Frequently Asked Questions: GGS-1 Coaching Certification


Here are answers to some of your most frequently asked questions.  If you aren't already on our pre-sale list, you still have time to sign-up. When you get on the list, you're under no obligation to purchase. It simply means that you'll get early access to registration and save up to $388 USD off the price of enrollment! Be sure to sign up today!

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What Is GGS-1?

GGS-1 is the world’s first interdisciplinary, evidence-based, body positive, women-specific certification for health and fitness professionals.

Our GGS Level 1 Coaching Certification will provide you with a deeper understanding of women, the skills to coach them, and the ability to turn what you know about coaching women into word-class results.

In addition, you'll learn the unique GGS coaching methodology we've tested, refined, and proven with combined 250+ years of real-world coaching and research with women.

It has one purpose: to help you master the science and psychology of coaching and training women so you can do rewarding work that positively impacts women’s lives.

Who is the GGS-1 certification for?

The GGS-1 Certification is for any health and fitness professional who wants to better understand, connect with, serve, and empower their female clients.

  • Women make up about 67 to 75 percent of all personal training clients.
  • Women are much more likely than men on average to be health-focused (to see a doctor, to research health information, to take vitamins or other health supplements, to exercise, to read food labels).
  • If you’re a coach, unless you specialize in coaching particular groups (such as male college athletes), you’ll likely find that most of your clients will be women.
  • Along with food, beauty, and clothing, fitness ranks as one of the top areas where women spend their money.
  • If you collaborate with healthcare providers, you’ll find that most of them are women too.

Women are not a “special population” or a footnote, and yet, women’s issues are still under-served by much of the fitness industry.

Despite women’s presence and interest in fitness, most service models and research have been aimed at and tailored to men.

Not anymore.

Join the revolution of coaches and trainers who believe that women deserve to have their unique needs and desires understood and coached.

We understand that every woman has a unique set of values, priorities, desires, resources, and goals that must be considered when designing an effective program to help her feel empowered, safe, and strong in her body.

Whether you’re interested in taking your coaching career to a new level to become the go-to expert in your area, be a woman who empowers other women, or help women finally change the way they feel about themselves and their bodies, this certification is for you.

What’s the difference between CPPC and GGS-1?

The best way to describe the differences between CPPC and GGS-1 is this:

CPPC covers everything a health and fitness professional needs to know from a coaching, psychology, nutrition, exercise, and rest and recovery perspective for prenatal and postnatal women.

GGS-1 covers almost literally everything else. Well, as much as you can fit into a 600-ish page, 200,000-ish word textbook.

The main difference between the two is the laser focus on the pre- and postnatal period versus broader information and covering a woman's lifespan.

GGS-1 also has information about conditions that affect women/females exclusively (or at a higher rate than men/males) to educate you about what some of your clients may be experiencing and gain some coaching skills specific to working with these clients (all within your scope of practice, of course):

  • Osteoporosis (both low bone mineral density/osteoporosis as a result of chronic undereating AND bone mineral density osteoporosis as it relates to aging)
  • Amenorrhea/Oligomenorrhea
  • Female Athlete Triad

And a chapter discussing challenging lifestyle-related topics that affect progress and how to coach through them such as:

  • Chronic stress
  • Emotional labor
  • Lack of time/schedule constraints
  • Family considerations
  • Travel

Here's an example of the Anatomy & Physiology content that may help you understand better. It's not a fully inclusive list, but hopefully this will help you get the idea.

The Anatomy & Physiology Unit for CPPC covers:

  • Female core and pelvic floor
  • How it changes during pregnancy from trimester to trimester
  • How it changes after pregnancy as a woman recovers, rehabs, and retrains her core/pelvic floor
  • The implications for exercise during and after pregnancy
  • Common musculoskeletal issues during pregnancy
  • The physiological changes a woman experiences during pregnancy including:
    • Hormonal
    • Metabolic
    • Postural
    • Quality of tissue
    • Respiratory
    • Cardiovascular

The Anatomy & Physiology Chapter for the GGS-1 covers:

  • Sex versus gender
  • Reproductive organs
  • Body composition
  • Breasts
    • Size and shape
    • Support and pain
    • Breasts and exercise
    • What does all this mean for you as a trainer?
  • Skeletal system, bone and connective tissue
  • Structure of the pelvic floor
  • Lower limb biomechanics
    • Bone
    • Connective tissue
    • ACL
    • What do these structural and biomechanical differences mean for training?
  • Pelvic floor
    • What is it
    • Functions
    • Training and the pelvic floor
    • Aging and the pelvic floor
  • Female physiology
    • Menstrual cycle, phases, estrogens, regulation of the cycle
  • Muscle strength (fatigability and muscle fibers)
  • Metabolic function
  • Aerobic capacity
  • Blood pressure
  • Menopause, perimenopause, early menopause (premature ovarian insufficiency)
  • Vasomotor symptoms

I’m not a certified trainer. Can I still purchase this?

