NASM Nutrition Certification Review 2019 – NASM CNC Review

As with any personal trainer worth their salt, I’m sure you know that the key to results is nutrition. A good exercise program is essential, but it’s simply a stimulus, the real gains depend on your client’s nutrition.

Most trainers out there will have a catalog of exercise-based certificates under their belts, but if we’re being honest, it’s not how you work out, it’s what you put in. that’s why being familiar and certified in nutrition is essential, and you can do that with the NASM Nutrition Certificate.

Make sure to take the quiz to see which nutrition certification is right for you if you happen yet. Also, don’t miss my article on the top six nutrition certifications compared to one another.

The Official NASM CNC video

The Advantages of a NASM Nutrition Certification.

Clients come to you for results, and these results are often from an aesthetic perspective. This means your core business model as a trainer is to transform physical appearance.

Whether this transformation results in fat-loss, muscle gain or both, the answer is always going to be nutrition. So it’s an absolute no-brainer that equipping yourself with the knowledge of nutrition and how to deliver it is necessary.

This is where the NASM Nutrition Certification comes in. with the reputation and heritage of NASM behind it, you can rest assured that you’re truly upping your game as a next level PT.

Get a 3 certs for 1 with the ISSA Elite Trainer Program ($1,400 of savings).

Save 25% on NASM with code PTP25 or Save $200 on the ACE CPT.

Get 50% off MVP study materials for NASM, ACE or CSCS at Trainer Academy
50% off NASM study materials or 50% off ACE study materials or 50% off CSCS study materials

NASM’s Nutrition Certification isn’t accredited, so while the cert does grant you the right credentials for your work with clients, it doesn’t make you a qualified dietitian.

Let’s break it down a bit…

NASM Nutrition Certification Pros and Cons.


  • Delivered through NASM, with a +30 year legacy behind it. You can bet this is one of the best nutrition certs you can go for.
  • Interactive and engaging learning. Makes the process as enjoyable as it is educational.
  • Always at the cutting edge of the latest research and findings in nutrition as a component to coaching.
  • Lean not just the fundamentals of nutrition, but also psychology. Combine the knowledge of what to eat with the appropriate behavioral changes.
  • An awesome way to complement NASM’s other robust offerings
  • No entry requirements. Open to anyone with a thirst for knowledge.
  • Offers college CEU credits


  • Non-accredited. Despite NASM’s stellar reputation, this cert is not a formal qualification.
  • Needs to be retaken every two years.

More About the NASM Certified Nutrition Coach

With a dedicated team of over 20 seasoned experts, NASM Nutrition Cert is a complete break down of how nutrition works. The science of biochemistry combined with the practice of behavioral change psychology are delivered through an immersive learning interface.

Despite not being accredited, NASM offers degree level insight and the tools to practically apply it.

Cost is king as they say and whilst NASM Nutrition Certification is at the cutting edge, it has a very attractive price point. This gives you tremendous value, offering an opportunity for you to stand out among your peers in the game.

In order to maximize convenience, the cert is delivered remotely and online. This learning system has been designed to fully engage you with a multimedia-rich set of learning tools and practices.

The remote learning system allows you to function according to your learning style. This ultimately leads to more favorable outcomes.

A NASM cert is pretty much a badge of credibility in the fitness industry, so when considering nutrition, this is a great choice for most.

But why NASM? What’s so great about them?

The Story of NASM

3 decades ago, NASM was born. The goal was to deliver actionable, facts based research, allowing you to push your clients and your career to the next level.

NASM currently offers a personal training cert with 4 learning packages as well as several specializations including the NASM Nutrition Certification.

The secret lies in NASM’s proprietary Optimum Performance Training or OPT framework. This framework presents a model that delves into the true science of performance and progressive training.

This system is the reason why NASM certified coaches deliver the best results and client outcomes. The proof is in the pudding, and with over 190,000 trainers certified in the last decade, it’s only getting better!

The versatile array of packages and programs leads the industry. This gives access to all ages and training preferences.

NASM has a far-reaching presence. It is a part of Ascended Learning as well as AFAA and Prime Global in the UK.

This among numerous other reasons is why I can count on and recommend NASM to anyone interested in stepping into the PT space.

Study Mode: Learn With The Best System.

