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Get Up, Get Active! NASM CES Review and how it can Impact You

Working out has long been a solo activity. Heading to the gym, going through each step of your workout within the confines of your headphones, then heading home without connecting with anyone has been the standard operating procedure for decades.

But the era of the personal trainer is now upon us! Whether you choose to connect with your trainer via video chat or in-person, the demand for quality trainers who understand the process and the needs of each individual is high.

The NASM corrective exercise specialist certifications are one of the top certifications you can receive as a personal trainer and the value of holding it can be hard to quantify.

Depending on the type of clients you want to train or already train this certification can have great benefits and help you bring in more clients.

If this type of training isn’t to your liking or doesn’t suit your client’s needs, investing in the certification may not be the best way to spend your money.

Before making your decision, we’ll walk through all the information you need to decide one way or the other whether you want to invest in this certification as a trainer.

Start with the Basics: What is NASM CES?

Acronyms are always a great place to start when you undertake to know more about a possible boost to your certifications!

The National Academy of Sports Medicine is the program that certifies personal trainers throughout the country and has a significant impact on the type of training classes held from coast to coast.

Their certifications show that a personal trainer has the best education and can provide clients with a quality program that will improve their life and health.

CES is a certification for NASM corrective exercise specialization. Through this program, clients and their trainers can evaluate any neuromuscular dysfunction and take time to create a plan to help correct it.

These are small changes that can affect your workout routine in a big way.

By making subtle changes to your form, you’ll make your exercises more effective and lessen the risk of injury.

After your initial assessment with a CES trainer, you’ll be able to put together a plan that will help correct and identify problem areas and push your body to integrate new dynamic movements.

All of your muscles will then begin to work together to support and promote the use of underactive muscles.

The entire course includes a workbook and exam that will teach you how to create and discover movement compensations for your clients. It will teach you to create a plan to help your clients build up their fluidity and overall movement.

This may seem like a specialty class that you won’t use as a personal trainer but everyone who lives, works out, or has been through vigorous exercise has some type or form of muscular imbalance.

Whether you’re working with an elderly lady who’s had a recent fall or a professional bodybuilder, everyone has some of these imbalances and would benefit from CES.

NASM Corrective Exercise Specialization (CES) - Self-Study NASM Corrective Exercise Specialization (CES) - Self-Study

CEUs: NASM – 1.9; ACE 2.0


  • Lecture videos
  • Self-Care and Recovery chapters
  • Exercise technique & cueing videos
  • Interactive learning modules & quizzes
  • Client scenarios and sample programming
  • Desktop + mobile delivery
  • Additional Training Programs
  • Online practice exam
  • Online CES exam

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Study Hall is in Session: How Long It Takes to Complete NASM CES

This is a full course and should be treated more like a college class than a weekend lesson. The test itself is only 100 questions and takes 90 minutes to complete.

If you want to get the most from the class and certification, be ready to put in some serious time studying.

While it takes some serious time and effort to complete and study for this course, you’ll reap the rewards when it comes time for your paycheck.

NASM CES certified trainers earn more than other trainers or certifications.

Learning Never Ceases: What You’ll Learn with NASM CES

During the course, you’ll spend your time evaluating and learning how to assess health risk, static posture, movement, range of motion, and strength of your clients.

You’ll start the course with the basics of corrective exercise and human movement science before moving into the more detailed material.

You’ll also learn how to implement inhibitory, lengthening, and activation, and integration techniques into your client sessions. There are also specific corrective strategies for each part of the body from foot and ankles to cervical spine impairments.

Each part of the textbook is accompanied by videos and instructions from a teacher that can guide you through the entire course.

The videos are older but they still bring together all of the information in a comprehensive way that is applicable and easy to understand.

All of the information in the course is designed to be used when you’re out in the field. You won’t spend your time and your money to just memorize notations that you’ll never use again.

This material is something that every personal trainer can utilize for their clients and it’s worth the price tag!

Check your Syllabus: NASM CES Curriculum

There are several different sections when it comes to the CES curriculum.

Some basic prerequisites are not required but are encouraged to be completed before going through the course.

The introductory section of the curriculum goes through all of the theory behind corrective exercise and the rationale of how it works. The connecting bridge to the technique is taught through the second chapter of the introduction through human movement science and corrective exercise.

