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, ACE, or NASM.  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 a certification 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 April 23, 2021

Flyer (PDF) 

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) Certification Preparation Program prepares students to sit for the ACE Certified 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.


Who is eligible?

  • KU students enrolled in 6 or more credit hours in fall 2021 and must be attending The University of Kansas - Lawrence campus for at least 1 more year.  For example, if you are considering the summer 2021 course, you would need to be enrolled in 6 or more credit hours for fall 2021 and be graduating May 2022 or later to be eligible to enroll in the course.


  • June 8 to July 30, 2021
  • The course will be offered online, so that you can study at your own pace while minding the due dates.
  • The class will meet virtually once a week for 1-hour (day and time during regular business hours Monday through Friday will be determined based on students who register). 

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.

Associated Costs

ACE Personal Trainer Preparation Course Fee


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

Required and Optional Textbooks

  • The Exercise Professionals' Guide to Personal Training (required)
  • The Exercise Professionals' Guide to Personal Training Study Companion (optional - may come in handy when preparing to take the ACE Personal Trainer Certification exam)

Textbooks may be purchased separately or bundled.  Please review this website. Students who are registered for the ACE PT Prep Course, may receive a 20% discount.

Note: The required and optional textbooks listed above were published in 2020. I'm not sure if you'll find used versions, yet.  I do not recommend purchasing previous editions such as the ACE Personal Trainer Manual (5th edition) and ACE's Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals since it won't contain the most up to date information and it's organized differently than the new edition.

Get Registered

  • Registration is open to the first 15 applicants.
  • This class is dependent upon a 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).
  • Register in the Admin Office at ASRFC Monday-Friday from 8-6 pm or 
  • Go to then click “Specialty Classes [Programs]”. On the left side select “Summer 2021” and “Specialty Classes (Programs)”. 

How Often is this Course Offered?

The next course is tentatively scheduled for fall 2021 or spring 2022.

Questions about the ACE PT Prep Course?

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

Daily Hours

Ambler SRFC Building

Friday: 6:00 am - 8:00 pm

Monday: 6:00 am - 8:00 pm

Saturday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Sunday: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Thursday: 6:00 am - 8:00 pm

Tuesday: 6:00 am - 8:00 pm

Wednesday: 6:00 am - 8:00 pm

Reduced Hours Summer 2021 6.7 - 7.30
Live Facility Counts

Administrative Office Hours

Friday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Monday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: CLOSED

Thursday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Tuesday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Wednesday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Reduced Hours Summer 2021 6.7 - 7.30
Live Facility Counts

Outdoor Pursuits Office

Friday: 2:00 pm - 6:00 pm

Monday: CLOSED

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: CLOSED

Thursday: CLOSED

Tuesday: CLOSED

Wednesday: CLOSED

Reduced Hours Summer 2021 6.7 - 7.30
Live Facility Counts

"The Chalk Rock" Climbing Wall

Friday: CLOSED

Monday: 2:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Saturday: CLOSED

Sunday: CLOSED

Thursday: 2:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Tuesday: 2:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Wednesday: 2:00 pm - 7:15 pm

Reduced Hours Summer 2021 6.7 - 7.30
Live Facility Counts
Online Payment Portal

Online payments 

Make Online Payments Here!

Provide Your Feedback
Mobile App - Download Now!

Versions for both Android (Google Play) and iPhone (Apple App Store) phones.

For Android, search for "KU Rec"
For iPhone, search for "KU Recreation Services 2.0"
Download this free app today!!

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
KU Recreation Services Social Media
June 19 –Juneteenth– is regarded as a Liberation Day for Black Americans. We invite everyone in our KU community to…

Ambler Student Recreation Fitness Center Facebook