So you want to become a strength and conditioning coach?
A strength and conditioning coach works with athletes to improve their overall fitness, speed and agility, aerobic adaptations, anaerobic adaptations, and athletic preparation geared toward their specific sport.
The combination of endurance training, resistance exercises, with alternative modes, such as flexibility training, keeps athletes in tip-top shape.
Coaches are knowledgeable on body systems, including structure and functions, such as endocrine responses to exercise and training.
Coaches may even share some tips on performance-enhancing supplements and provide appropriate nutrition strategies.
According to the most recent statistics, the typical strength and conditioning coach salary is roughly $46k and over.
Of all the exercise science careers, strength and conditioning coaches are paid more.
This is especially due to the number of years it takes to go through schooling and gain related, and in most cases, requires experience.
Completing an online strength and conditioning certification, or CSCS personal trainer certification, is easy.
Said no one ever!
This Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Certification offered through NSCA is quite the challenge and revered in the fitness industry.
Trainer Academy has put together this page to help explain the test and offer insight into the phrasing and formation of the questions you will run into when taking the test for your strength and conditioning license.
This article looks at the CSCS practice test which covers the following:
Whether you are already deep into studying for your CSCS certification test or looking at where to start your studying for the first time, this free CSCS study guide should assist you in the process.
Don’t forget to download the 22-step NSCA-CSCS exam preparation checklist to ensure that you pass the test.
Check out this premium NSCA CSCS MVP study materials here. Reduce your study time by half and receive an exam pass guarantee.
So, let’s dive right in!
NCSA-CSCS Exam Information
The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is one of the most well-respected companies in the industry.
Its online certified strength and conditioning coach program is at the top of the list when looking at strength and conditioning certifications.
The actual exam is broken into two sections, the scientific foundation, and the practical/applied questions.
The CSCS textbook, The Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, is packed full of 25 chapters, written and put together by Gregory Haff and Travis Triplett. .
The information within this CSCS book can get specific and hits on things not otherwise found in other personal training and strength and conditioning certification courses.
And, it goes hand-in-hand with your strength and conditioning certification online coursework and study materials.
The entire CSCS certification exam has a pass rate of only 56%, so this should tell you just how tough it is.
The CSCS practice questions are broken down into sections, which are broken down into the Domains within.
When you are going through these CSCS sample questions, try to answer them on your own.
However, you can look to the page or chapter as a reference point in the book to help with the answer.
The drop-down box will then contain the answer key and the reasoning below the answer.
Once you have completed this, and even before starting, you should test your knowledge with the practice quiz containing all of these questions to see where your knowledge currently stands.
Section 1: Scientific Foundations
This section is the first of two in this CSCS review, and it covers the fundamental principles used to govern exercise science.
The material here is basic and needed to know for how you actually apply information in client scenarios. This whole section is 1.5 hours total of the test.
Section one has 3 domains of the 7 total ones.
Domain 1: Exercise Science
This domain will represent 55% of the first section and around 44 questions in total.
The subjects covered here are anatomy, biomechanics, biochemical activity, and psychology.
Questions 1: Which of these actions describes transverse plane abduction of the shoulder? (pg. 25)
A. Volleyball dig
B. Backhand tennis stroke
C. Basketball pass
The answer is B, the backhand tennis stroke.
We have to know a few things in this question. First, we need to know actions that occur specifically in the transverse plane. And then we need to know what abduction of the shoulder looks like.
Transverse movements are going to be the ones where the movements occur in a rotation movement around the midline of the body.
this could potentially be the tennis stroke or the passing of the basketball, but it is not likely that the volleyball dig ever works this way.
Then, breaking down the abduction part of the move will remove the basketball pass, as abduction of the shoulder is specifically moved away from the midline.
The arm would be going in a motion similar to a shoulder raise. The backhand tennis stroke would end up fitting the bill for a transverse abduction of the shoulder, and thus, the answer is B.
Question 2: Which joint is stabilized by the following: supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis, and teres minor? (pg. 39)
The answer is A, Glenohumeral.
This question requires us to know our anatomy pretty well, and specifically the muscles and joints.
Some people may immediately recognize these as the muscles of the rotator cuff, and this may or may not give away the answer.
But all three joints are around the shoulder area, and that can cause some confusion as well.
