Precision Nutrition Coach Review 2019 – Is PN Level 1 worth it?

I’m sure you’ll agree with the phrase “gains are made in the kitchen”. You also probably agree that when it comes to the personal training industry, most professionals seem to focus more on the exercise aspect and less on nutrition.

The most commonly obtained certifications seem to be within exercise science, but with every great training certification, there is an essential nutrition cert to go with it and Precision Nutrition just might be for you. By the end of this review, you will know Whether or not this nutrition certification is right for you, or if you should go with another option. Also, make sure to check out my article on the best nutrition certifications.

I highly recommend that you Take the quiz to get an estimate on which nutrition certification is the best fit for you overall. This is just an estimation.

Check out the Precision Nutrition site afterward if you feel the certification is right for you. But warning, they only have openings twice a year.

Precision Nutrition Coach Review

Benefits of a Precision Nutrition Cert.

Going back to the phrase “gains are made in the kitchen”, let’s break down the fundamental principles behind this. The common consensus is that your diet contributes to at least 70% of all training outcomes.

One of the biggest pitfalls in the health, fitness and self-improvement journey is eating right. And one of the pitfalls in eating right is understanding what eating right is.

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

From an aesthetic perspective, your clients will only see a difference with the right nutrition in place, regardless of the quality of training you provide.

Therein lies the true value of a PN coaching certification. Not only are you equipped to provide your clients with meaningful outcomes, but you’re also improving your own credibility in the process.

Precision Nutrition Pros and Cons.


  • Equips you with the science of nutrition and the value it adds to your CPT credentials.
  • Learn how to correctly advise clients on dietary matters, the most important aspect of health and fitness goals.
  • Become certified through one of the most reputable nutrition certs in the industry
  • Join a network of professionals and share knowledge and resources on the science of nutrition
  • Learn how to tailor nutrition plans based on client goals, age and gender.
  • Upgrade your knowledge base with the Precision Nutrition Level 2 master class.
  • Utilize state-of-the-art technology to boost your coaching productivity
  • Promote your business as a preferred PN partner, connecting you to thousands of potential client conversions.


So What is Precision Nutrition?

What is Precision Nutrition
Some before and after images of precision nutrition clients

Precision nutrition is a science-based approach to nutritional coaching. The learning structure delivers essential concepts and fast in an easy to digest manner.

PN draws from PhD level research and methodologies. This ensures a university level learning outcome at a fraction of the cost.

To put this in perspective, the same level of learning outcomes from a university based nutrition degree would run you up in the tens of thousands, while jumping in with PN will barely cost you $100.

When you consider that PN science has been called on by elite professional sporting organizations such as the NFL, it’s almost a no-brainer.

Furthermore, PN is delivered completely online. That eliminates the hassle of making it to lectures or study sessions.

It’s also all at your own pace. You decide how and when you work through the course material and set your own deadlines!

Aside from the outcome of equipping yourself with added credentials, PN nutrition also gives you access to premium management software.

ProCoach Software

ProCoach software

ProCoach is a coach to client management application. It is designed for and integrated into the Precision Nutrition methodology and coaching network.

It functions by managing all your clients with a user-friendly UI for ease of tracking. All this is then automated for convenience and efficiency.

This automation function allows you to tremendously boost productivity. You can effectively increase the quality of coaching you provide as well as the quantity of clients you assist.

ProCoach essentially allows you to coach while you sleep, giving you a global reach where international clients are concerned. The kicker is, it’s only going to set you back


History of PN Coaching

History of PN Coaching

Founded in 2003 by Dr. John Berardi and Phil Caravaggio, Precision Nutrition was inspired by two fundamental aspects of health and fitness. Authentic improvement is client’s quality of life and empowerment of fitness professionals.

With John’s rich academic background in fitness and nutrition and Phil’s expertise in tech and software engineering, the two set out on a journey of journeys. Creating a one of its kind online platform that delivered research and results based nutritional advice.

Today, PN stands tall, having weathered the storm of diet fads and the numerous book deals they spawned. Providing a platform that tailors nutrition based on the individual, and equipping passionate professionals with the toolkit to do this.

Study Materials: Why PN Has A Great System

precision nutrition study materials

We’ve briefly covered what makes PN coaching a great cert, especially when compared to a run-of-the-mill university degree.

First off, when it comes to study material, PN offers an all-inclusive package. This means all your learning resources are included in your course fee.

Not only that, but the actual course material is condensed into a single textbook and workbook. The majority of the study resources are online and visual.

This means you’re saving on money, space and time, all while learning through an engaging, effective study portal.

Precision Nutrition Textbook

The textbook is a comprehensive and easy to grasp. It is also fully supported by the integrated online learning tools.

