Certified Personal Trainer Course

Why ICS Canada?

  • DEAC Accredited
  • Self-Paced
  • Supportive
  • Low monthly payments

Program Overview

Complete ICS Canada’s Certified Personal Trainer online Career Diploma program in as little as three months and learn how to become a certified personal trainer. As part of your online program, you take the National Council on Strength and Fitness certification, and students who pass become NCSF Certified Personal Trainers. The fitness-training industry is growing and personal trainer jobs are expected to increase at a high-than-average rate over the next few years.¹ Personal trainers work in gyms, health clubs, resorts and hotels, schools, or private homes. With ICS Canada you train at home or on the go, and at a pace that’s right for you.

Learn the fundamentals of the personal training field, from healthy menu planning and weight-loss strategies to targeted fitness routines and fitness anatomy and physiology. Our program can help you take the first step towards your career as a certified personal trainer. You'll even receive a home-study package to prepare for the NCSF certification exam, including Advanced Concepts of Personal Training Textbook, Study Guide, Personal Training Technique and Assessment DVD, and Exam Voucher.

Curriculum Details

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

The goals of the Certified Personal Trainer program are to provide students with the skills necessary for a career as a personal trainer, and to prepare students to take the National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF) certification exam.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  • Understand how fitness affects physical and mental well-being, assess current fitness, plan goals, and recognize opportunities in the fitness field
  • Distinguish how root words, prefixes, suffixes, and combining forms function to form meaning in medical terms, and recognize the basic structures of the human body and their functions
  • Identify the anatomy of, and the work done by, various muscles and muscle groups; recognize tests that determine overall fitness, muscle strength, and flexibility; and identify the typical components of a fitness workout
  • Recognize the functions of the digestive, urinary, musculoskeletal, and nervous systems, and identify the major organs and their functions within each system
  • Recognize the functions of the endocrine, circulatory, and respiratory systems, and identify the major organs and their functions within each system
  • Identify how carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fluids, vitamins, and minerals fit into a healthy eating plan
  • Distinguish the ingredients needed to prepare healthy menus; analyze recipes and menus for calories, fat, protein, carbohydrate, sodium, and fiber content; and identify special menus, such as low-salt, low-cholesterol, 1,200-calorie, high-protein, and macrobiotic
  • Identify muscles, connective tissues, bones, and joints, and identify their roles in movement; understand the physiology of muscle contraction and the relationship between muscular fitness and overall well-being
  • Understand why good posture helps the body to be fit and how fitness professionals can assist clients in attaining good posture
  • Recognize the structures of the pulmonary circuit, including arteries, arterioles, veins, venules, and capillaries; determine target heart rate and heart rate range, and identify information resources for developing and maintaining a healthy heart and lungs
  • Recognize the advantages of cardiorespiratory fitness, and understand the design of cardiorespiratory exercise programs
  • Recognize the benefits of resistance training, and determine safety concerns and appropriate weight loads
  • Identify how core muscles help to keep the entire body fit, and recognize exercise routines for core fitness for functional training
  • Identify the major structures of the upper body, understand the advantages of having a fit upper body, and identify various programs and exercises to enhance upper-body fitness
  • Identify the major structures of the lower body, understand the advantages of having a fit lower body, and identify various programs and exercises to enhance lower-body fitness
  • Recognize the benefits of increased flexibility, compare individual flexibility needs, and ascertain the components of a flexibility training program
  • Become aware that sports injuries may hurt for a lifetime, compare and contrast the safety requirements for specific activities, know how to exercise an injured body, and recognize symptoms of common injuries
  • Know the difference between eustress and distress, recognize the symptoms and stages of stress, and understand how to reduce stress
  • Know how to determine appropriate short- and long-term fitness goals, suggest methods for tracking progress and promoting lifetime fitness
  • Identify fitness program designs based on warm-up, cool-down, aerobic, and strength-training components, and know how a fitness instructor can cue clients during and between workouts
  • Identify common risk factors, signs and symptoms of disease, limitations to exercise, and appropriate tests for measuring the components of physical fitness; and know how to use the findings and data from the screening and evaluation process to develop a needs analysis
  • Supply information about the benefits of lifelong exercise for people with conditions such as diabetes and asthma; suggest exercise parameters for pregnant women, older adults, children, and people with lower-back pain; and identify medical conditions that prohibit exercise
  • Recognize leadership characteristics that fitness professionals should have in order to be role models and keep clients motivated
  • Recognize liability issues facing fitness professionals, identify legal sources information, and assess risks for potential for injury and litigation
  • Achieve nationally recognized professional certification as a personal fitness trainer

Instruction Set 1

Learning Strategies

The advantages of learning at home; types of study materials; types of examinations; accessing and using the features of our website; determining what kind of learner you are; establishing a study schedule; using study tips; preparing for and taking examinations.

Introduction to Managing Personal Health

Taking charge of your health and lifestyle; assessing your present lifestyle and its effects on your well-being; the benefits of managing your health; the importance of a weight maintenance program; job opportunities for fitness leaders; the personal qualities needed to become a fitness leader.