The glenohumeral joint is a name for the shoulder joint. It helps to break down the words to find out exactly where the joint is when we are unsure.
Gleno is for the glenoid cavity, and humeral is for the humerus bone.
The answer is again, B, we just have to ensure that we can figure out the exact location of these things with our knowledge of anatomy.
Question 3: Which heart structure is most typically compromised in a sufferer of chronic tachycardia? (pg. 14)
A. Conduction system
B. Bicuspid valve
C. Tricuspid valve
The answer is A, the Conduction System
This question requires you to know enough about the structure of the heart and the conditions that may affect it.
Tachycardia is when someone has an excessive heartbeat around 100 beats per minute or more.
Knowing this will lead you to eliminate the two valve answers, as any problems there will usually lead to different problems.
The conduction system of the heart is the likely cause for tachycardia, as this system works to control the electric activity in the heart.
This includes things like the nodes and other electric system parts. Any of these could be the likely cause of an excessive heart rate. The answer again, is A, the conduction system.
Question 4: An increase in muscle contraction rate, force production, and metabolic enzyme activity can be attributed to which ‘fight-or-flight’ mode hormone? (pg. 84)
The answer is A, Catecholamines.
This question looks at your knowledge of the endocrine system and how the hormones in it will affect the body.
We need to know the effects of these possible answers, as two are hormones, and one is a neurotransmitter.
The neurotransmitter, Dopamine, can be eliminated, as it does have an effect on the fight or flight response, but it is not a hormone.
The two that remain are catecholamines and norepinephrine.
Norepinephrine is actually a hormone that does have the mentioned response of increasing contraction rate, force production, and metabolic enzyme activity.
This answer would be right if catecholamines didn’t also include norepinephrine.
Catecholamines are the more correct answer as it includes the hormones norepinephrine and epinephrine. The correct answer is A.
Question 5: The most frequent use of the electron transport chain is stimulated by which of these modes of training? (pg. 47)
A. High-intensity interval training
B. Long-distance aerobic training
C. Low volume training
The answer is B, Long-distance aerobic training.
The electron transport chain is going to be primarily active when we are in aerobic training.
So, this narrows down the answers by specifically removing the high-intensity interval training, as this is not usually aerobic.
Then low volume training is a form of resistance training, so this is unlikely to use aerobics also.
The answer is going to be long-distance aerobic training, as this is the ideal mode of training to use the electron transport chain.
Question 6: What type of training is defined by training with one set of each of the following: squats, push-ups, biceps curls, leg curls, and chin-ups, in sequence with limited rest intervals between sets. (Chapter 5)
A. Interval training
B. Calisthenics training
C. Circuit training
The answer is C, Circuit Training.
This is looking into the styles of training and what defines them.
We can remove calisthenics training immediately in the question with the inclusion of the bicep curls. This is an exercise that uses weight and not bodyweight-style moves.
The next part we break down is the training style that is a sequence of moves with limited rest between the sets.
Both interval training and circuit training actually somewhat meet these descriptions.
The difference comes from these moves being primarily resistance-based moves, and this leads us to the answer of C, circuit training.
Question 7: While performing maximum effort squats, what is the role of the deep abdominal and diaphragm muscles? (pg. 38)
A. To promote faster breathing for increase oxygen uptake
B. To improve lung capacity
C. To increase intra-abdominal pressure
The answer is C, To increase intra-abdominal pressure
One of the main things we should remember regarding big lifts and the muscles used for inspiration is the Valsalva maneuver.
This is done to specifically increase the intra-abdominal pressure and help the lower back and core during the lift.
The other two may also be eliminated as they are not actually things we should aim for when performing max effort lifts. The correct answer is again, C.
Question 8: The relaxation phase of muscle contraction results in what occurring? (Chapter 2)
A. Sarcoplasmic reticulum receives calcium
B. Calcium is transported into the bloodstream
C. Calcium is ionized
The answer is A, Sarcoplasmic reticulum receives calcium.
This question looks to for the knowledge of muscle contraction and the phases involved with it.
The three components of muscle contraction are the latent period, the contraction phase, and the relaxation phases.
The latent period is the time where we have the calcium transported so that it can get to the right spots for contraction, so this removes B.
Calcium is ionized in the second part where the muscle does contract, so we remove C.
