Making the Distinction – NASM vs ISSA

Last Updated:  April 15, 2024

We understand that choosing between NASM vs ISSA can be a difficult decision. While the NASM certification offers a corrective exercise certification, you’ll find that ISSA is better described as a general training certification. Keep reading as we discuss everything you need to know about NASM vs ISSA so that you can select the best option for your needs.

NASM vs ISSA – Certification Focus

If you are just starting out in the industry, ISSA is a great option. It does have more of a focus on reactive training or powerlifting, and they talk a lot about the strength curve. ISSA can be considered a general certification, so it is a well-rounded certificate for first-time personal trainers.

On the other hand, NASM focuses on corrective exercise training and overcoming muscular imbalances. You’ll find that once you are qualified, you are able to train a wide group of individuals. It uses the OPT progressive training model and shares with you how to work with post-rehabilitation clients. Therefore, this would usually be considered a corrective certification.

NASM vs ISSA – Industry Recognition

When choosing a personal training certificate, you’ll need to ensure your certification is widely recognized and accepted within the industry. Both of these certificates will be accepted in almost any gym in the USA. ISAA is an international certification that is currently held by over 200,000 people worldwide and is accredited by the DEAC.

It’s a good choice for anyone living outside the US or looking to travel and work. NASM has also qualified a huge number of personal trainers, with 190,000 people currently holding the NASM certification. It’s considered to be the gold standard certification by employers in the US and is accredited by the NCCA.

NASM vs ISSA – Study Materials

The study materials you receive depend on the package you pick. With NASM, most people opt for the Self-study package, which has a digital textbook, video lectures, and practice exams. You can also upgrade to the Premium self-study option, which includes flashcards. The NASM Guided study comes with a hard copy of the textbook, which other learners find more beneficial than other learning methods.

Finally, they also offer an All-inclusive package that adds on the CPT development program and NASM business accelerator. All of these packages are comprehensive and will help set you up for success in the future.

On the other hand, ISSA only has one package on offer, which makes things a little simpler. You’ll receive a hard copy of the textbook, practice exams and quizzes, and an exercise DVD guide. There is also an online forum and exercise lab. If you prefer working from a physical textbook, you’ll appreciate that this is included with ISSA. This is for individuals who prefer a more straightforward approach to learning.

NASM vs ISSA – Pricing

When weighing the costs between NASM and ISSA certifications, it’s crucial to consider your budget and goals. NASM offers a range of packages, regularly featuring promotions on their site. However, these qualifications can be on the pricier side. Prices start at $699 for the Self-study package, $1099 for the Premium self-study, $1499 for the Guided self-study, and peak at $1649 for the All-inclusive package. On the other hand, ISSA’s pricing varies based on ongoing sales, typically ranging between $499 and $799 for their comprehensive package.

Though NASM may present a heftier investment, it’s a valuable choice for many emerging personal trainers. With its broad selection of courses, NASM caters well to those beginning their journey in the fitness industry. Meanwhile, ISSA’s international recognition makes it an ideal pick for those aspiring to work abroad, offering a flexible and globally respected certification.

For those exploring comprehensive options in fitness education, Fitness Education Online (FEO) emerges as a noteworthy contender. FEO specialises in providing a wide array of physical trainer certifications and courses designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the fitness industry. Whether you’re aiming for domestic success or an international career, FEO offers tailored solutions to meet your educational needs and career aspirations.

In choosing between NASM and ISSA, consider not only the type of course and study materials that best align with your personal learning style but also how these options fit into your broader career plans. With Fitness Education Online, you gain access to a supportive community and resources that enhance your journey, regardless of the path you choose. Get in touch with our team for more details.

Enjoyed this article? You may wan to read these

Thank you for checking out  Fitness Education Online Blog!

Fitness Education Online are one of the leading providers in the world when it comes to the professional development of Personal Trainers. Feel free to check out our CEU courses for Personal Trainers.

Feel free to join our Free Facebook Group with over 14 000 other Fitness Professionals Click here to Join

Jono Petrohilos

Jono Petrohilos

Online Course Creator I 2020 Fitness Australia Educator of the Year 

Jono is the co-founder and director at Fitness Education Online.

Fitness Education Online is one of the leading providers in the world when it comes to delivering online education to Fitness Professionals, providing over 30 registered CEC courses.

Fitness Education Online is also the admins of the largest Facebook Group in Australia / New Zealand for Fitness Professionals (Fitness Education Online Community Facebook Group)

Jono is also a qualified Exercise Physiologist, best selling author (The Bootcamp Blueprint), and the host of the successful podcast “Fitness Education Online Podcast”.

Jono is the current 2020 Fitness Educator of the Year (awarded by Fitness Australia)

Follow Jono:

Follow on Instagram

Connect on Linkedin

Connect on Facebook