What is the NASM-PES Exam & How to Prepare for it | Concordia University Chicago

By Published On: May 10, 2023

Over the past decade, the health and wellness field has substantially grown. We are seeing boutique fitness studios pop up on every corner, new wellness drinks on grocery store shelves and more people making an effort to improve their own health and wellness. With this growth in the health and wellness field, it is a perfect time to explore areas of education and employment.

One of the most well-respected and most recognized certification bodies is NASM-National Academy of Sports Medicine. At Concordia University Of Chicago we partner with NASM so students can gain knowledge and a certification that will help guide them to succeed with a NASM certification.

The certification that will be detailed below is the NASM-PES, or Performance Enhancement Specialist. This particular certification is fastly becoming a requirement to perform optimum performance training with professional athletes and sports teams. The knowledge in this certification will open graduated doors to a plentiful career as a sports performance professional.

Read below to have a better understanding of what the NASM-PES course contains and how to excel as an online learner!

What is the NASM-PES

If you are wondering “What is NASM-PES?”, then you have come to the right place. NASM-PES stands for the National Academy of Sports Medicine – Performance Enhancement Specialist certification. This certification is designed for fitness professionals who want to take their knowledge and skills to the next level by specializing in performance enhancement.

NASM-PES is a comprehensive course that covers a wide range of topics related to strength and conditioning. This course focuses on improving athletes’ power, strength, and stabilization, which are all essential factors for success in sports. It is also designed to equip fitness professionals with the knowledge and skills needed to create cutting-edge strength and conditioning programs for their clients.

The NASM-PES certification covers a range of topics, including physiology, kinesiology, and nutrition. Students will learn about the physiological adaptations that occur during exercise and how to optimize these adaptations for performance enhancement. They will also gain an understanding of the biomechanics of movement and how to design programs that improve movement efficiency and reduce the risk of injury.

Additionally, NASM-PES certification covers nutrition and how it can be used to enhance performance. Students will learn about macronutrients and micronutrients, the role of hydration in performance, and how to create individualized nutrition plans for clients.

To become a NASM-PES certified professional, students must pass an exam that tests their knowledge and skills. This certification is recognized and respected throughout the fitness industry and is a valuable addition to any fitness professional’s credentials.

If you are interested in pursuing a career in sports performance or enhancing your existing fitness knowledge, NASM-PES is an excellent option to consider to become a performance enhancement specialist (PES).

Course Details

The course has 16 modules in which students have 1 year to complete. The final exam is a 90 minute online exam consisting of 100 multiple choice questions. NASM offers a pay in full option or a monthly option which makes this integrated sports performance program quite affordable. The pay per month option ranges from $32-$45 monthly. The pay in full option ranges from $349-$499. Different course packages offer various extras including bonus material, a programming toolkit and hardcopy of the textbook.

Although there are no prerequisites, it is highly recommended to have one of the following:

By completing one of the above certifications or degrees, the student will enter the NASM-PES with anatomy and physiology, understanding of the human body and how the body functions. Also, holding one of the above certifications and degrees will help build the graduates resume for better paying and ranking employment.

Topics Covered in the NASM-PES

As stated above, this certification has 16 modules that will give students advanced knowledge on how to improve clients lifting skills, agility, speed and so much more. Graduates will be able to guide athletes to peak performance and to be top contenders in their sport. The 16 modules are split into 4 sections:

Section 1: Anatomy and Physiology of Sport

In this section students will have 2 chapters that cover integrated sports performance training and how anatomy and physiology are related.

Section 2: Sport Performance Testing, Integrated Training, and Programming

Section 2 covers nine different modules. After these modules are completed, students will have knowledge and understanding of core training principles, speed, agility, resistance training principles and much more.

Section 3: Olympic Lifting and Injury Prevention

Section 3 will cover what olympic style lifting is and how it relates to increasing performance. Students will also have an understanding of how to prevent injury in physical activity.

Section 4: Sports Nutrition and Psychology

After completion of these three modules in section 4, the students will have an understanding of their scope of practice with sports nutrition and be able to explain performance psychology.

Student Testimonials

Below are testimonials from real students who completed the NASM-PES.

“The NASM PES course was challenging and the videos and self help was extremely helpful. The quizzes helped me retain the knowledge through the chapters and gave me the confidence I needed to pass my final exam. GREAT JOB”

“This course is great for anyone to gain an edge with personal training or looking to help anyone with their sports performance. Everything in the course is easy to follow and the information is applicable to everyday life.”

“I found the material to be informative and very detailed. The reading and studying was very organized and the guides were very helpful. I think that this is a great plan for someone to get better trained and certified for a career in performance training.”

