Just passed ACSM today!!!
I took the Personal Trainer exam today and passed with a 743! I don't have any medical or exercise degrees, but I've been ACE certified before in both group fitness and personal training. However, it had been about 15 years since I took those tests, so I really had to study hard for this one.
This is how I studied...I started off reading and highlighting all three of the recommended books. I would easily get bored with it and switch to a different book. It was overwhelming! I decided to focus on ACSM's Certification Review...I read each chapter and took each test. Then, I took the big test at the end. I didn't do very well on them and still felt overwhelmed. When I found this site and read all the comments, I realized I needed to focus more. So, I bought the practice test and some note cards in different colors. I took the tests and made notecards along the way with all the information. Then, I went back and retook the other practice tests and took notes. I also skimmed through the 3 books again. What a difference that all made!! I carried the notecards with me and studied whenever possible. I still didn't feel ready to take the test, especially after reading the comments on here, but I took it anyway because I'm going to a fitness convention this weekend and I wanted to get it done before I went. I'm so glad I did! It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I would have studied for another month if I had had the time...there's just a lot to learn, but with a score of 743, I'm relieved to be done studying and have it behind me. If I did it over, I would probably start with the practice tests and take lots of notes on notecards...it's too overwhelming to just start reading!
Here are some hints...
I spent hours studying the chapter on metabolic calculations (Ch. 11)...not one question about walking, running, stepping, or cycling formulas!
Only conversions were inches to meters, pounds to kilograms
know waist to hip ratio, BMI
mets to relative VO2 (x by 3.5)
Several questions on risk factors...know low, mod, high risk categories
fat soluble vitamins (ADEK)
Abuterol is for asthma
several questions on spotting (where to stand and touch)
running uphill and downhill-which muscles are antagonists, eccentric
know skinfold measurement sites...my question was about the subscapular site...1 cm below the inferior angle
know hip flexors, trunk flexion and extension, shoulder movement and muscles,
circulation of heart
regions of spine...cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum and coccyx
malpractice and negligence
know what absolute (shouldn't test) and relative (risk/benefit) contraindications mean, but don't have to memorize what they are
know transtheoretical model...my questions were about contemplation stage and what stimulus control means (reminding yourself); extrinsic and intrinsic rewards
what is the eccentric muscle in a trunk flexion from standing position? thought this was a weird question
know symptoms of anorexia nervosa
children and sweating
training principles...specificity, overload
PNF stretching, hypoglycemia symptoms, concentric, eccentric, isometric, isotonic and isokinetic
Going to bed...hope this helps!! I learned so much from everyone's comments and just wanted to pay it forward...Good luck!