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How I passed the NASM CPT Exam

by Certified
(Portland, OR)

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 three months, studying 20-60 minutes a day, 3-5 days per week. I read the chapters and then followed up with the study guide. If I were to due it over again, I would just purchase the book on E-Bay and buy a bunch of index cards. When I made my own flash cards, the concepts were implanted in my memory. I made flash cards for concepts I didn't initially understand (ch. 2 and ch.4) and reoccuring concepts that could be found throughout the book.

The test is difficult, but can be passed with a good plan of attack. I don't have a degree in exercise science or physiology, but lift weights and do interval training. Hence, some of the concepts are easier for me to grasp. However, the basic exercise science and human movement sections were foreign to me at first. Fortunately for me, these concepts aren't highly emphasized on the test, in comparison to fitness assessment and program design.

I also purchased the option to take the NASM online practice test. There is considerable debate on this site as to whether or not the practice test is useful and worth purchasing. I believe the practice test is a good barometer for your overall progress, especially if you're going the self study route. I took the online test three times, with scores of 72%, 85% and 93%, respectively. I also took my last test a few days before the real one, just to get out any anxiety. So I improved my score on every try, by basically going over the test and figuring out what areas needed improvement. The negative part of the practice test is that you have to enroll in the program, starting the 180 day window to take the test. In comparison to the real exam, the real exam is a bit wordy, and on some questions, a little more confusing.

These methods worked for me and may not work for you. I thought I would share my experience and hopefully this will help those who failed the test or plan to take it for the first time.

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good advice
by: Anonymous

Thank you for your detailed description on how you study. It sounds like a good plan. I think I will take your advice.

by: Anonymous

I just took and passed the NASM CPT exam on my first attempt. Rather than purchase all of the study materials I read and outlined the text, completed the study guide, and took practice exams offered through the NASM site. The practice tests are actually very representative of the types of questions that will appear on the test. Test items will likely ask a variation of a question/concept that you have seen on either the practice test or the text book. For example, if you get a question on the practice test about which of the following collects blood from the lungs (answer: left atrium), you'll probably see an actual test question about which of the following distributes blood to the rest of the body. In addition, the NASM practice test gives you a very good idea about the breakdown of questions (25 assessment, 25 exercise technique, 10 nutrition, etc..). Good luck!!

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Passed NASM exam today -- 12/12/10

by Julie

Hey everyone!

I have to 'pay it forward' to this website since it helped me so much and since Katie is the BEST! I took the NASM certification exam today, for the 2nd time. AND PASSED! Needless to say I was thrilled! First and foremost, I want to give Katie Kudos! Since I failed the exam the first time, she followed thru on the "double your money back guarantee"! Thanks Katie!

Now, after having taken the exam twice and finally passing it, my thoughts to pass on to those of you who are studying for this exam:

1. first, any and all tips that have been posted on this site, STUDY THEM. Almost all of them were on my test. (THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU who have posted those tips!)

2. Assessments, Assessments, Assessments! As many others have said, know the chart on pg. 169.....intimately! and when the chart tells you what muscle/body part to stretch, be sure to know the actual stretch (example: stretch the hip flexor; the actual stretch is the bent knee hip flexor stretch.)

3. Progression and regression of the exercises within the phases, know these too! Bunch of questions on this!

4. comparing the 2 exams, the first exam was heavier on the assessments.... the 2nd exam was heavier on the progressions/regressions of the exercises. Now, in saying that, both exams had both topics on there in depth.

5. know the general info from the nutrition sections.... calories in fat, carbs and protein. and daily intake of each.

6. know the guidelines for older population and youth

7. know how NASM defines 'customer service' as some of these questions had 2 answers that overlapped each other and both could have been right.

8. actually, there were a bunch of questions with 4 possible choices and you could easily narrow it down to 2 of them and then those 2 overlapped each other. very frustrating.

9. TAKE YOUR TIME. I took the exam in about 40 minutes. I spent the next 1 and 15 minute going back over each question to be sure I read it correctly and understood what it was asking. Had I not done this, I'm not sure I would have passed.

10. study the pictures of the SMR stretches. and know what body part they are stretching.

