA coach to pass theirs.

      Next, let’s look into the continuing education for these certifications.

      ACE vs ISSA Continuing Education

      price and study materials

      Most CPT certifications will require recertification every few years, so you must keep up with their terms and submit a set amount of hours and recertify; otherwise, your certification will not be active. 

      Continuing education units, or continuing education credits as they are sometimes called, are attained by having the exercise professional attend specific classes and events and then receiving the accompanying hours, which count as the credits. 

      ACE has one of the most standard policies for recertification. They require 20 continuing education unit hours, equal to 2.0 continuing education units. These must be attained within two years.

      The ACE organization also supports many outside organizations for trainers to attain their units for recertification. 

      Also accompanying these hours will be a recertification fee, which for ACE it is $129 for one certification, and then decreasing prices per certification depending on how many you have from ACE.

      ISSA has a similar recertification process where they work on a two-year recertification basis, and require the exact same 20 hours of continuing education units. 

      ISSA recertification implements one exceptional policy that you do not have to pay a recertification fee if you get your units through their organization. But, if the hours are achieved through other organizations, you will have to pay a minimal cost of $99 to recertify. 

      So, if you are looking to not pay for recertification, ISSA would be a better choice, as when you achieve CEU’s through them, you do not pay. 

      Both organizations still have rather great deals when it comes to recertification, and this is part of the reason they stay at the top.

      Let’s look at the review methodology next.

      Review Methodology

      test and recertification

      For this comparison, I critically reviewed the key areas that each fitness certification covers. I have focused on the overall skillset required for personal trainers and how each of the CPT certifications stacks up to these skills.

      I used my years of knowledge in the fitness industry, along with the individual certifications, to analyze the certs for their strengths and weaknesses. 

      Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


      In conclusion, both the ISSA and ACE are very highly regarded in the fitness industry, and they have some similarities that make it hard to choose between the two. 

      Which personal training certification would you consider to be the best certified personal traner program?

      An ISSA course is going to be my recommended choice for personal training certification in most scenarios, even without NCCA accreditation, a still well-respected exam, and it covers the essential skills and knowledge to a greater degree.

      It is likely the best fitness trainer certification in the industry next to organizations like the National Academy of sports Medicine fitness trainer cert.

      If you are looking to get many top fitness certifications and specializations, then look no further than ISSA and their master or elite trainer packages. You can get up to 6 certs for a slightly higher price than just the CPT certification. 

      Either way you go, ACE certified and ISSA certified trainers can easily succeed in the current fitness landscape with everything they offer in their study programs. Make sure to check out other specializations. like group fitness, and many of the other offerings from these top training certifications.

      The value of both of these organizations is quite high, so it really depends on where you want to go with your career.

      Make sure to stay tuned here at PTPioneer for more comparisons, certification reviews, and free study materials. 

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      46 thoughts on “ACE vs ISSA – Let’s see which one you should choose in 2022!”

      1. Helo sir,
        I want to become Nutrionist.But don’t know what to choose ISSA or ACE.i have to start from 0 i have done Bachelor of bussines administration degree.plz help.

        1. I think that ACE is a better springboard especially if you would like to get started with nutrition. I was start with their general personal training certification.

      2. Im certified by ISSA as an SSC.I’m from India and people give neither respect nor recognition to the certificate. In spite of scoring 89% in my exams and despite the fact that I have several years of experience I am offered almost the same salary as the other uncertified guys. The problem with ISSA is that since it is an open book test , any and everyone who don’t have good command over English or don’t just want to study, is getting the answers from the representative of ISSA in India. It cost me Rs 31000 to enroll for ISSA and all across the country all that I’m getting offered by gyms are Rs 12000 p.m (max). Some even don’t offer personal training for the first few months. Choosing ISSA was the biggest blunder in my life

        1. I am sorry to hear that. It sounds like there are not too many regulations on who can become personal trainers and what is required in India.

            1. Hey Navneet,
              The retest fee for ACE is usually $199. That is unless you purchase the premier package which comes with a free retest option just in case you end up failing the first time. Good luck with all of your studying

      3. Hey Tyler, real good stuff on your review. Thanks for sharing your experience.

        I check the both websites. Great programs.

        ISSA have the online program and international exam test, also ACE has the same exam test, here in my city in Brasilia/Brasil.

        I only have question if i can take the ACE curse all on-line like ISSA ?
        Also, do you know if this both certification have good acceptance in Canada ?

