ISSA Vitamin Certification Overview (2023)

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Having already earned my CPR/AED and CPT certifications through the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), I used to be wanting to discover different choices that might improve my skills and income-earning alternatives as a health skilled. As I expanded my shopper base at YouFit, the place I began working as a private coach shortly after getting my certification, I shortly realized that few understood the fundamentals of vitamin. The truth is, it was evident that many individuals want extra assist with determining tips on how to gas their our bodies fairly than tips on how to transfer them.

I took benefit of the partnership between ISSA and YouFit and scored a reduced price on a specialization course: the nutritionist certification course. This certification course allowed me to achieve an in-depth understanding of tips on how to put collectively an efficient vitamin program. Ripe with useful assets like video lectures, downloadable shopper varieties, and direct entry to ISSA’s resident vitamin knowledgeable, the course comprises all of the instruments you could not solely cross the ultimate examination, but in addition turn out to be a extra assured and succesful well being and health coach.

This ISSA vitamin certification overview gives a complete breakdown of the course supplies — together with the Health Vitamin textbook and chapter quizzes — and covers different key parts so you possibly can determine whether or not to make the leap and buy the course. (Trace: It’s properly value it.)

Key Takeaways

  • For about $650, the ISSA vitamin certification course is a sensible funding for private trainers and well being coaches who wish to broaden their enterprise by providing a beneficial service to each present and potential purchasers.
  • Apart from going in-depth on scientific matters like macronutrients, micronutrients, metabolism, digestion, and hydration, this vitamin program additionally addresses necessary areas like conduct change, purpose setting, and motivation — all of which contribute to a shopper’s success.
  • Whereas the ultimate examination comprises 100 multiple-choice questions and a six-part essay portion, it’s an open-book check. You shouldn’t have any bother assembly the 70 p.c threshold to cross, particularly if you happen to make the most of the research supplies and carry out properly on the chapter quizzes.

ISSA Nutritionist Certification


  • Price: Begins at round $53.27 per thirty days
  • Course size: 10 weeks or fewer
  • Examine supplies: Digital textbook, video lectures, quizzes, Vitamin Bootcamp
  • Minimal passing rating on last examination: 70 p.c

Check Price

What’s the ISSA Vitamin Certification?

Considered one of many specializations obtainable by ISSA, their vitamin certification course is a good way to get a leg up on the competitors and assist your purchasers crush their objectives sooner. For licensed private trainers like me who wish to present the very best science-backed steering on tips on how to keep correctly fueled, it’s exhausting to go improper with a program like this. It means that you can work at your individual tempo as you study every thing from figuring out a shopper’s best macronutrient consumption to assembling a well-rounded supplement stack to constructing a vitamin teaching enterprise.

A young man setting in a gym holding his ISSA Nutritionist certificate
Holding my ISSA Nutritionist certificates

Alongside the way in which, your data shall be examined with chapter quizzes to see your progress. Pairing the Health Vitamin textbook with video lectures gives a stable basis for studying which you can construct upon additional with the assistance of a devoted Success Coach who you possibly can entry by way of e-mail or by calling the ISSA help line throughout enterprise hours. Though I didn’t make the most of this useful resource, having it obtainable definitely qualifies as a plus for this vitamin program, particularly if you happen to wrestle with a number of the extra science-heavy topics.

By the point you full the course and cross the ultimate examination, you can be empowered to offer your dietary experience to purchasers who wish to lose fats, gain muscle, or just enhance their total well being and wellness. In any case, acquiring your cert from a company that earned accreditation from each the Nationwide Fee for Certifying Companies (NCCA) and the Distance Schooling and Coaching Council (DETC) offers validity and added worth to you and your rising enterprise.

RELATED: How to Become a Personal Trainer

ISSA Vitamin Certification Course Highlights

Registering for the ISSA Nutritionist course is step one in turning into a more practical licensed private coach and life-style coach. You’ll instantly acquire entry to a guided research program that features the web model of the Health Vitamin textbook, practically 20 video lectures, and devoted chapter quizzes designed to arrange you for the ultimate examination. This system is supposed to be accomplished in 10 weeks, however as a result of you possibly can full the course at your individual tempo, you might be able to get hold of your vitamin certification even sooner.

