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NASM Personal Training Questions

by Courtney on September 29, 2011

All of the answers to your NASM personal training questions

Recently, I’ve gotten a number of emails and/or comments from many of you inquiring about my journey to become a certified personal trainer. First off, I love hearing about all of your stories and your curiosity about the field of personal training. It seems like there’s quite a few of you out there who are finding yourselves in a pair of shoes very similar to mine!

Secondly, I want to thank all of you, again, for each and every kind comment, message, tweet, and email regarding my new adventure. I do get nervous sometimes (especially when I’m trying to remember all of those damn muscles from chapter 4) about whether or not I’m going to be able to remember it all, what I’m going to do once I finally finish studying, and whether or not I’ll even be a good personal trainer.

Luckily, all of you seem to come in at exactly the right time, to give me that little confidence boost that I need. So, in case I haven’t already said it enough, you guys rock. Like, a lot. Winking smile

So basically…

When I was first deciding whether or not this was the path I wanted to take, I did a little research at the local gyms in my area to see which certifications were most widely accepted. After inquiring both at gyms and with some others of you out there, I finally decided to get my certification through NASM.

I had previously heard many good things about NASM, and was even able to get my hands on an actual textbook before ordering my own to see whether or not it was right for me. From what I’m told, this certification is a little more science-based than some others out there, but since I’ve never really looked at the others, I’m not totally sure? (Perhaps someone else out there can help weigh in on this one?)

I initially set a goal of about two months to complete my studying and take the exam, but I’m thinking that it will probably be closer to three. Considering the fact that my education background included absolutely zero anatomy and/or science, I still have a lot to learn in that area. And honestly, this part of the material is just plain hard for me.

So I figured rather than rush it just to be finished, I’d rather really get a good, solid understanding of the material so I’ll feel better prepared once it comes time to finally enter into the field. (Even though I am SUPER antsy to get out there and get workin’!)

If there’s anything that I may have missed, or you have any other questions about any of the personal training stuff, just ask! Winking smile

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Carissa September 29, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Good choice with NASM. Besides an exercise science degree it is the most respected in the fitness community IMHO. Science is hard, but once you truly “get it” you can understand why thinks work the way they do..and you can explain to your clients in “lay-mans” (is that the word?) terms the logic behind the fitness principles you teach.

You have such a varied fitness background that you’ll do great. Do you want to do one-on-one training or more class teaching?
Carissa recently posted..Go Picnic Giveaway


2 Courtney September 29, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I’m thinking more one-on-one…but then again, classes sound fun, too! I think I’d like it all :)


3 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health September 29, 2011 at 4:59 pm

I’m so excited for you about your personal training “journey” :)! You will absolutely fabulous! And, you are totally going to be able to remember all of the muscles. I’ve taken anatomy twice now and trust me, it’s not as hard to remember as you think it will be! My bf is certified through NASM too and he thinks it’s been great! He’s also working a lot right now and people LOVE the stuff he does with them! They’ve even switched other from other trainers to him :).


4 Cait @ Cait hates Cake September 29, 2011 at 4:59 pm

I have the Grape flavor Crystal Light Pure right now. I like it! The only thing is, I wish they didn’t have 2 servings per packet, not only is it difficult to get the right amount, but then your left with half an open packet. I get that stuff all over the place!
Cait @ Cait hates Cake recently posted..Clean Eating Cooking Class


5 Sweet and Savvy September 29, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Glad to see everything is going well on your journey to becoming a PT! :)

I repeat meals quite a bit! Breakfast is my easiest “rut” to get stuck in! I have been trying to switch it up a bit more lately.