To begin the intensive training, the course turns to inhibitory, lengthening, activation, and integration techniques. These are all about implementing the CES curriculum into your training regimen.

Between flexibility, strengthening, and integrated dynamic movements, you’ll walk away from this section with all of the basics needed to use CES in your everyday life and training.

Before beginning any new routine with your clients, you’ll need to accurately assess your clients and evaluate their needs.

You’ll start by learning how to assess your clients and address their specific needs then check their overall body alignment. Each step in this assessment process will give you a better understanding of your client’s strength and flexibility needs.

In the final section of the curriculum, you’ll go over corrective procedures and strategies for each part f the body from the ankles to the cervical spine. It will also touch on real-world applications for the various strategies with a wide range of clients.

All of these sections are filled with real-world information and applications which are tested at the final exam.

When you pass the exam, you’ll be certified to apply and advertise that your NASM CES is certified for all your clients.

Boost your Appeal: Benefits of NASM CES Certification

First and foremost, this certification will benefit your clients in major ways. No matter what the injury or issue, these CES exercises will help your clients be more comfortable and confident with each of their workouts and exercises.

Secondly, you’ll be able to advertise and make more money with each of your clients.

Personal trainers that have been certified by NASM end up making about $42,000 per year and that increases about 20% each year following depending on your niche and specialty.

Time is Money: The Costs of NASM CES

Just like any certification that you’ll use over and over again, this one has a price tag. This isn’t your YMCA certification class though, with books and exams it’ll cost a pretty penny.

The certification does have an expiration date so you’ll want to keep that in mind when you enroll and graduate from the program.

These programs are nationally certified and will cost. Most packages run between $300 and $1,500 for the entire program. This cost includes the final exam which will allow you to advertise that you’re a certified trainer.

To recertify with the program, the cost will only end up being about $99. You’ll also want to take your time with this course and spend your time studying.

If you choose to purchase the test material, book, and exam separately you can reduce the overall cost to about $199. These test specific materials go into detail about what to expect on the exam.

Cheaper options are often available when it comes to the CES program but you should always go with the NASM program which is accepted nationwide.

Other programs may offer similar credentials but they aren’t recognized as the same within the field.

Hit the Books: Required Study Materials

The goal of this certification and class isn’t just to finish as fast as possible and pass with an A+.

You want to get as much as possible out of the class so you can apply it to your clients and their health and their benefit. The materials you’ll use to study can be utilized later as a resource when you’re working with clients.

When you sign up for the course, it’s best to get a hard copy textbook so you can use it later and mark it up as you study. Online books will only take you so far!

You’ll have access to the online course material and videos through the CES course and you’ll want to be sure to review and study all of it throughout your time in the course.

Keep the practice exam on hand so you can be sure that you’re working through all of the questions as you go along through the course.

Keep in mind that this course is designed for application in your everyday life. Whatever kind of notes and flashcards you need to create to help yourself learn and retain the information.

These can come back in handy when you’re applying the information to your clients. Don’t try to retain the information just to pass the exam.

Learn the techniques and assessments to better the life of your clients!

Test it Out: NASM CES Final Exam

This is a difficult course to pass! But don’t let that discourage you. The final exam is 100 questions administered over 90 minutes and tests your knowledge of the material and your ability to apply it to your clients.

The pass rate for the exam is low, around 60% but many have found that working through the material through the textbook and videos is better than engaging with the NASM curriculum as a whole.

You can buy the textbook and practice test separately which gives you more test-specific information so you can apply it effectively and still pass the test.

Passing the final exam means you’ll be a NASM certified trainer and will be accepted at almost any training facility. This course and final exam give you information that will be applicable for all of your clients and give you a boost in the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

Investing in a course, class, or program takes a significant chunk of change as well as lots of time and effort on your part for studying and preparing for the final exam.

But before you sign up for this course and put down hundreds of dollars for study materials and the final exam, you’ll want to be sure all of your questions are answered so you can be a NASM certified personal trainer!

How Long Is the Course?

You can take the certification test as long as all of the coursework has been completed and accepted by the NASM program.

