Passed NASM this morning-some tips
Just want to say that the tips on this site from other people were the biggest help for me, so I thought I would share my own. I took the test this morning and passed. I did freak out a little based on some other comments about the test being so hard. But, no need to freak! It's totally doable. I have a full-time job and still found time to study. But that's the key. You must study. Here are some tips.
- Definitely know under/overactive muscles
- Know what muscle are responsible for concentrically accelerating and eccentrically decelerating certain movements
- I had 2 questions about the percent of communication (what perent is physiological, verbal and actualy words). Know the exact percent
- How many calories per gram for fat, protein and carbs
- Which vitamin is not fat-soluble (A, C, E, K)
- How much protein per day should an endurance athlete have
- know what exercises for each phase of training and focus on the acute variables for each. I had a question about the temp for a core strength exercise, for example
- READ and FITTE and what the stand for/mean
- what parts of the heart is responsible for pumping blood throughout the body
- know ave heart rate for women
- how to measure BMI and Body fat
- how many essential amino acids are there
- what are the proper questions to ask during an assessment (directive, non directive, subjective and objective)
- what do beta blockers do to the heart rate, etc. and why would someone take beta blockers
Get up and actually do the movement, it helps! Think about the questions and don't answer so quickly. If you have taken the practice exams, know why each answer was what it was. Don't just memorize. Most questions on the exam are application, so it's important to understand the "why" in everything.
I promise you it is not THAT hard though. You will be fine if you relax and have confidence in yourself :)
NASM Exam is easy if you study
I just passed the NASM Exam 1 hour ago.Out of the 120 questions I may have dropped 5 if that. I found it very easy, evidenced by the fact that it only took me 44 minutes to complete.I only had to defer 10 questions until the end,since I could not answer them instantly. That meant that I was very confident of my answers for 110 questions first time through.
I had studied hard over the last few weeks using all the preparation material. I went through the book maybe 4 times. After the 3rd reading, things really started to click.On each reading I found new information and deeper understanding.
It's all a function of how much you study. If you really know your stuff the correct answer is obvious and the other 3 selections are clearly wrong. The questions were mostly one or two lines, straightforward and only a few required re-reading just to make sure of the meaning.They don't seem to be out to catch you, just know the material.I always prefer to overprepare and all the tests I have taken have been a formality.Good Luck.
Just took and passed the NASM CPT Exam.
(Bay Area, California)
2/20/10 I just took the exam an hour ago and passed! Yay! I thought that since I made use of the comments from others on this site, that I too would pay it forward to those who are prepping to take it.
Please keep in mind that there are many, many versions of the exam so don't assume that yours will have the same questions that mine did. With that being said, here are some of the questions that I was asked as well as some study advice:
1. What is the average resting heart rate for a woman?
2. When taking a client's blood pressure, diastolic pressure will be:
a. The loudest sound you hear
b. A fading sound
c. The fastest
d. I can't remember the last option. Sorry.
(So know your diastolic and systolic blood pressure ranges and sounds) these questions are easy if you read up on them. Nothing tricky there.
3. Like another person that posted on here, I too was asked the question:
If a person's belt rides higher in the back and lower in the front what might this be indicative of?
a. anterior pelvic tilt
b. posterior pelvic tilt
c. lateral flexion
d. external rotation
4. which is the innermost layer of a muscle fiber?
(then it gives you 4 options to choose from)
Many people on here stated that they found the actual exam to be nothing like the pre-test, but in my experience it was. True, the questions aren't the same questions you'll see on the pre-test (though I counted 12 from the pre-test on my actual exam), as on the exam they are intentionally wordier, but the outline is the nearly the same.
Take your time, read each one through and if you don't know the answer DON'T panic. Just flag the question and go back to it. I flagged 7 and came back to them at the end. At my testing site, they gave me scratch paper to use so I hurriedly jotted down all the over/under active muscles from the assessments section as well as all the acute variable tables. I had them put to memory but it was much easier to actually just refer to my scratch paper notes than go through them in my head. I still ended up actually getting out of my chair and putting my body in position for one of the questions. It may have looked funny but I had no shame!
