Most Recent Questions Search Q & A TrainingProgramsBodybuildingRehabilitationStrongmanPowerliftingSquat - DeadliftBench PressNovice PowerliftingPowerlifting GearSports TrainingFootballOlympic SportsNutritionWeight GainFat LossPerformanceSupplementsCommentsIron BrothersBusiness DiscussionSick of your Gym!Products and ReviewsQuotes
12/26/2014 11:19:42 PM - Richie
Hi Mark,

I would really like to be a strength and conditioning coach. I've been in love with barbells, and have been an EliteFTS reader, for about ten years now. I train daily, and when I'm not actually training, I'm watching videos of or reading articles by people who train. I love strength!

I graduated w/ a BA last December, have recently become CPR and AED certified, and have the NSCA's "Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning." I'm studying it vigorously. I hope to take and pass the CSCS exam by February or March, allowing for (hopefully) plenty of study time. I'm doing everything I can to make a good go at this.

I know that jobs are hard to come by. I am prepared for this, am humble, and will take anything I can just to get my foot in the door somewhere. My question is: does CSCS certification also allow one to do personal training in most gyms? It seems like the more prestigious of the two certs -- CSCS and CPT -- and I was hoping if I got the one, the former, and had a difficult time finding a strength and conditioning job, I could do personal training in the interim; but I don't want to discover that CPT certification is preferred over it at commercial gyms.

Anyway, thanks, Mark, for any input you can put-in here;
Warmest regards,


First of all, props to you for putting the work in to chase your dreams, my man. There are a lot of people out there that wish they could do what you are doing. It take guts to go after what you really want.

Anyway,that is a great question. Short answer, the CSCS is probably more sought after and will carry more weight than the NSCA-CPT (in most cases). Nothing against the CPT, but the main differences are the prerequisites. Yo have to have a Bachelors to take the CSCS and there are more scientific foundations (in general). Keep in mind, the bulk of your clientele will warrant more knowledge from the CPT, but from a career standpoint, the CSCS may make more sense.

If you ever decide to pursue a career in S&C, the CSCS will be more valuable where the CPT may not. So, overall, I think you are doing the right thing with the CSCS. In this day and age, the way that Personal training is going is more based on athletic performance type training anyway. It's way cooler now to put a PT client through ladders and have them deadlift then it was a few years back. The line is getting more blurry between S&C and PT.

I hope this helps. I would ask some of the gym owners in your area what they are looking for in a trainer. I know for a fact that having your CSCS will separate you (at least on paper).

Also, I know you have a love for training and getting stronger. Just make sure that passion carries over to getting others stronger. Being strong feeds your ego, getting others strong feeds your family. ;)

Take care Richie, and let me know if you need anything.

Keep up the good work,
Mark Watts

Email This Question To A Friend

Now it's easier than ever to share, Click Here to email this Question to a friend.

Link To This Question

We are not
1998-2013 EliteFTS, INC. 138 Maple Street, London, Ohio 43140. All Rights Reserved