Initial Cert.


Lesson 1 Chapter 1

The primary objective of the NASN personal trainer certification program is to provide a high level, applicable body of study and experience to the candidate seriously interested in pursuing a career as a professional in the exercise, health and wellness industries.

Presently, candidates are inundated with options for certification possibilities.  NASN is responding to a perceived vacuum and acute need for a scientifically based, safe and applicable course of preparation for exercise professionals.

The NASN course of study is unique from the perspective of its interpretation and presentation of the relevant mechanisms of physical exercise.  That perspective includes the consequences regarding health, function and personal prerogatives that expertly applied exercise can provide.

This curriculum makes sense in every way.  First, creating a sound and logical basis of simple but necessary scientific background.  Next, providing valuable, practical, hands-on experiences offered to serve the candidate optimally for his or her professional career.  Lastly, offering a life-long resource for information, guidance and support to start and continue successfully in this chosen field.

The NASN candidate shall demonstrate a working knowledge of exercise physiology by the following general criteria: Verbal, written and practical performance indicating competence in these areas of study:


Anthropological physiology:  The tracing of the development of humans regarding the major systems of the human body and logical behavioral directives promoting health and well-being.

Muscle physiology:  Including the structure and function of skeletal muscle, the candidate shall provide indications (written, oral and practical) of a depth of knowledge regarding the identification of muscles/groups and their respective functions.

Exercise physiology:  The candidate will demonstrate the inter-relationships between energy systems and exercise protocols that involve those systems.

Exercise prescription:  The candidate shall provide evidence of the ability to design and defend a selected exercise protocol for a test subject as a segment of an NASN supervised practicum.

The NASN candidate shall provide evidence of a basic working knowledge of nutrition as it relates to health risks for metabolic problems (obesity, diabetes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease; etc.).

In addition, the candidate will demonstrate a working knowledge of macronutrient design in a healthy diet, and present the comparison of the older thermodynamic model of eating versus the more current metabolic model of nutrition.


A basic study of the development of the physiological systems of the human species leads to s few, pertinent, logical assumptions.

DNA:  Hard-wired physiological systems capacities indicate intermittent vigorous, high intensity muscular efforts and steady state (activities) lifestyles.

Evidence:  Apparently, the human species developed into its modern physiological state as a result of repeated, necessary behaviors correlated to successful rates of survival. We call these characteristics DNA.  In essence, our DNA is simply a sophisticated structure of signaling proteins that support human survival.

When the question arises as to the behavioral characteristics that supported a thriving, prosperous species, the following observations are offered as good clues:

A cardiovascular system that can deliver blood at more than 10 times the resting rate in a matter of seconds: A respiratory system that can deliver oxygen at more than 15 times resting requirements in a moment’s notice; A nervous system that can instigate electrical impulses (forces and power) many times a relaxed state instantaneously: An hormonal system that can trigger chemical impulses to instigate and support huge momentary as well as prolonged physical efforts; A skeletal system that can support forces that are more than 50 times more stressful than at rest;  All of these instigated by the muscle system upon which life and death are so crucially dependent.

The logical takeaway is that muscular efforts of extremely high demand, performed on an intermittent basis and lower level muscular efforts, sustainable for prolonged periods of time, survived as fundamental markers for human health and vigor.

It follows that optimal health would most successfully prosper in the presence of and structured by the demands of these characteristic physical endeavors.

Systems capacity:  It logically follows that all of our human physiological systems thrive on behaviors that allow this inherited pattern of physical (muscle) behavior to be EXERCISED on a habitual basis.  EVERY major physiological system in the human body manifests optimal health and functional capacity in the consistent presence of structured exercise and adequate (non-sedentary) lifestyle activity.

Get the Pre-requisites you need for Primary Sports Nutrition Licensing

 In order to become certified as an NASN Personal Trainer, you must successfully complete three specialty certifications:

  •  Resistance Training

  •  Fitness Evaluation

  •  Health Advocate

The specialty certifications may be taken individually or as a group. Personal Trainer Certification will be automatically awarded when the three are completed. No separate exam is necessary.