ISSA Vitamin Certification Evaluation (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 desperate to discover different choices that might improve my talents 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 diet. The truth is, it was evident that many individuals want extra assist with determining the best way to gas their our bodies relatively than the best way to transfer them.

I took benefit of the partnership between ISSA and YouFit and scored a reduced fee on a specialization course: the nutritionist certification course. This certification course allowed me to achieve an in-depth understanding of the best way to put collectively an efficient diet program. Ripe with useful assets like video lectures, downloadable shopper varieties, and direct entry to ISSA’s resident diet professional, the course accommodates all of the instruments it’s worthwhile to not solely cross the ultimate examination, but additionally develop into a extra assured and succesful well being and health coach.

This ISSA diet certification overview supplies a complete breakdown of the course supplies — together with the Health Vitamin textbook and chapter quizzes — and covers different key elements so you’ll be able to resolve whether or not to make the leap and buy the course. (Trace: It’s nicely price it.)

Key Takeaways

  • For about $650, the ISSA diet certification course is a sensible funding for private trainers and well being coaches who wish to develop their enterprise by providing a helpful service to each present and potential purchasers.
  • Moreover going in-depth on scientific subjects like macronutrients, micronutrients, metabolism, digestion, and hydration, this diet program additionally addresses essential areas like conduct change, purpose setting, and motivation — all of which contribute to a shopper’s success.
  • Whereas the ultimate examination accommodates 100 multiple-choice questions and a six-part essay portion, it’s an open-book take a look at. You shouldn’t have any bother assembly the 70 p.c threshold to cross, particularly when you make the most of the examine supplies and carry out nicely on the chapter quizzes.

ISSA Nutritionist Certification


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

Check Price

What’s the ISSA Vitamin Certification?

One among many specializations accessible by way of ISSA, their diet certification course is an effective way to get a leg up on the competitors and assist your purchasers crush their objectives quicker. For licensed private trainers like me who wish to present the absolute best science-backed steering on the best way to keep correctly fueled, it’s exhausting to go unsuitable with a program like this. It lets you work at your personal tempo as you find out about all the pieces from figuring out a shopper’s excellent macronutrient consumption to assembling a well-rounded supplement stack to constructing a diet 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 might be examined with chapter quizzes to see your progress. Pairing the Health Vitamin textbook with video lectures supplies a strong basis for studying which you could construct upon additional with the assistance of a devoted Success Coach who you’ll be able to entry through e-mail or by calling the ISSA assist line throughout enterprise hours. Though I didn’t benefit from this useful resource, having it accessible definitely qualifies as a plus for this diet program, particularly when you wrestle with a number of the extra science-heavy topics.

By the point you full the course and cross the ultimate examination, you may be empowered to supply your dietary experience to purchasers who wish to lose fats, gain muscle, or just enhance their general well being and wellness. In spite of everything, acquiring your cert from a corporation that earned accreditation from each the Nationwide Fee for Certifying Businesses (NCCA) and the Distance Training 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 changing into a more practical licensed private coach and way of life coach. You’ll instantly acquire entry to a guided examine program that features the net model of the Health Vitamin textbook, almost 20 video lectures, and devoted chapter quizzes designed to organize you for the ultimate examination. This system is supposed to be accomplished in 10 weeks, however as a result of you’ll be able to full the course at your personal tempo, you could possibly get hold of your diet certification even quicker.

As you make your means by way of the course, you’ll acquire an in-depth understanding of all the pieces from power methods to fad diets to widespread vitamin deficiencies. Regardless that the breadth of knowledge might sound overwhelming at instances, relaxation assured that you may be a superior coach by spending the time, cash, and power on seeing this diet program by way of.

When you full all of the quizzes, you’ll then be capable of take the ultimate examination, which consists of 100 multiple-choice questions and 6 essay questions. You could earn at the very least a 70 p.c general to earn a passing grade from ISSA. The take a look at 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 believed the ISSA diet certification course was price 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 net pupil discussion board and Vitamin Academic Bootcamp for additional assist. Lastly, it set me up for extra monetary success sooner or later by giving me one other avenue to earn revenue as a health skilled.