“In my opinion, the Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM-PES) and Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM-CES) are an absolute must for anyone new to Personal Training. After completing the NASM-CPT course, I felt that I had a good base, but after completing these two courses, as well as the Certified Nutrition Consultant (NASM-CNC) course, my confidence definitely increased. Within 3-weeks of being on the job in my first personal training position, I have already utilized what I have learned from all of these courses.”

Who Should Take the NASM-PES

An amazing part of holding a NASM-PES certification is that it will open various doors to graduates as NASM is a well-known and highly respected certification. Below are just a few routes of employment.

Personal Trainers

Almost any client can be viewed as an athlete, which is why personal trainers are a perfect fit for this certification. This certification will open personal trainers doors to work in more athletic settings.

Athletic Trainers

By holding the NASM-PES, athletic trainers will have an in-depth knowledge of how to guide their athletes to peak performance.

Strength and Conditioning Coaches

Four year Strength and Conditioning graduates would benefit from this certification as they would have a more in depth understanding on how to train and coach to get outstanding results from their athletes.

Physical Therapist

The NASM-PES is the perfect certification to hold for Physical Therapists. Many patients that seek physical therapy are athletes. Having this specific certification will open doors for physical therapists to more sports centered rehabilitation.

How to Succeed in Online Learning

While earning a degree or certification online is convenient and flexible it may cause distractions from getting your work and learning done. Typically we are used to a learning environment to be in a classroom at a school. Instead we are able to create our own learning environment at the comfort of our homes. Below I will outline a handful of tips on how to successfully learn online to earn any kind of degree or certification.

Use the Materials Given

NASM does an incredible job setting students up for success. There is a digital textbook included in the course so students are able to follow along and read course material. Lecture videos are accessible as well for more visual learners. After each module there is a quiz to test what has been learned. Lastly there are 2 practice exams you are able to take before you take the final exam. There are various ways to enhance your learning and to check to make sure you are understanding the material.

Set Working Hours

Just like having a typical 9-5 job, your studying and learning should resemble this structure. Having set work hours is going to help you structure your day so you can ensure you are completing what you need to in order to have a successful outcome of your certification.

If you have a full time job while completing your certification, you’ll have to work around those hours. To not overwhelm an already busy schedule, try to choose a handful of hours around your set work schedule to dedicate to your studies.

Take Breaks

Set yourself up for success by taking breaks throughout your day. If you are reading a textbook, mentally tell yourself that you’ll read until ‘x’ page and then take a break. Get outside for a walk, move your body, or simply step away from your work space. Our brains need break time in order to increase productivity.

Have a Designated Work Space

In the past handful of years it seems that many of us have converted spare bedrooms into home offices which is a perfect space to designate your studies to be. Having a designated workspace will help you stay organized and on task.

If your space doesn’t allow for a full home office, a desk in a corner of a room will be just fine as well. If there will be family members at home while you are studying, an option to close off your workspace can help limit distractions.

Limit Distractions

Our lives are full of distractions with our cell phones. We constantly are getting phone calls, text messages, emails, notifications, the list goes on and on. In order to study and learn successfully, challenge yourself to keep your phone away from you so you can focus on the task at hand. Keep your phone in a different room, in a drawer or simply on the other side of your desk.

Get to Know Yourself

Are you more productive in the morning or evening? Do you function better with a workout before your studies or after? Do you like using your computer for notes or pen and paper?

These are all questions that will help get to know yourself better. By knowing yourself better you will be able to study and learn better.

Be Active In Your Learning

In a typical in person setting with a teacher and classmates, there are many face to face interactions that you may not get in your online learning. Teachers aren’t able to ask a question to the class and choose a student whose hand is raised for an answer. Being active in your own online learning will ensure that you are understanding your studies. A great way to do this is active note taking. Active note taking is taking what you’ve learned and putting it into your own words, not verbatim what the textbook or professor is saying.

Make a Plan

Making a plan is going to set your studies up for success.Before you dive into the course material, take a look at what will be covered. Set yourself a weekly and monthly goal. At the end of each week and month, you can check in on your progress to make sure you are completing deadlines that you’ve set for yourself.

Where to Start

Concordia University of Chicago’s MS in Applied Exercise Science, Sports Performance Training was designed for working adults with asynchronous classes so you can learn anywhere, anytime. This specific concentration was built for trainers and other sports professionals who work with athletes of all levels. This course will give students a leg up in their studies for the NASM-PES.

With the deadline quickly approaching on March 8, 2023, now is the time! This certification has no prerequisites, voted #2 for affordability and #1 Masters of Exercise Science in the US.

Now is your time to create a rewarding career as a NASM performance enhancement specialist that focuses on guiding athletes and clients to peak performance.

Visit the university of Chicago website or the university campus at 7400 Augusta Street River Forest, Illinois [60305-1499] for all enrollment information. You can also call at (708) 771-8300.

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