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“Our free practice exam mirrors the topics covered in the NASM exam.” (about me)

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Certification NASM Personal Trainer

Certification as a NASM personal trainer is a popular option. NASM personal training offers a CPT (Certified Personal Trainer) qualification as well as two more advanced qualifications.

You can compare NASM Certification against other Personal Trainer Certifications using our Certification comparison table. You can also see what other readers are saying about the NASM certification and the NASM exam .

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:

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  • Assessment - 25
  • Exercise Technique - 25
  • Program Design - 25
  • Nutrition - 10
  • Client Relations & Administration - 10
  • Professional Responsibility - 5
  • Research Questions - 20

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.


Next Page: NASM Vital Statistics or Skip to the NASM Reader Comments


What do you think about the NASM certification?

Here is the spot to discuss the NASM certification program. For comments about the NASM exam, please use this page.

NASM Certification Insider Tips

Our readers submit some great tips about the NASM certification. Click on each tip to read and rate the comments.

Is a NASM CPT Certification valid in all states? 
Is a NASM CPT Certification valid in all states? I plan to take my test in Oregon on my vacation, but I live in Arizona. If I get my cert in Oregon will …

NASM Packages Review 
I have read a decent amount of the comments on this page. I am looking at buying the $699paxkage through the NASm website. Any other study advice …

NASM Exam Study Tips 
I recently took and passed the NASM CPT test. If it makes any difference to the reader, I passed on my first try going the self study route.I spent under …

Buying Used NASM Materials 
I have recently become unemployed and have been thinking about becoming a CPT for a number of years so now may be the right time. I would like to take …

NASM Intro to Personal Training Course 
Anybody know anything about the online intro to PFT course? Is it worth the extra $100? Thanks in advance.

Is NASM a good cert. for sports performance training? 
I am 24 years old and i am wanting to get into sports performance training. I have played sports all my life and through college. I have a bachelor's …

NASM Workshop Reviews 
I see that NASM offers the studying materials, the test and the workshop for $679. Should I bother with the workshop or just use the study materials?

I passed but NASM won't give me my score! 
I studied for months and months...on and off...I went to a live workshop, watched the DVD's, read the entire book, did all the questions in the study guide …

Is NASM a good choice over the other certifications? 
I had almost made up my mind to take up the NASM's CPT certification when I read in another website posted by a fitness trainer herself that NASM is not …

Lifetime Fitness recomended NASM certification  
I live a couple miles from a Lifetime fitness club, which I love. I am a chiropractic student and wanted to get a head start on the personal training side …

Don't believe all the negativity 
I just took and passed the NASM exam this morning. I have a bachelors and a masters degree but neither are in exercise science, human performance, etc. …

NASM is easy 
I did this cert in less than two months. I just studied the NASM personal training guide.

NASM Concerns Not rated yet
The NASM test is very hard but not for the right reasons. The questions are very wordy and complex. I'd say 66% of my mental effort and time went into …

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