I went through the Personal Fitness Trainer program at Highline Community College near Seattle and they have 1 and 2 year programs there. Additionally, while earning my ACSM Certs, I completed a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Physiology (a more clinical exercise science program) from Central Washington University. How long it takes and what it requires depends on your level of dedication and your desire to be an excellent trainer vs. a mediocre one.
This depends on the individual. I love to learn and pick up additional certifications every year. I also take PT courses from the major organizaitons so that I can better prepare the students in my PT classes for their certs. I recommend spending at least 3 months studying if you are an experienced fitness enthusiast. Longer if you are less experienced. My courses include a good deal of practical experience. So I recommend finding someone to observe and mentor you if possible.
Our certification prep courses are tailored to the students. There are no requirements, but having some experience with exercise, physiology, anatomy, etc. is helpful. But we cover those topics along with many others. Students can attend classes as often as they are able. There are small group settings, private and semi-private optioins. The course system is designed to take approximately three months with practical experience, lecture, and practice test taking. You can check out our website at www.hawaiifitnessacademy.com . Oh, and you need to come to Hawaii for the classes.