Become a Personal Trainer

To become a personal trainer for KU Recreation Services, you may study on your own (the organization must be NCCA accredited such as ACSM, NSCA, and ACE), pass the exam, and then apply and interview for the position.  Some organizations offer weekend workshops that provide an overview of the material.  For more information about earning a certification on your own, email Miranda Kolenda, the Assistant Director of Fitness and Wellness, at Another option is to take the ACE PT Prep Course.  This course is not required to be a personal trainer at Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center (ASRFC).  Continue reading to learn more about the ACE PT Prep Course.  


ACE Personal Training Certification Preparation Program

Updated June 29, 2018

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

Following the course offered by KU Recreation Services, the ACE Personal Trainer Certification, a nationally accredited and recognized personal trainer certification, will be offered on campus. Participants of the personal training program will receive a 20% discount on the exam and study materials.

Students who complete the ACE Personal Training Prep Course will be eligible to audition for hire prior to taking a certification exam. If hired, a professional NCCA accredited personal trainer certification will be required within 6 months of hire to maintain employment as a personal trainer at KU Recreation Services. Students may choose to take the ACE certification exam when it is held on campus or sit for another certification of their choice.

Costs associated with the program:

ACE Personal Trainer Certification Preparation Program Fee

$100.00 - Payable in Rm 103 ASRFC

ACE Personal Trainer books, study guide & practice test (20% discount)

Payable online -

ACE Personal Trainer Exam Registration (20% discount)

Payable on-line-

Get Registered:

  • Register in the Administrative Office of the ASRFC (Rm 103), Cost $100 (cash, credit card, or check written out to KU Recreation Services)
  • Study materials can be purchased online at or another book source of your choice. See "Required Textbooks" below for details.
  • Registration is open to the first 20 applicants


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


  • ASRFC Conference Room 

Who is eligible:

  • KU students

Past flyer: ACE Prep Course Flyer (PDF) 

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 sciences, 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.

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 the Program Manager at

Daily Hours

Ambler SRFC Building

Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Monday: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Saturday: 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Sunday: 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 a.m.

Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Reduced Hours 8.4-8.18

Administrative Office Hours

Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Monday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: CLOSED

Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Reduced Hours 8.4-8.18

Outdoor Pursuits Office

Friday: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Monday: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: CLOSED

Thursday: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday: CLOSED

Reduced Hours 8.4-8.18

"The Chalk Rock" Climbing Wall

Friday: CLOSED

Monday: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: CLOSED

Thursday: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Tuesday: 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday: CLOSED

Reduced Hours 8.4-8.18
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  • “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
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