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Best Online Personal Training Software in 2022
After COVID-19 hit in early 2020 the demand for online personal training software soared to new heights. Online training was a sector of the fitness industry that was already growing, but worldwide “stay at home” and “social distancing” orders made online training a necessity for both consumers and trainers virtually overnight.
At Fitness Mentors, we forecasted a demand for this fitness trend long before this happened as today’s technology allows trainers to scale their businesses online and frees them from the constraints of the man-hours needed to make money on in-person training.
Online training is and will be the future of personal training, but it comes with different sets of tools and business structures. This is why online personal training software is so important; it helps personal trainers bridge the gap of fitness and technology, and in a much more streamlined and trackable way.
However, online personal training software is not a one-size-fits-all addition to one’s tool belt. There are many features and benefits of different types of online training software, and the purpose of this research guide is to help trainers navigate the best online personal training software for them.
Below we take a deep dive on the most popular features of online training software for trainers as well as look at popular PT software side-by-side, including:
Ideal Features for Online Personal Training Software
In their most basic form, online personal trainer software exists to help personal trainers manage and connect with their clients. But online personal training software is so much more than that. Check out some of these popular features that are becoming in more demand and consider each one as it relates to your business.
- Client Tracker: Tracking results is a great way for trainers to get feedback to share with their clients. Many softwares also allow clients to access the same fitness tracking data so they can, for example, see how often they’ve worked out, how many calories they’ve burned, or what their next fitness milestones are.
- Client Management: A basic feature consistent with most online personal training software is client management. Client management features serve to decrease your administrative workload and automate processes such as memberships, attendance, lead tracking, clients-specific fitness package delivery, and session sign-ups. This also allows trainers and their clients to communicate via online mediums such as in-app, via text, email, or the phone.
- Client Scheduling: Often a subset of client management, client scheduling features allow trainers and clients to collaborate via an online calendar. This can be used for one-on-one sessions or group fitness classes where students can simply sign up online and trainers can view their upcoming calendars with little to no interaction with students beforehand.
- Payment Processing: If creating and displaying your personal training options on your software for the public to access is one feature, allowing them to purchase them online is another. Many trainers want online training software that allows them to integrate third-party payment applications such as PayPal, Zelle, Venmo, Square, or Stripe.
- Workout Templates: For trainers who want more turn-key features, pre-existing workout templates are a real favorite of the more modern online training softwares. With these workout templates, trainers can, for example, send 10 videos of leg workouts that exist within the software already. Trainers don’t have to spend time or resources creating videos or specific workouts, they can simply plug-in the templates that exist within their software.
- Workout Builder: Along the lines of the above, workout builders are still very popular as they allow the trainer to customize workouts based on videos, PDFs, or other communication mediums. This can also include meal or nutrition planning assets as well.
- Live, Virtual, & On-Demand Training: This option has really been great for a lot of trainers who want to train face-to-face virtually, or record themselves working out and sell training as on-demand packages. The interactive model also works well for group fitness classes.
Considerations of the Type of Personal Trainer You Are
In the Fitness Mentors Certified Online Personal Trainer course, there are six ways online personal trainers can monetize their business:
- Private Personalized Online Training
- Non-Personalized PDF Fitness Programs
- Non-Personalized Video Fitness Programs
- Hybrid Online and In-Person Personal Training
- Live Video Streaming Workouts Online
- Online Group Personal Training
Identifying which type of online training business you run is important as this will greatly dictate the features you need to run your business most effectively. For example, if you are only selling non-personalized PDF fitness programs then you won’t need a software that offers live video streaming functionality.
On the contrary, if you want to conduct live fitness classes virtually, you’ll want to make sure your software has all the bells and whistles you need to make this a success.
Bonus tip for online personal training software: In-person, online or hybrid business models are still very popular. If you are mixing in-person training with your online training, try to find a software that helps manage both types of clients.
Best Online Personal
Training Softwares Compared
Founded in 2015, TrueCoach was built by coaches, for coaches, to tackle pain points for personal trainers and provides the tools to enable sustainable growth. Whether you have 50 clients, or just one, TrueCoach works for you. It takes care of the boring admin work so you can focus on delivering an exceptional experience every time.
TrueCoach allows you to build customized workouts, track metrics, and build relationships with your clients through real-time messaging and detailed feedback—all in-app. It brings you one fully immersive platform that scales along with you in your coaching journey, and along with your clients on their fitness journey.
Client Tracking: Trainers and their clients have access to progress tracking that give metrics over time and more granular views for trainers on items such as goals, access to equipment, nutrition info, and more.
Client Management: TrueCoach has a full suite of client management tools including personalized workout plans, in-app communication, and progress trackers.
Client Scheduling: Trainers can schedule within the software.
Payment Processing: Payments can be processed inside the app. This is built on Stripe.
Workout Templates: TrueCoach currently has over 1,200 videos in their library.
Workout Builder: Trainers can use the workout builder to design and deliver custom workouts.
Live, Virtual, & On-Demand Training: TrueCoach only offers on-demand training videos via uploaded videos.
EASE OF USE
TrueCoach is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars for ease of use.
- Starter: $19/month
- Standard: $49/month
- Pro: $89/month
PT Minder makes taking control of your fitness business as easy as logging into our training software. With everything about your company at your fingertips, you can manage and grow without breaking a sweat. The detailed insights mean you can track client success, payments, and even forecast earnings―it’s that powerful.
Whether training face-to-face, virtually, or in a group, PT Minder has the tools to make scheduling and managing classes flexible and painless for coaches and clients. With client information available at such a granular level, coaches can confidently build relevant nutrition plans and assign them directly to clients. Create your own workout plans, or choose from over 1200 readily available videos, making light work out of remote training.
