W.I.T.S. – Certified Personal Training

National Fall Semester Bonus Special

Register this month for the Certified Personal Trainer or Group Fitness Instructor course and get your choice of one of these bonus career extras FREE, with CECs included!

VIEW COURSE LOCATIONS

**Plus Get a W.I.T.S. Retest Voucher for 50% Off (If Needed)

Bonus Option 1
Fitness Management Certificate CourseFitness Management Certificate Online Course
Bonus Option 2
Nutrition and Nutritional ConceptsNutritional Concepts Online Course
build-salesStrategies To Build Sales Online Course

Personal Training Certifications

Successful Certified Personal Trainers need more than book knowledge. Therefore, it is crucial to know the effects of exercise and how the body will react to it. In addition you need the practical mastery of the skills in assessing a client and how to take competent steps to physically and mentally get your client to the promise land of measurable lifestyle results. Learn More

NCCA Accredited Program - Seal of Accreditation

Welcome to W.I.T.S. (World Instructor Training Schools)

The World Instructor Training Schools (W.I.T.S.) has been leading for 25 years to enhance public safety by developing and administering true health and fitness certification programs.  Furthermore, jobs in this industry are projected to grow 16% into 2021.  As a result, W.I.T.S. can certify you in personal training, group fitness, older adult and other disciplines in this industry.

The W.I.T.S. Certified Personal Trainer is the only organization to receive NCCA accreditation in the practical skills and the theoretical knowledge.  In addition, W.I.T.S. courses are at hundreds of neighborhood colleges and universities with college credits through the American Council on Education (www.acenet.edu).  Check out how we prepare our graduates for a solid career.

fitness trainer certification

What W.I.T.S. Students and Graduates Are Saying

“I believe that the Internship requirement by WITS is invaluable! It forced me into a real training environment with real clients. I worked with 5 different trainers and was exposed to different training styles as well as very varied client ability levels. I saw first-hand how to interact successfully with clients and to keep them moving through their exercises. The Internship gave me the confidence I needed when I first began working as a Personal Trainer – I was hired at the facility I interned at!!! Get Moving!” — Carole K.     View More Testimonials & References

Personal Trainer Certification: Why Skills Training Matters

Not all personal trainer certification programs are alike.

Imagine needing emergency surgery to have your appendix removed. The hospital staff assures you that the attending surgeon has a degree from a prestigious Ivy League school, which happens to be the alma mater of the hospital’s surgical director. You feel at ease as the anesthesiologist prepares your IV. But just as you’re getting drowsy, the nurse comments that your procedure will be the doctor’s very first foray into the operating room, since he earned his degree online. 

Of course, this scenario is unlikely — although not totally unheard of — in the medical arena. Surgeons go through years of study, practical skills training and supervised practice before they are allowed to take the lead in a major operation. Sadly, that is often not the case with personal training. 

Personal Trainer Key Skills

Many people think that a personal trainer’s only job duties are to teach exercise, preach about nutrition and keep clients motivated. But a personal trainer’s key skills encompass much, much more. 

Here are just a handful of important personal trainer skills that require hands-on learning:

  • Record keeping and business management: Personal trainers have a lot of information to keep track of: client records, progress charts, workouts, account history and much more! Most certification programs fail to touch on this.
  • Conducting and interpreting each client’s health history: Personal training clients come to us with a plethora of health conditions and a broad range of medications. It is essential that you are able to ask the right questions and know how to interpret and use this information to protect your client and yourself. 
  • Measuring and monitoring vital statistics: It is impossible to accurately measure heart rate and blood pressure without hands-on experience, with a variety of different subjects. Online certification programs cannot help you with this.
  • Conducting standardized fitness assessments: Standardized fitness assessments for strength, endurance, flexibility and cardiovascular fitness give us a baseline against which we can measure our clients’ progress. This is another skill that requires hands-on practice and experience, which you cannot get online. 
  • Personalized goal-specific client programming: The secret to becoming a successful personal trainer is being able to help your clients reach and exceed their goals. Learning the basics of goal-oriented programming is an essential skill that requires hands-on practice.
  • Teaching proper exercise form and execution: There is a lot more to an effective exercise program than picking up weights and putting them down again. As trainers, we need to cue our clients on correct alignment and perfect execution, to prevent injury and attain desired results. 
  • Injury prevention and management:  Any type of physical activity comes with inherent risks. As a trainer, it is your job to teach your clients to exercise safely, and to provide guidance and support throughout each session. These are hands-on skills that cannot be learned from a textbook or video. 
  • Lifestyle counseling: Every client brings their own unique lifestyle history to the table. As trainers, we work with our clients to identify negative lifestyle behaviors and help them make better choices. Role playing gives you essential skills for communicating with your clients, in ways that help them evolve, without making them feel judged. 