Who Ought to Get the ISSA Vitamin Certification

  • Coaches who search extra in-depth data on diet than what’s supplied in customary private coach certification applications.
  • 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 helpful service that different trainers might not supply.
  • 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 situations with food regimen), as this doesn’t fall beneath the scope of apply for a diet coach.
  • Anybody who needs to work as a registered dietician, which requires a bachelor’s diploma from an accepted supervised scientific program, passing the Fee on Dietetic Registration (CDR) ultimate examination, and completion of CEU necessities to take care of registration.
  • Licensed private trainers who’ve a proper schooling in sports activities diet 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 diet certification usually prices simply north of $600. Have in mind, although, that the group repeatedly affords specials all year long which will decrease that whole. You may also get monetary savings by pairing the ISSA CPT course with a specialization just like the Nutritionist course to develop into a licensed Health Coach for lower than $1,000.

Furthermore, ISSA makes it simpler for college students to afford their diet program by providing three fee plan choices. When you relatively not pay in full, you’ll be able to select between a six- or 12-payment setup. Not solely does that provide the flexibility to unfold out the overall value, 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 examine information supplies and different helpful assets you’ll be able to even use after you earn your nutritionist certificates.

From video lectures that additional clarify a number of the subjects 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 supplies 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 pictures, tables, and graphs that present further 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 pc

Whereas the chapters range in size, most fall between 10 and 20 pages. Each 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. As an example, the chapter on protein covers 10 subjects 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 record 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 Vitality Stability
  4. Carbohydrates
  5. Protein
  6. Fat
  7. Nutritional vitamins
  8. Minerals
  9. Water and Hydration
  10. The Function of the Vitamin Coach
  11. Levels of Change and Motivational Interviewing
  12. Consumer Evaluation and Objective Setting
  13. Enterprise in Vitamin Teaching
  14. Dietary Tips
  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 strong basis of the basics of diet, I nonetheless discovered the textbook to be a helpful useful resource. That being stated, a number of the earlier chapters have been fairly science-heavy and never essentially essentially the most pertinent for a private coach. The chapters on cells and organ methods and metabolism and power steadiness made me really feel like I had been transported straight again to highschool biology — which wasn’t precisely my cup of tea.

Nonetheless, after getting by way of these extra sophisticated chapters, I discovered a majority of the textbook to be straight relevant to my function as a private coach and health coach. Positive, 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 elements of being a diet coach definitely gave me a extra well-rounded understanding of all the elements it takes to steer a shopper in the appropriate path.

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 people is basically unaware of those intricacies that may have a serious impression 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 supplies video lectures that spotlight key factors from advanced chapters. All through the 10-week guided examine plan, visible learners can brush up on their data by watching movies on subjects like widespread 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 diet coach certification course. Nonetheless, as a result of most of them fall beneath the two-minute mark, you definitely shouldn’t (or can’t) depend on them to present you all the data it’s worthwhile to comprehend the related chapter.


The ISSA nutritionist program challenges you to show your understanding of the course materials by way of a sequence of 18 open-book quizzes. Each accommodates 10 multiple-choice questions that stem straight from the textbook.

Whereas it’s essential to acquire a excessive rating to your personal understanding, there isn’t any minimal threshold you have to meet. Plus, you’ll be able to take the quizzes as many instances as mandatory. I discovered nearly all of them to be pretty simple, requiring a median of about half-hour or so to finish.

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

Nutritionist Academic Bootcamp

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

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 examine abilities particularly aimed toward sure chapters. For instance, their Week 5 Vitamin Bootcamp lined test-taking ideas, particular eventualities for diet teaching, and constructing a enterprise.

For extra individualized assist, the duo hosted open workplace hours for 5 reside 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 Kinds Library

Obtainable within the “Downloads” part in ISSA’s pupil portal is a group of varieties and handouts that may make life a lot simpler when you’re a private coach.

Right here’s what’s included:

  • Consumer Consumption Type
  • Train Historical past Questionnaire
  • Train Bodily Exercise Readiness (PAR) Questionnaire
  • Well being Historical past Type
  • Medical Historical past Type
  • 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 may prevent a ton of time from having to create your personal. As a result of YouFit supplies private trainers with their very own varieties for gathering shopper information, I didn’t use those accessible by way of ISSA. However anybody who’s trying to enter personal teaching can depend on this useful resource and use the recognizable ISSA branding to deliver immediate credibility when working with a brand new shopper.

Remaining Examination for the ISSA Nutritionist Certification

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

Just like the ISSA private coach certification course, the examination for the diet course is untimed, which means you’ll be able to take breaks and decide again up the place you left off. Then again, 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 beneficial dietary allowances for every. 

