What’s a CSCS®?

What does CSCS® stand for? Any guesses? Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.

Alright I admit that might not have been that challenging of a question, but let me pose you another. Can you explain the differences between a CSCS® and a certified personal trainer or other healthcare professional? That’s perhaps a little trickier…

Well a CSCS® is more than just a personal trainer. They are highly educated individuals who utlize scientific knowledge to enhance athletic performance. However, they are more than qualified to work with the general population also. They not only design, implement and provide strength and conditioning programs, but deliver nutritional guideance as well. Most importantly, what sets them apart is that they are certified and regulated by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).

Like many other healthcare professions a CSCS® must hold at least a bachelors degree from an accredited institution to sit for the NSCA certification exam. They must also have a current CPR and AED certification. Furthermore, like athletic training and many healthcare professions, continuing education is required to maintain the certification.

These factors set the CSCS® certification and the professionals that hold it above the average personal trainer. Not only does their expertise set them apart from other healthcare professionals, but like athletic trainers they are an integral part of the healthcare team.

That is why it is important to understand what your healthcare professionals are qualified to do. So check out our last blog on Athletic Training vs. Personal Training to understand a few more differences between healthcare professionals.


  1. National Strength and Conditioning Association. https://www.nsca.com/Certification/CSCS/

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