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ISSA Private Coach Certification Evaluate (2023 Replace)

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My journey to turning into an authorized private coach started after I hit rock-bottom. Between fully abandoning the gymnasium, spending an excessive amount of time sitting at a desk, and consuming absolutely anything I wished, I packed on quite a lot of kilos (about 70, to be actual) in the course of the first two years of the pandemic. With a wider-than-ever waistline and a lower-than-ever stage of self-confidence, I lastly needed to embrace the concept of doing issues in a different way.

Nonetheless, little did I do know that forming basic habits like lifting weights not less than 4 days per week and reducing out processed meals would quick monitor me down a completely new profession path. As I noticed the quantity on the dimensions drop from an all-time excessive of 285 kilos into the 240s, I gained a brand new appreciation for the self-discipline and data it takes to construct muscle, lose fats, and reshape your mindset.

Impressed to assist different folks obtain their very own bodily health objectives, I confronted the pivotal resolution of selecting a private coaching certification program. After weighing my choices, I went with one which’s NCCA-accredited, offers a well-rounded curriculum, and affords a ton of helpful assets and examine supplies: the Worldwide Sports activities Science Affiliation (ISSA). I shortly realized why it’s one of the fashionable certs within the health business. This ISSA private coach certification overview gives you an outline of this system design, spotlight its strengths and weaknesses, and handle ceaselessly requested questions so you have got all of the solutions.

Key Takeaways

  • At a value level of about $1,000, this private coaching certification program is a superb approach to break into the health business, particularly for these with out a formal training in train science.
  • ISSA clearly has your success in thoughts with many various methods to help your studying journey. Along with a whole slate in fact supplies, they’ve a job placement software, web site builder, shopper consumption kinds, and a step-by-step enterprise information — all of which come included along with your buy of the private coaching certification course.
  • A program design that features audio and video lectures, studying assignments, and a workbook accommodates all studying types. Plus, the ISSA web site has further assets for these eager about specializations like powerlifting and diet teaching.

Who’s the Worldwide Sports activities Sciences Affiliation?

The ISSA was shaped in 1988 by a workforce of health specialists with the objective of stemming the tide of bodily decline and serving to aspiring professionals take pleasure in a profitable profession in health. Practically 4 a long time later, the group stays a pillar within the health business, with greater than 400,000 graduates throughout 174 nations, per the ISSA web site.Apart from their private coaching certification program, ISSA affords health professionals quite a lot of different certification choices, together with Nutritionist, Corrective Train Specialist, Bodybuilding Specialist, and Kickboxing Teacher. The certifications issued by the ISSA are accredited by the Nationwide Fee for Certifying Businesses (NCCA) and the Distance Training and Educating Council (DETC), each of that are nationally acknowledged accrediting organizations. They’re additionally affiliated with top-tier organizations just like the Worldwide Well being, Racquet, and Sportsclub Affiliation. ISSA companions with many business gyms and native health services that you just in all probability already practice at, which suggests you realize that your certifications will maintain worth.

ISSA Private Coach Certification Course Highlights

Whether or not you choose their Licensed Private Coach, Elite Coach, or Grasp Coach program, ISSA offers you entry to all of the instruments it’s worthwhile to succeed, together with a complete guided examine program full with a textbook, audio and video lectures, and quizzes (one for every chapter). Though you have got six months to finish the CPT course, it sometimes takes about 10 weeks. The ISSA even affords a $99 Quick Observe program that gives an accelerated examine information so you may go at your personal tempo, skip the quizzes, and transfer on to the ultimate examination. 

I saved it easy by signing up for the usual CPT course, which took me about 4 weeks to finish with about two hours of examine time per day. At round $1,000, it’s cheaper than the Elite Coach and Grasp Coach packages. The textbook contained a wealth of knowledge on every thing from power methods to train routines, and the lectures and quizzes bolstered these ideas.

All your exhausting learning culminates in a remaining examination that consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. You should earn not less than a 75 p.c to come back out on the plus aspect of the move/no move grading system. However don’t sweat in the event you get check anxiousness — the check is each open-book and untimed (it took me about an hour and a half).

