The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification: Frequently Asked Questions.
On Monday, March 30th, 2020, we’re opening registration for the brand-new Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification, the world’s most respected nutrition education program.
Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients, the Precision Nutrition curriculum stands alone as the authority on the science of nutrition and the art of coaching. It gives you the knowledge, systems, and tools you need to feel both confident and qualified to coach nutrition with anyone.
Whether you’re already mid-career, or just starting out, the PN Level 1 Certification is your springboard to a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results—for yourself and your clients.
For more about the program, check out the frequently asked questions below.
But, first, watch these two short video; the first is a full breakdown of the program from Dr. Krista Scott-Dixon, and the second video features
interviews with renowned coaches like Eric Cressey, Molly Galbraith, Adam Lloyd, and Jon Goodman:
Dr. Krista Scott-Dixon gives you a sneak peek inside the brand-new edition of the Level 1 Certification.
Dr. John Berardi and fitness industry leaders discuss what makes the Level 1 Certification so unique and effective.
As we’re about to open the program—and last time we sold out in hours—we’re getting lots of questions. Here we’ll answer the most common ones so you can decide if it’s a good choice for you.
- What is the Precision Nutrition Certification?
- What will the Precision Nutrition Certification do for me?
- How was the Precision Nutrition Certification developed?
- What happens after I get certified?
- How do I sign up?
What is the Precision Nutrition Certification?
|Q:||What’s the program all about?|
|A:||Developed over 15 years, and proven with over 100,000 clients, the Precision Nutrition Level 1 curriculum stands alone as the authority on the science of nutrition and the art of coaching.|
Whether you’re already mid-career, or just starting out, the Level 1 Certification is your springboard to a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results.
This means you’ll feel qualified to offer nutrition advice and confident in your ability to coach anyone to better health and fitness.
But, here’s the thing:
You don’t have to currently work in, or operate, a health and fitness practice to benefit from the Precision Nutrition Certification.
Many people who join the program see it as their first major step toward becoming a health and fitness professional. (Often they’re still in the job they plan to leave for this new career).
Yet others complete our certification program simply to learn more about how nutrition influences a person’s health and fitness… so they can eat better themselves and help others do the same.
|Q:||I heard the Level 1 Certification was recently updated. Is that true?|
|A:||Yes, it’s a brand-new, completely updated 4th edition.|
Since we first launched the Precision Nutrition Certification, we’ve been the definitive source of nutrition education for health and fitness professionals who want to catapult their careers and make a difference in people’s lives. Yet we’re never satisfied with yesterday’s success.
Nutrition science is dynamic, new discoveries are made almost daily. And that’s just on the research side. As we continue to coach our own clients (over 100,000 and counting), we’re discovering new methods of helping them achieve real, lasting behavior change.
As we train and certify health and fitness professionals (nearly 100,000 and counting), we’re also uncovering the best ways to help our Certification students learn, retain, and apply the material.
That’s why we’ve spent the better part of this year re-envisioning and redesigning the program from the ground up.
Here’s what’s new…
New “skills, practice, and action” framework
It’s one thing to read and retain information. It’s an entirely different thing to actually apply what you’re learning and start getting results right away.
This was our focus in this 4th edition: To teach you the theory and to help you practice what you’re learning, so that you can start getting life-changing results with your clients from Day One of the program.
We’ve designed the entire curriculum in a way that helps you immediately apply your new knowledge.
Newly updated 4th edition of the Precision Nutrition
What will the Precision Nutrition Certification do for me?
|Q:||Why offer a certification like this?|
|A:||Because an effective nutrition coaching system is the missing component in the health and fitness industry today.|
If a health intervention or exercise program isn’t accompanied by an effective nutrition system, you’ll get mediocre results—no matter how badly the client or patient “wants it.”
The fact is this: Many very good coaches, in a variety of health and fitness fields, see their efforts go to waste because their excellent programs aren’t accompanied by a proper nutrition intervention. And that’s not merely our opinion.
To give you a very specific example: There’s ample research demonstrating that in the absence of nutrition change, even very intense exercise programs with experienced trainers, will yield an average of merely 3 to 6 pounds of fat loss in 6 months’ time.
Think about that: A client would spend $3,000-$5,000 for 6 months with a personal trainer, only to lose a few measly, unnoticeable pounds of body fat. That’s not good.
To give you a counter example, in our Precision Nutrition Coaching program, clients average around 15 pounds of fat loss in the first 6 months. That’s nearly 3 times as effective.
In Precision Nutrition Coaching, we provide both exercise and nutrition coaching, and that’s the difference.