NASM is a leader in technology based learning. It is, after all, a part of Ascended learning. That’s why NASM Nutrition Certification study material is completely online.

You can access it from your browser and through multiple devices allowing you to keep up-to-date with your learning objectives while on the go or at home.

Your progress is saved as you go through your course, also giving you access to a number of downloadable resources.

Not only is this a convenient and efficient system, it is also one of the most immersive learning experiences. With high production value video tutorials and an engaging user interface, NASM learning is known for its quality.

Let’s face it, the world is now digital. Lugging around a heavy text book is so 2007, and NASM is always ahead of the curve.

NASM CNC Study Material Break-Down.

So you have a basic idea of how NASM is set up with its study material. All online, all interactive and all multimedia.

The study material functions as a digital textbook with navigation between chapters and a bookmark system that allows you to save progress and track objectives.

The NASM CNC study resources are a multimedia rich experience. A combination of engaging video guides, captivating info graphics and an easy to follow layout make it one of the most immersive learning experiences I know of!

Each chapter is divided into lessons, allowing you to breakdown your objectives and outcomes into easy-to-reference chunks of knowledge.

Your best bet is to go through your objective using the linear method. This way you complete all your learning objectives in order and maintain a handle on the knowledge you’re gaining.

Having said this, you can still totally jump across chapters if you wish.

You will have full access to all your study material as long as your course is active. So don’t fall behind on payments and make sure you enroll on time.

Your Learning Objectives.

The following is a list of the knowledge outcomes you will aim to achieve through your course material, equipping you with actionable knowledge and the credentials to back it up

  • Outline the role and practice of a nutrition coach
  • Research and keep up-to-date with evidence based findings on nutrition
  • Identify key variables that influence dietary habits such as culture, demographics, socioeconomic factors, geography and climate.
  • Explain the foundations of how nutrition works on a biochemical level.
  • Explain the use, formulation, application and effect of various nutritional supplements
  • Empathize with your clients. Put yourself in the shoes of someone without the same experience and behavioral fortitude when it comes to what they eat.
  • Customize both your objectives and how you achieve your client outcomes
  • Conduct a comprehensive body and nutrition assessment system for your clients
  • Instruct your clients using only real, proven facts and a custom approach on how to navigate dietary pitfalls.
  • Explain the basis and science behind diet trends.
  • Develop a system that allows for custom, tailored programs for each unique client.

The material can be accessed through most modern browsers such as Chrome, Safari or Firefox.

Getting It Done: The NASM CNC Test!

NASM Nutrition Certification test aims to create the best nutrition coaches out there. There are 7 aspects to becoming an effective nutrition coach:

  1. Motivator.
  2. Communicator.
  3. Authenticator.
  4. Protector.
  5. Educator.
  6. Guide.
  7. Nutritional architect.

In order to achieve this profile, NASM Nutrition Certification has streamlined the testing structure to allow a stable grasp of concepts while also maintaining an adequate degree of challenge as a quality control.

After each chapter’s lessons, you will have a chapter quiz to complete. This quiz can be taken as many times as you like.

After completion of all course work (chapters and quizzes), you can take the unlimited attempt practice exam, allowing you to get a handle on the final exam format.

Once all is said and done, it’s time for the final test.

NASM Nutrition Final Exam.

The final exam is a culmination of all your learning objectives and their outcomes. In order to gain access to this final component, you need to have completed 100% of all course work.

By this point you should be well enough equipped to tackle the last challenge. That challenge being 100 multiple choice questions, but way more challenging than they sound, so make sure you stay sharp!

You have 90 minutes to complete the test, so make sure you pace yourself well.

The passing grade is 70%, any lower is considered a fail. Fortunately, you have an assist in the form of 3 attempts which should provide enough of an opportunity if you’ve been paying attention.

As an added benefit, NASM CNC awards you 1.9 CEUs

Furthermore, as a registered student, you will have access to NASM’s helpline, available to take your call during regular office hours.

Get a 3 certs for 1 with the ISSA Elite Trainer Program ($1,400 of savings).

Save 25% on NASM with code PTP25 or Save $200 on the ACE CPT.

Get 50% off MVP study materials for NASM, ACE or CSCS at Trainer Academy
50% off NASM study materials or 50% off ACE study materials or 50% off CSCS study materials

You Are Now NASM Certified!

