5 Best NASM CEU Courses: Online and In-Person
As a NASM-certified personal trainer you are required to recertify your CPT every two years. You’ll need to get 1.9 CEUs (19 hours) through a course or seminar to fulfill this requirement in addition to earning 0.1 CEUs (1 hour) by maintaining your CPR and AED certifications (20 total credit hours).
Just a few years ago, personal trainers only had one option for recertification and this involved finding and visiting in-person workshops. Today, trainers have the option to do their continuing education in-person or get their necessary credits online.
While in-person and online CEUs each have their pros and cons, it’s nice to have options. Here is a breakdown of the five best NASM CEU courses that includes both in-person workshops as well as online courses.
Best In-Person NASM CEU Courses
IDEA World Fitness Convention
The IDEA World annual fitness convention provides NASM personal trainers the opportunity to earn up to 1.9 NASM CEUs during the event and during pre and post-conference workshops. There are literally 100’s of personal training continuing education courses offered (see full list here) ranging from group training classes, to gut and microbe classes, and even a class called “Seven Figure Laws of Leadership” on how to build a million dollar business.
The beauty with Idea World is that over 14,000 trainers and fitness professionals converge for one amazing weekend providing you the opportunity to network with peers, meet industry thought leaders, and learn new skills that will propel your career.
Cost: Member: $399 / Non-Member: $489 (2017 prices)
Enrollment Period: Event is once a year, usually July
CEUs: up to 1.9 NASM CEUs
Small Print: The IDEA World Fitness Convention is hands-down our favorite, however, there are lots of logistical costs you have to consider including: lodging, travel costs, travel time, and parking fees.
NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
Our top pick for NASM-specific certifications, the Corrective Exercise Specialist teaches you how to be a trainer that can minimize injury while still focusing on strength and athleticism. Learning about muscular imbalances makes you an extremely valuable asset to your clients and often provides trainers the confidence to charge more for their services.
While the CES certification is available online, the face-to-face time you’ll get with a live person is highly recommended and is why we recommend in-person workshops over online learning for this specific class. The material is quite in-depth, meaning that you’ll likely be challenged and having an instructor next to you to answer your questions can be a valuable asset.
Cost: $699 for Self-Study or $999 for Live Workshop
Enrollment Period: 365 days a year
Small Print: At a price range of $699 to $999 the CES course is fairly expensive. Because the course is so intense (and lends itself well to the progression of your career), having solid CES study materials are recommended to ensure completion the first time around.
Best Online NASM CEU Courses
Business and Sales: The Guide to Success as a Personal Trainer
Successful business owners are created, not born. The often unfortunate case with many trainers is that they don’t know how to structure their businesses for success or put leads into a sales funnel, leading to their ultimate failure. The Business and Sales: The Guide to Success as a Personal Trainer was created by a successful personal trainer for exactly that reason and helps lead trainers down a path to financial growth.
Trainers have plenty of options for continuing education that have to do with physical fitness or nutrition, but little when it comes to actionable advice on how to create a system that generates sales. With coursework touching on creating a personal brand; creating and registering a business entity locally, statewide and with federal agencies; how to give away free information to get the attention of your chosen market; how to engage prospects and how to close, this class covers it all.
Cost: Only $249
Enrollment Period: 365 days a year
Small Print: This class provides valuable real-world business advice and might be less fun than exercise-based classes. It also forces you to be an actionable business owner, so it might not work for the moonlighting personal trainer who just wants CEUs and nothing else. At $249, this is definitely one of the least expensive NASM CEU courses out there.
Precision Nutrition Level 1
The Precision Nutrition Level 1 course is hands-down the most well-regarded nutrition certification in the fitness industry. Adding a nutrition-based certification to your NASM-CPT will give you the confidence to make client recommendations and possibly even charge more for your services.
The other great thing about the certification is that it requires no recertification so if you get Precision Nutrition’s Level 1 cert, you’ll have it for life. You know that without proper nutrition, exercise programs won’t work to their full potential. Add this certification to your list to help your clients accomplish all their health and fitness goals.
Enrollment Period: Twice per year
Small Print: You’ll have to read a 500-page book and time your enrollment to one of their two slots per year. Not a great option for those looking for last minute CEU options.
Bonus: Free NASM CEUs
Looking for some free NASM CEUs to round out your criteria for the two-year recertification period? As a bonus to the other five listed on this page, check out Build Your Marketing Muscle: The FREE Guide to Marketing for Personal Trainers. This coursework is entirely online and focuses entirely on marketing.
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Just as Precision Nutrition’s Level 1 is the most highly regarded course of its kind in the nutrition industry, the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist course is true to athletic training. If your goal is to work for a university or at the professional athlete level, it is likely you’ll be required to have this exact certification as a prerequisite for getting the job.
The coursework covers sport-specific training for America’s most popular professional and college sports, and also covers exercise techniques, how to design sport-specific programs, and organizational and administrative elements that are essential in professional environments.
Cost: $475 plus study materials
Enrollment Period: 365 days a year
Small Print: A bachelor’s degree is required to sit for the two-part, four-hour, exam. The passing rate is pretty low at 63%, so while the course is available online, the Exam Preparation Live Clinics are highly recommended.
Best NASM CEUs Recap
Furthering your continuing education is a requirement, but shouldn’t be viewed as one. Rather, NASM CPTs should view this obligation as an opportunity to further their interests in fitness and training and increase the ways in which they can help their clients. If you are unsure how to go about choosing the next CEU course for your career, we invite you to consider the “three P’s:
- Purpose: How will you use the knowledge you learn from a specific course or workshop?
- Population: Who will benefit from the new skills and education you receive? Is this the target population you want to work with? Is the population you want to target abundant in nature?
- Passion: Will you actually enjoy learning about this topic?
If you have questions about which NASM CEUs are right for you we would love to help. Leave a comment, call (424) 675-0476, or email us directly. We are always here to assist you in choosing the most successful path for your fitness career.
For more information on becoming a successful personal trainer click the below link and check out our business and sales course.