Are you interested in pursuing a career as a sports and nutrition coach? I recently became certified. I share my Precision Nutrition Certification Review and some tips for next steps!
PRECISION NUTRITION CERTIFICATION REVIEW: LEVEL 1
Happy Monday Friends! How was your weekend?! Today is a long overdue post on my experience with Precision Nutrition! If you’ve been a blog or social media follower for a while now, you know that I have my Precision Nutrition Certification: Level 1. I’ve wanted a nutrition coaching certificate for nearly 2 years now, so I was extremely excited to finally have fulfilled a goal! And to be actively using it to help ladies get a handle on their nutrition.
PRECISION NUTRITION WHO?
Precision Nutrition is one of the leading nutrition certifications in the fitness industry. They help people transform their lives through expert coaching, ongoing support and guided mentorship. Precision produces elite coaches, which in turn produces amazing results in their clients.
I initially went for Precision because of multiple reviews boasting it was the best of the best in the industry, along with being heavily science based. I know of other health coaching programs out there, and after reviewing Precisions blog posts and research, I knew I wanted to go with a certificate that was driven by science. Fun fact: did you know that I started college as pre-med? Yes, I am a science geek!
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WHO IS THIS FOR?
The program is open to health and fitness professionals. The certification provides continuing education units for many certifying agencies (i.e. 1.9 for NASM). It is for those wanting to become health coaches, that see an important correlation between providing nutritional support to personal training clients.
ENROLLMENT & COST
The Precision Coaching Level 1 program is only open 2 times a year. If you are on the pre-sale list, you get $200 off the cert, making it around $809 with tax and shipping. Well, worth the money, friends.
The program is outlined to take 18 weeks, based on completing one chapter per week. It is self-paced, so if you have a crazy life like I did when I started (I got married, went on a honeymoon, went to BlogFest, and started working on being a Girl Boss), you have the opportunity to have a ‘catch up’ week or a ‘get ahead’ week. There are 4 pieces of homework for each chapter that include watching a video, reading a chapter, doing questions and taking a quiz.
I think the format changed when I signed up because I was told all along there was a big exam at the end that only 60-70% of people passed the first time. For my session, it was 18 quizzes (open book!) that must be completed, with a certain percentage of questions answered correctly. If you got the correct percentage, you passed the certification. It’s still open book and the quizzes are only 10 questions each. If you do not pass a certain percentage of questions, you will be required to take the big exam.
In the mix of 18 weeks, I was ahead a few times and behind a few times. I knocked out the last 3 chapters in one afternoon and took my final quiz, passing the certification.
Note: there doesn’t seem to be an ‘expiration’ on the course. So, if you sign up, life happens, and you can’t make time to study for a month or two, you can still work on the course in your own time and finish.
So, the science nerd in me loved the first section of the text. Since my own health struggles, I’ve done a great deal of research on nutrition. I loved all the geeky nerd information on cells and metabolism and energy systems and macronutrients.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been college, so I had to go back to my old strategies of taking notes, creating flashcards and diagrams to help me study. For those that don’t like to study or those that don’t have a strong science background, this section of the text might be difficult and require extra studying.
Unit 1 covers all the Nutritional Science information.
- Chapter 1: Cell structure and function
- Chapter 2: Food intake, digestions, and absorption
- Chapter 3: Energy transformation and metabolism
- Chapter 4: Energy balance in the body
- Chapter 5: Aerobic and anaerobic metabolism
- Chapter 6: Macronutrients
- Chapter 7: Micronutrients
- Chapter 8: Water and fluid balance
- Chapter 9: Special Needs
The Client Coaching portion makes up the second half of the text. A step by step guide is outlined for how to work with your clients, from the initial session to tweaking their nutrition plan to helping them build skills for life. In working with my current clients, I’ve utilized some of their strategies and set up my program pretty similarly to what is outlined in the text. It’s a proven model, so why not stick with it, right?
Unit 2 covers Nutritional Practice.
