Nordic Personal Trainer Certification

Keilir has been educating personal trainers in Iceland since 2007 through the IAK personal trainer program. It is the most extensive personal training study program in the country. The NPTC online personal training program is built on the proven results from IAK. By the end of the course students will be fully prepared to work with clients in health and fitness clubs as well as being able to tap into their entrepreneurial skills which are developed in the program. 

The Nordic Personal Trainer Certification is

  • a flexible online program where you can plan the phase of the study that fits your schedule.
  • built on 8 years of experience from the proven IAK personal training program in Iceland 
  • an education where the latest research is taught by outstanding teachers that all hold MSc or PhD degrees in their field of expertise and decates of experience.
  • open to those who desire to start a rewarding career in growing industry.*
  • Starting your Personal Trainer Career

    Have you ever felt the joy of making a personal change and adopting a healthier lifestyle through regular physical exercise, improved nutrition and a more positive outlook to life?

    If you want to help others to make such a change in their life - you might want to look at starting your own career as a personal trainer. Our graduates  have helped thousands of people to make positive changes that encourage healthy living and enhance wellbeing. Moreover, it is not only the client that benefits from personal training.  The personal trainers experience the same health benefits and fulfillment while also advancing their own careers in the field of health and fitness.  

    Starting a career in personal training is easier than you think. NPTC has all the tools to build the foundation for your career in the health and fitness industry. The teaching style and material suits everybody no matter where you want to work in the future.

    Read what Robert Linkul, NSCA-CPT, CSCS NSCA personal trainer of the year 2012 has to say about building successful Personal Training businesses [PDF]

  • Course Schedule

    In the fall of 2016, Keilir Health Academy will offer an online Personal Trainer program in English. The program is equal to 60 credit units according to the Icelandic Qualification Framework set by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. 

    The program is designed to create excellent personal trainers with extended knowledge on human health and fitness and on creating individualized exercise programs.

    The year is split in four modules (semesters), each 11 weeks in length. Students can start their studies in the beginning of any of the four modules (see dates below). You have the option to complete as many courses as you please in each module and finish the program in the time frame that suits you. You can view the time frame of the modules here below:

    Flexibility of learning within your time table

    The flexibility of online learning offers the opportunity to control your own phase of the study. The student can adjust it to his/her own timeframe. Note that some courses have a precursor course. Below you can see a table listing which courses are prerequisite to others.  Note - each module of the program can differ from one student to another as students can choose from 4 dates in a year, to start the program. (see starting dates under the table below).



    The online courses begin four times annually with starting dates in January, April, June and September. The next courses begin in: 

    • 8 January 2018
    • 2 April 2018
    • 25 June 2018
    • 17 September 2018

    Course Listing

    • Functional Human Anatomy

      This course introduces the musculoskeletal, vascular and nervous systems to give students a basic understanding of the structures in these systems contributing to human movement in exercise and sport.  Students will focus on these three systems to identify how simple and complex motor skills are produced. 

      Students will identify the appropriate components of the musculoskeletal, vascular and nervous systems and will explain how these work together to create skillful, coordinated movement during participation in everyday activity, exercise training and sports participation. Students will also begin to understand how to identify deficiencies of these skillful, coordinated movements and what training may be appropriate for assisting in correction of these deficiencies. There will be an introduction to the biomechanical principles of human movement that will stimulate the student to learn more about the field of kinesiology.  

      • This course is a prerequisite for Kinetic Anatomy and Applied Strength Training
    • Exercise Physiology l

      This course will introduce students to integrated exercise physiology, the relationship between exercise, health and physiological systems of the body.  Students will gain understanding on the impact of exercise on the Metabolic and Bioenergetics, Cardiovascular, Pulmonary, Neuromuscular, and Endocrine systems. Students will learn the relationships between these systems, environmental influences, and how the body adapts to physical activity.  The focus for Physiology I is on the systems related to exercise for safe and effective physical activity and training, impacting health and performance, for males and females of all ages and activity interests. 

      • The course is a prerequisite for Exercise Physiology ll.
    • Exercise Physiology ll

      In this course, students will apply their learning from Physiology of Sport and Exercise I in learning about the principles of exercise training for health, fitness and sport. Students will understand common chronic diseases related to physical inactivity and behaviors that may positively impact those chronic diseases. Students will also learn about training modes, nutrition, assessment and program design to optimizing performance in sport as well as the age and sex considerations in sport and exercise.    

      The focus of this course is for the student to apply learning from Physiology od Sport and Exercise I for creating and implementing safe and effective physical activity and training programs, impacting health and performance, for males and females of all ages and activity interests. 

      • A prerequisite for this course is Exercise Physiology l.
    • Exercise Psychology

      In this course the foundation of exercise and health psychology are explained. Emphasis is on the basic definitions, as; motivation (intrinsic and extrinsic), arousal, stress, anxiety, and certain key personality characteristics. What motivates people to participate in physical activities and what is “burnout” and “overtraining”?

      Focus is set on personal factors, personality characteristics, individual orientations, and emotions that affect performance and psychological development in physical activity and exercise settings.

      Common psychological disorders among sport participants are discussed, such as; substance abuse, eating disorders, and addictions to exercise.

