2022 Top 10 Group Fitness Certification

2022 Top 10 Group Fitness Certification

Choosing the correct group fitness certification might be complicated at first glance, whether you’re a beginner trainer or an experienced instructor looking to expand your knowledge base.

It might be difficult to choose which courses are worth doing to boost your bottom line with so many different fitness disciplines available (and new ones gaining traction all the time).

We asked a few fitness instructors who have successfully navigated the world of certifications for their honest opinions on how to figure out what credentials you need, which ones are good to have, and which ones aren’t worth the work.

Here’s what they had to say about the different types of teacher certifications and why you should earn them.

Who should we call a fitness instructor?

An individual termed with the responsibility of training and given instructions in a fitness class is called a fitness instructor or coach.

Various strategies are implemented by the instructor on different kinds of exercises for a trainee to achieve their goals. But if a fitness instructor can deliver professionalism.

So why the need for certification to practice? Certifications are better ways to show an instructor is capable and reliable to teach in a fitness class; without it, they may be considered vague or not professional.

What is Group Fitness?

Group fitness entails combining all forms of fitness in a group setting. This group is controlled by an individual with vast knowledge of fitness and body build-up; such an individual is called a coach.

His responsibilities are to appropriately coach their trainee on all or various forms of fitness class. Training in groups is fun; people tend to enjoy it.

Before we move to the main topic, let’s consider the following content that will enlighten us on fitness certification all over the globe.

What is the Best Certification for a Group Fitness Instructor?

The first question we should be asking ourselves is, what does a group fitness instructor do?

A good fitness instructor or coach is termed to train, lead and motivate their trainee in various forms of fitness program such as; stretching, breathing exercises, and strength training. The instructor will also initiate diet and exercise planning.

These exercises are meant to drive more energy to the participant to enable the participants’ body to be fit and well built. Now to our question, some of the best certifications for a group fitness instructor include:


The American Council on exercise is an organization that offers health coach certificates and personal training, and certification on group fitness which the NCCA accredits.

This program is initiated to help trainers understand the fitness program more clearly and make them a model to deliver appropriately to their clients or trainee.

A group fitness coach cannot ignore a program such as this because they offer a course that helps them understand more aspects: stability or mobility, aerobic efficiency, and load training.


 Aerobics and Fitness Association of America is a test used to measure the ability of a trainer to deliver perfectly as a coach. AFAA is completely free for those who would love the certification.

ISSA certification

This certification teaches much about fitness and also on medical professionals. It is one of the best basic certifications every or most trainers must possess before coaching.

How do I become a group fitness instructor?

Lots of people all over the globe are turning into group fitness, hence the demand for a group fitness instructor.

People involved in group fitness do not just contact an instructor to take a class or get trained by them, but they look for capable and certified professionals to coach them.

Some are online, so you can your physical certification online, while others are not; for this reason, we shall consider the steps we need to take before an individual can become a professional group fitness instructor.

  • Make your findings and choose a study program

Making research and findings before going into a program is one of the most important things to do before choosing, especially programs accredited by the national commission for certifying agencies (NCCA).

Certification such as ACE is one of the best programs to choose from since they are certified already. In the process of doing research, get the necessary materials that will help to pass your test.

  • Put in for your exam.

Surely you must be tested to see if you are qualified to be a group fitness instructor. Registering for the exam is not free; some money has to be paid to purchase the form.

 The form for registration will be available within the time range of six months. Still, before the deadline, you should have bought all the materials needed for the exam, but that doesn’t mean it is a criterion to register for the exam.

  • Excel in your exam

Passing the exams puts you in the winning position because, after washing, you will be made a trainer. The organization will give an ID card to certify you are ready to train a group of people as a group instructor. Before you start training, you must have selected the setting you would want to concentrate on. It can be on medical fitness, specialty studio, or you can decide another setting that is all entirely your choice.

  • Specialize in a particular field.

Having passed your exams and have been allowed to train, you should know you cannot do all kinds of fitness because having a mindset of doing all will eventually make you a master of none. Therefore there is a need to specialize in a particular fitness program.

You can be good in weight management, nutrition fitness and so on.

The specialization will give you a sense of development in that particular program that you choose, and as a result, people would choose you as a professional to train them.

  • Maintain the certification you possess

Finally, you must make sure you have 20 hours of continuing educator credit every two years. Establishing standards that will help prove that professionals enhance their standards effectively to lead people to improve.

In your training business, you must make sure you have good reviews from trainees and broaden your expertise.

What is the cheapest group fitness certification?

Searching for the cheapest certification should not be considered first but a quality certification to help you succeed in your fitness program. But if you are looking for an affordable accreditation, you can go in for FiTOUR.

FiTOUR is a basic certification designed to issue skills and knowledge required for those who want to cut costs to be a group fitness instructor.

Which is better, ACE or AFAA, for group certification?

Both certifications have a strong grip on certificates. Let us consider their heights and their downfall, which will decide the best among the two. ACE and AFAA are both recognized and have been accredited by the NCCA.

As for AFAA, it only requires a minimum of 15 hours of continuing education credit, while ACE requires 20 hours.

The amount charged for getting certified by the ACE is higher than the AFAA; for instance, ACE charges $599 for certification while AFAA charges $499, making ACE higher with a $100 difference.

The AFAA focus more on cardiopulmonary training exercise while ACE delivers mostly on personal exercises.

Now let’s consider both certifications in the following keywords to find out which is better.


AFAA is considered to be price tolerant compared to ACE. The price might not be the first thing to consider when dealing with certification since you want the best but having a good certificate that charges less attracts more people trying to “kill two birds with a single stone,” i.e., to reduce cost, get a better program.