As you make your means by the course, you’ll acquire an in-depth understanding of every thing from power techniques to fad diets to frequent vitamin deficiencies. Although the breadth of knowledge might sound overwhelming at instances, relaxation assured that you can be a superior coach by spending the time, cash, and power on seeing this vitamin program by.

When you full all of the quizzes, you’ll then have the ability to take the ultimate examination, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and 6 essay questions. You should earn at the very least a 70 p.c total to earn a passing grade from ISSA. The check is untimed (it took me about two hours) and open-book, so that you shouldn’t have an excessive amount of bother hitting that mark in your first try.

Total, I assumed the ISSA vitamin certification course was value it for a number of causes. First, I obtained all of the instruments I wanted to ship high-quality programming and steering for my purchasers, together with downloadable varieties. Second, I had the choice to make the most of assets like the web scholar discussion board and Vitamin Instructional Bootcamp for additional help. Lastly, it set me up for extra monetary success sooner or later by giving me one other avenue to earn earnings as a health skilled.

Who Ought to Get the ISSA Vitamin Certification

  • Coaches who search extra in-depth data on vitamin than what’s supplied in commonplace private coach certification packages.
  • Coaches who wish to get higher outcomes from present purchasers or be better-prepared to assist new purchasers attain their objectives.
  • Entrepreneurial-minded people who wish to appeal to extra enterprise by offering a beneficial service that different trainers might not provide.
  • ISSA-certified private trainers who wish to fulfill their persevering with schooling unit (CEU) requirement and save on recertification charges.

Who Shouldn’t Get the ISSA Vitamin Certification

  • Anybody who needs to prescribe medical dietary remedy (treating medical circumstances with weight loss plan), as this doesn’t fall below the scope of observe for a vitamin coach.
  • Anybody who wishes to work as a registered dietician, which requires a bachelor’s diploma from an authorised supervised medical program, passing the Fee on Dietetic Registration (CDR) last examination, and completion of CEU necessities to keep up registration.
  • Licensed private trainers who’ve a proper schooling in sports activities vitamin or meals science, as they may possible already be aware of a majority of the course materials content material.

RELATED: Nutritionist vs. Dietitian: What’s the Difference Between These Nutrition Experts?

How A lot Does the ISSA Vitamin Certification Price?

With none reductions, the ISSA vitamin certification sometimes prices simply north of $600. Bear in mind, although, that the group often provides specials all year long that will decrease that whole. You too can get monetary savings by pairing the ISSA CPT course with a specialization just like the Nutritionist course to turn out to be an authorized Health Coach for lower than $1,000.

Furthermore, ISSA makes it simpler for college kids to afford their vitamin program by providing three cost plan choices. For those who fairly not pay in full, you possibly can select between a six- or 12-payment setup. Not solely does that provide the flexibility to unfold out the full price, but it surely additionally comes with the advantage of being interest-free.

ISSA Vitamin Certification Course Supplies

Registering for this self-paced course offers you entry to a wealth of research information supplies and different helpful assets you possibly can even use after you earn your nutritionist certificates.

From video lectures that additional clarify a number of the matters lined within the on-line textbook to quizzes that reinforce key ideas and assist put together you for the ultimate examination, let’s check out what ISSA gives college students:

Health Vitamin Textbook

That includes contributions from 9 people — together with Daniel Gastelu, ISSA Professor & Director of Dietary Sciences, and Adam Seal, a postdoctoral researcher at California Polytechnic State College’s Division of Kinesiology and Public Well being — the Health Vitamin textbook spans 19 chapters and is almost 500 pages lengthy. Revised in September 2022, it’s well-organized and pretty user-friendly, with loads of photos, tables, and graphs that present extra context.

A young man reading a digital textbook from the ISSA Nutritionist course on his computer
Studying a digital textbook from the ISSA Nutritionist course on my laptop

Whereas the chapters fluctuate in size, most fall between 10 and 20 pages. Every one is separated into a number of sub-topics, with some that includes as few as two (Chapter 2: Cells, Organ Techniques, and Digestion) and others being damaged down into way more sections. For example, the chapter on protein covers 10 matters starting from protein’s function within the physique to the way it’s digested to why athletes want it for optimum efficiency.