And last, the Sarcoplasm receiving the calcium is what we have occurring in the relaxation phase of muscle contraction, so the answer is A.
Question 9: The most post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) can be attributed to what form of resistance training? (pg. 58)
A. 80% of 1 rep max with heavy resistance for maximum reps
B. Aerobic training only
C. Circuit weight training
The answer is A, 80% of 1 rep max with heavy resistance for maximum reps.
EPOC represents the number of calories expended (above resting values) after an exercise bout.
The number is going to be the highest with higher intensity workouts and is most often used with aerobic training.
That may lead some people to immediately choose B, but EPOC is not specific only to aerobic training and resistance training does have some effect on it.
The next part to narrow down is the lower intensity of the two, which in this case is the circuit weight training.
This is generally lower than maxing out reps at a high percent of your one-rep max.
So, the answer here is going to be A, as max reps with a heavy resistance will work at a higher intensity than your usual circuit training.
Question 10: The majority of metabolic fuel is provided by which energy system during a 50m dash? (pg. 46)
A. Krebs Cycle
B. ATP + CP
C. ATP + ADP
The answer is B, ATP + CP.
This answer looks to make sure you know the different metabolic systems that we use and the different inputs and outputs for these systems.
All three of the answers have to do with energy systems, but A is a cycle that takes place in the systems and is not a type of fuel for the body. So, we can remove A.
Then when we look at C, we see that ADP is not a fuel per se, but instead a byproduct of the use of ATP.
If we didn’t know that, then we might know that CP, or creatine phosphate, is specifically used as a fuel for high-intensity short bursts of work, like that of a 50m dash.
So, the answer here should be ATP + CP, or B.
Domain 2: Sport Psychology
This section represents 24% of the whole section and around 19 total questions.
The topics covered here are psychological techniques and knowledge used for enhancing training with psychology
Question 1: Which of the following is a physiological function of epinephrine in muscle? (pg. 67)
I. Decrease blood flow
II. Decrease blood pressure
III. Increase muscle contraction rate
IV. Decrease force production
A. I, II only
B. I, II, IV only
C. III only
The answer is C, III only.
This question is looking at your knowledge of the hormones in the endocrine system, and specifically for the fight or flight hormone epinephrine.
So, if you know that it is a fight or flight hormone, we can then go through the list and determine what those types of hormones do.
The fight or flight hormones are known to increase blood flow, force production, and muscle contraction rate.
So, this means that only the third one will be correct.
So, the answer will be C, and it shows how important it is to know the specifics of hormones and recognizing the categories they fall into, like catecholamines.
Question 2: In an athlete suspected of having an eating disorder, which of the following warning signs can be used to differentiate bulimia nervosa from anorexia nervosa? (Chapter 10)
A. Criticism of one’s body
B. Excessive exercise
C. Repeatedly disappearing right after eating
The answer is C, Repeatedly disappearing right after eating.
Bulimia is a serious eating disorder marked by bingeing, followed by methods to avoid weight gain.
Anorexia is an eating disorder causing people to obsess about weight and what they eat.
Both of these conditions could have both A and B, as a criticism of your body is a known part of most eating disorders, and excessive exercise fits the desire to avoid gaining weight that is featured in both disorders.
This leaves C, which is a feature mainly found in bulimia nervosa, instead of anorexia. This is due to the binging, followed by attempts to avoid weight gain.
Question 3: How do you describe the type of motivation that influences the pursuit of a professional sporting career for the sake of a high income? (pg. 161)
A. Intrinsic motivation
B. Group motivation
C. Extrinsic motivation
The answer is C, Extrinsic motivation.
Here we need to know the differences in types of motivation.
Intrinsic motivation is the act of doing something without any obvious external rewards.
Group motivation allows group members to set specific, challenging goals, and being willing to modify those goals as circumstances change is likely to motivate them to act in a desired manner.
Extrinsic motivation refers to behavior that is driven by external rewards such as money, fame, grades, and praise.
So, the one that matches someone seeking a professional sorting career would be someone that exemplifies high levels of desire for external rewards.
This means C, extrinsic motivation would perfectly match the professional sporting career.
