The National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA) offers a variety of exercise, fitness, personal training, and nutrition certifications online. Their programs are open to anyone with a desire to learn and help others. There are no prerequisites.
The NESTA Fitness Nutrition Coach (FNC) certification is a self-paced, online program. The course material teaches the basic principles of nutrition and the role of food and nutrition in overall human health. It is meant for someone who will be working with the general public.
This certification program teaches the basic components of nutrition and their role in human health and wellness. It is intended to be used with the general public (i.e. clients interested in general health and wellness). While it does offer instruction in assessing your clients’ nutritional needs and practical suggestions for improving performance, it doesn’t teach you anything about how to be a good coach.
The course includes a comprehensive online digital manual (downloadable and printable) and step-by-step online video training. It is 100% online and you can study at your own pace.
You may take any length of time to complete the program, and review the materials as often as you like before attempting the non-proctored, online exam.
The Fitness Nutrition Coach certification course costs $297.
There is also an option to pay $449 for both this Fitness Nutrition Coach certification and the Sports Nutrition Specialist certification ($297 and $347 individually).
Best of all, the certificate does not expire, so you do not have to keep paying money to re-certify.
(How does it compare to other nutrition certifications? Compare them here.)
This certification requires you to take a non-proctored, online exam. That means you can take it at home or anywhere you have internet access, any time you want (as long as it’s within 12 months from your start of the course). It is an open book exam.
The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions and a passing score is 70% or higher.
You’ll get three attempts at the exam. If you don’t pass in those three attempts, you’ll have to pay a $95 retest fee to take it again.
Once you pass, there is no re-certification necessary.
Upon successfully passing the exam, your certificate is validated and submitted for processing, and will be mailed by First Class Mail within 2-3 weeks.
If you pass the NESTA Fitness Nutrition Coach Certification exam, you will earn the following Continuing Education Units (CEUs):
- NESTA (2.0 CEUs)
- MMACA (2.0 CEUs)
- ITCA (2.0 CEUs)
- ISSA (20 CECs)
- Spencer Institute (2.0 CEUs)
A NESTA certification is best for someone who is an absolute beginner with no formal training in food science or nutrition. It can help prepare you for some of the more in-depth programs out there.
If you do not plan to work with clients and instead just want to improve your knowledge of nutrition without spending a fortune, this is a good option.
Realistically, a NESTA certification is a quick and easy way to earn some CEUs to fulfill other continuing education requirements! Especially when you have the option to enroll in multiple programs at a group discount.
Now, if you’re looking through the NESTA website and asking yourself “is NESTA’s fitness nutrition coaching certification legit?” then you might want to look elsewhere. NESTA is indeed a large, legitimate organization, but their website is one big sales pitch so it makes them look like some Multi-Level Marketing scheme.
How to Get Started
There are no prerequisites, so if you have a credit card, you can get started.
Learn more on the NESTA website.