In 1978, Ron Clark, founder and CEO of National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT), was serving in the U.S. Marine Corps when he was shot through the arm, at the wrist, with a .50 caliber rifle during a training exercise. He was sent home from his base in Camp Pendleton, California, to his hometown of Lafayette, Indiana for rigorous therapy and rehab. It was then that Ron discovered his love for serious weight training and wanted nothing more than to compete while launching his career as a personal fitness trainer. Staff Sergeant Clark was already in great shape, the Marine Corps demanded it, but during rehab he discovered a passion for dedicated training and a mindset to achieve greatness. Reaching his personal goals wasn’t enough. He wanted 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, competitive bodybuilding titles (Mr. Indiana, Mr. Purdue, AAU and NPC), and opened his own personal training studio, The Fitness Clinic.
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. To read more about NFPT’s family history and induction into the National Fitness Hall of Fame, click here.
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 NFPT 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.
It is NFPT’s mission to lead the personal training industry, through quality education and credentialing, into a future of public and government respect, trust, and confidence. As a professional fitness organization, it is our intention to provide entry-level fitness trainers with the educational tools and health and fitness resources needed to develop and enhance performance skills for the safe and effective training of apparently healthy clients.
NFPT offers both education and certification for fitness professionals. As an agency that offers a professional certification program, we will continue to establish quality standards for fitness professionals and encourage ongoing professional development through recertification requirements.
NFPT educational programs are optional and are not a requirement to take the certification exam. NFPT’s educational offerings are developed by the NFPT Board of Education. The NFPT Board of Education acts independently to develop and/or review and approve quality fitness education that teaches fundamental fitness concepts and exercise science, explained in a comprehensive way that speaks to the entry-level trainer and fitness enthusiast alike. It is the intention of NFPT education to create an impact on understanding and implementing goal-oriented fitness training methods that gain positive results on the well being of health conscious individuals.
The NFPT Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification program is designed to qualify personal fitness trainers working one-on-one with apparently healthy individuals or in small group settings. An apparently healthy individual includes those with no significant disease or physical condition or impairment which prevents them from engaging in physical fitness activity. NFPT Certified Trainers are individuals who demonstrate the understanding of fundamental exercise science principles for safe and effective fitness program design.
NFPT has been certifying personal fitness trainers since 1988. Our organizational mission is to equip trainers and their clients with the education and tools that are needed to address America’s growing health concerns, and to promote fitness around the world. NFPT provides 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 in a one-on-one or small group setting. Performance and knowledge-based skills are assessed by a legally defensible certification exam which, upon successful completion, earns the individual a NFPT Certified Personal Trainer, CPT, title.
- To ensure an accredited and trustworthy credential with a legally defensible certification assessment
- To provide a foundational, comprehensive, and applicable education
- To provide an affordable, convenient and attainable certification process
- To offer a well-respected and industry recognized Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) credential
- To deliver certified member benefits that enhance personal trainer knowledge, outreach, and career development
- To facilitate and encourage continuing education and specialty training for improved trainer proficiency