Free NASM CPT Practice Test
Welcome to the Trainer Academy NASM CPT exam prep guide.
This guide covers the most essential facts, figures, and frequently asked questions regarding the NASM CPT exam and NASM training.
We’re going to kick things off with a short but sweet NASM practice test designed to challenge you on what we’ve identified as the most difficult questions in the exam.
NASM CPT’s curriculum is divided into 6 distinct domains. These domains tackle different aspects of activity a typical fitness practitioner would undertake.
After that, we’ll go in-depth into each domain, peeling the hood back so you can gain a proper understanding of NASM study focal points.
The NASM examination is pretty straight forward in terms of structure, but we would also like to give you some insight into the NASM test difficulty just so you know what you’re getting into.
For this, we will be looking at the NASM exam pass rate, giving you an edge on how to pass the NASM CPT exam.
The NASM practice test vs real test is just a question of how the test is administered, but as far as the actual questions are concerned, you’ll be able to engage with authentic NASM questions right here.
As mentioned, we’ve picked out what we’ve identified as the most challenging NASM certification test questions.
You’ll be going through each domain, answering 10 questions from each domain, giving you a grand total of 60 questions for you to practice with.
It’s important to note that each of these exam domains is weighted differently based on what NASM regards as the most essential points of skill and knowledge for a fitness professional.
The 6 domains are broken down as:
- 10% Professional Development and Responsibility
- 12% Client Relations and Behavioral Coaching
- 17% Basic and Applied Sciences and Nutritional Concepts
- 18% Assessment
- 21% Program Design
- 22% Exercise Technique and Training Instruction
This practice test will challenge you on each domain, but you’ll ultimately need to focus on the big ones.
At 17% weighting, this domain rounds off the bottom 3.
Here you will be tested on your scientific and theoretical knowledge of nutrition and human biology.
A common colloquial idiom that goes “gains are made in the kitchen” is pretty much the premise for half this domain, although we do feel NASM could have gone more in-depth with the coaching methodology around nutrition and less on just the theory side of things.
In any case, your concern is what you’re challenged within the actual test. When it comes to nutrition, pay attention to concepts such as macro and micronutrients as well as supplements.
The other half concerns human biology. The focus being human biochemistry (energetics, metabolism, endocrine system, cardiorespiratory system) and human biomechanics ( neurotransmission, kinesiology, and basic principles of biophysics).
10 Questions and explanations from Domain 1
1. When would a trainer be permitted to legally offer counseling to a client?
A. A trainer should always offer counseling to clients
B. A trainer should always refer clients to a licensed professional counselor
C. The client doesn’t show any progress
D. If the client is struggling to meet their training appointments
The Correct Answer is B. A trainer should always refer clients to a licensed professional counselor.
As a PT one’s scope of practice is limited to pre-exercise risk assessment, fitness testing, goal evaluation, program design, and instruction.
A certified trainer is therefore not qualified to diagnose or treat any physical or mental conditions and should refer clients in need of such services to the relevant practitioners.
Any engagement beyond this scope of practice could result in liability issues.
2. Which of the following is not a way to create a proprioceptively enriched environment?
A. performing active isolation exercises
B. using a foam pad
C. balancing on one leg
D. exercising in the sand
The Correct Answer is A. performing active isolation exercises.
B, C, and D are all exercises done with an unstable or proprioceptively rich environment that forms a component of the training method.
Active isolation exercises are stretches designed to improve ROM.
3. Which of the following isn’t a division of the spinal column?
The Correct Answer is A. Sternum
B, C, and D are all segments of the spinal column while the sternum sits at the anterior side of the ribcage, commonly known as the “breast bone”.
4. What can the sliding filament theory be described as?
A. The process of electrical impulses that slide from the CNS down the axon of the neuron, in order to initiate muscle contractions
B. Thick and thin filaments within the sarcomere move past one another, this results in shortened muscle and force production
C. The process of neural stimulation that creates a contraction of the muscle
D. Troponin providing binding sites along the actin filament for both tropomyosin and calcium when there is a need for the muscle to contract
The Correct Answer is B. Thick and thin filaments within the sarcomere move past one another, this results in shortened muscle and force production
The sliding filament theory is an explanation for how muscles contract (shorten, producing force) by the sliding of actin and myosin (thick and thin filaments).
A, C, and D merely explain neurological action and binding principles.
5. What two hormones are responsible for fight or flight?
A. growth hormone and testosterone
B. epinephrine and testosterone
C. epinephrine and norepinephrine
D. testosterone and estrogen
The Correct Answer is C. epinephrine and norepinephrine
These two hormones activate the sympathetic nervous system, increase heart rate, and limit the expenditure of nonessential organ systems during emergency/stressful situations.
