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.

The Study Materials Provided by NASM vs ISSA

The study materials you receive are dependent on the package you select. With NASM, most people will 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 will offer you a hard copy of the textbook, which we know some people will find beneficial.

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

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.

NASM vs ISSA – Pricing

Finally, pricing is probably one of the top considerations when it comes to NASM vs ISSA. As we mentioned above, NASM has a variety of packages on offer. There are often a lot of deals on their website, but it’s still a pricey qualification. The Self-study package starts at $699, the Premium self-study package is $1099, the Guided self-study package goes up to $1499, and finally, the All-inclusive package is $1649. ISSA’s price will depend on whether they have a sale currently, but expect it to be between $499 and $799 for the one package they offer.

While NASM is certainly a more pricey qualification, you’ll find that it’s still a good option for many personal trainers who are just starting out in the industry. ISSA is an international certification, so for that reason, if you are looking to work overseas, we recommend this option. NASM vs ISSA both have some great benefits, so just make sure you choose the right type of course and study materials to fit your personal preferences and your future career.

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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.

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

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