Our GGS-1 Coaching Certification will give you a solid foundation to train yourself, and train clients. The only caveat to consider is getting insurance once you start training clients. Many of the big certifying bodies allow you to purchase insurance through their organization once you are certified through them.

We don't provide that service however, most gyms will add you to their insurance policy once you start training clients through them. As for getting hired at a gym, every gym has different requirements for certifications, but if your potential employer is curious what your GGS-1 Certification entails, all you'd have to do is show them your 600-page textbook and that should be pretty convincing in terms of your credentials.

We worked hard to make the information in our certification accessible to folks, regardless of their previous experience, and make it not only informative but transformative as well. We've seen students new to health and fitness (like yourself), and we've had doctors of physiotherapy complete the program and they all tell us they learned so much from the materials!

If I’m a brand-new trainer, can this still help me?

Absolutely! You won’t find a more well-researched, practical guide to working with women anywhere in the world. And since the majority of your clients will be women, you can feel confident that you’re helping your clients get the best results possible while keeping them safe and healthy — both physically and psychologically — all while adding more tools to your toolbox.

Experience is a big part of what makes a trainer great, and using this program allows you to gain the experience you need to become an incredible trainer while having the confidence that you’re not “guessing” with your clients.

Can I earn CEUs for any of the major fitness certifications by completing this certification?

Yes! We are approved by many of the biggest certifying organizations and we are always in the process of applying for additional CEUs. You can always email us at [email protected] for updates and questions:

  • ACSM: 20 CEUs
  • CanFitPro: 4 credits
  • NASM: 1.9 CEUs
  • AFAA: 15 CEUs
  • ISSA: 20 CEUs
  • CSEP: 15 credits
  • CPTN: 14 CECs
  • FitREC: Level B
  • REPs UK: 16 credits
  • REPs New Zealand: 20 credits
  • CIMSPA: 10 CEUs
  • AFLCA: 6 CEUs
  • NESTA: 2.5 CEUs
  • NCSF: 7 CEUs
  • NCCPT: 1.6 CEUs
  • Kentucky Physical Therapist Association: Category 1 - 28 hours
  • Pennsylvania State Board of Physical Therapy: 39 hours

What if my certification organization isn't on the list?

We’re currently seeking approval from the following organizations:

  • Fitness Australia
  • ESSA
. . . and many more.
Additionally, any organizations accept our certification for CEUs when petitioned directly. We’ve seen students successfully petition the following organizations:
  • ACE
  • NFPT
  • IFPA
. . . and many more.

You’ll just need to send a course summary and a copy of your certificate to the organization to review.

Shoot us an email at [email protected] for updates to our current list of approved organizations or for help with the petitioning process.

I’m already a coach who works with women. Am I going to learn anything I don’t already know?

Whether you’re a brand-new health and fitness professional, or a seasoned veteran, we feel 100% confident that you’ll learn a ton of valuable information from this certification.

We brought together 17 of the world’s leading experts in women’s health and fitness to contribute to our curriculum. Nowhere else can you learn from strength and conditioning coaches, physiotherapists, registered dietitians, OB-GYNs, doulas, and PhDs in psychology, exercise science, and molecular biology all through one program that you can complete at your own pace.

Are there any requirements to maintain my certification?

You will need to retake an exam two years from the date of completion to keep your certification current. The renewal process is in place to ensure your knowledge is current, and you’re still practicing at the top of your field. Renewing your certification is free if you do it within 60 days of expiry (we will email you to remind you it’s coming up). If you allow your certification to expire, you will have to pay a small fee to re-certify.

How can I know if this certification is legit?

The GGS Academy is owned and operated by Girls Gone Strong — the world’s most trusted resource for evidence-based, body-positive information for women.

