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Behavior Change Specialization

Master the key to success in fitness and in life: learning how to create authentic, long-lasting behavior change. With the help of this specialization, you’ll have an incredibly powerful tool to help your clients surpass their expectations and achieve their most ambitious fitness and wellness goals.

  • Empower your clients to transform their lives for the better through positive behavior change

  • Gain a complete suite of behavior-change tools including effective goal setting, mental imagery, behavior therapy techniques, and more

  • Improve the results from all your training efforts, from personal training to nutrition

  • Increase client retention by encouraging your clients to keep up with their fitness program for the long term

  • Self-paced online program makes it easy and convenient to launch your new career from home in as little as 4 weeks

  • CEU Value: 1.9 NASM




One-Time Payment


The NASM Behavior Change Specialization is the perfect complement to improve your clients’ results from every other NASM program. You’ll learn how to coach your clients to adopt positive long-term behavior change through effective goal setting, behavior therapy techniques, mental imagery, and more.

When you choose NASM to pursue your Behavior Change Specialization, you’ll get access to:

  • • World-class fitness & nutrition experts

  • • Peer-reviewed content from the brightest minds in the industry

  • • State-of-the-art digital learning platform designed to meet multiple learning styles

  • • A curriculum that is consistently reviewed and updated with the most up-to-date material available

See the full Behavior Change Specialization curriculum here.

NASM’s online program makes achieving your Behavior Change Specialization as easy and convenient as can be. By completing the self-guided study materials at your own pace, you can begin working with clients in as little as 4 weeks.

To complete the NASM Behavior Change Specialization, you simply have to:

  1. 1) Register in the NASM BCS program.

  2. 2) Complete the self-guided online study materials in your own time from the comfort of home.

  3. 3) Pass the certification exam.

After completing the study materials, you’ll take an online exam. This exam features:

  • • 100 multiple-choice questions

  • • 90 minutes to complete

  • • Open-book format

  • • 70% required to pass

  • • 3 test attempts included

NASM has over 35 years of experience training the world’s top fitness professionals, and we do it better than anyone else. NASM credentials stand out to employers and distinguish you as a highly trained fitness professional.

Since our formation, we’ve trained over 1.5 million fitness professionals in 100+ countries. In that time we’ve developed extensive partnerships with over 12,000 gyms and health clubs. That means we have the connections necessary to help you get in the door and gain employment from the fitness company of your dreams.

Questions? Get guidance from our Program Experts

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There are no prerequisites for this course. A fitness or wellness credential or a bachelor's degree is recommended but not required.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Behavior Change
Learn how to identify and define emerging occupations in the area of wellness and coaching.

Chapter 2: Coaching and Communication
Understand how to define the term coaching in the context of a helping profession and be able to explain the scope of practice involved with the real of the coach. Additionally, you will be able to describe the basic elements of coaching communication along with how learning preferences play a role in achieving coaching outcomes.

Chapter 3: Client Screening and Assessment
Discover Lazarus's multimodal assessment framework and understand client functioning from a multimodal perspective which can help determine appropriate behavior change techniques. This chapter will allow you to be able to explain the importance of identifying the stage of change a client is in to determine the best intervention strategies.

Chapter 4: Effective Goal Setting
Understand the importance of goal setting a behavior change technique.

Chapter 5: Behavior Therapy Techniques
Discuss the fundamental concepts of behavior therapy that support long-lasting behavioral change and describe major behavior therapy techniques, including contingency contracting, Premacking, stimulus control, modeling, and relaxation training

Chapter 6: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Understand cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and its techniques relevant to health and fitness. Moreover, determine which CBT self-help strategies are appropriate for each stage of change for health and fitness clients.

Chapter 7: Effective Imagery
Describe how imagery is used to facilitate behavior change in health and fitness along with identifying the functions for which imagery techniques are employed.

Chapter 8: Interpersonal and Social Influences on Behavior Change
Understand social influence as it relates to the adoption of a new behavior and identify social influences that affect adherence to exercise and nutrition programs.

Chapter 9: Professional Practice and Ethics
Familiarize yourself with the benefits to clients and professionals of adhering to a high standard of ethical conduct. Further, differentiate the scope of practice between a wellness professional and a licensed healthcare professional which will allow you to describe conditions under which referrals to other professionals are warranted. You will be able to therefore outline a system to maintain good records of client process through identifying critical ethical standards to which the wellness professionals should adhere.

After the completion of the course, you will take an online final exam from the comfort of your own home or wherever you prefer to take tests. The exam consists of 100 questions and there is a time limit of 90 minutes. You must pass with a scaled score of 70% or better.


Behavior Change
Specialization FAQs

As one of the most trusted sources of fitness training certifications in the world, NASM is a distinguished name that will stand out to fitness employers. When you choose NASM for your Behavior Change Specialization, you’ll get access to world-class fitness experts, your top choice of gyms to work for, and much more:

  • • Peer-Reviewed Content from the Brightest Minds in the Industry

  • • State-of-the-Art Digital Learning Platform

  • • Programs Designed to Meet Multiple Learning Styles

  • • 35+ Years Of Experience Training Fitness Professionals

  • • 1.5M+ Fitness Professionals Trained

  • • 100+ Countries with NASM Fitness and Coach Professionals

  • • 12K+ Gym & Health Club Partnerships

There are no prerequisites for this specialization. A fitness or wellness credential is recommended but not required.

You can complete your Behavior Change Specialization in as few as 4 weeks, but you can feel free to take your time—you’ll have access to the course materials and the online exam for 365 days.

Absolutely! You can complete the Behavior Change Specialization while also working full-time. The study material is 100% online and self-paced, and can be accessed on a computer, or a mobile device such as a phone or tablet.

The Behavior Change Specialization exam is taken online inside your student portal. You'll have 365 days from the date of purchase, to study and complete the exam. This exam features:

  • • 100 multiple-choice questions

  • • 90 minutes to complete

  • •Open-book format

  • • 70% required to pass

  • • 3 test attempts included

Don’t worry! You’ll have 3 attempts to pass the final exam, and you can purchase additional retests by calling Member Services at 1-800-460-6276.

No. Once you pass the final exam, your Behavior Change Specialization with NASM will never expire.

NASM-BCS is approved for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by the following organizations:

  • NASM Approved

    1.9 CEUs

  • AFAA Approved

    19 CEUs

  • ACE Approved

    1.6 CECs

  • 5 CIMSPA CPD Points

    5 CPD Points