Here’s a full checklist of the chapters within the newest model of the ISSA’s Health Vitamin textbook:

  1. Vitamin
  2. Cells, Organ Techniques, and Digestion
  3. Metabolism and Power Steadiness
  4. Carbohydrates
  5. Protein
  6. Fat
  7. Nutritional vitamins
  8. Minerals
  9. Water and Hydration
  10. The Position of the Vitamin Coach
  11. Phases of Change and Motivational Interviewing
  12. Consumer Evaluation and Objective Setting
  13. Enterprise in Vitamin Teaching
  14. Dietary Pointers
  15. Product and Complement Labels and Claims
  16. Dietary supplements
  17. Navigating Profitable and Trending Diets
  18. Particular Vitamin Situations
  19. References

As somebody who signed up for the certification course with a stable basis of the basics of vitamin, I nonetheless discovered the textbook to be a beneficial useful resource. That being stated, a number of the earlier chapters had been fairly science-heavy and never essentially essentially the most pertinent for a private coach. The chapters on cells and organ techniques and metabolism and power stability made me really feel like I had been transported straight again to highschool biology — which wasn’t precisely my cup of tea.

Nevertheless, after getting by these extra difficult chapters, I discovered a majority of the textbook to be instantly relevant to my function as a private coach and health coach. Certain, a number of the data on macronutrients had some crossover from the ISSA CPT course. However the in-depth materials on micronutrients, hydration, and the psychological and enterprise points of being a vitamin coach definitely gave me a extra well-rounded understanding of all the points it takes to steer a shopper in the best course.

From a training perspective, I significantly appreciated the “Product and Complement Labels and Claims” chapter for offering detailed tables of the necessities wanted to make claims like “All Pure” and “Good Supply Of” on meals labels. Since most of the people is essentially unaware of those intricacies that may have a significant affect on their well being and wellness, that is precisely the kind of simply digestible data that we as licensed private trainers want to teach our purchasers on.

Video Lectures

To complement the textbook, ISSA additionally gives video lectures that spotlight key factors from advanced chapters. All through the 10-week guided research plan, visible learners can brush up on their data by watching movies on matters like frequent digestive orders, protein bioavailability, easy vs. advanced carbohydrates, and psychology and meals advertising and marketing.

In whole, there are 19 video lectures included with the ISSA vitamin coach certification course. Nevertheless, as a result of most of them fall below the two-minute mark, you definitely shouldn’t (or can’t) depend on them to offer you all the data you could comprehend the related chapter.


The ISSA nutritionist program challenges you to reveal your understanding of the course materials by a sequence of 18 open-book quizzes. Every one comprises 10 multiple-choice questions that stem instantly from the textbook.

Whereas it’s necessary to acquire a excessive rating on your personal understanding, there isn’t a minimal threshold you should meet. Plus, you possibly can take the quizzes as many instances as vital. I discovered the vast majority of them to be pretty simple, requiring a mean of about half-hour or so to finish.

Talking of completion, it is possible for you to to entry and begin your last examination solely after you end the entire 18 quizzes.

Nutritionist Instructional Bootcamp

For those who want extra help than what the textbook and lectures present, ISSA has you lined. The Vitamin Bootcamp takes issues to the subsequent degree with 5 weeks of direct entry to high-level consultants.

A slide showing a summary of what's included in ISSA's Nutrition Bootcamps and live office hours
A slide that summarizes ISSA’s Vitamin Bootcamps and workplace hours

Through the 5 hour-long video periods, ISSA Elite Coach & Senior Content material Developer Jenny Scott and Lionel College college member Dr. Alex Hoffman ship complete classes on research expertise particularly geared toward sure chapters. For instance, their Week 5 Vitamin Bootcamp lined test-taking suggestions, particular eventualities for vitamin teaching, and constructing a enterprise.

For extra individualized help, the duo hosted open workplace hours for 5 dwell one-hour periods. Though I didn’t take part, different college students can profit tremendously from getting direct solutions to their questions in preparation for the ISSA examination.

