Become a Personal Trainer

There are two ways to become a personal trainer for KU Recreation Services:

  1. KU students may study on their own for an exam that is accredited by the NCCA such as ACSM, NSCA, and ACE.  After passing the exam, apply at, and interview to be a personal trainer at Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center (ASRFC). When deciding which organization to earn an exam through, students should consider their career goals.  To help study, some organizations offer weekend workshops that review all of the material (attending a workshop is not required).  For more information about earning a certification on your own, email Miranda Kolenda, the Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness, at
    1. Workshops hosted by ACSM
  2. The other option is to take the ACE Personal Trainer Prep Course.  This course is not required to be a personal trainer at ASRFC.  Continue reading to learn more about the ACE PT Prep Course.  


ACE Personal Training Certification Preparation Program

Updated June 12, 2019

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certification Preparation Program prepares students to sit for the ACE Personal Trainer certification or another NCCA accredited personal trainer certification. With this ACE approved curriculum, offered by KU Recreation Services, students engage in practical application of the materials covered. The course offers both lecture and movement training and applies theory to practice. Upon successful completion of the program, students will demonstrate their knowledge and skills of:

  • Exercise science
  • Fitness assessments
  • Exercise programming
  • Instructional techniques
  • Exercise form and technique
  • Basic nutrition
  • Lifestyle modification

Students who successfully complete the ACE Personal Training Prep Course with a certain grade percentage will be eligible to interview to be a personal trainer for KU Recreation Services immediately after the course.  Students may take the ACE Certified Personal Trainer certification exam or sit for a different NCCA accredited certification of their choice through organizations such as ACSM, NSCA, or NASM.  If hired by KU Recreation Services, the personal trainer must pass a certified personal trainer exam within six (6) months from the date of hire.


Costs associated with the Prep Course:

ACE Personal Trainer Preparation Course Fee

$100.00 - Register the admin office in room 103 at ASRFC

ACE Personal Trainer textbooks (20% discount)

Payable online - registered students will receive details for discount

ACE Personal Trainer exam registration and study materials (20% discount)

Payable online - registered students will receive details for discount

Get Registered:

  • Register in the Administrative Office at ASRFC (Rm 103), Cost $100 (cash, credit card, or check written out to KU Recreation Services).  This class offering is dependent upon the minimum number of participants. If the minimum is not reached, you will be refunded for the full amount (credit card is the most convenient method of payment to reimburse).
  • Study materials can be purchased online at  Registered students will receive details to apply a 20% discount.  Students may also purchase textbooks through another book seller of their choosing. See "Required Textbooks" below for details.
  • Registration is open to the first 15 applicants.


  • Classes are held 3 days a week.  In the past class has been held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3-5 pm.
  • Courses during the fall or spring semester is approximately 8-10 weeks.  Summer courses are accelerated to approximately 8 weeks.


  • ASRFC Conference Room 202

Who is eligible:

  • KU students enrolled in 6 or more credit hours

What Should I Expect?:

  • This course is a non-credit, extracurricular opportunity. This is a strenuous and time consuming course, particularly for students who have not yet had specific human science courses, such as anatomy and physiology. Students can expect to be in class 6 hours per week and commit 2-3 hours outside of class to be successful in this course and preparation for the ACE certification.  Homework includes daily quizzes, reflection papers, writing workout programs, observing a personal training session.  In-class assignments include a mock training session and learning how to conduct fitness and functional assessments.

Required Textbooks:

  • ACE Personal Trainer Manual (5th Edition)
    • ISBN: 978-1-890720-50-6
  • ACE's Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals
    • ISBN: 978-1-890720-31-5

How Often is this Course Offered?

Currently, this course is offered on an as-needed basis.

Questions about the ACE PT Prep Course:

Contact Miranda Kolenda, the Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness, at

Daily Hours

Ambler SRFC Building

Friday: 5:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Monday: 5:30 a.m. - Midnight

Saturday: 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.

Sunday: 9:00 a.m. - Midnight

Thursday: 5:30 a.m. - Midnight

Tuesday: 5:30 a.m. - Midnight

Wednesday: 5:30 a.m. - Midnight

Regular Hours 8.25-12.20

Outdoor Pursuits Office

Regular Hours 8.25-12.20

"The Chalk Rock" Climbing Wall

Regular Hours 8.25-12.20
Online Payment Portal

Online payments are here! We will be able to offer online payments on several of our options, but not all of them at this time. You can find the specific information HERE. Please click the button to find out about our new web portal!

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For Android, search for "KU Rec"
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Fitness News!

Personal Trainer-Client Feedback:

  • “I love working with my trainer, and all my past trainers. They are a huge part of my success at the gym” – Personal Training Client
  • “It is convenient and they help me reach my goals”. – Personal Training Client
  • “Good people over all. They are excellent trainers, they actually care about their trainee’s. They are flexible in the times they are available and if they can’t train me for a period of time, they found me a new trainer who would work with me”. – Personal Training Client
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