6 Krissie J September 29, 2011 at 5:06 pm

I wasn’t a fan of the grape flavor as much, but I did like the tropical blend I got. I’m terrible with water-drinking and sweetening it makes me guzzle it. I probably have a bigger sweet tooth than you some days! Haha! I try not to repeat meals, but we have some backup plans in case I don’t feel like doing anything creative. Also, Scott likes to demand taco night often, so I try to keep that stocked. I’ve been slacking though.
Krissie J recently posted..A Brief Running Hiatus


7 Maria@La_Piattini September 29, 2011 at 5:08 pm

That’s so awesome that you’re following your dreams and becoming a personal trainer. It’s definitely a secret dream of mine and I’m glad I have some more info in case I decide to make it a reality one day!
Maria@La_Piattini recently posted..A Whole Lotta Food


8 Molly September 29, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I repeat a lot :( but that’s how I enjoy it! :)
Molly recently posted..I got this huge box in the mail.. did I mention it’s huge?


9 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries September 29, 2011 at 5:44 pm

I’m excited for you and your personal training journey. :) I’m sure you’ll do great. I loved NASM…I felt like it was the most thorough and informative about every aspect of personal training. I really liked how they incorporated so much program design in there too. ACSM and a couple others are REALLY science based…I believe even moreso than NASM. I feel like NASM gives you enough, but not too much of it.
Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..DIY Pumpkin Spiced Latte


10 Jen@FoodFamilyFitness September 29, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I tend to switch my meals up all the time, but I definitely have a few favorites that I go back to :)
Jen@FoodFamilyFitness recently posted..Eggs and Rice


11 Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance September 29, 2011 at 5:53 pm

I actually remember asking you why you chose NASM on Twitter a little while ago, haha ;) ) I’m planning on getting certified sometime within the next year, so your input was much appreciated! I’m actually between NASM and AFAA because I heard good things about both, but we shall see..
Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance recently posted..El Dia de Café


12 Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled September 29, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I’ve always thought being a personal trainer would be a perfect fit for me and maybe someday it’ll be a good option for me. Good luck to you on your journey. You’re going to be great.

I usually at a bowl of roasted veggies every night, but the main disk is always different. I don’t mind repeating meals if it’s dinner and then lunch, but not back to back dinners. Not sure why.
Rosa – Fitness, Food, Fulfilled recently posted..More Things You Want to Know


13 Brittanie - ThreeBracelets September 29, 2011 at 6:16 pm

I love that you’re posting more about your journey to becoming a Personal Trainer! Can’t wait to hear and read more. Also, I’m definitely a creature of habit when it comes to lunch time meal-making routine. It seems like everyday I stuff my belly with veggies (aka a salad) thinking this is probably the best time to pack them all in. I need to think outside the box and try some new lunch ideas.


14 Diana September 29, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I am SUCH a creature of habit – I’m with you on “why mess with a good thing?” I also like to make big batches of cooked veggies and grains on Sundays to toss together for my week’s lunches so they inevitably end up looking a wee bit similar!

I am so excited for the potential cupcake-decorating vid! Your cupcakes always look ahhmazing and mine look like a car backed over them.
Diana recently posted..Welcome to my pretend studio!


15 Danica @ It's Progression Not Perfection September 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm

I never eat the same breakfast two days in a row, and I like leftovers but not in a row with those either. Variety just suits me better I guess : )
Danica @ It’s Progression Not Perfection recently posted..He saved You.


16 Clair September 29, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Courtney, will the webinar be recorded? I live in Australia and will be at work when it is on!


17 Courtney September 29, 2011 at 8:44 pm

YES! It will be. I’ll share the info for it whenever it’s available :)


18 Mary @ Bites and Bliss September 29, 2011 at 8:53 pm

I tossed around the idea of being a personal trainer before going for group fitness instead. Although it’s still in the back of my mind!
Mary @ Bites and Bliss recently posted..It’s that time of year again…


19 Sara @ RunnerWife September 29, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I admire you for going after what you really want to do! I Think that is what everyone should do, I just wish I could take my own advice. Good luck with your studying!
Sara @ RunnerWife recently posted..Treadmill Day


20 chelsey @ clean eating chelsey September 29, 2011 at 9:16 pm

I repeat meals pretty frequently! You and Julie both had spaghettie squash tonight – twins!
chelsey @ clean eating chelsey recently posted..what made my day


