In 1980, Ron Clark, president and CEO of National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT), moved from Southern California, where he was serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, to his hometown of Lafayette, Indiana to begin a career in personal training. In 1978, Ron discovered his love for hardcore fitness training after a gunshot wound required rehabilitation. Staff Sergeant Clark was already in great shape, the Marine Corps demanded it, but through the process of rehabilitation he discovered a passion for dedicated training and a mindset to achieve. But, reaching his personal goals wasn’t enough; he was ready to help others do the same. Ron knew he had caught the “fitness fever” and was determined to make it his life’s work. He went on to earn multiple certifications while continuing his post-graduate studies in exercise science.
His journey as a personal trainer led him to discover the need for a personal trainer certification that was “real-world”, applicable and also attainable for the person who may not have the technical background that certification agencies once required. He wanted to teach people to teach others, and do it from a unique and engaging perspective that required a love for fitness as a pre-req. Barriers to entry and pressures not to compete, didn’t faze him. He felt the time was right for something new, fresh and within reach of the fitness enthusiast turned trainer. In 1987, Ron accepted the challenge and incorporated NFPT. He was determined to establish a credible organization that could provide the support, education and resources that personal trainers depend on to become successful business owners.
NFPT certified its first fitness trainer in 1988. NFPT’s Personal Trainer Certification program became accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) in 2005. This followed an industry movement to raise the bar in the credentialing field – a standard setting measure that NFPT fully supports and is proud to endorse.
For more than 25 years, the organization has offered a foundational education and credential to those who seek personal fitness trainer employment in gym facilities, private studios and other fitness capacities around the world. Currently, NFPT is working hard to enhance its continuing education offerings and to help personal trainers discover the value of professional development NFPT partners with organizations who have like missions and who stay true to their passion for helping personal trainers establish safe, productive and exciting fitness environments.
As a professional fitness organization, it is our intention to qualify personal fitness trainers through a legally defensible assessment of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) that legitimizes and solidifies the Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) title and achievement.
As an agency that offers a professional and accredited certification program, we will continue to establish and promote quality standards for fitness professionals, and encourage ongoing professional development through recertification requirements. NFPT supports industry efforts that further public and government respect, trust and confidence in the fitness training certification industry.
Lead the personal training industry with the highest levels of integrity and honor to provide fitness trainers with the educational tools and resources needed to develop and enhance performance skills for the safe and effective training of apparently healthy individuals.