NASM PES Review 2020– NASM PES Cost vs Value Compared

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    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.

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      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.

      NASM PES Certification Review

      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

      1. You will be taught how to perform fitness assessments specific to athletes
      2. You will understand how to apply the optimum performance training model to athletes.
      3. You will be taught how to apply reactive/power exercises to your training routines safely.
      4. 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.

      Save 30% on the NASM CES (Corrective Exercise Specialist) Certification
      See the NASM CES Sale Here
      Save 30% on the NASM PES (Performance Enhancement Specialist) Certification
      See the NASM PES Sale Here
      Save Big on the NASM CNC (Certified Nutrition Coach) Certification
      See the NASM FNS Sale Here

      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.

      PES sports training

      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:

      NASM PES Review [year]- NASM PES Cost vs Value Compared 55

      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.

      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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      18 thoughts on “NASM PES Review 2020– NASM PES Cost vs Value Compared”

      1. Hello! Could you please elaborate why you think the PES is a better certification than the CSCS? You say that the techniques are modern and curriculum more up-to-date. Would it be possible to give an example?

        1. No problem. I really like the PES training model because it follows along the lines of NASM’s OPT training model. This model is relatively recent to the personal training industry and has really become the standard for progressing along any sort of exercise program in a safe and very effective manner. For the these reasons I think that PES is better than the CSCS. Just my two cents.

      2. Hello and thanks for offering all of this information. I am a massage therapist who will always benefit from learning more about the human body and human performance. I also think it would be beneficial for my practice to be able to offer simple exercise plans to help my clients stay injury free and integrate the benefits of their massage sessions into their daily lives. Furthermore, I am interested in working at a fitness center/offering mostly body weight exercise & mobility classes. It seems to me that the NASM-PES would allow me the ability and the certification to safely and effectively do all of the above, but I just wanted to reach out and get your thoughts on the matter. Thank you!

        1. Hello Meredith,
          The performance enhancement specialist by the American Academy of sports medicine is actually a certification that’s geared towards athletes for performance aspects. Just from the look of it, it looks like you want to implement training so that people stay injury free and mobile. For this, I would definitely recommend the corrective exercise specialist certification from NASM instead of the PES. That is, unless you plan on working with a ton of athletes. I would check out my article on the top corrective exercise specialist certifications to see which one, if any is up your alley. https://www.ptpioneer.com/corrective-exercise-specialist-certifications/

      3. Christina Catalano


        I am a DPT and am interested in learning more about personal training to work with teen athletes to geriatrics. My baseline knowledge on strength and conditioning and corrective exercise is good from school and personal fitness, but I would really like to understand personal training better. I am not confident that what I know is strong enough to train athletes beyond rehabilitation and I would like to understand strength and conditioning for geriatrics better.

        I have a bachealors and a doctorate. Am I able to get the CSCS or NASM PES without previous personal training certifications? And which one is considered the most “prestigious” or would you say is the best for a PT to have?
        I know this may sound silly, but do both add letters to your name? I am only asking this because it helps with landing certain jobs without having to explain a long list of my educational background.

        1. Hey Christina, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. In terms of the most prestigious personal training certification for strength and conditioning specific training, the certified strength and conditioning specialist by the NSCA is definitely the golden standard. This is the one I would suggest going for If you have a bachelor’s degree. And no, you do not need any previous personal training certification to get either one of these two. I am not quite sure what you mean by adding letters to your name. Good luck with all the studying.

      4. Hi – my goal is to do youth fitness/nutrition coaching. would the ISSA nutrition fitness certification plus the nasm pes certification be a good combo?

        1. The biggest question is if you already have a general personal training certification such as the general NASM or ISSA CPT. The performance enhancement specialist certification is for training athletes. I think a better combination would be the general NASM/ISSA with either the NASM CNC or the nutritionist certification. I hope this helps.

      5. Christina Catalano

        Hi, I am a doctor of physical therapy and would like to get a CPT cert that would help me with strength, conditioning, and mobility for athletes to seniors. Ive been told the NASM certs would be good, but I am not sure which one to go for. Do you have any suggestions? I would like to increase my knowledge of nutrition as well as strength, conditioning, and mobility.

        Do I need a base CPT to get any of the specialized certs as a DPT? I do not have any personal training certifications.

        1. Hello Christina,
          The personal training certification from NASM is definitely a fantastic certification. If you already have a bachelors degree which you obviously do, I would suggest the CSCS from NSCA as it is the gold standard in regards to strength and conditioning certifications. You will be able to use all of this knowledge even while working with seniors. In terms of mobility though, I do feel like the National Academy of sports medicine has the upper hand in this area. You can always do both certifications.

      6. Hello Tyler,
        Thanks for the info. This page is very helpfull!

        Could you give me some information on how the procedure works for PES? I enroll, study the material at my own pace, and once Im ready I make the exam (online)?

        And for the CSCS: I first study the material and when ready I sign up for the exam (at a CSCS affiliatie?)

        Thanks for the help!

        1. Yes, you have it correct. You can study the information for the performance enhancement specialist and then when you are ready you can take the exam online. Or the certified strength and conditioning specialist certification, you will need to go to a third party testing facility that accepts the CSCS. You can find a list of these locations on the NSCA website.

      7. I work with high school level athletes. I want to choose a certification that allows me to best prepare these athletes for play, as well as setting a good foundation for lifting and conditioning habits they take to the next level.

        1. Hey Mark,
          If you already have a four-year degree, I suggest getting the CSCS certification from NSCA. , if you do not have this though, the performance enhancement specialist by the National Academy of sports medicine is definitely a good option as well.

      8. thank you for the post, a couple of questions..

        why do you recommend the CSCS if already having a degree? i have a BSc for sport coaching science.

        when i was looking at the pes.. the premium self study mentions the programming toolkit but doesnt offer much information about it. do you have any further information on that?

        1. I would say that the gold standard in the industry for strength and conditioning certifications is the NSCA CSCS. Both certifications are good, but employers definitely look at that as the gold standard in both highly respected certification in the industry. Good luck with your strength and conditioning career.

        1. You will be able to access a digital copy of your performance enhancement specialist certification from your portal online. Also, you should have received the physical certification a couple weeks later.

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