Question 4: An athlete’s drive to succeed beyond others and obstacles, achieve mastery, and attain social recognition is known as what? (pg. 162)
A. Positive motivation
B. Achievement motivation
C. Goal-oriented action
The answer is B, Achievement Motivation.
This looks again at the different forms of motivation and makes sure that you know the differences.
Positive motivation is a technique in which a person is rewarded for accomplishing a certain task or changing a particular behavior.
Action-oriented goals are tasks, projects, milestones, or activities.
They aren’t true goals, even though it’s common to refer to the completion of a task or project as a goal.
Achievement motivation can be defined as the need for success or the attainment of excellence.
So, based on these definitions, the answer would be B, Achievement motivation due to the desire for excellence in performance.
Question 5: What type of feedback is provided by a video analysis? (pg. 172)
A. Results knowledge feedback
B. Tacit feedback
C. Performance knowledge feedback
The answer is C, Performance knowledge feedback.
This is going to be looking at the various forms of feedback that we use, and specifically we need to know what type is present in video analysis of movement or performances.
Results knowledge feedback refers to how successfully a skill is performed.
This is not really requiring video analysis as it is all about the end result.
Tacit does not really apply to the feedback we typically see. Tacit feedback is expressed or carried on without words or speech.
Knowledge of performance focuses on how well the athlete performed, not the end result.
So, the use of video analysis is going to perfectly be used for performance feedback. This means C is the answer.
Question 6: What eating disorder is characterized by ingestion of nonnutritive substances? (pg. 223)
B. Anorexia nervosa
C. Anxiety disorder
The answer is A, Pica.
Anxiety disorders are a group of mental disorders characterized by significant feelings of anxiety and fear.
These do not fall under eating disorders. And then we have anorexia disorder, which is an eating disorder causing people to obsess about weight and what they eat.
Then we have the other, less common, eating disorder known as Pica.
Pica is a psychological disorder characterized by an appetite for substances that are largely non-nutritive.
This perfectly fits the question and gives us the answer of A. It is a lesser-known or remembered disorder, and that’s where the test taker may struggle here.
Question 7: When experiencing high levels of arousal, what theory describes an athlete reacting with excitement and anticipation as opposed to one of fear and anxiety? (pg. 161)
B. Reversal theory
C. U theory
The answer is B, Reversal Theory.
We can start off by removing inspiration, as it is not actually a theory in any way, so this takes out A. Then we have reversal and U theory.
The U theory could be removed also, if you know there is no “U” theory, but instead an inverted U theory.
But you may be unable to eliminate that, so it leaves reversal theory.
This theory says the way in which arousal and anxiety affect performance depends on the individual’s interpretation of that arousal.
Essentially, an athlete might interpret high levels of arousal as excitement and indicative of performance readiness, while another athlete, experiencing the same emotion at the same arousal level, would interpret that feeling as unpleasant and reflective of a lack of confidence.
So, the answer will for sure be B, reversal theory.
Question 8: Which term correctly describes negative stress? (pg. 158)
The answer is C, Distress.
Eustress means moderate or normal psychological stress interpreted as being beneficial for the experiencer.
Eu literally means good, so it is good stress, not negative, so that answer is out.
Anxiety can be caused by stress, but since it is not a form of stress, we can actually remove it. So, B is out.
That leaves distress, which is actually given away by the presence of “dis”, which means negative, and then stress combined just gives away the negative stress.
Question 9: What is the main reason for avoiding alcohol intake post-training? (pg. 190)
A. It impedes muscle protein synthesis
B. It impedes glycogen
C. It impairs coordination and focus
The answer is A, it impedes muscle protein synthesis.
This looks at our knowledge of alcohol and the effects it may give us on performance.
Psychologically, the answer could very well be C, as we all know that alcohol impairs the coordination and focus of the person taking it in.
But, it is not the main reason for avoiding it in regard to after training.
So, we will remove C, even though it is correct in its own way.
Then B can be removed as it is not the main reason to avoid alcohol either.
The primary reason for you to avoid the intake of alcohol in relation to training is that it hurts recovery and the synthesis of muscle protein.
This is the main goal of recovery for athletes, and when impaired, will impair overall progress.
Question 10: Which sort of substance has an ergogenic effect that can decrease anxiety and tremors during an athletic performance? (Chapter 11)
A. Growth hormone
The answer is B, Beta-Blockers.
