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NAFTA Personal Training Certification Review: Pros & Cons

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Workout equipment is placed on a blue background with the words "NAFTA Personal Trainer Certification Review" written over top of the image.

Striving to help improve the country’s access to health and wellness resources, the National Aerobics and Fitness Trainers Association (NAFTA) is on a mission to educate and certify fitness professionals across the nation.

NAFTA’s programs are used by a wide variety of instructors—from children’s aerobics teachers to senior personal trainers. Let’s take a closer look at what their certification programs include and how it may benefit you.

What Is The National Aerobics & Fitness Trainers Association (NAFTA)?

NAFTA is an education and certification program for fitness professionals who are starting and continuing their careers.

One of their biggest missions is to combat preventative lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, through health and wellness education. NAFTA believes an early awareness of these topics can help people access the tools they need to make healthier choices and empower them to commit to a more active lifestyle. They help further this initiative by certifying fitness teachers and instructors who can then share their knowledge and education with others.

About NAFTA Personal Trainer Certification

NAFA’s personal trainer certification takes a look at different concepts and theories of health and fitness. Topics focus on:

  • Exercise Science
  • Anatomy
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Kinesiology
  • Biomechanics
  • Health & Fitness Assessments
  • Exercise Programming for Healthy Adults
  • Principles of Nutrition & Weight Management
  • Communication
  • Behavioral Change
A virtual personal trainer lays on a yoga mat next to weights as she works on her laptop to schedule out her clients for the week.

Pros & Cons Of NAFTA

To further our NAFTA reviews, we have created a list of pros and cons we found with their education and certification programs.


  • NAFTA offers a lot of continuing education courses, so you will have a variety of options to choose from.
  • You can find CECs on business topics, not just fitness topics, which can help if you are trying to manage your own fitness business.
  • They offer military and tactical fitness styles certifications for those who want to focus on a more specialized style of training.


  • The website can be hard to navigate, and it doesn’t give any clear information on pricing, so we are unaware of how much a NAFTA certification costs.
  • NAFTA is not as well known as their competitors, so you are not buying into a big name brand benefit like other programs.
  • The education level can seem more basic when compared to other advanced courses available.


To qualify for the NAFTA personal trainer certification program, you must:

  • Have completed high school (or equivalent)
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Hold a current CPR/AED certification with a live skills check
  • Present a current government-issued photo ID with signature

Specialized Certification Programs

NAFTA strives to push their education beyond the basic fitness instructor certification programs. They offer a wide range of speciality certifications which can be added on to a personal trainer certification. This can help you learn more niche skills and customize your career.

Some of the specialized certifications offered by NAFTA are:

  • Aqua Aerobics
  • Barre Instructor
  • HIIT High Intensity Training
  • Power Cycle Instructor
  • Power Pump Instructor
  • Power Step Instructor

Continuing Education & Recertification

Each NAFTA certificate is valid for two years before you must recertify. This allows you to refresh and maintain a working knowledge of the fitness industry, as well as help you deepen your understanding of certain topics.

In order to qualify for recertification, you must complete 15 continuing education credits (CECs). NAFTA has the largest list of CEC courses available, offering you a very robust curriculum.

Topics for NAFTA’s continuing education include:

  • Business
  • Customer Service
  • Disease & Disability
  • Finance and Accounting
  • Group Exercise
  • Human Resources
  • Instructor Training
  • Microsoft Software Training
  • Nutrition
  • Older Adults
  • Pregnancy & Exercise
  • Safety
  • Strength Training
  • Young Athletes & Children
An online personal trainer is sitting on a workout mat in her living room while she works on her laptop sipping on coffee next to her planner with a calendar of her upcoming client trainings.

How NAFTA Certification Benefits You

While Insurance Canopy recognizes NAFTA as having a great continuing education program, we do not recommend it for new personal trainers looking to get certified. However, it could be a great resource for a more experienced trainer looking to learn more about specialized topics.

Whether you’re a new or seasoned professional, another type of certification all trainers need is personal trainer insurance. Getting insurance is simple, fast, and cheap with Insurance Canopy. Our online application allows you to be instantly insured in just 10 minutes or less. Plus, our coverage is made to work with trainers who operate a small business, train online, or work in more than one location.

Frequently Asked Questions About NAFTA Personal Trainer Certification

Yes, NAFTA is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).

15 CEUs are needed for NAFTA recertification. Every two years you must complete 15 units of continuing education courses.

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