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Performance Enhancement Specialization

The Performance Enhancement Specialization helps coaches increase their value and confidence by teaching application of the latest science in athlete performance.

  • Learn the most effective methods to train athletes at all levels, from recreational to elite, and everywhere in between

  • Explore strategies to enhance injury resistance plus psychological and nutritional concepts associated with peak performance

  • Improve your coaching abilities and programming skills quickly and effectively


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In the NASM Performance Enhancement Specialization, you’ll learn the latest and most advanced–principles and concepts in strength and conditioning, exercise physiology, injury resistance, training program design, coaching and communication, sports nutrition, psychology in sports performance, and so much more. You’ll come out of this program supercharged with the tools and strategies you need to deliver superior results and train athletes of all ages and levels to perform at their best.

  • The most comprehensive resource on integrated training for sports performance using the scientifically-backed Optimum Performance Training® (OPT™) model

  • Content authored and peer-reviewed by world-renowned industry leaders

  • Multimedia course delivery in an immersive, state-of-the-art digital learning platform to meet multiple learning styles

  • Self-paced online format means you can raise your game from anywhere in as few as 4 weeks

  • CEU Value: 1.9 NASM

See the full Performance Enhancement Specialization curriculum here.

NASM’s online program makes pursuing a Performance Enhancement Specialization as easy and convenient as can be. By completing the self-guided study materials at your own pace, you can achieve a Performance Enhancement Specialization and begin working with clients in as few as 4 weeks.

To achieve an NASM Performance Enhancement Specialization, you simply have to:

  1. 1) Register in the PES 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 to achieve your Performance Enhancement Specialization. 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.


see the reviews


I started my own mobile gym business coaching, gymnastics and dance and cheer. The reason I chose NASM is because I enjoy learning all different schools of thought, ways of coaching and applying that to my own training.

Nicole Z.| NASM CPT


My life has completely changed and so I want as many people to feel what I feel and do what they want, what makes them happy.

Daniela C. | NASM CPT


I'm so passionate about health and training because it has been so rewarding for me both in my job and my professional life and in my personal life.



I had friends who were personal trainers and NASM carried the highest reputation as far as getting a trainer certification so that's why I chose it.



My dream is to reach out to as many people as I can. Inspiring them to live healthier lifestyles. I love challenging people and then seeing them overcome their challenges, that makes me so happy.

Joanne S. | NASM CPT


NASM has provided me with the knowledge that I need to be a confident trainer and I think that shines through when you meet new people and new clients, that you're confident in your craft.

Cornelia H. | NASM CPT

Questions? Get guidance from our Program Experts

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Although it is not required, it is recommended that candidates have at least one of the following credentials:

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Performance Training Profession
Identify client types and apply ethical strategies for optimal results. Differentiate yourself and excel in the dynamic world of sports performance coaching.

Chapter 2: Coaching and Interpersonal Communication Skills
Develop your skills as an effective communicator and coach. Learn how to connect with athletes both personally and through movement, unlocking optimal performance.

Chapter 3: Psychology in Sports Performance
Discover powerful techniques for managing athlete anxiety and boosting confidence, essential for achieving their best in sports performance.

Chapter 4: Introduction to Integrated Performance Training
Uncover integrated performance training principles and the transformative OPT™ Model, gaining the edge as a coach by optimizing training programs to elevate athlete performance.

Chapter 5: Physiological Adaptations to Sports Performance Training
Learn to optimize conditioning and resistance training programs for improved athlete health, work capacity, and performance outcomes.

Chapter 6: Human Movement Science
Explore the fundamentals of human movement science and biomechanics. Understand key concepts to help transform how your clients perform, leading to enhanced training effectiveness and athlete success.

Chapter 7: Athlete Intake, Needs Analysis, and Movement Assessments
Chapter 7 equips you with skills to perform a thorough needs analysis, and conduct the most appropriate physiological, movement, and mobility assessments for your athletes.

Chapter 8: Sport Performance Testing and Evaluation
Expand your skills by focusing on advanced performance testing methods, enabling you to design tailored training programs as a Sports Performance Coach.

Chapter 9: Flexibility Concepts for Maximal Performance
In this chapter, you’ll learn how to address muscle imbalances and dynamic posture by incorporating flexibility concepts into training regimens as they relate to improving sports performance.

Chapter 10: Core Training Concepts for Maximal Performance
Discover core training concepts vital for sports performance, including the anatomy of the core and its integration for spinal health.