The fresh design that can be branded to your business is accompanied by a white-glove service team that makes transitioning and using the app fast and straightforward.
Client Tracking: Client progress tracking is available via the app.
Client Management: Client bookings, progress, and payments can be managed inside the app.
Client Scheduling: Clients can book and pay for their training from their smartphones.
Payment Processing: Manage payments through the app with reputable third-party integrations.
Workout Templates: PTminder has a built-in workout library that can be customized for clients.
Workout Builder: Custom workouts can be built and assigned to clients; however, it is unclear if trainers can upload their own workouts to the platform.
Live, Virtual, & On-Demand Training: PTminder appears to offer on-demand training via their templates, but does not appear to offer live or virtual training despite labeling themselves as a virtual training software.
EASE OF USE
PTminder is rated 4.3 out of 5 stars for ease of use.
- 50 Client Plan: $36/month
- 100 Client Plan: $53/month
- 150 Client Plan: $70/month
- 200 Client Plan: $88/month
- Unlimited Plan: $123/month
Save 10% with annual billing.
WeStrive is a simple, but fully-loaded training software. Trainers can build and deliver customizable programs using WeStrive’s exercise library, track client progress, schedule macros, and handle client billing and sales tracking all-in-one. You can also opt to use their free mobile app and customizable website page to assist in client acquisition.
Client Tracking: In addition to PR tracking, progress photos, and habit tracking, WeStrive also allows for nutrition tracking via connection with the Lose It! app.
Client Management: The software has group messaging, customizable schedules, and push notifications.
Client Scheduling: Scheduling can be manual or automated through the app.
Payment Processing: In-app WeStrive Pay option or use a third-party payment option such as PayPal, Stripe, or Shopify.
Workout Templates: Over 1500 custom exercise photos & videos in their library, plus the ability to add your own video content.
Workout Builder: Trainers can build and deliver completely customizable workouts.
Live, Virtual, & On-Demand Training: WeStrive only offers on-demand training videos via uploaded videos.
EASE OF USE
WeStrive is rated 4.7 out of 5 stars for ease of use.
- 1 client – free
- Up to 2 clients- $5/month
- Up to 5 clients- $17/month
- Up to 15 clients- $35/month
Trainers can save 20% by paying annually.
Trainerize is a top-rated personal trainer software that is leveraged by personal trainers, health clubs, and other fitness professionals. Trainers can create custom programs for each client, track results, and communicate through the platform. It also has customizable workout plans and built-in templates. It can be accessed on web browsers, or Apple and Android apps.
Client Tracking: In addition to body stats, uploadable progress photos, and target monitoring, Trainerize also allows for client nutrition tracking via connection with the MyFitnessPal app.
Client Management: The software has in-app video calls, messaging, and push notifications. For leads, clients can be added from the phone, computer, tablet or via email.
Client Scheduling: Scheduling can be automated through the app.
Payment Processing: Trainers can use the in-app Trainerize Pay option or use a third-party payment solution such as PayPal, Stripe, or Shopify.
Workout Templates: Trainerize has over 20 pre-built workouts that can be imported for client use.
Workout Builder: Trainers can upload their workouts or YouTube videos or upload videos in-app.
Live, Virtual, & On-Demand Training: Trainerize only offers on-demand training videos via uploaded videos.
EASE OF USE
Trainerize is rated 3.5 out of 5 for ease of use.
- 1 client- free
- Up to 2 clients- $5/month
- Up to 5 clients- $20/month
- Up to 15 clients- $36/month
Trainers can save 10% on yearly billing.
Mindbody is used by small to medium-sized businesses and is known as a compatible software for a variety of health and fitness companies. In addition to the normal client management and scheduling features, it also offers staff management features which makes it ideal for personal training businesses with multiple employers or users.
Client Tracking: Fitness progress is monitored by FitMetrix, Mindbody’s tool to review things like heart rate, calorie burn, and equipment reservations.
Client Management: Client management features include individual client profiles, email tracking and renewals, and a client-facing portal.
Client Scheduling: Brandable booking and scheduling features make for an intuitive calendar.
Payment Processing: Clients can pay online through the app or memberships can be set up for automatic payments.
Workout Templates: No pre-existing workout templates available.
Workout Builder: No pre-existing workout building programs appear to be available.
Live, Virtual, & On-Demand Training: Integrated within the software is the ability to live stream workouts or provide pre-recorded, on-demand videos.
EASE OF USE
Mindbody is rated 4 out of 5 stars for ease of use.
- Starter- $129/month
- Accelerate- $259/month
- Ultimate- $399/month
- Ultimate Plus- $599/month\
Virtuagym provides software for trainers as well as other fitness professionals. In addition to turn-key client management features, goal tracking, and billing, the software is unique in that it allows trainers to sell their own products through the platform.
Client Tracking: Client progress tracking is available and can include exercises, food plans and progress metrics.
Client Management: Client management features include client sign-ins, invoicing, and a branded fitness app.
Client Scheduling: Clients can book automatically through the app.
Payment Processing: Automatic invoicing or one-off invoicing is available along with integrations with all major payment providers.
Workout Templates: Virtuagym contains over 4,500 3D exercises, boasting the biggest exercise database of any software.
Workout Builder: Trainers can create digital plans from the 3D exercises and duplicate templates.
Live, Virtual, & On-Demand Training: Virtuagym only appears to offer on-demand training via the 3D training builders.
EASE OF USE
Virtuagym is rated 3.5 out of 5 stars for ease of use.
