Deep Dive Review: Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification
5 minute read

Deep Dive Review: Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification


  • While knowledge about exercise and physical activity is an important aspect of personal training, having a solid understanding of nutrition and how it works in tandem with exercise will help you better support your clients in their training journey.
  • The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification covers the science of nutrition and the art of coaching–– two valuable knowledge sets to have when guiding clients through their nutrition and fitness journey.
  • The PN certification helps trainers learn how to properly advise clients on how aspects of their nutrition impact their health and wellness. Additionally, you’ll learn how to tailor nutrition plans based on a client’s goals, age, and gender.

When you think about personal training certifications, your brain probably doesn’t go immediately to nutrition. While knowledge about exercise and physical activity is clearly an important aspect of personal training, having a solid understanding of nutrition and how it works in tandem with exercise will help you better support your clients in their training journey.

The Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification wraps up all of this information into a comprehensive certification designed to help trainers customize nutrition plans based on their client’s unique characteristics. To help you get started and decide if this certification is for you, we’ll cover the key benefits of the Precision Nutrition Level 1 coaching certification, how to best prepare for the exam, what costs to expect when taking the exam and more. Let’s get started!

Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification Background

Precision Nutrition was founded in 2003 by Dr. John Beradi and Phil Caravaggio. John’s academic background in fitness and Phil’s background in tech and software engineering set the duo up for success as they created a one of a kind platform to deliver research and results based nutritional advice. Today, Precision Nutrition offers an all inclusive package that helps trainers tailor nutrition plans based on an individual’s unique background. Since 2003, Precision Nutrition has gained credibility and been endorsed by ACE, NASM, ACSM, PTA Global, and others.

Key Benefits of the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification

Many nutrition certifications only cover the science of nutrition, but the PN coaching certification is different in that it also covers the art of coaching–– a valuable skill to have when you’re guiding your clients through their nutrition journey. Precision Nutrition is a science based approach to nutritional coaching, but the certification’s learning structure delivers essential concepts in a way that’s easy to understand.

According to Precision Nutrition, their mission is “to help you master the science of nutrition and the art of behavior-change coaching—so you can get sustainable results for yourself and your clients.” By working toward this certification, not only are you working to equip your clients with tools and strategies to live a healthier life, the certification is also built to help you apply what you’re learning to your own life.

Don’t take their word for it though, Precision Nutrition boasts that their coaching method has been tested with over 100,000 clients and patients. Plus, the certification has been validated by three peer-reviewed scientific methods.

The entire PN certification can be completed online and at your own pace. Once you pass the exam, your certificate will be mailed to you and your business’ name and contact information will be listed on their online directory of certified coaches. If potential clients are looking for PN certified personal trainers, they can easily find your information on the website.

Precision Nutrition Course Content

So now that you know the key benefits of the PN certification, let’s get down to the course content. To start, the first portion of the course is all about nutrition science. If you’re a biology and chemistry buff, this part might be pretty enjoyable for you.

This part of the course content helps ensure that you know the basics of nutrition and the human body. If you have a background or degree in any subject related to science, medicine, or nutrition, this portion of the content should come fairly easy to you. However, if you don’t have a strong background in any of these topics, you might need to study a bit more.

The second half of the course content is all about coaching. This part is a little more personal than the first portion of the content and really focuses on how to equip you with the skills needed to inspire and motivate your clients to shift their behavior and adopt healthy lifestyle habits.

All of the Precision Nutrition course materials are accessible through one workbook and textbook, all available online. This eliminates the need to purchase textbooks that drain your bank account and take up extra space. With Precision Nutrition, you have the opportunity to learn through an engaging and effective study portal. You’ll gain access to animated videos, assessment forms and a Precision Nutrition calculator–– all designed to help you succeed in your efforts to educate yourself and your clients.

The certification’s textbook is comprehensive, totaling 600 pages, but it has everything you need to know about the key nutritional and coaching concepts that will ultimately set you up for success. While this might sound overwhelming, Precision Nutrition does an excellent job of making the course content easy to understand. To simplify the course process, Precision Nutrition breaks down their process into three easy steps: 1.

Watch the featured chapter video, read the chapter text, and answer the study guide questions. 2. Put your knowledge to work! Apply your knowledge to real-life case studies based off of data from Precision Nutrition clients. 3. Complete the end of chapter exam when you’re ready.

Exam Format

When you finish the course content, you will have completed 20 short, 10 question exams, totaling 200 questions. If you get at least 150 of those questions correct (75%), you’ll earn your Precision Nutrition credentials. Plus, you’ll receive your official certificate upon completion of the exam. While most Precision Nutrition students pass on their first try, if you don’t pass, don’t sweat it! You’ll have five more tries to ace the exam.

Exam Cost

Considering how much study material you have access to when completing the Precision Nutrition certification, the exam cost is fairly reasonable. The general public fee comes to $119 USD for 12 months, but if you join the presale list while it’s still available, you can get the package for as low as $99 for 12 months.

When you compare this price to what you would pay to get the same training at a university, you really can’t beat the affordability of the PN certification. If you’ve decided that you want to add nutrition and coaching to your training skill set, but you don’t want to break the bank, you should seriously consider the Precision Nutrition certification.

Next Steps: Deciding if the Precision Nutrition Certification is Right for You

Overall, the Precision Nutrition Certification is a great way to get started in nutrition coaching. While the certification’s limits and dependence on the PN’s internal tools and community can make the certification seem restrictive, the course content is very well organized and accessible.

Additionally, the course structure and prep is fairly flexible and the overall cost is much more affordable than what you would pay at a university for the same information. If you’re just getting into the personal training field and want to start expanding your knowledge on nutrition, the Precision Nutrition Level 1 certification might be for you.

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