        1. Hey Kyle,
          With ISSA you can take the exam from your own personal computer. With ACE you need to go into and exam taking facility. I just checked for you and there are five locations in Brazil that you can go to in order to take the computerized ACE exam. In terms of the course itself, yes you can do everything in regards to studying online with the ACE certification. In terms of acceptance in Canada, it really varies from gymnasium to gymnasium but I would think that they would have a very similar acceptance to those in the United States.

          1. hello tyler , i like your article it eplained a lot of things , i have a uestion similar to this i’m from tunisia but i live now in kuwait , is it allowed to have the test here in kuwait ? thank you

            1. I mostly just focus on the most important certifications in the United States since that is where I am from. I do not really have expertise on all of the other countries but I do know that some certifications are valid in Europe and surrounding areas such as the ACE and NASM certifications. I would check with your local gymnasiums that you would like to apply to to see which certifications they accept. That is the most sure way you will know which one to go for.

        1. Hey Aseel,

          Yeah there is nothing wrong with getting another certification. It will only make you a better trainer overall and give you a different perspective on training 🙂

      4. I am a Nurse Practitioner and I am looking into getting my CPT and a nutrition certification. Would possibly like to start my own business soon. Any suggestions regarding which very based on this information?

        1. Hello Jennifer,
          well in terms of both of these aspects, both of these certifications have a nutrition certification and both of them touch upon business aspects in their general personal training certification as well. That being said, ISSA frequently has deals combining a free nutrition certification with their general personal training certification. This is a fantastic deal as you are basically getting a free $500 certification for free when this promotion is going on.

      5. Hi I am muaythai Instructor from India. I want to take a personal training course. I want to know how what is the duration of the ACE course. How much time whill i get to finish the course?

      6. Hey ! Great webpage! Thank you for the comparisons! I was trying to compare all this myself and it was getting quite overwhelming …Haha. So my question for you is which cert would you recommend: I have seen a personal trainer in the past and have some knowledge on personal training from PT and browsing the web, but i am interested to learn for myself the correct way to train to minimize injury and to have the most beneficial workout… And hopefully down the line train others if i am sucessful lol
        Also i live in Ontario, Canada… how do i find out if there are exam facilities for the ACE here?
        After looking at your webpage I am leaning toward ISSA or ACE… right?

        1. You can take the ACSM CPT at many Pearson Vue places in Ontario and it’s higher regarded than both of these other certs.

          1. Hey Jay,
            Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Depending on where you live and what gym owners you are talking to Really depends on which personal training certification is valued the most. ACSM Is a great certification as well!

      7. I m due for ISSA recertification sept 2020 …. however I like the ACE certification ceu courses better …. can I use ACE ceu’s for ISSA recertification?

        1. Hey Darlene,
          It all depends on which certifying agency but for the most part, other certifying agencies do accept the same or similar continuing education. I do know for a fact that most certifications will except getting certified by another organization as legitimate continuing education for their own certification. In terms of the continuing education courses offered by the American Council on exercise, you will have to check with ISSA directly in order to find out. I hope this helps.

      8. What is the difference in ncca credited (ace and nasm) and certified department of education( issa ) do you consider one to be better then the other and why? Thanks for your time

        1. Hey Jeff,
          the biggest differences between NCCA accredited certification such as the American Council on exercise or the national Academy of sports medicine, and certifications that are not accredited by the NCCA (such as ISSA) is that they require their testtakers to take a proctored exam. Meaning that you need to be monitored while taking the exam as opposed to having the test be online or not monitored. This is the biggest difference. That being said, the majority of gymnasiums or employers to accept ISSA as a legitimate certification because they have other legitimate accreditations such as the DEAC. I do know that they are working on getting NCCA accredited as well so that there testtakers could have the option of taking the NCCA accredited version or the online DEAC accredited version. I hope this helps answer some of your questions.

      9. Hey Tyler,

        I am a self taught trainer and already have a great clientele but for some professional reasons, I am planning to take the ISSA or the ACE. Though I feel like ACE has a slight edge, the ISSA Nutrition + Trainer seem more value for money. My question is if there is something similar to the ISSA Nutitionist + Trainer combo for ACE. I mean if I were to do ACE, what nutrition cert would be a good combination for a similar price point or even slightly better, which would you recommend . ISSA PT+Nutrition or ACE +some nutrition

        1. Hey Bomee,
          I have never seen the American Council on exercise couple their personal training certification with a nutrition certification. It is a smart thing to do though as nutrition and training go hand-in-hand. I agree with you that it is great value for the money with the international sports Sciences Association combination. That being said, the American Council on exercise is also a fantastic cert.

