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Performance Enhancement Specialization - Self-Study

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Sports performance is one of the most demanding forms of training. The NASM Performance Enhancement Specialization (NASM-PES) will prepare you to work with clients at any level from youth sports to professional athletes. Developed utilizing NASM’s evidence-based OPT™ model, the NASM-PES takes training to a higher level by introducing the Maximal Power phase. This phase of training focuses on high-velocity training to increase an athlete’s power input. The advanced knowledge and skills gained from the NASM-PES program will help you improve client athletic performance, especially their power, speed, agility and quickness.

Learning Objectives

Students who successfully complete NASM Essentials of Sports Performance Training will have the ability to:

  • Identify the foundational principles that lead to enhanced sports performance for athletes of various fitness needs and goals.
  • Design safe and effective training programs used for improving performance amongst various sports.
  • Evaluate exercise selection, execution, and technique specific to sports performance.
  • Determine performance assessments used to assess and program for athletes in different seasons throughout a training year.

Table of Contents

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Essentials of Integrated Training
  • Human Movement Science
  • Sports Performance Testing
  • Flexibility Training
  • Metabolic, Training
  • Core Training
  • Balance Training
  • Plyometric Training
  • Speed, Agility, Quickness Training
  • Resistance Training
  • Olympic Lifting
  • The OPT Model
  • Injury Prevention
  • Sports Performance Nutrition
  • Ergogenic Aids
  • Sports Psychology

Suggested prerequisites:

  • A current NASM-CPT certification, or
  • A current health and fitness certification accredited by NCCA, NBFE or DETC, or
  • REPs Level 3 or higher credential (candidates outside of the US only), or
  • 4-year collegiate degree or
  • Be a current Licensed or Certified Massage Therapist

Please see the NASM Terms and Conditions for more details.

*2014 Annual NASM-CPT Survey


With the NASM-PES you can:

  • Improve your personal training marketability with this prestigious NASM credential.
  • Increase earning power—up to 40% more than other Certified Personal Trainers without the NASM-PES designation.*
  • Tap into new markets, especially youth and high school/college athletes.
  • Offer more powerful, dynamic exercise techniques, maximize performance and help prevent injuries.
  • Gain additional expertise in sports performance psychology, sports nutrition and ergogenic aids.


Syllabus & Study Guide

Online Textbook

Lecture Videos

Application Videos

Exercise Libraries

Module Quizzes

2 Practice Exams (100 questions each)

Online PES Exam (3 free attempts)

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"I've learned so much information that I can now utilize to serve my clients and I couldn't be more excited. The Final Exam is tough but the sense of pride after you pass is worth every second of it!"
- Daniel Y, MD

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"I give the PES course 5 Stars. I recommend this course to anyone coaching or training a basketball, football, baseball, hockey ,and soccer players. Pre, regular, post, and off season workouts along with nutritional info on macro nutrients, ensures athletes will be in optimal condition at all times. Teaches information that must be understood to be successful in any sport."
- Chris N, IL

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"This is excellent. perfect for people who wanted to enhance knowledge. thank you NASM."
- Vignesh Hariharan, India

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"Very well thought out and informative course. Absolutely would recommend to anyone interested in sports specific training."
- Daniel W, IA

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"This online course was top notch and very engaging! The program provided multiple ways to learn the content including visual, auditory, and practice exercises and exams."
- Leanne B, ME

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"PES is a great course to improve the understanding and applying the NASM Opt model."
- Cesar A, Quito, Ecuador

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"I love these specialist courses. They not only help get more knowledge but serves as a great refresher."
- Jennifer R, Montreal, Canada

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"As someone new to the training environment and looking to further one's education and knowledge in this field, I would highly recommend taking NASM's PES course. This course has given me vital tools to help me further my knowledge and professionalism in more than one area. This has also opened more potential for further education as I decide to take more courses through NASM. Overall, I believe NASM has provided a very structured and rigid course line for anyone looking to further their knowledge and education."
- Cameron L, ME

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"Course was fantastic, it is really put together nicely. Quizzes after each section are very helpful in grasping key concepts before moving to new material. As someone who struggles as a test taker the format really worked in my favor."
- Jeff B, PA

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"This is a great course. It was very informative and easy to follow!"
- Brandon T, CA

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"The PES Course has brought me to another level in training my clients. Great source of knowledge!"

- Stephen L, TN

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"Excellent course if you're looking to improve your knowledge as an Athlete Performance trainer. I highly recommend the PES course."
- Randy S, SC

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"Excellent course! It will challenge you and help you gain the information needed to train the general population and athletes. You will feel more confident after taking this course. Covers all aspects of training!"
- Matthew M, NJ

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"I learned a lot from this course. I can use most of what I learned with my clients at work. Not only will this course help me with training athletes but also other clients that are looking to get stronger or just lose weight"
- Chris E, NJ

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"I was interested in this course knowing it was one of NASM's main certs but didn't really expect much after having already taken the CES and wasn't fully aware what would be covered. I was immediately hooked upon starting the course materials. The info plays so well into all varieties of clientele and solidifies much of the PT knowledge base while also bringing it to a higher level. Very excited to put this to use immediately!"
- Chad H, CO

The PES course is very comprehensive, covering a wide variety of topics and outlining in detail the methods and scientific rationale that can be utilised by the sports performance professional to systematically progress an athlete through a targeted and individualised programme in order to improve all aspects of athletic performance."
- Jordan R, London

"This course has helped further my knowledge and education on how to properly train an athlete. 99% of the information provided is research backed/supported so NASM is not just stating opinions. This course is in line with other top notch certifications like the CSCS."
- Dylan W, TX

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