Welcome to the club, so nice of you to join us, but what does it mean for you now that all the hard work is paid off?

By now you well and truly know that NASM is at the top of the charts when it comes to international certs, but the benefits go further than just a bit of street cred. You are now equipped to help hundreds, if not thousands of people improve their quality of life.

We all know that the modern diet is a scourge unlike anything humanity has faced. The effects of poor diet now influence the leading causes of death such as diabetes and heart disease. You are now a soldier in a war against the modern plague.

This also sets you above your peers. Most fitness professionals load up on the exercise science certs, but way to often ignore the significance of knowledge on nutrition.

Because exercise is just a catalyst to how your body utilizes nutrition, it is extremely important but, often overlooked. Now you can stand a cut above the rest!

NASM CNCs belong to a network of industry professionals who often collaborate around research and trends. This will give you a boost in insight beyond what you’ve learned for your cert.

What The NASM CNC Means For You.

  • You are now equipped with cutting edge evidence-based principles of nutrition
  • You have a firm grasp of the concepts of behavioral psychology as it concerns nutrition
  • You now have a NASM badge of honor, putting you ahead of the pack
  • You are now part of a global network of the top businesses and individuals in the fitness space

So What’s the Damage? Cost Break Down.

Aside from any specials or promos that happen regularly, NASM CNC costs a standard $899 one time payment.

When you consider the quality of education and authenticity of credentials, it’s an absolute steal. Its university level course work at a fraction of the cost.

The best way to determine the value of the NASM CNC is to compare it to other certifications in the same category.

One of the most reputable alternatives to NASM is ACE.

ACE has a well-established Fitness Nutrition Specialist or FNS. Just like the exercise science component they offer, ACE FNS offers a relatively generalized approach to nutrition.

Compared to NASM CNC’s more focused approach, ACE FNS lays the fundamental groundwork and doesn’t go too in depth. This influences a much lower cost of either $499 or $599, depending on what option you chose.

In would say, this sets them as even value wise, since the amount you pay correlates with the level of learning you’re paying for.

Other certs include ISSA, NESTA and AFPA. All great in their own right, but if you ask me, NASM covers all the necessary bases.

Either way, you’re looking at university grade knowledge and resources at a tiny fraction of the cost.

Consider how many tens of thousands of dollars you’d need to fork out for college tuition, and on top of it all you have study material, housing and living expenses. Let’s not even talk about the student debt waiting to greet you on your way out!

Other factors such as the convenience and flexibility in the learning process make NASM CNC even more worth it.

We now understand that learning ability sits on a spectrum, and the rigid structure of a college environment only caters to a certain group of people. If you’re one of those that fall outside that group, a distance learning program like NASM CNC won’t only cost you less money, but less effort overall.

Final Thoughts on the NASM Certified Nutrition Coach.

My final rating: 5/5. Take a look at NASM CNC here.

If you still haven’t done so, take the quiz to find out which nutrition certification is the best fit for you.

With this nutrition certification, NASM finds the perfect match of quality and credibility, I will always go with NASM. Their programs are hands-down, the best I can recommend for most people in the fitness space.

The CNC program takes nutrition up a notch by not only presenting evidence-based resources to equip you, but by providing a rich and engaging learning experience.

The digital study resources are full of amazing slides, videos and info graphics.

The multimedia study material makes learning somewhat fun, and you’ll come away from the whole process feeling good about what you’ve learned, and how you’ve learned it.

NASM is great value when it comes to cost. It’s so competitively priced for what’s on offer.

Although other certs in the same category might come out cheaper, $899 is a steal with how NASM encompasses the concepts of nutrition. Check the course page here as they do have regular sales and promos on offer.

With a resource base and learning outcomes comparable to a college degree in the same field, it’s no wonder many are ditching years of university and insurmountable debt for this.

A lot of nutrition certs only touch on the fundamentals of general nutrition. NASM CNC takes a focused approach, allowing you to apply its principles across a versatile array of tailored needs. From a granny to a grand champion, you will be able to help your clients nail their goals and develop the behavior required to do it.

NASM CNC does require you to retake the course every two years. While this may seem like a nagging hindrance, consider how drastically our knowledge on nutrition changes on a yearly basis.

