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  1. #1
    Registered User avian304's Avatar
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    NASM- PES vs NCSA-CSCS

    So here's a little background about my situation. I graduated from college with a bachelors degree in business administration, worked for about a year as a managerial assistant, and I hated it.

    Decided enough is enough, I hated doing business, I was going to go into a profession that I actually liked. I've always liked learning about fitness and nutrition, thus I've decided to head down that path. I've got almost everything figured out so far.

    1. I'm going to get a certification for personal training and join a gym to gain experience in the field
    2. I'm going to continue my education in college while working as a trainer. I'm going to go for a masters in nutrition.
    3. Become, most likely, a sports nutritionist.

    That's my game plan thus far. My only question is should I go for the NASM-PES or CSCS? From what I understand, the PES is better for commercial gyms while CSCS is more towards training athletes. For someone who didn't get a bachelors in a health related field, will the CSCS be too difficult? What would be better suited for my goals? Are commercial gyms really a giant supermarket for supplements (24 hours fitness, fitness 19...etc) and if so what are some good gyms I should be aiming for?

    Any feedback will be appreciated. For the first time in my life, I actually have a plan that I'm excited to pursue.

    Sincerely,

    aivan
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  2. #2
    Is a Turtle Torrtrefireto's Avatar
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    From an academic standpoint the CSCS will probably carry more weight. Most professors will have either ACSM or CSCS or both. If you want to get a GA spot they will ask for relevant certifications, at least in the places I have been the CSCS is one of the few that they care about.

    The CSCS test isn't that hard if you study properly, can't comment on PES difficulty or quality. The only thing I can say is that I get to go to grad school for free, and a big part of that equation was the CSCS after my name. If you want to get a master's in nutrition it might be smart to look at prestigious nutrition certifications.
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  3. #3
    Venison Warrior Footballa_19's Avatar
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    CSCS wins this one hands down. Much more respected cert. This coming from a NASM cpt. I am studying for my CSCS right now.
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  4. #4
    Registered User avian304's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice. I guess I'm going to go for the CSCS over the PES. Do you guys who are taking or have taken the CSCS have any advice? Do I purchase all the books that they say to purchase? Which suggested and which additional NSCA resources should I purchase?
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  5. #5
    Is a Turtle Torrtrefireto's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by avian304 View Post
    Thanks for the advice. I guess I'm going to go for the CSCS over the PES. Do you guys who are taking or have taken the CSCS have any advice? Do I purchase all the books that they say to purchase? Which suggested and which additional NSCA resources should I purchase?
    Book is all you need. Only thing that I was surprised about was the amount of eating disorder and hydration/heat exhaustion questions. They want to make sure nobody is gonna die on your watch. Its not as hard as everyone lets on
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  6. #6
    Registered User avian304's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Torrtrefireto View Post
    Book is all you need. Only thing that I was surprised about was the amount of eating disorder and hydration/heat exhaustion questions. They want to make sure nobody is gonna die on your watch. Its not as hard as everyone lets on
    Thanks, so basically know the book inside and out and I should be fine?
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  7. #7
    Venison Warrior Footballa_19's Avatar
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    I do know its a two part test, one is knowledge and the other in application. My fellow Pt that I work with took it and aced the knowledge but said the application is the harder part of the test and he failed by one question. So I am making sure to really concentrate on how to apply the mechanics of what I am learning in the book! Good luck!
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  8. #8
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    I am a CSCS and I have a BA in History and MA in Creative Writing. It's totally doable, though definitely more challenging, if your degree is in an unrelated field. As stated earlier, all you need to do is Know the Essentials of Strength and Conditioning book front to back and take as many of the practice exams as you can. The NSCA has a somewhat strange way of phrasing their questions and it really helps to be familiar with it.

    As far as which to get? I don't have a PES, but I can tell you from direct experience that the CSCS will open most doors for you in this field.

    Example: I just got an internship at a well respected performance gym that trains pro athletes. During my interview the owner told me that they pretty much require their "INTERNS" to have the CSCS. When I was looking into it like you are. I read a review online and one guy called the CSCS "an all access pass" in the fitness field. I doubt the PES has anywhere near that kind of clout, regardless of it's merits.
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