- Starts at $29/month*
*Pricing not available on Virtuagym website.
Vagaro is a multi-faceted personal training software that is also used within the beauty and wellness industries. It can be used for common features such as online bookings, reminders, payment processing and bookkeeping, but also has an inventory management system for trainers who sell physical products.
Client Tracking: Trainers can track clients’ workouts, meal plans, birthdays and more.
Client Management: Trainers have access to a dashboard to generate custom reports, view client retention, review client preferences, generate custom forms, and create memberships.
Client Scheduling: Clients are able to schedule their training sessions via the app, on Facebook, Yelp, or Facebook.
Payment Processing: Payments can be processed from the Vagaro app as well as with hardware such as cash drawers, credit card readers and more.
Workout Templates: Vagaro does not appear to have a workout library.
Workout Builder: Vagaro does not appear to have workout builder functionality.
Live, Virtual, & On-Demand Training: Trainers can use Vagaro for virtual classes and live stream with notification reminders on email, text, and via push notification.
EASE OF USE
Vagaro is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars for ease of use.
- 1 trainer: Free
- 2 trainers: $10/month
- 3 trainers: $20/month
- 4 trainers: $30/month
- 5 trainers: $40/month
- 6 trainers: $50/month
- 7+ trainers: $60/month
What Is the Best Online
Personal Training Software?
As you have learned above, each personal training software offers something slightly different. Upon analyzing these overviews, you should have a better idea of what may or may not work for you. This is not an exhaustive list of features, so you should try to determine which features you absolutely need and then remove available software options from your list to narrow things down.
Once you have narrowed your options down it is important to try and determine which PT software is right for you. You can consider the features and integrations, input from other trainers in your network, the needs of your clients, the brand power behind the software, pricing, and a whole slew of other factors.
There really is no best personal training software; the best personal training software is the one that best fits your needs and budget. The decision is a rather big commitment as you’ll likely end up placing all of your clients and employees on one piece of software and dedicate a lot of time to setting it all up.
I encourage you to take you time with this decision, try a few demos, and find some third-party review sites. With the right software you’ll be saving a lot of time, creating an invaluable experience for your clients, and helping build your company. Choose wisely and let me know if you have any questions or have any experience with any of the software companies mentioned in the comments.
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Best Online Personal Trainer Certification
What Cert is Best for You?
We designed this quiz to help you choose the perfect certification based on your learning style and goals.
Watch Our Video: Best Online Personal Trainer Certification
Table of Contents
There has never been a better time to invest in a certification as an online personal trainer.
Not only is the industry as a whole earmarked for expansion — the BLS forecasts a 13% growth rate through 2028 — but the success of brands like Peloton, Mirror, and other online fitness options showcase America’s desire for convenient and at-home training.
Couple this with the closure and uncertain future of many gyms due to coronavirus and you have a cocktail of opportunity for those trainers who are able to adapt to the times.
That said, it may seem like a no-brainer to get an Online Personal Trainer Certification but therein lies the question: what is the best online personal trainer certification and which is right for me?
Luckily for you, Fitness Mentors has done the heavy lifting for you and compiled this list of the best personal training certifications based on the following objective criteria:
- Accreditation: third-party certifying bodies who ensure the health, safety, and standards for the industry.
- Price: the costs associated with the online CPT cert.
- Mentorship Structure: the interaction you can expect with mentors.
- Primary Focus of Education: the primary educational focus you can expect from a particular certification.
- Program Duration: how long the program takes to complete.
- Location of Certification: the country the certification derives from.
- Sign-up Process: what can you expect from the sales and onboarding process.
Today we’ll be looking at these popular online personal trainer certification options:
- Fitness Mentors Certified Online Personal Trainer
- Online Trainer Academy
- Online Trainers Federation
- PT Distinction University
But before we begin, let’s distinguish some very important characteristics of online personal training certifications and personal trainer certifications you can get online.
Online Personal Trainer Certification VS Personal Trainer Certification Online
Our focus today is on online personal trainer certifications, or certifications that help you learn how to train clients online. Personal trainer certifications online refer to the standard in-person personal training certifications with online study options. An example of the latter would be the Fitness Mentors Certified Personal Trainer course, a class dedicated to certify trainers with the needed credential to train in-person clients.
Now that we are all clear on the differences between the two, let’s learn more about the best online personal training certifications.
Accreditation is one of the most important aspects for personal trainer certifications as it sets the stage for trust and authority. Without an accreditation, trainers (and clients) won’t really know if any professional organization has reviewed the certification curriculum to determine its efficacy.
For consumers, this also ensures their online trainer has gone through the required education to ensure their success and safety. There are certain limitations that exist with an online training environment and a certification helps trainers safely deal with those challenges through additional perspective and understanding of variables — such as form, injury prevention, and communication — that don’t exist as clearly via online mediums.
As it stands today, Fitness Mentors is the only company nationally recognized by the National Board of Fitness Examiners (NBFE), or any other esteemed certification body, to offer an online personal training certification.
Unfortunately, all other online training programs are not third-party reviewed or certified. This is partly due to the fact that online personal training is so new and likely due to the fact that a third-party accreditation is not free for a certification body. Thirdly, most online personal trainer courses are not steeped in science backed information but rather marketability, which makes them unlikely candidates for a third-party accreditation.
Personal Trainer Takeaway: A online personal trainer certification is not a requirement to coach online, however, it does showcase the quality and credibility of a certification as it relates to the trainers and the emphasis on science, business/marketing skills and a college-level curriculum. If this is important to you, the Fitness Mentors Certified Online Personal Trainer is an ideal choice.