- Chapter 10: Preparing for your client
- Chapter 11: Collecting preliminary client information
- Chapter 12: Interpreting client information
- Chapter 13: Providing a nutrition plan
- Chapter 14: Nutritional supplementation
- Chapter 15: Setting behavior goals and monitoring
- Chapter 16: Making nutritional adjustments
- Chapter 17: Providing continuing education and support
I cannot recommend this program enough. When I finished, I was unsure of where to start – should I study more, make sure I’m on my game and then start training clients? Should I jump right in? I went for the diving in head first. Precision provides so many resources that outlines how to work with clients so well in the text, that I felt confident going out on my own.
My initial reasoning for picking PN was based on their science based and backed approach – I don’t want to learn the fluffy stuff; I wanted solid facts. I want to know how the body processes fats. Why it’s important to eat carbs post workout. How different vitamins & minerals work in the body.
Now that I am coaching clients, I’m finding the coaching aspect plays a much bigger role in my program than the nutrition side of things, most times. I use the science I learned to back up why I recommend a certain way of eating for a client. It’s also helped me really hone in on my view of certain aspects of living a healthy life, like: making Smart choices, ditching cheat days, and getting rid of food labels. And helped shape the way I approach clients. I put a big focus on behavior goals and reframing, as opposed to telling clients they need to cut out certain foods from their diet. This focus really helps me get to know my clients better and support them in the best possible way. One of my clients said I was more like her life coach than nutrition coach, which is evidence of my holistic approach to coaching.
Precision does offer a Level 2 Certification by invitation. From what I’ve read, it’s more focused on coaching skills and really helping clients succeed. It is definitely on my list of continuing education ideas for the future.
- Do your research. Just because this program was great for me, doesn’t mean it will fit your needs. There are certainly great programs out there, but if you want a strong science based program, that really works to develop you as a coach, Precision Nutrition is the best.
- If you haven’t studied in a while, take the first couple chapters slow AND figure out how best you study. For me, it was lots of diagrams, flash cards and highlighting. Find how you best learn and do that.
- Try out their method as you read. So, as I was reading the coaching portion of the text, I tried out a few of the techniques on myself and The Hubs.
- After completing the course, I would say this is geared more towards individuals that have existing clients or the knowledge of how to run a business. I know other programs spend a bit more time on launching a business/program. Just be aware, this is not a big focus.
- Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions. I absolutely love talking about this stuff!
- Request information for the 30 Day Healthy Living JumpStart program starting on January 1. I’m really exciting to be launching this brand new program and I would love you to join in.
- Sign up for 1-on-1 Coaching. I currently have openings in my schedule to take on new coaching clients. If you need the support and account ability to get your nutrition on track, along with guidance on how to make smart choices that enhance you life, I’d love to help!
So, tell me of your weekend! Friday, I spent the afternoon, evening and early parts of the morning with The Hubs at his bowling game and volleyball tournament (6p – 1am). I was so bloody tired, I fell asleep on the ground. I woke up Saturday feeling hungover and terrible, which I was baffled by because I had no alcohol and no reason to be hungover. I’m thinking my body didn’t like the soy milk in my chai on Friday morning, maybe?? I got a sub for my class, put peppermint oil on my head, took headache meds, downed 2 sachets of SOS and went back to sleep until 11ish. The Hubs and I had a easy afternoon before going to visit my Dad in the hospital (he had surgery to remove cancer that went SO well!), stopping by my parents to see my Omi and then ended the night with The Originals and 6 delicious sushi rolls!
I did my normal cleaning, grocery-ing, budgeting and blogging on Sunday, before hanging with my sib for a bit. Lots of things on the schedule this week, all good things. Friday, I get a hair trim AND my nails done. Going to be a solid week – a LEGENDARY WEEK!
Be sure to enter for a chance to win a box of SOS Rehydrate. You have til Tuesday at midnight!
Whew, all the things today!
Tell me, are you thinking about being a nutrition coach? Are you one already? Where are you certified through?