How to Get Skills Training 

Sadly, the majority of certification programs do not equip you to apply practical skills as a trainer.  Most are self-study programs that certify you once you pass a written online test. Imagine walking into your new personal trainer job, being assigned a client on your first day, and not having a clue about how to proceed. 

Imagine walking into your new personal trainer job, being assigned a client on your first day, and not having a clue about how to proceed. 

Busy studios and big box gyms provide minimal training for new hires. They most often throw you into the fray, and let you sink or swim. As you can imagine, this leads to high turnover and a lot of discouraged and disillusioned trainers who spent their hard-earned money to get certified. It also leads to dissatisfied clients, and hurts our industry as a whole. 

World Instructor Training Schools is the only certification program that teaches and conducts research-based testing for personal trainer practical skills. 

Skills Training for Personal Trainers

If you are serious about building a successful and sustainable fitness career, don’t cut corners on your certification. Get the support, knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed with a fitness certification from W.I.T.S.

Advantages of a W.I.T.S. certification include: 

  • Fully NCCA accredited: The only practical skills competency exam in the industry, along with our written exam!
  • Recognized by employers nation-wide: Graduates who perform!
  • Available in colleges, universities and online
  • Taught by qualified and experienced industry professionals
  • Internship program available to cement your skills
  • Friendly customer service and supportOnline continuing education at your fingertips

Join the W.I.T.S. family of industry leaders today, and build your fitness career on a solid foundation.

Personal Trainer Certification: Your Top 10 Questions Answered

If you have been thinking about beginning a new career as a certified personal trainer, you probably have a lot of questions. Before making a commitment and spending money on a certification program, review theses answers to the most popular questions about personal trainer certification:

  1. Do I need a degree in exercise science to be a certified personal trainer?

    Although there are one or two certification providers who require a degree, most do not have an academic prerequisite.

  1. Am I too old to become a personal trainer?

    You can become a personal trainer at any age, and provide valuable services to people who need you. W.I.T.S. trainers range in age from late teens to late seventies. It’s never to late to make a positive difference in the lives of others. 

  1. Do I have to be super fit to become a personal trainer?

    Trainers come in all shapes and sizes, and not all have bulging muscles or a defined six-pack. Some of the best trainers have struggled with obesity, disability and health issues. They often have amazing testimonials and find it easy to empathize with their clients. A side bonus of working as a trainer is the opportunity to improve your own fitness. 

  1. How much money do personal trainers make?

    The national average according to fitness industry surveys is $29 per hour.  Obviously that amount varies by city and state, with some earning higher wages and some lower.  According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for Certified Personal Trainers and Group Exercise Instructors is $19.15 per hour. For some odd reason, they combined the two jobs into one statistic, even though personal trainers typically make much more.  In fact, many trainers who become business owners or independent contractors earn 6-figure incomes!!

  1. What is the job market like for personal trainers?

    To quote the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, “Employment of Certified Personal Trainers and Group Exercise Instructors is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations.” Gyms, studios and individuals are always looking for competent and professional trainers.  That shared, most certification programs qualify a trainer with a only a written exam. Inadequate training in part accounts for the  80% turnover rate in some gyms. In other words, in most clubs, if 10 Certified Personal Trainers are hired today, 8 of them will be out of a job in a year.  Written-only testing does not prepare most trainers for long term success. You need practical skills training as well.

  1. Do personal trainer jobs have benefits?

    Many employers, especially big box gyms and studio chains, offer a benefits package. 

