Welcome to the most comprehensive PTPioneer article on the net, which breaks down the NFPT personal trainer certification.
In my NFPT review, I include the following aspects:
Once you’ve read my review of the NFPT-CPT, you’ll know whether this fitness certification is right for your personal training career.
But if after reading, you are still unsure of which CPT you should choose, I recommend that you take the quiz to find out which PT certification works for you.
Let’s dive in!
Quick Breakdown: NFPT Certified Personal Trainer Certification
- NCCA accredited
- Free continuing education can be obtained from their website
- Study materials are user-friendly and easy-to-understand
- Must recertify every year
- Inexperienced trainers unwelcome
- The least preferred CPT certification by employers
- Textbook lacks in-depth coverage on important topics
- Fails to demonstrate how to apply skills to real life
NFPT-CPT General Information
- NFPT-CPT Exam Cost: $199 – $449
- Study Materials: $15 – $99
- Prerequisites: 18 years of age or older, high school diploma or the equivalent, current and valid government-issued photo ID
- Exam Passing Score: 750/1000 (or 75%)
- Average Program Duration: 60 to 90 days
Introduction: What is the NFPT?
The National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) is a fitness trainer certification organization.
Out of the gate, I will say that the NFPT is not the overall best personal trainer certification program out there, however, it still provides an excellent launch point for your fitness career at a lower cost than other top programs.
For a deeper breakdown on all of the top personal training organizations, check out my article on the best personal trainer certifications.
Based on other certification reviews, and talking with people who are NFPT certified, this is more of a middle-of-the-road online personal trainer certification.
Since 1988, NFPT has been successfully providing certifications to fitness professionals all over the world, which complements the vast personal trainer job outlook.
Since 2005, NFPT has been accredited by the NCCA, which is a gold standard accreditation in the fitness industry.
NCCA, which stands for the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, is a well-recognized and highly respected certifying agency in the United States.
For NFPT to scale through the strict criteria to get official NCCA accreditation, that certainly makes them one of the best certification programs, at least in my perspective.
What does this mean?
According to recent surveys and reports on personal trainer stats, there is a projected job growth for personal trainers that is higher than average and has been predicted to grow even more.
In my perspective, personal trainer benefits far outweigh any risks simply because there is money to be made in a lucrative field where helping people is your top priority.
And in case you were wondering how long it takes to become a personal trainer, it depends on which certification you choose.
Today, I’ll exclusively review the NFPT-CPT.
Now let’s proceed with NFPT content coverage.
NFPT-CPT Content Coverage: the Good and the Bad
The NFPT textbook is fairly thin and 343 pages, whereas most other personal training organizations such as NASM or ISSA have much more in-depth textbooks and other materials that are more than twice as long.
Overall, the NFPT Personal Trainer Manual consists of 19 chapters, which are as follows:
- Chapter 1: Understanding Health and Wellness͘ ͘
- Chapter 2: Basic Human Anatomy
- Chapter 3: Anatomical Terms and Biomechanics
- Chapter 4: Skeletal and Muscle Function
- Chapter 5: Cardiac and Smooth Muscle: Structure and Function
- Chapter 6: Physiology of Nutrient Metabolism͘
- Chapter 7: Metabolic Pathways and Energy Production
- Chapter 8: Nutrient Review
- Chapter 9: The Beginner Client
- Chapter 10: Aerobic and Low Level Activity
- Chapter 11: Cross Training and Enhancing Sports Skills for the Athlete
- Chapter 12: Resistance Training
- Chapter 13: Program Design: Charts & Tables
- Chapter 14: Client Screening & Consultation
- Chapter 15: Client Programming, Stretches and Exercises
- Chapter 16: Special Populations
- Chapter 17: Injury Prevention and Management
- Chapter 18: Client Troubleshooting
- Chapter 19: Legal and Marketing for Personal Training
Though NFPT provides some decent information, they are much too vague compared to most other CPT textbooks.
Something that stood out at the beginning of the book is the scope of practice dialogue and the brief discussion on the personal trainer job description, which helps those entering the profession.
Also, while the aim isn’t to teach you how to become a health coach, NFPT enforces a strong understanding of what constitutes overall health and wellness and the personal trainer’s role.
NFPT entertains the idea that wellness is earned through self-responsibility, which is key in helping clients adopt and maintain long-term healthy habits and mind-body wellness.
A good personal trainer knows how to motivate clients inside and outside of the gym setting.
NFPT provides a basic library of resistance training and aerobic exercises, comprehensive core workouts, and stretches at the end.
While there are not many pictures, there are some charts and infographics which could be helpful for study purposes.
Although the primary focus of NFPT is exercise programming and client assessment, there is too much emphasis on nutrition and dietary supplement recommendations, which is problematic for a number of reasons.
