Online Accreditation in Fitness for Health and Longevity

Flexible self-study training for professional accreditation

Learn the principles of functional fitness. Round out your knowledge as a fitness professional. Become a certified expert.

Study Online

Flexible remote learning on your own time and the device of your choosing. 

Lifetime Access

We stay up to date on exercise science, so you can too.

Community Support

Join a community of like-minded health and fitness enthusiasts.

What You'll Receive

Certified Primal Fitness Experts receive a well-rounded functional fitness education that advocates for true health and vitality, not the struggle and sacrifice promoted by mainstream fitness culture. From the mechanics of posture and breath to best practices for cardiovascular and resistance training, you’ll become an expert at what it takes to live an active, fit, healthy lifestyle.
  • Online course made up of 14 written chapters
  • Each chapter includes bite-sized quick facts, an introduction, relevant lessons, a chapter summary, and a multiple choice exam.
  • College-level fitness education
  • The subject matter of this course extends into a comprehensive coverage of modern fitness programming and philosophy, while honoring the 10 Primal Laws first introduced by Mark Sisson in his bestseller The Primal Blueprint.
  • An elite certification
  • A Primal Fitness Expert Certification expands your knowledge as a health or fitness professional and deepens your skills if you are an existing coach.
  • Access to a private Primal Health Coach Institute Facebook community
  • Network and stay motivated with the Primal Health Coach Institute team and your peers in our private Facebook community.






What You'll Learn

Our Fitness Expert Certification course prepares you to go beyond reps and empower clients to actively take ownership of their bodies and movement patterns.
  • Rethink popular but flawed training modalities
  • Learn fundamentals of human posture and movement
  • Improve breathing competency, mobility, and flexibility
  • Increase strength, resiliency, and stability
  • Maximize fitness with sprinting, strength training, and play

Course Outline


Course Overview

Meet Your Faculty and Staff

Legal & Support

Important: Legal Matters

Disclaimer and Copyright Notice





Upcoming Webinars

Educational Resources




Archived Webinars

The Council of Holistic Health Educators

Peer and Faculty Support & Connection via Facebook

An Introduction to Primal Fitness

The “Primal” Approach to Fitness and a Healthy, Happy, Active Lifestyle

The Idea of a "Fitness Coach"

Walking the Talk

Chapter 1: Fitness For Health

Quick Facts


The Critical Distinction Between Health and Fitness

HIIT and Steady-State Cardio: Rethinking Popular but Flawed Training Modalities


Aging Gracefully: Adaptations and Evolving Goals

Chapter Summary and References

Chapter 1 Exam

Chapter 2: Everyday Movement

Quick Facts


Benefits of Increasing Everyday Movement

Walking: The Centerpiece of an Active Lifestyle

Formal Movement Practices

Chapter Summary and References

Chapter 2  Exam

Chapter 3: Human Posture And Movement Fundamentals

Quick Facts


Spinal Fundamentals

Standing, Sitting, Lying, Bending, and Extending

Creating a Dynamic Workstation

Ancestral Resting Positions

Chapter Summary and References

Chapter 3 Exam

Chapter 4: Breathing

Quick Facts


How to Breathe Correctly

Tracking Progress with Breathing Tests

Exercises to Improve Breathing Competency

Advanced Breathing Techniques for Peak Performance

Chapter Summary and References

Chapter 4 Exam

Chapter 5: Stretching, Mobility, Flexibility, Balance, and Injury Prevention

Quick Facts


Rationale, Benefits, and Contraindications of Stretching

Static Stretching

Dynamic Stretching

Hip Flexor Stretching and Strengthening

The Circadian and "Whole Health" Benefits of a Morning Flexibility/Mobility/Balance Routine

Mobility, Flexibility, and Balance

Fascial Restructuring and Reawakening

Functional Movement Assessments and Corrective Exercises

Chapter Summary and References

Chapter 5 Exam

Chapter 6: Cardiovascular Fitness and Endurance Training

Quick Facts


Fuel Substrate Utilization at Varying Exercise Intensities

Maximum Aerobic Function and the Aerobic Threshold

Monitoring Your Heart Rate During Exercise

Maximum Aerobic Function Test

Re-evaluating and Redefining Cardio

Jogging 2.0: Evolving from Steady-State Cardio to More Varied and Challenging Workouts

