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Behavior Change Specialization (BCS)

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CEUs: NASM 1.9

Most fitness enthusiasts believe they already possess the skills necessary to affect change with their clients. While on the surface, this may appear to be true. But when they dive a little deeper, they may realize there is so much more to learn.

Assess your behavior change and client retention skills by answering the questions below:

  • What are the 3 stages involved in a goal setting system?
  • Should you recommend a number of steps per day to a client?
  • When would you use the cognitive behavioral technique "premacking"?

Need help with the answers? NASM's new Behavior Change Specialization (BCS) will help teach you to identify your clients' motivational triggers which can lead to sustainable results for your clients and improve client retention for you.

Course Curriculum: 

  • Module 1: Introduction to Behavior Change
  • Module 2: Coaching and Communication
  • Module 3: Client Screening and Assessment
  • Module 4: Effective Goal Setting
  • Module 5: Behavior Therapy Techniques
  • Module 6: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Module 7: Effective Imagery
  • Module 8: Interpersonal and Social Influences on Behavior Change
  • Module 9: Professional Practice and Ethics


Gain the knowledge, skills, and abilities involved in motivating clients to help change health and fitness related behaviors. At the conclusion of the specialization, you will have the ability to systematically assess and implement behavior change tactics in a progressive approach with application oriented tools.

With the NASM Behavior Change Specialization, learn how to:

  • Pinpoint motivational triggers and determine your clients' greatest barriers to change
  • Apply the appropriate intervention techniques aligned with your clients' personality, and identify their ability to change
  • Design programs that can yield quicker, more effective results, and help to raise client retention
  • Adjust training methods as your clients progress in their training

Online Course


Application videos

Learning Activities


Final Online Exam

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"I took the behavior change course to help better understand people and their behavior. This course has given me the tools to help people in all stages."
- Melanie C, MN

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"The BSC course really helped me understand the stages of change and how they can work for, or against, a client's progress. I would highly recommend this course to others."
- Pam M, NY

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"I loved this course. I have always been interested in psychology and this fits perfectly for the fitness and wellness community. Very comprehensive."
- Jami H, IL

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"This course was very informative, organized and practical. I have taken other wellness coaching classes in the past and expected this to just be more of the same that I had already learned. But, I actually learned a lot through this course that was not covered in my previous coursework and I feel much more confident to be able to practically apply what I've learned."
- Kathy H, MO

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"As a clinical therapist and personal trainer, I wanted deeper knowledge of the specific strategies that can be employed to impact non clinical client behavior change for exercise. This program provided that, and then some. This is material I will be keeping and utilizing for a long time to come."
- Catherine R, AZ

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"I started this course when the 2020 covid19 lock downs started. A lot of my clients were training at home and losing motivation, along with picking up bad habits. This course allows me to teach them the tools to stop those bad habits. I was very worried about training online but I feel like this course allows me to expand my business in a new direction and still really help people."
- Dennis W, MA

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"Psychology principles have always been extremely interesting to me...I have a minor in psychology. Although I never knew what to do with the knowledge or how to apply it in my training. This course was definitely up my ally! I'm really excited to start implementing these principles with my clients!"
- Aimee H, NY

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"I was very pleased with this course. It discredits the normal cookie cutter approach to helping your client, but teaches you to meet them where they are so you can take them where they want to go in the method that will best ensure their success."
- Amanda P, FL

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"The BCS course offered very tangible and real world application based practices and curriculum. The videos helped to pull what the readings discussed and made the content more digestible and interesting. I feel confident I can implement the knowledge I gained from this course immediately and that my client's will get even better results. I highly recommend this course!"
-Danielle D, GA

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"The NASM BCS course was so helpful, and I can't wait to implement the strategies I learned on my future clients. If you are interested in the subject, I highly recommend this course!"
- Julie H, TX

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"This course was very informative and could help anyone who is interested in helping those with changing their behavior. It identifies where the division is between the scope of practice of a wellness professional and a licensed behavioral therapist. This is definitely a course for those who's life mission is to help people reach their goals in life."
- Jerrick M, GA

