National Credential
Credential: Certified Personal Trainer (PTA-CPT)  NCCA resource
Credentialing Agency: PTA Global

The PTA Global, Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) credential enables work as a professionally certified personal trainer. Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED, be at least 18 years old, and hold a current CPR/AED certification. Candidates must pass a written exam covering the topics of program design, human sciences, human behavior, workplace practices, nutrition, and special populations.

More information can be found on the certifying agency's website.

Renewal Period: 2 years

Certified Personal Trainer (PTA-CPT)

The following Army Occupations provide training and/or experience that contributes to attaining this credential:

Personnel Category Occupation Occupation Type Related As Promotion Points Skill Level Star Proponent Funded Gap Analysis
Enlisted 68F Physical Therapy Specialist MOS other          
Enlisted Soldier Common Core MOS some          
Enlisted P5 Master Fitness Trainer ASI most          

Army Table Legend


Related As

The military occupations shown in this table are related to this credential in one of four ways: Most, Some, or Other.

Most: This credential is directly related to most of the major duties associated with the military occupation (at least 80%). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Some: This credential is related to some tasks associated with the duties of the military occupation (related 80% to at least one or more critical tasks but less than 80% of all of the entire military occupation). Note that the credential may require additional education, training or experience before you are eligible for it.

Other: This credential is related to this military occupation, but is more advanced or specialized and therefore will likely require additional education, training, or experience.

Promotion Points Promotion Points icon

This credential has been approved for promotion points for this MOS towards promotion to Sergeant and Staff Sergeant. Clicking the Promotion Points icon will open a link to the promotion points fact sheet.

Skill Level Designation

Skill Level I: This skill level consists of all Soldiers in the ranks of Private (pay grade E-1) up to Specialist (pay grade E-4). Time in Service (TIS) is generally between initial entry and four Years of Service (YOS). This skill level is Entry-level positions requiring performance of tasks under direct supervision.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level I
  • Basic Leader Course (BLC)

Skill Level II: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Sergeant (paygrade E-5). TIS is generally between 4-8 YOS. Positions requiring performance of more difficult tasks under general supervision; and in some instances, involving supervision of Soldiers in SL1.

Institutional training:

  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level II
  • Advance Leader Course (ALC)

Skill Level III: This skill level is obtained when promoted to Staff Sergeant (paygrade E-6). TIS is generally between 8-12 YOS. Positions requiring performance of still more difficult tasks and involving first line supervision of Soldiers in SL1 & SL2.

Institutional training:

  • Senior Leader Course (SLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level III

Skill level IV: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeant First Class (paygrade E-7). TIS is generally between 12-18 YOS. Positions requiring relatively detailed knowledge of all tasks specified for a given MOS, normally involving first-line supervision of Soldiers in SLs 1, 2, and 3, and involving managerial duties.

Institutional training:

  • Master Leader Course (MLC)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level IV
  • Senior Enlisted Joint Professional Military Education (SEJPME) I Course

Skill level V: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Master Sergeant (paygrade E-8). TIS is generally between 18-22 YOS. Positions requiring direct and indirect leadership roles with expertise in company and battalion-level operations and competency across a given CMF, serving as members of a staff at every level in the Army, with a full understanding of the allocation of resources and their utilization in order to accomplish Army functions and missions.

Institutional training:

  • United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA)
  • Structured Self-Development (SSD) level V

Skill level VI: This skill level is obtained when promoted to the rank of Sergeants Major (paygrade E-9). TIS is generally between 22-30 YOS. Positions requiring organizational leadership roles with multi-dimensional expertise in units and teams on division, corps, and Army staffs, integrated with Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational (JIIM) partners with a full understanding of the Force Generation process, operations at all echelons, and how the Army runs.

Star Credential Star icon

Star credentials are MOS enhancing, as designated by the Proponent. MOS enhancing credentials are directly related to an MOS or ASI, are taught either partially or completely as part of a Program of Instruction (POI), and improve the MOS technical proficiency.

Proponent Funded Funded icon

This icon indicates credentials which Soldiers may have funded through their MOS proponent. Some proponents offer credentialing opportunities in conjunction with military training and/or as part of MOS development beyond the training base.

Gap Analysis Has Analysis icon

A detailed analysis comparing the credential requirements to the military occupation has been completed. Click on the gap analysis icon to view the analysis page.

Certified Personal Trainer (PTA-CPT)

Eligibility Requirements ()

Note: This credential may have multiple options for becoming eligible. Listed below are the minimum requirements based on the minimum degree required. To view other options, see the Eligibility tab.

  • Credential Prerequisite
  • Experience
  • Education: High School Diploma/GED
  • Training
  • Membership
  • Other
  • Fee

Exam Requirements ()

  • Written Exam
  • Oral Exam
  • Practical Exam
  • Performance Assessment

Renewal Period: 2 years

  • Continuing Education
  • Exam
  • Continuing Education OR Exam
  • Fee
  • Other

PTA Global
1774 Platte Street
Denver, CO  80202
Phone: 1-877-647-0690
Email: certificationboard@ptaglobal.com

Certified Personal Trainer (PTA-CPT)

Candidates must have obtained a high school diploma or equivalent (GED) before registering for the CPT Exam.

The Certified Personal Trainer (PTA-CPT) credential has the following other requirements:

  • Candidates must be 18 years of age before registering for the CPT exam.
  • Candidates must be CPR/AED certified at the time of exam registration.

