The National Academy of Sports Medicine

The National Academy of Sports MedicineThe National Academy of Sports Medicine, or NASM, prides itself on evidence based, and scientifically proven methods of exercise. It offers a personal training certification and several advanced specializations. Advanced Specializations include the Corrective Exercise Specialist, Performance Enhancement Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. In 2012, the organization produced and launched 5 new specializations. These were MMACS, YES, SFS, WFS, and GFS. I was responsible for developing YES from start to finish. <– tooting my own horn, because I can, and should! Below, you’ll find a description for each certification and specialization.


NASM-CPT – You can be assured that those holding the NASM-CPT credential from the National Academy of Sports Medicine have mastered goal-specific program design, and learned how to provide accurate assessments to a wide variety of clientele. The comprehensive course is accredited and covers everything from human movement science, to physiology, to program design. Those with this credential are readily able to apply programming methodologies based on fitness assessment results. The progressions utilized sometimes differ from those who have undergone certification through a different organization. Programming is based on the National Academy of Sports Medicine’s OPT® Model, a scientifically proven method for providing progression.

NASM-CES – Those holding this credential specialize in injury prevention and recovery. They are trained in movement assessments, inhibitory techniques, muscle activation techniques and common musculoskeletal impairments. According to NASM, this is the preferred injury prevention and recovery credential of the National Basketball Athletic Trainers Association (NBATA) In order to be eligible for this advanced specialization, the trainer must already be an NASM-CPT, OR in the UK be considered REPs Level 3+, OR have a 4-year degree in a related field such as Athletic Training, Nutrition, or Sport Science.

NASM-PES – Performance Enhancement Specialists are experts in sports conditioning. They are able to bring athletes to top levels of performance, and keep them performing at the highest level. Just as with the CES, in order to be eligible for this advanced specialization, the trainer must already be an NASM-CPT, OR in the UK be considered REPs Level 3+, OR have a 4-year degree in a related field such as Athletic Training, Nutrition, or Sport Science.


NASM-FNS – It’s estimated that by 2030, over half of Americans will be obese, and over 85% overweight. This is something that deeply disturbes me. Although healthy habits start with our children, you can teach an old dog new tricks. The National Academy of Sports Medicine created the FNS to help put a dent into these statistics, and educate professionals with what they need to know while staying within their scope of practice. A personal trainer is not allowed to provide nutritional guidance or programming under many state and federal laws. This is why we have nutritionists and registered dieticians. However, clients will often come to the trainer as the first source of information. This is where fitness professionals can make a difference in knowing what type of guidance they can safely provide, and when to refer out. This updated course, provides progressive nutritional knowledge, and utilizes MyPlate as a guide for healthy decision making.

NASM-MMACS – Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, and to handle the rising demand of clients interested in this type of training, NASM developed the Mixed Martial Arts Conditioning Specialization (MMACS). This isn’t NASM’s first time providing information to those interested in MMA. In 2011, game maker THQ brought out UFC Personal Trainer. This game contained OPT® programming, and parts of the instruction manual were actually written by…yours truly. Trainers with the MMA Conditioning Specialization are able to utilize the same methodologies MMA fighters use to stay in top shape.

NASM-YES – The Youth Exercise Specialization lies dear to my heart, mainly because I spent months of long hours working on it. Although there are a few more components I would have included, but was unable to, the specialization does a great job of simplifying fitness for youths, and provides options for keeping fitness fun. In my experience, youths have about a 5 second attention span (that’s a joke). Someone holding this credential is definitely able to provide safe programming for youths. It’s great for coaches, trainers, and curious parents.

NASM-SFS The Senior Fitness Specialization caters to a growing segment of the fitness populous. Baby boomers are getting older, and fitness a priority. Thirty percent of adults over 65 experience an accidental fall each year. These accidental falls account for $19 billion in direct medical care expenditure each year. Professionals with this credential are able to develop fall prevention programs for seniors as well as guide them in terms of leading healthy, active lifestyles.

NASM-WFS – The Women’s Fitness Specialization takes a comprehensive look at women’s fitness. It includes pre and post-natal, adolescent, and senior fitness and nutrition concepts. Women and men have differences when it comes to fitness and one mold definitely does not fit both sexes. A professional that has this specialization understands these differences, and is effectively able to apply this knowledge and provide superior programming for women in all stages of life.

NASM-GFS – The golf industry brings in $76 billion/year. Throughout the year, golfers typically play an average of 37 rounds. If you do the math, that’s A LOT of one-sided golf swings. This can lead to overuse injury, and prevention of this is a huge reason this specialization was developed by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Professionals with this credential are able to assess golfers’ posture, general movement, and swing, narrowing in where deficiencies exist. They’re able to provided optimal programming that prevents overuse injury commonly associated with golf, and encourages gains in overall performance and stamina.

NASM-WLS – Coming Soon