Estrogen and testosterone are the female and male sex hormones respectively. The growth hormone is an anabolic compound functioning with testosterone, which besides being a sex hormone, also has anabolic qualities.
6. Proprioception uses information from which of these in order to provide information regarding the body position and movement?
B. sensorimotor integration
C. muscle synergies
The Correct Answer is D. mechanoreceptors
These sensory units identify position and movement, the very functional aspects of proprioception.
A chemoreceptors function to detect molecular and chemical presence in the environment and body through processes such as olfaction (smell and taste) as well as respiratory feedback.
Muscle synergies simply refer to complimentary muscle groups, and mechanoreceptors simply sense changes in force or pressure.
7. Which of these is a sesamoid bone?
D. carpals of the hand
The Correct Answer is A. patella
The patella or kneecap is a sesamoid bone because it is embedded within a tendon and acts as a protective structure.
B, C, and D do not possess any of the qualities associated with sesamoid bones.
8. What two factors make up cardiac output?
A. heart rate x systolic blood pressure
B. heart rate/stroke volume
C. heart rate x stroke volume
D. systolic blood pressure / diastolic blood pressure
The Correct Answer is C. heart rate x stroke volume
Cardiac output is the amount of blood pumped per minute, and a minute is the amount of time in which the frequency of beats or pumps is determined as the heart rate and the amount of blood therein determined as stroke volume.
That means cardiac output is a product of the heart rate and stroke volume.
9. Which is the fastest energy system?
A. ATP-PC system
C. oxidative system
D. the Krebs cycle
The Correct Answer is A. ATP-PC system
This system activates as the first energy system when the body is engaged in work. It is an anaerobic system which is why it can get to work almost immediately in the absence of oxygen.
It is the least complex of the energy systems which further lends to it being the fastest.
The Krebs Cycle, D, is not one of the 3 main energy systems, but rather a subsystem of the oxidative system, C, the most complex and thus slowest of the 3 main energy systems.
10. A fracture that is proximal to the head of the humerus is located where?
A. It is located at the top of the humerus
B. It is located on the left side of the humerus
C. It is located at the midline of the humerus
D. It is located at the bottom of the humerus
The Correct Answer is C. It is located at the top of the humerus
Proximal refers to the middle or center point, however, the head of the humerus is located at the top of the bone.
So although proximal refers to a central location, the head is at the top of the bone.
The bottom of the top 3 domains in terms of weighting, assessment deals with topics and concepts around determining where your client is at, what they can or can’t do, and what it will take to achieve their goals.
Assessment is the crucial first step in dealing with a client and as such, is considered an important domain, and weighted accordingly.
This domain covers a wide variety of assessment protocols and methodologies for the PAR-Q and other questionnaire formats as well as more hands-on approaches such as the various strength tests (overhead squat, push, pull, postural assessment, etc…)
In order to nail this domain, you will simply have to study and understand each assessment type, perhaps even try them out in real-world situations so you can match what the book says, with the skills you’re actually equipping.
10 Questions and explanations from Domain 2
1. All of the following muscles are overactive in upper crossed syndrome except for:
A. levator scapulae
B. upper trapezius
C. deep cervical flexors
The Correct Answer is C. deep cervical flexors
That’s because the deep cervical flexors belong to the lower body region/pelvic girdle and therefore would only be subject to the lower crossed syndrome.
All A, B, and D are all subject to the shoulder girdle upper crossed syndrome.
2. What position is the ankle put in when wearing shoes with high heels?
A. a pronated position
B. a dorsiflexed position
C. a supinated position
D. a plantarflexed position
The Correct Answer is D. a plantarflexed position
In this position, the heel is raised and force is fed through the forefoot due to the shortening of the calf muscles (soleus and gastrocnemius).
Dorsi means upwards flex. Heeled shoes force a downward flex.
Pronation and supination simply mean which way up the body or body part is oriented.
3. Which joint mechanic is present in upper crossed syndrome?
A. Increased scapular protraction
B. Decreased cervical extension
C. Increased shoulder rotation
D. Increased shoulder extension
The Correct Answer is A. Increased scapular protraction
Upper crossed syndrome deals with the shoulder girdle. That rules out B, cervical extension, which would apply to the pelvic girdle.
Cross syndrome refers to imbalances occurring across the midline which means C and D, extension, and rotation do not apply, leaving only A.
4. The Durnin formula includes each of the following skinfold sites except:
The Correct Answer is A. Midaxillary
Midaxillary is an anatomical line and not a site on the body which one can take skinfold measurements from.