But keep in mind: Our coaching is 100 percent online. They get those results without ever meeting us in person.
If they work with a coach or trainer while doing Precision Nutrition Coaching (which can help them work harder in the gym and stay accountable locally), they lose closer to 25 pounds of fat in 6 months. That’s over 4 times as effective.
(Of course, nutrition coaching isn’t just about fat loss. It’s also about building strength, improving health, feeling energetic, and more. We’re just using fat loss as an example.)
So something is missing, and that something is nutrition coaching.
That’s why we developed the certification program: To teach health and fitness professionals both the science of nutrition and the art of coaching. Because once you really understand both, on a deep level, you can deliver results that are impossible with exercise alone.
Equally rooted in the latest nutrition science and behavior-change psychology, the Certification offers a proven and practical coaching system that shows you exactly what to do at every stage of the nutrition coaching process—from the very first time you meet with a client, until they reach all of their goals.
|Q:||What do you mean when you say, “Exercise alone doesn’t work”?|
|A:||We mean exactly that: Exercise alone doesn’t work.|
If a person doesn’t change their nutrition, nothing else they do will matter much when it comes to body composition change (fat loss, muscle gain) and the associated health improvements.
And that’s what 95 percent of people are looking for, isn’t it?
Simply put, the past 25 years of published scientific research show that while exercise alone can promote very small changes in body fat, lean mass, and the associated health markers, those changes are almost negligible.
In fact, one published review, a meta-analysis of more than 700 previous exercise studies done over 25 years, showed that about 6 months of supervised exercise programming will produce only 9 pounds of weight lost.
If we assume 50 percent of that weight lost is fat (which is a safe assumption, based on the research), that means that clients can expect to lose around 4.5 pounds of fat during a 6-month training program.
So, let’s assume a client meets with their trainer four times a week at $50 an hour. That’s $200 per week, $800 per month, and $4,800 for 6 months. All for 4.5 pounds of fat lost? That’s a cost of $1,000 per pound of fat lost.
After all that time and money spent, would an overweight client even notice 4.5 pounds fat loss? Would their cholesterol be significantly lower? Would they feel like they got their money’s worth?
|Q:||What results can I expect when I integrate nutrition coaching into my current practice?|
|A:||Again, let’s look at one comparator, Precision Nutrition Coaching, which incorporates both exercise and nutrition.|
During the first 6 months of the online-only program, the average fat loss is around 15 pounds. In addition, we see hundreds of reports of clients being taken off blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and diabetes medications.
If that client uses our exercise and nutrition system while working with a trainer in-person, they’ll see an average of 25 pounds of fat loss over the course of 6 months.
And the best performers are losing up to 100 pounds in 12 months. It’s quite amazing.
So with the right exercise and the right nutrition programming, supervised by an in-person coach, the cost per pound of fat loss can go down from $1000 per pound to $100 per pound. That’s nearly 5 times the fat loss and 10 times the cost-effectiveness.
If you’re a health and fitness professional, imagine how in-demand you’d be if you could regularly deliver results like that.
It’s absolutely possible. In fact, it’s what we should expect. But no one is teaching this stuff.
Nothing out there covers the specific problem: How to deliver nutrition coaching in an exercise, personal training, health, rehab, or sport coaching environment. And that’s why we created this certification.
We wanted to create a new kind of program: one that helps professionals become body (and health) transformation experts, and one that helps clients get the kind of results they deserve.
The Precision Nutrition Certification is a massive step in that direction.
For more on the kinds of results you can expect, check out this video:
|Q:||Would nutritionists and dietitians benefit from this program as well?|
|A:||Absolutely. In fact, we wish every dietitian would find their way to this program and get involved.|
Although RDs have excellent training in all aspects of clinical nutrition, most dietetics programs don’t even offer a sport and exercise nutrition course. If they do, the course is usually too general to be of any use in the field.
Trust us. We know because we’ve taught in dietetics departments. Just because someone has earned an RD or LD credential doesn’t mean they’re done learning. The best dietitians, physicians, trainers, and coaches make lifelong education an important priority.
The Precision Nutrition Certification program would be an asset for every dietitian.
|Q:||Can I earn CEUs from my training or dietetics organization with this program?|
|A:||Most likely. The curriculum is pre-qualified for CEUs with the following organizations:|
This means that, if you are certified by any of the groups listed above, CEUs are guaranteed upon successful completion of the course.
We should also note that a host of additional organizations accept our course on a one-off basis. For these, graduates from our program submit a summary of the course and their certificate for review.