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The first is that such recommendations are based on government guidelines, which are often controversial, not up-to-date, or not applicable to a general population.
There are more folks than not who follow alternate diets and lifestyles contrary to those guidelines and are successful health and fitness-wise.
Moreover, this is a fitness certification, not a nutrition specialist program, where nutrition and dietary supplement emphasis ought to be heavier.
If nutrition interests you, you can always browse through some nutrition certification programs to complement your career as a personal trainer.
I know the ISSA Nutritionist to be the best.
And if you want, you have the option to purchase the ISSA Elite Trainer Bundle, which includes the ISSA-CPT, nutrition certification, and another certification of your choice well.
Moreover, NFPT briefly covers special populations and personal training for seniors, youth, pregnant women, and more, which I think is important.
The NFPT Personal Trainer Manual provides basic fitness education and covers the personal training equipment you’ll need to familiarize yourself with.
However, NFPT certainly lacks is the most important aspects of all fitness certifications.
Overall, the NFPT Personal Trainer Manual shines a dull light on foundational fitness education, which means that you may need to spend much time, money, and stress seeking more in-depth knowledge from other resources.
This is discouraging, especially for those entering the field and for those who have already purchased the NFPT Standard Package, where the sole means of studying is the NFPT Personal Trainer Manual and little else.
In my perspective, the NFPT certification is geared toward those with little to no fitness background, so the manual is much less sophisticated and in-depth than other textbooks.
Perhaps, the NFPT personal trainer certification was designed for fitness professionals who are already certified and seeking the NFPT-CPT as an addition to their repertoire.
Similar to other programs, the basic NFPT personal trainer requirements before you can take this CPT course are as follows:
- At least 18 years old
- High school diploma or the equivalent (GED)
- Current and valid CPR and AED certification
- Current and valid government-issued photo ID
Failing to meet these prerequisites means ineligibility to sit for the NFPT-CPT exam.
However, unlike other personal trainer certifications, where you are welcomed as an inexperienced trainer, NFPT requires having at least two years of experience.
This is bizarre considering most people who are interested in becoming certified personal trainers lack experience and getting personal training internships can be hard.
NFPT Study Materials: Quality and Price
Now, let’s dissect the NFPT study materials.
The NFPT study guide was helpful and went along nicely with the textbook.
For myself, I favored the online learning section and practice tests, which include quizzes for each individual chapter from the textbook.
The NFPT online portal offers tips for training, how to obtain and retain clients online, professional forms and documents, and the NFPT online exam outline.
Each of the NFPT-CPT review materials, NFPT study guide pdf, NFPT practice exam, digital workbook, and online chapter reviews are extensive.
The NFPT-CPT workbook is simple, straightforward, user-friendly. and consists of different tasks, such as multiple-choice, matching items, open-ended answers, and fill-in-the-blanks.
The NFPT workbook leaves space at the end of each chapter test entitled “Notes” to track any notes you may want to write for yourself.
NFPT Personal Trainer Certification Packages
Let’s now discuss the NFPT personal trainer certification cost.
The NFPT personal trainer certification online program bundles cost between $339 to $449.
This price range is lower than most other personal trainer certification costs, such as NASM or NSCA.
In fact, when comparing prices among other fitness organizations, NFPT ranks second among the cheapest personal trainer certifications.
While NFPT offers you two juicy study packages, which are the Standard Package and the Premier Package, there is also an Exam-Only option.
The Standard Package includes the “bare bones” essentials for test prep (i.e. the NFPT Personal Trainer Manual and study guide), which are:
- NFPT exam and exam content outline
- NFPT study guide for the textbook
- NFPT online learning quizzes
This package costs $339, however, if you are currently working at a health club facility or gymnasium, NFPT offers this same package at a discounted rate.
On the other hand, the Premier Package costs $449 and contains the following:
- All NFPT Standard Package items
- NFPT practice tests
- NFPT online study tools
- NFPT client assessment videos
You will get two sample practice NFPT tests, which contain 45 multiple-choice questions from the five exam sections.
The NFPT exercise animations are 80+ dynamic exercises that show form and the involved muscle groups for each exercise, which is a good feature, especially for visual learners like myself.
Also, the client assessment videos include 45 step-by-step assessments and help you assess your client’s fitness.
One additional study material that I found helpful is their free NFPT personal training career guide, which covers basic personal training tips and the following:
- Personal training marketing ideas
- How to sell personal training
- Personal training rates
- How to be a successful personal trainer
Though NFPT provides some small group personal training tips, you can definitely do some additional research on this topic if you choose.
For personal trainer resume advice, I’d suggest that you reach out to a certified fitness professional you know for greater insight.
And finally, the NFPT Exam-Only option costs $199 which covers sitting for the exam and the exam content outline.
