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Last updated on November 24th, 2023.

Most people are paying keen attention to their health and nutrition these days. Even though everyone thought being healthy meant working out only, more people have learned that a good diet and great workout plan will help you achieve your goals easily and ensure you keep up the lifestyle for the years to come. Nutrition certification is necessary for better and more efficient results if a personal trainer is looking to help your clients out.

The NCSF Nutrition Certification isn’t quite as famous as the common ones we’re sure you’ve already heard about. Still, it includes high-quality coursework and more advantages than all the other certifications out there. This NCSF nutrition certification review will dive into all the good parts and the not-so-good parts of this certification, and you can decide for yourself whether it’s a good fit or not. But we’re sure leaning on it being better than most.

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What does NCSF stand for?

NCSF is an acronym for National Council on Strength and Fitness. This company has been around for over 25 years and is famous for Sports Nutrition, Strength Coach, and Personal Trainer Programs. For that long, the company has educated over 280,000 professionals and has its roots in over 160 countries. The institution’s mission is to inspire people to become their best. The organization also has NCCA accreditation which is the highest standard of certification in the fitness industry.

Is NCSF Certification good?

Yes, the NCSF certification is good. From their site, you can see that the course has a five-star review rating. The coursework also covers sports and nutrition in more depth than most courses do in the fitness industry. That being said, it is also the cheapest among other competing certifications. Not only will you be getting quality knowledge, but you will also get it at a lower cost.

NCSF has multiple plans that you can choose from according to your needs. For example, you can take a Certified Personal Trainer and Sports Nutrition Specialist course. Even though these are two separate courses, you can take this combination at once to save on some bucks and kill two birds with one stone.

The NCSF sports nutrition course is quite detailed. You will find that the different topics are divided into chapters, including videos, text, notes, and other content. They also do a great job in their online textbook since they have various places for questions, answers, and even reviews of those items. Everything is put together to make it easy to get a gist of which items could come in the exam. After each unit, you’ll get questions, and the same happens after each chapter. At the end of the digital textbook, you’ll also find a practice exam that will help you prepare for the real one.

NCSF also stands out from the crowd because it offers the option of recertification after two years. Most institutions don’t offer you the option to recertify. Instead, you retake the examination. But NCSF, you have to get recertified every two years, and to do so, you must prove that you’ve acquired 10 continuing education units that are 20 hours of CEUs.

To sum it up, the NCSF certification is very good, if not the best, in the market right now. The coursework is in-depth, and you’ll get it at a cheaper price than all the others. It is just as valuable as all the other accredited certifications like ISSA and ACE. This certification has been ranked repeatedly as the best lower-cost nutrition certification available.

Is NCSF Legit?

Yes, NCSF has not only been in the fitness industry for over 25 years, but it has also produced over 230,000 professionals in all the three main courses it offers. It also has accreditation from The National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). NCCA is a body that provides accreditation of certification programs assessing professional competency. NCSF is also highly respected by fitness professionals, which is a plus when pursuing the certification.

How long does it take to get the NCSF Nutrition Certification?

The Sports Nutrition Specialist program offered by NCSF is self-paced. But normally, most candidates can complete the course and take the final exams between 2-4 months. Once you have successfully enrolled in the program, you’ll have 6 months to schedule and take the exams. That means you can take as long as you need to be sure you grasp the coursework then sit down for the finals. Since it’s self-paced, your commitment to the program is what will lead to you completing it earlier and getting out there to help people become healthier.

What topics are covered in the NCSF Nutrition Certification?

There are four main units covered in the NCSF nutrition certification. These include:

1. Macronutrients

Macronutrients are a basic and very important domain in this program. When it comes to the examination, 34% of the test will focus on this topic which shows the importance of the topic in nutrition. When studying, you should put a lot of effort into this topic, encompassing almost half of the test. Understanding macronutrients will give you the ability to help your clients read and understand food labeling. You will learn the relevant differences between carbs, proteins, fat types and how to count your nutrition macros.