11. know what exercises are in what phase. Example: prone iso-abs: stabilization phase.

12. know that the blood flows INTO the right atrium -- right ventricle -- into the lungs -- into the left atrium ---the left ventricle and OUT INTO the body. this was on the test both times I took it.

13. also, someone else has posted to not rely on the practice exams. I have to echo that to some degree. I studied both the book, the tips on this site and the practice exams. I felt really good about having absorbed the information. The first 60 questions on the actual exam....completely different from the practice exams! Much harder, much more detailed, much more specific. Now having said that..... if you KNOW the concepts and really understand them, YOU WILL DO FINE!

For now...that's all I can remember. I hope this helps someone as much as the tips I got off this site helped me.


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NASM-passed first try-STUDY TIPS

by Jeremy

I have to say when I first took a look at this website, I was convinced no matter how hard I studied, the chances of passing the first try were slim. I'd like to put an end to this myth here and now.

The test took me about 45 minutes to complete, and I spent 15 minutes going over my answers. There were about 5 questions I was not 95% sure about, and I'm pretty sure they were those silly research questions.

I'm not going to sit here and say it was easy to get to this point, but people who are claiming that NASM is attempting to "trick" you into getting the wrong answer are absolutely ridiculous. If you know the material, you will pass-simple as that.

Some key factors to passing are:

-Know the table on p. 169 like you know your name (about 8 of my questions were on this)
-The vocab in Chapter 6 is used in about 10 of the questions on the test. (however, not as simple as define this word)
-Know all of the exercises and what type of training it is(ex. single-leg romanian deadlift is balance-strength)
-The tables in the book are very important. I was asked about 10 questions on them (ex. how many essential amino acids are there?)
-Read the questions CAREFULLY...such as in the example above (which was on my test) you see the word amino acid and you automatically think 20. But it's asking for how many ESSENTIAL amino acids there are.
-If there is a % in the book-know it
-I read the book, highlighted what I thought was important, then read over all of the highlights again. I also viewed the videos on the website although it really just repeated the stuff in the book. I made flashcards for the vocab words and the tables and quizzed myself at least once a day for a month.

The path was not easy, and I must say my shirt was soaked in sweat by the time I was finished taking the test, but it was well worth it. You say "NASM" to a business and you're golden. I already have an interview with an athletic club next week. Happy studying :)

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Just took NASM CPT test, here are some tips for you

by Jason
(San Diego)

I just took my NASM CPT test and passed. I will give you some advice that worked for me, as well as some of what to expect on the test.

I read through the entire book, and after each chapter completely that chapters section in the study guide. After i fully read through the book, I went back and skimmed through the definitions of key concepts. I took the practice test many times. I STRONGLY recommend taking it at least 3-4 times, not for the sake of memorization, but for the sake of seeing where you need to study more. The dvd's are very time consuming, but I found that any subject I didn't quite understand in the book was better explained in the DVD's, so I definitely recommend watching those.

Now here is some of the material I found on the test. Many questions were about the stabilization phase of the different types of training. Know all of the exercises for each phase of training. Many of the questions were like "all of the following are exercises used in the stabilization phase of core training EXCEPT" or "which of the following is an example of core power exercises." Also know your acute variables, such as what percentage of 1rm is to be used in the power phase, yada yada yada. Know the percentage of carbs, protein and fat for your daily diet. Also know fat=9 protein=4 carb=4. If you take the practice test, you'll be a step ahead because many of the questions are on the actual test, but just rephrased. For example on the practice test it will say "which muscle is overactive if a clients feet move outwards during an overhead squat" where as on the actual test it will say "which muscle should be integrated into the flexibility portion of the warm up if a clients feet turn outwards during OSA." Some of the questions use a much different wording as well. For example one question was "if a clients belt is higher in the back than it is in the front, which postural deviance does he possess?" Don't freak out because it wasn't in the book, just think about it and apply what you know about postural deviances. There were also a few questions about the heart, resting heart rates for male and females, what chamber pumps blood to the body. One question was "what do you hear when taking a diastolic bp" the possible answers were noise getting louder noise fading away etc.