This requires us to know the different uses of ergogenic aids to enhance our performance.
Valine is one of three branched-chain amino acids that enhance energy, increase endurance, and aid in muscle tissue recovery and repair.
So, valine does not have those desired effects in the question.
Growth hormone is more of a steroid without many ergogenic effects.
This removes both A and C. Beta Blockers cause a slowed heart rate.
This makes the heart work more efficiently and causes less anxiety. This perfectly fits the answer of B.
Domain 3: Nutrition
This represents 21% of the whole section and around 17 total questions.
The topics covered in this section are focused on nutrition as it affects the general health and performance of people.
The other nutrition topics revolve around nutritional choices, macro monitoring diet-related psychology, and disorders.
Question 1: What does a nutritional supplement containing leucine stimulate? (pg. 182)
A. It buffers muscle protein catabolism and stimulates protein synthesis
B. It promotes vasodilation
C. It increases protein absorption
The answer is A, it buffers muscle protein catabolism and stimulates protein synthesis.
This question requires us to know the supplements/ergogenic aids and what they actually do to the body.
Leucine is one of the three branched-chain amino acids.
Leucine does not have any function in the promotion of vasodilation for the body.
Leucine also has no role in the absorption of protein increasing.
It does play a role in the catabolism of muscle proteins and the stimulation of protein synthesis.
The trick to this question is that all of these are possible functions of amino acids when supplemented, so it is important to really nail down what each one does when studying.
Question 2: Members of the elderly population can benefit from which nutrient combination in order to optimize bone density? (pg. 191, 193)
A. Iron and vitamin A
B. Calcium and vitamin D
C. Zinc and vitamin B12
The answer is B, Calcium and Vitamin D.
The question looks at the knowledge of what someone in the elderly population may need to supplement or focus on in the diet, and the knowledge of what nutrients affect the bones.
So, all of these nutrients play a role in health and bone health more specifically.
But for the optimization of bone density, we definitely need to focus on two.
Calcium and vitamin D are the optimum nutrients to help with the treatment of osteoporosis, something common in the elderly population. So, B is the right answer.
Question 3: For athletes referring to the glycemic index, which pre-workout food considerations are recommended? (pg. 186)
A. The GI rating should be as low as possible
B. The GI rating should be as high as possible
C. Athletes should experiment with both high and low GI sources to determine the optimal rating for their individual needs
The answer is C.
This is a challenging question due to the possibility of the answer is A or B for many people that do not know the answer immediately.
When it comes to the use of the glycemic index and deciding on pre-workout foods, it depends entirely on the way an individual reacts to the foods they eat.
This means that the athletes need to play with the two and see the differences in their own bodies for low and high GI food sources.
Question 4: With an increase in training intensity and duration, glycogen stores are depleted. How can glucose availability be increased without additional carb intake? (pg. 53)
A. Liver glycolysis
C. Muscle glycogenesis
The answer is B, Gluconeogenesis.
This question is regarding how the body responds when it has run out of energy reserves.
When this happens and the body also is not getting carbs through the diet, we see the body resort to using other energy systems.
Muscle glycogenesis doesn’t make the most sense, as glycogenesis is the synthesis of glycogen, which is then stored in the muscles for easy access during activity.
Glycolysis is the breakdown of sugar to pyruvate molecules, and it doesn’t have a lot to do with fulfilling energy needs for the body.
Then we come to gluconeogenesis, which is the use of protein as a source of energy for the body. The protein is turned into glucose for use as energy.
It is the last resort for the body to make energy from protein, and it happens in the exact scenario described in the question.
Question 5: How is calcium absorption is affected by low protein intake? (pg. 183)
A. It remains unaffected
B. Absorption is increased
C. Absorption is decreased
The answer is C, Absorption is decreased.
This requires specific knowledge regarding the intake of micronutrients, specifically calcium.
A situation that often happens in vegetarian and vegan diets, is the low intake of protein in the diet.
This will also see the calcium absorption change.
When the body is at this low protein intake level, the absorption of calcium is negatively affected, and this leads to the amount that is absorbed to be lessened.
This means the answer is C.
Question 6: Which of the following statements about zinc is false? (pg. 194)
A. It optimizes endogenous testosterone production
B. It is essential in bone synthesis
C. It optimizes wound repair
The answer is B, it is essential in bone synthesis.
