Make flashcards and study overactive/underactive muscles!
I just passed the NASM exam on my first attempt and was TOTALLY overwhelmed and stressed when I first started studying the material. I was able to find good studying methods that really helped me calm down, retain the info and nail the exam. Hope these tips help :)
First of all, don't panic when you read the first few chapters- everything comes together as you read on. Things that don't quite make sense when you first start studying come together later on in the text when you start learning about program design.
MAKE FLASHCARDS! Anything that is in bold, has a definition on the sides of the pages or seems like an important concept. I found that by making flashcards, it took the pressure off of myself to immediately memorize things- I was better able to read on instead of getting stuck. I also put the chapter #s in the top corner of the flashcards in case I needed to go back to something for reference. Keep reviewing the cards of previous chapters- for me, since there is SO much to commit to memory, repeatedly going over my flashcards was key.
Print out NASMs study tips. It doesn't cost extra- you can find them on the NASM website. Those really helped.
The DVDs were good too. I first read the chapter, made flashcards then watched the corresponding chapter on the DVD. I found that things that didn't make sense when I read them were explained on the video.
I found that there was emphasis on the overactive/underactive muscles pertaining to the assessments (squat assessement and the pushing/pulling assessment). There is a chart on page 169 of the text. There is a lot to memorize (I made flashcards with "Feet Turn Out" on the front and then on the back I listed the "overactive muscles", "underactive muscles", stretches and strengthening exercises). *the tight muscles or "overactive" muscles are the ones that need to be stretched and the weak or "underactive muscles" are the ones that need to be strengthened. To learn which muscles are overactive and underactive, I would actually preform the action with my feet turned out (for example). You will see that when you turn your feet out, certain muscles are activated and those are the muscles that are overactive in someone who turns their feet out. Same as when your bring your knees together when you do a squat, you feel it in your adductors (inner thighs)- those are the tight "overactive" muscles in a person who brings their knees together when they perform that assessment. That was just a way that I could learn the info in a way that made sense instead of just memorizing it.
DEFINITELY take the NASM practice exam on the NASM website after you read all 18 chapters. Even though most of the test questions on the actual exam are different, it will give you a really good idea of the type of questions asked and which material is really emphasized.
NASM EXAM TIPS READ AND YOU WILL PASS!
I just finished taking my NASM Exam, and I passed on the first try. I completed the entire test in less than an hour, and yes, the test is fairly easy. I was so nervous after reading all of the posts on this site about how the test was so difficult. The bottom line, if you study, you will pass. This site helped me a great deal so I wanted to pay it forward. TIPS: USE THE SCRATCH PAPER TO WRITE DOWN INFO BEFORE YOU START!!!
Here are some things to LOOK at:
number of reps. for stability
How many quarts of water daily
percent of carbs
Plane of motion of a squat
What is the innermost layer of muscle tissue
Gluteus Maximus is an agonist during
Part of the heart that PUMPS blood to the entire body
What would be a starting point for the senior population (seated, standing, lying down..)
Which is a respiratory muscle
essential amino acids
which is an amino acid
Which is a direct question
Which is a non-direct question
Average heart rate for a female
Bench press warm up you should increase the weight by how much
Pulling assessment has a tempo of
FITTE stands for
Circumference measurements can be used to calculate
Law of Thermodynamics
How many minutes of cardio BEFORE a workout
When is the best time to take heart rate (morning, before bed, etc)
How long of a rest interval replenishes ATP/CP
Most important thing to consider for a youth client
Which is a monosaccharide?
What is a DISadvantage to a low carb/high protein diet
1 gram of fat equals how many calories
1 gram of carb equals how many calories
Main purpose of a business
What part of communication is based on tone of voice
What part of communication is based on physiological
NASM re-certification requires
trainers primary responsibility public or employer
First thing in a scene of an emergency
Obesity related problems begin when a BMI reaches what percent
All are NASM guidelines EXCEPT
What stretches to fix muscle imbalances (p. 169)
number of reps. for Hypertrophy
If a client performs a 2 arm bench press well what would be the next progression
Name the leg progressions (ie. 2 leg stable, 1 leg stable, etc.)
