The National Personal Training Institute (NPTI) is a fitness organization that is unique in the industry because it is a school where people attend for up to 6 months to prepare them to be an NPTI personal trainer. This is VERY different from most organizations where people study on their own and take a test. I've been wanting to interview an NPTI graduate for a long time and recently I had the opportunity to sit down with Noreen Hensel, who was nice enough to help answer not only my questions but also questions I hope you are asking yourself about NPTI as well. By the end of this interview, you will have a better idea about the National Personal Trainer Institute and whether it is right for you. Also see my other NPTI review to help you compare answers.
After reading this, also see my review of World Instructor Training School for more information.
JC. When did you take the NPTI program?
JC. Why did you pick NPTI over other certs?
NH. The location was nearby which made it easy for me to attend.
NH. I looked up info on actual schools I could attend.
JC. Does NPTI require a college degree?
JC. How much did NPTI personal trainer program cost?
NH. The cost was approximately $6900.00
JC. Did you have to pay the full price up front or could you do installments?
NH. You could pay installments or pay in full.
JC. Was financial aid available for NPTI?
NH. No there was no financial aid.
JC. Is NPTI NCAA affiliated?
NH. Yes, it is recognized by the National Collegiate athletic Association NCAA.
JC. Did you need CPR/AED before starting the NPTI program?
NH. CPR/AED was offered in the program.
JC. How long did the program last? Did you go to school all day? How many days per week? What were the hours?
NH. It depended on when you attended. Daytime, all day 8-4 Evenings and Saturdays. 6-9:30 at night Mondays, Wednesdays or Tuesday, Thursdays. Saturdays 8-6. I attended the Saturday class. It took me a year to complete, every Saturday for a year.
JC. How many people were in your NPTI class?
NH. About 15 students
JC. What were the ages of the other students in your class?
NH. Ages were I'd say 20-57 in my particular class.
JC. Did your class only have 1 teacher or were there several? What were their backgrounds? Were they personal trainers?
NH. We had 2 teachers. Charles Sturkey, he has been doing these classes for quite a while. A good teacher. He was a personal trainer during his career. Eileen Yard was the other teacher. She was more of a class instructor, nutrition and personal trainer business person. They both were offered different information covering, basic education and the business part of it.
JC. Did you take your class at NPTI or a remote facility like a college?
NH. No. It had classrooms, and a full gym and cardio section. It was located at Kings Court in Lyndhurst, NJ
JC. What books did NPTI personal trainer program?
NH. We used these books:
JC. Did NPTI use any NASM books etc?
NH. No we didn't use any NASM materials in the program
JC. Were there quizzes along the way or one big test at the end?
NH. Quizzes were given throughout the course.
JC. What was a passing score?
NH. A passing score was 70.
JC. What was the nature of the quizzes/tests – multiple choices, T/F etc?
NH. The quizzes were multiple choice and some math questions.
JC. Did the quizzes involve any practical/hands-on stuff?
NH. I don’t think there were hands-on with the quizzes.
JC. Did you know when quizzes would be given in advance?
NH. We were told when you would get a quiz in advance.
JC. Did the teacher teach to the test or did the quizzes make you think?
NH. A little of both.
JC. What was the final exam like?
NH. The test was multiple choice T/F & math calculations. There were no essays on the final exam.
JC. What was a passing score on the final exam?
NH. People needed 70% to pass the final exam.
JC. Was the final exam timed?
NH. No, we had as much time as we needed.
JC. Was the final open book?
JC. Was there a practical part to the NPTI final exam? How much did it count to the final grade?
NH. There was a practical, and it did count to the final grade.
JC. What happened if someone passed the written part but failed the practical part?
NH. I don’t know.
JC. Was an internship at a gym etc part of the NPTI program? If yes, how long was it and can you explain the process of how you got one?
NH. Yes, you needed to become a member of the facility where the NPTI course was taught. The cost was included in the course. The membership expired when you finished the course.
JC. Did you find the internship experience rewarding?
NH. ? I call it the membership, and it was required for you to attend the course. The facility was pretty good. It had all the equipment needed for us to practice.
JC. You called the internship more of a “membership” can you give some ideas of what you did?
