Online Personal Trainer Certification – No Better Than ACE Fitness!

online personal trainer certification

Are you someone who is looking to break away from the typical 9-5, has a passion for fitness, and is seeking an opportunity to make a potentially lucrative career out of that passion? There may be no better time than now to get your online personal trainer certification!

Becoming a personal trainer is a door that opens up to many possibilities. It can give you the knowledge and ability to help a world that is becoming more health conscious to achieve that goal.

According to, personal trainers also have a huge amount of options when it comes to job opportunities. If you are thinking you’ll be stuck in a gym all day (though it isn’t a problem if you like it), you’d be mistaken.

Personal trainers are needed in many settings including resorts, spas, corporate offices, your own independent establishment, your client’s home, and even on cruise ships!

According to, the fitness industry is one that is growing, as well. In fact, the business has been steadily growing at a 2.8% rate each year and is still trending upward, while the amount of revenue has seen consistent increases over a 5-year period (as of 2018).

Is it easy work? Will it make you rich overnight? No. But what opportunity that is legitimate and worth it will?

Why do I say the perfect time to start down that career path is now? Well, most personal trainer certification courses can be completed at home through independent study. Across the nation, we are all stuck at home right now due to COVID-19, many with some extra time on our hands.

Now imagine you take this time to study and become certified. When the world opens up again, people are going to be looking to get out and get fit. There is a huge chance that the national consciousness will be on getting and maintaining personal health. You could be waiting there to provide the help they need!

If this is intriguing to you, then the biggest question becomes where to start. There are several certification programs to choose from. According to Becoming A Trainer, there are no less than 5 that are worth looking into. These include:

Which one do you choose? All will provide you an accredited personal training certification, so is there any advantage to one or the other?

I will tell you from personal experience and current research, that you can’t do any better than a certification from ACE Fitness! I’ll go into all the details below, so keep reading to find out why it is my pick. But first…

Holy Hypocrite, Batman!

Wait just a minute, Steve. Haven’t you said in your previous posts that your website is all about budget-friendly fitness? Don’t you talk about getting away from needing personal trainers or gym memberships and fitness being available to all, regardless of economic standing? How can you then talk about supporting a personal training program?

Isn’t that hypocritical of you?

I will admit that I am not always the biggest fan of the fitness industry and how expensive it can be. I am also well aware of how much it costs to take on a personal trainer and that it excludes many people. This doesn’t mean that I am against personal trainers, though. I see immense value in the work that they do.

Just because I can’t or others can’t afford them doesn’t mean that they should be completely ignored by this site. In fact, I want to provide someone who is looking to get into personal training the most budget-friendly option to becoming one!

I also don’t ever want to forget where I came from. You see, before moving on and starting this website, I was also certified for personal training through ACE Fitness.

While it didn’t end up being for me, the knowledge I gleaned from my studies has proven invaluable in setting up my own workout program on this site, filtering through the plethora of exercise equipment on the market to present you the best, and analyzing the nutrition of recipes, diets, and ingredients.

Therefore, I don’t think it is hypocritical to at once recognize both the benefits and downfalls of a certain industry while promoting what I think is the best use of your money should you want to purse it. Let me know if you think differently in the comments below.

With that said, it’s time to get into what you will get should you go with an ACE personal training certification.

American Council on Exercise

An ACE Fitness Certification Breakdown

First of all, what is the American Counsel on Exercise? According to Wikipedia, it is a non-profit, provider of certifications, training, and education that was founded in 1985 and is based in San Diego, California. It has been accredited by the National Committee for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) since 2003.

It also is the first United States based certification program to hold accreditation from EuropeActive and additinally gets you on the U.S. Registry of Fitness Professionals.

Some of ACE’s other partners include:

  • The Prescription for Activity Task Force
  • The Idea Health and Fitness Association
  • Find Your Trainer
  • The YMCA
  • The Campaign to End Obesity
  • The Medical Fitness Association
  • The Coalition for the Registration of Exercise Professionals
  • The Institute for Credentialing Excellence
  • The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity
  • The National Physical Activity Plan
  • Ufit
  • The European Registry of Exercise Professionals
  • The European Health and Fitness Association
  • The Lifestyle Fitness Education Collaborative
  • The International Accreditation Forum
  • The Osteoarthritis Action Alliance

There are even more partners not listed here as well!

ACE Fitness has a mission and that is to get people moving, as evidenced by their ACE Mover Method, designed to help their clients feel empowered to take a personal fitness journey through “evidence-based behavior change”. All of their programs are science-based and the highest professionalism is expected from all of their team members.

