FM VS NASM: Which CPT is for You?

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A career in personal training can be a lucrative and rewarding one! And the CPT you choose is important in getting you on the path that’s suited to your goals. 

Here, we will quickly help you determine which certification is fit for you. 

We’ll go over the specifics of both the Fitness Mentors and NASM and the differences you’ll find. We hope this is helps bring you one step closer to starting your training career!

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What is Fitness Mentors?

Fitness Mentors is the go-to certification for trainers wanting to work independently, build a business, or train clients remotely.

The Fitness Mentors team is composed of industry veterans and entrepreneurs. These mentors combine their experience to help students not only pass their FM-CPT, but help them use it to build a long-term training career. When students choose Fitness Mentors, they gain the required skill sets needed to provide as much value as possible to their clients as an online personal trainer and ultimately, experience the most success with their business.

What is NASM?

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) has been around for over 3 decades and has a reputation for being one of the largest certifying bodies. 

NASM develops its training and knowledge programs based on scientific and evidence-based research, and also has global partnerships that certify trainers around the world.

How can Fitness Mentors and NASM elevate your career opportunities?

Based on the data discussed above and below, NASM gets a point for their brand recognition and the popularity of the certification; however, this factor is highly subjective and will not be the determining factor that will affect your ability to train clients properly or get a job. 

Both Fitness Mentors and NASM fair evenly. If you are in search for factors that are most important to you like exam difficulty, CEU requirements, and career and business specific knowledge consider Fitness Mentors. 

Pricing of Fitness Mentors vs. NASM

Fitness Mentors has a much more affordable starting cost and includes a bit more to hit the ground running. This certification course starts at $499 for the self-study option.

  • 100% Online Course
  • NCCA Accredited Exam 
  • Digital Textbook
  • Powerpoint presentations
  • Audiobook lecture
  • Exercise Video Library
  • Practice Exams & Quizzes
  • Discord community support
  • Unlimited team support with the FM coaches
  • Online certification exam
  • Unlimited Educational Support with on-staff coaches

*Note: prices are subject to change, and terms and conditions may apply.

NASM starts at $799* for the basic self-study option (Click here for 30% Off). This cost includes:

  • 100% Online Course
  • NCCA Accredited Exam 
  • NASM-CPT Digital Textbook
  • Content Learning Videos
  • Exercise Video Library
  • Practice Exams & Quizzes

For the premium self-study option, the cost is $1,099*

Pass Rate of Fitness Mentors vs. NASM

While both exams require extensive study and knowledge, Fitness Mentors’ pass rate is much higher. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier material.

Fitness Mentors Pass Rate: 89.9%

NASM Pass Rate: 64.3%


The focus of education:

Fitness Mentors: General fitness training with an emphasis on program design, business and sales, and career growth.

NASM: Exercise technique, corrective exercise, imbalance, and training instruction.

Number of Test Questions on the Fitness Mentors vs. NASM

Fitness Mentors has one of the best reported testing experiences for students. So if you’re a test-taker who needs a bit of extra time to think, or has a tendency to cave under the pressure of being timed, Fitness Mentors may be the better choice for you.

Fitness Mentors: 100 multiple choice questions with an allotted 120 minutes, online, remote, and not proctored (70% or better is passing)

NASM: 120 questions with an allotted 120 minutes, proctored, multiple choice (70% or higher is passing)

To increase pass rates of the NASM exam, students often use third-party educators like Fitness Mentors to provide more in-depth education and study tools.

Continued Education Requirements for Fitness Mentors vs. NASM

Maintaining your certification is a requirement of both Fitness Mentors and NASM. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) come with an additional cost throughout your personal training career. It’s essential to consider these costs and the time periods for which you’ll repeatedly incur them.

Both Fitness Mentors and NASM’s  CEU requirements are the same:

Fitness Mentors: 20 hours of CEUs and $99 to recertify every two years

NASM: 20 hours of CEUs and $99 to recertify every two years

Average Income of Fitness Mentors and NASM Personal Trainers

One of the most popular questions asked when it comes to obtaining a certification is, “how much money will I make as a personal trainer?”. The income averages can vary based on which certificate you possess, so it’s vital to consider this when choosing which direction to go.

Remember, what you do with your certification will ultimately determine your success and your salary. Some trainers make $200,000 per year if they have the drive and knowledge paired with prime location and a great approach. To make the most of your business, taking a course such as this one can help you get a full load of clients and make the most money possible.

Fitness Mentors vs NASM FAQs:

Yes. Fitness Mentors offers an accredited exam for their Certified Personal Trainer course/certification. Fitness Mentors’ CPT is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) with their partners at the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT), which is widely accepted and recognized.

Yes. NASM CPT certification is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

Personal trainers must be at least 18 years of age and have completed high school (or equivalent) education.

Final Thoughts From a Certified Trainer: Which Certification is Better, Fitness Mentors or NASM?

Both Fitness Mentors and NASM are highly regarded personal trainer certifications that are likely to help you form a sound foundation for program design and training. If you’re looking to go work in a gym, NASM may be a better option for you. If you’re looking to be an independent trainer, or build your own business, Fitness Mentors is the way to go. 

Before making any decisions, if you’re looking to work at a specific gym, ask them if they have any requirements.

For more information on how to become a personal trainer, check out our post on the topic or feel free to give us a call, and we can always help point you in the right direction (800) 614-7004800) 614-7004.(800) 614-7004

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