How to Become a Personal Trainer – Gym Training Courses & Certifications

As a personal trainer and a coach to awesome bodies, you are well aware of the concepts of fitness and nutrition. Not only are you passionate about staying fit, but help others achieve their health goals, be it weight loss, muscle gain or just becoming healthier. As a fitness expert, your task involves a great deal of passion and knowledge, as you have to build enviable bodies. This involves a fair deal of personalization because the bodies are different and so are their responses to an exercise regime. What works for one may not for another? Your success is measured in the swell of the biceps and the reduced waist size of your clients, who are the moving certificates of your hard work. After all this, should you go for personal trainer certifications, crosses your mind? Actually, yes, because the industry per se is still unregulated and personal training courses are leading the change in this segment. Moreover, getting gym training certifications will add to your reputation and earnings.

Deciding the right institute for gym certification involves three aspects:

  • Course fee
  • Duration
  • Subject-Matter of the course

If you are just stepping into the world of fitness training, you should choose an entry-level or beginners’ course so that you become well-versed with the basic information regarding anatomy and nutrition and further advance your skills with international certifications.


If you want to be different as a trainer accrediting your skill is the first step. Know in-depth about the international fitness training programs that you can do from India and the value it is going to add to your skill. Read more about the top 3 popular certification programs and their features, benefits, course-content and duration.

1) American Council on Exercise

The ACE program is rooted in science-based research from ACE, the world’s largest nonprofit health and fitness certification program. The course content is accredited by NCCA (National Commission for Certifying Agencies) which lends it a third party, impartial validation. ACE offers the following courses

  •  Personal Trainer
  • Group Fitness Instructor
  • Health Coach
  • Medical Exercise Specialist

Essential Qualifications:

1.    18 years or older.
2.    A minimum educational qualification of a high school diploma.
3.    Hands-on CPR and AED (automatic external defibrillator) certification, at the time of writing.
4.    In India ACE conducts exams in multiple centres, both metros, and non-metros.
5.    Visit the ACE website to figure out the location.
6.    You need to register 10 days prior to the exam.
7.    Once you have chosen the location, log in or enrol (first timers). In Indian address, you need to skip the address check to proceed further.
8.    ACE is particular about verifying the authenticity of the trainer taking the exam. Therefore your name filled in the form should exactly match with a government-issued photo Id (Aadhar/Pan/Voter id/Passport/Driving License).
9.    You can choose the type of exam from Personal Trainer/Group Fitness Exam category.

The ACE Personal Trainer Manual and Group Fitness Instructor Program train fitness professionals to work in one-on-one and small groups. Developed and written by the top experts of the industry it covers. everything from anatomy to training techniques.  Special attention has been given to injury prevention, emergency techniques and legal issues confronting today’s fitness professionals.

2) ACE Personal Trainer Program

Duration: 3 Months (Twice a Week)

  • Fees: Rs. 28,090 (Course Material+ Practical+ Access to the ACE Resource Centre)
  • Exam Fees: Rs. 23,595
  • Book Fees: Rs. 18,563
  • Online Exam Fees: Rs.  26,965

3) ACE Group Fitness Instructor

Duration: 3 Months (Twice a Week)

  • Fees: Rs. 28, 090
  • Book Fees: Rs. 18,563
  • Exam Fees:  Rs. 16,854
  • Online Exam Fees Rs. 26,965

ACE requires recertification every two years because of fitness evolves. For recertification, gym instructors need 20 CECs, where each CEC (Continuing Education Credits) is equal to one hour of training. ACE offers online courses, in-person workshops, a number of speciality certifications, and the ACE symposium, a large conference that’s held every year for ACE personal trainers.

Note: Kindly note that these fees are indicative and can vary depending on certain factors. You can contact the concerned authority for further clarification and precise details.


American Council of Sports Medicine is accredited by NCCA with more than 50,000 members and certified professionals from the globe. Representing 70 occupations within the sports medicine field, ACSM is the only organization that offers a 360-degree view of the profession.

The ACSM offers three books: ACSM’s Resources for Personal Trainers, ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, and ACSM’s Certification Review.

In India, Delhi based Classic Fitness conducts offline preparatory classes for ACSM certification. The classes have both theory and practical sessions which give hands-on knowledge and experience for posture, exercise analysis, taking blood pressure and assessing fitness. If you are an existing Classic Fitness student you get a discount on workshops. Those wanting to update their knowledge will have access to lectures/ exam review classes anytime.
Mumbai-based Exercise Science Academy provides learning material online. At the end of the course, an online exam is conducted.
On clearing the exam the institute awards

  • Official ACSM course participation certificate
  • Exercise Science Academy’s course passing certificate


  • ACSM Certified Personal Trainer Course: Rs. 36,000 + service tax
  • For the ACSM Health and Fitness Specialists course: Rs. 20,000 + service tax (exam voucher separate)

Note: Kindly note that the fee structure can vary depending on various factors. Contact the concerned authority to get a clear picture.