21 Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun September 29, 2011 at 9:25 pm

I think three months is the minimal to really study and prepare for that test. So. Many. Details!! I am coming up on my fourth now myself!
Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun recently posted..The One


22 Heather @ Run Eat Play September 29, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Hi, I just discovered your blog and love it. I can’t wait to read more.
I also just started studying to become a CPT through NASM, so I have the same textbook. It’s a lot of work, and I have no prior science classes either.
Good luck and I can’t wait to read more!
Heather @ Run Eat Play recently posted..My Kid Thinks he’s 45


23 Danielle September 29, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I generally eat the same thing for lunch at work. Sandwich with turkey, cheese and spinach. Sliced mini bell peppers with hummus. I do really get tired of it, but it’s so easy to make especially the night before!
I relish the days when I have leftovers to take to work! haha
Danielle recently posted..Best Thing Since Sliced Bread


24 Khushboo September 30, 2011 at 12:48 am

One of the reasons I don’t post my meals is because I’d bore my readers with my repeated meals! Some would call it a rut, I would say I’m going with what I know what works :)! When I was studying for my diploma to become a certified nutrition consultant, the science part got to me too- was so tricky remembering everything, all the nitty gritty!
Khushboo recently posted..Octoberfest indeed


25 Heather September 30, 2011 at 7:47 am

First of all, thank you so much for the webinar last night! I learned a ton and totally admire you (and all of the other fine, classy ladies!).

I repeat my meals a lot. I have a salad for lunch every. single. day. This can be boring to some but I love to mix up my dressings and toppings. I just vary what I have alongside the salad. Works for me. :-)

I’m so excited that you’re doing all of these personal training Q&As! When I graduate from college, I will be a certified nutritionist and would love to couple that with being a certified personal trainer. Your path totally inspires me because I know it is possible (with hard work, of course) to continue blogging while doing all of these amazing things.
Heather recently posted..Only Kale Can Save Us Now


26 Courtney September 30, 2011 at 12:24 pm

I’m so glad to have you there! Thank you sooooo much for listening in!


27 Hannah September 30, 2011 at 9:42 am

I have been thinking about personal training as a career path as well. I love hearing your thoughts and opinions about it. When doing research did you hear anything about the ACE certification? Was that one recommended to you at all? The person I contacted at my local gym suggested that one. Just wanted to know if you heard anything about it! By the looks of the other comments on here it seems as though everyone agrees with the program you are going through!


28 Courtney September 30, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I did hear some very good info about ACE as well. It was actually the first one I was considering!


29 Kelly September 30, 2011 at 11:39 am

I think its great that you are getting your personal training certification! I have thought about getting the NSCA certification, but unsure if i want to be in a gym setting 8 hours a day lol.. I graduated with nutrition degree and struggled through anatomy – feel your pain!
Where can you find Garden Vegetable Hommus you eat? I have never seen it spelled that way but it is the same as hummus?

Good luck with studying.. You will do great!


30 Courtney September 30, 2011 at 12:19 pm

I get that particular brand at Price Chopper :)


31 Jenna @ A Fit Girl's Martini September 30, 2011 at 2:55 pm

I am certified through NASM, and just actually sent in my re-cert for another 2 years. woo! I chose my CEU’s in Weight Management, and OPT for the Prenatal client. It was alot easier than the CPT test, and was done at home.

If there is one thing I can tell you, it’s to memorize the ftiness assessment chart(what to stretch, strengthen, names of the muscles, and whether they over/under active)
Alot of the questions used the proper muscle names, so if you are not familer with terms “Biceps Femoris” for Hamstrings, or “Sternocleidomastoid” for a muscle in the neck, figure out a way to memorize each group and no that chart by heart.
You only have 3 months to take the test, and you need your CPR/AED cert also, so make sure to get that if you haven’t already. Goodluck!


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