I discovered it to be more difficult than the ISSA private coaching certification take a look at, 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 Research 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 grasp, chances are you’ll spend extra time learning some chapters than others.

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

Cross Price

Simply how tough is it to hit that 70 p.c mark on the ISSA nutritionist ultimate examination? With a cross fee 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 fee for the ISSA CPT certification examination is barely greater at about 90 p.c.

Retest Price

Don’t fret about any monetary ramifications when you fail to cross the ultimate examination in your first attempt. The ISSA supplies one free retest for its diet certification program. And for the reason that examination is open-book, you need to be capable of obtain at the very least a 70 p.c if it’s important to retake it.

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

ISSA Persevering with Training Necessities

When you obtained your private coaching certification by way of ISSA, you have to full at the very least 20 persevering with schooling items (CEUs) by way of workshops, seminars, different certifications, or different accepted actions each two years. Fortunately, going by way of their diet certification program is not going to solely care for that 20-unit requirement, but additionally assist you to skip out on having to pay a $99 recertification price.

Though that wasn’t the first purpose 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 most effective outcomes for my purchasers.

Anticipated Wage

Vitamin teaching can be a strong profession selection if you understand how to market your companies. In line with, as of September 11, 2023, the nationwide common wage for a diet 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’ll be able to enhance your incomes potential by establishing a powerful on-line presence. Constructing a loyal following on social media and studying the best way to persistently reel in new purchasers through testimonials and interesting video content material may also help you stand out in a crowded area of licensed private trainers and diet 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 affords a variety of programs which you could full from the consolation of your personal residence.

Along with Nutritionist, listed here 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’ll be able to partake in by way of ISSA: the Precision Vitamin Certification.

Precision Vitamin Certification

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

Partaking on this two-part course lets you earn ISSA’s top-rated private coach certification and Precision Vitamin’s Degree 1 Certification for a reasonably inexpensive value. You may take each programs at your personal tempo, and every ultimate examination is open-book. Finally, although, when you’re targeted extra on coaching than delivering ultra-detailed diet protocols, you’ll be protected with signing up for the usual ISSA nutritionist course.


Like ISSA, the Nationwide Academy of Sports activities Medication (NASM) has a pathway for private trainers to develop into licensed in diet teaching. Written and reviewed by 20 main specialists, the NASM Licensed Vitamin Coach Certification (CNC) curriculum consists of 24 in-depth chapters throughout three sections: Dietary Science, Conduct Change Methods, and Vitamin Teaching. The course culminates in an open-book ultimate examination that accommodates 100 multiple-choice questions, which you have to end inside 90 minutes.

To earn the NASM CNC, you have to get hold of a rating of at the very least 70 p.c. You’re allowed to retake the take a look at two extra instances if you don’t cross initially. When you fail all three makes an attempt, you have to contact the Member Providers crew through cellphone to debate your choices. From a value perspective, NASM is barely costlier than ISSA, checking in at round $750. Nonetheless, the group additionally affords interest-free financing as an incentive.

NASM Nutrition Certification


  • Price: Begins at round $66 monthly
  • Course size: 4 to 10 weeks
  • Research supplies: Digital studying platform, apply quizzes, downloadable PDF model of the textbook
  • Minimal passing rating on ultimate examination: 70 p.c

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In comparison with ISSA, the American Council on Train (ACE) affords a extra inexpensive possibility for diet certification. At just below $500, their Health Vitamin Specialist Program is perhaps extra palatable in case you have a restricted funds. Not solely does the course embrace an eBook, video lectures, and quizzes, but it surely additionally encompasses a podcast that goes by way of 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 take a look at at residence, however you might be allowed limitless retakes. Understand that as a result of the ACE diet program is a unbroken schooling course, you have to 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 typically you examine)
  • Research supplies: Health diet handbook, video lectures, podcasts, quizzes
  • Minimal passing rating on ultimate examination: 70 p.c

Check Price

Parting Ideas on the ISSA Nutritionist Certification Program

As somebody who underwent a serious weight-loss journey, I can sympathize with those that wrestle to get their diet proper. Nonetheless, going by way of the method of shedding 75 kilos and discovering my calling as a private coach and health coach taught me how essential it’s to concentrate on all the pieces you place into your physique. Constructing off that first-hand expertise by taking the ISSA nutritionist certification program sharpened my abilities 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, when you’re able to take your profession as a health skilled to the following degree, don’t hesitate to enroll in a specialization program that each you and your purchasers can profit from for years to come back.

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