If you read the book, do the study guide and watch the DVD's and feel comfortable with it, you will do just fine. There weren't many questions which I have never seen or heard about. If there is any, they're most likely research questions which don't count towards your actual grade. Like I said before, I strongly recommend taking the practice test multiple times. If you do well on that you should do well on the real test. Don't just memorize the answers, be able to apply them in a different manner. Hope this helps and good luck you should do fine!!

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Passed the NASM the first time yesterday

by Gabe
(Parma, Ohio)

Well, it wasnt easy but wasnt hard as others have said. I was somewhat nervous/excited. Tougher than some of my college exams but that isnt saying too much.

As far as tips go:

i took the practice exam every day to see where i was missing questions. The practice exam is different in wording but the principles are the same. Understand the principles. I didnt realize how the reps/set schemes worked until i deconstructed the sample templates they had in chap 13. Understand the total reps per exercise per phase, but that range can be broken down into different rep schemes.

I was suprised to see some of the more obscure anatomy questions. But they were few in number.
Definitely know the compensation table, the cardio stuff, exercise progressions/regressions. Nutrition and flexibilty. I didnt get much of the special population stuff on my test but i think there are a few different versions of the test.
I used notecards for the definitions, and just kept copying the correction chart and the acute variables over and over in my notebook. Once a day was enough. Look for patterns between the acute variables. Know the difference between a superset and a compound set. Which three are monosaccarides and which three are disaccarides. % of carbs for a healthy adult.

I didnt use the videos except for seeing how certain exercises are performed. I didnt use the online courses, I didnt use the mp3's either. Just copying stuff into a notebook, breaking the principles down and looking for connections between them, and a daily practice exam worked for me. As has been said by many here, i cant stress enough to know the principles because the wording will differ and is sometimes unclear, but if you understand the thinking you can make an educated guess if need be. I would also like to thank everyone on this site for the insight, i think it helped me pass.


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by: Jordan Moore

What do you suggest i follow because i don't know where to start and whats gonna help me the most for the test. I have my online course that i have been following and writing down every question they ask after each chapter and the answer. i have me book which i don't really use and not sure what to do with it. i also bought some online noters for nasm cert that have way to much information on them which makes them hard to understand. What is ur impute or what do you think i should follow in order to be successful and pass the test my first try?

Thank You,

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BABA's TIPS to pass NASM-CPT exam


I took NASM CPT test after 1.5 months of preparation and passed at first attempt. I finished the test in 1.5 hr. I studied everyday around 2-3 hrs everyday.

This exam certainly require good knowledge of anatomy and kinesiology etc.

I studied NASM "Essentials of Fitness Training" book and supplementary guide twice. Took the dummy test around 15 times. You will get lots of similar questions in the real exam but in a non directive manner.

I went through “750 practice questions from this site” which helped me again. I bought them last year and practiced for my ACSM-CPT exam. Understand the concept instead of mugging.

Next, be very careful to READ THE WORDS in the question carefully, because most often, the words in the question repeat in the correct answer.
Don’t get discouraged by reading negative comment, learn from their mistake. Study regular which will keep your brain active for the exam.
In the end, don’t forget to take deep breath in the exam after regular interval which helps always.


LWMC (Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant- ACE)
CWC ( Certified Wellness Coach)
SNS- ( Sports Nutrition Specialist)

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Good Information
by: John Max


I am also preparing for this exam.
Thanx for sharing the info.


by: Bill

taking my test next week.
lil bit nervous..............
you gotta so many certificates AMAZING...............

where do u work at Beverly hills?


C/o Bill
by: BABA

@Best and finest gym in the world

ThesportsclubLA,Beverly Hills

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Freshly NASM certified -- First attempt, yes!

by Cynthia
(Washington, DC)

First off, my thanks to everyone who took the time to write reassuring posts about the exam, especially those who wrote intricate study detailed guides. They really helped me keep my confidence up.

