Monday, May 21, 2018

My NASM Personal Trainer Journey - Week Two

Welcome back for part four of my of my weekly blog posts on my journey to becoming a personal trainer. Today I'm going to talk about Week Two and how I am handling the reading and assignments step by step.


Week two was a lot harder and more time consuming than Week One. I think a huge part of this had to do with how many muscles we had to know, understand and memorize and the fact that we haven't done the anatomy chapter yet which, to me, makes no sense at all. Shouldn't the anatomy chapter come first so we at least have some knowledge of muscles before we start studying the way they are affected?

Anyway, this is how we're doing it so I made it work but I can honestly say that my homemade study guide is over 65 pages for this one chapter and it took me 3-4 days to completely put together. Luckily, I retain the info as I work on the study guide so it was a really good way to go over the important things several times.

Week two was all about assessments and understanding overactive and underactive muscles (and what to do with them). It was a huge amount of information to take in but it did start sinking in by the end of the week to the point where I was able to do actual assessments on my friends and family and not even need to look at my notes by the end of them.

The other thing was helped me immensely was making mnemonics out of the underactive and overactive muscles for each compensation in the kinetic chain. Being able to memorize a sentence that meant something to me and then connect to the names of the muscles from there has helped me so much more than I ever thought it could!

I know it'll still take me many more weeks to actually fully memorize and understand everything I need to know from this chapter but I am definitely on the right track!

So here is how I'm handling all of this information in an order that works for me.

First, I read the chapter or chapters (week one had 2 chapters, week two had 1 and week 3 has 3 chapters so it varies) and mark everything that seems important with a highlighter, including vocabulary words.

Next, I start putting together my homemade study guide from the important things in that chapter, what the instructors tell us to focus on and what the other study guides that I use recommend.

After that, I watch the module videos, then print the video transcripts and add them to my study guide.

Next I go through the module flashcards and the Quizlet flashcards that I have bookmarked for NASM by the chapter I'm studying and add anything from there to the study guide that I don't already have.

I then do the module activities (whatever they may be) and add any info from them that seems important into the guide as well.

After that I sit down to actually edit my study guide. I read through it organizing as I go, delete anything that repeats, making sure to highlight (with different colors right on my online document) everything that I absolutely have to know (including the video transcripts), make sure everything is spelled correctly and is in order and basically edit the whole document.

One of the things that I added to the Module 2 study guide document was actual images of each of the muscles that we had to know for every compensation because that was I can just open my study guide and be able to look right at them. That's one of the reason the study guide is 65 pages long!

Once I'm satisfied with the study guide for that module, I finally print it and add it to the binder that has the physical study guide and I can mark that and add notes to it if it needs it.

Once all of that is done, I go back and repeat the videos, flashcards, activities, etc until I feel ready for the module quiz. I usually take that by Friday afternoon/evening (the modules officially start on Mondays) and I retake it time and time again because only your highest grade counts and new questions come up each time I retake it.

I also spend several hours on the weekly discussion questions to make sure I cover how it's supposed to be done according to the instructors and make sure I'm not missing anything important. For example, this week we had to do assessments on two people, write down our findings and then write up an assessment "report" about one of those people as if we were speaking with the client. By the end of the weekend I ended up assessing more like seven people thanks to my awesome friends and that really helped cement the info my head!

So, yes, it's a huge amount of work and a huge amount of things to learn but for the most part I'm loving it!

That covers Week Two so I'm going to wrap this up and get back to my work on Week Three which I will write about over the upcoming weekend!

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