While you can get your certification as a NASM personal trainer without being a member of NASM or taking any of their workshops, they offer workshops in major cities every couple of months.
Who is NASM?
NASM is short for the National Academy of Sports Medicine. They have been around since 1987 and boast over 100,000 members. The certification as a NASM personal trainer is widely accepted in the industry and is now accredited by the NCCA.
The NASM Time Limit
You must take the exam within 180 days of enrolling. This was extended from the former limit of 120 days which caused problems for some people.
You can still purchase a 90 day extension for $75 if you can't get it done in 180 days. If you don't plan on starting on your certification right away, you way want to wait to sign up for the NASM program until you are ready to start studying.
What's the test about?
Tests must be taken at a testing center. If you are in a remote location you will want to make sure that you can get to a testing center. This is an even bigger issue if you fail the first time and need to retake the exam.
You get 2 hours to complete 120 questions on the exam covering the following topics:
NASM personal training offers a practice exam that you are allowed to take as many time as you like. But there is a lot of disagreement about how accurately the practice exam reflects the actual NASM exam (see our exam discussion page for endless postings on this topic).
Whether you think the NASM practice exam is helpful or not, you should also plan on taking our 750+ question Exam Review Course. At $32.95 it is an easy way to make sure you are ready to pass the NASM test on the first try.
Certifications as a NASM personal trainer requires the usual 18 years old and CPR and AED certification. You must have the CPR/AED certificate before taking the exam. So if you are not certified, or if your certification is going to expire, you may want to take care of that before enrolling in the NASM personal training program.
Here come the costs!
You can take the exam for $549. Or you can take the exam and get all study materials for $629-799 depending on which package you choose!
All packages include textbook, study guide, DVD, Webinar coaching series, online learning, iPod Video, MP3 Audio, and online practice exam. Some packages also include Intro to Personal Fitness Training course and/or Live Workshop.
And if you fail, a retest will cost $199.
You guessed it! Your certification as a NASM personal trainer expires every two years. You must submit proof of continuing education and a $99 fee to extend your certification. NASM estimates that CEUs will cost between $325-$400 plus the recertification fee.