My last bits of advice to you are to study EVERYTHING as it is ALL fair game on this exam and you need to know it regardless as you'll be training clients.
The following are the areas in which I had the most questions come up and felt were the most pertinent;
1. As others have said on here and I am about to mirror, KNOW the compensations, muscle imbalances and corrective strategies! Put to memory the chart on page 169 of the book! I can't stress that one enough!
2. KNOW your acute variables for ALL 5 phases of the OPT continuum.
3. KNOW the exercises for all 5 phases of the OPT continuum.
4. Know your nutrition chapter as though it may only count for 10 questions on the exam, that's 10 questions you don't want to get wrong!
5. I did get questions on the effects of medications so I would suggest being familiar with those as well.
6. Read the Candidate Handbook as well as chapter 18.
Lastly, like I mentioned earlier, truly study the entire book and know your information.
The exam isn't unbelievably hard, but it is also far from easy. Some of the questions are basic and some feel like they were thrown at you from out of left field.
Take a deep breath, flag what you don't know and come back to it at the end. Don't let one question throw you off, just keep trudging ahead.
The test is 120 questions and you are given 2 hours. I finished up in a little over an hour and I had flagged 7 questions that I went back to. So don't worry about your time. Just read each question completely and then re-read it as the wording is tricky on some of them. One time they will ask you for the overactive muscle and then the next time it will be for the underactive. Or they will ask you to pick the BEST answer out of 4 possibilities so you will question yourself. Like I said, just read them through a couple of times and many of those times you will be able to eliminate all the wrong one's to where you are only left with the correct answer.
OK, now that I have written a novel, I am going to close it out by wishing you the best of luck on your exams! I hope this helps you out! Now, it's time for some celebration sushi!
NASM CPT Exam PASSED! – April 2010
Alright, I just passed the exam, considering I failed the 1st one with a 60% score. My biggest failure was in Program Design (Chapter 13!) and that was truly my fault since I took that information for granted and didn’t study the Tables provided by NASM on their website to tips. Make sure you Memorize the Resistance Acute Variables in all 5 OPT Models.
The 2nd exam seemed so easy than the first since that’s when I realized that studying the NASM Practice Test Questions, including the extra one purchased from NASM, was not good. I think that maybe 10 to 12 out of the 120 on the exam where copies of practice exam.
Know, even though I passed the exam, it took me almost the full 2 hours to finish. Basically, with 4 answers per question, usually 1 answer was “stupid” and mostly I needed to read very carefully with 2 answers to hopefully answer the correct one.
My recommendation to those of you that are studying for the exam, read the NASM Textbook and DO use the practice test a lot, but ask yourself different questions on each practice exam. For example, on my first exam, I was asked, “The heart rate and the stroke volume are collectively termed?” and I only knew Heart Rate (70-80) and Stroke Volume (120/80) separately. Now I know the answer is Cardiac Output!
Finally, I spent some time providing study guides, tips and lots of actual exam questions that I took to help you pass your exam. This is my way to say THANK YOU to all of you and how you provided your info on this Discussion website and helped me passed! Passing the exam is just step one into becoming a great personal trainer.
Assessment – Chapters 1-5
STUDY ALL - Page 169 (expect 6-8 questions) page 169
STUDY ALL ANATOMIC LOCATIONS page 59-60
Superior, Inferior, Proximal, Distal, Anterior,
Posterior, Medial, Lateral, Contralateral, and Ipsilateral
STUDY ALL PLANES OF MOTION page 61-62
Frontal, Sagittal and Transverse
Frontal has exercises involving
ABDuction and ADDuction
What is the plane of motion for a squat? = Sagittal page 61
STUDY MUSCLES AS MOVERS (specifically squat exercise) page 35
On my exam, “The gluteus maximus is an agonist for a hip extension.”
