Best Master Trainer Fitness Certifications in 2021

So you want to become a personal trainer – but not just any personal trainer – you decided to become a master trainer.

In this guide, we’ll talk about what a master personal trainer is and compare these four certifications:

If you want to help people take control of their health and fitness and be the best person for the job, deciding to become a master fitness trainer is a big step in the right direction. 

With so many different trainer programs out there, it can be overwhelming to determine which one is right for you. This guide is here to help you make the right decision.

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What Is A Master Trainer?

A master trainer is a certification that can be highly sought after by employers and clients alike. With this certification, your title represents the additional knowledge and expertise you’ve gained beyond your CPT. 

Master trainers have completed additional coursework that extends their education. Master trainers may also become those who “teach the teachers” – in other words, they may choose to instruct others how to be personal trainers.

What You'll Need To Become a Master Fitness Trainer

Below is a breakdown of the prerequisites you’ll need to start your new program with each training option. There aren’t many prerequisites, so even if you’re relatively new to the personal trainer scene, you won’t have many more requirements on your path to becoming a master fitness trainer.

Master Trainer Certification from ISSA

  • You have to be at least 18 years old.
  • You must have up-to-date CPR and First Aid Certification.
  • You must receive your personal trainer certification, nutritionist specialization, and any four of their other approved specializations certification. A few of these options will be listed below in the course inclusions.

Master Trainer Certification from NASM

To become a NASM certified master trainer, you’ll need three years of training ten or more clients per week with the OPT™ model.

You’ll also need to attend a NASM workshop, plus possess the following three valid NASM certifications to apply to the Master Trainer program:

Plus, an approved college degree or one of the following:

  • Nutrition Certification (CNC)
  • Weight Loss Specialization (WLS)
  • Group Personal Training Specialization (GPT)

You can do these courses as part of the bundle, but you have to have them completed before applying to the live summit certification.

Master Trainer Program from NCSF

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • NCSF recommends that you have experience in the health and fitness field

Master Personal Trainer from Fitness Mentors

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Bachelor’s degree in the Health and Fitness field or have a current accredited CPT certification
  • Valid government-issued photo ID
  • CPR and AED Certification

Master Trainer Course Topics

Here you’ll find many of the course topics you’ll be working on throughout the program. You’ll notice that the most significant difference is how the units are structured, but the content is primarily the same.

Master Trainer Certification from ISSA

Personal Trainer Certification

Here are several of the fitness topics you can expect to learn in this certification course:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Kinesiology and Biomechanics
  • Health and Physical Fitness
  • Program Development
  • Nutrition
  • Fitness for All

Nutritionist Certification

Some of the health and nutrition topics you can expect to touch on include:

  • Nutrition
  • Cells, Organ Systems, and Digestion
  • Metabolism and Energy Balance
  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Client Assessment
  • Dietary Guidelines

In addition to the above mandatory certs, you must also choose four additional certification courses. Some of the options include:

  • Certified Glute Specialist
  • Certified Indoor Cycling Instructor
  • Certified Yoga Instructor
  • DNA-based Fitness Coach
  • Strength and Conditioning
  • Corrective Exercise Specialist

Master Trainer Certification from NASM

NASM’s program is a bit different and includes the education needed as well as a demonstration of what you’ve learned in a live setting.

Topics include the OPT model and program design in outcome-oriented programs.

Master Trainer Program from NCSF

These are the courses and some of the units that make up the Master Trainer program:

Personal Trainer Home Study Course

  • Functional Anatomy
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Health and Physical Fitness
  • Professionalism and Risk Management

Sports Nutrition Specialist Course

  • Macronutrients
  • Micronutrients
  • Dietary Supplements and Ergogenic Aids
  • Nutritional Analysis and Weight Management

Certified Strength Coach Course

  • Functional Anatomy and Biomechanics
  • Performance Assessment and Evaluation
  • Nutrition and Ergogenic Aids
  • Professionalism and Risk Management

Master Trainer from Fitness Mentors

Here are some of the many courses and some of the units that make up the Master Trainer program:

CPT Curriculum Chapters

  • The Fitness Assessment
  • Anatomy, Physiology and the Study of Human Movement
  • Exercise Physiology and the Energy Systems
  • Psychology: The Science and Behaviour of Mind
  • Introduction to Online Personal Training

Certified Online Personal Trainer Certification Learning Sections

  • Prepare Your Business
  • Take Your Business Online
  • Lead Generation
  • Convert Sales
  • Care For Your Clients

Certified Nutrition Specialist Certification

  • Scope of Practice
  • The Digestive System
  • Metabolism
  • Carbohydrates
  • Exercise and Sports Nutrition

Pain Management Specialist Certification Learning Sections

  • Programming Considerations for Exercise Related Injuries
  • Fitness Assessments for Pain
  • Pain Management Through Corrective Exercise

Virtual Group Fitness Instructor Certification Chapter Outline

  • Scope of Practice
  • Components of the Virtual Group Fitness Class
  • Anatomy, Physiology and the Study of Human Movement
  • Format and Design
  • Online Assessments

Virtual Health Coach Certification

  • Considerations for Lifestyle Change
  • Stress Management
  • Nutrition
  • Legal Guidelines for Health Coaches

Costs Associated With Becoming a Master Fitness Trainer

Master Trainer Certification from ISSA

ISSA offers a six-course bundle for $159* per month, and this is what you get.

  • Personal Trainer Certification
  • Nutritionist Specification
  • Any four Advanced Specializations
  • Free Fast Track Four Week Certification Program
  • Free Accredited Optional Exam included with a value of $599
  • Free 90-day trial to SmartFitness with a value of $210

In addition to everything in the bundle, ISSA offers a job guarantee, no matter what. After you get your certification, if you’ve applied to at least three gyms in six months and haven’t been hired, they will place you at one of the many gym locations that partner with them.

Master Trainer Certification from NASM

At $268 per month, NASM offers a package that includes the following certifications and specializations:

  • CPT
  • CES
  • PES
  • Certified Nutrition Coach
  • Behavior Change Specialization
  • Certified Group Fitness Instructor

NASM also has a Business Acceleration Course where they teach you how to get your business off the ground and on your way to getting clients. It teaches networking, marketing, and communication techniques that will significantly benefit you when you’re at the beginning stages of launching your business.

Master Trainer Program from NCSF

The package price is $999 for the following in each course included:

  • Digital Textbooks
  • E-Learning Access
  • Instructional Videos
  • Lesson Notes
  • Questions and Answers
  • Review Quizzes
  • Instructor Support
  • Membership

NCSF also offers veterans a $299 reimbursement for each program and offers military spouses up to $4,000 of tuition assistance.

Master Trainer from Fitness Mentors

The price for this program is $1,499 for a total of six certifications. Here are some of the tools and bonuses that come with it:

  • Study Guide Questions
  • Chapter Quizzes
  • Two Realistic Practice Exams
  • Facebook Support Group with Expert and Peer Guidance
  • Exercise Library
  • Bonus Learning Videos
  • Workout Templates – reg. $499
  • Meal Templates – reg. $199
  • Facebook Marketing Course – reg. $199

If you can commit to studying for two to three hours per day, at least three times a week, you can quickly complete the Master Trainer Certification and have your personal training business up and running in no time!

Each program is unique in its own way and has a lot to offer – so it’s up to you to decide which will give you the most bang for your buck.

No matter what master trainer certification you choose, you’ll be among the elite trainers who are educated beyond the CPT. Master trainers generally make more money than regular personal trainers, so the investment is definitely worthwhile!

Get started on your path to financial freedom today!

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