FAQ

Why do I need to go to a personal training school?
How is The Focus Personal Training Institute different from other personal training schools?
What does the Focus Personal Training Institute look for when choosing applicants?
Is The Focus Personal Training Insitute licensed by The New York State Education Department?
If I attend this personal training school, will I be a certified trainer?
Will this program help me pass a national personal training certification?
Once I get certified will I need to renew my certification?
After I get certified, are there other classes I need to take?
I noticed most of the FocusNYC trainers have advanced certifications. Do I need one too?
I noticed national certifications like NASM, ACSM, ACE, NSCA are all NCCA accredited. What does that mean?
So why not just take a personal trainer certification exam from NASM, NSCA , ACE or ACSM and start working as a trainer right away?
Will I be "licensed" in any particular state after attending the Focus Personal Training Institute?
How much do personal trainers earn?
After graduation, will the Institute help me find a job?
At The Focus Personal Training Institute, will I learn about the business aspects of becoming a trainer?
If I don't pass the final exam, what happens? What is a passing grade?
If I don't like the course or can't continue for any reason, do I get a refund?
Are there any quizzes or mid-terms, or just a final exam?


Why do I need to go to a personal training school?

To be a successful personal trainer, you have to go above and beyond the material found in most home study certification courses. You must learn the proper techniques to design and implement a safe and effective program for your clients. You also need to learn the skills necessary to interact with your clients, handle difficult situations and most importantly: know how and when to grow your business. So, without a professional network to support you or industry connections to rely on, you may find it difficult in not only getting a job, but also in finding clients.
Surprisingly, many aspiring trainers still try to get by with just an online or home study certification course. But ask any hiring manager at a respectable gym and they will tell you trainers with practical hands on experience easily stand out from other, less experienced trainers. Focus Integrated Fitness has held hundreds of continuing education classes for our select staff over the past 10 years. Our extensive experience in personal trainer education is what distinguishes us as industry leaders in personal trainer education and ultimately led to the creation of our personal training school, The Focus Personal Training Insitute. We not only give you the knowledge needed to become a competent personal trainer, but more importantly, our school teaches you how to apply that knowledge in order to succeed.


How is The Focus Personal Training Insitute different from other personal training schools?

The Focus Personal Training Insitute is located in a completely private state-of-the-art facility in the heart of New York City with a classroom and training floor customized to enhance the learning process. All of our instructors have a Masters Degree in an exercise related field and years of practical personal training experience. In addition to our staff and facility, the institute's parent company, Focus Integrated Fitness, is one of the oldest and most successful private personal training companies in New York City. It is a thriving fitness business with professional trainers training real clients. So you’ll be on the inside, studying and learning from one of the most successful business models in the country.


What does The Focus Personal Training Institute look for when choosing applicants?

The Focus Personal Training Insitute staff gives serious consideration to candidates demonstrating motivation, dedication, energy and an engaging personality. The interview by FPTI staff members, provides a great deal of insight into these qualities. The primary objective for student selection is to establish a well-rounded class each semester. Class diversity is also important; FPTI seeks to provide perspectives from students from a broad range of backgrounds. FPTI does not discriminate against any applicant on the basis of race, gender, age, or disability in accordance with federal and state guidelines.


Is The Focus Personal Training Institute a licensed and accredited school?

Yes, the Focus Personal Training Institute is licensed and accredited thru the New York State Education Department.  For more information on our licensure, please visit the New York State Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision website.


Some personal training schools say they will "certify" me as a personal trainer. If I attend FPTI, will I be a certified personal trainer?

This is one of the major misconceptions among courses and schools that offer training to personal trainers. At this point in time, any school or mail study program can say they will certify you as a trainer, even if it isn't a recognized certification within the industry. There are hundreds of organizations and schools that claim they will certify you as a personal trainer. Be very careful; these "certifications" are typically not recognized by gyms, clients or the fitness industry in general and will only serve to take your money.

At FPTI, we teach you what you need to know to pass the major certification courses. Even if you attend a state licensed personal trainer school where you receive a certificate post graduation, you should still sit for an industry standard certification (listed below). Trainers that have their undergraduate or graduate degrees in an exercise related field will often obtain a national certification in addition to their degree as it represents a standard of competency within the industry. These certifications serve as an industry wide "seal of approval".
If you ask most experienced personal trainers what certification they have, 9 times out of 10 they will have obtained one of the major certifications below, even if they went to school for personal training or exercise science.

