The National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association (NESTA) is a professional association and certification body representing over 56,000 professionals in the health, wellness, and fitness industry. Established in 1992, NESTA provides opportunities for individuals to earn personal fitness trainer certifications which will validate their understanding of critical concepts in the health, wellness, and fitness industry.

The mission of NESTA’s Certified Personal Fitness Trainer (PFT) Program is to:

Recognize individuals who are qualified to provide personal training services to the public and who will strive to set a positive example for professionals in the industry.

In support of this mission NESTA:

  • Adopts and upholds standards for educational preparation for entry into the fitness field;
  • Adopts and upholds standards of fitness practice;
  • Develops and administers examinations that assess the knowledge and skills underlying the performance of the tasks required by professional fitness practitioners.

NESTA’s Certified Personal Fitness Trainer (PFT) Program validates entry-level skills, knowledge, and commitment vital to the fitness practice. This certification process encompasses multiple avenues for entry including: self-study, practical work experience- including internships and apprenticeships, and 2- and 4-year collegiate-based fitness programs.

In addition to the initial PFT, NESTA provides a mechanism to:

Recognize those individuals who continue to demonstrate their qualifications through adherence to the standards, professional behavior and compliance with the continuing education requirements for NESTA’s Certified Personal Fitness Trainer program.

NESTA awards the title Certified Professional Fitness Trainer to those individuals who meet the examination requirements set forth by the PFT Certification Board.