We know, personal training certification is expensive. The bright side is, the expense of getting certified pales in comparison to the expenses you’ll incur once you actually start your business. If you’re put off by $599 for training certification, just consider that your marketing costs might be double of that–every single month.

For those who would still like to save a buck or two when getting certification, there are some options. In this article, I’ll go over some basic techniques for getting a great deal on your certification.

Watch for Sales

A money saving technique as old as time, but just as effective as anything else you could possibly do. Let me illustrate.

Let’s say you’ve got your eyes on an ACE personal trainer certification but you’re put off by the high price tag. $799 can be a lot to pay to get certified! Luckily, ACE provides a page on their site that specifically tells you which promotions are going on at the moment so you know you’re always getting the best deal.

And what do you know? Their classic personal trainer certification program right now is $100 off! All you have to do is check out their specials.

Opt for Exam Only

Did you know that you don’t have to sign up for all the bells and whistles that each certifying organization offers? If you feel like you’ve got a good handle on all the relevant information and you are confident you can pass the certification exam, you can opt to purchase the exam only and skip all the course materials and textbooks. This will usually save at least $200 – $300 and your end result is the same: you’re certified!

Now, a word of caution with this method. Those course materials are there for a reason and every certifying program will focus on different aspects of personal training and will ask different questions. This technique is just for those who perhaps have already gotten their degree in a related field and have a good grasp of all the finer details of this business already.

Split the Cost

Know a buddy who is applying for certification as well? Perfect! Ask him or her to split the cost with you for all the course materials, and then each of you can simply purchase the Exam only. This way, you get best of both worlds: all the information at half the cost.

I myself went this route back when I got my personal training certification in 2005 and the end result was exactly the same as if I had purchased it full price. Absolutely no difference, except the extra money in my pocket. Win win!


There’s no doubt about it, getting certified is pricey. Aside from your college debt and things like buying a new car, getting your personal training certification will be one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make this year. But there are always ways around these costs with a little creativity and know-how!

Follow this advice and you’ll be well on your way to being certified without breaking the bank!

Good luck!