Remember, time is a factor that affects us all. Therefore a program capable of lessening time to maintain their fitness certification will eventually attract more people to be certified.

Some may say, is it not a 5-hour difference? Yes, but thinking of how that five hours will affect your job to maintain your certification should be considered dearly.

Population and origin.

AFAA was formed in 1983 and has certified over 350 000 in over 70 different countries, while ACE was founded two years later.

Age and experience, as a matter of fact, give more chance of success, since I’m guessing you would not go to a mechanic who has a year of working experience, but to one who has more experience, so it is applied to both certifications.


ACE has wider coverage than that of AFAA since AFAA is based on aerobic exercises. Still, ACE covers many activities, enabling them to draw more people to be certified.

Some trainers love to carry out extensive coaching exercises, and ACE can give them that.

Considering all the facts above will tell you that they both are very good certifications but have their flaws and heights.

What are the different fitness certifications?

Listed below are some fitness certifications you would want to try.

  1. American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  2. National academy of sports medicine (NASM)
  3. America college of sports medicine (ASCM)
  4. International sports science association (ISSA)
  5. National federation of professional trainers (NFPT)

Top 10 Group Fitness Certification in 2022

Here we are going to consider the best top ten group fitness certification you can get in 2022. The first we will consider is;

1. The America Council on Excercise (ACE)

ACE is a vast certification program covering very large varieties of exercise that individuals can participate in; it also covers programs on senior fitness specialists and medical exercise specialists. The national commission accredits ACE for certifying agencies.

And I’m sure you cannot get this certificate by asking for it. Therefore, we will look at the requirements needed before getting an ACE certification?

  • You must be or older than 18 years of age.
  • Possess a high school diploma.
  • Must be certified by cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
  • Have your government-issued ID.

Before being certified by ACE, you have must pass their exams which consist of 150 questions that are to be written by a computer with a marking scheme of 200 to 800, where 500 is the pass mark. So what happens if you do not pass the exam?

 Don’t worry because there is always an opportunity to re-take it at a lesser price than the former.


2. The international sport science association (ISSA)

ISSA is a very well-respected certification accredited by the NCCA and the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Specialists in this group have a strong focus and can provide effective programs for their trainees.

They have been able to certify over 200 000 people in over 100 countries, which makes having this certification helps you kick start your career as a group fitness educator.


3. The athletics and fitness association of America (AFAA)

This certification has helped to inspire and help people to live healthy lives.

AFAA has been certifying individuals decades from now and has been doing a better job at it. It has an unbeatable price and focuses mainly on individuals who have bad eating habits or nutrition and cause overweight individuals.

Now you should know that for a person to attain such certification, they have to meet up to some requirements, some of which are just your high school diploma, and you don’t have to be 18 years before you can attain their certification.


4. The nationally recognized certification agency ( NETA)

NETA has been trying, looking at the number of certifications given a couple of years. Even though they are not the popular type, obtaining their certification does not need any degree or special certificate; you need to register, pass and attain your certification.


5. The America College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

ACSM certification is a challenging certification because it takes more practice and initiative to pass their examination with an annual pass rate of 60%.

It requires a bachelor’s degree in science in exercise physiology to be qualified. Still, if you feel you want to take it for a career, you must have studied in exercises and health-related programs. acsm.org

6. The virtual group fitness instructor (V-GFI)

This certification is an online certification that gives lectures on physiology, anatomy, and other programs on technology, program design, virtual class set up, marketing, and many more. What you require is to pass an exam to acquire it.

7. The national strength and conditioning association (NSCA)

NSCA trains people, using an approach to motivate and educate entry and professional trainers to become a group fitness instructors and give good qualities to trainees.

NSCA was certified by the national commission for certifying agents since 1998 and has been doing well since then. 

8. The National Academy of school Medicine (NASM)

The NASM certification is a recognized certificate; the national commission has accredited it for certifying agency (NCCA).

NASM certifies entry-level and advanced practitioners on various programs such as sports medicine. Health and fitness industries and performance enhancement.

9. The national exercise and sports trainers association (NESTA)

One of the top group fitness certifications that have been certified by the NCCA is NESTA. Having stayed long in the field, this certification available since 1992 has been helping individuals who wish to start a career as fitness trainers.

And to attain this certification, you are required to pass an exam and get a pass mark above 71, verify your age with a validated ID or driver’s license, and a CPR OR BLS card.

10. NCCPT certification

NCCPT means the national council for certified personal trainers. This certification is used to improve those who have the ability and proficiency to be fine fitness instructors. licensing an agent requires the following such as:

  • Must be 18 or more in age
  • A valid CPR certificate must be provided as proof, and lastly,
  • Valid ID must be provided  


Is it possible to get more than one group fitness certification?

Yes, it is, especially if you want to be a personal fitness instructor.

Can you become a fitness instructor without certification?

No, it cannot be achieved; only a certification can make your work as a fitness instructor.

Is training in a group effective?

Yes, for those who cannot work out on their own.

What can you use your fitness certification for?

You can be a fitness instructor, a health coach, and a management consultant.

Can you earn a living as a group fitness instructor?

Why not, statistics has it that group fitness instructor earns over $40, 000 annually.

How to get a group certificate online?

It’s simple, all you need is to get an organization that certifies agent, pass their requirement and you will be permitted.


Getting a fitness certification is a great idea for a person wanting to be a group or personal fitness instructor. Having the best certification puts you at the top of your career.


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2022 Top 10 Group Fitness Certification

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