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"The BCS course through NASM was nothing short of beneficial. The activities, discussions, and lecture videos provided a new way to interact with your peers and gain real-world experiences in the topic. I 10/10 recommend this course as it will enhance my professional relationships with my clients and imrpove the quality of our lives."
- Frances S, OH

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"The NASM BCS course is highly recommended due to the increased need for fitness professionals and wellness professionals to understand how to help their clients change behavior in order to reach their goals and maintain them."
- Katy P, NC

"The BCS course helped me to feel better equipped to handle the behaviour/ emotional/ mental matters that are pertinent to clients and their ability to genuinely employ and maintain a fitness plan. It also allowed me to identify key elements of change which I have applied to myself over the years."
- Malene C , Jamaica

"The BCS course really helped fill in the gaps as well as give name and context to what I already knew. I feel it helped increase the professionalism with which I can work with clients."
- Alex H, WA

"This is a great course to take in coaching clients. It is a very informative course and the material is on point in fostering goal changes for clients and the coach as well. I look forward to taking other courses as well."
- Lydia T, NY

"This course is very helpful to provide support in bridging the gap between the information you give a client, and getting them to adhere to what you want them to do to achieve their goals."
- Alex A, UK

"BCS is the perfect tool to understand the thought-process of our clientele; being able to relate to and motivate every type of client is essential to long-term, mutually beneficial success."
- Brian K, IL

"A great course that gets more in-depth with how to work with clients have increase retention by understanding their needs. Applying the stages of change with the OPT model, it gives an applied approach to help clients reach their goals from a variety of learning styles and behavioral tendencies."
- Brandon V, MN

"I feel this course will really help drive home how to help clients. One type of instruction does not help everyone. We need to do a better job as a profession to help the entire person, as that is was creates long term change. NASM did a great job in providing the tools necessary to assist with this."
- Mike H, IL

"This course offered more than I expected. It was engaging and challenging. I learned so much and am excited and confident this will help me and others."
- Jane L, MD

"This course is full of extremely helpful and relevant information to being a fitness professional as well as techniques for my personal life. The information is laid out well and very descriptive. Great way to earn CEUs!"
-D.P., IL

"Before taking the NASM BCS course I was confident in my ability to help clients safely perform exercises and complete effective workout routines. However, after taking the BCS course I am much more confident in being able to assist my clients not only inside of the gym, but also in areas outside of the gym by working closely with them on their habits and behaviors. It is my hope that combining this newfound knowledge with appropriate behavior modification strategies will help my clients achieve long lasting positive change in their lives."
- Matt M, OH

"Very good and informative course. Online portal was well set out and easy to navigate. Good use of videos, text and other learning resources to facilitate different learning styles. I specifically liked the quizzes and interactive elements of the course."
- Darren T, UK

"Behavior Change Speciality Course, as part of NASM, was definitely worth every nut of knowledge. As I look to grow in my wellness profession I am hoping to gain knowledge in not how to train clients but to further understand HOW Clients train. In other words how to help clients make wise and healthy decisions related to their health and well-being. It is the essence of being a wellness professional."
- Sally H, CT

"This course will help me a great deal in attaining and retaining clients."
- Bill C, NY

"As a Professional Wellness Coach, this course helped me understand the different aspects of coaching my clients. How their social relationships, cognition, assumptions, and event socio-economic status play a role in behavior change. Thank you!"
- Vanessa P, OH

"The BCS course exceeded my expectations. The material was clear, logical, interesting, and applicable. Each section built on the previous one, and I left with an understanding of how to better serve my clients."
- Paulette D, IL

"The content in this course was extremely helpful and explained in a way that leaves me much more knowledgeable in the area of behaviour change and excited to get to work!"
- Jasmine P, Nova Scotia

"This class is very helpful in dealing with clients. I learned a lot of strategies that will help me improve my personal training business."
- Ginny M, NC

"The NASM BCS Course is a great course to learn how to connect and provide a deeper level of training with a client. I feel like to can take my practice from just training to more advising/consulting and provide the appropriate solutions for clients."
- Ben M, CO

"This is such an important topic and I really appreciate that NASM has put together such a comprehensive and easy to understand course. It's really helpful!"
- Marissa G, CA