Instruction Set 2

Medical Terminology

Understanding common suffixes, roots, and prefixes used to form medical terms; determining the meaning of medical terms; identifying the basic structures and functions of the human body; understanding anatomical position, directional terms, planes of section, quadrants, and regions.

Exercise Science Terminology

Major muscle groups and the work they perform; anatomy of a muscle; aerobic versus anaerobic exercise; training thresholds and recovery periods; tests for overall fitness, muscle strength, and flexibility; typical components of a fitness workout; training methods for different fitness levels.

Fitness Anatomy and Physiology 1

The overall function of the digestive, urinary, musculoskeletal, and nervous systems; the major structures within each system; the functions of the structures within each system; related terminology.

Fitness Anatomy and Physiology 2

The overall function of the endocrine, circulatory, and respiratory systems; the major structures within each system; the functions of the structures within each system; related terminology.

Instruction Set 3

Nutrition Basics

The relationship between calories and energy; balancing carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in a healthy eating plan; suggesting foods for individuals with allergies; selecting healthy ingredients and preparation methods; the importance of vitamins and minerals; daily water and fluid intake; nutritional needs for men and women; taking herbal supplements; selecting healthy foods using nutritional tools.

Developing Healthy Eating Habits

Creating low-fat menus and recipes for clients; identifying ingredients needed to prepare healthy meals; analyzing recipes and menus for caloric, fat, protein, carbohydrate, sodium, and fiber content; interpreting nutrition labels; demonstrating healthy techniques for energy balance and weight loss.

Muscles in Motion

Different types of muscles and their structures; voluntary and involuntary muscle movement; mechanism and chemistry of muscle contraction; bones and joints and their function in movement; performance factors and fatigue; muscular fitness and its relationship to health; muscle soreness and injury.

Posture, Balance, and Proper Alignment

Health benefits of good posture; poor posture and its effects on breathing, digestion, and other bodily functions; proper posture techniques; assisting clients in attaining good posture and developing good posture habits; exercises that improve strength and flexibility for the spine and core; techniques to alleviate tension and anxiety.

Instruction Set 4

Understanding the Heart and Lungs

The pulmonary circuit; comparing and contrasting arteries, arterioles, veins, venules, and capillaries; determining your target heart rate and your heart rate range; physical advantages of regular cardiorespiratory exercise; the relationship between lifestyle and blood pressure; factors that contribute to heart and lung disease; information resources for developing and maintaining a healthy heart and lungs.

Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Exercise mode, duration, frequency, and intensity; advantages of cardiorespiratory fitness; comparing and contrasting cardiorespiratory exercise regimens; calculating resting heart rate, maximum heart rate, heart rate reserve, and training intensity; exercise plan progression; designing cardiorespiratory exercise programs.

Principles of Muscular Strength and Endurance

Advantages of resistance training; traditional resistance training routines; practicing safe training methods; the role of genetics, gender, and age in resistance training; determining appropriate weight loads; effects of muscle overload and hypertrophy.

Strengthening the Core

Core muscle groups and their relationship to overall fitness; exercise routines for core fitness; practical applications for core fitness; basics of functional training; comparing and contrasting posture and stretching exercise routines.

Instruction Set 5

Strengthening the Upper Body

Advantages of upper-body fitness; assessing your level of upper body fitness; practical applications for achieving and maintaining upper body fitness; fitness routines and exercise techniques for the neck, shoulders, arms, chest, and upper back.

Strengthening the Lower Body

Major structures of the lower body; advantages of achieving and maintaining a fit lower body; exercises that enhance lower body fitness; designing and implementing lower body fitness programs.

Flexibility Training

Defining flexibility and range of motion; benefits of increased flexibility; relationship between poor flexibility and increased injury; identifying individual flexibility needs; structural limits to flexibility; stretching techniques; major components of a flexibility training program.

Preventing Injury

The importance of safety in exercise; the five commandments of injury prevention; lifelong impact of sports injuries; responding to serious injuries and emergency situations; recognizing symptoms of common injuries; safety requirements for physical activities; designing plans to prevent or decrease injury.

Stress Management Techniques

Distinguishing between eustress and distress; the impact of stress on physical health; physical and psychological symptoms of stress; common stressors in daily life; the three stages of stress; the importance of fun and relaxation in relieving stress; reducing stress through exercise and adequate sleep; visualization, meditation, and breathing techniques.

Instruction Set 6

Personal Fitness Programs

The need for self-assessment; determining appropriate long- and short-term fitness goals; methods for measuring and tracking progress; setting flexibility, endurance, strength, nutrition, and stress-reduction goals; promoting lifetime fitness; proposing a rationale for starting a fitness program; fitness prescriptions for individuals at various stages of fitness.

Fitness Programs for the General Population

Planning health assessments, setting goals, and designing fitness programs for clients; creating fitness programs based on aerobic and strength-training components; evaluating fitness workout formats; the six basic body positions; safety considerations for designing new fitness programs; interacting with clients during and following workouts.