They have placed a huge emphasis on engaging the community and helping the general population reach a new level of health and fitness.

If you want to learn more about their mission and focus, feel free to check out their Mission page.

They offer certification for several areas including Personal Training, Group Fitness, Health Coaching, and Medical Exercise Specialists, along with further education courses in all areas.

We will be focusing on the Personal Training certification today, which will introduce you to the ACE IFT (Integrated Fitness Training) model, which goes over all the fundamentals of personal training, program design, and exercise progression.

Right off the bat, there are three tiers you can choose from, each with their own price point and amount of materials. You are not stuck with one price as with other programs. You can choose what best fits your budget and the amount of help you think you will need.

The great thing is that right now, they are running a special sale, which knocks off up to $300 from the purchase price! Check out the breakdown below:

online personal trainer certification

Screenshot from ACE Fitness

As you can see, there is something for every budget and with the amount of materials present, each is worth the money they are asking. Now, I will break them down a little further where they may not be self-explanatory.

  • Basic Plan: Now $100 off the listed price.
    • ACE Academy Elite: The online learning platform used to plan and track your studies as well as providing video lessons, resources, and practice quizzes.
    • ACE Answers: Gives even more resources such as webinars, Q&A’s, and other study supports.
    • Digital ACE Personal Trainer Manual: Everything you need to know about putting together exercise programs, professionalism, and all aspects of the business is in this book.
    • Digital ACE Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals: This is an in-depth study of Anatomy and Physiology to help you better understand the body and the effects of exercise.
    • Digital ACE Study Companion: This is the workbook that goes with your trainer manual.
    • Along with this comes the 1 practice test and an exam registration.
  • Plus Plan: Now $220 off the listed price.
    • This comes with everything the Basic Plan does while adding a hard copy of each study material along with the digital copy with some additions listed below:
    • ACE Applied Exercise Science Workbook: This is the study workbook that goes along with the Essentials of Exercise Science book.
    • Additionally, you will get to view an in-depth Getting Started video teaching you how to best use the resources you are given and two practice tips instead of just one.
    • Unlike the Basic Plan, inside the United States, you are eligible for free shipping of all materials.
  • The Advantage Plan: Now $300 off the listed price.
    • This includes everything from the Plus Plan while adding three practice tests instead of two and a few more benefits:
    • Three Personalized Tutoring Sessions: You get access to an ACE Certified Study Coach to help you through some of the more challenging aspects of the exam.
    • Dedicated Advantage Team: A group will be available to keep you on track and accountable with your studies and encourage you all the way through to your exam.
    • Lastly, should you not pass the exam on the first try, this is the only plan that allows you a free retake of the exam.

Like I said, there is something for everyone here and you don’t necessarily have to go with the most expensive option.

The Pros

online personal trainer certification

Photo Credit: Cliff Booth of Pexels

Should you choose to become a Personal Trainer through ACE, which is what I did, I can tell you firsthand that there are a ton of pros.

  • Full Accreditation: One thing is for sure, you will not be turned away from a job because your certification lacks any type of accreditation. You are fully covered here.
  • No Stone Un-turned: Not only do the study materials comprehensively teach you about the human body and how to design a personalized exercise program, but you will also learn your role as a personal trainer, your scope of practice, injury prevention, first aid, training for special populations (Think disabled or elderly), strategies for business, and legal guidelines!
  • Discounts and Perks: After passing your exam, you will have access to resources that will help you find work, get equipment discounts, get liability insurance, and continue your education to receive credits. You also have free access to the Idea Fitness Journal’s monthly publication.
  • Opportunity: Speaking of finding work, you will be able to have engagement with potential employers, have a free profile on the “Find Your Trainer” database, and the potential to earn more money through their referral program.
  • Your Style, Your Pace: You have 6 months after signing up to just register for your exam date (which can be after the 6 months), which means that you can take your time when it comes to preparing. Having the option to do everything online or also have hard copies caters to your best learning style.
  • Support: You can get the help you need from a dedicated group of fitness professionals who have been in your position before.
  • The Price: For the sheer amount of resources you get with any of the packages, the price (especially during this current sale) is better than any of the other programs I listed above. The others are either more expensive or don’t provide as much help.
  • Free Preview: Here is one of the best parts. Right now, you can take a sneak peek at the program without paying a dime so that you can make a decision risk-free! Click the link to check it out by clicking the banner below!