Chapter 11: Balance Training Concepts for Maximal Performance
Gain insights into balance training techniques and program design strategies, leveraging the crucial role of Postural Control Systems to enhance stability, neuromuscular coordination, and athletic performance.

Chapter 12: Reactive Strength and Plyometric Training Concepts for Maximal Performance
Understand reactive strength and plyometric training for peak sports performance and explore their physiological impact and performance-enhancing benefits.

Chapter 13: Speed, Agility, and Quickness Training Concepts for Maximal Performance
Explore SAQ training for enhanced sports performance, covering speed, agility, and quickness while emphasizing their role in postural control, injury prevention, and athlete recovery.

Chapter 14: Resistance Training Concepts for Maximal Performance
Learn resistance training's impact on sports performance, addressing barriers like negative beliefs and emphasizing various strength capacities, and their role in exercise techniques.

Chapter 15: Olympic Weightlifting for Maximal Performance
Integrate Olympic lifting for performance enhancement, covering its history, common lifts, and implementation strategies within the OPT™ Model.

Chapter 16: Energy Systems Training for Maximal Performance
Learn about energy systems training's impact on sports performance, providing a rationale, physiological overview, modalities, evidence, and optimal strategies.

Chapter 17: Recovery for Performance Enhancement
Understand rest and recovery's crucial role in enhancing sports performance, covering definitions, literature review, communication strategies, and implementation within the OPT™ Model.

Chapter 18: The Science of Biomotor Ability Development and Periodization
Gain comprehensive insights and strategies about periodization through targeted strength, speed, and endurance development, optimizing biomotor abilities and ensuring athletes achieve peak performance.

Chapter 19: Programming for Maximal Athletic Performance using NASMs Optimal Performance Training™ (OPT™) Model
The OPT™ Model guides you through programming for maximal athletic performance with a focus on acute training variables and integrated methodologies.

Chapter 20: Training for Injury Resistance and Return to Performance after Injury
Learn comprehensive strategies for injury resistance, athlete rehabilitation, and understanding key injury mechanisms to optimize athlete care and performance.

Chapter 21: Youth Training Principles and Long-Term Athlete Development
Maximize youth sports training by presenting evidence-based principles and the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model, highlighting key stages and addressing training gaps.

Chapter 22: Performance Nutrition
Chapter 22 covers sports nutrition fundamentals, addressing the Sports Performance Coach's role in optimizing nutrition for athletic success, including energy intake, macronutrients, micronutrients, hydration, dietary assessments, and goal-oriented nutrition strategies.

Chapter 23: Supplementation and Ergogenic Aids
Get the basics of sport supplementation, including the uses, risks, and benefits of common supplements, emphasizing a food-first approach, crucial for Sports Performance Coaches addressing athletes' supplementation inquiries.

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, that consists of 100 questions. Each question will be multiple-choice. The exam is timed and cannot exceed 90 minutes. To pass, you need a score of 70% or higher. Don’t fret though, if you score below that, you have up to 3 attempts to pass.

Performance Enhancement
Specialization FAQs

You may want to consider becoming an NASM PES if you are a:

  • • Personal trainer who wants to help clients perform better

  • • Athletic trainer who wants to help athletes perform at a peak level

  • • Strength and conditioning coach who wants to gain a systematic approach to better performance

  • • Physical therapist who wants to understand how to better train and rehabilitate athletic patients

  • • Coach who would benefit from a deep understanding of performance enhancement to get the most out of your athletes

  • • Athlete or fitness enthusiast who wants to understand the keys to performance and use them to unlock your potential

You will have 1 year from the day of registration to take your final exam and 5 years access to the content. An extension can be purchased by calling Member Services at 1-800-460-6276.

It’s not required, but we recommend having at least one of these credentials before you pursue the Performance Enhancement Specialization:

NASM’s Performance Enhancement Specialization is approved for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) by the following organizations:

  • NASM Approved

    1.9 CEUs

  • 10 CIMSPA CPD Points

    30.75 CEUs

Yes, this program will satisfy the CEU requirements for your Certified Personal Trainer recertification. You are required to earn 1.9 CEUs, and 0.1 CEUs from the CPR/AED certification for 2.0 CEUs to get the recertification/renewal.

The Performance Enhancement 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 Performance Enhancement Specialization with NASM will never expire.