STUDY MUSCLE ACTION SPECTRUM page 68
(mostly Eccentric & Concentric)
What is the most innermost layer of tissue? = EPIMYSIUM page 30
Muscles as Movers –
Gluteus Maximus is an agonist for HIP EXTENSION page 35
LEFT ATRIUM – pumps blood out to the entire part of the body
The heart rate AND the stroke volume are collectively termed? CARDIAC OUTPUT page 43
The smallest blood vessels, which connect page 46
venules with arterioles? CAPILLARIES
What is not a respiratory muscle? page 47
Shark Skill Test – Assesses overall Athletic Ability page 129
Beta-Blockers are prescribed as = page 107
When using a Radial Pulse the touch should be gentle for pressure page 109
Diastolic blood pressure is determined when the Pulse Fades Away page 110
At the ankle, extension is Plantarflexion page 61
What part of the heart pumps blood to the rest of the body? = Arteries page 45
Subjective and Objective Info page 101
Circumference Measurements can be used to calculate – Body Fat % page 114
Average Heart Rate for FEMALE = 75 bps page 109
(Note Male = 70% and average is 70 – 80%)
Calculating Body Fat % on the RIGHT page 112
Pulling Assessment has a tempo of 2/0/2 page 127
Bench Press after warm-up increase weight by (10-20 lbs) during Assessment page 131
Self-Myofascial Release -
You might have a photo on the exam that you need to provide the
STUDY all 5 photos on page 152-153 and prepare if on the exam (I had Adductors)
SMR – Phase 2 = Active Stretching
Exercise Technique – Chapter 6 – 12
Create a flashcard/sheet with ALL exercises and MEMORIZE (see website above):
Core Stabilization = Marching, Floor Bridge,
Floor Prone Cobra, Prone Iso-Ab
Core Strength = Ball Crunch, Back Extension,
Reverse Crunch, Cable Rotation
Core Power = Rotation Chest Pass, Medicine Ball(MB)
Pullover Throw, Front MB Oblique Throw,
(had no questions pertaining to SAQ, Biceps, Triceps)
STUDY both Progression and Regression
If a person’s belt rides higher in the back and lower in the front what might this be indicative of? = ANTERIOR PELVIC TILT (not in text book, but on exam!)
All of the following are certain guidelines for Cardiorespiratory page 179
Heart Rate % Training Zone 3 = 86-90% page 184
Autogenic Inhibition – the neuromuscular phenomenon that occurs when the Neural impulse sensing tension are great that the impulses causing muscle Contraction. GTO
Training, FITTE = F (frequency) I (intensity) T (time) T(type) E(enjoyment) (On Exam!)
STUDY Muscles of the Core page 199
Stabilization System vs. Movement System
Question like, What muscles are part of the Core Movement System?
Law of Thermodynamics = Body fat reduction can only take place
when there is more energy being burned than consumed page 199
STUDY both INTRAmuscular and INTERmuscular control page 203
INTERmuscular coordination allows all muscles to work together
with proper activation and timing between them (my exam)
Sarcomere is the part of the muscle which is the most functional useful to us.One sacromere begins at a Z line and ends at a Z line.
Spend 5-10 minutes of cardio workout before strength training
Plyometric (reactive) exercises are quick, powerful movements with repetitivecontraction of muscles (both eccentric and concentric)
Quickness – All planes of motion page 261
(study definitions of Speed, Agility & Quickness)
How long of a rest interval replenishes 100% of ATP/CP? = 3 Minutes page 332
Program Design – Chapter 13
STUDY Table 13.1, 13.6, 13.7, 13.9
STUDY RESISTANCE Acute Variables category of the following OPT
Table 13.14, 13.17, 13.20, 13.22, 13.24
What is the # of repetitions for Stabilization? = 12 – 25
What is the # of repetitions for Hypertrophy? = 8 – 12
What is the stabilization per each leg?
What is the minimum rest for Maximum Strength? = 3 Minutes
For youth level client, what is the most important aspect = Dynamic Postural Control
Nutrition – Chapter 15
Protein Recommendations – Endurance Athlete = 1.4g/kg
Water – Consume water 96 ounces (3 quarts) of water per day
Monosaccharides includes = Glucose, Fructose and Galactose page 429
Amino Acids = Total number = 20 page 421
Amino Acids = NON-ESSENTIAL = manufactured in the body page 421
1 Gram of Protein or Carbs yields 4 Calories page 428
1 Gram of Fat yields 9 Calories page 439
Average Carbohydrate intake = 50-70% page 434
Daily diet should include 25g of Fiber page 435
Fat-Soluble vitamins = A, D, E & K page 437
DO NOT eat High Protein / Low Carbs page 434
Professional Development – Chapter 17-18
Root Cause Analysis – A method of asking questions on a step-by-step basis to discover the initial cause of a fault.
