Personal training certification

I’m passionate about healthy living. (Seriously, I could talk about fitness and running for hours.) I love learning new things about the body, training and fitness. And it’s been on my mind forever.

After literally years of talking about it, I finally signed up for a personal training course a few months ago through canfitpro, a Canadian certification organization for fitness professionals.

I took a weekend course back in November where we went through the entire textbook and incorporated some practical work, too. I’m really glad I took the course, as it gave me better direction to focus my studying.

From there, I studied my butt off. I made cue cards based off of my notes, and studied most evenings and lunch hours. For a handful of weekends I studied the majority of the days and nights.


The weekend we were in Canmore was perfect. It was the weekend before my written exam and Kelly took the ice climbing course, so I studied without interruptions from Harold or home (minus a couple runs and cross country ski breaks)!

I took the written/theory exam in the middle of December, about six weeks after the course. The written exam consisted of multiple choice questions and a case study. You are required to pass with 80 per cent or better to move on to the practical portion.

About a week later, right before Christmas, I got an email saying I passed!

I took it easy over the holidays and didn’t crack open my book or my study notes. Then I realized I better get back into it and get my certification!

So I booked a CPR/AED course. Thankfully I remembered it all from my lifeguarding days and easily passed the test. As soon as I received that certification I booked my practical exam, which is the last step in the process.

The person I was taking my practical exam through offered up Saturday, Jan. 11 to take the test. I didn’t want to postpone so agreed to the exam on my birthday. It was either going to make or break my day depending on how I did!

I studied HARD the week leading up to it (possibly bordering neurotic). I am happy to say it went well and can proudly say I am now a certified Personal Training Specialist!

As for what I’m going to do with my certification, I’m not sure. I have more knowledge for personal use, which is always a good thing. I think I’ll take on some free ‘clients’ (family and a couple friends) to test the waters and gather experience and feedback. I haven’t thought much further than that!

If you are a personal trainer, how did you decide where to go through for your certification? 

Have you used a personal trainer?

34 responses to “Personal training certification

  1. ari @ whatarisaid

    Yay, that’s exciting! It’s always cool when youget to study what you’re really interested in learning about. Feel free to share your newfound knowledge with people like me. 🙂

  2. Congratulations Abby!! I too am a personal trainer. I decided to go down this route because I am so passionate about health and fitness. Nice work 🙂

  3. Congrats, Abby! That is awesome and exciting news for you. I love that you are taking things slow and going to decide what to do with it as time goes by. If I lived near you, I would take advantage of you as a trainer!

  4. I look forward to seeing what you do with this!

  5. that’s so great! I’ve toyed around with personal training too and it’s really cool to learn about the body!

  6. Congrats. This is so cool and I love how humble you are about it, taking on ‘free’ clients as opposed to aiming straight for world domination. If I’m ever in your neck of the woods, I’d happily book a training sesh with you. Congrats again. 😀

  7. Oh Congrats!! I knew even reading the beginning sentences of this post that you would pass with flying colours… I almost feel like you would pass without studying! It’s definitely something that I have thought about doing as well – more for knowledge and perhaps later for clients.

    Now if only I could live closer to you… I would GLADLY be your feedback-personal-training-geuine pig 😀

  8. Runner Girl Eats

    Congrats!! I used a trainer a few years ago when I was first getting into the gym life. I love it but was just too costly. I think you’ll be an excellent trainer!

  9. Very cool!!! When I get famous – or sponsored – can I hire you as my trainer?

  10. Congrats! What a perfect fit for you. I am not surprised at all that you aced the test, either. Have fun with it!

  11. So exciting!!!
    I am a certified personal trainer but don’t really use it a lot other than just the knowledge from all of the studying!!! (mine is through ACE)

  12. Congratulations Abby! I’ll be looking forward to you posting some workouts you’ve created 😉

  13. Way to go Abby! That is a great accomplishment!

  14. Bravo! I’ve been toying with this for year’s. You may have inspired me. 😀

  15. That’s great news!! Congrats!!

  16. Sophie @ life's philosophie

    Congrats! So awesome that you pursued this! I can’t wait to hear what you have planned.

  17. Awesome!! Even if you don’t know what you are going to do with it…You have it and the sky is the limit!! 🙂 I can’t wait to hear how you like it!!
    I used a personal trainer about 8 years ago. It was nice! I liked how he would give me routines and I would do them on my own. I only saw him about every 4 weeks so it wasn’t too costly!! 🙂

  18. That’s so awesome! This is definitely on my bucket list, but I think I will wait until after the wedding 🙂

  19. Congrats! I’m so happy for you! When I first became a trainer, I offered to train a couple of running friends for free so I could practice. It was a win/win, and gave me confidence when I started working at a gym and charging people! Can’t wait to see where this takes you!

  20. Congrats, Abby! And way to take on a personal challenge and learning experience on top of your job and busy life!

  21. Awesome!! Congrats!! I am thinking about taking a personal training course simply for doing my Couch to 5K group. It’d be nice to know what I’m talking about when I work with those ladies!

  22. AHH I am so excited for you!!

  23. Congratulations!! That is awesome! “Free” clients? I am pretty sure we are related! 😉

  24. A perfect fit for you! Congrats, Abby! I’ve been debating getting mine, too, but it may have to wait until after IMWI 🙂

  25. I love talking about healthy living too which is why I think I want to be your friend : ) Congrats on passing your test. I have thought about getting my PT certificate but because I’m not sure what to do with it, I haven’t taken that step. I can’t wait to see how you use it!

  26. Congrats! Seems like such a great fit for you (considering I know you so well!) Your blog posts/comments are always inspiring, so I can’t imagine you’d be anything but inspirational to your personal training clients.

  27. Congrats! You’re going to be an awesome trainer! 😉

  28. Congrats on your certificate! It seems like this will give you options and then you can decide what you want to do with it – very cool!

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