Same side of the body
Protein recommendations for endurance athlete
Recommended percentage of FAT
percentage for zone 1 cardio
What energy source in zone 2 cardio
SMR picture to identify
GOOD LUCK! HOPE THIS HELPS!
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What i learned about the NASM exam!
I read a few posts on here that were really helpful, and so now that I have passed the exam myself I thought I would offer the things I wish I had seen on here.
First off, don't panic! Contrary to what some people are saying, I really disagree that NASM is trying to make a confusing/overly difficult exam. If you know the information, the right answer will stick out. There are "research questions" that do not contribute to your score- Again, if you know your stuff, you will recognize a question is not asking things outlined in the textbook and are probably not going to count toward your score. Do not panic!
Secondly, the practice exam is a GREAT indicator of the TYPE of questions that will be on the exam. It is not however, the same questions. If the practice exam asked about agonists, make sure you know what antagonists, stabalizers, and synergists are. If your practice test asks about how to take systolic blood pressure, make sure you know how to measure diastolic, etc. My advice would be to take the practice test, and when you look back at your incorrect answers, go back to the pages in the textbook and make sure you know what the other options are. You cannot simply take and retake the practice exam until you get a 100% and expect to pass the exam- I would say less than 5 questions on my exam were from the practice test. Know similar terms and all the other options for the questions on the exam.
This is not a test (at least not for me) where you can read the textbook a few times and be prepared for the exam. You need to memorize all the acute variables for every stage. If it is in a chart (ex. respritory muscles, muscles as movers, essential amino acids) pay particular attention and try to memorize as much as possible. The questions will ask for specific numbers/variables. Be able to identify which exercizes are part of which level of the OPT model-- both by word and by picture. Be familiar with how to regress and progress the exercises and which muscles are working as agonists, etc, for the major exercises.
In summary, don't panic! Study, memorize, and be confident you know your stuff and you should be fine. Don't let people who did not pass the first time freak you out!
Hope this helps, good luck everyone!
Passed the NASM exam with these study tips 04/11
by Rick Elliot
Ok guys here is what I did...I did the 45 day study outline that the study guide gives you. I did that to a T. Didn't skip ahead or pile up some on certain days. But there were some days like 3 that I was not able to get to studying. So I did watch the videos but don't bother with those audios or mp3s from the website I also didn't pay a bit of mind to the special populations until the very end when I studied the special considerations (that is all you need to know for the special populations). Then I spent three hard days of studying.
The first two days I spent about 7 hours studying. Then the last day I spent 12 hours. Here is what I did for the three days of studying.
I meditated 20 minutes before each study session. I also took a multi vitamin with 3 capsules of fish oil each day. I ate healthy foods like nuts, whey protein shakes, and whole wheat shrimp scampi. This provided me with the mental stability that I needed to pull through these long bouts of mental concentration. I also took a short break every 3.5 hours and had to turn off my phone because I was getting too distracted talking on it and texting. I tried taking a 200mg of caffeine when I woke up groggy on the second day but it did not have much effect on me. Do not study past your normal sleep time. Studies show extreme diminishing returns when your mind is fatigued. Stay isolated away from people and no TV or phone.
I split the book into 18 chapters. I omitted 3 of them that didn't require much because I knew there was not going to be much on the test. These three were the SAQ chapter (only 1 q about landing mechanics on test), Supplements (0 questions on test), and special populations (I had 3 questions...just pay attention to the special considerations). Then I went over two outlines that people had provided on this website and just made flash cards for each concept in the first outline and memorized it. I also memorized every exercise and in what phase they are in and what type like Core-Stabilization = marching. You get a lot of questions on these and they are not as obvious as you would like them to be because they may throw some in that have some overlap from stability and reactive.
Don't even bother memorizing the Acute variables for Core, Stability, Reactive, and SAQ...they're not on there. But know the other acute variables for resistance. Know the Heart rates and the different blood pressures. Know what factors effect the amount of rest between each exercise.
I also believe the people who failed the test relied too much on the practice exam. It was a good litmus test and I got scores of 74, 87, and 93.7% (that score was the night before the test). But they do word the questions in a way that is a little synonymous.
during the DESCENT of the squat what is blah blah. So instead of letting you know it is eccentric. But this was just one Q like that.