We've had over a thousand students enroll in our certification programs and have received incredible feedback from them regarding the quality of instruction they received. You can check out the list of graduates who have chosen to be featured in our Online Coaches Directory.

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The GGS-1 Curriculum

What comes with the purchase of the GGS-1 Certification?

You’ll receive:

  • A hardcover textbook (~600 pages) divided into four units, with dozens of case studies and resources you can reference for years to come.
  • A 100+ page accompanying workbook with practice questions and case studies to help you deepen your understanding of the materials, practice what you’ve learned, and study for the exams
  • Custom-built, mobile-friendly online portal filled with:
    • High-definition coaching and demonstration videos for every unit.
    • Multiple assessment tools and forms you can use with your clients, including a daily assessment tool to help you adjust a client’s programming day to day as needed.
    • Bonus workout templates for every goal (general health and wellness, muscle gain, strength gain, fat loss, endurance training, and more)
    • Additional reading and resource recommendations for further exploration.
    • Comprehensive unit exams.
  • Access to our Academy Curriculum Developers to answer your questions and support you in your journey.

What is in each unit?

  • Unit 1: Coaching & Psychology
  • Unit 2: Nutrition
  • Unit 3: Exercise & Recovery
  • Unit 4: Making Nutrition & Exercise Work in Real Life

When does the certification start?

Enrollment opens twice per year, and we only have a limited number of spots. Make sure you get on our pre-sale list now to secure your spot and save up to $400 off the general public price.

Once you enroll on, you will have 24/7 access to the online certification materials right away, and you can get started immediately. Your textbook will be shipped within 10-14 business days of your payment being processed.

This certification is 100% self-paced, so even if you aren’t ready to get started right away, you can still enroll now so you’ll have everything you need when you’re ready.

How much time do I need to complete the certification?

GGS-1 is a self-paced certification. That means you can work through the materials at your own pace and make sure it fits your individual schedule.

The pace that seems to work well for many people is one chapter per week, including: reading the chapter in the textbook, watching any accompanying videos, answering the worksheet questions and case studies, digging into any relevant resources or reading materials, and possibly taking the unit exam if you’re at the end of a unit. Following that structure, you can expect to spend three to five hours per week on the materials. Since there are 20 chapters, you’ll finish your certification in four to five months.

For how long will I be able to access the online portal?

Access to our online portal never expires. You’ll be able to refer back to your materials and resources throughout your career.

Who developed GGS-1?

GGS-1 was developed and reviewed by 17 world-class women’s health experts from five countries who are leaders in their fields. These experts include:

  • 6 PhDs in exercise science, psychology, molecular biology, rehabilitation science, and women’s studies
  • 6 strength and conditioning coaches with various backgrounds
  • 3 physiotherapists
  • 1 Registered Dietitian
  • 1 OB/GYN

These women are also certified/qualified as yoga and Pilates instructors, doulas, nutrition coaches, CSCS, Olympic lifting coaches, pre- and postnatal fitness experts, behavior change experts, and more. They are current and former:

  • Gym and clinic owners
  • Collegiate athletes
  • National weightlifting champions
  • Olympians
  • Researchers at universities like Johns Hopkins and University of Florida

They have 220 years of practical and clinical experience working with clients and patients outside of their formal education.

Since this is a certification, will there be a test at the end?

Yes! There are four comprehensive unit exams. Each unit exam contains  30 to 50 questions (depending on the length of the unit) for a total of 120 to 200 questions — and you can go at your own pace.

You will also have a workbook with lots of questions and case studies for every unit. The workbook and case studies are not graded. They are designed to deepen your understanding of the material, help you prepare for the exam, and give you more confidence in applying the information you’ve learned.

Does GGS-1 cover pregnancy?

There's no way to cover everything there is to know in this certification, which is why we have an entirely separate Pre- & Postnatal Coaching Certification, including a 500-page textbook, 100+ page workbook, and online portal devoted to the topic.

The GGS-1 textbook is 600+ pages, and our Pre- & Postnatal Coaching Certification is 500 pages. There's no way to adequately cover both in the same Certification.

How Much Does It Cost?

The full investment in the certification is $1,200, but if you're on the pre-sale list you can save up to $388! We also offer an additional discount for paying in full when you enroll.

The full investment comes with a 600-ish page textbook, 100+ page workbook, mobile-friendly online portal, and access to curriculum creators.