  1. How long does it take to become a certified personal trainer?

    Many certification programs are self-paced, self-study programs that offer no structure, support or deadlines. You simply register to test when you are ready. W.I.T.S. offers live professionally taught courses at colleges and universities nationwide, along with online programs. All our certification options offer interactive support from qualified instructors. Our live classes include 5 weeks of labs and lectures, plus on-site testing, for a total of 6-7 weeks.

  1. How much does it cost to become certified as a personal trainer?

    Certification programs vary in price, but you can expect to get what you pay for. W.I.T.S. offers competitive prices with easy payment options. 

  2. Will I be ready to start working right after getting my personal trainer certification?

    If you do a self-study program and pass a written test, you will not necessarily be ready to work, and you will most likely need additional training. W.I.T.S. is the only NCCA Accredited certification with BOTH  a hands-on practical skills component and an internship option. Once you are certified, you will able to walk into any job, ready to work.

  3. Which personal trainer certification is best?

If you are serious about building a successful and sustainable fitness career, don’t cut corners on your certification. Get the support, knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed with a fitness certification from W.I.T.S.

Advantages of a W.I.T.S. certification include: 

  • Fully NCCA accredited: The only practical skills competency exam in the industry, along with our written exam!
  • Recognized by employers nation-wide: Graduate who perform!
  • Available in colleges, universities and online
  • Taught by qualified and experienced industry professionals
  • Friendly customer service and support
  • Online continuing education at your fingertips

Join the W.I.T.S. family of industry leaders, and build your fitness career on a solid foundation.

Does It Really Matter Which Fitness Certification You Get?

The answer is YES!

For most fitness professionals, national fitness certification is the first step toward launching a  successful career. Yet a simple web search will render dozens of certification programs with a broad range of credentials and requirements. Other important factors vary as well, including cost, investment of time, and recognition by potential employers. 

But while all those things deserve consideration, the most important question you should ask yourself is, “Will this program prepare me to succeed in the long run?”

What it Takes to Succeed as a Fitness Professional

Most personal trainers and group fitness instructors start out as fitness enthusiasts who know what a difference a fit and healthy lifestyle can make. We want to share our love of fitness with others and transform lives while working in a field we love. Yet only a handful of newly certified fitness trainers will attain long-term professional success. This is where your certification program makes a difference.

In order to succeed in the fitness industry, you need a solid foundation. A good certification program will provide: 

  • In-depth knowledge of core scientific principles of anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and nutrition
  • A solid overview of key training principles and their applications
  • Exposure to tools for health screening and assessment
  • Knowledge of how to work with various populations
  • Basic principles of goal setting and programming
  • Hands-on practice to apply what you’ve learned

As you can imagine, learning and grasping foundational fitness skills takes more than just a weekend workshop.

More Than Just Exercise Programming

Some aspiring fitness professionals assume that working in fitness mostly entails prescribing and overseeing a variety of exercises. But training itself is only a small piece of the equation. 

Whether your client is trying to lose weight, improve their health or train for competition, it all begins within. It is up to the fitness trainer to identify obstacles, strengths and shortcomings, and help clients overcome physical, mental and emotional barriers to success. This often means in-depth communication, program planning and revision, and motivating your client to stay the course. 

Working as a fitness trainer also requires certain business and sales skills to maintain records, satisfy existing customers, and bring in new clients. 

Traits of Top Fitness Professionals

In addition to hard skills and knowledge, fitness trainers need to possess certain personality traits; 

  • Love of learning and a desire to share your knowledge
  • Empathy for the needs of your clients
  • Ability to show “tough love” to help clients succeed
  • Organization skills for programming and record keeping
  • Commitment to helping your clients reach their goals

While certain traits can be cultivated, it takes a lot of work and dedication to meet the needs of your clients and help them reach their goals while managing your business. 

To Be the Best, Choose the Best!

If you are serious about building a successful and sustainable fitness career, don’t cut corners on your certification. Get the support, knowledge and hands-on experience you need to succeed with a fitness certification from W.I.T.S.

Advantages of a W.I.T.S. certification include: 

  • Fully NCCA accredited
  • Recognized by employers nation-wide
  • Available in colleges, universities and online
  • Taught by qualified and experienced industry professionals
  • Friendly customer service and support
  • Online continuing education at your fingertips

Join the W.I.T.S. family of industry leaders, and build your fitness career on a solid foundation.