    • Exercise Nutrition

      This course covers the foundation in nutrition where the main subjects in the field are defined, such as; energy and energy production, macronutrients and micronutrients, dietary reference intakes, food pyramids and hydration. 

      The course covers how to recognize special populations, the importance of correctly identifying a client as a member of a special population, and the types of chronic and acute conditions that personal trainers might encounter. Specific nutritional concerns for each special population are addressed. Students will develop nutritional and physical activity profiles for special populations.

    • Career Development and Business of PT

      The course will focus on business and career development components and information needed for the personal trainer planning to and entering the fitness industry. 
      The instructors will educate you on a wide variety of information spanning from the basic fundamentals of selecting a specialty and earning a secondary certification to the marketing components and client retention skills. 

      Topics on how to start your career as a certified personal as well as many industry tips for success are covered.

    • Program Design for Health and Fitness

      This course covers the scientific basis of program design. Several existing popular models of program design are examined and students will be able to determine which program designs are scientifically valid.

      The essential considerations of program design will be covered and students will be able to create programs into a program design template to meet the needs of a variety of personal training clients.

    • Applied Strength Training

      We are sorry for the inconvenience. The course description will be here soon.

    • Testing, Measuring and Movement Screening

      We are sorry for the inconvenience. The course description will be here soon.

  • Reading Material

    Keilir Health Academy - Nordic Personal Trainer Certification. Recommended reading material list [Word Document], updated on 2 October 2017.

  • Course Price and Fees

    The Nordic Personal Trainer Certification is composed of 8 courses, taught 100% online.


    • Full program paid upfront: € 3,280
    • Single course: € 430
    • Re-examination fee € 60

    Students have the option to purchase each course separately throughout the program with additional cost of 5% (full price € 3.444). Students attending the program on these terms, have to pay for the courses 7 days before starting of the semester.

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  • Student Testimonials

    Read student tesimonials about the IAK personal trainer program

    Logi Geirsson, professional team-handballplayer and IAK Personal Trainer 

    "I am known for doing things my way in everything I endure and physical training is there no exception. When I entered the personal training program at Keilir, I had some fixed ideas on how to implement physical training but the program has certainly added valuable knowledge and opened my eyes for best practice in training and how to build a better body.

    Since I graduated, I’ve been enormously inspired in my training with my professional sports participation and in with my clients in personal training. I can sincerely recommend the IAK Personal Training Program for all who wants to excel in sports and physical training."

    Inga Lára Jónsdóttir, model fitness contender and IAK personal trainer

    "I decided to enter the personal training program at Keilir because I have always had great interest on exercise and healthy lifestyle. I thought I had good general knowledge in that field but in hindsight, I have to admit that I have learned more than I expected and the best thing is, I am hungrier for further education and will continue to seek more knowledge in the future. 

    The study taught me how different we are as individuals and my goal is to serve each and every of my future client.  It also enhanced my understanding of the synergy of exercise, balanced nutrition and mental wellness. I learned great deal of skills that I look forward to deliver to my future clients. I absolutely want to give the program my best commendation as it is, in my opinion, the best personal training education available."

    Ásthildur Björnsdóttir, nurse and IAK personal trainer

    "After looking into the market of personal training education in Iceland, I was totally sold into the IAK personal training program at Keilir.  I am registered nurse since 2001, studied that profession at University of Akureyri so I had done my share of human physiology and anatomy. I had the chance to have those subjects valuated but decided not to. I do not regret that decision as the teaching of the subjects was fantastic and had the right approach, towards the needs of the personal training profession.

    If you are seeking for education where exercise, health nutrition and training are combined, I can without hesitation recommend this fantastic and fun program."

    Elvar Þór Karlsson, IAK personal trainer

    "The IAK personal training program opened my mind towards physical training and ways to train people. Now I have much better understanding of the human anatomy and the function of the body. What was the most important for me, is that now I am much more capable to react to an athlete’s injuries and understand how to prevent sports injuries with my athletes.  I consider myself a better athlete and way better Crossfit coach since going through the program at Keilir."

    Björgvin Páll Gústavsson, professional team handball player and IAK personal trainer 

    "Before I took on the studies in personal training at Keilir, I considered myself quite proficient in all aspects of sports and fitness but as soon as the program started, I found myself gaining new knowledge and skills that I never expected to be as beneficial as it has dawned on me.

    The program boasts from having fantastic teachers on board so the students are really learning from the best in each subject.  This fact has proven to be very beneficial in my new career as personal trainer as well in my sport, team handball."

    Silja Úlfarsdóttir, retired professional track & field athlete and IAK personal trainer

    "As sports coach I want maximum results and the IAK program is most definitely contributing in that effort. I am an experienced athlete myself but now I have the self-confident to assist other athletes to hone on their weaknesses, fix’em, avoid overuse injuries and gain maximum results from training."

  • Contact Information and Application

    For further information, please contact, Arnar Hafsteinsson, Head of Keilir Health Academy. To be eligeble to enroll to the Nordic Personal Training Certifiication program, you need to be at least 19 years of age and have completed a high shcool education.

    Click here to apply