How was the Precision Nutrition Certification developed?
|Q:||What qualifies you to teach a course / offer a certification like this?|
|A:||First and foremost, we’re practitioners, not just theorists. In fact, we’re the only nutrition certification company in the world that coaches our own clients, in addition to educating health and fitness professionals.|
We’re in the trenches every day, coaching thousands of people around the world, from all walks of life. We’re constantly improving our coaching process based on our own learnings from the field, along with the latest research in nutrition science, exercise physiology, and behavior-change psychology.
Our team includes some of the best nutritionists, PhDs, dietitians, and specialists in the industry.
For example, Dr. John Berardi, Precision Nutrition’s co-founder and co-author of the Level 1 program, has had vast exposure to almost every aspect of health, fitness, and nutrition. He’s been:
So apart from being qualified academically, he has a pretty unique perspective—one that’s very well-suited to teaching this material, especially to professionals.
Dr. Berardi has seen the field of nutrition from more angles, both personally and professionally, than almost anyone else teaching nutrition today.
In addition, he’s written chapters for other nutrition textbooks, he’s created Masters-level university courses on sport nutrition, and he’s created nutrition certification material for other certifying bodies.
So he has extensive experience creating academic course material.
But most of all, we think our team is qualified to teach this because we’ve used and tested this very system extensively with our own clients here at Precision Nutrition.
Remember: Precision Nutrition isn’t just a certification company.
Over the past 15 years, through our Precision Nutrition Coaching system, we’ve been quietly conducting the largest body transformation research project in the world.
We’ve had over 100,000 clients go through our nutrition coaching curriculum, doing what is essentially a total exercise, nutrition and lifestyle intervention.
The purpose of this coaching is simple: to help people lose fat, gain lean mass, and completely transform their bodies (and lives).
Now, here’s the thing: Since the entire program is online, we’re able to collect data on everything. And we mean everything.
Because we don’t see clients in person, we can’t “eyeball” things. We need data. So we have detailed psychometric (personality) profiles on our clients. We track compliance and every measurable and relevant behavior. And, of course, we regularly collect photos and monitor body composition and performance outcomes.
As a result of this rigorous data collection, we’re guessing we here at Precision Nutrition know, better than almost anyone else in the world, which variables are most important to body transformation success.
Now, remember, we’re not talking about what we think is correlated to success. We’re talking about what we absolutely know is correlated with success. Success here means compliance, consistency, and ultimately, fat loss, muscle gain, and life-changing health improvements.
It takes a long time to gather this kind of information, especially since no one in the health or fitness industry has ever done anything like it before. But now that it’s been gathered, analyzed, and tested, we believe it’s time to share it.
From there, the Precision Nutrition Certification was born.
|Q:||How does the Precision Nutrition Certification compare to other nutrition education options?|
|A:||First, it’s based on real client data and our own coaching experience.|
We’re not really a certification organization. We’re coaches. So this is coming from first-hand knowledge that we use ourselves every day.
This certification is based on real client results, and a reliable and reproducible system for monitoring and achieving those results. That’s what you learn when you become Precision Nutrition Certified.
Second, it’s designed specifically for people passionate about nutrition and fitness—including health and fitness professionals. Many of our students are coaches, therapists, physicians, dietitians, and nutritionists working with people who exercise.
That’s very important, because most nutrition courses suffer from at least one of two big problems.
Problem 1: They have little or nothing to do with exercising clients looking for health or body transformation.
Most credible nutrition education today is meant for people looking to become professors, researchers (people who work at universities), or clinical dietitians (people who work at hospitals). If you want to do any of that, you go to college, study for years and get a Ph.D. or an R.D. Both noble professions.
Our co-founder John Berardi got a Ph.D. in the field, so we’re not knocking it. Brian St. Pierre, who co-wrote the textbooks for the Precision Nutrition Certification, earned both a master’s degree and R.D. and worked at prestigious hospitals and research institutes. And both Krista Scott-Dixon and Helen Kollias, our other co-authors, earned Ph.D.s at respected universities.
But neither of those roads teach you how to actually coach an exercising client through a health and body transformation. That’s a very specific skill set, requiring both an understanding of the science of nutrition and—this is critical—a reliable system for coaching it.
So unlike anything else out there right now, the Precision Nutrition Certification does both of those things. It was designed from the ground up, specifically for people who work with, or are looking to work with, clients.
Problem 2: Most of the nutrition certification programs out there are, well, kind of a joke.
We just Googled “nutrition certification” and found thousands of results. Yikes. The situation is bleak.