This looks at more micronutrient information specifically for zinc.
Zinc is an essential mineral that is naturally present in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement.
Zinc is useful for optimizing endogenous testosterone production and for wound repairs.
So, that leaves B as the answer, as it is not an essential mineral for bone synthesis.
Question 7: Which substance should be avoided before training in order to avoid gastrointestinal issues? (pg. 203)
A. Energy beverages
B. Xylitol and other sugar alcohols
The answer is B, Xylitol and other sugar alcohols.
The best things to take prior to exercise are going to be things that do not cause the digestion system to work too much so that the body can focus on providing the required things for training.
Energy beverages can be filled with many things that the body may struggle to digest, or they may not digest quickly enough.
And protein takes a lot more effort than just standard carbs for digestion, so it is a bit tougher too. It is important that we know roughly how quickly food items take to digest.
The answer is B, xylitol, and other sugar alcohols. And this is because these are liquid forms and they are basic sugars that digest quite quickly in the body.
Question 8: Regarding nutrition planning, which of these is false? (Chapter 9)
A. Fundamental considerations of health and disease prevention must be taken into account
B. Physiological parameters such as age, sex, height, and weight must be considered
C. Fundamental considerations regarding macronutrient intake will remain similar across all population groups as it relates to activity levels
The answer is C.
This looks at your ability to know the basics that go into nutrition planning.
A is true, as you of course need to consider health and disease prevention when looking into nutrition.
B is also true, as we of course need to regard the physiological parameters of a person when looking into nutrition.
And C, the correct answer, is basically the opposite of B, saying that nutrition needs will be the same across people in all population groups and in the same levels of activity.
Question 9: What is the first order of conduct for a nutrition specialist providing consultation? (Chapter 10)
A. A total in-depth nutritional evaluation
B. Assessment of athletes objectives
C. Design a weight management program
The answer is B, Assessments of Athletes Objectives.
This question looks into the steps that we must take when deciding on a nutrition plan for an athlete.
A and C are both going to take place later in the process, as the initial parts of the consultation need to be done first. B is the right answer.
The first thing to be done is the assessment of the objectives that an athlete has.
Question 10: Which of these aspects influences the GI rating of a food source? (pg. 186)
A. A hyperglycemic predisposition
B. Consumption of multi-source meals as opposed to a single food source
C. Level of physical activity
The answer is B.
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrates in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels.
This can be influenced by some different things.
A hyperglycemic predisposition is not going to change the GI rating of the food and how the body responds to the carbs but will change the reaction to the blood sugar levels caused.
The level of physical activity has nothing to do with how food is digested as far as a rating of the carbs goes. So, B is the answer.
Taking in food sources with more than one single type of food will change how the glycemic response is in the body.
This is because the body tries to digest the many things in the stomach, and when there is more than just some type of carb, the body digests multiple things at once and puts effort into all of them.
Section 2: Practical/Applied
This section is 2.5 hours of testing and it contains a total of 125 questions.
You’ll be applying the principles throughout section 1 and putting them into action for use in programs for your clients.
There is also a focus on the administration portion of operation as a Personal Trainer. This includes the image and video resources for testing your competence across the domains.
Section two is made up of the remaining 4 domains out of 7.
Domain 4: Exercise Technique
This domain is 36% of the whole section 2 and around 40 questions.
This domain is going to test you on the training styles of resistance, agility, sprint, and plyometrics.
We also will have information on the energy systems, ATP cycle, and conditioning of the metabolic systems. Flexibility conditioning and spotting techniques are also touched on throughout these questions.
Question 1: Where should the handles be relative to the body with the pec deck machine? (pg. 376)
A. Aligned with the middle of the chest
B. Aligned with the deltoids
C. Aligned with the chin
The answer is A, aligned with the middle of the chest.
Chapter 15 is all over the exercise technique we should use for both free weight and machine training. This pec deck machine means that it’s in the machine portion.
This is a common piece of gym equipment that works the pec major, anterior deltoids, and triceps brachii.
This is going to work these muscles optimally when the handles are aligned to give the best stretch and allow the most movement.
This is when the machine is aligned with the middle of the chest. This means A is the right answer.
