Alongside the NASM’s CES advanced certification, the PES is also one of the top three or four advanced certifications that you can get.
To know whether or not it’s worth it for you, we need to know what type of clients you currently train or what kind of clients you would like to teach in the future.
Also, I highly recommend that you take the quiz to get an estimate on which strength and conditioning certification is the best fit for you overall. This is just an estimation. The menu at the top of this page will answer any question related to personal training that you have. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment here (I’ll respond within 24 hours). Also, visit the home page for the most recent and popular articles.
If in the end, you think the PES is right for you, check out the epic PES study materials over at Trainer Academy that will cut your study time in half. I also have lots of great free NASM PES study materials here on my website.
By the end of the article, if you think this might be something you want to go for, check out the details from NASM. Make sure to leave a comment if you have questions or concerns. I recommend checking out my article on the top strength and conditioning certifications and the top NASM advanced certifications.
For the fifth you who would prefer to watch the YouTube video on my PES review, here is the video I made approximately 3 years ago. Not too much has changed since then but in general, the written article has more information.
I will be doing an in-depth review as well as talk about the test and study materials for this advanced certification.
Primarily this certification is meant to be taken by personal trainers, but it can also serve as a valuable certification for multiple other professions such as chiropractors, athletic trainers, physical therapists, and coaches.
It is made for people that are working with athletes at any level from grade school all the way up to the college level.
There are some similarities between the PES to NSCA’s CSCS certification. Both are primarily geared toward peak performance training.
Although the CSCS has for a long time been regarded as the gold standard for strength and conditioning certifications, the performance enhancement specialist has caught up in terms of recognition and information provided.
To see a full list of my favorite strength and conditioning certifications check out this article here.
Year after year, athletes push their limits to become the best at any particular sport that they can. As exercise science grows and better training techniques emerge, it is essential as a personal trainer that you stay on top of new developments.
Competition is extremely tough for these high-end athletes and they need a knowledgeable personal trainer to push them to become even more successful! You’ll learn advanced routines, exercises, and techniques to help instruct your clients so that they can reach their potential.
A random fact before we get started is that about 90% of all athletic trainers in the national basketball Association hold the NASM performance enhancement specialist certification.
A big part of why the PES has gained so much popularity within the strength and conditioning in sports training sector is due to their OPT (optimum performance training) blueprint that they follow.
If you are certified with their general personal training certification, you will be very familiar with the OPT model already.
When working with athletes, especially at a very high level, safety and injury prevention are a top priority in regards to training. The OPT training model focuses strongly on muscular imbalances, corrective exercise and injury prevention which makes it a perfect blueprint for training athletes.
The last phase of the optimum performance training model is the power phase. Although the general CPT touches upon this phase a little bit, you usually will not reach this phase with general personal training clients. That is not the case with training athletes and the PES focuses strongly on this phase and how it applies to peak performance training.
One of the great things about advanced NASM certifications such as the performance enhancement specialist is that once you are certified, you never need to get recertified. The certification will be valid forever.
With this certification, you can make a better personal training salary because you will be able to train a wider variety of people with better precision. Let’s dive into the NASM PES review so you can see what is all about!
After my review, make sure to check out the NASM website for more information and current prices on the PES!
Here is what you will learn from PES Certification
- You will be taught how to perform fitness assessments specific to athletes
- You will understand how to apply the optimum performance training model to athletes.
- You will be taught how to apply reactive/power exercises to your training routines safely.
- You will learn about the business aspect of receiving this advanced certification. You will learn how to get more clients and make more money with the PES.
NASM PES Cost and study materials
As of the time of this writing, there are two study packages that you can purchase on the NASM website. The first bundle is also the cheapest and is called the “self-study” package. This package will cost you $699 (check current price) and includes the primary textbook for the PES, and exam voucher, additional online study materials and a booklet on cardio performance. As of 2018, NASM just released the newest version of their PES textbook!
The second package is called the “premium self-study package.” The second option is only $150 extra and costs $799 total. It is the same thing as the self-study package with the addition of additional bonus content and a programming toolkit.
The bonus content includes weight room maintenance and management as well as sport specific lecture videos such as basketball, baseball, and football specific videos.
The programming toolkit includes sample programs, a program generator as well as a programming booklet.
The third package is the performance enhancement specialist all-inclusive package and costs $999. Includes everything that the previous two packages did with the addition of a hard copy of the textbook and a live workshop for you to attend.
For me personally, I love having a hard copy of the textbook and it’s a shame that most certifying agencies do not provide a hard copy anymore unless you purchase a more expensive program. Is really helpful for me so that I can highlight and add sticky notes. This is just part of my personal learning process.
The live workshop Is fantastic for people that want hands-on practice or for people that are kinesthetic learners. Is much easier to learn something by actually doing it rather than just reading the information out of the textbook.
Online course on cardio for performance
If you have any “general” personal training certification, you have probably done plenty of fitness assessments. The cardio for performance course teaches you additional fitness assessments that are geared towards athletes.
You learned specific workout routines that will work to improve your athlete’s cardiovascular fitness.
Online course on speed, agility, and quickness
You will learn about training principles that will help improve your client’s speed, agility, and quickness for their desired sport. This information will help your clients reach their potential regarding athleticism.
It also has a substantial section that talks about injury prevention while using reactive (or power) training principles with your clients. This is extremely important is injuries can set back even the youngest and fit clients of yours.
Make sure to check out the epic PES study materials over at Trainer Academy that will cut your study time in half. The team over there have put together the best study materials, much better than the standard study materials.
In addition to the study materials that come from NASM, I also have put together a great free resource to study for the performance enhancement specialist.
Prerequisites for PES Certification
The most significant requirement for the PES certification is that you must have a “general” certification from in the reputable certifying agency. Reputable Certifying Agencies Included NASM, ACE, ACSM or the NSCA.
There are many more, but these are just a few of my favorites. You need to make sure that your general certification is accredited by either the DETC (now the DEAC), NCCA or NBFE. The only exception to this rule is if you have a four-year university degree in a health or fitness field or if you are a massage therapist that is licensed.
Some other minor prerequisites are that you must have a valid CPR/AED card and be at least 18 years old. If you meet all of these prerequisites, you should have no trouble getting the performance enhancement specialist certification!
Conclusion on the NASM PES Certification Review
My overall rating:
If you have not done so yet, take the quiz to get a better overall idea of which strength and conditioning certification is the best match for you.
The PES is one of the most recognized certifications in the personal training industry. If you have client athletes or are planning on working with them in the future, this is a must-have certification for you.
This is especially true if you want to earn more money as a trainer. If you need continuing education credits for recertification of your general CPT, this is a fantastic option to go as you’ll learn extremely valuable information as well.
- Check here for current information and prices for the PES!
- Make sure to check my free NASM PES study materials here
Just as the CES is essential for individuals working with clients that have muscular imbalances or post-rehab (also the ACE orthopedic certification). If you want to help your clients reach their maximal potential for any given sport, you need to apply these exercises, routines, and techniques that are laid out in the PES.
A similar certification is the CSCS, but I do believe that in this is a superior certification now. This test is not easy to pass, and it will take a lot of studying on your part. I also feel like the techniques that they use our more modern and the curriculum itself is more up-to-date.
I would make sure to at least have six months of good studying time before you take the test. The great thing about specializing in any certification is that you open up the possibilities for so many more clients.
With this knowledge, you can also increase your athletic performance which is always a fun thing to do. If you are looking for continuing education credits.
Let me know what you guys thought of my article on the comments below. If you found my NASM PES Certification review article helpful please share it using one of the social media buttons or tell all of your friends and family about it.
Happy personal training!
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