While this works if you’re ready to test out, it’s not recommended unless you already have the NFPT textbook from an old friend or have a four-year degree in Kinesiology or Exercise Science.
NTPT Hands-On Workshop
The NFPT certification workshop contains two segments, which means you can learn half from the classroom and get the other half from real-life situations.
The real-life is the NFPT workshop which provides all the basic professional fitness training that will equip you enough for the skills required to be a good personal trainer.
The 2-day NFPT certified trainer workshop lasts for 16 hours, which is 8 hours daily.
This live NFPT workshop comes with the following benefits:
- Hard and soft copy of the NFPT Personal Trainer Manual
- Expert personal fitness trainer support
- NFPT exercise videos
- NFPT workshop materials (workshop presentation slide and study guide)
- Fitpro tool kit
- NFPT quizzes (by chapter)
- Samples of NFPT test questions (similar to actual NFPT exam questions)
- NFPT personal trainer certification exam
- NFPT member card
The workshop plus NFPT certification costs $728 and can earn you 2.0 CEUs.
As you get all the training required for this awesome career, you can also add to your competence by using sound management software to operate at the maximum level and get great personal trainer insurance to protect yourself from liability.
NFPT-CPT Exam Outline
Similar to NASM, the NFPT personal trainer exam contains 120 questions, and you will have two hours to finish it.
The NFPT exam is divided into five exam categories, and below are each respective percentage it counts toward your overall grade:
- Human Anatomy Principles: 20%
- Principles of Human Physiology: 19%
- Fitness Components: 23%
- Training Program Development, Modification, and Implementation: 33%
- Professionalism and Communication Skills: 5%
While NFPT does provide you with NFPT exam answers in the back, the NFPT test answers should only be used as a reference to check your work.
I didn’t like how the fourth category, Training Program Development, Implementation, and Modification, consists of so much information packed into just one because it’s not ideal from a studying standpoint.
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Moving on, you’ll have a full calendar year to prepare for your NFPT certification exam.
This is certainly more than enough time to breeze through the materials and NFPT Personal Trainer Manual.
But if you fail the NFPT personal training certification exam the first time, you can retake the exam after paying a $119 retake fee.
You must retake the test within one year of registering.
NFPT Exam Difficulty: How hard is the NFPT-CPT exam?
The minimum NPFT personal trainer certification exam passing grade is 750 points out of 1000 or 75%.
According to survey reports and NFPT exam reviews, the NFPT-CPT compares quite well with some of the top easiest personal training certifications, such as ISSA, ACE, and NCSF.
Most people read through the NFPT textbook reasonably quickly, did a quick overview of the reference manual, and took some online NFPT practice tests, as pictured below:
NFPT-CPT Continuing Education
Continuing education credits (CECs) and recertification ensure that NFPT Certified Personal Trainers stay up-to-date with current knowledge and give them a competitive edge in the field.
Besides the NFPT workshop, there are several ways of renewing certifications with NFPT.
- Take classes
- Live NFPT workshops
- Current CPR/AED certification
- Attending seminars
- Adding to the body of knowledge through conducting research
- Free and cheap CEC courses
You may add specializations for personal trainers through additional certifications to enhance your training career, such as:
Also, the NFPT membership renewal fee is $85.
A drawback worth mentioning is that, unlike other certification programs that give a 90-day grace period for you to renew your certificate, NFPT allows gives a 2-year grace period for recertification.
This can be problematic for those who are not on top of their certificate, as two years is a long time, and may enable procrastination.
During that 2 years grace period, you can continue to acquire CECs to renew your NFPT certification.
But the longer it takes you to recertify (after the certification expiration), the higher the number of CECs you need to obtain, and this can be somewhat costly.
A second drawback is that NFPT requires already-certified fitness professionals to renew their certifications yearly, and this can certainly be mentally taxing and financially burdensome.
Having only one year to maintain all required CEUs, take courses, attend workshops, and whatnot can be problematic for someone whose schedule is already quite hectic!
Most top-notch fitness certifications, like ISSA and NSCA certifications, are valid for at least two years to three years.
In any case, NFPT didn’t make it to the list of my top fitness trainer certifications.
NFPT-CPT Review Methodology
I based my expert review of the NFPT Personal Trainer certification based on the following criteria:
- The opinions of experienced personal trainers
- A critical review of quality and pricing
- Typical reported information from trainers who passed the NFPT exam
- Other comparable entry-level fitness certifications, specifically other CPT certifications
NFPT-CPT Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The NFPT personal trainer certification is accredited by the NCCA which is noteworthy.
And if you’re wondering which gyms accept which certifications, most do accept NFPT certification.
Though NFPT is certainly not the best personal training certification organization, it is a decent certification to go for.
Hopefully, my NFPT certification review gave you a little more insight and you’re one step closer to finding the personal trainer certification that best fits you.
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