    FPTI only recommends the top 4 NCCA Certified Personal Trainer Certification Exams:
  1. National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  2. National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
  3. American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  4. American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

Even though these certifications are the most sought after and highly regarded, they typically do not offer extensive hands on experience. Students learn the material from the book and possibly have the opportunity to take a weekend seminar. In order for the major national certifications to be accredited by the NCCA, they must allow anyone to take their certifying exam and cannot require students to attend a course taught by their organization in order to pass the test.

So by a school telling you they are offering you a certification, they are comparing themselves to the NCCA accredited certifications like The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and the American Council on Exercise (ACE).A certification should remain separate from the school to avoid any conflict of interest.
For example, a medical school doesn't provide you with the license to become a doctor. They teach you the skills necessary to pass the required board exams. Personal training schools no more compete with the certifying agencies than Columbia Medical School would compete with the New York State Medical Board Certification.

A personal training school serves a similar educational purpose as a medical or law school. They provide the skills and knowledge to help you pass the highly respected industry standard exams. Any school that tells you their certification is all you need is not being forthcoming. The Focus Personal Training Institute goes above and beyond teaching you how to pass a personal trainer certification. We give you the skills and knowledge necessary to set yourself apart from "average" trainers in the industry.


Will this personal training program help me pass a national certification?

Yes. In addition to the hands-on proprietary curriculum, portions of the course require The American Council on Exercise and The National Strength and Conditioning Association's Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) texbooks. ACE and NSCA are among the top four nationally recognized certification agencies. Typically, personal trainers, whether they have degrees in exercise science or attend a personal training school like FPTI, take a national certification such as the ACE-CPT or NSCA- CPT after graduation. Moreover, if you want to sit for a different exam, we give you the practical and the theoretical components that prepare you for most Certified Personal Trainer examinations.


Once I get certified will I need to renew my certification?

Some schools may tell you their personal trainer "certification" is good forever and never needs to be renewed. All of the highly respected personal trainer certifications listed above require continuing education credits in order to keep the fitness professional up on the current topics and research in the field of exercise science. These organizations recognize the importance of continuing education, which is why they require additional classes to be taken every couple of years. For students attending The Focus Personal Training Insitute that already have their personal training certifications, certain modules may count toward continuing education hours.


After I get certified, are there other classes I need to take?

The industry standard personal trainer certifications we recommend will require you to take a certain number of continuing education hours bi-annually in order to keep your certification current. This ensures you are furthering your knowledge as fitness professional.


I noticed most of the FocusNYC trainers have advanced certifications. Do I need one too?

Your initial Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification gives you "a seat at the table" and will afford you recognition as a professional in the fitness industry. It does not mean, however, that you will know everything you need to know to work successfully as a trainer over time. A certification shows that you were able to pass a test. It doesn't assess your ability to coach, motivate, and inspire your clients; it doesn't tell you how to get hired, how to find clients, or even how to stay current with industry research and data. So even though we go beyond what most programs offer, the classroom and practical experience you get from FPTI is just the start. As a career trainer, you need to continue to pursue your education with advanced training and courses.
The industry is quickly changing and trainers that only keep one certification for their whole professional careers won't last. That's because the new "norm" for what a trainer needs to be in order to stand out will entail expertise and experience in one or more specialties with multiple, advanced certifications. So though you don't need a college degree in an exercise related area of study to excel, you do need to apply yourself and go well beyond the current standards to be successful.
That's why we are fanatics about continuing education and feel all trainers should continue their education throughout their careers. That could entail obtaining one new certification annually, reading the monthly research journals or attending continuing education classes, workshops, clinics or even internships and mentorships.

    There are a number of exceptional advanced certifications. Here are a few that we recommend.
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA-CSCS)
  • Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM-PES)
  • Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM-CES)
  • Medical Exercise Specialist (AHFRP-MES)
  • Resistance Training Specialist (RTS)
  • Certified Clinical Exercise Specialist (ACSM-CES)
  • Muscle Activation Technique Specialist (MAT)
  • Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist (ACE-AHFS)
  • USA Weightlifting Level 1 Sport Performance Coach (USAW)

I noticed national certifications like NASM, ACSM, ACE, NSCA are all NCCA accredited. What does that mean?