It's 100% self-paced, and it's a hybrid online certification, meaning it comes with a printed textbook and workbook, and an online portal filled with bonus resources, downloadable forms, videos, and your exams. There's no physical location, so it can be completed from anywhere in the world on your own schedule!

Do you offer scholarships?

We recognize that GGS-1 is a big investment of your time and money, and we don't take that lightly. We also know how profoundly it’s going to change the lives of the women you coach and train. In order to make the certification as accessible as possible to as many people as possible, we have payment plans available. At this time, we aren't offering scholarships to the certification, but if that changes in the future we’ll be sure to let our community know.

Is there a Refund Policy?

You’re protected with our 100% risk-free, money-back guarantee. We know that GGS-1 has the power to change the lives of women everywhere, and we want to make it as accessible as possible to health and fitness professionals of all disciplines.

We are so confident that this Certification will profoundly change your life and your clients' lives, that we are willing to back that up with a 60-day, risk-free guarantee.

That’s our promise. Try GGS-1 for 60 days. If you’re not happy with what you learn, get in touch with us and we’ll give you every penny back. We’re confident in what we do, and we stand by our work.

Should you decide you want your money back (we’re confident you won’t!), even if you’ve completed all of your coursework, your name will be removed from the GGS-1 Certified Coaches registry on the GGS website and you’ll no longer be able to access the online portal.

Is the textbook available for purchase by itself?

No, the textbook is available exclusively for GGS-1 students.

Will other portions of the certification be available? Or, do I have to purchase the entire thing?

No GGS-1 components will be available a la carte. We have specifically designed all of the elements of this Certification to work synergistically to provide the best and most effective learning experience possible. The textbook, videos, workbook, and bonus templates are designed to optimize your learning experience so that you can become the best and most effective Certified GGS-1 Coach possible.

Technical Questions and Support

Where can I ask questions about the program after I start?

If you have questions about the program after you start, feel free to reach out in our FREE Coaching and Training Women Facebook group and ask. Our experts (PhDs, Physiotherapist, Nutrition Coaches, Researchers, Doulas, Health and Fitness Professionals, etc.) are in the Facebook group to answer all of your questions and support you through your coaching and training journey. We're dead set on you becoming one of our Academy Success Stories!

Technical and support questions can be submitted to [email protected], and someone from the GGS Team will get back to you right away.

Do I get one-on-one support?

We’ve found group support to be the most effective way for members of our community to learn. We run a number of closed Facebook groups, and members of those groups constantly rave about how valuable they find the support and resources that the community provides.

We’re confident that our large community of coaches and trainers, along with our group moderators and Academy experts (who created the curriculum for the GGS-1 certification) in the Coaching and Training Women Facebook group will be available to help answer just about any question you may have about the curriculum.

And of course, our stellar client care team is always just an email away at [email protected] to help with any technical issues or other questions you may have. We deeply care about your experience with our program, we will take care of you to the best of our abilities.

How do I get access to the program once I buy it?

We have custom-built a streamlined, easy-to-use, intuitive, online portal that houses all of our certification material in one place. It is optimized for both desktop and mobile devices. You’ll have access right away to get started and go through the program at your own pace. In the meantime, your beautifully designed, easy-to-use GGS-1 textbook — a highly useful reference for your coaching career for years to come — will be shipped within five to 10 business days of your payment being processed. And worldwide shipping is FREE!

Does GGS-1 come with a textbook?

Yes, and you’re going to love it! Our textbook is just one of the things that sets GGS-1 apart from other certifications. It is a beautifully designed, easy-to-use, hardcover textbook with roughly 200,000 words and 600 pages. It will be a highly useful reference for your coaching career for years to come. Our textbook designer has years of experience creating well-designed textbooks that enhance the learning process. You’ll also receive a 100+ page, spiral-bound workbook to enhance your learning and prepare for your exams.

About the Coaching & Training Women Academy

What is the Coaching & Training Women Academy?

The Coaching & Training Women Academy operates entirely online and will house multiple certifications specific to working with women, including our Pre- & Postnatal Coaching Certification and the GGS-1 Certification, the world’s first evidence-based, body-positive certification focused on women-specific nutrition, training, rest and recovery, psychology, and coaching.