I studied for about two months, tried to get in a chapter or two a week. I read the book from cover to cover, and took notes on each chapter methodically. I used the practice exams from this site as well as NASM's practice exam. AFter taking the test all I can say is if you know the material, the questions are NOT tricky AT ALL. But I wouldn't recommend cramming it in your head over a short time period. First you're not going to learn anything, and second, what's the point?

Just know the basic material inside and out, and YOU WILL PASS FIRST TIME, no doubt about it. Also, MEMORIZE the chart on Page 169. I drilled it with my boyfriend, and found that immensely helpful in remembering it. Also, I drew it out on my scrap paper when I got in to the test and used it as a guide through the rest of the test and there were multiple questions on it. (Thanks for that tip!)

One word on the NASM practice exam, I took it over and over again, but mainly as a way to test myself. I would write the questions and answers I got wrong down and read those sections of the book. Also did the same thing with the practice tests from this site. I knew the practice exam wouldn't be like the real thing from the multiple posts on this topic on here, but I found it a useful tool.

Anyway, this is somewhat generic since there are already a bunch of really specific posts on here that you can get study tips from, but just wanted to put in my two cents.

Cynthia Ott, NASM-CPT (:D)

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NASM test
by: Maria

Hi, I'm going to take my test in about a month.. And like u, I feel like I will never be 100% ready.. Any other helpful info u can pass along? Thanks for your blog..

Passed the test first try
by: Mike K NASM CPT

I passed the CPT certification exam the first time. The key is to study the course material and take notes. Seriously stick to the book. There are no shortcuts or tricks, you just gotta know this stuff. If you study hard and trust in god haha you will pass. Some of the exams are harder then others and the points are worth more then easier questions to even your score out. The practice test does prepare you for the feel of thee real exam but trust me the exam is harder
so if you wanna pass the exam learn the book material.Its worth it just watch employers perk up and take intrest in you when they find out you are certified the NASM. I will tell you one thing to see how all of the kinetic chain within in the human body works, you have got to try it out. Get some close friends and start training them (who dosnt want free personal training) the hands on practice will help you understand why everything works. (you will have an ah hah moment and things will just click)

by: Anonymous

Can anyone tell me what page was 169?? I am currently studying and all the comments and suggestions are great however I have the 4th edition version of the book and all their old prep guides are for the 3rd edition and they have said they will not be releasing anything for the 4th edition - which seems like a rip off.

many thanks.

Table name
by: Anonymous

I also have the 4th edition textbook and the page numbers do not match up with the 3rd edition. The name of the table would be very helpful :) thanks!

4th Edition CPT
by: Anonymous

The page is 183 Table 7.6 The chart for Compensations and muscle imbalances. I am presently studying for the 4th edition test and really appreciate all the advice everyone is giving.

Compensations, Muscel Imbalances, and Corrective Strategies
by: Wendela

According to my book, FOURTH EDITION REVISED the table is on page 196. Good luck everyone!

Chart is different
by: Anonymous

If you have the new 4th Edition Revised that chart is on pg. 196.

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Passed NASM first time out and here is what I think and how I did it. Sept 09

by Frank
(Los Angeles, Ca.)

I have a great deal to say about the test and the whole process about the testing dynamic. I have been in the fitness business for almost 30 years and have trained hundreds of clients. I have a masters degree in recreation and health, two certs. from other agencies and decided to take NASM because of it"s reputation and a new learning experience.

I studied about 1 month with serious intent. I read the text, watched the videos ,took the practice test countless times and also took all the practice tests from this site.

I thought the NASM practice test was very similar in content and design to the real deal. In fact, about 8-10 questions were from the practice test. I just kept repeating the practice test till I raised my scores up and got the concepts down. I did not memorize countless charts, the acute variables or other key data.

Much of it I knew from my years of experience. I also felt the test and course was far too weighted with little needed information about body parts , systems or medical terms that trainers simply do not need to know or use. Not one client ever asked me about what are the four chambers of the heart or which chamber did what. My son is a board certified spinal surgeon and I showed him the text and the other materials. He thought the information was too complex and overblown. I agree. Trainers need to make programs simple for most of their clients, not more complex. I have trained NBA athletes, and other professional athletes and we never used the Sharks Skill test or other tests of this nature. The chances are they would get hurt in the process.