This 600 page book has what you need when it comes to key nutritional and coaching concepts. As complex as effective nutrition is, the Precision Nutrition textbook condenses them into easy to understand ideas.

The first half of the PN textbook introduces you to the science of nutrition, revealing the facts and research behind the concepts. The second half leads you on how to practically apply these principles and concepts.

There are over 40 coaching tools available, tried and tested on PN’s clients with great results of course. And the best part is, all physical material is shipped for free, no matter where you are in the world!

The Precision nutrition Test

The Precision nutrition Test

Unlike many hands-on, practical oriented courses in the realm of fitness, PN coaching Level 1 is delivered completely online and remotely. The process and outcomes of the course are done at your own pace.

Regarding the test structure, Precision nutrition spaces out its testing structure over a series of tests which add up to a final score. This system consists of 18 10 question tests, creating a total of 180 questions.

These test are based on your current course topic and give you the best edge in utilizing fresh knowledge. Your final grade is based on how well you do with all 180 questions.

Tracking Your Progress with 5 Simple Steps

precision nutrition 5 Simple Steps

The PN coaching certification learning structure is a simple 5 step process. This helps you track, manage and stay accountable for all your learning outcomes.

These steps are:

  1. Read the chapter and mark that it’s been completed.
  2. Watch/listen the related video or audio lecture.
  3. Use your textbook to complete the prescribed prep questions.
  4. Review the chapter FAQs.
  5. Take the chapter’s final exam.

The Passing Grade

In order to pass PN Coaching Level 1, you need to score at least 135 out of the 180 questions (75%). All questions are therefore evenly weighted, making much easier to track your study objectives and learning outcomes.

After receiving a passing grade, you are awarded with the official PN Coaching Level 1 certificate. Well Done!

But What Happens If I Fail?

Failure is sometimes part of the learning process. With Precision Nutrition, failing your Level 1 cert allows to give it a maximum of 5 more tries.

You can also take advantage of on board assistance every step of the way to help you meet your outcomes.

The PN community helps all its members correct, grow and thrive through organic collaboration and knowledge sharing.

Mission Accomplished, You Are Now a Certified PN Coach. What’s Next?

Now that you’ve gone through all that and nailed your passing grade, what’s next?

Well, first thing’s first, you’ll immediately receive your shiny new Precision Nutrition Level 1 certificate.

With an acclaimed credential in delivering science based nutrition coach, what awaits you?

Precision Nutrition not only provides you with the credentials to grow your business and add value, it also provides a platform to promote your business and services.

The Precision Nutrition Coaching Network

Once you’ve been certified, PN will contact you for your business details. After this, you will be added to their database of accredited nutrition coaches, exposing you to PN’s ever growing client base.

You’ll also join a sprawling community of like-minded fitness pro all under the banner of Precision Nutrition. You will be able to network with over 30,000 fitness professionals from yoga instructors to Olympic coaches, learning from the best, collaborating and growing your reputation.

This PN network hub also offers daily support and guidance to help you during and after the certification course.

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

How Much Does Precision Nutrition Cost?

PN Level 1 is actually pretty cost effective. The general fee is $99/month over a month period, however, the early bird presale price is $79/month with an awesome $799 once-off payment deal.

The price point for precision nutrition is honestly not the best out there. For example, you can get the ISSA nutritionist certification for the same price ($799) and get their general personal training certification completely for free. So whether or not you are looking to become a personal trainer, at least you’ll have the option in the future if you decide to change your mind. ISSA and precision even use a lot of the same exact materials for their curriculum and is offered year-round instead of only twice a year.

precision nutrition cost

Just to put in perspective the value of PN’s pricing, consider this.

The knowledge and credentials you’re gaining are of the same standard as an undergrad program in the same field. When you consider that an undergrad degree will take you 3-4 years and cost approximately $40,000.00, you’re kidding yourself not to see the value in PN.

PN’s pricing is one of the most competitive, even beating out some of the most reputable PT certs out there. Certs such as NASM CNC do still offer a greater value. In any case, it’s pretty ironic if you consider how key nutritional science is compared to exercise science when it comes to client outcomes.

Going back to the college comparison, aside from all the time and money (and that dreaded student debt…yikes!), let’s consider all the other extras that come with studying at a university/college vs online.


  • Housing costs.
    • Transport and logistics
    • Hyper competitive learning atmosphere
    • Rigid learning structure
  • An innumerable amount of mandatory, but often useless study material
    • Strict and often unfair entry requirements with an uncertain success rate

Precision Nutrition

  • No additional logistics (housing and transport). Lean where you want or where you live.
    • Fits your learning environment around your lifestyle.
    • Learn at your own pace, in your own time.
    • Minimal study material at no additional cost
    • No entry barrier. Whether you’re an established professional or just seeking personal knowledge.