38% Tone of Voice page 482
READ – Rapport, Empathy, Assessment, Development page 482
What does Rapport stand for? Similarity, Agreement, or Congruity page 482
Empathy – involves understanding of a client of page 483
their thoughts,emotions and experiences.
Assessment is defined as, A process of determining the importance, size, or value of something. page 485
NON-Directive Questions – cannot answer a question page 485
with a “yes” or “no”
NASM recertification = 2.0 CEU’s every 2 Years
Code of Ethics – read pages 20-21 on NASM Certification Candidate Handbook
What is the Primary Responsibility = Employer or Public?
Create and Keep a Customer
CPR – (some bullets) page 514
1st check the scene for hazard
ABC’s – open airway, breathing, circulation
Compression range of 1.5 – 2 inches
MEMORIZE Chapters 5, 13, 15, 17, 18
Read Chapter 6, (I missed lots of questions, especially for definition)
Lots of questions tend to be with in Stabilization
Don’t spend time reading the following (for the exam):
Functional Anatomy page 68 – 86
Eat healthy, follow the OPT Model, learn more about yourself and help your Clients!
Passed on the 1st Attempt
(San Jose, CA)
I just got through taking the NASM exam a few hours ago and I passed on the first attempt. In all honesty, it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be and I breezed through it in about 40 minutes. Now my situation may be slightly different because I have had years of knowledge/experience in fitness/exercise/nutrition leading up to this. I could have been training clients now if I wanted to, but the only thing preventing me was not having a certification. So I was already pretty knowledgeable going in. However, all you have to do is study hard, and have faith in yourself. It can be done.
In preparing for the test, there are three options. The first is to buy everything off the NASM website (book, DVD's, etc). The second is to take a class at a local junior college to use as an advanced study prep for the test. The third is to buy the book off another website like amazon, study on your own, and only purchase the test/practice test. I did option number three. In my honest opinion, you don't need to waste the money on buying everything through the NASM website. I saved money by purchasing the book off Amazon, and the only other money I spent was for the actual test/practice test. It is possible to pass only using the book and practice test. My final piece of advice, is use this site as a tool, but don't let it psyche you out either. While this site provides a great service, it also does people a dis-service in the sense that it psyches you out and discourages the use of the practice exam.
- Practice Test vs The Actual Test
. While the test isn't exactly like the practice exam, it is more similar than you would be lead to believe by people on this site. It is a good pre-cursor to the exam. It gives you an idea of what to study. Out of 120 questions I probably saw 20 or so straight off the practice test, and even more questions were similar but worded differently. Make sure you take the practice test at least 5 times or more, because there are at least 3-4 different versions of it that include different questions.
- Memorize the chart on 169
. This couldn't be more true. After reading that on this site, I read it over and over until I had it down. However, there aren't nearly as many overactive/underactive questions as you would think. People on here make it sound like a decent porition of the test is from stuff on the chart. It isn't. There is questions from it though, so make sure to know it.
- Really focus on all the stablization exercises/details
. While there were questions dealing with strength/power on the test, the majority of questions I saw dealt with stabilization exercises and all the details in that block of the OPT model.
- Read up on the duties/responsibilities of a trainer.
. There were way more questions than I expected dealing with the responsibilities of a trainer, and guidelines of being a trainer.
- Nutrition is important
. More than a few questions on nutrition. Make sure to know all the different calorie counts, read up on amino acids/
- Read up on blood pressure
. There was also a decent amount asking about the specifics of blood pressure including sounds, etc.. Not just what good blood pressure is, where hypertension starts, etc.. Know everything about it, and study up on the heart as well.