The Price includes the cheapest study option and final exam, where relevant. Keep in mind, however, that each of these products is not a formal certification, some are geared to be marketing tools above all else. They are noted accordingly.
Fitness Mentors: $699. Option to add a weekly mentorship program for $199/month.
TribeFit: $3,500 (3 month coaching program). Not a certification.
Online Trainer Academy: $799 for shortened course and $1,999 for complete course. Also offer level 2 Mentorship for a Monthly fee (Estimated at $400-$1000 per month)
Online Trainers Federation: Their bare bones intro course (not a certification), OC 101, is $199. It only runs twice per year, with the goal to upgrade you to the Elite which is estimated to run $300 – $600 per month.
PT Distinction University: Various courses with a la carte pricing. $1,100 for complete course package. Not a Certification.
Personal Trainer Takeaway: There are a lot of options for courses and the depth of the educational options are reflected in the costs. If you are just looking for one-off courses on very specific knowledge, the PT Distinction University has the lowest barrier to entry in terms of cost. You’ll sacrifice depth of knowledge here, however. If you are looking for in-depth knowledge from the ground up on how to become an online trainer, create a business, and market it, the most comprehensive courses are the Fitness Mentors COPT and Online Trainer Academy.
What Cert is Best for You?
We designed this quiz to help you choose the perfect certification based on your learning style and goals.
Today’s trainers may feel a bit overwhelmed when trying to take in all the components of online training. In addition to knowledge in program design, physiology, injury prevention, and client achievement, certain aspects of online training can be particularly challenging.
For example, learning how to set up your business for online training, taking your business online if you have existing in-person clients, learning how to generate online leads, and caring for clients via online mediums can be a struggle for many trainers unaccustomed to these challenges.
Each program may have different approaches in terms of access to mentors versus having students solely rely on the digital assets they are provided.
The Fitness Mentors Certified Online Personal Trainer has roots in college-level curriculum creation and has established real trainers as mentors into its program. In addition to access to instructors via phone or email, students can also leverage Facebook support groups to ask questions and help them gain real-world understanding of course contents.
TribeFit is thought to provide email access to a competitor. It was difficult to find any info on the site.
The Online Trainer Academy also provides direct access to fitness business mentors via online chat and phone, as well as engagement with Facebook. Their Level 2 appears to have a weekly mentorship call, but exact information is not posted on their site.
Online Trainers Federation: Students have access to a Facebook group with non-paying students and paid students as well as the option for a weekly call that is only included in the Elite Program. Difficult to find any info on the site.
PT Distinction University has little to no mentor interaction as it seems the entire suite of coursework is built into their bundles or modules.
Personal Trainer Takeaway: The concept of online personal training can be daunting for some and access to real mentors invaluable in determining success. For trainers who are interested in a legit point of contact that is dedicated to your understanding of important concepts, opt for a certification with access to mentorship.
Primary Focus of Education
As you can imagine, there is a lot of overlap in terms of some of the education you’ll take away from each course. Rather than focusing on the similarities, below is an overview of what makes each program unique:
Fitness Mentors Certified Online Personal Trainer: Fitness Mentors’ COPT goes in-depth on business structure and learning how to build and sell an online business based on one of the six business models online trainers use (or the combination of the six). Additionally, they provide info and all templates on nutrition programs, online assessments, structuring memberships, affiliate programs, and other monetization models. Also included are brandable program design templates so you can start training immediately online. View their entire curriculum here.
TribeFit: TribeFit’s focus is on marketing your business and building out your online training sales funnel. Difficult to find any further info on the site.
Online Trainer Academy: OTA provides access to a physical textbook (digital as well) that some students really like. Their course also includes sales scripts, social media scripts and other documents that you can use to operate your business.
Online Trainers Federation: OTF is geared towards health and fitness professionals that have experience with in-person clients but want to help scale their business to service online clients. They admittedly mention that if you are not a coach already, the program probably is not for you.
PT Distinction University: PTDU provides students access to modules they can leverage as they see fit. A particularly unique option is the course with access to previously recorded webinars from fitness gurus.
Personal Trainer Takeaway: Each trainer is unique in their approach and goal with online personal training. Those that want a ground-up baseline for building and scaling their business should go for one of the programs that focus on all aspects of online training such as FM COPT or the OTA. If you are a trainer that is more concerned with marketing an existing online business then TribeFit, OTF, or PTDU may be a better fit.
Program duration refers to how much time it takes to complete the course or the investment of learning you can expect from each course.
- Fitness Mentors: 60-80 hours or one to two months, self-paced.
- TribeFit: 3 months
- Online Trainer Academy: 32 hours of content, self-paced.
- Online Trainers Federation: 2 weeks for OC 101 introductory course. Elite course is continuous weekly meetings.
- PT Distinction University: A la carte courses with varying lengths, self-paced.
Personal Trainer Takeaway: Consider the length of the course into your final decision as it relates to how quickly you may be able to monetize online training. However, consider that the more knowledge-rich courses will obviously demand a greater time investment for good reason.
Location of Certification
The Location of Certification refers to the country where the certifying company is located.
Fitness Mentors: USA
Online Trainer Academy: Canada
Online Trainers Federation: Canada
PT Distinction University: UK
We found that many courses have a considerable amount of salemenship involved in the sign-up process. Some students interviewed did not like that they were pressured to purchase a course via a sales call and preferred the straightforward approach of an easy checkout process. In the Online Training Education industry sales calls are used for very high ticket products to try and build the most value.
- Fitness Mentors: Open enrollment, start when ready, proceed at your own pace. No pushy sales calls.
- TribeFit: Introductory call and then a sales call.
