spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer
Logo Starting a Personal Training Business spacer
Home Sitemap Contact Support Our Site spacer
Trainer Directory Discussion Forum What's New spacer

Get Started - 8 Simple Steps to Success

Step 1:
Is Personal Training
Right for Me?

Step 2:
Get Certified
Step 3:
Get the Job
Step 4:
Launch Your Business
Step 5:
Train Smarter

- Popular Pages -

Exam Prep Course

Complete Training System

Business Plan

List of PT Schools

Cert Comparison

Cert Discounts

CEU Discounts

Free Starter Kit

Job Board

Salary Calculator


Site Search

Just passed ACSM exam - take the workshop before you start studying

by Elisa
(Dublin, CA)

I just took the ACSM exam yesterday and passed with a 606/800 (passing is 550). I wanted to write a review because I found the reviews I read on here prior to taking the test invaluable. The test is difficult, but not impossible by any means. I think the biggest challenge in studying for the ACSM exam is knowing what to focus your time on because there is so much information. I read through all the reviews on this site and found a list of items to focus my time on, it worked! :) I have no exercise science or nutrition background so I had no prior knowledge of anatomy, biomechanics, etc.

I also took the 3 day workshop 4 months prior to taking the exam. The workshop provided an overview and a smaller book (you can't purchase this book, it's only given during the workshop) which narrowed down the material and reviewed what to know and/or memorize for the exam. I'm glad I took the workshop prior to starting my studies...there were topics in the books I purchased from ACSM that were not relevant to the CPT test, so I didn't bother spending time on them.

I casually studied (a few hours every couple weeks) for 3 months then did one big cram session the week of my test (approx. 30 hours). Make sure you memorize calculations and information such as:

- BMI (both U.S. formula and metric)
- Max Heart Rate (HRmax)....220-age
- Heart Rate Reserve (HRR)... HRmax-Resting Heart Rate (HRrest)
- Karvonen method for calculating Target Training Heart Rate.... (HRR*training%)+HRrest=THR
- Risk Stratification...know the in's and outs of this entirely! Know how to identify risks in each category (Age, Family History, Cigarette Smoking, Sedentary Lifestyle, Obesity, Dislipidemia, Hypertension, Pre-Diabetes as well as the negative risk factor (HDL>60).

This website and the practice tests were great at helping me test my knowledge to see what I needed to study more of and if I was in fact ready to take the exam. I HIGHLY recommend spending the $30 to purchase the practice quizzes exams from this website. Well worth the money.

Don't bother purchasing the ACSM certification review booklet...had minimal relevance to the actual test. You will have all the study material you need between the workshop booklet, the ACSM resources for the personal trainer book and the ACSM Guidlines for Exercise Testing and prescription.

Lastly, when you do take the exam...RELAX and don't OVER think the questions..but make sure you read the entire question and understand what the question is asking. The questions will contain answers that are "somewhat" correct, just make sure to pick the answer that is MOST correct.
Good luck! Put a good effort into studying the relevant material and you will do just fine :)

Comments for Just passed ACSM exam - take the workshop before you start studying

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Regarding study prep
by: Anonymous


youre awesome!
by: Anonymous

omg thank you for this! :)

Exam Review
by: Anonymous

Very helpful.

by: Anonymous

Anyway or where I could purchase that little book you received from the workshop? Do people sell them online? Do you have the name of it?

Helpful, thanks!
by: Brenda

Thanks. I have been trying to attend an ACSM 3 day workshop for a couple of years now. I signed up for one which they cancelled at the last minute in my home town, which was very irksome. Then I signed up for one out of state (next weekend) which thankfully they plan to conduct.

I sat for the ACSM exam a couple of years ago & missed passing by like 6 points. GRRR!!!!! And now too much time has passed since I had any exercise science classes, so I'm hoping the 3 day workshop will be a good booster to help prime me to re-take the exam. Sounds like you found it worthwhile.

THanks for your post.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to ACSM Exam Tips.

spacer spacer

Home | Sitemap | Contact | Support Our Site | Trainer Directory | Discussion Forum | What's New | Privacy

Step 1: Is Personal Training Right for Me? | Step 2: Get Certified | Step 3 - Get the Job
Step 4 - Launch your business | Step 5 - Train Smarter

Copyright © 2007-2020. Starting a Personal Training Business. All rights reserved.
We do not sell any information to third parties.