Of the non-university level nutrition certifications out there, we see plenty of garbage, quite frankly. Weekend seminars, no exams, no studying. Lots of rubber stamping.
Some are more challenging, for sure, and probably a few are even worth the money. We don’t know—we can’t look at the Google results for very long before getting depressed.
We’d like to sum it up this way: If you’re here, reading this, you’ve probably followed us for some time and you probably think a lot like us. And so we suspect you will probably benefit more from the Precision Nutrition Certification than from any other non-university level nutrition education you’re likely to find.
That’s just our gut feeling, so take it for what it’s worth.
But here’s something that’s not a gut feeling, but rather a fact from our own customer-purchase data: A good number of the CEOs and staff of other nutrition companies are Precision Nutrition Certified. We’re not kidding when we say this: We’re the experts that other experts come to for help.
|Q:||Will there be multiple levels of certification?|
This is the first, the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification, and includes the textbooks, the online material, and the online exam.
Essentially, Level 1 certifies that you have a solid understanding of nutrition science and coaching. Once you pass the exam, you get a Level 1 certificate acknowledging your completion of that part of the certification program.
Some people will stop there. And that’s cool with us. With the Level 1 certificate, they’ll be equipped with the knowledge and tools to help people improve their bodies and health through better nutrition.
The Precision Nutrition Level 2 Master Class is only open to students and graduates of the Level 1 program.
The Level 2 student is required to do an online mentorship, perform regular research reviews, and produce client case studies showing that they can actually deliver results. Level 2 certifies that you can take the theory and apply it with your clients all the way through a successful health and body transformation.
So, unlike other nutrition certification programs, the Precision Nutrition Certification has both a self-paced component where you learn the material (Level 1) and a mentorship component where you practice under the watchful eye of a world-class coach (Level 2).
Those who complete both levels will be among the best in the world at getting results.
|Q:||How long does it take to complete the Level 1 program?|
|A:||The Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is entirely self-paced, so there’s no deadline. You can take as much or as little time as you like.|
The pace that seems to work best for most of our students is completing one chapter per week. That means reading the chapter, reviewing the online video, answering the workbook questions, and writing the 10-question exam.
If you follow that structure, you can expect to spend 3-5 hours per week on the certification materials. Since there are 20 total chapters, you’d earn your Precision Nutrition Certification in a little over four and a half months.
But here’s the best part: You don’t need to wait to get certified in order to feel confident and qualified to coach nutrition. Since you’ll be learning and practicing from Day One, you’ll be in a perfect position to start helping your clients immediately.
|Q:||How do I stay committed and on track if the program is self-paced?|
|A:||That part is easy.|
In addition to the printed materials you’ll receive (i.e. textbooks, workbook, client assessment forms), you’ll also get access to our online course platform.
The platform hosts our educational videos, case studies, online quizzes (one per chapter), and innovative learning tools to help you practice and retain the material. It also encourages (and tracks) your progress.
In the end, we built the online platform ourselves based on the best practices of distance-based education. Most students find it the perfect blend of flexibility and accountability. And the proof is in our graduation rate, which is well above the industry standard.
|Q:||How about Level 2?|
|A:||The Level 2 program is an in-depth online mentorship that takes 12 months to complete.|
And, as discussed above, it’s only available to Precision Nutrition Level 1 students and graduates.
|Q:||Do I need to have a science degree to become certified?|
|A:||No. We assume no prior knowledge of biology, chemistry, etc., and so we don’t require a university degree.|
Now, if you were terrible in science, you can expect some parts of this certification to be semi-challenging. But if you’re willing to read and understand new concepts, you can definitely learn the material.
|Q:||Is this program accredited by a national education board?|
|A:||No, it’s not accredited by any of the national education boards.|
If you want letters and a rubber stamp, there are organizations for that. At Precision Nutrition, we’re all about passing on important and life-changing knowledge. We’ll leave all the bureaucratic hoops to other organizations.
However, we should mention that we are recognized as a continuing education provider by the top fitness and nutrition organizations in the world (see below). In addition, as mentioned above, our course material is approved for teaching at the master’s level.
What happens after I get certified?
|Q:||Once I’m Precision Nutrition Certified, will I be listed on your site?|
|A:||Yes. And given our exposure online, that’s a big advantage for Precision Nutrition Certified professionals. As we grow our online coaching programs, that advantage will grow with it.|
For example: Our coaching clients are often interested in finding a local coach, one who actually knows what the heck they’re doing, to help them out with their new exercise movements, etc.
In the past, we had no one to send them to.
We can’t just send them blindly into the local fitness club with their Precision Nutrition exercise and nutrition program in hand. It would be a disaster.