- Online Trainer Academy: Open enrollment, start when ready, proceed at your own pace. No pushy sales calls.
- Online Trainers Federation: Enrollment once every six months for intro course. Sales call required for the Elite program.
- PT Distinction University: Open enrollment, start when ready, proceed at your own pace. No pushy sales calls.
Personal Trainer Takeaway: When it comes to the online world, many of us like it because it is convenient. Numerous students we spoke to strongly disliked having any sort of sales calls involved to get started with a course and preferred options where they could checkout online and interact with mentors on an as-needed basis.
Online Personal Trainer Certification FAQ
How do I become an online personal trainer?
To become an online personal trainer it is advisable to first have a certification in personal training. Then, it is up to you to choose the type of online training you want to offer clients and how to market your services.
How much should I charge for online personal training?
The amount you charge for online personal training greatly depends on the service you offer, your experience as a trainer, competitor rates, the economy, the target population of your services, and your cost to train a client.
How big is the online personal training and coaching space?
There are 330,000 personal training jobs forecast in the US by 2026. The exact number practicing online training is unknown.
What is the most effective approach to starting an online personal training business?
The best approach to starting an online personal training business is to transition your existing in-person clients over to online clients. This allows you to get better at online training and expand your existing services to further monetize existing clients rather than starting from scratch.
Is online training as good as in-person training?
Online training has many advantages over in-person training including: time-savings, flexibility, recording options, cheaper training sessions for clients, sharing of digital assets (meal plans, DIY workout programs, etc). They are different but can be equally effective in terms of client results.
So What is the Best Online Personal Trainer Certification?
The best online personal trainer certification is the one that is best for you. Each course has its own unique product position as well as educational focus. Some focus on the full stack of knowledge you’d want to know about understanding the industry, focusing on a niche, and building a business from scratch. Others assume you already have training experience and are just adding another element to your offerings in the digital space. Other certs focus extensively on marketing and bypass business development fundamentals altogether.
At the end of the day the choice is a subjective one. You have to ask yourself what you want to get out of an online personal training certification and then find the course that works best for your specific goals.
If you have any questions about any of the courses we covered or want to provide some suggestions based on your experiences with the course, please leave them in the comments below.
Table of Contents
5 Best Health Coach Certifications for 2022
We’ll be taking a closer look at these popular health coach certifications:
- ISSA Health Coach Certification (Click for exclusive Promotions)
- Fitness Mentors Health Coach Certification (Click for Promotions)
- NASM Online Health Coach Bundle (Click for Promotions)
- ACE Health Coach Certification (Click for Promotions)
- ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach
- AFPA Health & Wellness Coach Certification
- Primal Health Coach Program
On your quest to get certified as a health coach you’re likely starting with some of the same questions many prospective students have.
Which health coach certification should I get? How much does a health coach certification cost? What kind of jobs can I get with a health coach certification and how much can I make?
The questions go beyond the above, so we wanted to provide this in-depth guide on the best health coach certifications available dissected by four important factors:
- Primary focus of education
- Program prerequisites
- Program duration
Before we dive into the above four criteria let’s discuss what a health coach is and how to get a health coach certification:
What is a Health Coach?
Health coaches are credentialed healthcare professionals who provide support and mentorship to clients through personalized food and lifestyle recommendations to help them accomplish health goals.
How to Become a Certified Health Coach
Step 1: Determine Your Prerequisites
Unlike many other health and wellness certifications, certified health coach bodies have varying requirements for their prerequisites. For example, ACE requires their students to be 18 or older, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and a CPR/AED certification. The Duke Integrative Medicine Program requires a bachelor’s degree or 3-5 years of experience in a medical or allied health field. The AFPA only requires that participants are 18 or older.
In short, there are no uniform guidelines to become a certified health coach; each body will have its own prerequisites that should factor into your decision.
Step 2: Find the Best Health Coach Certification for YOU
The “best health coach certification” does not exist. The decision is an individual one as there is no best option for everyone. Each certification has its pros and cons, education focus, and elements that make the best option different for everyone.
Step 3: Prepare for Your Exam & Pass!
We recommend setting a realistic deadline for your exam date and scheduling it in advance. Students who don’t set a date may suffer from long term procrastination and never end up taking the time needed to prepare. Further, some certification bodies require that you schedule your exam in a certain time period after your initial registration.
Once your exam is complete and you earn your certification, you are ready to start working with clients!
Step 4: Start Working with Health Coach Clients
Once certified, you have the credentials and knowledge needed to take on clients. You can now focus your efforts on marketing your brand or landing a job as a certified health coach and helping others achieve their health and wellness goals.
Now that you know what’s needed to enter the health coach industry, let’s look at some important considerations of each health coach certification to learn the best one for you!
Best Health Coach Certification: An Objective Look into 4 Key Criteria
The costs of each respective health coach certification are not really apples-to-apples. Some courses are much more in-depth than others and this is reflected in their costs. The cost-to-value benefit will greatly depend on the educational nature of the material and what it may mean to your career.
From a pure cost perspective, the ACE Health Coach Certification is the cheapest health coach certification we found at $599. It frequently goes on sale and was actually under $450 at the time of our research. At $699, the AFPA Health & Wellness Coach Certification is the second cheapest. These two bodies are well-known for their personal trainer certifications while the other more expensive options seem to be much more focused on health coaching exclusively.