2. Micronutrients

By studying micronutrients, you will have the tools to recommend nutrients to optimize body function and performance. All the coursework on such matters is based on recent research. The goal of learning about micronutrients is to create a goal-specific macro and micronutrient distribution. You will no longer fall for fad diets, practice them, or encourage your clients to do so either.

3. Dietary supplements and ergogenic aids

Under this topic, as a student, you will learn how to evaluate nutrition and supplementation requirements. This will help you recommend to your clients what supplements they should take and nutrients to help increase their performance and boost their health. During the examination, this topic takes up 17% of the test. You will need to study hard for this topic too. By the time you complete the program, you will have an advanced dietary assessment. You will have the necessary tools to give the best supplement recommendations online to your clients effectively.

4. Nutritional analysis and weight management

Learning about nutritional analysis and weight management will help you in your career. You will have the knowledge to advise your clients clearly about how to improve their nutrient absorption and requirements. You will also learn about nutrient-timing to accelerate adaptation to training. By learning about nutrition, that’s when you can help create a diet plan for your clients to help them lose or gain weight and muscles healthily. Nutritional and physiological aspects of nutrition take up to 17% of the test. You will need to study hard for this part too.

You will also help instruct others into weight loss or weight gain by learning all the above topics. You will even have the ability to be a nutrition coach for a fitness competitor and lead them to win in their industry. The program provides you with the newest performance, health, and competition guidelines.

How to get started with NCSF Nutrition Certification

Now that you’ve chosen to pursue your certification with NCSF, you still have to make one main decision. What plan would you like to take? Well, there are three plans offered by NCSF, and I’ll expand on them so you can make your final choice on how to pursue your Sports Nutrition certification.

Home study

The first entry package offered by NCSF is this one. The home study includes instructional videos, digital textbook, questions & answers, lesson notes, instructor support, review quizzes, The Sports Nutrition Specialist, and a one-year membership to get all this information. By taking this package, you will also have the optional 8 NCSF CEUs. This bundle is perfect unless not unless you want the physical textbook. It isn’t compulsory to have the physical textbook considering you have a portal for a study that is much more useful and easy to flip through compared to a physical textbook. If you can’t pay all the money upfront, you can always check their monthly payment plan and use that instead.

Home study plus

Of the three plans offered, this is the middle plan. If you wish to use an easy online textbook, this option is solid. This bundle includes all the advantages of the previously mentioned bundle. The main difference is this one has the Sports Nutrition Specialist Exam 2nd Edition. The purpose of this exam is to help you be better prepared for the exam when the time comes. If you would like more practice than the one already offered in the other package, you should pick this one.

Pro

Pro is the final option that NCSF offers. This package includes all the accommodations of the other bundles. That means it has the extra test exam to help you prepare, and in addition to that, it has the physical textbook. The physical textbook is what makes it special. Even though it can be a little cumbersome to flip through a physical textbook compared to a digital one, I’m sure some individuals would prefer having the textbook in an old-school manner. You can choose any of the bundles however you prefer. The choice is all yours.

When taking the Sports NutritionNutrition certification, you can also include a Personal Trainer or Strength Coach course and mix it up with it. But if you’re already certified in one of the other ways, then you’re good to go. You can now expand your services from just a personal trainer and add nutrition to the package. Studying Sports NutritionNutrition as a stand-alone course isn’t recommended. It would be best if you strived to have a personal trainer certification too.

Conclusion

Fitness and nutrition is an ever-growing industry as people strive to become healthier and fitter. Even though the population of obese people keeps rising, more people are coming forward to get help from Personal Trainers and Sports Nutronists to keep themselves safe from such lifestyle diseases. If you’ve been thinking of adding a Sports Nutrition certification to your others, this is the best time to do that. This industry is already exploding, and you’ll be sure to get so many opportunities.

The best place to get your Sports Nutrition certification is through NCSF. They are the cheapest and have the best programs. As you can see above, their courses are detailed just like the others, if not more, and they charge little. So, you will be saving money and earning a certification.

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