Personal trainer consulting with trainee who is stretching on the floor

Certified Personal Trainer Program

NCCA Accredited Personal Trainer Certification

Hybrid (Virtual lectures + In-person practical skills labs)

Get all the information needed to start an exciting fitness career as a Certified Personal Trainer. The certification course will teach you all the essentials to be a successful fitness trainer. 

The course includes the following:
  • Hands-on practical skill labs in the fitness industry. In the practical skill labs, you will learn each week in the gym by role-playing and completing essential job tasks. You will be able to design and lead assessment testing of clients,’ stretching regiments, cardio warmups/cool downs with a purpose, exercise analysis for implementing free weight, exercise tubing, machines and bodyweight exercises for clients’ needs and abilities.
  • Virtual “LIVE” lectures on core knowledge led by our expert instructors each week at a set time. Topics will cover 15 hours on anatomy, exercise physiology, kinesiology, biomechanics, nutrition and more.
  • The class is NCCA Accredited program which employers desire to work in the field.
  • The program includes the national test voucher ($450 value) to use at the end of the course.
  • A 30-hour bonus employer internship (Level 2 Certification) helps walk you into jobs with local employers.

Required Textbook (sold separately)

Who Should Enroll

Fitness enthusiasts, coaches, college students in the field, massage therapists or anyone seeking a new career in the health and fitness industry

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and describe basic anatomy, kinesiology and exercise physiology
  • Assess an individual's level of fitness using ACSM guidelines
  • Design and customize exercise programs
  • Demonstrate proper execution of resistance, cardio-respiratory and flexibility exercises
  • Identify and demonstrate at least one strength exercise for every major muscle group
  • Explain ACSM and AHA recommendations for cardiovascular exercise


  • Minimum 18 Years of age
  • High School Diploma or GED

Summer 2024

Tuesday and Thursday, June 4 to July 18 
BSCPT-0100-HY001, $899
National testing dates: Tues., July 16 and Sat., July 20
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Virtual Classroom
6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Class meets at a local health club

Fall 2024

Tuesday and Thursday, Oct. 8 to Nov. 16 
BSCPT-0100-HY001, $975
National testing dates: Tues., Nov. 12 and Sat., Nov. 16
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Virtual Classroom
6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Class meets at a local health club
Level 1 Certification is awarded after passing both written and practical exams and obtaining a current adult CPR/AED.

Level 2 Certification is awarded after successfully completing your Level 1 exams and finishing the 30 hour internship. Students will be given a list of participating sites to complete internship. Alternate locations may be approved through WITS. There is no additional cost for this valuable internship experience.

Required textbook not included:  Fitness Professional's Handbook 8th Edition with HKPropel Access. ISBN: 9781718217829 Author: Bushman, must be purchased by the student.  

Health Coach Certification

Successful fitness professionals know that their clients’ success depends on making significant lifestyle and behavior change.  It is not enough to create an exercise program, but you must also develop a relationship with your client based on trust, understanding, and respect.  Leading by being able to communicate, motivate, and support your clients towards reaching their specific goals.  This class will help you develop the techniques and coaching skills to do just that with a client.  This course will take you to the next level to be more effective trainer and most importantly to help coach up your clients to achieve their fitness, sports and lifestyle goals. This interactive online course includes 9 hours of video instruction, learning activities and a teacher/mentor for consulting.  The 2 hours testing items will need to be completed to show competency to be issued a certification.   

Prerequisite: High School degree or GED, Personal Trainer Certification and or related degree in the field. Students must purchase required textbook prior to start of class for the best learning experience. Required Textbook: (Sold Separately)

Fall 2024

Oct. 8 to Nov. 12 
BSCPT-0500-001, $499
Online (Self-paced)

Group Fitness Instructor Certification

This online self-paced mentored certification course helps you to develop skills for leading any group in an exciting safe routine. Lectures cover the essentials of group exercise history, music, choreography, safety techniques, as well as basic applied science specifically relating to group strength, cardiovascular, muscular and flexibility. Practical labs expand into skill development for functional training, sports conditioning, circuit, boot camp, dance, step, kickboxing and equipment-based class techniques. A mind body class overview in Yoga and Pilate's caps it off so you can incorporate this knowledge into sections of your classes. The national exams for the certification credential is included with this program. (32 Hours over 6 weeks) Required textbook not included.

Fall 2024

Oct. 8 to Nov. 12 
BSCPT-0300-001, $875
Online (Self-paced)

Medical Fitness Specialist Certification

This 30-hour certification (30 CECs) is an advanced certification for fitness professionals and other types of health occupations like therapists. If you are ready to take the next step in your career and offer new services to a wide variety of clients, then this program will prepare you to succeed. You will learn in this challenging exercise course the core essentials of helping clients with specialized chronic illness. You will be able to practically apply the knowledge in programming safe and effective workouts. Nothing is more rewarding than working with the medical community to do great things for people with special medical issues. This MFS Level 1 Certification includes a written core exam and a practical case scenario exam to demonstrate operational safe and effective competency. Required textbook not included.

Course topics include:

  • 15 hours of core knowledge lectures
  • 15 hours of practical knowledge in program development

Fall 2024

Oct. 8 to Nov. 12 
BSCPT-0400-001, $875
Online (Self-paced)

Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of fitness trainers and instructors is projected to grow 19 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 65,500 openings for fitness trainers and instructors are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

What People are Saying

"Taking the Certified Personal Trainer course at COD made all the difference. Having a classroom environment, an instructor to answer questions, and actual hands-on training in a fitness center left me confident and prepared. I passed the exam and got a job two weeks later!"  Renee Berg, Student

"If you want to know how to become healthier and live longer, or if you are interested in guiding others to healthy living habits, this is the course for you!"  Wes Schoenfeldt, Student

The WITS Certified Personal Trainer course provided me with information that helped me become an outstanding personal trainer. The course provided me with a wealth of fitness-related knowledge that enabled me to open a personal training business and fitness facility in Naperville—the Midwest Fit Club.

Shane Herman, Student and Owner, Midwest Fit Club

Contact Information

Continuing Education
Student Resource Center (SRC), Room 1110
(630) 942-2208
Fax: (630) 942-3785

Front Desk Hours
  • Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Office hours may vary due to holidays and staff coverage.