So with the Precision Nutrition Certification we’re creating an army of health and fitness coaches who actually get it. Coaches who our readers, clients, and customers can trust.
What’s more, by being Precision Nutrition Certified, coaches will be part of a network of local professionals that we trust and that we can refer our own clients to.
Once you’re certified, you’ll have a professional profile in our new online directory of Precision Nutrition Certified Professionals, so you’ll be easy to find when people are looking for local help.
|Q:||Are there any requirements to maintain my certification?|
|A:||As a Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certified professional, you’re required to re-write an exam every two years from your date of course completion to keep your certification current.|
Taking an exam every two years will ensure your knowledge is up-to-date, and you’re still practicing at the top of your field.
If you take the recertification exam before your Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification expires, you’ll maintain your status as “certified” in the PN Directory of Certified Professionals. And we’ll send you a new certificate.
|Q:||What about those people specifically looking for national accreditation?|
|A:||People come to Precision Nutrition to get certified because they want the best possible exercise and sport nutrition training—from one of the world’s most recognizable exercise and sport nutrition companies.|
For those of you looking for some other end, like national accreditation (which often means that the program has been reviewed by your government; and we all know how awesome they are at offering nutrition information), give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are other programs for that and we’ll be happy to point you to those types of certification programs.
|Q:||What advice will someone be able to offer clients or after completing the course?|
|A:||That’s a great question and one we cover in-depth in the course.|
Most health and fitness professionals are allowed to make nutrition recommendations to otherwise healthy clients. So even without the Precision Nutrition Certification, most folks can make nutrition recommendations. What we’re offering is a much better system for making those recommendations.
The only scope of practice that’s restricted is Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT), which means giving nutrition advice to treat or cure disease. You won’t be qualified to do this, and you should never try, unless you’re specifically MNT-accredited.
|Q:||What are other people saying about the program?|
|A:||The feedback on the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification has been overwhelmingly positive.|
In the past 7 years we’ve enrolled nearly 100,000 students in the course. And student satisfaction ratings exceed 99 percent, meaning nearly 100 percent of our students rate the course as “excellent.”
And, in case you missed the video above, here are some thoughts from a few of the top coaches in the industry:
Precision Nutrition co-founder Dr. John Berardi gives you a sneak peek at the Level 1 Certification.
(Plus, industry leaders share their thoughts on the program).
How do I sign up?
|Q:||When does the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification program begin?|
|A:||The next Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification Program begins on Monday, March 30th, 2020. And there won’t be another one until October 2020.|
We’re using a cohort (group) model to accept registrations: Registration is limited to a specific period and group size is limited. This ensures we can support you in your learning.
|Q:||How do I increase my chances of getting a spot in the next Level 1 group?|
|A:||To get an early bird chance at registration—because the program really does usually sell out within 24 hours—please sign up for the presale list below.|
We’ll send you a special link 24 hours before the general public and that’ll increase your chances of getting a spot.
|Q:||What’s the special discount I’ve heard about?|
|A:||If you’re on the presale list below and enroll for the program before the general registration opens, you’ll save up to 30% off the cost of the Level 1 Certification program.|
The general public price of the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification is $119 USD per month for 12 months. However, if you’re on the presale list and sign up on the presale day, you’ll get the opportunity to get it for only $99 USD per month or a one time payment of $999 USD—up to 30% savings.
|Q:||How can people find out more?|
|A:||To learn more about the course, and to get on the Level 1 Certification presale list, which gives you a chance to register early, 24 hours before the general public, sign up below.|
Once you’re on the list, we’ll follow up with more information about our Level 1 Certification program.
Interested? Add your name to the presale list. You’ll save up to 30% and secure your spot 24 hours before everyone else.
We’ll be opening up spots in our next Precision Nutrition Level 1 Certification on Monday, March 30th, 2020.
If you want to find out more, we’ve set up the following presale list, which gives you two advantages.
- Pay less than everyone else. We like to reward people who are eager to boost their credentials and are ready to commit to getting the education they need. So we’re offering a discount of up to 30% off the general price when you sign up for the presale list.
- Sign up 24 hours before the general public and increase your chances of getting a spot. We only open the certification program twice per year. Due to high demand, spots in the program are limited and have historically sold out in a matter of hours. But when you sign up for the presale list, we’ll give you the opportunity to register a full 24 hours before anyone else.
If you’re ready for a deeper understanding of nutrition, the authority to coach it, and the ability to turn what you know into results… this is your chance to see what the world’s top professional nutrition coaching system can do for you.
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