Plus, ISSA stands out from different organizations by providing free retests. Total, the examination is extra about making use of the ideas somewhat than merely memorizing muscle teams and macronutrient specifics, so it’s extra helpful to real-world eventualities.

From the time you join the certification program, the workforce — which incorporates enrollment specialists, successful coach, and bootcamp instructors — makes each effort to see you succeed with steering and help. It’s as much as you to contact them if you need or want further assist. You’ll additionally want focus and a focus to element to not solely put together for the ultimate examination, but in addition have the arrogance and instruments wanted to educate future purchasers.

Who Ought to Get the ISSA Private Coach Certification

  • Anybody who needs to channel their ardour for well being and health into turning into an authorized private coach.
  • Individuals who wish to be taught at their very own tempo. The guided examine portion of this certification lets you blast by way of the data you’re snug with and take deep dives into new materials.
  • Those that wish to be their very own boss. ISSA contains a lot of classes on advertising and gross sales so you can begin (and develop) your personal private coaching enterprise.

Who Shouldn’t Get the ISSA Private Coach Certification

  • Anybody who needs to educate on the collegiate or skilled stage will seemingly want not less than a bachelor’s diploma in kinesiology or train science and a private coaching certification from the Nationwide Academy of Sports activities Medication (NASM) or the Nationwide Power and Conditioning Affiliation (NSCA).
  • If you happen to simply wish to be taught extra about figuring out and lifting however don’t count on to work as a private coach, there are more cost effective and directed methods to take action.
  • Those that solely wish to present weight loss plan and diet recommendation ought to go for the ISSA Nutritionist specialization or one other dietician-related certification.

How A lot Does the ISSA Private Coach Certification Price?

With none reductions, the ISSA private coaching certification usually prices round $1,000. Nonetheless, ISSA affords specials commonly that make it extra reasonably priced. The worth might be paid in full or damaged down into 5 or 11 funds with as little as one greenback to get began. 

From a price perspective, ISSA falls consistent with business requirements. For instance, the NASM CPT course is simply barely cheaper at $899. In the meantime, the American Council of Train (ACE) offers three private coach certification choices starting from $675 to $975. 

ISSA additionally affords two different CPT packages: Elite Coach (which prices about $1,200 and contains one specialty course of your alternative) and Grasp Coach (which prices about $2,000 and contains one specialised certification monitor with 4 programs). As well as, in the event you don’t have already got a CPR/AED certification (you’ll want one to be a CPT), you may acquire one by way of ISSA for simply $49.

ISSA Licensed Private Coach Examine Supplies

ISSA has all kinds of examine supplies starting from audio classes to guided readings to reside boot camps. Plus, signing up for the private coaching certification course offers you entry to 31 observe quizzes that will help you get able to move the ultimate examination.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the completely different examine supplies and assets the ISSA offers for college kids:

Foundations and Purposes for a Licensed Private Coach Textbook

Out of all of the course supplies, the ISSA CPT textbook is by far a very powerful. Not solely are the quizzes and remaining examination largely primarily based on its contents, nevertheless it’s a useful useful resource as a result of it covers a breadth of related subjects. Accessible in an easy-to-navigate PDF format or in a print model for round $40, the ISSA’s private coaching certification textbook contains the next chapters:

  1. Well being, Health, and Private Coaching
  2. Psychology of Conduct Change
  3. Motion Techniques
  4. Supporting Techniques
  5. Ideas of Biomechanics
  6. Vitality and Metabolism
  7. Shopper Assessments
  8. Parts of Health
  9. Ideas of Program Design
  10. Ideas of Flexibility Coaching
  11. Ideas of Cardiovascular Train
  12. Ideas of Resistance Coaching
  13. Train Choice and Method
  14. Vitamin Foundations
  15. Supplementation
  16. Power Circumstances
  17. Lifespan Populations
  18. Enterprise and Advertising
  19. Security and Emergency Conditions

Clearly, the textbook covers nearly each subject a health coach must know. Whilst you might have a extra formal training in the event you aspire to work with school or professional athletes (a highschool diploma received’t suffice at that stage), you’ll definitely be armed with the requisite data wanted to start out your profession within the area of non-public coaching.