NASM is a proven, accepted program and a good credential but one size does not fit all. You need to get your experience with different clients, in different clubs and develop your skills as a listener, communicator and most of all , know what your client needs and wants.
The test itself , is not overly difficult if you understand what NASM's model is. You do need to study but if you are systematic , you can get the material down. I want the make it clear, this is the way I studied, whatever works for you , is your proven method. Don't freak out and you will be in fine shape.

I have had over 30 trainers work for me and their skill level all varied. The ones that " got it" were the trainers who understood their clients , not them were the key to a successful partnership.
Good luck and I hope my comments were somewhat helpful.

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NASM CPT Exam. Huge tip.

by Justin

I just passed my NASM exam on my first attempt. I studied for probably two months - give or take a couple weeks. I ordered my materials when they were doing a promotion for a free exam prep kit that came with online flash cards/quizzes. The flash cards were actually pretty handy, but looking back I don't think they're worth the extra $100 they're charging now.

Probably one month prior to my exam I landed on this site looking for tips. I don't remember who said it or where I saw it, but someone mentioned memorizing the muscle compensation chart on page 169. Trust me, I know that chart looks daunting, but that was probably the single best thing I did for myself - NASM loooves the overhead squat assessment.

The first thing I did when I took my exam was write that whole chart down for quick reference. I would say I had at least 7-8 questions just from that chart. I felt I had a pretty solid understanding of the material anyway, but that tip put me just a little further ahead. So I strongly recommend spending some time rewriting that chart.

These are probably all obvious things, but here are some things I noticed the exam hit on.

-Musc. compensations.
-Progression/regression of exercises.
-Different numbers, eg How many cals in fat, what % of communication is based on words, how many oz of water should you drink in a day.
-When reading a question about what exercise/stretch you recommend pay attention to the phase they are in.

If I think of anything else I'll make sure I update this and if you guys have any questions I'll do my best to answer them.

Good luck!

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by Rich
(Attleboro, Ma)

Just passed the test a few hours ago on my first try and am relieved especially after hearing the comments from a lot of those who failed at least once or multiple times. I don't consider myself smarter or better than them but my honest opinion is that if you study consistently over a few months like I did then you can do it. Don't give up!

The comments from this site about what topics to focus on were a big help and I purchased the study program from this site because I like studying by a Q&A format. I figured any little help would be worth it rather than $100 to take it again if I failed.

I had a lot riding on this one. I'm 58 years old and have struggled with weight loss and health complications for over 30 years after slowly gaining weight from my athletic high school and college days until 10 years ago I was up to 297 lbs at 5'6" tall. I was hospitalized twice with serious complications from adult onset asthma and almost died twice. Had sleep apnea, always fatiqued and a poor immune system catching every sickness that came down the block. Spent a week in the hospital on two separate occasions before finally waking up to the fact that I wasn't going to live too long unless I changed something. That's my current slogan.."if you want something to change then you must change something!". I left the hospital, signed up at a gym immediately but was too weak to do anything but just use the hot tub for three days but at least I went every day. That was half the battle. When I as in the hospital I had to stop twice to catch my breath just to make it 10 feet to the bathroom and I was still very weak but you can only start from where you're at! I eventually was strong engouh to walk up the flight of stairs to the track. Then one lap, then two etc. Persistence. It was do or die. Why are some of us so stupid to let it go this far? Procastination is a killer and I see it all around me now. Overweigth, obese kids and adults are heading to where I was and they either don't believe it or don't care. Who am I dot judge? I've been there, done that. Now I'm passionate about trying to help them.