The most expensive health coaching certification was $9,997, provided by ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach. The Duke Integrative Medicine Health Coach Professional Training Program and the Primal Health Coach Program are around the same price, at $4,400 and $4,495, respectively.
|ACE Health Coach Certification||Basic- $599 | Plus- $749|
|Fitness Mentors Health Coach Certification||$699 | Virtual Health Coach Bundle $999|
|ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach||Advance- $9,997 | Monthly- $899|
|AFPA Health & Wellness Coach Certification||$699|
|Duke Integrative Medicine Health Coach Professional Training Program||$4,400|
|Primal Health Coach Program||$4,495|
Primary Focus of Education
The below information was taken from the websites of the respective certification bodies. Note that the site’s don’t necessarily have a clean, succinct focus blurb.
ACE Health Coach Certification: Rooted in behavior-change science and the principles of lifestyle medicine, the study and training program addresses all the core competencies of health coaching within a single learning experience. You will learn practical and effective strategies that can be implemented to facilitate lifestyle change and positively impact health and well-being.
ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach: The ADAPT Health Coach Training Program is a year-long, virtual course that offers instruction in everything you need to establish and grow your coaching career. [The] course gives you the skills you need to help others and change your own life in the process.
AFPA Health & Wellness Coach Certification: AFPA Certified Health & Wellness Coaches help their clients make powerful lifestyle behavioral shifts that lead to: Greater life satisfaction;
Better emotional and physical performance; Less disease. As a Certified Coach, you’ll develop tailored wellness plans for your clients to integrate into their lives and teach clients how to be accountable, follow through, and reach their goals.
Duke Integrative Medicine Health Coach Professional Training Program: Gain an understanding of the science of behavior change, personal health planning, the Wheel of Health, and mindful awareness; Learn the essential elements of Integrative Health Coaching and how to apply them with individuals and groups; Acquire the coaching expertise needed to successfully motivate others to adopt positive behaviors for sustainable health and wellness.
Primal Health Coach Program: Primal health incorporates diet and nutrition within a holistic framework that includes exercise, stress management, sun exposure, and lifestyle behaviors.
Primary Focus of Education
Behavior-change science and the principles of lifestyle medicine
ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach
Behavior-change, conflict resolution, “ancestral nutrition,” business and professional development
AFPA Health & Wellness Coach Certification
Behavior-change, emotional and physical performance, disease prevention
Duke Integrative Medicine Health Coach Professional Training Program
Behavior-change, experiential practice, personal health planning, sustainable wellness
Primal Health Coach Program
Nutrition/health education, coaching training, business building, infrastructure for the operation of your practice.
As mentioned, the program prerequisites for health coaching certifications vary more than perhaps any other health or wellness certification. Here is what you can expect from each body:
ACE Health Coach Certification: To sit for the ACE Health Coach Certification Exam, you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Hold a current adult CPR and AED certificate including live skills check
- Present a current government-issued photo ID with signature (driver’s license, passport or military ID).
ACE allows requires at least one of the following:
- Current NCCA-accredited certification in fitness, nutrition, healthcare, wellness, human resources or a related field
- An associate degree or higher from an accredited college or university in fitness, exercise science, nutrition, healthcare, wellness or a related field
- A completed health coach training and education program approved by the National Board for Health and Wellness Coaches (NBHWC)
- A minimum of two years of documented work experience in coaching, leading, designing, implementing, or facilitating one or more of the following: behavior or lifestyle change, exercise, wellness, nutrition, or physical activity
ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach: You automatically qualify for ADAPT if you; have a professional license, certification, or associate’s degree or higher in any healthcare or wellness-related field, or; have at least two years of full-time work experience in a healthcare or wellness-related field.
Prospective students can also fill out an eligibility form if they do not meet the above requirements.
AFPA Health & Wellness Coach Certification: Qualification for the AFPA entails:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Have a solid understanding of the English language.
Duke Integrative Medicine Health Coach Professional Training Program: Applicants to the Duke program must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, which may be in any field of study. Exceptions may be made for those with 3-5 years of experience in a medical or allied health field such as medicine, nursing, physical therapy, health education, exercise physiology, psychotherapy, or nutrition.
Primal Health Coach Program: Primal health has no prerequisites whatsoever.
18 years old; hold a current CPR/AED*
ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach
2-years full time work experience in healthcare, or; a professional license, certification, or associate’s degree or higher in healthcare
AFPA Health & Wellness Coach Certification
18 years old
Duke Integrative Medicine Health Coach Professional Training Program
Bachelor’s degree, or; 3-5 years of experience in a medical field
Primal Health Coach Program
ACE Health Coach Certification: The ACE program is self-paced although preparation usually takes 80 to 100 hours. The exam is good for 6 months from the purchase date of your study program. 150 Questions (125 scored and 25 experimental questions) are on the exam.
ADAPT Certified Functional Health Coach: The ADAPT program is a year-long program with an estimated time commitment of 10 to 12 hours per week
AFPA Health & Wellness Coach Certification: The AFPA program is self-paced however students will need to complete the exam within six months of enrollment.
Duke Integrative Medicine Health Coach Professional Training Program: Duke offers both an in-person course and an online course:
- In-person: this course totals eight days of two, 4-day modules, six to eight weeks apart.
- Online: the online course is 18-weeks and is comprised of 16 live, 3-hour webinars, once a week.
Primal Health Coach Program: The Primal program is self-paced and consists of 20 comprehensive chapters that are estimated to take 60 to 100 hours to complete.
FAQS About Health Coach Certifications
Do health coaches need certification?
While anyone can say they are a health coach, only certified health coaches will be able to showcase the credentials, education, and support from third-party organizations dedicated to ensuring proper client care and results. Further, getting a job with a health coach certification will be much easier to obtain.
Do health coaches need college degrees?
Health coaches don’t need college degrees for some certifications, while others do require them.