5. Which assessment is good for the single leg squat assessment?
A. Overhead squat assessment
B. Inline lunge assessment
C. Single-leg balance assessment
D. Stork balance test
The Correct Answer is C. Single-leg balance assessment
Since the single leg squat assessment is engaged on just one unsupported leg, the single-leg balance assessment is the closest approximation to it.
While the stork balance test is also conducted on a single leg, it is however conducted by supporting the standing leg with the raised leg.
6. Why do we do the L.E.F.T. test?
A. L.E.F.T. assesses dynamic posture, lower extremity power, and speed
B. L.E.F.T. assesses gait, body control, speed, and balance
C. L.E.F.T. assesses dexterity, acceleration, and deceleration
D. L.E.F.T. assesses speed, explosive power, and neuromuscular regulation
The Correct Answer is C. L.E.F.T. assesses dexterity, acceleration, and deceleration
L.E.F.T. is an agility assessment. Agility consists of dexterity, acceleration, and deceleration.
While D might seem like a sensible choice, speed, explosive power, and neuromuscular regulation are not exclusive to agility.
7. Which of the following is the best collection of objective assessments for a sedentary but healthy client who is 45, had a knee injury five years ago but was cleared by her doctor to exercise, and wants to build muscle, lose fat, and increase flexibility?
A. Circumference measurements, Step Test, Overhead squat assessment, Push-Up Test, Shark Skill Test, Upper extremity strength assessment
B. Body fat measurement, Circumference measurements, Resting heart rate, Blood pressure, Step Test, Overhead squat assessment, Single-leg balance/squat
C. Medical release from the client’s physician, Resting heart rate, Blood pressure, Step Test, Overhead squat assessment, Assisted single-leg squat assessment
D. Body fat measurement, Step Test, Davies Test, Shark Skill Test, Lower extremity strength assessment
The Correct Answer is B. Body fat measurement, Circumference measurements, Resting heart rate, Blood pressure, Step Test, Overhead squat assessment, Single-leg balance/squat
Body fat measurements and circumference measurements will allow the trainer to determine the client’s recommended weight loss strategy.
Resting heart rate, blood pressure, and step test will assess for potential exercise readiness risk factors with regards to cardiac health.
Lastly, the squat assessments will determine how capable she will be regarding her previous knee injury.
8. Which of these are cardiorespiratory assessments?
A. YMCA 3-Minute Step Test and Davies Test
B. Davies Test and Shark Skill Test
C. Rockport Walk Test and Davies Test
D. YMCA 3-Minute Step Test and Rockport Walk Test
The Correct Answer is D. YMCA 3-Minute Step Test and Rockport Walk Test
Both these drills are designed to assess cardiorespiratory readiness.
The Davies Test and Shark Test are used to assess strength performance, this rules out all options that include the davies test.
9. What is signified by a lower resting heart rate?
A. A more efficient and fit cardiorespiratory system
B. Overtraining or increased life stress
C. A less efficient and fit cardiorespiratory system
D. Poor sleeping patterns
The Correct Answer is A. A more efficient and fit cardiorespiratory system
A lower resting heart rate is significant for improved health and quality of life which includes having an optimized cardiorespiratory system.
10. Which of the following muscles is overactive when someone demonstrates an excessive forward lean?
A. Anterior tibialis
C. Gluteus maximus
D. Erector spinae
The Correct Answer is B. Gastrocnemius
An overactive gastrocnemius can lead to forwarding lean, noticeable during a squat assessment. This could also be due to tight soleus and hip flexors, but based on available options, the answer is B.
The program design is the meat and potatoes of being a successful PT.
Whether you’re an in-person coach, or virtual online coach, your ability to create a structured plan of action that is both evidence-based and results-driven is your primary objective.
In recognition of this, NASM has made program design the second most focused domain of the lot. In fact, it barely falls behind the number one spot.
This is therefore one you need to focus on.
One of the biggest aspects of program design as it concerns NASM is the OPT model or optimal performance training.
This is the framework on which NASM delivers fitness, so it will be integrated into most program design questions.
A firm understanding of periodization will also count in your favor.
Other areas of focus include:
- Exercise principles (GAS, SAID, Overload, Variation)
- Periodization methodologies (linear, undulating)
- Current trends
10 Questions and explanations from Domain 3
1. Why do we choose slower tempos for stabilization and endurance?
A. The tempo encourages less fatigue and longer stamina
B. The tempo is inversely related to training intensity
C. The rep speed is inhibited by the stamina of the client
D. The slow velocity improves nervous system preparation time
The Correct Answer is D. The slow velocity improves nervous system preparation time
In order to achieve endurance and stability gains, time under tension is required to stimulate optimization via improved nervous system adaptation.