Health Screening, Testing, and Evaluation

General and specialized health assessments; the importance of informed consent; roles of fitness assessment team members; appropriate tests for measuring strength, endurance, and flexibility; active and passive fitness testing.

Preparing for Special Situations

Partnering with healthcare professionals to provide fitness instruction; exercise guidelines for clients with diabetes and asthma; designing exercise programs for pregnant women; exercise parameters for children and the elderly; typical exercise limitations for individuals with lower back pain; medical conditions that restrict or prevent exercise.

Instruction Set 7

Leadership Skills

Leadership characteristics of fitness professionals; responsibilities of being a role model; methods for capturing and keeping clients’ attention; selecting appropriate props for exercise classes; creating an environment that reflects the varying pace of workouts; establishing a rapport with clients; communicating with clients at different fitness levels.

Legal and Ethical Issues

Common liability issues facing fitness professionals; forms and contracts required for fitness professionals, facilities, and clients; sources of legal information; identifying situations with potential for injury and/or litigation; minimizing risk within a fitness facility; ethical issues related to the fitness profession.

Instruction Set 8

NCSF Certification Package
  • Advanced Concepts of Personal Training Textbook
  • Advanced Concepts of Personal Training Study Guide
  • Advanced Concepts of Personal Training Lab Manual

DVD: Personal Training Technique and Assessment

Supplement: Exam Registration Form for NCSF Certification Exam

Note: Prior to the shipment of the NCSF Certification Package, the total program price must be paid in full. The Exam registration Form that is included with the NCSF Certification Package serves as a voucher for you to write the NCSF exam. When you are ready to write the NCSF exam, simply fax a completed Exam Registration Form to the fax number that appears on the Form. Subsequently, NCSF will provide you with an Eligibility Number and testing instructions.

Computer Specifications
You will need access to a Microsoft® Windows®-based computer running Windows® XP or later (Mac OS X® or later) and high-speed Internet to complete your program with ICS Canada.

We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
NCSF testing is available at Prometric Test Centers which can be found throughout North America and Puerto Rico.

Sample Lesson

To view a Certified Personal Trainer sample lesson, click here.

Certified Personal Trainer Program Details

In the ICS Canada Career School Certified Personal Trainer program you'll cover topics such as:

  • Personalized conditioning programs and the elements of strength training, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness
  • Importance of safety in exercise and how to respond to minor injuries and emergency situations
  • Nutrition basics
  • Monitor clients’ progress and adapt programs as needed
Online certified personal trainer course

Certified Personal Trainers develop exercise programs, nutrition plans, and safety techniques for a variety of customers, and they monitor fitness levels and effective methods along the way. Here are a few qualities that qualified certified personal trainers have in common:

  • Sociable: Work with others on a daily basis.
  • Athletic: You enjoy and excel at exercise and physical activities.
  • Organized: It’s important to keep a schedule and track clients’ progress.
  • Adaptable: Every client has different physical and emotional strengths and weaknesses.
  • Persistent: You work until the job is done, and done well.

"I chose ICS Canada’s Personal Trainer program because I love to work out and wanted to learn more about exercise and nutrition. It helped prepare me for the NCSF certification by giving me the necessary tools I needed to pass my exam. The material was clearly written and easy to understand, the every book was delivered quickly so there was no waiting for the next shipment to arrive. Now I have my own business, I make my own hours, and I make a comfortable living as a personal trainer. "

- Billie-Joe F., Certified Personal Trainer graduate

"I have taken three diploma courses with ICS Canada. It has been very rewarding and challenging. I love to increase my knowledge level and share experiences. ICS Canada is great. Enrol! The contact with them is always very pleasant. You feel like a part of the ICS team."

- Connie K., ICS Canada graduate

Your program includes:

  • Customized payment plans with 0% interest
  • Learning aids and the National Council on Strength and Fitness Certification Test Preparation Course and Exam Voucher included
  • Study Planner App to customize your study plans and keep track of your progress
  • Instructional support from our experienced faculty
  • Your personalized online student homepage and learning portal
  • Exclusive access to ICS Canada’s Student and Alumni Facebook Group
  • Additional resources such as our online library and career guidance from Career Cruising

What personal trainer certification does ICS Canada help you prepare for?

ICS Canada helps students prepare to sit for the National Council on Strength and Fitness (NCSF) certification exam upon completion of the program.

What hands-on training options are there for a Certified Personal Trainer?

Hands-on training opportunities include working at local gyms or even advising clients about individualized training programs.

More FAQs >

¹ According to the Job Bank (2014-2016), occupational demand is better than average in Ontario and Quebec. Salary statistics are as reported by the Labour Force Survey for 2012-2013 and are based on the average high salary for all Canadian provinces. These statistics are not a guarantee of post-graduation salary or job outlook because these statistics are general averages, and don’t take into account other employment factors and can vary by specific geographic location.