Welcome back for part two of my of my weekly blog posts on my journey to becoming a personal trainer. Today I'm going to talk about getting ready before the program actually starts.
So, you've chosen a certification program and signed up for it and you are ready to go! What I found out after I signed up was the my actual course would not start until May 8th. I officially signed up on April 22nd but it took me a little bit to look through everything and since I'm following an official guided module, I had to wait for my program session to begin. I missed an earlier session by just a few hours but looking back now, I'm glad I have the extra time to really get prepared.
As I mentioned in my previous post about this, I research the crap out out everything and this was no different. One of the things that I did is google blogs and message boards that talked about doing the program and how to successfully pass the major CPT exam but before I get to those let's talk about what else I did to start preparing.
First, I looked over all the requirements of the program and the things I need to get done. I knew that I had to have my CPR/AED training before I could take the major exam and since I had a good two weeks before my course started I decided to find one in my area ASAP. Luckily for me I came across the perfect one from the Red Cross within 4 days of calling around to find out about it so I did that last Sunday and now it's done and out of the way and I'm certified to try and save your life!
I also knew I would need a lot of things for studying. I got my text book in the mail (it came with the all-inclusive program) and I went ahead and ordered The Human Body Coloring Book from Amazon to go along with it because several blogs and message boards specifically mentioned that book as being very informative and helpful to them for this program and final exam.
I also got all of the basic studying stuff you would need: highlighters, pens for notes and flash cards. I then spent several hours (4 to be exact) looking up blogs of people who have passed the NASM test and are now trainers, bookmarked their suggestions, advice and what to study, downloaded 6 PDF's of things I need, looked up testing locations (SO thrilled that the closest is Rutland! That's less than an hour away and I thought I'd have to go to Boston or Burlington at the least!), downloaded several study/testing and anatomy apps, bookmarked some practice test sites and sent off a list of questions to the person from NASM who's been answering them. I also printed out my syllabus, 3 study guides, all of my student info and basically nearly every PDF they gave me and put them all into a well organized binder so everything it right where I may need it.
Also, if you have questions on anything about your program (I had several) you will get an answer if you go ahead and reach out to customer supports or whatever your particular certification offers for help. I had questions about my future internship, my "Corrective Exercise Specialist" program, where the exam would be and what was the "Fit" Workshop about and where would that fit in.
What I found out was that my gym internship (or externship) will only begin AFTER I pass that massive exam after my course is over and certified and then it'll be for 8 weeks, 10 hours a week and it has to be a NASM-CPT approved gym. They sent me a whole "syllabus" of what I'll be learning and doing for that internship. If they can't find an approved gym within 20 miles of me they'll refund a portion of my money but I NEED a hands on internship so I'm hoping they find one but I know that none of my towns' gyms are approved :(
I don't start the Corrective Exercise Specialty until, once again, I pass the major exam and am certified and then it's another 6-month program that has to be completed in that time and also has an exam but I don't think its nearly as hard as the main exam and it'll count as my continued learning education credits for the next 2 years (I need to get 2 credits or 20 hours of continuing education every 2 years to keep my certification).
I will also need to take a hands-on 8 hour workshop (they recommend taking it after the exam so that I'm already certified and don't have to worry about studying and because, once again, it'll give me those continuing education credits that I'll need anyway) and they sent me a link to the locations for where those are offered.
All this might seem like a lot of extra work and you don't have to do half of what I did, but I'd rather put in the extra work now and have all this info at my fingertips than have to try and locate it later.
So here is a LONG list of the websites, message boards, YouTube videos, apps and basically everything else that I either bookmarked or downloaded to use in the future to help me with my progress and getting ready/helping me study for the exam. You don't need to read all of these, I just like having tons of info and other's peoples thoughts and experiences:
How To Be Over prepared for the NASM (or any other bodybuilding.com discussion on the NASM test but specifically this one because it has a huge amount of info!)
Study Guides (once again, most of these are for the 4th edition and NASM is currently on the 6th edition. Some of these are free but some you have to pay for):
Free 167 Page NASM Study Guide
Fitness Mentors Study Guide
Fitness Mentors 5 Hardest NASM Test Questions
Career Practice Tests - NASM
Mom on the Move - 10-study-tip-to-pass-your-nasm-cpt-exam-on-the-first-try
Joe Canon - How To Pass The NASM Personal Trainer Test
PB Fingers - ALL ABOUT NASM
Life in Leggings - NASM & STUDY GUIDES
Katy Widrick - TAKING (AND PASSING!) THE NASM CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER EXAM
Erin's Inside Job - PASSING THE NASM CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINING EXAM
Hungry Hobby - I PASSED NASM CPT & STUDY TIPS
Fitful Focus - NASM EXAM STUDY GUIDE
Redhead on the Run - NASM CPT Exam Study Guide AND Discount!!
The JM Strength Blog - How to Study for the NASM CPT Exam (Certified Personal Trainer)
Youtube Videos and Podcasts:
NASM CPT EXAM || how to pass, tips, tricks, & study tools
NASM CPT Review - How to Pass - Questions & A
New to Lifting things (This entire Youtube Playlist)
Anatomy & Physiology (another playlist)
Other Useful Websites for Learning or Personal Training:
Brookbush Institute-Human Movement Science ($19.99 a month)
Khan Academy - Free Online Courses
Starting a Personal Training Business
Defrancos Training Podcasts
Anatomy Arcade Games
Quizlet (also has app that I downloaded)
Apps I Downloaded (there are many more but these are the ones I chose to go with:
NASM CPT Pocket Prep
NASM Med Test Prep