2. Why does performance improve when resting between sets?
A. Adenine and cytosine are reduced during training, and rest allows replenishment
B. Glutamine and tyrosine are reduced during training, and rest allows replenishment
C. Methionine and adenosine triphosphate are reduced during training, and rest allows replenishment
D. Adenosine triphosphate and phosphocreatine are reduced during training, and rest allows replenishment
The Correct Answer is D. Adenosine triphosphate and phosphocreatine are reduced during training, and rest allows replenishment
The cycling between ATP and ADP is effective over short periods of time, after which, in order to produce an optimal amount of energy, a brief cooldown is required for ADP and creative levels to re-calibrate.
3. Which rep range is best for maximal strength adaptations?
A. 1 to 10 reps at 30-45% 1RM
B. 1 to 5 reps at 85-100% 1RM
C. 12 to 20 reps at 50-70% 1RM
D. 6 to 12 reps at 75-85% 1RM
The Correct Answer is B. 1 to 5 reps at 85-100% 1RM
Maximal strength is developed at the lowest volume and highest intensity possible. D is ideal for hypertrophy with limited strength adaptations, while A and Clean more towards the endurance-based adaptations.
4. Which of these produces both hypertrophy and fat loss?
A. High volume, low/moderate-intensity training
B. Low volume, maximal strength training
C. Low volume, high-intensity training
D. High volume, high-intensity training
The Correct Answer is A. High volume, low/moderate-intensity training
For fat loss to occur, metabolic stress needs to be achieved during training. For hypertrophy to occur, mechanical stress needs to be achieved during training.
For the two to occur simultaneously, the best option is A, which is a compromise of the high volume for optimal fat loss and high intensity for optimal hypertrophy.
5. Why should we continue stabilization training both during and after strength and power training?
A. Stabilization training is the most efficient cardiorespiratory training
B. Stabilization training will burn more calories
C. Stabilization training will increase the rate of force production
D. Stabilization training will maintain core and joint stability
The Correct Answer is D. Stabilization training will maintain core and joint stability
Having well-conditioned stability of the core and joints is necessary for sustained and progressive training over the long and short term.
A and B are not directly influenced by stabilization training and C is a byproduct of good adaptation, helped in part, but not directly by stabilization.
6. Which of these is not a low volume training adaptation?
A. Increased rate of force production
B. Increased muscle cross-sectional area
C. Increased motor unit recruitment
D. Increased motor unit synchronization
The Correct Answer is B. Increased muscle cross-sectional area
A high volume, low to moderate intensity protocol is required for an increase in muscle cross-sectional area.
A, C, and D are all adaptations of low volume training.
7. How much of our ATP and phosphocreatine can be restored in 20-30 seconds?
The Correct Answer is B. 50%
In order to replenish ATP and creatine stores to full capacity, a required restoration period of between 7 to 10 mins is necessary.
Because the rate of replenishment diminishes over time, the ATP-PC stocks will bounce back to 50% in relatively little time but will take increasingly longer to fill up more.
8. Which combo of sets, reps, intensity, tempo, and rest supports power training?
A. 1-5, 3-6, 30-45% 1RM, fast/explosive, 0-60 seconds
B. 1-10, 3-6, 85-100% 1RM, fast/explosive, 3-5 minutes
C. 1-5, 4-6, 85-100% 1RM, fast/explosive, 3-5 minutes
D. 1-10, 3-6, 30-45% 1RM, fast/explosive, 3-5 minutes
The Correct Answer is D. 1-10, 3-6, 30-45% 1RM, fast/explosive, 3-5 minutes
All options check out when it comes to tempo. That’s because power training or plyometric training is an attempt to engage maximal force production over as short a period of time as possible by decreasing the amortization phase.
All options also check our regarding rest interval except for A.
Adequate rest is required in order to replenish ATP phosphocreatine levels to a point where they can supply enough energy for maximum output in each set.
The intensity required for power training is much lower than for strength and even hypertrophy. Since A is not an option based on rest, and B and C are not eligible due to intensity, it leaves D as the correct choice.
9. Which is not a multi-joint exercise?
A. Calf raises
D. Chest presses
The Correct Answer is A. Calf raises
This question is confusing because most people assume the practitioner to be using multiple joints in all exercises. A calf raises in this case would be said to be multi-joint due to the engagement of both calves.
The question refers to a variety of joints used as opposed to an upfront number, of which the only calf raises use one variety, the ankle.
10. Which rep tempo is ideal for increasing muscular endurance and stabilization?
The Correct Answer is A. 4/2/1
A longer tempo is ideal in order to provide the time under tension required to stimulate endurance adaptations.
A longer tempo also provides the nervous system with the right opportunity to prepare.