I discovered the structure and total design of the textbook simple to learn, and the ISSA did properly to incorporate loads of diagrams and images for help and added context. Given the advanced nature of a few of the subjects — significantly the chapters on biomechanics and power and metabolism — I appreciated having visible supplies to depend upon.

Furthermore, the inclusion of formulation, tables, and pattern exercises made the textbook significantly useful. I began the course with a stable basis of weightlifting data and ample expertise experimenting with completely different weight loss plan methods. Nonetheless, ISSA’s textbook taught me a lot extra about train and diet by offering complete lists of workouts by physique half and giving easy-to-understand examples of calculate caloric and macronutrient wants.

Examine Guides

Together with your buy of the Private Coach Certification bundle, you obtain the ISSA’s guided examine on-line materials. The guided examine lays out studying materials, audio and video classes, and a quiz for every of the ten weeks.

Upon completion of the guided examine, you ought to be able to take and move the ultimate examination. Every week you may count on to dedicate between two to 4 hours to review, relying in your velocity and familiarity with the week’s subject. You’ll wish to learn the assigned chapters of the textbook, hearken to the audio lectures, then full the quiz for the week. After that, test again to any information you have been not sure of and brush up on it.


There are 18 completely different quizzes on topics from the psychology of habits change to shopper assessments to enterprise and advertising. The quizzes embody all the areas of examine you’ll must grasp to turn into a well-rounded private coach.

In an effort to carry out properly, you will have to depend upon the studying and lecture data from that week. Practically all the multiple-choice questions pertain on to the fabric within the textbook, with a few of them containing particular phrases that may doubtlessly trick you to steer within the unsuitable path. So, be diligent about studying the small print in every reply possibility earlier than you make your choice.

Fortunately, the quizzes don’t take lengthy to finish. Most took me about 15-20 minutes to finish, relying on the problem of the subjects lined that week. I additionally appreciated that I acquired immediate suggestions on the questions I answered accurately and people I missed, which helped me acknowledge the areas I didn’t perceive so properly and wanted to revisit.

On-line Discussion board

ISSA contains their CPT Instructional Bootcamp which runs a web-based assembly as soon as per week for 5 weeks that will help you examine and get you acquainted with different aspiring private trainers. Every week focuses on a unique subject and is designed to develop your data on the topic, akin to train choice. As well as, the instructors have open workplace hours every week the place they host a reside video Q&A session for one hour to offer extra individualized consideration and examination prep help. 

Whereas I didn’t personally make the most of this useful resource, I believe it’s a plus to have it out there. Getting one-on-one help and rising your community can solely result in a greater understanding of the fabric and the health business as a complete.


The ISSA ensures that you just’ll discover a job inside six months of finishing their private coach certification, or they’ll provide you with a full refund. If you happen to take and move the certification exams, apply to not less than three gyms inside six months of finishing your certification and aren’t employed, ISSA gives you your a refund.

Fortunately, I didn’t run into any hassle discovering a job within the area. Throughout my transformation journey, I shaped a bond with one of many managers on the native YouFit I labored out at. As soon as I let him know I had accomplished the ISSA health certification program, that instantly opened the door to a place with the corporate. Whereas being a longtime rugby participant and weightlifter definitely helped, having the ability to formally name myself an authorized health coach gave me credibility to get employed.

Last Examination for the ISSA Private Coach Certification Program

The ISSA examination incorporates a complete of 200 multiple-choice questions and is damaged up into six sections: Fundamental and Utilized Science, Shopper Evaluation, Particular Populations, Program Design, Vitamin, and Skilled Follow, Drawing-In Part, and Fiscal Health. As you may see, the sections are fairly various — similar to your job as a private coach shall be, too.