American Council on Exercise

The Cons

Even though this is a training program and not a product, I’m still going to go over some things I would watch out for before you make your decision.

  • Prerequisite: One of the prerequisites to sitting for your exam is that you become CPR/AED certified with a live demonstration. Online courses are not accepted, so you have to do it in person. This can be an extra expense on top of the certification course.
  • Re-certification Costs: Though this might be obvious, you should know that your certification lasts for two years. In order to re-certify, you must complete a certain amount of continuing education, become re-certified for CPR/AED (which also lasts for two years), and pay the re-certification fee ($129).
  • Procrastinators May Have Trouble: If you are not one who is internally motivated and doesn’t do well with independent study, this either might not be for you or you should go with the more expensive option to keep yourself accountable.
  • Exam Location: For years, you had to take the exam in a physical location. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted that. Right now, the only option is to reschedule your exam. ACE is working now to provide the ability to take the test online from home. While this doesn’t have to deter you from starting, online testing isn’t available yet.

My Personal Experience And Why I Didn’t Re-Certify

online personal trainer certification

Image by Darren Constance from Pixabay

When I was going through the training, I have to be honest and say that I can’t imagine getting anything better. While I had some trouble trying to space things out and go at my own pace in preparation for the exam, I was able to do it and pass on the first try.

Like I stated above, the materials are comprehensive and in some ways, to a fault. I do remember there being times when the reading got somewhat dry because there was just so much detail (like I said, no stone un-turned). However taking breaks from reading in order to do workbook pages and use the online resources broke it up well.

As for the test, they have facilities all over the country, and I was able to find a center about 20 minutes from my home. Now, I live in a busy area, so your proximity and drive time might vary (which makes it all the better that they are moving to online-proctored tests).

The questions on the test definitely challenge your knowledge of the material, though there are also ones that can be answered just using your common sense. Overall, it wasn’t that bad.

Now we come to the reason I did not re certify. I’ve gone over this a little before, but I will reiterate it here. I found that personal training wasn’t for me. I found that the money gyms charged for memberships and personal trainers charged for sessions was many times excluding groups of people from accessing health and fitness.

I simply found my passion was on helping those on more strict budgets achieve their goals. This is where I thought I could help the most.

Again, that is not to say that I regret getting certified or begrudge others from doing so. No education is wasted and the wealthy of knowledge I received has brought me to where I am today.

Health and fitness is important for all people and whether your niche is budget fitness or millionaires, personal trainers have an important role for each.

If you want to get into fitness, I encourage you to get educated. Even if you never charge a dime for your services, you can still become a trusted source of knowledge, as I hope I have become to whomever may be reading the different posts on this site! ACE’s program is the best way to do that!

The Verdict – Become An ACE!American Council on Exercise

I hope that this article has encouraged you in your journey toward becoming a personal trainer and that you will consider ACE Fitness for your online personal trainer certification. I truly think that it is the best, most comprehensive (both before and after the exam) program your money can buy!

If you are ready to sign up, click any of the banner links to be taken directly to the necessary page!

Now it is your turn! What do you think of the ACE Fitness certification program? Is the price what you expected? Do you think I am a hypocrite for supporting them with this review? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

If you have any questions about the certification process or the program as a whole, I have been through it and can give you an educated answer!

If you are looking to become a personal trainer, or if you already are one, and you are looking for resources to help enhance yours and your client’s experience, check these posts out below:

If you are looking for equipment or tools to incorporate into your own workouts or in those with future clients, check out these posts:

I hope that those equipment resources will be helpful!

Now, if you are going to be a personal trainer or even if you have another passion, you have the potential to be your own business! One of the ways that you can further your business and make more income is with a fully functional website.

If that is something your are looking for, but have no idea how to go about doing, you are in the right place! Check out my review of my number one recommendation for starting an online business. It is what I have used to create this website and like ACE, it has the absolute best training around:

My Comprehensive Wealthy Affiliate Review

Well everyone, I realize that was a pretty long article, but I wanted to give the best look at the ACE Fitness Personal Trainer Certification possible!

If you like what you read, please consider becoming a subscriber to this website by putting your email in the “Subscribe” box above! You will only receive a notification of when I publish a new post. No spam!

Lastly, if you know someone who has expressed interest in becoming a personal trainer, please pass this article along to them via one or more of the share buttons that have been scrolling down the page with you! I would greatly appreciate you spreading the word about Get Fit On A Budget!

That’s all for now! As always, God bless and Happy Training!