Education in Review: Precision Nutrition Level 1

Precision Nutrition is the leading online coaching education masterhub. Chances are you’ve seen it on a few Instagram bios (guilty). With Level 1 coming around a couple of times a year, and the next intake opening in March, I thought I would run through my experience with it.

Structure/Learning Materials

Level 1 is split into three units:

#1: The Precision Nutrition Approach

#2: The Science of Nutrition

#3: Working through the PN Coaching Process

When you sign up for PN1, you typically need to wait a few weeks for your materials to arrive. However, while you wait you can download the first couple of chapters so you can get cracking if you don’t want to wait. The course materials that arrive are three textbooks (one for each unit) and a workbook.

Each unit is split into various chapters, and you should read through each chapter and answer the questions in the workbook. In addition, when you log in to the certification platform on the Precision Nutrition website, each chapter has different case-studies for you to work through. In addition, there are some short videos with an overview of each chapter. To be honest, I didn’t really care much for these videos, but I enjoyed the case studies.

At the end of each chapter, you are required to complete a multiple choice examination on the website to progress. The examinations are multiple choice, but you only get one attempt.


Each of the different units have their own merits and weaknesses.

The textbooks are detailed, informative and well-written.

I thoroughly enjoyed Unit 1. It very clearly lays out what the course will (and won’t cover). Their rationale and reasoning for their approach is laid out in easy to understand language, and there are a variety of different tasks to engage the student. Any doubts I had about whether this PN coaching thing was all it cracked up to be were put to bed.

These people know what they’re talking about. They don’t just want to take your money and get Instagram likes off you. They will teach you how to interact with people successfully. Indeed, if you follow the approach, you will find your own eating behaviours improve. Constantly, as I worked through Unit 1, I found myself having Oprah-style “aha!” moments, where I noticed why I did certain things, and my rationale. Big fan.

Unit 2 is what changed my life. Unit 2 is a deep-dive into nutritional science, and ultimately kick-started the path I took to end up doing my Masters in Nutrition as we speak. I. LOVED. THIS. Now, I’m a big nerd, so I was always going to love some science. But, I didn’t expect to love and engage with it this much.

There is some heavy stuff in here. PN is not a medical degree, nor does it claim to be. However, they artfully weave relevant scientific information with human experiences, and mange to keep it relevant. They challenge all of the current “fads” and phenomena of nutrition today – keto, gut health and everything in between. This Unit is extremely challenging, especially if you are not used to dealing with scientific terminology. This definitely took me the longest time to work through, and I did question my life choices at multiple points. But it made me a better coach.

Even now, whilst studying for my MSc in Nutrition, I constantly refer back to the textbooks. They are really well laid-out, and concise. The workbook and online case studies are your best friends when working your way through this unit.

I have mixed feelings about Unit 3. I am really here for their approach and their coaching style. I am fully in the corner of empowering clients, and treating clients as an individual based on their goals. It is really useful to have a resource for certain types of “advanced” clients, and even some gen pop activities. However, I found this Unit to drag on a little bit more than it needed to. There is a big push for their other products in this Unit. ProCoach and Level 2 (their other current programmes/online services) seem to feature in every second page. I found that took the shine off of the wealth of information provided. However, in between sales pitches, the content is gold.

Overall, I found the certification to be absolutely fantastic. PN deliver an excellent, detailed view of coaching and nutritional science. I thoroughly enjoyed working through the modules, and the emphasis they place on coaching with empathy. If you are looking to become a better coach, understand your clients more and even get healthier yourself – this is the absolute gear.

Cost/What Do You Get?

Typically, it costs $999, or 12 monthly payments of $99. This is Canadian dollars, so it’s a little cheaper in Euro. The next offering opens March 24th, 2021 and you can sign-up for the presale here.

For the price you get:

  • 3 textbooks and a workbook
  • Access to the PN student hub
  • Access to the PN client resources (these are incredible worksheets and information you can use with your clients. They are worth their weight in gold)
  • Access to the PN Level 1 Facebook group.

Upon completion of the course, you are not qualified to register with the Association of Nutritionists. You will be registered as having completed PN Level 1 on their database. You will receive a completed certificate and a hat (which does not fit giant heads, FYI).

Is It for Me?

I could not recommend this course any more for those looking to further their knowledge of nutrition and coaching. It changed my life (honestly, not being dramatic, which definitely wouldn’t be like me…).

It is expensive. If you just want to fly through the course, Google all the answers to the questions and get your certificate purely so you can put it in your Instagram bio, you won’t get anything out of it.

It is difficult if you do it properly. Unit 2 in particular is science-heavy, and it can be daunting. If you can power through though, I promise you will reap the rewards.

I think that it really depends what you want to get from it. If you want to get a more superficial overview of nutrition, things like the Optimum Nutrition course are much simpler and cheaper. If you have never done any form of study in a scientific field, I would suggest the ON course first.

However, if nutrition is something you are really interested in, and you want to learn as much as you can about it and how to coach effectively, you’d be hard pressed to find anything better.

Published by Michelle Carroll

I am an online coach (MSc Sports & Exercise Nutrition, EQF Level 4 Personal Trainer, PN Level 1) and radiographer (BSc). I believe in empowering others to make better choices for their health through education. I think that the fitness industry has created a disconnect between best practices and “evidence-based” practices. I hope by chronicling my experience as a healthcare professional and my education as a fitness professional I can assist others on the path to bettering themselves.

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