Passed ACSM! 7.12.2011
by Bret Munk
(San Antonio, TX, USA)
I passed with a score of 600. Passing is >550. I completed all SAPTB exams until I was making perfect scores, I attended the last day of the ACSM 3-day workshop, and I reviewed the Resources for Personal Trainers textbook. I also perused what others said about the ACSM-cPT exam online. I studied everyday anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours, for about a month.
The test has no diagrams so picking out muscles and bones will not come up. There are no videos. The math was not too heavy but I studied my formulas.
Know the heart, how stroke volume and cardiac output relate, flow of blood through the heart, chambers, type of muscle in the heart, and tricuspid valve.
Know WHR, HRR, and CVD Risk Factors. One scenario involved a person with a fasting glucose of 100mg/dl which qualifies as a risk factor under ACSM CVD thresholds but as I added up the other risk factors (sedentary, obese) there was no multiple choice answer which would include Impaired Fasting Glucose. Not sure how to answer it.
Know which are eccentric / concentric while climbing uphill and jogging downhill.
Know special populations, elderly, children, and especially pregnant women. One question asked which position a second / third trimester should NOT exercise in. Choices included supine, prone, on hands & knees, and on side. You can only choose one. I vacillated between supine and prone. Obviously prone leg curls is not cool, and supine exercise is not recommended by ACSM. And you can only choose one answer...
Know dyslipidemia thresholds >200mg/dl LDL or <40mg/dl HDL.
Know BMI >30 is obese.
Salt pills came up three times on test. They never came up in my studies, they're not in the book or in the workshop manual. It also asked twice about long-term use of high protein, I guessed calcium retention then changed my answer, I had it right the first time. Doh! It asked how much oil a person should consume in relation to protein consumption. Know how to spot edema.
Know ACSM CR fitness recommendations as well as CDC proposed activity levels.
Review psychological components and review all aspects of assessments in DETAIL.
The big picture they are looking for on this test is how safely a person can train. This cert is the most clinical and ACSM wants to establish themselves as the technical and medical professionals in the world of exercise prescription. The 3-day workshop is highly recommended, and I commend you on your interest in what is considered the most challenging Certified Personal Trainer exam.