Cardio and Fat Loss Frustration

Chapter Summary and References

Chapter 6 Exam

Chapter 7: Benefits, Principles, and Strategies for High-intensity Exercise

Quick Facts


Functional Muscle Mass: The Preeminent Fitness Objective

Healthspan and High-intensity Exercise

Optimal Workout Design, Rest and Recovery, and Work/Rest Ratios

Resistance Training Concepts and Fundamentals


Chapter Summary and References

Chapter 7 Exam

Chapter 8: Resistance Exercise – Deadlift And Squat

Quick Facts


The Deadlift

The Squat

Chapter Summary and References

Chapter 8 Exam

Chapter 9: Resistance Exercise – Free Weight, Bodyweight, Machine, And Kettlebell Exercises

Quick Facts


Popular Functional Fitness Resistance Exercises

Bodyweight Exercises - Upper Body

Bodyweight Exercises - Lower Body

Free Weight Exercises - Upper Body Pushing

Free Weight Exercises – Upper Body Pulling

Machine Exercises – Upper Body

Machine Exercises – Lower Body

Kettlebell Exercises

Chapter Summary and References

Chapter 9 Exam

Chapter 10: Sprinting and Jumping

Quick Facts


Physiological Benefits of Sprinting and Jumping

Optimal Duration, Repetitions, and Recovery Intervals

Elements of an Effective Sprint Workout

Sprinting Technique

Suggested Sprint Workouts

Jumping: The Ultimate Explosive Exercise

Suggested Jumping Workouts

Chapter Summary and References

Chapter 10 Exam

Chapter 11: Mindset and Peak Performance

Quick Facts


Understanding the Endorphin Response

The Central Governor Theory

The Central Cooling System

A Kinder, Gentler Approach to Peak Performance – The Secret Strategies of Elite Athletes

Chapter Summary  and References

Chapter 11 Exam

Chapter 12: Overreaching, Overtraining, and Burnout

Quick Facts


Overreaching: A Temporarily Adaptive State from Inappropriate Fight-or-Flight Stimulation

Overreaching Symptoms

How to Remedy Overreaching

Overtraining/Burnout Symptoms

Recovering from Overreaching/Overtraining

Journaling to Support Health and Fitness

Chapter Summary and References

Chapter 12 Exam

Chapter 13: Rest, Recovery, Down Time, and Sleep

Quick Facts


Optimizing Sleep Habits and Sleep Environment

Emphasizing Recovery in Training

Walking for Recovery


Conducting a Recovery-based Workout

Rest, Down Time, and Disconnecting

Heart Rate Variability to Track Recovery

Chapter Summary  and References

Chapter 13 Exam

Chapter 14: Primal Fitness Programming

Introduction: The Primal Fitness Pyramid

Coaching Your Clients to Move Frequently

Designing a Strength Training Plan (Lift Heavy Things)

Programming Short, Infrequent, Explosive Efforts (Sprint)

Programming Recovery

Client-Led Programming: The Primal Fitness Coach Approach

Chapter Summary and References

Chapter 14 Exam


Primal Fitness Final Exam

What Our Grads Say

Primal Health Coaching has helped me present primal nutrition and lifestyle habits to my clientele in a very useable format. After completing the course, you are ready to field questions and have total confidence that you are the foremost authority in primal health, fitness, and lifestyle. I think this one certification is more valuable than any personal trainer or nutrition certification that might be available. 

Jim Beaumont

Certified Primal Health Coach

Primal Health Coaching allows me to not only promote my services as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, but also as a Primal Health Coach. I can now help my clients avoid metabolic damage, inflammation, and other potential problems. My client base has broadened to include not only competitors and athletes, but those wanting to understand paleo/keto nutrition and the revised paradigm of health and fitness. 

Camille Moran

Certified Primal Health Coach

As a fitness coach, I incorporate the Primal Blueprint Key Concepts to help people express their full genetic potential as athletes, so they can improve every measurable aspect of fitness: to recover, refuel, and train like a beast. 

Donovan James

Certified Primal Health Coach

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I earn my certification from the Primal Health Coach Institute?