Just passed the NASM test March 2010, first try
I just passed the NASM CPT exam. I thought it was pretty hard and I considered myself very prepared for it. I wanted to finish the readings and take the test before I go out of town for a week. I got my study material on February 22 and started that day. I knew i was going out of town a few weeks later so i wanted to study as much as I could and as fast as possible. I have no background in personal training or kinesiology. I have been working out daily for the past 3 years and with a trainer for the past year. I took the test March 15th and passed on my first attempt.
What I thought and what I did......
A lot of the material in the NASM book has to do with their "way" of training and exercising. They base their beliefs on the Optimum Performance Training model. You really have to know what NASM wants. You have to understand the OPT model and how each of the phases moves through a training program. I made sure this was something that I memorized. I studied this OPT model and its components over and over again. Keep in mind NASM wants their students to follow a 45 day learning program. I however, didnt have 45 days to take this course because i was going out of town. I finished everything including my final exam in about 3 weeks. It moved really fast for me considering most of this material was my first time ever seeing it. After the first 4 or 5 days I was ready to quit, or at least slow down, but i kept going. I did stop after chapter 5 and review intensely everything up to that point. I felt that almost my entire book was highlighted. I felt that there were so many major points and concepts that NASM wants you to know. When I got to around chapter 13 and things started to become more familiar i started to get more comfortable with the book and understand many of the terms and concepts that NASM was talking about. So, I took the practice test for the first time and scored a 64%. I was pretty happy with my score considering I still had about one-third of the book to read and the videos to watch. I gained a lot of confidence from that score. I quickly read and watched the remaining 5 chapters and thought I was ready for my test.
The practice test gives you a real good look at how the questions are phrased and what to expect when taking your final exam. I took the practice test over 20 times. Mostly every time I would increase my score a little. I went from the 64% my first time to everything between my highest score 98%. TAKE THE PRACTICE TEST AS MANY TIMES AS YOU CAN STOMACH IT!! I know it will get boring, but keep taking it. Also, do not memorize the answers when you are taking the practice test. I don't believe there was one of the same questions on the practice and the final. Please, memorizing the question and answer will not help you. What will help you, taking the practice over and over and over again. When you find the correct answer, KNOW why its correct, and KNOW what the other options are! This will help you on the final exam tremendously.
Main points that you should study are fitness assessments. You MUST know squat assessment like the back of your hand. You must know rest periods, sets, and all exercises and levels of the OPT model. The OPT model OPT OPT OPT OPT OPT OPT! It is a must, if you dont know that, consider new profession or hobby. Understand nutrition and how much of each food or supplement the average person should have. Know underactive/overactive muscles when performing certain exercises.
When I sat down to take my test I flew through the whole thing in about 40 minutes. I flagged questions that I was unsure of and questions I didnt know. I went back over all the flagged ones which was about 40. I either kept the same answer or changed it to what I thought was right. I finished with about 45 minutes of the 2 hour time limit left. I thought I passed, but I was still nervous. I anxiously awaited my result and a couple minutes later, I received a, "pass".
I hope this helps somebody. If you have any other questions feel free to ask. Good luck to all and congrats to those that have successfully completed the NASM CPT course.
NASM: It's an easy exam if you study....Here are some things you must know
From the beginning, all I've heard about this test is how hard it is and how so many people don't pass NASM the first time...so of course I freaked out. I just took it this morning and honestly it's not that bad at all. By about question #10, I knew I was gonna pass. It's a very general overview of the material. It helps when you think about it from the standpoint of studying to be a good trainer...not just studying to pass the test. Try to understand the underlying concepts of the OPT model and you'll be totally fine. I would say, give yourself about a month and you'll be ready. Don't try to cram it all in a week or 2 because because that's not enough time to understand it thoroughly, and you'll be taking a big risk when you go to take the exam. I'm a full-time nursing student, and I work at the gym as a group X instructor, but I just worked on it in the morning, and on the weekends and I was ready to take my test in about 6 weeks. I took my test this morning and there's no way I missed any more than 5 questions. Some things I did to help me prepare was make flashcards as well as practice writing down important terms, acute variables, and lists down on a white board (studies have shown that writing things down and saying things out loud help you learn better). Based on the questions that were on my test, here are some things that you should know:
1)Average heart rate (79-80)
2)Average men and women heart rate (75 for men, 70 for women)
3)Know table 6.6 on page 169 (Remember, overactive muscles need to be stretched and underactive muscles need to be strengthened). They will ask you something like, "a client demonstrates an excessive forward lean during a squat assessment. Which of the following would be an appropriate stretch." Also know what each assessment test is actually testing for (pg 129).