It could actually take wherever from an hour and a half to 2 hours or extra relying in your test-taking velocity. I used to be capable of full the examination in simply over an hour, although I did have prior CPT data earlier than enrolling within the ISSA program. Total, you may count on to reference your textbook all through the examination. Since it’s allowed, it solely is smart to put it to use as a useful resource to make sure you carry out properly throughout all six sections.

Anticipated Examine Time

ISSA says the certification might be accomplished in as little as 10 weeks and the guided examine is about up for precisely that. If you happen to come into this program with completely no data, it could take you a bit longer. Then again, if you have already got a stable base of information in train science and biomechanics, you can doubtlessly full the course in just a few weeks in the event you dedicate just a few hours per day to it.

Cross Fee

Though you want a rating of 75 p.c or higher to move the ISSA CPT examination, the move fee is about 90 p.c. Nonetheless, don’t fall into the entice of pondering the ultimate examination is a cakewalk due to that. Positive, the very fact it’s an open-book check is a big benefit, however you must also be dedicated to actually comprehending the fabric so you may ship high quality programming to your purchasers.

Retest Price

Ought to you have got skipped a few of the preparation, or check anxiousness obtained one of the best of you, don’t sweat. Fortunately, ISSA is aware of that, and you may retake the ultimate examination — without cost — inside 30 days. You’ll solely must retest on the questions that you just missed too because you already know the opposite stuff.

ISSA Persevering with Training Necessities

To resume your certification, it’s worthwhile to show that you just’ve been maintaining with the most recent science associated to private coaching and train. You are able to do this by offering proof of not less than 20 persevering with training models (CEUs) within the type of workshops, different certifications, seminars, or different authorized actions. Recertification takes place each two years, which supplies you adequate time to hit the 20-CEU threshold. 

As well as, the recertification value is $99, which is among the many lowest costs within the business. Different recertification prices vary from $150 to $300, relying on the group. Better of all, in the event you get your 20 CEUs by way of ISSA, they waive the recertification price totally. I already set myself as much as reap that reward by finishing the ISSA Nutritionist course shortly after acquiring my CPT certification. 

Potential Profession Paths With an ISSA Private Coach Certification

It might appear fairly easy that getting your cert is a pure step towards being a full-time private coach, however there are extra choices out there than simply that one. In spite of everything, you don’t essentially must decide to solely working in a one-on-one setting in a company gymnasium. Whereas that’s definitely an possibility, you may as well parlay your private coaching certification into turning into a health heart supervisor, group health teacher, well being coach, health author, exercise developer, or perhaps a health mannequin.

Incomes my private coach certification by way of ISSA instantly paved the best way for me to safe a place at YouFit, the place I constructed a loyal base of purchasers, expanded the high-intensity interval coaching (HIIT) group class program, and contributed to the corporate’s weblog and social media efforts as a advertising division marketing consultant and model ambassador. Leveraging that hands-on expertise and my journalism background additionally opened up alternatives to jot down for varied manufacturers within the health/diet house, which in the end led me to hitch Breaking Muscle as a full-time employees author. 

Plus, don’t underestimate the ability and revenue potential of placing your private coaching certification to make use of through social media advertising. Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube supply limitless prospects to share your data and fervour about every thing from dietary supplements to biomechanics in an easy-to-digest type. Or, you can begin a web site the place you promote custom-made coaching packages to purchasers around the globe. Both approach, you may make the most of your CPT certification to construct a enterprise designed for at present’s tech-driven world.

Anticipated Wage

Pinpointing a precise wage is sort of unattainable when there’s such a variety throughout the health business. Whereas movie star private trainers can simply earn six figures, that’s not precisely the case for many who work within the company gymnasium setting.

One estimate says the common private coach wage falls round $66,565. Nonetheless, that largely depends upon location, training, and years of expertise. Typically, a full-time private coach at your native gymnasium will seemingly make nearer to the $50,000 mark.

In my expertise as an ISSA CPT, you even have to think about the revenue potential of working for your self vs. for another person. Constructing your personal coaching enterprise comes with some apparent dangers and bills like residence gymnasium gear (in the event you determine to run your online business out of your private home, which is what I at present do), nevertheless it additionally comes with limitless monetary upside and full management. Then again, working in a company gymnasium setting might supply extra stability, together with advantages like medical health insurance, retirement, and the possibility to earn commissions.