In an attempt to achieve fitness breakthroughs, many fitness training programs take a narrow approach and emphasize overly stressful exercise patterns. Primal Fitness gets results, but without the stress. It’s a sustainable, big-picture approach to lifelong fitness. The emphasis is on movement that feels good and improves quality of life. It’s a comprehensive certification program that can be used as a standalone business offering or as an additional revenue stream to an existing health or fitness practice.

How long will it take for me to complete the course and earn my certification?

Once you start the online education process, course material is released at a rate of one chapter per week. There are 14 chapters, so you could technically get your fitness certification in as little as 14 weeks. However, this is a self-paced program, so you can proceed through the course work at a slower rate any time you like. Remember, your enrollment gives you lifetime access to all the course material.

How difficult is the online course and exams, and what if I have trouble passing?

Some estimate that this course material is on a par with an upper-division college course in the health sciences. However, the written material and videos are all presented in an easy-to-understand format, with a minimum of “sciency” terms or overly complex narratives. That said, the coursework is comprehensive and provides a detailed overview of the most respected fitness research and training philosophies today. While no prerequisites are necessary to enroll, your pace of learning and ease of passing the exams will be accelerated if you have a background in the fitness industry or as an athlete. If you have minimal background experience or knowledge, we will work with you one-on-one to ensure that you absorb the material effectively and pass the course.

The 14 chapter exams are made up of multiple choice and true/false questions that have been carefully scrutinized by an elite team of beta-testers to ensure fairness and relevance to the written and video content course material. A score of 75 percent correct or better represents a passing grade. If you score below 75 percent, you can return to the material for review, and then attempt the exam again and as many times as you need to pass it. If you find yourself getting stuck on a certain chapter or frustrated with the learning experience in any way, don’t stress! We are here to support and eagerly await the opportunity to help. In our years of experience assisting Primal Health Coaches complete the rigorous certification program, we’ve learned that it’s natural to struggle on certain topics or with certain learning modalities and that a little one-on-one support here and there can make all the difference. When in doubt, reach out. We are here to help!

What is the difference between the Primal Fitness Expert Certification Course and the Primal Fitness Coach Certification Course?

The Primal Fitness Expert Certification Course is a comprehensive education in Primal Fitness. As a Primal Fitness Expert, you’ll learn key functional fitness principles that will change lives, including yours! 

The Primal Fitness Coach Certification Course includes everything found in the Primal Fitness Expert Certification Course, plus 9 additional chapters and advanced training on Coaching Skills and Business Development. The Primal Fitness Coach Certification course is one of our flagship courses. To become a Certified Primal Fitness Coach, visit our course page here.

What is the difference between a Primal Fitness Expert and a Primal Fitness Coach?

A Primal Fitness Expert is exactly that—an expert in Primal Fitness—and as such can round out their current fitness professional offerings with this expert knowledge. 

A Primal Fitness Coach has been trained in Primal Fitness, but also in coaching clients to lasting change and in how to run a successful business as a coach.

Once I graduate from this course, will I be a certified Primal Fitness Coach?

Only if you are already a Primal Health Coach. If that’s the case, you’ll be certified as both a Primal Health Coach and a Primal Fitness Coach upon graduation. 

If you are not a Primal Health Coach and are interested in becoming a Primal Fitness Coach in lieu of certification as a Primal Fitness Expert, visit our course page here.

I’ve taken other online courses in the past and they didn’t live up to my expectations. How is this course different?

This course is more comprehensive than any other fitness certification you will find in the world! While a CrossFit certification will go deeper into CrossFit and a USA Triathlon coaching certification will go deeper into triathlon training, your Primal Fitness Coach certification will provide the most comprehensive, high-level experience and go deeper into the practical and philosophical knowledge needed to lead a fitness lifestyle yourself or to assist your clients if you are a fitness professional.

When you enroll in the certification course you immediately become part of our community, and we’ll do everything in our power to make sure you reach your education and career goals. We’re so confident that the program and our organization will exceed your expectations that we offer a 30-day, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee. You’ll get a full refund if the course isn’t to your liking, or if life circumstances shift your focus and you decide that fitness coaching is no longer your preferred career path.

It’s Fitness for Everyone

Fitness pursuits don’t have to be exhausting, extraordinarily time-consuming, overly formal or quantified, and certainly never boring. The Primal Fitness Expert Certification shows you a different way. So you can show others.