NESTA Review 2019– NESTA Cost vs Value, Is NESTA worth it?

Today I present to all of you my official NESTA review.

You’ll learn all about this “tech” personal training certification, so you can decide whether you should start studying for it or not. I also 110% suggest checking out my article on the overall five greatest personal training certifications as well as my ultimate guide on how to become a trainer from step one.

I strongly suggest that you take the quiz to help you realize which certification is best for you. 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.

So, is NESTA legit? Let’s find out.


  • Neatly incorporates technology to help their trainers
  • NCCA accredited
  • The certification is valid for four years


  • Fairly new and unrecognized certification
  • Their study materials need work
  • It would be great if they offered a live workshop

For you individuals who like to digest their material in video format, here is the YouTube video I made on the NESTA CPT about three years ago. In general, the article is more information in this more up-to-date.

Get 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

NESTA is a newer certification in the fitness industry. It focuses a lot on technology and how it can be applied to personal training. NESTA stands for the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association

This certification is moderately priced, they even boast of being the most affordable Certification in the health and fitness industry.

I am guessing you are brand-new to personal training. Let me help you get started by pointing you in the right direction.

Now, let’s jump right into this NESTA review so you can see what it is all about.

NESTA CPT review

NESTA Certification Reviews: General Information

NESTA has been gaining good traction because of the innovative ways they involve technology, emphasizing tracking results and efficiently helping clients. I am a big fan of advancing the way trainers measure the progress of their clients.

Newer certifications always have a difficult time climbing to the top because there are so many good certifications out there to choose from. One obstacle that all legitimate certifications need to overcome is getting accredited by the NCCA.

NESTA overcame that obstacle. There are a few prerequisites that need to be met to get certified.

  • You need to be 18 years of age
  • Hold a high school diploma (or the equivalent)
  • A valid identification
  • You must have a current CPR certification card or Basic Life Support card. Either of the two is fine.

NESTA was able to gain a partnership with a tech company called Polar. They have incorporated some Polar technology in their educational program for personal trainers.

NESTA use this tech to train fitness professionals to help them become a Heart Rate Performance Specialist.

The certification is 100% online and you are required to finish it in 3 to 4weeks within a year.

The price for the short certificate exam is $25 and the polar heart rate monitor will be sold to you separately. You are required to take an online non-proctored exam which includes 100 multiple choice questions.

Other certification bodies include a section in their textbooks with the necessary scientific background for exercise physiology.

But NESTA is trying to teach these concepts in a hands-on, practical manner, with the assistance of technology. Being able to monitor your client’s heart rate means you can adjust your exercise routine as needed.

It also helps when initially assessing your client’s fitness level. You can create a better starting point for new clients.

They do not require you to purchase the certification that contains the heart rate monitor, but it is highly recommended. In my opinion, though, the watch is very pricey compared to other heart rate monitor watches that are on the market.

NESTA Personal Fitness Trainer Certification

NESTA Personal Fitness Trainer Certification is accredited through the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which is termed the “gold standard”.

They offer a fitness training program design that will equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to work with athletes, the general population and people of all ages.

After you obtain your NESTA Personal Fitness Trainer certification, you eligible for discounts on several CEU courses that can help you secure a place for you in the fitness industry and be in a competitive position.

NESTA certification cost

The NESTA Personal Training Certification is relatively cheap.

  • The NESTA PFT certification program cost $477
  • The NESTA PFT certification exam only cost $349
  • Certificate exam with digital manual cost $399

There is a 4-time monthly payment option of $124 with a 30% processing fee.

The more expensive package includes the NESTA official heart rate monitor watch. All of their study material is involved in both of their packages. But we will talk about the study material later on in this review.

I am guessing you are brand-new to personal training. Let me help you get started by pointing you in the right direction.

I suggest that you check out my articles talking about how much money you can make as a personal trainer, how to get started in the industry and my top personal trainer certification choices.

NESTA PTF Exam Private Proctor Option.

If you will not be able to make it to the exam venue due to driving distance of over 2:30minutes, NESTA offers you a chance to apply for a private proctor to administer your exam.

It is your job to find the external proctor by filling out the application form on their webpage for external private proctor information. The form should be completed and submitted 30days latest to the exam.

The private proctor could be from any profession like professors, librarian teacher and so on. The only condition is that the private proctor must not have a relationship with the candidate prior to the exam.

There are terms and conditions before NESTA ECB accepts the private proctor and also before the result is released.

The private proctor fee is $45.

Get 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

NESTA Reimbursement Program

This is good news for all serving members and veterans of the United States military. NESTA Personal Fitness Trainer Exam Certification is now an educational program that is GI Bill approved.

So you can be a veteran or a serving member and also earn money from being a NESTA certified Personal Trainer.

The certification exam alone cost $249

You can then add to that by paying $100 to get access to the 40 hours online training videos and study materials.

To get your reimbursement you will have to provide;

  • Your payment receipt and your completed application.
  • A copy each of your discharge certificate, military orders and other valid certificates.

NESTA Recertification

NESTA Certification Education Board wants to ensure that all their Certified Personal Fitness Trainers maintain their certification and also upgrade in knowledge, skills and ability in the health and fitness industry to remain relevant in the fitness business.

You are expected to complete 4.0 Continuing Education Units courses over a period of 4years.

Each of their CEUs contains 1hour of intensive contact training or one hour study time which equals to 0.1. This means you need 40hours of CEUs studies to qualify for recertification.

Where do you get your NESTA CEUs?

  • From long-distance learning
  • NESTA live workshops
  • Equivalents college degrees

Ensure that you get all your CEUs from NESTA approved certification agencies. If by chance you obtain any of your CEUs from a fitness agency that is not approved by NESTA, you will have to pay for a petition.