My nutritional habits weren't right but during one of my food safaris (if you know what I mean) I stumbled across a trainers store front and the rest was history. He was a New England body building champion ( drugs) and gave me a tough but common sense program of strength training, cardio and nutrition that set me straight. From 297 lbs, 40%+ body fat I'm now 162 lbs, 7% fat, blood pressure from 145/95 to 103/65, resting heart rate 91 to 51, cholesterol 220 to 143, waist 50" to 34", shirt size a tight 3x to a medium. All was accomplished without drugs, medicine or surgery but only healthy whole foods, vitamin supplements, eating 6 small meals a day etc. and yes I'm an old fashioned calorie counter. Sorry to offend you portion control people, but that's how I had to do it to get under control. Why not? Do you keep writing checks to your bank without knowing what's in there? Remember in Good Fellas when his wife wanted "this much money". That's portion control. I'd rather know what's in those stacks of bills. When you look at a 400 calorie piece of food and then think about how you have to kill yourself for 30+ minutes on a stair climber to burn it off you'll think twice about eating it! I'm now passionate about health and fitness and occasionally lecture on healthy weight loss. I was hired by the local YMCA as personal trainer but conditional on passing this test so the pressure was really on!

Now about the test. As I first said, preparation is the key. I'm into this stuff so I ate up every chapter (pardon the pun). It's all stuff a good trainer should know and I want to be a good trainer. But you can't memorize the whole book so you need to focus. Read all the prior study comments on this site and you'll have a good grasp of your study priorities.

1) Read the whole book more than once. You need the to see the big picture and need the terminology to sink in. This was not my field of study in college and a lot of it didn't make sense at first but over time it sunk in. Don't think your're going to cram it in one or two days or even weeks before the test. Start a few months ahead of time and pick away at it. I started in April and took the test on the last day of my 90 day test expiration date. True learning takes time and repetition and it will stick with you better.

2) Buy and use the the chapter study guide with the text book. Take every test more than once. Drill yourself. You'll be 70% home just with that tool alone especially for the terminolgy and definitions.

3)Answer the textbook question at the end of every chapeter. Several on the test.

4)Watch the videos at least once all the way through. They help put everything in perpective but I didn't get much out of them for a study tool because I like Q&A type of studying, stopping, pausing, asking my self question about what I just read etc. It's tough to do that with videos. They're not a must if you're thinking of purchasing them but they came with my package so I used them and they were helpful but you won't pass the test with them alone.

4)You must understand the squat and push/pull assessments. You must must must memorize page 169 regarding assessments. 7-8 questions based on those.

5)Know every exercise for stabilization, strength and power in the chapters on flexbiltiy, core, balance, reactive and resistance training. Several questions will mention an excercise and ask you what phase of OPT its in or what exercise you would recommend for a certain phase of OPT training. I like memorizing by picture stories so for example the stability phase for core training, (and this might sound weird), but for core training, I'm thinking of an apple core, Johny appleseed "marching" around planting apple trees,(exercise marching pg 205) and he has to cross a "bridge" (two leg floor bridge pg 205) but when he gets over the bridge there's "cobra" blocking his path (floor prone cobra pg 206) and he has to crawl around him on his elbows (prone iso-ab pg 207). Well, that's just me but it works.

6) Know,memorize the accute variables for resistance training in tables 13.14,13.17,13.20, 13.22, 13.24.

7) Know the chambers of the heart and what they do, rigt atrium receives deoxygenated blook from the body, pumps to the right ventricle to the lungs, back to the left atrium, then the left ventricle back out to the body.

8) Know the cardio training zone intensities 1- 65-75%, 2- 80-85%, 3-86-90%

9) Special populations - children "postural control" is a primary purpose for their training. Seniors - recommended to start out in a seated position for their stabilization training. Stability balls probably not appropriate.

10) Min protein for endurance athletes 1.4 grams/kg body weight.

11) Nutrition - know monosacharides and disacharides - fructose is a monosacharide.

12) Know memorize essential and non-essential proteins. I was only asked how many essential proteins - 8, but read questions carefully because 20 is one of the choices and you first think they're asking how many proteins there are and I checked off 20. I reread every question and realized they only wanted to know how many "essential proteins" - 8. Several question like that. Read every question twice! Read carefully! Don't miss an easy question due to carelessness!

13) Know & understand "Muscles as movers" page 35.

14) Know autogenic inhibition examples, altered reciprocal inhibition, neuromuscular efficiency, difference between speed, agility, quickness.

15) Know core stabilizer muscles and movement muscles. You might be asked to pick a stabilizer muscle out of the list and a movement muscle

16) Know inpiration and exhalation muscles.

