Top NASM Certification Live Courses for Personal Trainers

One of the great improvements in the fitness industry in recent times is the explosion in popularity of personal training, this has led to a lot of companies creating their own personal trainer schools or academies.

Sadly not all personal trainer schools are well run or respected, and considering that you are placing your future career in their hands you want to make sure that the course that you pick is the best in your area.

Well luckily for you we have collated a list of the best personal trainer schools and separated them by location.

Meaning that you can rest assured that the school you are going to is one of the best in your area.

Sadly it’s not possible to review every area in the United States so we will instead limit our locations to California, New York, Colorado, Georgia, and North Carolina.  Here are the best live courses for the National Academy of sports medicine personal training certification.

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California

There are many personal trainer schools in California, most likely due to the health and fitness loving culture of the state.

National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT)

The first school we are going to look at is the NCCPT, they are based in Newbury Park, CA and have been certifying personal trainers for 20 years. They are accredited by the NCCA and offer online and in-person courses for personal training, and more advanced subjects. Whilst the NCCPT isn’t exactly a personal trainer school in the same way that the others on this list are, it has so many different courses and qualifications that it fits perfectly into this list. Website: https://www.nccpt.com/

The American Fitness & Nutrition Academy (AFNA)

Based in Pasadena, California the AFNA is a non-online personal trainer school that serves the greater Los Angeles area. They use the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) for their qualifications and are also recognised by the RYS 200 Yoga Alliance as a registered yoga school. It takes 6 months to graduate from their course and consists of 600 hours of real in-person training in a state of the art gym. There are also part-time options available for people juggling work and/of family commitments too. The course is almost university level in its thoroughness and all graduates will be well equipped to start their own career as a personal trainer afterwards. Website: http://www.afna.edu/

C.H.E.K. Institute

Started by Paul Chek a corrective-exercise specialist over 25 years ago, the CHEK institute is a completely unique personal trainer school with courses held all over the world. The home of CHEK institute is in California, most of the courses available are online. But to graduate from the academy you are required to attend in-person courses for two weekends a year. CHEK institute is not cheap, and nor is it quick or easy to complete. But a qualification from it is one of the most respected qualifications around. The knowledge you gain will help you stand out from the crowd and ensure a long and successful career. Website: https://chekinstitute.com/  

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Colorado

There are two major personal training schools in Colorado, one is a fantastic in-person school whilst the other is one of the most famous online schools out there.

NPTI Colorado

Probably the best offline personal trainer school in Colorado, NPTI does exactly what is claims, it produces fantastic personal trainers. 1400 personal trainers from 16 different countries have come to their school to learn. Their course lasts 40 weeks and includes over 100 hours on nutrition alone. What makes NPTI so good is the level of care they provide, with help for graduates even years after they have qualified. Website: http://www.personaltraininginstitute.edu/

PTA Global

This is an online personal trainer school, but probably one of the best in the world. Like the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers they are also accredited by the NCCA, and they have also partnered up with some of the best courses in fitness and nutrition to create the ultimate online coaching program. They also offer hundreds of live courses all round the world, but their headquarters are in Denver, Colorado. Website: http://www.ptaglobal.com/default.aspx 

Georgia

Body Design University

Atlanta, Georgia is home to one of the best personal trainer schools in America. Body Design University stands out from the competition by not only teaching a thorough course (48 hours total) and expecting you to complete 90 hours of self-study, but also having you spend 40 hours interning with a professional personal trainer whilst they work. BDU offers the choice of three different accredited examinations: ACE, NASM, or NCCA. Each class has a maximum of 20 students meaning that the amount of one-on-one time you get with an instructor will be markedly higher than most of the competition. The facilities are fantastic, and the course is the only one in the country to use real cadavers when teaching about the human body. Website: http://bodydesignuniversity.com/  

North Carolina

National Personal Training Association (NPTA)

NPTA is based in North Carolina but like PTA Global they are an online personal trainer school, so can be accessed by anyone. Not only do they run a personal training certification, but they also run an advanced version and a master version. There are also many other more-specialised courses such as running coach, yoga instructor, and back pain prevention to name a few. Website: http://www.personaltrainercertification.us/  

New York

New York City is the spiritual home for personal training in America and some of the country’s finest personal trainers reside here. As such the competition is fierce. Luckily there are a huge variety of personal training schools to attend, and here are three of the best.

American Academy of Personal Training (AAPT)

Offering over 300 hours of lessons (150 practical and 150 theory) covering all aspects of personal training. The AAPT have partnered with NASM to give you a fantastic qualification that is statistically proven to make you more hireable. The curriculum is split into 14 parts, covering physiology, program design, nutrition, anatomy, biomechanics, and the business of personal training (plus many more subjects). Website: http://aapt.edu/

Focus Personal Training Institute

What’s great about Focus Personal training institute is the fact that it is taught by real personal trainers who also train clients. This sounds like something that every school should have, but the reality is that most schools are taught by instructors who are not currently training clients. This means that the course instructors at Focus can be more relevant in their teaching. Focus also offer a Master personal trainer course, an advanced course, and a nutrition course (run by precision nutrition). Website: http://www.focustrainerinstitute.edu/

Academy of Applied Personal Training Education (AAPTE)

If there was an award for most beautiful personal trainer school website, then AAPTE would absolutely get it. They actually have bases in New York and Chicago but we’re looking at the NY one today. AAPTE definitely have the nicest facilities, and their classroom looks like a university lecture room but these are just cosmetic. The course itself is excellent with a great mixture of theoretical and practical learning. They also provide a large range of additional courses. AAPTE has been running this course since 1996, making it one of the oldest personal trainer schools in the US. They have also embraced the benefits of home learning and do lots of webinars, allowing people to fit their course around their lifestyle whilst still maintaining that practical aspect. Website: http://www.aapte.org/

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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