Any program that claims to be "accredited" must be approved by an organization called the NCCA-which stands for the "National Commission for Certifying Agencies." Created in 1987 to assess professional competence, the NCCA is an independent organization recognized as the de facto authority on accreditation standards for professional certification organizations/programs. Because the most respected certifying organizations in the health and fitness industry are accredited through the NCCA, they are recognized as upholding a certain standard of quality and compliance.
Programs like FPTI differ from certification organizations in that we offer classroom instruction and hands-on practical training that are necessary to sit for, and pass, a NCCA accredited personal training certification exam. Currently, the only way an NCCA accreditation can be granted is if the program makes its testing exam available to anyone, regardless of whether they are or a student in a program or not.
That's why personal training schools that teach you the skills necessary to become a trainer are not NCCA accredited. FTPI's program compliments the top organizations that offer NCCA accredited exams; we do not try to compete with them. We prepare you with the practical skills necessary to become a professional trainer and the knowledge that will help you pass one of the National industry exams. These organizations have been around for many years and are the industry leaders in personal trainer standardized testing.


So why not just take a certification exam from NASM, NSCA , ACE or ACSM and start working as a trainer right away?

Passing one of these certifications does not ensure that you will have the necessary hands-on practical experience that is needed to become a competent professional. Anyone can read a book and pass a test on paper, but a trainer that has the book knowledge and prior hands on experience is more likely to get hired and succeed as a professional trainer. Especially if the job interview requires you to train a client while the hiring manager observes your skill.

If you were the hiring manager or a client, would you rather hire a trainer that learned only from a book or one with knowledge and practical experience that graduated from a reputable school?


Will I be "licensed" in any particular state after taking your certification?

There are some states that are trying to pass licensing of personal trainers, but currently, there are no states that require personal trainers to be licensed.


How much do personal trainers earn?

The salary ranges for personal trainers varies by geographical location and what type of environment (gym, boutique company, independent, etc) you choose to work in. A full time trainer can make anywhere from $75 to $400+ per day. Celebrity trainers and established independent trainers in large metropolitan areas can command a high six figure income. Your earning potential is largely influenced by the quality of your education, your ability to communicate with clients, and you ability to grow, adapt and change with the industry. But without a good foundation, your chances of being able to earn to your full potential are severely limited. It also takes time to build a book of clients that train consistently. So the skills needed to find, attract and convert prospects into loyal, paying clients are as important as your technical abilities as a trainer if you want to succeed.


Will the school help me find a job after I graduate?

Yes. We have relationships with the major gyms and personal training studios throughout the tri-state area. Upon graduation, our students are granted unlimited access to our job placement database which is updated with the major facilities in the Tri-State area that are currently hiring personal trainers.


At FTPI, will I learn about the business aspects of becoming a trainer?

For over 10 years, Focus Integrated Fitness, the parent company of FPTI, has run one of the most profitable, successful and well respected personal training companies in the country. We show you our secrets on how to significantly increase your earning potential including specific steps, systems and processes.

    Some of the topics we cover are:
  • How to get and keep clients
  • How to successfully negotiate a job interview
  • How to impress your managers and stand apart in a gym
  • Billing and merchant account setup, price setting, cancellation policies, incorporation, taxes and accounting
  • Legal forms: PAR-Q, waivers, medical clearance, credit cards, cancellation policies
  • Marketing: how to come up on an internet search, where to get business cards, which logo designers, T-shirt vendors and website designers to work with to help create your personal brand.

If I don't pass the final exam, what happens? What is a passing grade?

There are practical and written exams. If you fail the final exams, both written and practical, you fail the course. If you pass the practical but fail the written, you will have one more chance to retest 2 weeks later. A passing score is 70%.


If I don't like the course or can't continue for any reason, do I get a refund?

Our refunds are on a schedule set by The New York State Department of Education:
100% after the 1st week
75% after the 2nd week
50% after the 3rd week
25% after the 4th week
Refunds are calculated on the full tuition rate.


Are there any quizzes or mid-terms, or just a final exam?

The course includes practical and written quizzes, a midterm and final exam.