How much is a health coach certification?
Health coach certification costs range from $600 to nearly $10,000. These costs vary depending on the length, curriculum, and prestige of the course.
How long does it take to become a certified health coach?
Many health coach certifications can be obtained in as little as three months. Other courses may take up to a year.
Where can you work with a health coach certificate?
There are a number of career opportunities available to certified health coaches including those within college and university settings; within wellness centers and gyms; within corporate wellness programs; within weight loss programs; at training centers; and as entrepreneurial ventures such as within a consulting capacity.
What do Certified Health Coach Salaries look like?
According to Glassdoor, the average base pay for a Certified Health Coach is $46,764. More experienced health coaches can expect to make upwards of $70,000 a year.
Health Coach Certification Takeaway
According to data from the BLS, the health coach job market is likely to grow 11% over the next decade, making it a great option for in-demand work. As health and wellness continues to dominate conversations around the US and the world, certified health coaches will always be needed to help implement positive change amongst individuals and groups.
To get into this high demand market, you first need to get certified. With the information above determine the best health coach certification for your career goals and start your career path with confidence and a sound background in which to help clients.
If you need help determining which health coach certification is right for you, leave a comment or reach out to us directly.
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Comparing Online Trainer Academy VS Fitness Mentors Certified Online Personal Trainer:
What’s the best online personal training certification?
An online personal training certification can be one of the most important pieces of education you’ll receive in your online business. With a structured course like the Online Trainer Academy or the Fitness Mentors Certified Online Personal Trainer you’ll have a good idea of how to monetize this hot trend in fitness and make money while you sleep.
In terms of what you’ll learn and what you’ll take away from each program, there are some major differences. Each program has its own strengths, so before you choose one it pays to understand which might be the best for you.
What to know about the Online Trainer Academy and the Fitness Mentors
Certified Online Personal Trainer courses
The Online Trainer Academy (OTA) was the first of its kind and has built its reputation on the back of the Personal Trainer Development Center (thePTDC) website and its founder, Jonathan Goodman, a leading voice in the personal training industry for helping trainers succeed. The course includes video lecture presentations as well as textbook reading. The contents of the course are well-regarded for mindset management and overcoming mental roadblocks.
The Fitness Mentors Certified Online Personal Trainer (FM COPT) course is a 100% online, cutting edge course built by leading fitness education site Fitness Mentors. The head instructor, Eddie Lester, created the site based on years of experience as a trainer and college instructor teaching certifications. The course is centered around helping trainers determine the best type of business model to utilize, provides real mentorship from actual online trainers, a Facebook support group, and promises to teach the true application of online training concepts.
Online Trainer Academy has one package with two payment options: pay in full at $1,999 or use their 6-month payment plan for $366 a month (or $2,196).
Fitness Mentors COPT course offers two pricing tiers of $699 and $1,299, both considerably less expensive than the OTA. The $699 package, Online Trainer Pro, also offers a payment plan of $266 a month for 3 months (or $798). This package includes the final exam, a digital textbook, lecture video presentations, audio book lectures, actionable assignments, bonus learning videos, business templates, templates from other successful online trainers, and an online support group.
The more intensive of the packages, Online Trainer Elite with Live Online 6 Week Course, offers everything in the Online Trainer Pro package with live online classes. It also includes a 6-week live online business course, and lifetime online trainer career mentorship.
Comparing the OTA and the FM COPT on price
For the price conscious trainer, the FM Online Trainer Pro comes in at full $1,300 cheaper than the OTA product and provides a certification that is recognized by the National Board of Fitness Examiners. This makes the OTA course almost three times more expensive.
Overall education comparison
The core of the OTA course is based on video presentations and accompanying textbook reading. In all, there are about 14 hours of content where students will watch a video lecture and engage in some chapter reading. One-on-one feedback is available to fitness business mentors via online chats.
The OTA course is comprised of five modules:
- Getting Started- Determining what sets you apart from competitors; deciding what to charge; how to get your first few online clients.
- Structuring Your Business- Process-driven education on how to setup your online PT business, done-for-you intake forms, legal documents, etc.
- Taking Care of Clients- How to take care of clients and deliver great results.
- How to Get Clients- Learning how to teach clients about how you deliver results.
- Bonus: Skills Module- Tutorials on sales copy, online marketing, product packaging and pricing, and hiring.
OTA also has some additional coursework on Facebook/Instagram, and website success.
The FM COPT course is 100% online, includes over 60 hours of content including video lectures, slide presentations, actionable assignments, and chapter reading. The coursework was created by PhDs, college professors, and active online personal trainers. The active phone number is also a selling point for students who want to be able to ask questions to a live person on the fly.
The FM COPT is made up of five major learning sections:
- Prepare Your Business- Step-by-step instructions for starting an online business and creating services to be successful online.
- Take Your Business Online- Educational principles on how to transition your business from in-person training to online training.
- Generate Leads to Grow Your Business- Learning skills on digital marketing such as Content creation, SEO, web design, social media, and paid advertising.
- Convert Sales- Learning how to utilize your own sales personality to set efficient pricing and close sales.
- Care for Your Clients- Retaining clients is of utmost importance to a successful online PT business. This section teaches best practices for supporting your clients and generating consistent income.
Comparing the OTA and the FM COPT on education
There are some overlapping principles contained in both programs as to be expected. Both aim to prepare you for online training and how to setup your business for maximum efficiency and marketing. The learning materials of the OTA are about 14 hours, where the learning materials of the FM-COPT are around 60 hours. The FM-COPT also has a great deal more logical course progression given that it is created by former college professors, PhD’s, and those intertwined with professional course development. Further, the active phone number for the FM-COPT(424-675-0476) and online Facebook group makes it easy for students to engage with teachers and their peers.
