Brooklyn Fit Chick Review: @NASM “Weight Loss Specialist” Certification

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 Hi Gang!

Two years ago I passed the NASM Personal Training Certification (National Academy of Sports Medicine) which is one of the biggest personal achievements of my life. Trust me—this is NOT hyperbole. I studied for weeks for that notoriously difficult exam and it is a source of pride for me to say “NASM? Oh yeah—I passed it on my first attempt.” Yay me!

Getting certified was tough enough but staying certified is an almost bigger challenge as it requires I take a certain number of continuing education courses in order to stay current which is, quite frankly, a huge pain in my butt schedule-wise. NASM offers several day-long workshops throughout the year to earn much-needed points but they are mostly held on weekends and generally running from 8 am to 4 pm ALL DAY. The whole day. My poor old brain can’t handle any learning past a couple of hours at a time these days so I find these day-long seminars very trying. Plus they occur on the days I teach and earn most of my money. So what’s a girl to do?

Luckily I was contacted by NASM to try out their new online Weight Loss Specialist course to help me earn 1.9 (out of 2) points—score! (Note—they did pay for my course but the opinions are my own.)

Here is some of the information about the Weight Loss Specialist course that is not based on opinion but rather from their press release:

“The Weight Loss Specialist (WLS) program is a 15-hour, online course earning the fitness professional 1.9 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon completion of the exam. Never before have so many weight-loss resources been available in one concentrated credential, providing health and fitness professionals applicable programs that turn into life-changing results for their clients.

At the core of the new Weight Loss Specialist course is an advanced curriculum backed by years of research and proven scientific analysis. A few key areas of study include:

  • The psychology and physiology of weight management
  • How to avoid weight-loss plateaus
  • Dispelling well-known weight-loss myths
  • Methods for lifetime weight-loss success

We are cutting through the diet and weight-loss noise, providing Certified Personal Trainers and top-level fitness professionals with a new approach to weight loss. The Weight Loss Specialist is a revolutionary course that combines proven methodologies and techniques with ways to incorporate our proprietary Optimum Performance Training™ (OPT™) model for continued career success,” said President of the National Academy of Sports Medicine Andrew Wyant.”

Once you register online to take the course you will see that there are 12 “modules” for each section which includes downloadable (and printable) information. This is what they look like altogether:

Nasom stack

Plus each module has a video to watch and explain its subject.

NASM Screen

Are you curious? Well then, here are some of my takeaways after participating in this program…

Pros and cons of NASM Weight Loss Specialist Certification:


  • The test can be done completely online and on your own time. This is a 15-hour (!) exam with TONS of material to get through so I found it very convenient to go through it in two-three hour chunks at a time.
  • The material is top notch. NASM prides itself on being a science-based organization and they make sure to differentiate what is provable in terms of weight loss theories and what is merely speculation.
  • You have three chances to pass their online exam (100 questions in 90 minutes!) which means if test taking makes you anxious (as it does in my case) you have a few chances to get it right.
  • The videos for all of the chapters in the course explain each topic clearly and concisely.
  • Working online means working at home for me so I don’t have to travel to a location to take a seminar which would add to an already long day.


  • 15 Hours is still 15 hours and it took me a few weeks to get through all of the material.
  • Some of the subjects were hard for me to grasp right away and I would have appreciated an in-person instructor to guide me on them.
  • The total cost is $499 which is prohibitive for some budgets though you can pay in installments and the certification is good for a lifetime.

Anyhoo—I was very happy with my only NASM experience and recommend to anyone who has issues with getting to continuing education classes and seminars.

Have you done any online courses? What has been your experience with them?

Talk soon!

Ox Ox,


Brooklyn Fit Chick

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19 thoughts on “Brooklyn Fit Chick Review: @NASM “Weight Loss Specialist” Certification

  1. I understand that NASM is now offering an opportunity to get your CPT cert on a permanent (not renewable) basis. Don’t know how many CEUs it costs, though. Are you speaking at FitBloggin? They usually give you credit for speaking.

    Tricky how their CEUs are just under what you need to renew, isn’t it?

    • They (NASM) are offering as chance to pay for a lifetime membership for $299 which is a decent bargain. It’s so tricky to keep all of the credits up and current. With AFAA I was so late last time just getting all of the classes in. I should just do an all-day event but I do not have the time or patience.

      I am going to speak at Fitbloggin–hope to see you there!

      • You still have to do the CEU’s. You just don’t have to pay the $99 recertification fee every time you recertify. So, it isn’t a permanent thing.

  2. Couple of questions. How many CEU’s are required yearly? I suppose you have to weigh the costs of travel to a different region to go to a course that allows you to get the CEU’s. I personally like to be able to do as much continuing education online and not have to travel away from family. Sounds like a great course though.

    • Hi Timothy! That is a great question. NASM requires 2.0 CEUs every two years so this take care of 99% of it. I totally get the travel and expense issue. Even though NYC has great transportation–it can take a while to get anywhere on the weekends so that just adds to the time. I also like learning things at my own pace. Online education has been great for me!

  3. You have 15 days to decide whether or not you want to continue pursuing the certificate program. I went for the WLS within that time frame changed my mind and told them to go ahead and cancel. I paid $99 for the course. They submit a request for a refund that takes 30 days to be reissued. The complaint is that they take 10% “restocking” fee. So instead of getting my $99 refunded for a trial I am being told I only get $64.14 back because of the restocking fee. The problem with this is that I’m being charged a restocking fee for a ONLINE course, something electronic. Obviously no one is restocking something that you’re not even capable of touching, it is electronic in formation. They say try the program, you have 15 days, you’ll get your money back. Then they take 30 days to reissue and take 10% to restock a virtual product.

    If this is the area you want to pursue, great! My review is based solely on their ethical practices. The program was pretty cool and informative going through. I just think it is dead wrong for these people to be able to give you back what they want to give back even if you are not in the wrong and have proceeded correctly.

  4. Hi,
    I found this link to your site when looking for reviews on the WLS certification. Now that you have had the certification for a few months, do you feel that the information has been useful with your clients? Are you providing more specialized information than before and more importantly, are your clients seeing better weight loss results? I am interested in taking the course but am debating because for the same price, I could take a few other courses. However, if this is worth the money, I will probably try it. Thanks for your input!

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