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Personal Training + Why I Chose NASM

When I first decided to become a certified personal trainer (CPT), I didn’t want to tell anyone. Honestly, I was a little embarrassed to admit that I had no immediate plans to actually work as a trainer. Now that I’ve spilled the beans, I guess it’s time to explain why I made this decision. I guess I’m really going with the “personal” part of personal trainer. As in, I’m doing it just for me. I love to work out, but I don’t really know all that much about the science behind it all. I educate myself when it comes to other aspects of my life, so it only seems right to know what I’m doing when it comes to my body. I want to be active for life, so I better be treating it the best that I can.


I went back and forth for a while about committing to a personal training course. Eventually, though, I realized that it couldn’t possibly turn out to be a bad thing. Even if I never in my life use this certification to make any money, I’m still using it to better myself. There is no doubt in my mind that I will craft better workouts as a result of what I’ve learned. I mean, think about it like this: People spend insane amounts of money for gym memberships, personal training, and fitness books or magazine subscriptions. I’m no different. But what if you knew what you were doing? You could take your health into your own hands. I feel like that justifies the price of the certification right there.

And while I have absolutely no plans of quitting teaching, I do like knowing that I would have the option of a summer or part-time job in the future. The growth of the fitness industry isn’t slowing down, so it’s nice to know I could find a little place in it if I needed to. And I hope that ultimately it makes this blog a little better, too. It needs a little more brains behind it, don’t you think?

As far as certifications go, there are a lot of options. There are only a few that I would even consider, though. I weighed the pros and cons of a few different options, talked to some friends of mine who work at one of my favorite gyms, and thought about which one would be most beneficial to me. In the end, I went with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).


It wasn’t that difficult of a decision, to be honest. It’s one of the most widely respected and accepted certifications, it’s super science-heavy (<-technical term…), and the representatives I spoke to seemed the most legitimately concerned with how their students did throughout the process. That was my favorite part. They made it clear that questions were welcomed. And let’s be honest, I’ll probably have a ton. Especially since I chose to go the self-study route. Yep, I chose is the CPT Self-Study Package. It includes a textbook, online CPT materials, and a flashcard bundle.


It also came with a sweet backpack, though, so it’s all good. There are several options on the website, but the Self-Study seemed like the best choice for me. Since I’m doing this for me, I might as well do it on my own, right?

I guess I’ve probably rambled enough for tonight, but I’m excited to start this whole learning process pretty soon. If you’ve studied for the NASM-CPT or are currently studying, I’d love to chat! I need some study buddies, for real.

Question: Have you ever taken a course or studied for a certification solely for personal growth? Sometimes I think I might be nuts, but it seems like a good call…

Full Disclosure: after choosing NASM and speaking with them to express my interest, they offered to waive my fees in exchange for discussing the process with y’all. They rock for that, but I really want to stress that I made my decision prior to that discussion. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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31 Responses to Personal Training + Why I Chose NASM

  1. There’s definitely no need to hide that you wanted to be a personal trainer—or at least train to be one. I think that’s awesome. I actually decided the same thing a few years ago-I wanted to explore my career options and wanted to learn more about the field before committing! I actually started with ACSM. It was hard but I learned a lot. Didn’t finish though-teaching licensure took up my time soon after :)
    Jenn @ runnderlust recently posted..Motivation Monday: Can we fulfill long term goals?My Profile

  2. I think it is awesome that you want to be a personal trainer. I have thought about it before for some of the same reasons you have but have never taken the plunge. I really think it could open so many doors for you!! I look forward to hearing about your experience!
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..Moving Forward After Job LossMy Profile

  3. Yep, I like you am doing a personal training course and to begin with only had intentions of using it for myself. Now I’m a third of the way through the course and am getting excited to give up my office job (even if only part time) in pursuit of actually doing some pt work!
    Amanda @ Move Love Eat recently posted..Mountain Biking ThoughtsMy Profile

  4. I think it makes a lot of sense to learn more on something that interests you. That’s why I became RRCA certified. I didn’t take on runners to coach for awhile but eventually runners read my blog and asked for my coaching and now I love it! You never know where this added certification will bring you : )
    Jenn@ Mark My Miles! recently posted..FREE breakfast!My Profile

  5. Yes! Last year between f/t jobs I did my Pilates instructor training. I have been practicing yoga and pilates for like over a decade (ugh I’m getting old!!) and just decided to do it for me. I have subbed here and there at the studio I trained at, but I’m back to working f/t now, and I don’t really plan to be a f/t teacher. I just like having the knowledge for me and hope to make it a side job :)

    • I love that you decided to learn more about yoga in particular. I am so interested in it, but I am severely lacking in the knowledge part!

  6. Actually I just signed up to get certified to teach Body Pump! I am so so excited, and honestly, I don’t even care to hurry into a teaching job right away. Yes, this is a huge step for personal growth for me! And I want to get certified to teach yoga at some point too – that would be a HUGE milestone for me. It’s going to happen :)

    Congrats on your personal training certification too!
    Shannon recently posted..Tuesday Tastes: Mardi Gras Edition!!My Profile

  7. I think it’s so awesome that you are doing this to better yourself! How inspiring! I can’t wait to see what your blog has in store has your knowledge grows. Congrats!!!

  8. I think that its awesome that you’re going for your PT certification. It’s something that’s always been in the back of my head as something I’ve wanted to try. Get it girl!
    Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian recently posted..Keurig Flagship Store + Keurig Rivo ReviewMy Profile

  9. The personal reasoning behind doing this makes so much sense. It’s probably a reason why I would do it, too. I loved kinesiology so I think I would like something like this, also. Can’t wait to hear your progress!
    char eats greens recently posted..munchkin meals: the tortures of teethingMy Profile

  10. I think it’s awesome that you’re going through the training to become a certified personal trainer! Like you, I totally believe that doing something to better yourself is never a waste! I would probably be certified in all sorts of things and take all kinds of training if they didn’t cost so dang much money! :p I had to get my CPT for my job, even though I’m not a personal trainer, and I loved all the things I got to learn! Good luck with your education! PS – Love that they gave you a backpack too! haha
    Whitney recently posted..Weekend Recap and Healthy Cookie RecipeMy Profile

  11. I’m a Group X and Spinning Certified instructor. I’m sure at some point I will want to become a CPT. I really enjoy the science behind everything too. Good Luck!
    Renee @ Bendiful Blog recently posted..Adventures in HRMMy Profile

  12. E-mail me if you have questions! I took my test several years ago but my hubby is currently studying right now for his. NASM is super great and everyone is really supportive!
    Tamara @ The Workout Mama recently posted..Update On Bootcamp & Online Personal TrainingMy Profile

  13. WOW that’s awesome that they offered to waive the fees!! Is it too late for me to ask for that? (haha)

    This is a nice post and all, but between you and me, you mostly picked them for the incredible backpack right?
    Kim @ healthy nest recently posted..My total body transformation plan 2014My Profile

  14. […] Now it’s just time to get our life back on track. Be prepared for some posts on new workouts, NASM studying, and training for my upcoming half. I’m pretty excited about it all, so I’m sure […]

  15. […] so I guess can’t break the “it’s almost summer!” haze I’ve been in. I’m behind on studying, training, cleaning, planning, blogging, responding, emailing, and like twenty other important work […]

  16. […] this for some reason. I want to get into more detailed workout posts (especially after all of this NASM stuff is all up in my brain) but I also feel like a total loser. If this is the last time I should […]

  17. […] I made the 40 minute drive to the closest “testing facility”. Yep, I finally took my NASM CPT exam. They don’t show you your actual score, but I got the official “pass” […]

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