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Conditioning Specialist Training: Which Certification Program is Best?

by becomingatrainer

In recent years, there’s been a huge surge of interest in mixed martial arts. People want to learn to fight like MMA athletes, train like them, and look like them.

Maybe your dream isn’t to become an MMA athlete, but rather to train them. Or maybe you’re just looking for ways to incorporate new training techniques into your personal training programs.

Either way, MMA training certification will come in handy. Adding certifications and continuing education can add value to your personal training business by providing more services and attracting new types of clients. Part of the reason MMA has become so popular is because it includes a diverse group of people. You’ll see men’s and women’s fights aired and advertised just the same. Nothing wrong with that!

So, now that you’re ready to get into it, it’s time to see who has the best MMA Conditioning certification.

MMA Conditioning Association

First let’s look at MMA Conditioning Association. As you may have guessed by their name, they specialize in MMA fighting and training. A good place to start when looking at MMA training certifications.

Graduates of this program boast of training a lot of big time, successful MMA fighters. If it worked for them, it’ll probably work for your clients!

A great point in this certification is that they go through a lot of basic anatomy and physiology information before connecting it with more specific techniques. You can expect to see basics of bodily systems, biomechanics, and health and fitness assessments before even getting into the training specifics.

But by no means does that mean they skimp on the actual MMA conditioning info. The course details a lot of specific lifts, styles of training, and MMA drills. The list is enormous!

They also tag on nutritional advice, safety and injury prevention methods, and a bit on sports psychology.

It’s a big program, and there’s plenty of testimonials saying it’s worth the heftier price tag of $379. I’d say this would be great for a fitness professional that’s ready to go all in with MMA conditioning training.

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)

NASM is known to be experts on all things personal training. One of the building blocks of their certification philosophy is that their training methods are all based on scientifically proven evidence.

In saying that, it means they are always a good choice when it comes to certification.

Their MMA Conditioning Specialist certification splits the content into two components: specific MMA fighting skills and conditioning.

The techniques taught in this course are the same techniques used by top MMA fighters. Which means you’ll not only be able to coach up-and-coming MMA fighters, you’ll also be able to include the conditioning skills into your everyday training programming. It’s meant to offer several possible options for your career.

One of the best things that NASM offers with this program is the option to try a 3 day free “training camp” trial. It’s the perfect opportunity for anyone who’s not quite sure MMA training is for them. It’s your chance to try it out before laying down $299 for the whole program.


At $19.95, this program offered by ACE is not really a certification, but actually a webinar. This one’s being included to cover all the bases. A good webinar by a reputable fitness certifier is a great place to start if you’re hesitant to jump on the MMA bandwagon.

The webinar will help you identify and correct common errors in MMA training. It will also show you techniques used in MMA that can be translated to everyday fitness programs, but it doesn’t go in depth into fighting techniques.

It focuses more on the training and conditioning rather than the actual fighting. But they do bring it around full circle by helping you understand how these techniques affect muscle systems and how they can fit into your conditioning.

So where do you fit in?

Are you ready to take the plunge and go full in with MMA? Just starting to dip your toes in the water? No matter where you’re sitting with it, getting a certification is never a bad thing, it can only help your business.

If you ask us, we think NASM is the superior option for anyone even considering an MMA Conditioning Specialist certification. The free training camp trial they offer just can’t be beat, and will certainly convince you that the full certification is worth it!

MMA doesn’t seem to be losing any momentum, so I’d say the sooner the better to take advantage of this training trend!

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