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Last updated on September 25th, 2023.

The National Council on Strength and Fitness is a personal training certifying body based in Coral Gables, Florida, but they have trainers based in countries around the globe. They offer several different areas of specialization and a couple of different ways to pay for their courses. So what is the NCSF, and how strong is its brand?

Choosing a certifying body to further your career is a crucial step to take. You should do your homework and find the best fit for your goals. Read on and learn everything you need to know about the National Council on Strength and Fitness.

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Who is the National Council on Strength and Fitness?

You’ve seen certifying bodies on the internet before. They all have a sleek certification program that allows you to do the work from home and take the certification exam online. With the NCSF, they provide you with the tools to change your fitness business from a start-up with no marketing into a behemoth in the world of fitness and exercise.

A few facts about the National Council on Strength and Fitness are:

  • NCCA Accredited – One of the National Commission for Certifying Agencies regulates the testing and sets standards for companies looking for certs. They work with colleges and trade schools to ensure the product they promote and sell is as advertised and on the level.
  • Board Oversight – Another great thing about the NCSF is that their programs go through a yearly oversight board. This board goes through the protocols and determines which holds to scientific evidence. This change allows the company to have the best possible program each year.

NCSF is one of the premier personal training certification bodies in the United States. They have a proven track record of exemplary certification programs and a legion of satisfied trainers and clients to back them up. It is a complete training of all types of exercises and their benefits such as HIIT training for athletes.

Is the National Council on Strength and Fitness Legit?

Yes, the National Council on Strength and Fitness is legit. They have certified over 300,000 trainers and are considered one of the most prestigious certs on the market. In addition, their trainers are in some of the most popular gyms across the US and several countries worldwide.

Some of the gyms that hire NCSF certified trainers are:

  • Planet Fitness
  • LA Fitness
  • Gold’s Gym
  • Crunch
  • X Sport Fitness
  • 24-Hour Fitness

The large chain gyms are an excellent place for new personal trainers to begin. The overflow of clients gives them a chance to test their sales skills and hone their craft. In addition, many clients give them a solid platform to build a business that works for them and their clients.

What Type of Certifications Does the NCSF Offer?

Another of the great things that NCSF does is offer many different types of cert. So, by covering a couple of other areas of strength training, the National Council on Strength and Fitness can provide its trainers with the tools they need to work with several different types of clients.

The different certifications that the National Council on Strength and Fitness offers are:

  • Strength Coach – One of the most sought-after certifications is for strength coaching. It goes beyond the regular personal training certification and adds additional movement patterns and signal coaching. This extra training allows them to use advanced techniques like plyometrics and powerlifting.
  • Sports Nutrition – Sports nutrition is often overlooked in regular certifications. The additional cert gives the trainer the option to build meal plans for clients and reinforce healthy eating habits. Information like what are the foods with amino acids for muscle growth is essential to learn as amino acids have profound impact on the body.
  • Master Trainer – The highest qualification that the National Council on Strength and Fitness offer is the master trainer. It combines all the certifications they offer and must be done in a sequence.

The additional certifications are steps that allow a trainer to become more lucrative and provide services to a broader range of clients. The personal training cert must come first and the master certification last to ensure that all knowledge is trained.

What is the Most Popular National Council on Strength and Fitness Certification?

The most popular certification for NCSF is the personal trainer’s certificate. It must be completed before you can take any other courses. It is also a great introductory course where interested people can get their feet wet before jumping into a career in fitness.

What is the NCSF Exam Like?

The National Council on Strength and Fitness exam is online and is a series of multiple-choice questions. They cover all the information provided in the coursework and other videos attached. It is also a timed exam, which could add a bit of tension for some.

Some tips for taking the NCSF exam easier are:

  • Practice Test – Some options of the personal trainer cert will come with a practice test. These practice tests mimic the final exam and give you an insight into what to expect going forward. The critical thing to remember is to learn from your mistakes and not make them again when it matters.
  • Workshop – A few of the training certifications come with a workshop option. The workshop is an in-depth practical of all the information in the textbook delivered by an NCSF master trainer.

The best options for the personal training test come with additional fees. You should pay close attention to these options as they might be what you need to pass the test. Going for the workshop will ease your fears if you are a nervous test taker.

How Long Does it Take to Complete NCSF?

The coursework can be completed on time. If you can finish the work in a week and pass the tests, you are a trainer. If you want to take time and bone up on the subjects, you have time. The testing is important, and you should not attempt the test until you are confident you can pass.


The National Council on Strength and Fitness is one of the significant personal training certifying bodies in the United States. They have trainers in high-traffic gyms across the United States and have a training program backed by scientific research.

There are several different types of certification with the National Council on Strength and Fitness. You can complement any of the training certifications with the NCSF nutrition certification. Choose the ones that work best for your career at present. You have no idea what the future holds, and being stuck to a subject that doesn’t make you a better trainer or more marketable isn’t in your best interest.

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