      10. Hey Tyler,
        I have just complete my diploma in mechanical engineering.But I want to make future in fitness field.And I want to start from base.i want learn every basic points too with knowledge.nd I don’t have much more .I asked in gym then manager say go with issa but I’m confused between issa or ace for cpt .I checked their books ND I found their is more knowledge in issa (may be I’m wrong).so brother please give your useful thoughts on it.i get combo in issa but scared that if I don’t get job after certification?ND even listen that ace is hard to give.thank you brother.

        1. Hello there, I definitely understand your concern. The most important thing is that you check around at your local Fitness facilities to see which certification day except. In terms of the information provided, both certifications are excellent and you will get a lot of great information from both. It really just depends on your style end which certification is required in the area that you will be training.

      11. Saeid Naghdali

        Thanks bro for answering all,
        I am highly experienced in this field (Nutrition and personal trainer) currently living in Europe I am looking for two courses that might lift a bit my information and give me a valid certification in world, I find ACE is worth with the offers these days, do you have any offers or comments?
        thank you,

        1. Both certifications are fantastic. Depending on you where you work you should find out which certifications your local gymnasiums accept. Good luck with your personal training career.

      12. This really helped me thank you so much! I have a bachelors in exercise science and I’ve been trying to find nutrition certifications.

      13. Hey Tyler, I’m trying to figure out what kind of personal trainer I might be and hence which cert would be best to pursue using your quiz, but there are multiple choice options which I know are there but are cut off. What do I need to do to access them? I’m using a Chromebook but I also tried using my cell phone and I get the same issue.

        Thank you!

        1. What device are you using? Have you tried to access it on a laptop as well as a phone? Which personal training questions in particular are getting cut off or is it the whole entire quiz?

      14. HI Tyler,
        I want to become a PT but I also would like a certification in group training. my focus is working with women over 40 who’s body is changing constantly and can’t exercise like a 20 year old. I am more interested in cardiovascular and strength training specially for weight loss and stress release. I am torn between the ACE and ISSA. I am just starting out on this journey and would be so grateful for some guidance. From the article I read, I understand that I have to be CPR certified… I am not currently certified in that, Is this the first step I should take?
        and if so where would I have to go to certify?

        also, I like the fact that it is an open book test and that I can retake it, just in case. I have high anxiety when it comes to test taking.

        Thank you for your response,
        Lili Bothwell

        1. I definitely recommend getting a general personal training certification first such as either one of these two. Afterwards, if you want to specialize more in group exercise training, you can get a specialization certification in that area. That is the route that I recommend you take. Yes you do need a CPR and AED certification to get any one of these certifications. Good luck with your training career.

      15. Hello Tyler,
        I am bodyweight/calisthenics and mobility (Animal Flow/GMB) practitioner. Which cert. do you think is mostly applied on the above? Thank you.

        1. If you were looking for mobility and corrective exercise information and you want to learn more about that I think that the National Academy of sports medicine might be your best option.

      16. Hi. I am confused because I spoke to a rep from ISSA today and she said that their program is NCCA accredited and I looked on the website and it states that you take the free NCCA exam. It also states:
        “ Accreditation:
        The following exams have been accredited by the NCCA: Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), Certified Group Exercise Instructor (CGxI), Certified Yoga Instructor (CYI), Certified Indoor Cycling Instructor (CICI) and/or the Certified Strength Training Specialist (CSTS).“

        Has it changed since you posted the comparison or is it still not the same certification as ACE and NASM offers?

        We are interested in ISSA because of their current deal but want to get a respect certificate.

        1. Hey there, thank you for pointing this out to me. I have been needing a Refresh on my articles for a while. yes, ISSA now has five separate NCCA accredited certifications including their personal training certification. They are definitely one of my top recommended certifications because they have excellent support, great study materials and overall fantastic information. I highly recommend them.

      17. HEY TYLER,

        I have been doing enough research on this topic either which is the best course to be picked up! And according to your article ISSA Is recommend but i see lotta ACE, NASM discussion in the comment section! i’am from nepal and iam into bodybuilding and planing to start online training one o one and also i’am starting personal training! So what could be the best option for me.

        1. Hi Prakash, thanks for reading the article and comment section. Since you’re from a bodybuilding background, I think any of the three would be great options. The ISSA is internationally recognized, so that would be a better option for you seeing as you’re from Nepal.

      18. For your information ISSA NCCA accredited just a month back. It has 3 certifications accredited by NCCA.
        Personal trainer
        Strength & conditioning
        Yoga instructor
        Its as per their website.
        Can you please check the authenticity?
        Thanks in advance

        1. Thanks for pointing this out, I am meaning to upgrade my articles. Yes it’s true they now have multiple NCCA accredited certifications. They are a great choice if you are trying to decide which certification to choose.

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