This means NASM CNC is a platform that puts you at the cutting edge of nutrition, giving you a value beyond what most can offer.

Outside of earning your cert, NASM is itself one of the best networking communities for fitness professionals.

Some of the top trainers and coaches are certified by NASM and with a turnover of more than 190,000 certs in the last decade, the community is growing!

We all know that nutrition is more than just knowing what to put on your plate. It’s also having the discipline to remain consistent with that practice.

That’s why NASM CNC has a very focused psychological component to it. Correct eating is a mental battleground otherwise no one would have trouble eating right.

NASM’s principles on behavioral psychology when it comes to nutrition are the best in the business.

With all that said, NASM manages to bridge the hard facts of nutrition with the psychology of optimized eating habits in a seamless way.

The actual process of gaining the NASM CNC cert is pretty seamless itself. With each chapter broken down into easy to follow lessons, ending in a quiz and leading into the next chapter, it’s super easy to keep up.

This way you are learning organically, expanding on accumulated knowledge.

At the end of it all is a practice exam. This test is meant to simulate the final exam and prepare you before taking it. What’s more, you have an unlimited number of attempts.

The final exam is a 100 question multiple choice resembling the practical exam. It remains challenging enough to cement the concepts you’ve learned while also not being complete rocket science.

In Conclusion.

If you ask me, this is the one when it comes to the best possible, all-round nutrition cert. It’s packed with constantly revised information and is a global platform for a successful PT career.

NASM CNC’s entry barrier is low, but what you will walk away with will surprise you. Things you might take for granted after being certified will sound like sci-fi food science to the uninitiated.

Like everything amazing in life, the NASM Nutrition Certification is not for everyone. To see if its great for you (which it probably is), take this quiz.

Don’t forget to check out other reviews on certs similar to NASM CNC. I guarantee you’ll find what you’re looking for. Visit their website here for more details on how it all goes down.

When you’re done, please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

  • Abi says:

    This is an informative article…Thank you for such a detailed write up. Does ISSA/ACE nutrition certification accredited?

    • Tyler Read says:

      Hey Abi,
      Great question and thanks for the shout out. The ISSA certification is accredited by the DEAC. ACE on the other hand I can’t find clear information on their website. Guess I will need to call them to confirm this. Stay tuned!

  • Anthony says:

    is there a specific book I can buy online that goes along the NASM nutrition course that I can read on my own before actually paying for the course? I am a Student at OSU pursuing a degree in nutrition and I just want to get ahead of the game before going into the actual nutrition courses when I get into the program.

    • Tyler Read says:

      Hello Anthony, the majority of their information for their curriculum comes from a nutrition By the authors Paul Insel and Don Ross. That being said, I don’t suggest just picking up the textbook and studying out of their although it will help a little bit. NASM picks and chooses the parts from the textbook and not everything is covered only a certain number of chapters in only certain sections from each chapter as well. I suggest picking up the certification and studying their online modules instead.

  • Sarah says:

    Thank you for this information! I am considering getting my certification but I am wondering if this cert. will qualify me to have my own clients for my own business. Is a CPT required to have your own clients? I know you mentioned the CNC doesn’t hold as much weight, Does it make your qualified enough? What kinds of jobs can you obtain with this CNC Cert. On its own? I currently only have a Nutrition and Wellness degree.
    Thank you!

    • Tyler Read says:

      Hey Sarah,
      Depends on what you mean by new clients. Are you looking to do personal training as well as nutrition counseling? Most of the certifications that I talk about on my website or for people in the fitness industry that are looking to make supplemental income with nutrition counseling with their already personal training clients. You could also market yourself as a nutrition only expert and sell your services that way as well. This is especially true if you already have a degree in nutrition and wellness. On the other hand, if you do want to get into personal training I recommend you checking out my article on the top personal training certifications as well.

  • George Spade says:

    Does NASM charge the full course fee every 2 years, or do those already certified as CNC’s get a reduced price?

    • Tyler Read says:

      Hey George,
      After you are certified through the National Academy of sports medicine, you will only need to pay the recertification fee and pass the exam again in order to continue being certified. I believe the recertification fee is $99 but I could be wrong about this.

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