This is the most prominent domain in the exam, but only by a single percentage.
Here you will be tested on your ability as a coach in real-time, real-world scenarios.
You will also be assessed on your knowledge and ability to identify and execute proper exercise protocols and forms of technique.
The aim is to optimize your ability to achieve results and achieve them safely.
Focus on all the main training methodologies such as SAQ, resistance, flexibility, balance, and core training.
You will also need to successfully categorize different exercises based on which training methodology they fall under as well as have an understanding of different types of equipment and apparatus you can employ for exercise instruction.
Focus on the different training methodology charts, understand the modalities, and memorize a few exercises in each category.
Other points of focus include:
- Cueing techniques (kinesthetic, visual, and auditory)
- Exercise regression/progression
- Spotting techniques
10 Questions and explanations from Domain 4
1. Reciprocal inhibition is:
A. The resting length of a muscle and the tension that the muscle is able to produce at that resting length
B. Response to stimuli that activates movement in muscles
C. When a muscle relaxes to allow another muscle to contract
D. Muscle groups produce movement around a joint by moving at the same time
The Correct Answer is C. When a muscle relaxes to allow another muscle to contract
C perfectly defines what reciprocal inhibition is. The muscle relaxes, meaning it is inhibited, to allow its opposite to contract, meaning it reciprocates.
2. Relative flexibility is:
A. An increase in the normal movement and functionality of a joint, this alters the range of motion
B. The human movement system finds the movement path that has the least resistance
C. The range of motion joint moves in without pain
D. The neuromuscular system allowing agonists, antagonists, and stabilizers to synergistically produce muscle forces
The Correct Answer is B. The human movement system finds the movement path that has the least resistance
As opposed to maximal flexibility, which deals with the ROM limits about joint, relative flexibility deals with ROM within a normal comfortable level of mobility, i.e. the least resistive.
3. Overactivity and tightness within a muscle tends to have what kind of relationship?
A. A relative relationship
B. There is no relationship
C. A direct relationship
D. An inverse relationship
The Correct Answer is C. A direct relationship
Overactivity has been shown to lead to tightness. As muscle becomes more active, especially when hypertrophy is experienced, this leads to a gradual decline in mobility and ROM.
4. What type of flexibility is static stretching considered?
A. Functional flexibility
B. Active flexibility
C. Immobile flexibility
D. Corrective flexibility
The Correct Answer is D. Corrective flexibility
Static flexibility helps improve range of motion and reduce tightness, both of which are considered deficiencies or a cause for imbalance requiring correction.
5. Autogenic inhibition is:
A. A process in which neural impulses recruit muscles in order to produce force using mechanoreceptors
B. A process where inhibitory action to muscle fibers will lead to excessive increases in muscle length
C. A process in which proper muscle contraction is inhibited by excessive tightness of the muscle, this could lead to injury
D. A process in which tension impulses are greater than contraction impulses, leading to relaxation of the muscle
The Correct Answer is D. A process in which tension impulses are greater than contraction impulses, leading to relaxation of the muscle
An autogenic action is one that responds to natural circumstances which is the case where tension is greater than contraction, leading to inhibition.
6. What muscles need to be statically stretched?
A. The major muscles at each kinetic chain checkpoint
B. Muscles that have been identified as weak
C. All the muscles of the lower body
D. Muscles that have been identified as overactive
The Correct Answer is D. Muscles that have been identified as overactive
This is because overactive muscles tend to tighten and shorten over time, so in order to correct and counteract this issue, static stretching should be employed.
7. Why is myofascial release beneficial before a workout?
A. It can prevent muscle soreness
B. It can break up fascial adhesions
C. It can help flush out excess lactic acid
D. It can be used as a method of muscle activation
The Correct Answer is B. It can break up fascial adhesions
Because the myofascial release is a superficial release, meaning it doesn’t target the deeper muscle layers, it is a safe way to promote pre-workout readiness.
By breaking up fascial adhesions, you can promote better mobility, ROM and in turn, force production while reducing injury risk.
8. What type of stretching needs to be avoided if postural distortions are present?
A. Ballistic stretching
B. Active-isolated stretching
C. Self-myofascial release (SMR)
D. Static stretching
The Correct Answer is B. Active-isolated stretching
Active-isolated stretching is designated for improving ROM in limbs about a single joint axis through the use of reciprocal inhibition.
This also poses potential risks when active-isolated stretching is employed along the spinal column.
9. Which of these is pattern overload?
A. Walking every day for 20 minutes
B. Variety of core strength exercises at every training session
C. Superset resistance training several days per week
D. Extended periods of sitting every day
The Correct Answer is D. Extended periods of sitting every day
Pattern overload occurs when a habit or movement pattern is engaged regularly for hours on end.