Each of these certifications include a hardcover textbook, workbook, and an online portal full of videos, worksheets, case studies, and other downloadable resources. All certifications are self-paced with online exams, so you can study and complete your certification on your own schedule that works for you.

Why did you start the Academy?

It's appalling that there still such a lack of knowledge about women-specific health and fitness issues. As an example, when someone has knee surgery, the doctor insists that they follow very specific rest and recovery protocols and engage in physical therapy multiple times per week for several months. Yet, when a woman has a c-section (i.e. major abdominal surgery) she is told to "not drive or lift anything for six weeks and you'll be fine," or "as long as you're active, you'll heal fine."

This is exactly what we are trying to put an end to with our Coaching & Training Women Academy. This industry has been under-serving women for years and we truly believe the Coaching & Training Women Academy is a crucial first step toward an industry overhaul.

The Coaching & Training Women Academy offers multiple certifications to raise awareness and offer resources for health and fitness professionals to better understand, connect with, and serve their female clients, ultimately becoming better coaches!

We’re thrilled to think how powerful it will be that our CPPC and GGS-1 certifications raise awareness about the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to working with women where practitioners from all different fields recognize and value the contributions of one another, and understand how an interdisciplinary approach can be incredibly valuable to their clients and patients.

Are there are other certifications I can take through the Academy?

We currently have two certifications available through our Academy.

Each of these certifications come with a hardcover textbook, a workbook, and an online portal full of videos, worksheets, case studies, and other downloadable resources. All certifications are self-paced with online exams.

Who runs the Academy?

The Coaching and Training Women Academy is powered by Girls Gone Strong.

Do I have to be a member of the Academy to take the Certifications?

There are no specific membership requirements for the Academy. You will be enrolled as a student in the Academy when you enroll in any of our certifications. To complement your certification enrollment, we do suggest you join our GGS Coaching & Training Women closed Facebook group to get access to curriculum creators, and be part of a group of like-minded current and aspiring health and fitness professionals from all disciplines.

How do I know if the Academy is legit?

Our Academy is owned and operated by Girls Gone Strong — the world’s most trusted resource for evidence-based, body-positive information, designed by women, for women. To create our certifications, we bring together dozens of the world’s top women’s health experts. They are PhDs, physiotherapists, pre- and postnatal fitness experts, certified strength and conditioning coaches, psychologists, exercise scientists, doulas, midwives, OB-GYNs, molecular biologists, nurse practitioners, behavior change experts, and registered dietitians.

Our experts have the academic training and the clinical and practical experience to provide health and fitness professionals with exactly what they need to know to better understand, connect with, serve, and empower their women clients.

We are so confident that our Certifications will profoundly change your life and your clients' lives, that we are willing to back that up with a 60-day, risk-free guarantee.

That’s our promise. Try our Certification for 60 days. If you’re not happy with what you learn, get in touch with us and we’ll give you every penny back. We’re confident in what we do, and we stand by our work.


Become the go-to health, fitness, and nutrition expert for women.

Imagine having compassionate and empowering answers to your clients’ questions about nutrition and diets, body image struggles, and body transformation goals right at your fingertips…

Feeling qualified to write effective training programs, coach nutrition habits and skills, and use women-specific behavior change psychology to empower women to reach their goals...

With our GGS-1 Women’s Coaching Specialist Certification, you’ll gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence you need to help any woman — at any stage of life — who comes to you for help.

From disordered eating and other important psychological considerations to pelvic floor, menopause, and hormonal issues, our Certification dives deep into often-overlooked topics that affect women’s health — and teaches you exactly how you can help while staying within your scope of practice. Feel confident and prepared to coach any woman who comes to you for help.

Interested in learning more? Join our free, no-obligation pre-sale list. Get all the details on how you can save up to 33% and secure your spot before the general public.

Impact women’s lives. Create a rewarding career. And join thousands of health and fitness professionals dedicated to changing the standard of care for women.

Don't miss out!

Enrollment opens November 8th.

Get on the pre-sale list today and become a Certified Women’s Coaching Specialist.

We'll send you more info about the Certification, give you the chance to enroll early, and save up to $400 off the general price.

Enrollment opens only twice a year. Spots are limited.

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About the author:  GGS

GGS is an organization dedicated to empowering women. We do this by creating world-leading resources, and educational materials that help women, and health & fitness professionals who work with women, take their skills and knowledge to the next level.

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