NH. WE practiced on the machines in the gym area, and got familiar with different exercises. We also went into a studio room for more of an exercise class, pushups, kettlebells, and circuit-style workouts.
JC. How long after taking the course did you until you had to take the NPTI final exam?
NH. The test was given after the course was completed. I took it immediately.
JC. What happens if you fail the NPTI test? Can you take it over?
NC. I believe you were able to retake the test if you failed, but not sure about how much it cost.
JC. What was the hardest part of the NPTI test for you?
NJ. Human physiology. Stuff on cells, the Krebs cycle etc.
JC. What was the easiest part of the test?
NH. Exercise Program Design, nutrition and some of the anatomy.
JC. After passing, did you get a NPTI diploma and NPTI certification or just a diploma?
NH. We received an NPTI diploma.
JC. Does NPTI issue certifications?
NH. No, they do not issue certifications.
JC. Was NASM part of the NPTI program?
NH. No the NASM is not part of the NPTI program.
JC. Does NPTI have ongoing education after graduation?
NH. No, when I took the course there was no ongoing education.
JC. Did NPTI help you find a job?
NH. They did have some resources at the time, but I did not pursue them.
JC. Did any gyms not accept or were not familiar with NPTI? In other words, did they require a cert in addition to the NPTI diploma?
NH. NPTI is not a certification. It is only education in the field of personal training. The NPTI certificate/diploma does not expire.
JC. What did you like most about the NPTI program?
NH. The presentations were pretty organized. I enjoyed the program. We got to go right over to the gym there and do the hands on stuff, which was nice.
JC. What did you like least about the NPTI program?
NH. We had 2 different teachers which alternated weeks on Saturday when I was there. Sometimes there were just inconsistencies in what we did from one week to the next.
JC. Do you have any other certs since completing NPTI?
NH. Senior Fitness Association Certification, Certification in Applied Functional Science through the Gray Institute. (CAFS).
JC. Did NPTI cover anything about personal trainer sales/marketing or how to get clients?
NH. Yes, there was some sales/marketing information given by Eileen.
JC. Did the NPTI course cover anything on psychology?
JC. What are 3 areas you feel people should study the most while in the program?
NH. Program design, anatomy.
JC. What do you feel are 3 mistakes you see other personal trainers making?
NH. 1) Not knowing how to regress an exercise. 2) Not do a proper warm-up. 3) Doing too many exercises.
JC. Who do you feel NPTI program is best suited for?
NH. I think that if you want a good foundation on fitness, and everything related to exercise knowledge, and the human body, this covers a lot of stuff.
JC. Overall would you say NPTI was a good program?
NH. Yes. I think if you want a certification elsewhere, this will help you have a good base of info for you to move on to.
JC. Are you working as a personal trainer now?
NH. Yes. I work for Fitness Senior Style. We bring fitness and exercise to your home. 55-90+ years old. We use a resistance chair, dumbbells, exercise balls, cones, etc. We see people who may have Parkinson’s, Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, or any other disabilities, in addition to healthy seniors. We bring in the equipment. This is my first job as a personal trainer and a change of job career. I was in the dental field for over 30 years. I’ve been into health & fitness all my life… I Love doing personal training. It is personally rewarding for me. I even have some private clients that I stated with on my own.
JC. Did you know you wanted to work with seniors before you entered the NPTI program?
NH. No, I got lucky. One day I was behind the Fitness Senior Style van in my neighborhood, stopped at a railroad station. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to inquire about it. The rest is history.
JC. What are 3 things fitness trainers need to know when they have older adult clients?
NH. It depends on the condition of the person. The evaluation tells you things right off the bat. I explain everything I do and how it will help them with their activities of daily living. Go slow, and have them get used to the movements. I may progress them accordingly depending on their ability. Some are more motivated than others. Always remember they are Seniors & have their aches & pains. I always have a good time with them.
JC. Do you feel NPTI prepared you well to be a personal trainer?
NH. Yes, I was waiting for this opportunity, and I got it.
JC. Did NPTI instructors any give you guidance on certifications you may want to attempt to get after completing the program? If yes, did they recommend any specifically?
NH. I was not too impressed with the guidance afterward. I attempted to reach NPTI for some assistance with a resume but did not much help. So I dropped the idea. Not too quick with return phone calls.