Different ISSA Certification Packages

You possibly can increase your incomes potential by including extra ISSA certs to your resume. Their hottest is the Elite Coach program, which incorporates entry to the NCCPT Accredited CPT Examination. In response to the ISSA web site, turning into an Elite Licensed Coach can permit you to make an additional $8,000 per yr.

For a extra sizable step up, you may turn into an ISSA-certified Grasp Coach. This program offers six particular person certifications that ISSA claims may also help your coaching enterprise earn $20,000 extra yearly. Whereas all three Grasp Coach tracks embrace Licensed Private Coach and Nutritionist programs, you may earn certifications in areas akin to Power & Conditioning Coach and Transformation Specialist, relying on which monitor you select. Nonetheless, be ready to pay north of $2,000 if you wish to attain Grasp Coach standing.

A much less cost-prohibitive however helpful various is the Health Coach certification. This program contains the CPT course and one specialization of your alternative out of the next choices: 

  • Nutritionist 
  • On-line Coach 
  • Corrective Train 
  • Bodybuilding
  • Power & Conditioning
  • Glute Specialist 
  • Group Train 
  • Operating Coach

Even If you happen to solely join the usual CPT course, you may earn a Health Coach certification by finishing a specialization sooner or later. 


In comparison with ISSA, NASM is healthier suited to a graduate of an train science or associated program who needs a scientific-style mannequin for coaching. So, you probably have aspirations to work for knowledgeable sports activities workforce or high-level school program, a NASM certification gives you a leg up. 

In contrast to ISSA, you do have a time restrict (120 minutes) to finish the NASM remaining examination. Though you solely want a 70 p.c rating to move, the move fee is considerably decrease (64 p.c) in comparison with the 90 p.c move fee with ISSA. Plus, whereas ISSA offers free retests, NASM expenses a retest price of $199. 


Aimed toward group train lovers who wish to add private coaching ideas to their courses, ACE affords three ranges of their CPT course. In comparison with ISSA, the worth is extra reasonably priced, with the least-expensive program coming in at lower than $700. 

Regardless of having a a lot decrease required passing rating than its rivals (simply 62.5 p.c), ACE has a considerably decrease passing fee than ISSA at 65 p.c. You will have 180 minutes to finish the ultimate examination, and the retest charges vary from $199 to $250. Like ISSA, you want 20 CEUs to recertify each two years. Sadly for ACE college students, there’s no approach to keep away from the recertification price of $129. 

Parting Ideas on Getting ISSA Licensed

If you happen to’re trying to construct a profession within the health business, the ISSA Private Coach Certification is a superb place to look. They provide top-notch preparation supplies for every type of learners and even provide you with a week-by-week information to maintain you on monitor. The ultimate examination was difficult and thorough in its scope, forcing me to fastidiously assess the query and reply choices.

Total, the gathering of assets — from the train video library and pattern coaching plans to downloadable shopper kinds you should utilize immediately — made investing within the ISSA’s program properly price it. Until you have got a need to educate on the NCAA or skilled stage, it’s best to really feel safe about spending the money and time on acquiring your private coaching certification from an organization that’s helped numerous fitness-minded people kickstart profitable careers.


What’s required to get my ISSA private coaching certificates?

You should meet the factors set forth by the ISSA which incorporates submitting all course quizzes, passing the ultimate examination with a rating of 75 p.c or higher, and offering proof of a present grownup CPR/AED certificates. All of those necessities are neatly laid out on the house display screen of the portal for you, and the ultimate examination is locked till you full all of the quizzes.

Can I get a printed copy of the textbook for the ISSA private coach certification?

Though most college students make the most of the web model, you may acquire a printed copy of the ISSA private coach certification textbook for round $40.

Does the ISSA supply observe exams?

Along with the 18 quizzes you have to full for the CPT course, the ISSA offers you entry to 31 observe quizzes that will help you put together for the 200-question remaining examination.

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