Both courses also provide turn-key assets that allow the trainer to quickly on-board clients. FM COPT has 12 premade online training programs, 12 premade nutrition programs, and whitelabeled templates so you can easily add your branding and info to every program. The OTA has these types of assets as well, but they are mostly based in Google Docs (Google Survey’s, Google Sheets, etc).
The OTA website says that the course can be finished in 8-12 weeks with 3-5 hours of study time each week. There are no completion deadlines and lifetime access is provided. In short, the program is self-paced.
The FM-COPT can be completed in one month if 2-3 hours of aggressive studying are done each day. This approach is not for everyone, but is an option for those trainers who want to learn business skills quickly. A 1-2 month completion is recommended by Fitness Mentors as they say it is more compact in nature and provides the best opportunity for optimal comprehension.
Comparing the OTA and the FM COPT on course duration
Both courses can be completed quickly, however, Fitness Mentors has a study timeline that allows completion in one month. It is likely that both courses should be completed within 8 weeks for optimal comprehension.
The OTA course is made up of five modules before getting to the final exam. Each module has 7-10 chapters, and they are followed by four bonus mini courses. The final is 60 questions, with a passing score of 75% or higher required to graduate. Any retakes after the first test are $50 per test.
The FM COPT is built more along the lines of what you’d expect from a well-designed college course, with step-by-step curriculum, and a career application as the primary focus. This leads up to an exam with 50 multiple choice questions. A score of 70% or better is required to receive the certification, and two exam attempts are provided. Failure to pass the exam on the first two attempts will result in a retest fee of $50.
Comparing the OTA and the FM COPT on exam
The biggest takeaway with the exams is that the FM COPT places more emphasis on a National Board of Fitness Examiners recognition, and an exam to reinforce the true takeaway of the concepts. Both are around the same number of questions, although the COPT allows two chances before a retake fee and the OTA only one.
What trainers think
The OTA has been around for a bit longer than the FM COPT and has a great deal of reviews with lots of high praise. Trainers that like mindset management and mental toughness types of learning will enjoy the OTA course. Further, the OTA provides a good number of premade templates, questionnaires, and resources to help trainers get started engaging with clients right away.
Trainers who transition from in-person training full or part-time love the Fitness Mentors COPT. It is the only program that teaches trainers about all six of the possible models of online training and provides education in a college-like, yet user-friendly, setting that allows trainers to build an online business, scale it, and market it.
Comparing the OTA and the FM COPT on what trainers think
Trainers are trustworthy of products that come out of thePTDC/Jonathon Goodman camp because they know their/his materials to be well-respected in the industry. However, trainers who opt for the cheaper, new kid on the block FM COPT are pleasantly surprised on how the former college instructors have a knack for making students truly comprehend what they’re taught.
Adoption & reviews
Online Trainer Academy
Common reviews from around the web mention some similar strengths and weaknesses of the OTA course. There are also a lot of affiliate relationships with the OTA course meaning many online reviewers are getting paid should their review lead you to a sale of the OTA product. These reviews are obviously going to be a bit more biased and in favor of all things OTA.
The strengths of the program, as exemplified in this review, are the multiple learning formats — digital portal, physical textbooks, and video — that the OTA provides. This student in particular mentions he got a textbook sent to him in Thailand for no extra charge.
Another reviewer said the course paid for itself within three months of graduating. They also said the OTA course makes no illusions that online training is not easy, which they appreciated. On the negative side, this reviewer said the fact that the course has no deadlines may make it difficult for some people to complete it, something that other reviewers mentioned as well.
Other negatives on the OTA from reviewers cite that there is not enough guidance on the information provided. On the plus side, there is a lot of good info, however, some graduates felt that it was hard to know what to do without guidance on all that information.
Fitness Mentors Certified Online Personal Trainer
Reviewers of the FM COPT praise it for providing real person mentorship and support groups to talk application over with Fitness Mentors’ employees or a peer group. Reviewers also liked the various different digital learning formats Fitness Mentors provides such as the — digital textbook, videos, audio books, business templates, and support groups.
The FM COPT has also received acclaim for providing actionable advice on how to transition clients over to a hybrid model of in-person and online before going all-in with online training. Further, the structuring of the course contents to identify step-by-step how to create an online business that is based on your interests in fitness and wellness was also praised.
The shortcomings of the FM COPT are brand awareness of the certification. Trainers thought that clients would not place much merit in it. Another negative of the FM COPT mentioned by one reviewer was the lack of a physical textbook.
Comparing the OTA and the FM COPT on adoption and reviews
Overall, there are no glaring negative reviews with either course. Students of either course may be surprised how in-depth the curriculum is and how much there is to learn about online training. For many students, having access to support groups or mentors was highly valued and where the OTA fell short. For the FM COPT, its freshness to the market may turn some trainers off who are more familiar with thePTDC brand.
Comparing the Online Trainer Academy VS Fitness Mentors Certified Online Personal Trainer
For new trainers: It’s a draw, as the OTA is great at motivation and the FM COPT understands the psychology of teaching better than most fitness bodies.
For seasoned trainers: FM COPT, as the program has a focus on transitioning existing trainers to savvy online trainers.
For those with an existing web presence: FM COPT, as the program goes more in-depth with the various types of online businesses, or combinations of them, you can start. It also has brandable templates you can leverage immediately to sell and provide instantly to clients. These templates include complete fitness programs for all goals which allows you to focus on client care and acquisition as opposed to programming.