Consumer Varieties Library

Out there within the “Downloads” part in ISSA’s scholar portal is a set of varieties and handouts that may make life a lot simpler if you happen to’re a private coach.

Right here’s what’s included:

  • Consumer Consumption Kind
  • Train Historical past Questionnaire
  • Train Bodily Exercise Readiness (PAR) Questionnaire
  • Well being Historical past Kind
  • Medical Historical past Kind
  • Three-Day Dietary Log
A screenshot of ISSA's dietary logs for clients
A portion of ISSA’s three-day dietary log

When you don’t have to make the most of these varieties, it will possibly prevent a ton of time from having to create your individual. As a result of YouFit gives private trainers with their very own varieties for gathering shopper knowledge, I didn’t use those obtainable by ISSA. However anybody who’s wanting to enter non-public teaching can depend on this useful resource and use the recognizable ISSA branding to deliver prompt credibility when working with a brand new shopper.

Closing Examination for the ISSA Nutritionist Certification

When you’ve accomplished all of the quizzes and utilized the research supplies, you need to be ready for the final stage of the ISSA vitamin certification program: the ultimate examination. 

Just like the ISSA private coach certification course, the examination for the vitamin course is untimed, which means you possibly can take breaks and choose again up the place you left off. However, the construction of the ultimate examination differs in that it consists of each multiple-choice questions and essay questions, akin to describing and explaining the function of the three macronutrients and offering the really helpful dietary allowances for every. 

I discovered it to be more difficult than the ISSA private coaching certification check, particularly with the addition of a written portion. For transparency’s sake, I scored an 86 on the multiple-choice part and obtained 92 out of a doable 120 factors on the essay part for a cumulative rating of 81 p.c.

Anticipated Examine Time

ISSA breaks down the course into 10 weeks, with some weeks masking a number of chapters from the textbook. As a result of a number of the science-heavy content material may be difficult to understand, you might spend extra time learning some chapters than others.

From my expertise, it took about an hour and a half of research time per day for simply over a month for me to finish the course from begin to end. Nevertheless, health trainers who aren’t aware of the fundamental tenets of meals science might have longer.

Move Fee

Simply how tough is it to hit that 70 p.c mark on the ISSA nutritionist last examination? With a cross price of 85 p.c, it’s clear that the course supplies do a more-than-adequate job of getting college students able to earn their cert. Nonetheless, it’s attention-grabbing to notice that the cross price for the ISSA CPT certification examination is barely increased at about 90 p.c.

Retest Price

Don’t fret about any monetary ramifications if you happen to fail to cross the ultimate examination in your first strive. The ISSA gives one free retest for its vitamin certification program. And because the examination is open-book, you need to have the ability to obtain at the very least a 70 p.c if it’s a must to retake it.

Nevertheless, if you happen to don’t cross in your two free makes an attempt, there’s a $99 resubmission price per subsequent try. 

ISSA Persevering with Schooling Necessities

For those who obtained your private coaching certification by ISSA, you should full at the very least 20 persevering with schooling models (CEUs) by workshops, seminars, different certifications, or different authorised actions each two years. Fortunately, going by their vitamin certification program is not going to solely care for that 20-unit requirement, but in addition permit you to skip out on having to pay a $99 recertification price.

Though that wasn’t the first motive I signed up for the course, I gladly welcomed this added bonus with open arms. And with my CEUs already taken care of, I can focus my efforts on getting the very best outcomes for my purchasers.

Anticipated Wage

Vitamin teaching can be a stable profession selection if you know the way to market your companies. In keeping with, as of September 11, 2023, the nationwide common wage for a vitamin well being coach was $43,270. Most coaches can anticipate to make round $21 per hour, although that determine varies by state.

Whereas that wage vary gained’t make you a millionaire, you possibly can increase your incomes potential by establishing a powerful on-line presence. Constructing a loyal following on social media and studying tips on how to persistently reel in new purchasers by way of testimonials and fascinating video content material may help you stand out in a crowded discipline of licensed private trainers and vitamin coaches.