For office workers and those with a sedentary lifestyle, sitting certainly promotes pattern overload which leads to poor hip mobility amongst other things.
10. Which ligament receives high stress during the inverted hurdler’s stretch?
A. Medial collateral ligament
B. Anterior cruciate ligament
C. Lateral collateral ligament
D. Posterior cruciate ligament
The Correct Answer is A. Medial collateral ligament
The MCL is greatly strained during an inverted hurdle stretch as compared to the other knee ligaments due to the position.
The next domain from smallest to biggest is Client Relations and Behavioral Coaching.
This encapsulates a concept many like to call “change psychology”.
That’s because as a health coach, your main goal is actually to inspire a change of habits and behaviors from ones that lead to negative health impacts, to those that lead to more positive outcomes.
This is achieved through successful and effective communication, which is why questions from this domain will test you mainly on the quality and methodology of communication as a PT.
Topics in this domain include best practices for listening such as active listening, providing support, as well as the quality and nature of feedback.
You will also be assessed on your ability to identify barriers to success towards client goals.
10 Questions and explanations from Domain 5
1. What is the best description of instrumental support?
A. The support expressed through encouragement, caring, empathy, and concern
B. Individuals or groups that remove tangible barriers to exercise
C. The availability of family, friends, and coworkers to exercise with the client
D. The support that includes directions, advice, or suggestions given to clients about exercising
The Correct Answer is B. Individuals or groups that remove tangible barriers to exercise
The premise of instrumental support is to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of intended outcomes. The best way to do this is by removing immediate barriers to success.
While A, C, and D provide useful support resources, they are not instrumental.
2. What is the definition of the “S” in SMART goals?
A. Specific enough that the trainer knows what it implies
B. Specific enough that the client can remember it
C. Specific enough that anyone can understand it
D. Specific enough that any trainer could understand it
The Correct Answer is C. Specific enough that anyone can understand it
If a goal is specific enough for anyone to understand it even at a glance, it becomes much more actionable.
As much as it’s important for a trainer or trainers to understand a goal, having a client and any other layman not immediately able to identify a goal doesn’t make it very SMART.
3. What is a good short term goal?
A. Perform 100 push-ups every day for six months
B. Become a size 8 and fit into old clothes
C. Lose 20 pounds for a high school reunion
D. This week, research three reasons to exercise to support motivation
The Correct Answer is D. This week, research three reasons to exercise to support motivation
A, B, and C are all goals that require time and habit formation making them long term if they are to be achieved healthily and realistically.
A great short term goal can involve actual planning, which makes D the best choice.
4. How do we define “realistic” in SMART goals?
A. The client is willing and able to work toward the goal
B. The trainer is sure the client can achieve the goal
C. This type of goal is completely new to the client
D. The goal is something the client is capable of doing
The Correct Answer is A. The client is willing and able to work toward the goal
B and C deal with a degree of uncertainty that negates the realism being aimed for. D is great, but the fact is most people are capable of most things when it comes to lifestyle improvement.
It all boils down to willpower in that case. Therefore capability and willingness need to go hand-in-hand in order for a goal to be realistic.
5. How is the M in SMART goals applied?
A. By creating a timeline for the goal’s completion
B. By not making the goal too challenging
C. By making the goal something they are willing and able to work toward
D. By making the goal quantifiable
The Correct Answer is D. By making the goal quantifiable
The ‘M’ in SMART stands for “measurable”, and from a scientific and even general perspective, the best way to measure something is through stats and numbers.
This is what makes a goal quantifiable.
6. How does positive self talk support client success?
A. It improves the client’s belief in their abilities
B. It forces the client to embrace exercise
C. It allows the client to succeed
D. It has no effect on client success
The Correct Answer is A. It improves the client’s belief in their abilities
Positive self-talk is a powerful motivating agent. When a person conditions themselves to reinforce their own value internally, it produces a greater motivational effect than external validators.
C is the next best choice but is a very broad statement that doesn’t give credence to the specific effects of positive self-talk.
7. What is the difference between process and product goals?
A. Process goals give the client something to work toward, product goals are something to do in the moment
B. Process goals can be predictively achieved, product goals may or may not be achieved
C. Process goals can always be achieved, product goals are rarely achieved
D. Process goals are only achieved with careful assessment, product goals are simple to achieve
The Correct Answer is B. Process goals can be predictively achieved, product goals may or may not be achieved
Process goals include behavioral changes and shifts in mental attitude. These goals can be predicted based on feedback and evidence. Product goals are very specific milestones such as a specific body composition goal.
The problem with product goals is the specific outcome may not be achieved, and due to the removal of the process adherence aspect, even once achieved, the client can soon regress.
