NASM-CPT stands for the National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer! Being a trainer was always something I wanted to do, I would sit at my old job and think of ways I could make that happen. Therefore I was thrilled when I found out the Life Time would help me pay for obtaining my certification, and a little nervous when they said that my job was conditional on getting the certification within 90 days. Whoa, that’s quick especially because you have 180 days from the date your purchase the materials. From the date of purchase, I did it in a 104 days (I got a little extension from work due to holidays and that kind of thing), of those I probably studied maybe 60 days, with the majority of it being these last two weeks. Ekk!
Weekly Emails- Reading
I started by following the weekly emails NASM sends and making a study guide for each chapter. I would highly recommend reading every chapter in the book, take notes as needed! I’m going, to be honest, I forgot to read Chapter 20, but I wouldn’t recommend that.
I refuse to count how long that study guide is. However, it is LONG and DETAILED. I did not make a study guide for chapter 17-20. I didn’t feel it was worth my time, as an RD I already had a lot of prior knowledge in those areas.
About three-fourths through studying I got bored of taking notes and decided to check out the online modules. The presentations were helpful to reinforce what I learned and prepared me for reading an individual chapter. The only problem was trying to watch them at 11 p.m, which was a fail because I would fall asleep after being at work all day. They were helpful, though! More useful when I watched them on my lunch break at work, and I was awake.
In the last two weeks, I used both NASM’s Flashcards and made my own. I tried to make flashcards for Appendix D Muscle Groups like a million times, but it was so confusing, and it didn’t stick. I gave up on that rather quickly and decided each time I needed to know what a muscle was or what it did I’d look it up. That worked well! So this last week I spent barely anytime “memorizing” the muscle/muscle groups.
I spent the last three days taking practice exams. My package came with one practice test, and I purchased two more for $35. I highly recommend that I thought the practice tests were very representative of the actual test. I used the questions I got wrong to guide where I needed to be more intensive about my studying.
Taking the Exam
- CPR/AED Card
I totally forgot about the CPR/AED card thing, that meant I had to cram in that training and test out into the last two weeks as well. Whoops! I took the exam in the same building I took my RD exam so that place seems to be good luck for me! You arrive 30 minutes early and wait for your name to be called. The exam took me about 75 minutes to complete, with another 15 minutes of obsessively checking through the whole test again. Then you walk out and the sheet prints, you found out right then and there!
Mr. Hungry was excited too:
If I could do it again:
- I waited WAY too long to schedule my exam; I should have picked a date the day I was able to. I decided I was sick of studying two weeks ago and chose a date and went for it. Not recommended.
- I’d have my CPR/AED thing done and out of the way first.
- I’d follow the 75-day study guide NASM has online that I didn’t find till after instead of the weekly emails.
- I’d read Chapter 20 (I forgot to look at it, but since I’d been working at the gym for a while now it seemed like common sense.)
- I’d buy the practice tests again; those were very helpful.
- I’d stop trying to memorize individual muscles at the beginning.
- I’d use the Thin Mint App earlier than the night before.
Update! If you are considering taking the AFAA Group Fitness Instructor Exam check out my experience and study tips!
I picked today because I wanted to have fun while the In-Laws were in town and not have to worry about studying and now I can! First, I’m making it a point to drink 4 Liters of water today. All this cramming, lack of sleep, coffee and more energy drinks than I have consumed in 2 years led to me not feeling so hot. It’s time to get back on the healthy wagon, and I’m starting with water and ending with wine tonight!