It’s clear to see that a PN coaching certification is the way to go compared to a college program. Not only is it more cost-efficient, it’s also far more convenient.

But how does PN Coaching compare to the other nutrition certs out there. Let’s have a look at NASM CNC.

PN vs NASM CNC vs ISSA Nutritionist value comparison.

When it comes to cutting edge exercise and nutrition science learning, NASM is one of your best bets. With a proven heritage of producing some of the best professionals and businesses in the industry, lets see how PN Coaching holds up.

The first thing you’ll notice is the different pricing structure. While NASM CNC is a standard one time payment, PN offers a standard once-off or a monthly payment.


  • Once-off payment
    • Standard $899 fee (unless specified for a promo run)

Check out the NASM CNC here

Precision Nutrition

  • Once off and monthly fee structure.
    • Once off fee of $799.00 presale.
    • Monthly fee of $99.00 general and $79.00 on presale.

Check out Precision Nutrition here

ISSA Nutritionist certification

  • One time payment
    • Most of the time for $799 (With thier great personal training certification for free)

Check out the ISSA nutritionists certification here

This means that value depends on when you enroll and what structure you chose. When it comes to PN, it’s presale one time payment is the cheapest of any option, but the inconvenience on having such a limited window might make it less worth it, depending on your schedule.

Overall, NASM offers the better value in general, with its standard one time fee edging out PN’s monthly options and costing only slightly more than the one time presale. This is excluding any special discount promos that may be running.

Precision Nutrition Review Conclusion: Is PN Coaching Level 1 Worth It?

My final rating: 4.0/5. Take a look at PN Coaching Here.

If you have not done so yet, Take the quiz to get a better overall idea of which nutrition certification is the best match for you. Also, make sure to check out my article on the top nutrition certs for fitness professionals!

The precision and certification is a great certification. But, there are better options out there for the money. Overall, I think the ISSA nutritionist certification is a much better deal. You are using a lot of the same curriculum, is offered year-round (for the same price) and comes with their excellent personal training certification all in one.

Precision Nutrition has established itself as a go-to platform for specialized and scientifically tailored nutritional advice. They cater not only to delivering world-class certifications but also directly impact those seeking guidance such as clients and athletes.

Founded in 2003, PN has steadily gained a reputation as one of the go-to nutrition certs. Precision Nutrition is endorsed by:

  • ACE.
    • NASM.
    • ACSM.
    • PTA Global.
    • And various other institutions.

The entry criteria are wide open, offering a wealth of resources to anyone from beginner to seasoned pro. This allows not only professional nutritionists elevate their value, but gives everyday people a chance to learn something meaningful and significant.

It’s worth checking out the PN Coaching website for a better idea of what they have to offer.

With PN Coaching, learning happens when you want and how you want at the click of a button. You’re also connected to a network of like-minded nutrition enthusiasts and professionals.

Over 30,000 active professionals in the health and fitness industry share knowledge and resources. This platform adds to the potential reach and value of your trainer rep.

By surrounding yourself with the best, you become the best as the saying goes.

The awesome value doesn’t stop there, that’s because Precision Nutrition is not just a learning institute. It is designed from the ground up to be a modern platform that not only equips nutrition coaches, it also actively promotes them and arms them with a toolkit of state-of-the-art resources.

This aims to improve the value of a trainer and his business in terms of reputation, revenue and precision nutrition coach salary. It also improves the quality and availability of advanced nutritional advice clients can expect.

The ProCoach app is an example of the state-of-the-art resources PN has in offer. The automated coaching platform allows you to manage all your clients through an easy to grasp user experience.

The fully automated ProCoach app literally allows you to work while you sleep!

The learning experience itself is what you definitely get a handle on. I can say that PN offers a rewarding enough learning experience.

You get to study on your terms, set your own deadlines and hold yourself accountable for your own outcomes. PN Coaching Level 1 allows you to learn completely online, letting you to relax while you hone in on your nutrition coaching skills.

With all this being said, PN Coaching Level 1 does only offer a relatively basic grasp of nutritional concepts. This isn’t bad in itself, but you are limited by level 1.

The course is structured to give an easy to digest (no pun intended) resource base for nutrition coaching. To truly add value to your business, the Level 2 Masterclass is a better option. That or the numerous other certs on offer.

Because of this fact, the total cost doesn’t really stand to the more established courses such as the NASM CNC program.