NESTA Approved Continuing Educational Units

  • NESTA Fitness Nutrition Coach Certification -$297
  • Biomechanic Specialist -$359

There are many more NESTA approved CEUs, you can find out more on their page.

If you are aspiring to turn your passion into full-time money-making venture, you can choose a webclass which can serve as 0.1 CEU

How do you apply for certification renewal?

  • You apply for recertification by downloading the recertification course forms online.
  • Fill in the correct information on the forms downloaded
  • Email in all the forms and proof of attendance

If you are using a college degree for recertification, you will have to submit your transcript.

  • The recertification fee is $149 between 90days prior to certification expiration
  • Between day 1-30 after the expiration date, you are required to pay extra $25
  • If you are two months late the fee increases to $50
  • Finally, if you are 3months (90days) late on your certification renewal, the fee is $95.

After 90days certification expiration date, you are no longer eligible for recertification, your NESTA Personal Trainer Certification is rendered null and void. You are required to start all over again by registering afresh for the Personal Fitness Trainer Certification exam with NESTA.

Test and Study Material

The NESTA certification exam contains 125 questions in total and you are to score at least 70 to pass the exam. You will be given two hours to complete the test.

From the time that you purchase one of their packages, you have 90 days to pass the exam.

The certification exams cover four important Personal Training domain;

  • Business Application; where you get to learn the personal training business tactics. You will learn how to sell yourself online and get clients.
  • Program Designing; in this section, you will learn how to design exercise program and progression.
  • Exercise Science; you get to learn human anatomy, nutritional diet and many more.
  • Program Implementation. This is where you learn how to make your clients follow the exercise that you have designed to get the optimum result and give feedback.

Most large cities within the United States have exam locations called the PSI testing center. They are all in the 50 states in the United States and major cities in Canada.

It will cost you $199 to retake the PFT test if you do not pass it the first time around. The waiting period for you to retake the test is 30days.

You are required to pay $95 if you decided to extend, reschedule or cancel the 90-day period that you are expected to write the exam for reasons best known to you.

You can purchase the online Personal Fitness Trainers practice exam for $25, to increase your chances of success in the exams.

From what I’ve gathered, the exam is a breeze compared to other certification tests like NASM or ACSM.

The NESTA certification is valid for four years. Most certifications are only valid for two years before you need to show proof of continuing education to get recertified.

Most employers prefer you to be pursuing continuing education throughout the whole time you are certified. Since you do not need to seek any continuing education for an entire four years, some employer’s might look down on the NESTA certification.

The new version 2.0 of NESTA is entirely different than their first version 1.0. In version 2.0, they started incorporating Polar technology.


My overall rating:

I like the direction that NESTA is going in. I recently started using my android tablet to keep track of my clients workouts. It is an efficient way to keep records.

If you are having lots of trouble deciding on which certification to pick, take the quiz to help guide you in the right direction.

It also easily allows me to make multiple copies of the workout for my clients and myself. Check out my workout schedule template as well as my article on personal training software that I use!

The heart rate monitor addition is a great start. There are many inefficiencies in the way personal trainers work. Technology can improve things in this area. I feel that NESTA study materials could be a bit more robust.

The exam was relatively easy to pass without that much studying. I am excited to see where NESTA takes their certification in the coming years. But for now, it is not the most well-designed certification out there.

I hope this review helps you come one step closer to deciding which certification is right for you! I suggest you check out some other certifying agencies such as ACE, NASM, NPTI, and NFPT.

Overall, if I had to choose my top two certifications, I would probably select ACE and NASM. They have high industry recognition, excellent curriculum, and they provide fantastic study material.

Make sure to check out the certification comparison section of the website. You will find articles like NSCA vs NASM, ACSM vs NSCA, ACE vs NASM and ISSA vs ACE.

Also, be sure to check out my personal training tips section for beginners. If you want to learn more about NESTA, here is a link to their site. And please, share this article via social media if it is helpful to you. Happy personal training!

4 thoughts on “NESTA Review 2019– NESTA Cost vs Value, Is NESTA worth it?”

  1. Jeff T the RD

    I can say that all three of these organizations’ certification programs are accredited by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Commission on Dietetic Registration. It’s a pretty big deal for Registered Dietitians, as this means that they all are reviewed and approved by the US’s governing body for Registered Dietitian/Nutritionists (RDNs), which allows RDs/RDNs to use these certifications for career building opportunities, but also receive a full Continuing Education Portfolio’s worth of credits for a full 5 year period.
    The only hard part about picking the right one comes down to prestige versus price, for RDs, really. All are great and provide very even footing, but I’ve been reviewing cost, and NESTA, while new and not as well known (maybe not as well-accepted), costs the least and provides special deals which can help a Dietitian trying to make leaps in their career. ACE and NASM are highly renowned as well, but the cost for the full course and exam may hinder RDs who want the credits and the info for their own business ideas.

    1. Hey Jeff,
      Thank you for chiming in with all of the information. This is very interesting indeed. It really does come down to price versus how well-recognized of the personal training certification is in the end. It is true that NASM and ACE do charge a pretty penny, but for the most part if you look around the country they are the most highly recognized and accepted certifications. Great take by the way and thank you for dropping a comment off!

  2. I’m not interested in being a coach and instead want to learn nutrition for personal benefit. Would NESTA be a more ideal certificate or am I better off with ACE or NASM?

    1. Hello,
      If your main goal is to become a nutrition expert, you should definitely get a nutrition certification instead of a personal training certification. Sure, all personal training certifications have a chapter on nutrition but they are not a fully dedicated course on the subject. I highly suggest you check out my article on the top nutrition certifications that are currently available I think this would be your best bet especially if you don’t want to be a coach or do any training.

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