4)Know what exercises belong in which category (stabilization,strength, and power). For example, you might be asked, which of the following exercises is a stabilization exercise
3)Acute variables (memorize and understand table 13.14, 13.17,13.20,13.22,13.24). Know what the acute variables are and how they are changed in each phase of the OPT model.
5)Nutrition: Know the general recommendations for each macronutrient (protein, carbohydrates, fat, water). Know examples of monosaccharides and disaccharides. Know the minimum protein requirement for an endurance athlete. Know the affects of chronic excess protein intake.
6)Special Populations: Just know the main variations and what's going on with them. For example, older clients should begin exercises in the seated position, and pregnant women should not perform exercises supine or prone after the first trimester. Just pay attention to the "Special Considerations" in the tables for each population.
7)Know your definitions well for each chapter (neuromuscular efficiency, synergistic dominance, altered reciprocal inhibition, force-couple relationships, etc)
8)I also had several anatomy questions too, so don't ignore those sections in the beginning chapters of the book. Know how to correctly take a pulse (radial artery with light pressure)
9)Know the factors affecting communication (7% words, 38% tone of voice, 55% physiology)
10)Know what READ and SCAMPI stand for
11)Don't worry about memorizing all the different muscle actions for every single muscle, but you should know the main ones...you are going to be trainer after all! Know what an agonist, synergist, stabilizer, and antagonist are. There's a good chart of the main ones on page 35).
12)Know the different adaptations for each phase.
13)Know how to progess and regress exercises
14)Know how long it takes for the ATP-CP system to recover (at least 3 min)
15)Know the difference between directive and non-directive questions and examples
16)Root cause analysis
There are no short cuts. The biggest thing I can stress is to try to understand the material and not just memorize it for the test. Pay special attention to bullet points in the text and the tables. Over 90% of the questions will come from those things. Watch the DVDs and practice the exercises. If you're working out in the gym, watch people and analyze their kinetic chain checkpoints (as in what muscles are under/overactive and what you would do with them if they were your client). Take your flashcards with you and look over them during down time. Listen to the ipod clips in your car. When you go to take your test, read the questions and each answer carefully. I recommend reading them out loud if you can, cuz it will help you make sure you are understanding what the question is really asking you. Don't be nervous. You'll be fine. Good luck everyone!!!!
Assessments! I took the NASM exam today.....
I have been studying the NASM exam for months now. And took it today....I failed.
Now that doesn't sound good, but I have to say I'm happy!! I'm happy because first, "the beast" wasn't all that big, bad and ugly. And 2nd, I only failed by 2 or 3 questions and now I know what I REALLY need to focus on before I take it again. While its still fresh in my mind, I wanted to pay it forward to this site some of what I learned from taking the exam.
1st - this site helped me A LOT!! I studied the materials from this site and read thru all the postings and found the answers to what others pointed out that was on the exam. THAT WAS HUGE!! Everything the other posts point out, WAS on the exam. Most of which I hadn't yet memorized. So when I read the other posts, I found the answers and quickly learned that material.
2nd - while you have 2 hours, it took me just over an hour. And I went slow, and reread several questions and went back and checked on a few.
3rd - my test covered a lot of the assessment area and 'what exercise would you have your client perform if they are in the 2nd stages of the stabilization phase?" etc., etc.
So know the progressive stages of the exercises.
While I spent a lot of time learning all the different muscles and bones in the diagrams given in the study material, NONE of that was on my test. It may be on the next one....but not on today's.
I didn't have one question that asked about BMI or desired weight loss, etc.
Knowing how many calories is in a gram of protein, a gram of carbs, and a gram of fat was on the test. There were questions around proper business behavior and proper questionning of the client during the assessment.
All of the systems and their characteristics was on the test. Know your systems.
I'm pumped up now more then ever to study more and retest in a few weeks. I know I can do it....and I WILL do it.
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