International Sports Sciences Academy (ISSA) is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council. For Indian fitness representatives, Gayo Fitness Academy is the sole representative of ISSA.

For fitness professionals who want to distinguish themselves, ISSA has created Master Trainer Certification Program that combines

  • Personal Trainer Certification,
  • Fitness Nutrition Certification,
  • Fitness / Exercise Therapy Certification,
  • Senior Fitness Certification,
  • Youth Fitness Certification, and
  • Strength and Conditioning Certification

 Post the successful completion of the program, the trainer is able to design and implement an exercise program based on an individual’s specific situation, preexisting conditions and goal.
Duration: 6 quarters (1.5 years)
Fees: Rs. 2,13, 210



The Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute GGFI is India’s first International Fitness Management Institute. It offers certificate courses in Fitness Management, Personal Training and Spinning Instructing for personal trainers and gym instructors.

The 3-month long gym training program is your passport to enter the world of fitness. It is monitored by qualified and experienced personnel at Gold’s Gym and invites fitness celebrities to deliver lectures. It covers a range of subjects to comprehensively address and ensures the best international brand practices in India.

  • Duration:  3 Months
  • Fees: On Request


Founded in 2003, K11 Academy of Fitness Sciences by Kaizzad Capadia is a prestigious fitness training and education institution which is at forefront of up-skilling & certifying all those who desire a career in the fitness industry as – Personal Trainers (PT), Personal Trainer for Special Population, Fitness Counselors, and Sports Nutritionist.

The academy’s learning centres are fully equipped with classes for theory, a fully operational gym floor for practical training, a highly trained faculty and visiting faculties for technical subjects and a hostel for outstation students. The courses & course manuals are conducted & curated in regional languages like – Hindi & Marathi other than English with its centres located across Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, and Kolkata with proposed centres in Ahmedabad, Guwahati, and Hyderabad.

Courses Offered:

  • Personal Trainer (PT)
    Duration: 5 months
  • Personal Trainer for Special Populations
    Duration: 4 months
  • Sports/Performance Nutrition
    Duration: 5 months
  • Master Trainer
    Duration: 8 months
  • Club management
    Duration: 4 months

Fee Structure: On Request

3) K11 Exclusive Features

K11 is the ONLY Fitness Academy to be Partners with the National Skill Development Corporation (N.S.D.C), a Skill Development Program initiated by the Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship (M.S.D.E)

  • K11 is the ONLY Fitness Academy to be Assured for Quality by PEARSON (UK). Thus, all courses taught by the K11 Academy of Fitness Sciences are PEARSON ASSURED
  • K11 is the ONLY Fitness Academy in India to have a fully integrated study centre with well-equipped classrooms for theory lectures & A state-of-the-art gym floor for practical training
  • K11 is the ONLY Fitness Academy in India to stand by a 100% Placement Assistance for its Certificate Holders
  • K11 is the ONLY Fitness Academy in India with a presence across 4 cities & 3 states. With NSDC Funding, K11 Academy of Fitness Sciences will soon be PAN INDIA
  • K11 is the ONLY Fitness Academy in India to have courses fully and professionally translated into vernacular mediums
  • K11 is the ONLY Fitness Academy in India to have a Triple Assessment System through its Theory, Practical and Viva exams
  • K11 is the ONLY Fitness Academy in India to have copyrighted in-depth study material as part of its comprehensive syllabus
  • K11 is the ONLY Fitness Academy in India which lets its students stay abreast of ongoing developments in the field of Exercise Science by opting to re-attend theory lectures as many times they wish to – AT NO ADDED COST
  • K11 is the ONLY Fitness Academy in India to have a dedicated HR Department and Student Support Cell for all K11 Certified Students

4) BFY Sports & Fitness

Founded by Rajeev Goenka, BFY is India’s premier health & Fitness Training & Education Organisation since 1999. BFY Sports & Fitness offers Personal Trainer Certification and Group Fitness Instructor Courses. As compared to international certifications BFY personal trainer courses cover a similar curriculum at a lower cost. Moreover, the institute also offers an option of learning through correspondence.

  • Fee: 24,720
  • Duration: 3 months (twice a week class)
  • Correspondence Course Fee: 15,730

As a personal trainer, you have flexible work hours and you do what you enjoy. Get certified because it enhances your skills and increases your potential for growth.