Question 2: Which grip forms should be used by the lifter and spotter during the downward phase of a barbell tricep lift? (pg. 355)
A. Both use a pronated grip
B. Lifter: pronated grip; Spotter: supinated grip
C. Both use a supinated grip
The answer is B, Lifter: pronated, Spotter: supinated.
This is a question that asks you to know about the proper spotting technique and the ability to recognize the exercise in question.
You should start by determining what kind of movement a barbell tricep lift is.
This is going to be an over-the-face barbell exercise.
So, then we must look into how a spotter should perform when this is.
The Lifter is likely going to be doing a pronated grip for the exercise anyway, so this should remove C.
The spotter should actually use the opposing grip, which is as a supinated grip. These two grips allow for the bar to be taken off quickly and securely if the need be.
Question 3: Which of these shows incorrect execution of a tire flip when employing a shoulders-against-the-tire technique? (pg. 417)
A. Shoulder rise occurs too slowly
B. The foot placement is too far from the tire position
C. The foot placement is too close to the tire position
The answer is C, the foot placement is too close to the tire position.
This question looks at some of the techniques that are nontraditional, specifically tire flipping.
This is something that is not as well studied for people taking the exam.
Tire flipping typically employs truck or heavy-equipment tires that can be modified via the placement of an extra load in the center to address individual strength needs.
With the shoulder against the tire technique, you can’t truly go too slow with the rise, so A would be out.
It is good if the foot is far from the tire, so B would also not be the answer. The foot placement being too close is a definite error that often occurs, and this is the answer, C.
Question 4: Which is an essential consideration with regards to foot action during a power clean’s second pull? (pg. 404)
A. Maximum heel/ground contact time before extension induced launch
B. Maintain toe/ground contact
C. Toes bear all the weight
The answer is A, Max heel/ground contact time before extension induced launch.
The Power clean is a quick and powerful movement where the barbell is pulled from the floor to the front of the shoulder in one movement.
Maintaining toe and ground contact is going to be a main feature in the phases outside of the second pull, so B is out.
The toes do not really bear all the weight in this movement, so C is also out.
In the second pull, we are basically at hip height with the bar and going to use the force we already created and the arms pulling and the extension of the feet.
This takes all possible force we can produce to perform this. A is going to be the right answer as that max heel and ground contact is important for the stages prior to the second pull, and then once the second pull is done, the extension is important.
Question 5: The hook-grip is commonly employed during a snatch lift by lifting athletes and is described by which of these statements? (pg. 352)
A. Thumb is squeezed by the middle and index fingers
B. Thumb squeezes middle and index fingers
C. Thumb remains positioned next to the index finger
The answer is A.
This question looks at the knowledge of the many types of handgrip options that we have.
The hook grip is a popular choice, primarily for things like Olympic lifting.
The hook grip is like the pronated grip, but with a very specific positioning for the thumb.
The thumb is going to be positioned between the middle and the index fingers.
This grip allows for stronger pull and grip performance in exercises like the snatch or power clean.
Question 6: Regarding the log clean press exercise, which of these is true? (pg. 430)
A. A full squat is essential during the dip-phase
B. The log will be above the quads at the end of the initial pull
C. The lifter can rest the log on the thighs in between the first and second pulls.
The answer is C.
This is another question that looks at nontraditional exercises.
These will have similarities with the matching regular exercises, like the clean and press with a barbell. This is in the category of strongman exercises.
This clean and press will have the barbell and weight just replaced with a log, usually metal.
For A, a full squat is not required at any point in the move, this is more of something you see in a snatch. The goal is actually to not exceed a quarter squat.
The first pull has the log coming off the ground, but before it reaches the quads it must go through a transition phase, and for that reason, the answer is not B.
C is the right answer, as the transition phase has the option to pause at this point on the thighs before the next pull occurs.
Question 7: Should the low-bar and high-bar back squat employ different grip widths? if so, what is the suggested difference? (pg. 380)
A. The lifter should employ a wider grip for a low-bar back squat
B. Grip width should remain constant for both squat forms
C. The lifter should employ a wider grip for a high-bar back squat
The answer is A.
When doing the back squat, you actually have two options for the positioning of the bar, and this causes changes in the hand position.
This question shows how the exam will require you to have knowledge of quite specific changes to form in exercises.