17) Difference between intramuscular and intermuscular

That's all I can share for now I have to go. As I said read the other comments people left on this site. They were helpful to me.

If you pass they won't tell you your score but I kept a running checkmark tally when I was 100% positive I got a question right and then bookmarked any question I was uncertain about if I was thinking about it too much. I ended up checking off 110 questions I was very confident I had correct and book marked 10 to think about at the end. Probably got at least some of those right. I'm pretty sure I got at least 110-115 correct out of the 120. You can do it too!

***The testing center gives you paper and pencils. Arrive at least 30 minutes early and write out the tables you memorized. Pg 169, all the exercises in the OPT phases, the accute variable tables, proteins etc a lot of the things I mentioned above. Then you can just use them as reference sheets instead of mentally searching your brain for each related question.

That's it for now! I have to answer email. Just got a note from teh Y, another client signing up for one of my classes (teen strength training)...and now I'm officially certified! Thank you Jesus! (Yes I'm a Christian too and prayer for wisdom and knowledge was a key part of my study plan!)



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Great tips
by: Rashaad

Thanks so much for sharing these great tips. I take my exam in 5 days and look forward to passing it with flying colors! Wisdom and knowledge is what I prayed for as well during my studies. I'm a believer as well. Thanks again for sharing!

This was GREAT
by: Anonymous

I plan on paying for the $646 CPT standard NASM for the first time and this was very helpful.

by: Anonymous


This is great
by: AA

I want to thank the author of this article. I passed my test yesterday morning on the first try after studying for 10 days. Granted, I had some knowledge before from my mentors in college football, and from when I used to do research on my own just to learn about health and fitness (not those crappy roid head blogs and forums). I saw this article the night before the test, and it really did help; people, if you want to do well on this test, STUDY ALL THE CHAPTERS, STUDY ALL CHARTS, AND KNOW ALL VOCAB. That's it.

Cheers and good luck people. Study hard. It's well worth it in the end. When you think you've studied some more.

Me too!
by: Anonymous

I just passed, too. Man, I wish they'd give you a score on it. Now I'm wondering if I missed some questions.

I had some beef with the test. Some of the questions were actually repeated. Weird. Also, that white glaring screen just about triggered a migraine. Not nice.

The practice test helps, but not as much as I thought it would. I scored 100percent on the practice test, but I can't say I did that well on the actual one.

Take your time and breathe through it. It's not as hard as some people on this list would make it seem, but it's not a walk in the park, either.

by: DDJ

Your allowed to bring material from the book in with you when taking the exam?

Answering question
by: Rich

No. I didn't say you could bring notes in with you. I said they allowed a blank paper and pencil and then I immediately wrote out things I had memorized. That was at the start of the test. That may have changed now and I don't think they allow the paper and pencil.

Some of you commented on repeated questions on the test. That's a testing method to see if people are guessing or know the answer. If you know the answer then you'll answer the same. If guessing or cheating maybe notice.

sharing test questions is unethical
by: kerfun

When you certified with NASM, you agreed NOT to share test questions (page 6 of the candidate handbook) You are't just offering general information to assist in preparing, you are giving specific questions. You are violation of your agreement with NASM. Hopefully you are not sharing confidential information about your clients with others.

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NASM Exam passed

I couldn’t wait for the day that I would be able to come on this forum and post my NASM test experience. I took the test this past Saturday and passed (1st time)… I have pretty much read all of the post, and was prepping for the last past 3 months off and on.. Thanks to everyone that posted!!.. It really helped me out.