8. Why should trainers ask for permission from clients before educating them?
A. Permission allows trainers to fully speak their mind and share details
B. Trainers should never share information with anyone without having permission
C. It can improve the trainer-client relationship by reducing the imposing image from trainers
D. The client isn’t paying for education, but paying for training and a thorough fitness training plan
The Correct Answer is C. It can improve the trainer-client relationship by reducing the imposing image from trainers
The engagement quality of asking permission allows aliens to perceive the hierarchy dynamic between themselves and the trainer as more of an even playing field.
By asking permission, you subconsciously invite the client to be a partner in the process rather than subordinate.
9. Which is not a behavior strategy?
C. Positive self-talk
D. Goal setting
The Correct Answer is C. Positive self-talk
A, B, and D are all behavior strategies based on habit-forming.
Positive self-talk is not so much behavior as it is a tool towards motivating correct behaviors such as the ones indicated in A, B, and D.
10. The most important component of a fitness goal is:
A. The client should create the goal of wanting a certain outcome
B. The trainer and client should agree the goal is achievable
C. The trainer and client should agree the goal is important
D. The trainer should create the goal based on what is most beneficial for the client
The Correct Answer is B. The trainer and client should agree the goal is achievable
Achieving a fitness goal is a team effort before and after anything else, and that team is composed of the trainer and the client.
While B and C are true, they are only correct when combined. D is incorrect because both the client and trainer should work on the goal. The client creates the goal and the trainer creates a plan towards it.
This domain holds the lowest weighting and is therefore the one you need to focus on the least.
Having said that, we do feel this domain is important for personal research and education as it covers the business and entrepreneurial fundamentals of personal training.
Essentially, as a qualified PT, you are a business person running a business.
But back to the exam, and how this domain relates. It’s quite a narrow assessment of the topic, and only really tests you on some broad stroke basics of generating income as a PT.
Common concepts in this domain are the four P’s of marketing ( product, price, place, and promotion) as well as effective sales strategies.
10 Questions and explanations from Domain 6
1. Which of these is a niche in the training business?
A. Private gym
B. Women’s fitness
C. Independent contracting
D. Small group training
The Correct Answer is B. Women’s fitness
A niche in fitness is signified by a specific theme such as a specific population group or training system/method.
In this case, we have a specific population group being targeted in the form of women’s fitness.
A, C, and D simply signify different business models for a PT business and not it’s niche.
2. Which additional certification is a NASM PT required to have?
C. First Aid
D. Undergraduate degree
The Correct Answer is B. CPR
Aside from a high school diploma or equivalent, NASM CPT requires that you produce current CPR/AED certification.
3. Which of these is appropriate when approaching a possible new client that is incorrectly performing an exercise?
A. Informing them that you know the right way to perform the exercise
B. Saying a better way of performing the exercise
C. Telling them about the benefits of the exercise
D. Asking if you can suggest something
The Correct Answer is C. Telling them about the benefits of the exercise
Leading with the benefits of the exercise being performed allows you to avoid the potential defensive stance a client may take. It also allows you not to make them feel judged.
By validating their attempts, you leave them open to form correction which can be presented in a suggestive manner rather than as a command. This plays to the ego and avoids psychological reactance, thus maintaining rapport.
4. Which of these is a part of in-home personal training?
A. The trainer pays a fee to a health club in order to train clients
B. The trainer is paid an hourly wage with benefits
C. The trainer must travel and use portable equipment
D. The trainer owns a facility and is responsible for facility ordinances
The Correct Answer is C. The trainer must travel and use portable equipment
By definition, in-home means the trainer conducts house-calls with clients at their place of residence.
To be efficient and effective, it is advisable to use portable equipment such as suspension trainers and resistance bands.
5. How should a trainer contact their client after asking them for their contact information?
A. Call the potential client 2 to 3 days later
B. Approach the client at their next gym appearance
C. Mail a handwritten card within 24 hours
D. Email the client a few days after meeting with them
The Correct Answer is C. Mail a handwritten card within 24 hours
While calling and emailing are effective communication tools, sending a card by mail is classy and considerate, giving an immediate impression of the care and commitment the client can expect.
6. In what situation does a trainer give a percentage of their session fees?
A. Working as a full-time employee at a commercial fitness club
B. Working as an independent contractor at a commercial fitness club
C. Owning a facility
D. Providing in-home personal training services
The Correct Answer is B. Working as an independent contractor at a commercial fitness club
When a trainer uses third party facilities such as in a commercial gym, they will usually pay an agreed fixed rental or a percentage of their earnings as compensation for the use.