I also did the NASM exam study guide PDF they give from their website that highlights certain things to lookover. Look at the bolded stuff and the red stuff that says "very important"
Obviously if you don't know by now to memorize page 169 then you are cooked.
Just follow the two outlines I got from this website (I do not take credit for them) and you should do fine. Here they are
The 3 blocks in the OPT Model.
-Parts of the neuron
-Muscle Fibers and Their Contractile Elements Pages 31-35
-Blood Page 43
-Functions of the Heart Table 3.1 Page 43
-Structure of the Respiratory Pump Table 3.3 Page 47
-Aerobic VS Anaerobic Page 51
-Planes, Motions and Axes Table 4.1 Page 61
-Muscle Action Spectrum Table 4.2 Page 68
-Know which muscles accelerate and decelerate plantar flexion and dorsiflexion
-DON’T GET TOO ABSORBED ON THE MUSCLES PAGES 68-86, but good to know.
-Subjective VS Objective
-Circumference measurements can also be used to calculate body fat. Page 114
-The 3 Heart Rate Zones
-Shark Skill Test Page 130
-Upper and Lower Body Strength Assessment Pages 131-132
-Neuromuscular Efficiency Page 141
-Relative Flexibility Page 142
-Altered Reciprocal Inhibition Page 144
-Synergistic Dominance Page 144
-Arthrokinematics Page 144
-Know each of the Static, Active, Dynamic Stretching
-***MEMORIZE AND UNDERSTAND PAGE 169***I had 6-8 questions
-FITTE Pages 179-180
-EPOC Page 183
-Law of Thermo Page 182
-RER and HR Zones Table 7.9 Page 184
-Circuit Training Page 189
-Muscles of the Core Table 8.1 Page 199
-Know each of the core exercises for Stability, Strength, and Power
-Integrated Performance Paradigm Page 220
-How to progress and regress balance training
- Know each of the balance exercises for Stability, Strength, and Power
***Probable research question. KNOW THE DEFINITION OF PLYOMETRICS in glossary. I wouldn’t have gotten this answer correctly without the knowledge from my current training with my CPT.
-Rate of Force Production
- Know each of the reactive exercises for Stability, Strength, and Power
-Frontside and Backside Mechanics Pages 260-261
- Know each of the SAQ exercises for Stability, Strength, and Power
-Adaptation Pages 272-276
-Strength Page 277
-The 3 strength phases
-Resistance-Training Systems Table 12.3 Page 281
-Strength Endurance uses SUPER SET. STABLE followed by UNSTABLE.
- Know each of the strength exercises for Stability, Strength, and Power ( Progress and Regress)
-MEMORIZE the acute variables Table 13.1 Page 328!! This is the only focus you will need for the exam in terms of the number of sets, reps, intensity. Ignore the acute variables in the study guide that focuses on balance, core, and SAQ if you are short on time. But they are good to know, I memorized them anyway…
-Volume VS Intensity
-Bullet points for REST INTERVALS page 332
-Bullet points for TRAINING VOLUME Page 333
-And of course applying the OPT Model…
-Don’t get too absorbed with the acute variables for each special population. Focus on SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS
-Page 421 Protein. 8 Essential came up. 4 calories per gram.
-Protein Recommendations Table 15.2Page 426 MEMORIZE!
-Mono VS Disaccharides Page 429 KNOW EACH OF THEM!
-Carbs 50-70% of diet
-Fat 9 calories per gram. 10-15% of diet.
-Water 96 ounces/3 quarts
Don’t recall getting any questions in this chapter.
It seemed like I got many questions in these 2 chapters for some reason.
-Vision, Strategy (SCAMPI), Belief, Persistence, and Learning
-Networks of excellence
-55% Physiology 7% Words 38% Tone of Voice
-Direct VS NON-Direct questions
-Features VS Benefits Page 486
-Skim over the CPR section, although you should be CPR certified already.
-Know the Program Design chapter in and out (lots of acute variables)
-Know the Nutrition chapter in and out
-Know the Assessment chapter in and out
-Know as many exercises that you can and make sure you know what phase of training they belong in and what category (reactive, etc.); sounds easy but there is a million exercises in the text
-Know your cardio phases and stages
-There weren't as many muscle identifications as I thought, but if you have the study guide, study the charts that they provide as answers