This post has been 4 months in the making but I'm so excited to share- I got my Precision Nutrition L1 Nutrition Certification!!
This has been a dream come true. Over the past 10 years, as I've gotten more and more into health and fitness, I've become more curious as to how everything works. But I'll admit - I've always been nervous to start any type of certification course because I don't have a background in a health or fitness career. I just have my personal experience from my weight loss journey, natural curiosity and that's it.
What attracted me to Precision Nutrition (besides it being highly recommended in the fitness communities I'm a member of) is how approachable it was. Everything I read online about it made it seem approachable and a really good course for someone like me to get started in the health industry. I also started following them on Instagram and really liked their posts and the info they shared.
So when I had the opportunity to try out the course in exchange for a review on my blog I jumped on it! In this post, I'll share with you my journey getting my certification, review of the course and materials, and more.
Table of Contents
What is Precision Nutrition L1 Certification?
First off- what exactly is Precision Nutrition and their L1 Nutrition Certification? Precision Nutrition is the leading private nutrition and coaching company. They offer nutrition courses, as well as offer private 1 on 1 coaching.
The Precision Nutrition L1 Nutrition Course (or PN L1) is the first course you take that teaches you everything you need to know about nutrition and macro coaching. Once you take that, you have the opportunity to take the L2 - or Level 2- course that certifies you to be a Master Health Coach.
Precision Nutrition also offers a specialized course, L1 Sleep, Stress Management and Recovery Certification.
What's Included in the Course?
Once you register for the course you're sent login information to access the course. Inside there you can enter your address so the physical copies of the material can be sent to you.
I liked that physical copies of the reading material were included. I find it's hard for me to read textbooks online and I prefer to actually be able to write inside the books, highlight anything I find interesting, etc.
My material arrived within a week of entering my information. While I waited, I was excited to jump into the material so I did the first chapter online. It wasn't bad reading everything on my computer, but I definitely did prefer the physical copy once it arrived.
The material arrived as 3 textbooks (broken into the chapter units), and a physical copy of the workbook. They all came in a book holder so it would stay neat and organized!
I started this course towards the end of January and my goal was the complete a chapter a week. There are 20 chapters in the course so my goal was to complete the entire course in about 4-5 months.
This might've been an ambitious goal since I have a lot on my plate - I'm a mom and working full-time, while working on this blog as well. But I'm one of those people who like to go all in or not at all so I figured I'd give it my best shot. Plus, breaking it down to a chapter a week seemed completely doable.
My plan was to spend at least 5 minutes a day working on the material. In each chapter, there was a 10-15 minute introduction video that gave an overview of what we'd be learning in that chapter and key concepts. Then the chapter (they provided it both online or the physical copy). Once you read the chapter, there were a few real-life examples - or "Learner's Manual" as they refer to it - where you are given an example client and then asked questions about how you would approach. There's no grades on these, just a place for you to write in your thoughts. I really enjoyed these exercises because it helped me take what I had learned in the chapter (as well as other chapters) and apply it into a real-life example.
Once you complete these exercises, it's time to take the chapter exam! Each chapter has a 10-question exam that's multiple choice. Your score on these exams is added up to make up the grade you receive for the course. In order to pass the course, you need at least an 80% over all 20 of these exams.
I did find the exams to be somewhat challenging. The questions are multiple-choice, but the way they're structured does require you to have a deep understanding of the content. This isn't an exam you can just google the questions to - you actually need to read and understand the content.
Thankfully there is a super helpful Facebook group you get access to so if you do have any questions on the course or content you can ask and get support.
Starting the Course
So when I started the course, my goal was to do part of the chapter each day and my goal was to complete a chapter a week. I set aside my lunch hour (Monday through Friday, weekends are family time for me) to focus on the course and each day work on a piece of it - whether it be watching the video, reading, completing the learner's manual or taking the exam.
This ended up being a really good schedule for me! Some days, depending on the content, I'd find I'd have some time to do a little more than just 1 task while other day's the tasks would take a little longer than planned and I'd have to split them into 2 days.
Some chapters I was able to breeze through while others - like the super science-y ones - took me a while to work through. There were a few really detailed chapters that ended up taking me almost 2 weeks to complete. But I made sure I still stuck to my schedule and tried not to get too discouraged.
I will say, that even though some of the content was a little tedious at times or took me longer than others, I never found myself getting bored with the course. The way it's set up is really well done and they do a great job at explaining everything - even the super science-y, technical info - in an easy to understand way.
Overall I loved this course. I was nervous at first when I enrolled that this course might be a little too advanced for me (I never did well with science in school), but after going through the first few chapters my fears were gone. The content is presented in a way that's easy to understand, even without a science or health and fitness background. I also came to really appreciate the videos at the beginning of the chapter because it helped me set the stage on what I'd be learning so when I would encounter it in the chapter reading it was already familiar.
It's also nice that there's no timeline on the course so you really can do it on your own time.
I also liked that as I went through the course, I could instantly apply some of the things I learned to my own nutrition. I also noticed that I became super aware of my nutrition - or even more aware, since I'm still working with my Stronger U coach as I lose the postpartum weight. I started to notice little habit - like if I get at least 30g of protein at my breakfast, I actually do end up snacking less throughout the day. It was pretty cool to be able to basically be my own experiment while I went through the course.
So now that I have my PN L1 certification, what's next for me? Well...I'm really not sure! At this time I don't have the capacity to add personalized macro coaching to my plate, but I do want to continue creating that type of content - both here on my blog and my Instagram.
I also feel empowered with this knowledge and will use it as I begin marathon training. I like that I now have the tools to calculate my own macros and a better understanding of what my body needs.
If you're thinking about taking the Precision Nutrition Level 1 Nutrition Certification, I would say go for it! It's a great course and definitely worth the time and money. I'm really glad I took the course and feel like it was a great investment in my personal and professional development.
The Precision Nutrition L1 Nutrition Certification course opens next in September, but you can sign up for the presale list here.