Saturday, May 12, 2018

My NASM Personal Trainer Journey - Week One

Welcome back for part three of my of my weekly blog posts on my journey to becoming a personal trainer. Today I'm going to talk Week One and surviving it lol.

As you guys know from reading my blog, Week One started out very badly for me on meds that my body and mind could not handle so the first few days were spent obsessing over how overwhelming and impossible everything seemed. Once those meds were out of my system I was able to focus and really get somewhere!

Week One introduced me to the basic introduction of the NASM rational for integrated training and to resistance training concepts (Chapters 1 and 13). There was a lot to take in and a lot to memorize, especially many vocabulary words that were completely foreign to me. It took me reading the chapters twice and watching the module one videos they offered (and reading the video transcripts as well) several times before it finally started to make sense to me.

I also went through the four study guides I had paragraph by paragraph for each of the chapters I had to focus on. At first I started by making tons of flashcards for everything that seemed important but it massively cramped my hand, took up a ton of time and I felt that I was just running in circles around all this information.

It then occurred to me that I can combine what I learned in the book, the videos, the study guides and all the other readings into my own study guide document instead of making tons of flashcards, then print it, organize it in a binder and basically just create my own guide with everything I felt I needed to know and that has been working wonderfully since I started it!

Yes, it takes me several days to go through all the information (several times) and slowly put my own guide together step by step and important concept by important concept but it also helps cement that knowledge in my brain because I'm constantly going over it as I copy, paste and organize and it's pretty much like going through all the info time and time again. And once it's all put together I have a great document that has everything important in it that I can study from directly.

The other things we did this week were introductions on the message boards for our particular class, doing the module assignments (one for each chapter), answering the module discussion question, practicing with the flashcards and taking the module quizzes once I was ready.

What I discovered with the quizzes that the questions on those (and they will be like this on that massive test I have to take) are completely differently phrased than they are in the study materials so that threw me off just a little.

For example, the study material might define what the different stages of the exercise model are while the quiz may ask something like... if you have a person in this stage of the model, which exercise should they be doing? It then gives you the 4 choices (it's a multiple choice quiz).  So you can't just retain what you're learning, you have to understand it and be able to use it which I actually love! It makes me think like a trainer should think in order to be able to give the correct answer.

I also discovered that the quizzes have all sorts of varieties of questions that are randomly picked so the questions you get vary on each quiz. So far I've taken 4 of them (they count your highest grade and so far I've gotten one 80%, two 90%'s and one 95%) and I'm still getting tons of new questions on every quiz. I actually like this a lot too because some of these quiz questions really make me stop and think and I like that way more than just memorizing everything (which I'm not great with).

This week I also signed up for my personal trainer workshop. You're supposed to do it AFTER you get your certification and mine is schedule for 2 weeks after my exam. I would have scheduled it further out but there is only one workshop being offered in Massachusetts until November and then next closest location is NYC so I decided to grab the Mass one and hope for the best.

The way I look at it, I'll either have passed my exam and can enjoy the workshop as a certified trainer or I will have not passed and this workshop will just help cement all the info I need to know and let me experience it hands on so when I retake the exam, I'll have a leg up on it. Win/Win either way!

I think that pretty much covers Week One. I've already moved on to the next module (outside of repeating quizzes) because it has way more to learn and retain but I feel like I really know this info and am more than ready to move on to the next which I will post about next week!

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