Friday, November 15, 2013

NASM CPT Review/ how to pass the NASM CPT Exam

It has been one year since I passed my NASM CPT exam. I will first review the NASM CPT and then I will give you tips on how to pass it. National Academy of Sports Medicine.

How to pass NASM CPT Exam
Quick Facts about the NASM CPT:
  • I bought the $999 course which included a free workshop, backpack, book, proctored exam, gaurantee retest (I didn't need it), 90 day job gaurantee and the online follow along course
  • I studied for 3 months before I took the course
  • Includes a follow along guide that will help you plan out your time
  • If you receive the book brand new you can also have access to the website specific to the book
  • If you are a visual person the videos will really help you to understand the material
  • It also comes with Flashcards (online) that really help especially when prepping for the exam
  • NASM is very well rounded and in my opinion is in the top 3 of certifications
The CPT course is online except for the material that you will read in the book. All material is online other than the book. The  prerequisites to taking the NASM CPT are that you have a high school diploma/G.E.D, be at least 18 years old, and have your CPR certification. When I compared NASM to the other certification there was no doubt in my mind that it was the best certification for me.

As far as the course goes I really appreciated that they give you a basic refresher on what you need to know about bones, and muscles. They also do a very good job covering basic exercise science. The book is split into 4 sections.
  1. Fundamentals of Human Movement Science
  2. Assesments, Training Concepts and Program Design (largest section)
  3. Nutrition and Supplementation
  4. Client Interaction and Personal Development

What I liked about the NASM CPT:
  • It was very well rounded as far as covering multiple topics and areas
  • Although I sometimes do not us the OPT model I like the model as a basis for beginners (see image left)
  • I appreciate that they go over assessments and how to spot muscle imbalances and how to fix them.
  • The NASM CPT has a wealth of knowledge about flexibility, strength, cardio, balance, plyometric, sports performance
  • The NASM CPT has information on dealing with clients who have chronic health conditions, and physical/functional limitation (diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis...etc)
  • The appendices are very nice for checking muscles, bones, and other exercises)
  • Although limited I appreciated the nutrition and building a personal training business sections
What I didn't like or thought needed to be improved within the NASM CPT:

  • More in depth about muscles as movers... agonist, antagonist, stabilizer,and synergistic muscles
  • A more well written portion about starting a personal training business
  • The biggest  complaint I have had with all of the certifications is that they don't include enough specific information on weight loss (HELLO!!! this is what almost every client I train wants)
I would rate the NASM CPT a 9/10.

Quick facts on how to pass the NASM CPT Exam:
  • Make sure that you really study the anatomy of the human body
  • understand how to do a proper assessment
  • Understand which muscles are acting as the antagonist, agonist, synergist, and stabilizer (I had a lot of questions on my test with examples like a bench press, squat and 
  • Study the planes of motion and axes
  • Study a little about special populations
  • MOST IMPORTANT THING TO STUDY the different muscles that are inactive or over active and if the feet turn out during a overhead squat what that means.
  • Study and review the OPT model and what happens at each stage
  • review the lessons, flashcards, and watch the video lessons (if you do all of these things and have a good understanding of the material you should pass no problem)