My notes/tips:

1. No, the practice exam does not mirror the actual exam, but there are a few questions from the practice exam that I found on the actual test. No wonder some people posted that they got 90s on the practice exam and still failed. If that’s all you study.. You will fail. Here is what the practice exam did for me, besides the fact that some of the questions where on the actual test. It gives you an idea on how they can set up a question, and it will boost your confidence before taking the test

2. Take your time on the exam! I read a few post about people blazing through the test in 45 minutes.. But why? You are given 2 hours.. Use them.. Did you study for 1-3 months to come and fail in 40 minutes? Unless you are sure that you are nailing every question.. Hey more power to you. Get there early, review notes and tables especially page 169/ assessment.. And write everything you can remember on your scratch paper once you sit down. The clock doesn’t start ticking until you actually click start. No one mentioned that.. I sat there, wrote out the entire table (page 169) and other notes. About 20 minutes worth of info that I could spit out on those 2 pages of scratch paper. This helped me a lot. Out of the 120 questions there where like 10 that I had to just plain guess on. You are given plenty of time.. So go over your exam question by question after you finish. I found myself changing about 10 of my answers. No, NASM is not trying to fail you purposely, but some of the questions really test to see if you know your stuff, or they had something that I never saw before? i.e. if a person’s belt rises in the back? I think its anterior pelvic tilt? Not sure.. Look it up.. Good thing is.. Most of the questions have at least one answer that is plain wrong or stupid. Yes I could see a person who didn’t read the book at all, guessing on some of these. But if you read the book at least once, and watched those videos (OMG that guy’s voice was boring as hell!!lol) You can pretty much eliminate 1-2 of the 4 choices from each of the questions.

3. Read through the book, use the workbook, and watch the videos (the mp3s where great for my iphone)

4. I didn’t learn all of the muscles, and I didn’t know all of the acute variables, I just couldn’t remember those. And I couldn’t remember all of the recommendations for special populations.. Just worry about the considerations.. i.e. a pregnant woman should not exercise supine/prone position.

5. What I would really study on: General knowledge of: Page 169 (Assesment) phases of the OPT model/ exercises in Reactive, SAQ, resistance training, core. Heart (Chambers) Respiratory, blood, front/backside mechanics of running. Read the post on this site. There are some great post of what to actually study on. Look over the study review guide on NASM’s elearning site. Yeah a lot of info, but they tell you what to really focus on, and its good to make flash cards from these. Good luck to everyone!

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Passed NASM CPT Exam First Time Complete Self Study!

by Sunny
(Orange County, Ca)

First off, I wanted to thank all the helpful members who posted advice regarding the NASM CPT Exam, it was extremely helpful in helping me prepared for the test.

I have no formal education background in this industry, just a strong passion for health and fitness. I've been an athlete all my life and have been lifting weights seriously for 10 years.

I chose the self study route for the test. What I did was read the book from front to back, with each chapter I made an outline to help me start to UNDERSTAND the concepts being taught, rather than simply attempting to memorize them.

From all the "horror stories" I read on here, I was pretty scared going into the test. However, I can fully say if you LEARN AND COMPREHEND the information being taught, the exam is not as difficult as they say. There are 20 research questions that don't count toward your grade, that will most likely make you feel like your f-ed when your trying to rack your brain for the answer.

The people who are taking it multiple times are simply not studying consistently, not understanding the information being taught and relying on memorizing everything. Then when they forget stuff, which is natural since there is so much to learn, they come back saying "NASM is a rip-off" etc etc. The joke's on them, because they are not prepared for the test plain and simple.

I took 5 months before I took the exam, I could've taken it after 3 months, but I wanted to make sure I was throughly prepared. After I read the book, I watched the accompanying DVD's which really helped me understand concepts like: autogenic inhibition, muscle spindles, Golgi tendon organs etc. By the time I got done with the test, I finished in under and hour, I realized I was over-prepared.

There's enough posts here that talk about what to study for, so I won't waste too much time talking about that.

All I will say is make sure you understand isolated muscle functions, acute variables, progression, regressions of exercises and the general concepts being taught.

Disregard Special Populations, they asked me 3 questions on my entire test about them. And one of them is which position is ideal to start elderly clients in? Seated. The other one I remember is "what should be taken into account when training youth clients?" Postural control.

Bottom line, read the book, make notes, do the study guide, watch the DVD's, then make flash cards and test yourself. Also take the practice exam a few times and once you feel good and your scoring well on them, go take the real deal.

Good luck and if you have questions, write a comment and I'll reply.

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Isolated Muscle Functions
by: Anonymous

Hey man, I'm having trouble learning the isolated muscle functions. Can you shed any light on how to learn these?

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