This may be because Precision Nutrition was never designed to be a learning institute. From its foundation the goal was to create a platform or rather a hub for continuous and constantly advancing engagement between nutrition coaches and their consumer base.

This is why the true value of a PN Coaching cert can only be experience with the Precision Nutrition community as opposed to striking it out on your own.

This might feel like an unwanted constraint to some just looking to add another cert to their belt. Others, however, see it as an opportunity for supported growth.

However you look at it, PN is a total package, so when looking into it, I do suggest keeping that in mind. Buying into PN works out best if you make use of the full suite of tools and services, not just the certification.

Precision Nutrition is a self enriching ecosystem of people on the leading edge of health and fitness, whether you’re there to deliver it or there to use it. The drawback is you lose value on your investment with PN if you go independent and lose freedom by choosing to rely on their system and tools to maximize your business outcomes.

Final Words.

While PN Level 1 is a great gateway to nutrition coaching, its limits and dependence on an internal ecosystem of tools and community to make it work for you are restrictive.

This isn’t such a bad thing considering how well-organised the Precision Nutrition infrastructure is. You’re working with some of the best professionals and loyal clients. You also get access to a killer app!

What’s more, PN has a flexible course structure and is fantastic value if you manage to get on the presale list. The study material is so easy to use and is included as part of the cost.

When faced up with more established certifications in this category, the Precision Nutrition Level 1 doesn’t offer anything spectacular. As we said, the concepts and ideas offered by PN Level 1 are cutting edge but simplified, making it a good entry, but not the best establishment.

This certification is a great option for someone who like the idea of joining a network of professionals with an existing platform rather than just gaining a cert and striking it out on their own.

Why not take this quiz and see if PN Nutrition Coaching Level 1 is for you.

While you’re at it, I recommend checking out my certification comparison section as well as other reviews! Make sure to check out PN’s website for full details and a comparison of other available options.

Drop a comment and let me know what you think.

  • Frank says:

    NASM CNC does come now in monthly increments of pay system.

    ISSA is the same course as PN Level 1 so would it make more sense to take ISSA and be accredited or go with PN? The teaching style/learning style is the only deciding factor for me as PN has John Berardi directly and he is very good at what he does, while ISSA is accredited but only has the textbook and not necessarily the same videos.

    I’m trying to decide between ISSA, NASM, PN, AFPA and possinly NESTA, but nesta seems like it’s too lightweight.

    For continuing education add-ons…NASM also has the Weight Loss Management Specialist…would that be a good add-on for CNC or would something else from ISSA or AFPA be more worthwhile after CNC. The gyms in my area are a joke so I plan to specialize in nutrition/Coaching mostly.

    • WP says:

      I am in the process of making the same decision. I am deciding between ISSA and NASM. Which one did you pick and why?

      • Tyler Read says:

        Hello, I have done both personally. If you think that the precision level one is right for you, but you don’t want to wait for an opening, I would definitely choose ISSA. You also get a free personal training certification as well for the same price as the NASM CNC alone. That being said, the CNC is also a fantastic certification and you will definitely learn a lot from this one as well. I hope this helped.

        • Kimberly says:

          Hey Tyler, Thanks for the informative info. But when I click the ISSA link, it shows that the combo for nutrition and training is now $999? Can you confirm the 799 price still includes the personal training certification? I can’t seem to find that info.

          • Tyler Read says:

            Hey Kimberly,
            Currently they do have the nutritionist certification as well as their personal training certification for $799 on the top drop-down bar on their website. That thus the deal that’s going on the second but you can also find their elite trainer certification as well that cost currently $996. These deals change week to week so it’s hard to make my site static enough and up-to-date with the deals but I try my best. Here is the link to the ISSA Elite certification page.

  • Lauren Smithson says:

    What is the salary for a PN nutrition coach? Is it based off the amount of clients you have? Do they help you get clients? Could you work with PN full time or would the hours vary? Thanks!

    • Tyler Read says:

      Hey Lauren,
      Although precision nutrition has advice on how to obtain new clients and how to be successful on the business side of things, it is really up to the nutrition coach to go out there and get their own clients in the end. I hope this helps answer your question.

  • Hilary says:

    I’m actually looking to do training in nutrition so I can write and edit on these topics and be more knowledgeable in the subject matter – I’m not necessarily looking to be coach. Thoughts on what will give me a sound foundation?

    • Tyler Read says:

      Hey Hilary,
      The precision new certification is a fantastic certification just to gain general knowledge. And in the future if you want to start coaching as well you can totally get into that also. To be honest though, the information you get from the international sports sciences Association nutritionist certification is the same as you will get from here. Also they have it available year round and for a cheaper price. Just my two cents.

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