You have up to a year to initiate the exam but the total amount of coursework usually only takes about 10 weeks. The entire exam is done online so you can complete it from the comfort of your home.

The entire exam is 100 questions, all multiple-choice, and given over 90 minutes.

Is NASM or Ace better?

Both programs offer plenty of benefits and it can be hard to compare the two directly. NASM is all about corrective exercise certification while ACE is focused on the NASM CPT exam certification.

Both programs are accredited by the NCCA and recognized across the country.

NASM courses allow you the option of add-ons for life workshops while ACE doesn’t.

Courses through NASM run from $524 to $2199 depending on the course and the materials you need. ACE classes are much cheaper running in from $599 to $799.

Is the Certification worth it?

There are dozens of alternatives to the NASM certification but the NASM course is the one that’s the most widely accepted around the country.

This program through NASM is the top program for personal trainers and corrective exercise specialists and each part of the course applies to life after the exam.

The course may take significant time and energy but the material is not wasted or unusable.

NASM Corrective Exercise Specialization (CES) - Self-Study NASM Corrective Exercise Specialization (CES) - Self-Study

CEUs: NASM – 1.9; ACE 2.0


  • Lecture videos
  • Self-Care and Recovery chapters
  • Exercise technique & cueing videos
  • Interactive learning modules & quizzes
  • Client scenarios and sample programming
  • Desktop + mobile delivery
  • Additional Training Programs
  • Online practice exam
  • Online CES exam

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

What Is The Difference Between CES, PES, FNS, and CPT?

CES is a certification for a certified personal trainer or CPT. There is a wide range of specialties that you can learn and be certified in as you seek to help and benefit your clients.

CES and corrective exercise is one of many including, performance enhancement specialist and fitness nutrition specialist certifications. Each of these adds a building block to your knowledge and appeal to clients and programs.

Before attempting to take the CES exam you’ll need to get your general NASM CPT certification. This gives you all of the building blocks necessary to complete more advanced courses. If you’re serious about becoming a personal trainer, check out these courses on the NASM website!

Takeaway: NASM CES Review

Becoming a personal trainer takes a lot of dedication and no small amount of studying! Once you’ve completed your training courses through the National Academy of Sports Medicine or during a bachelor’s degree at a certified college, you can add to your portfolio by taking more in-depth courses.

Corrective exercise specialist courses are offered through NASM and while the cost is higher than other programs available, the certification is accepted at almost all training programs.

All of the information provided during this course applies to your clients no matter their stage in life. What you’ll learn in this class can be used to help regain function in elderly people or help professional athletes progress in their workout programs.

The cost for this certification is a bite out of your wallet. Classes tend to run between $500 and $2200 to get all the study materials and take the exam. But the benefits to your clients and business are undeniable!

NASM certified personal trainers are accepted across the country and respected at all levels. No matter where you choose to practice, you’ll be able to use the information garnered and apply it to your client’s specific needs.

While the cost is high for the course, the materials learned are invaluable to a certified personal trainer. Besides applying the information to your clients, the certification can also boost your health and teach you how to isolate your problem areas and help heal them.

As a personal trainer, your goal is always to help your clients reach their health and wellness goals. Through the course for corrective exercise specialist, you’ll be able to apply more information and skills to more clients during your training time.

The cost is high at the outset but in addition to helping your clients in the long run, you’ll see growth in your paycheck too!

Applicable knowledge, nationwide certification, and a bumped up paycheck are all excellent reasons to invest in this certification!

NASM Corrective Exercise Specialization (CES) - Self-Study NASM Corrective Exercise Specialization (CES) - Self-Study

CEUs: NASM – 1.9; ACE 2.0


  • Lecture videos
  • Self-Care and Recovery chapters
  • Exercise technique & cueing videos
  • Interactive learning modules & quizzes
  • Client scenarios and sample programming
  • Desktop + mobile delivery
  • Additional Training Programs
  • Online practice exam
  • Online CES exam

We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
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Dr. Ahmed Zayed holds a bachelor’s degree in medicine from Alexandria university and is a practicing plastic surgeon. He’s our expert on all things nutrition, medicine, rehabilitation, and flexibility. Dr.Ahmed has been a medical content writer for more than 11 years and his work reached top publications such as the HuffingtonPost

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