Different ISSA Certification Packages

Whether or not you wish to begin your profession as a CPT or add a specialization to your resume, ISSA provides a variety of programs which you can full from the consolation of your individual residence.

Along with Nutritionist, listed below are a few of their hottest health certification choices:

  • Grasp Coach
  • Elite Coach
  • Corrective Train
  • Health Coach
  • Licensed Well being Coach
  • On-line Coach
  • Bodybuilding Specialist
  • Powerlifting Teacher

Plus, there’s even a second nutrition-based program you possibly can partake in by ISSA: the Precision Vitamin Certification.

Precision Vitamin Certification

Ought to you end up in want of much more vitamin instruments, there’s another choice obtainable, albeit at a a lot steeper worth. At a price of about $1,200, the ISSA Vitamin & Health Coach certification program means that you can get hold of two world-class certifications because of a partnership with one of many greatest leaders within the health trade: Precision Vitamin.

Partaking on this two-part course means that you can earn ISSA’s top-rated private coach certification and Precision Vitamin’s Degree 1 Certification for a reasonably reasonably priced worth. You may take each programs at your individual tempo, and every last examination is open-book. In the end, although, if you happen to’re centered extra on coaching than delivering ultra-detailed vitamin protocols, you’ll be secure with signing up for the usual ISSA nutritionist course.


Like ISSA, the Nationwide Academy of Sports activities Drugs (NASM) has a pathway for private trainers to turn out to be licensed in vitamin teaching. Written and reviewed by 20 main consultants, the NASM Licensed Vitamin Coach Certification (CNC) curriculum contains 24 in-depth chapters throughout three sections: Dietary Science, Habits Change Methods, and Vitamin Teaching. The course culminates in an open-book last examination that comprises 100 multiple-choice questions, which you should end inside 90 minutes.

To earn the NASM CNC, you should get hold of a rating of at the very least 70 p.c. You’re allowed to retake the check two extra instances if you don’t cross initially. For those who fail all three makes an attempt, you should contact the Member Providers staff by way of telephone to debate your choices. From a price perspective, NASM is barely dearer than ISSA, checking in at round $750. Nevertheless, the group additionally provides interest-free financing as an incentive.

NASM Nutrition Certification


  • Price: Begins at round $66 per thirty days
  • Course size: 4 to 10 weeks
  • Examine supplies: Digital studying platform, observe quizzes, downloadable PDF model of the textbook
  • Minimal passing rating on last examination: 70 p.c

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In comparison with ISSA, the American Council on Train (ACE) provides a extra reasonably priced choice for vitamin certification. At slightly below $500, their Health Vitamin Specialist Program is perhaps extra palatable you probably have a restricted funds. Not solely does the course embrace an eBook, video lectures, and quizzes, but it surely additionally includes a podcast that goes by the main points of every stage of the conduct change course of.

Identical to ISSA, ACE requires college students to attain at the very least a 70 p.c on the ultimate examination to earn a passing grade. Not solely do you get to take the check at residence, however you might be allowed limitless retakes. Take into account that as a result of the ACE vitamin program is a unbroken schooling course, you should already maintain an NCCA-accredited certification to have the ability to make the declare of “specialist.” 

ACE Fitness Nutrition Specialist


  • Price: Begins at round $367
  • Course size: 25 hours (round 4 weeks, relying on how usually you research)
  • Examine supplies: Health vitamin handbook, video lectures, podcasts, quizzes
  • Minimal passing rating on last examination: 70 p.c

Check Price

Parting Ideas on the ISSA Nutritionist Certification Program

As somebody who underwent a significant weight-loss journey, I can sympathize with those that wrestle to get their vitamin proper. Nevertheless, going by the method of shedding 75 kilos and discovering my calling as a private coach and health coach taught me how necessary it’s to pay attention to every thing you place into your physique. Constructing off that first-hand expertise by taking the ISSA nutritionist certification program sharpened my expertise and data, opened extra doorways to make more cash, and most significantly, put me in a stronger place to assist different individuals obtain their very own physique and well being objectives.

So, if you happen to’re able to take your profession as a health skilled to the subsequent degree, don’t hesitate to join a specialization program that each you and your purchasers can profit from for years to come back.

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