7. What is an aspect of independent contractor work as a trainer?
A. There aren’t any overhead costs, but the trainer must transport equipment
B. The trainer may be paid more if they have multiple fitness certifications
C. The trainer works on an as-needed basis
D. The trainer can target and market to a specific population
The Correct Answer is C. The trainer works on an as-needed basis
Because an independent trainer is not bound to any employment conditions, quotas, or a roster, they can work at will, as booked and needed by clients.
While D and A and B may apply to an independent contractor, they are not exclusive to that business model.
8. Which of the following is a reason to stay within your scope of practice?
A. To become a high-quality trainer
B. To avoid injury and liability
C. To ensure a long career
D. To protect the gym’s reputation
The Correct Answer is B. To avoid injury and liability
A personal trainer’s scope of practice sits within the initial assessment of goals and readiness for exercise, designing of the exercise programs, and safe, effective instruction of exercises in the program.
Anything beyond that could lead to injury and liability since a PT is not qualified or licensed to diagnose or treat any conditions.
9. For what reason is uncompromising customer service an important part of being a trainer?
A. It is necessary for the personal trainer to be considered ethical
B. It provides an exceptionally valuable experience to the client
C. It is necessary to develop your reputation as a decent trainer
D. It shows that you are unwilling to compromise on your personal beliefs
The Correct Answer is B. It provides an exceptionally valuable experience to the client
The fitness industry is quite saturated, so in order to have a shot at standing out, providing a second to none experience is a basic consideration.
While A and C are essential to being a good PT, they don’t impact a client’s impression of you in an immediate and direct way.
10. Which is an appropriate pricing strategy for training?
A. More than what is comfortable for potential clients
B. On par with prices in other areas
C. On par with your competition
D. More than your competition
The Correct Answer is C. On par with your competition
When pricing your services as a trainer, you don’t want to underprice. This will lead you to earn less than you potentially could and devalues your brand in the long run.
Overpricing your services, unless they are extremely niched down, won’t gain you much traction since there are other similar services more competitively priced.
Now that you’ve taken a whack at some of the NASM CPT Test questions, let’s take a look at how the exam is actually structured so you know your way around.
NASM CPT provides you with a 6 month enrollment period from the time you purchase the program to the time you’re required to take the test.
It’s available in 4 packages, each with a different pricing tier based on the quantity and depth of study material provided.
Sometimes life happens, and you may not quite be able to take the exam within the 6 months. If that’s the case, NASM allows you to extend your enrollment by an extra 3 months.
This does however come at an additional cost of $75.
Now let’s get to the actual exam itself.
The NASM CPT exam consists of 120 multiple choice questions, of which you will need to land at least 70% to pass.
The exam runs through most of the core concepts you will find in the course text.
These concepts are categorized according to the 6 domains of study you’ll have become familiar with during your NASM practice exam.
The exam is 120 minutes long, which means you essentially have a minute to spend on each question on average.
To take the exam, you must either register for a spot at a PSI testing facility. Simply search for the one most convenient for you, which would normally mean the center closest to you.
Here, you will take the exam in a room with other candidates, monitored by an exam proctor.
Your second option is to register for live remote proctoring. This is a new option that allows the NASM test to be taken completely online while still preserving the quality control of a real-world proctored exam.
This is done through your computer’s laptop which will be used to keep an eye on you through the duration of the exam.
An important consideration with any test or exam is roughly how challenging it is to pass.
This article will work as not only a prep guide and prep material but also as a NASM test review.
As we’ve mentioned, NASM CPT requires that you achieve a minimum grade of 70% in order to pass.
This seems to be a common standard across the board with most big-name certifying agencies.
NASM CPT however, is comparatively more difficult than most other CPT certifications.
The main two domains that will test your skills and knowledge are of course the two most prominent domains, Program Design and Exercise Technique and Training Instruction.
These are designed to be challenging because the bulk of your activity as a professional fitness practitioner will involve these areas of focus.
So is the NASM test hard? Let’s look at the pass rate to figure that out.
Coming in with a pass rate of 64%, that means you’re likely to pass, but also have a high chance of failing.
NASM CPT is a popular certification, so it must mean enough people pursue and pass it, there’s no reason you can’t be one of them.
All you need to do is prepare adequately of course.
That means focusing your study engagements of the domain layout we’ve just indicated as well as making sure you tap into the best study material options.
As far as NASM is concerned, they provide a neat selection of study packages as we have already mentioned, but in order to guarantee success and optimize your odds, we suggest you go for a third-party suite of study materials such as what we offer here at Trainer Academy.
You can get started with our free, fully comprehensive study guide here:
In the meantime, why not get acquainted with the NASM CPT exam by trying out each domain’s most challenging questions.