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How to Achieve ACSM Group Fitness Certification


An ACSM Group Certification is one of the most coveted certifications you can receive as a personal trainer. But what’s the process? How much of your time do you have to commit, and how much work is it? What should you expect, and what do you need to do to prepare yourself for what’s to come? How do you become an ACSM certified exercise physiologist? Here’s how to achieve ACSM Group Fitness Certification.

Meet the Prerequisites

The ACSM exercise specialist certification requires that you be at least 18 years of age or older, have a high school diploma or GED equivalent, and be CPR certified. So, the steps to complete here are:

  1. Age until you’re 18. If you’re older than 18, no work or time needed here.
  2. Complete your high school diploma or go back and finish your GED.
  3. Get CPR/AED certified (with the “practical hands-on skills component”).

Study for the Exam

So, you’ve met the prerequisites. Perfect! Now for the part that requires the most work out of this entire list: You have to study for the exam. Don’t worry, there are nearly countless resources out there that will help you study and prepare for the exam. Here are a few of them:

  • Books about the ACSM certification.
  • Online practices tests for the ACSM certification exam.
  • ACSM in-person workshops for hands-on learners.
  • ACSM online webinars.
  • Outlines for the ACSM exam to help you prepare for testing environment.

Register and Pay for the Exam

Registering for the exam ensure that you have a spot on testing day. Lots of people want to get ACSM certified, so make sure you register well in advance, especially if you have a timeline you’re trying to meet. Paying for the exam is part of what holds your spot. Here are the ACSM certification exam costs:

  • Registration for ACSM Members: $239
  • Registration for Non-Members: $299
  • Registration to Retake the Exam: $155

Pass the Exam

This is it: the day you’ve been preparing for. It’s test day. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste. Make sure that you’re fully focused and prepared on test day. Here are some tips:

  • Eat a filling, healthy breakfast.
  • Satisfy your caffeine needs, but don’t overdo it.
  • Bring a water bottle with you.
  • Bring a snack for breaks.
  • Make sure you go to the bathroom before taking the test.
  • Don’t study the morning of the exam. (If you don’t know the material by now, you don’t know it!)

Once you pass, you officially become an ACSM certified exercise specialist. Congratulations!

Bonus Tip

Complement Your ACSM Group Fitness Certification With a Special Needs Specialization

As we’ve said before, the ACSM certification is becoming more popular, which means that passing the exam — though it’s definitely something to celebrate — just puts you on par with other personal trainers. In other words, there’s nothing that sets you apart from your competition. Yet.

Complement your ACSM certification with our Special Needs Group Fitness Certification. Specialize yourself to grow in your field, and do good in your community at the same time. Sign up today!

Strong Education teaches personal trainers, parents, and professionals how to adapt fitness for children, adolescents, and adults with autism, Down Syndrome, and other disabilities through our online special needs certification course.