Certified Personal Trainer (PTA-CPT)

  • Program Design (19%)
    • Discern the various principles and acute variables of exercise prescription and periodization (Frequency, Intensity, Time, Type)
    • Develop safe and effective client programming strategies using the principles and acute variables of exercise prescription for different goals and ability levels
    • Deliver a client needs analysis assessment following initial and ongoing client consultations
    • Demonstrate exercise modification strategies to meet the client abilities and goals
    • Demonstrate and apply various forms of exercise and equipment utilization for different clients
    • Knowledge of exercise technique and application
    • Knowledge of elemental physiological processes and outcomes
    • Knowledge of program design, sequencing, progression and regression, and maintenance
    • Conduct a client intake review
    • Obtain Health History Form from new clients
    • Establish goals with clients collaboratively
    • Create a timeline and schedule with frequencies and durations of training sessions
    • Match movement to client style and personality
  • Exercise Sciences (22%)
    • Differentiate the various systems in the body and how they function as a unit/organism
    • Detail the physiological processes that produce human movement
    • Detail the physiological responses to movement of different intensities
    • Discern and apply the various forces that the body deals with during movement
    • Knowledge of the basic anatomy principles as they relate to exercise
    • Knowledge of the basic principles of physical sciences as they relate to exercise
    • Knowledge of acceptable ranges of heart rate, levels of exertion, levels of hydration
    • Knowledge of muscle origins and insertions and overall musculoskeletal function
    • Knowledge regarding acceptable energy intake requirements versus output of exertion
    • Knowledge of a client’s potential to over-train or over-exercise
    • Detail how posture effects movement
    • Target specific energy systems toward client goals and needs
    • Apply appropriate acute training variables
    • Consider client adaptation to exercise (SAID)
    • Monitor for client daily adaptations or failure to adapt to stress
    • Build in appropriate recovery and rest periods
    • Incorporate multi-planar movements when appropriate
    • Select proper order of exercise appropriate for the client
    • Conduct proper exercise progression and/or regression of exercise
  • Human Behavior (18%)
    • Discuss and discern the neurophysiological process of behavioral change in humans
    • Differentiate various types of questions and their importance in establishing client rapport and trust
    • Deliver appropriate client prospecting techniques and ways to overcome objections
    • Detail strategies to work with difficult clients
    • Deliver practical strategies for stimulating healthy client behavior change
    • Knowledge of basic human behavior and communication
    • Knowledge of effective interview techniques
    • Knowledge of client motivation and behavioral roadblocks that may prevent client progress
    • Knowledge of active listening techniques
    • Knowledge of basic techniques to increase adherence
  • Workplace Practices (15%)
    • Detail strategies to gain and sustain a clientele
    • Detail strategies for objectively assessing a client’s capabilities to participate in exercise
    • Detail strategies for working with other professional industries
    • Knowledge of basic accounting, scheduling, record-keeping, and bookkeeping
    • Knowledge of employer/workplace policies regarding facility safety
    • Knowledge of acceptable workplace behaviors
    • Knowledge of recruitment and retention of clients
    • Knowledge of personal liability insurance availability and amounts
    • Identify a health issue and advise client to seek reference
    • Check with client at appropriate times throughout the workout
    • Communicate and demonstrate safe and proper exercise form
    • Set up safe workout environment prior to session
    • Present a professional appearance and conduct
    • Focus on and pay attention to client throughout session
    • Time-manage own schedule and client sessions
    • Elicit client feedback on exercise performance
  • Nutrition (15%)
    • Differentiate between various macro- and micro-nutrients
    • Detail the importance/influence of food to the human body before, during, and after exercise
    • Detail the effect of food and eating behaviors on body composition and health
    • Differentiate between various eating strategies for different types of people
    • Differentiate between various eating strategies for different types of people
    • Knowledge regarding the nutritional content/components/composition of common foods and drinks
    • Knowledge of the limitations of trainers to recommend/plan dietary programs for clients
    • Advise clients on basic nutrition principles relating to energy systems utilized
    • Communicate basic principles of hydration, blood-sugar, and macro-nutrition to clients
    • Recognize and adhere to boundaries of scope of practice with regard to nutrition
    • Recognize signs and symptoms of low blood-sugar and dehydration
  • Special Populations (15%)
    • Deliver safe and effective exercise strategies specific to older adults needs
    • Differentiate the various types of behavioral strategies necessary for safe and effective exercise in the youth population
    • Detail the physiological responses of the human body to pregnancy
    • Deliver safe and effective exercise for pregnant mothers
    • Knowledge of special factors which may affect the exercise program and/or ability of youth
    • Knowledge of special factors which may affect the exercise program and/or ability of seniors and older populations
    • Knowledge of special factors which may affect the exercise program and/or ability of people who are overweight or obese
    • Knowledge of special factors which may affect the exercise program and/or ability of people with chronic pain or injuries
    • Recognize signs and symptoms of low blood pressure, insulin shock, and diabetic coma
    • Recognize special conditions based on medical and health history (e.g. pregnancy)
    • Obtain physician release forms as necessary
    • Recognize and adhere to boundaries of scope of practice with regard to medical and health concerns
    • Adjust measurements and interpretations for clients with special limitations
    • Identify past injuries and risk of injury
    • Identify exercise contraindication based on injuries and limitations
    • Recognize limitations and make adjustments for youth and aging populations

There are a number of resources available to help you prepare for the Certified Personal Trainer (PTA-CPT) examination:

An additional resource is Safari Books Online, a searchable digital library that provides online access to thousands of books, training videos and conference sessions. See the Educational Resources page here on COOL to learn how to get free access.

Certified Personal Trainer (PTA-CPT)

Renewal Period: 2 years

The Certified Personal Trainer (PTA-CPT) credential has the following recertification information:

  • CPT certification is valid for two years. Certification holders must complete at least 24 CECs (approximately 24 hours of CB approved credit study) There is no fee for recertification. Detailed information about recertification can be found in the Policies and Procedures Manual.