When doing the low bar squat the bar should be across the posterior deltoids and at the middle of the traps.
The hands will be quite a bit wider than your shoulders due to this positioning.
For the high bar squat, the bar is going to be positioned at the base of the neck, and the hands will grip the bar just outside of the shoulders.
So, both are going to be wider than the shoulder width, but the low bar will definitely be the wider of the two.
Question 8: How do the torso angles differ in a Romanian Deadlift with a snatch grip as opposed to one with a clean grip? (pg. 391)
A. A more horizontal torso orientation with the RDL on a clean grip
B. A more horizontal torso orientation with the RDL on a snatch grip
C. There is no variance in angle with a change of grip
The answer is B.
This question shows just how specific a question can be on the exercises we study.
This is easy to miss in the book, so it is often missed on the exam.
When doing the Romanian deadlift, we have two options for the handgrip and these will change the torso angles ever so slightly, depending on the anthropometric of the athlete’s body.
When performing the Romanian deadlift with a snatch grip, the torso will be more horizontal and possibly dip below parallel.
So, the answer is B, but it is a tough and specific question to look out for.
Question 9: Which of these is an instance of a hip abductor dynamic stretch? (Chapter 14)
A. Spine twist
B. Walking over and under
C. Curtsy squat
The answer is B, Walking over and under.
This looks at our knowledge of chapter 14 and the various ways we can warm up and train flexibility.
Dynamic stretching is a common form of stretching where we use sport-specific and generic movements to prepare the body for activity.
This is also oftentimes known as mobility drills.
These drills work to warm the body up.
With this question, we need to look at which is going to work the hip abductors.
We see the spinal twist work the internal oblique, external oblique, piriformis, erector spinae.
The curtsy squat is actually not a dynamic warm-up mentioned in the book, and it is more often done during exercising.
The Walking over and under dynamic stretch works the hip abductors, hip adductors, gastrocnemius, gluteus maximus, hamstrings, iliopsoas, rectus femoris, soleus.
So, this gives us the answer of B, as it includes the hip abductor.
Question 10: Which of these statements about an incline DB press is true? (pg. 355)
A. The dumbbells are moved with abduction and flexion
B. The feet should be positioned as wide as possible
C. The spotter positions their hands by the lifter’s forearms
The answer is C, the spotter positions his hands by the lifter’s forearms.
This question looks at the knowledge of exercises and the ability to recognize the spotting needs and other specifics for exercises.
A is wrong, as we know with the DB press we are going to move with adduction and flexion for this movement.
B is wrong, as the feet don’t have to be as wide as possible, as this is happening on an incline bench.
They shouldn’t be narrow, but as wide as possible is not correct.
C is the right answer, as the proper spotting technique calls for the spotter to spot the weight as close to the weight itself as to not allow the injury to occur in the many joints of the arm by grabbing somewhere like below the elbow. Many shoulder injuries occur this way.
Domain 5: Program Design
This domain represents 35% of the whole section and around 38 total questions.
This domain looks at proficiency in crafting plans and programs tailored for clients.
The focus is on the methods and modes of training, the selection of exercises, the order, and intensity of exercise, finding the proper volume, progressive overload, unloading, and reconditioning of clients.
We also need to know the functional ranges and the one rep limits as well as the protocols for recovery.
Question 1: In order to manage aerobic intensity, which of these is not an ideal method? (Chapter 20)
A. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scales
B. Blood pressure
C. Karvonen method
The answer is B, blood pressure.
This question looks into your knowledge of intensity in exercise, and specifically for the aerobic forms of exercise.
So, we need to know the purpose of these three methods and narrow it down to just one.
Ratings of perceived exertion use a scale and subjectively relies on how the exerciser feels to find their intensity.
It is found to be pretty accurate in relation to heart rate also, which we know is a major contributor to intensity findings.
The next one that is an ideal method is the Karvonen method.
The Karvonen formula is your heart rate reserve multiplied by the percentage of intensity plus your resting heart rate.
So, this is going to be one of the main ways that we find the intensity of at least the desired intensity for workouts.
This leaves blood pressure, which is the pressure put on the blood vessels by the blood as it is pumped through the body.
This is not used to find any form of intensity reliably or ideally, even though there are some notable changes in blood pressure that occurs during exercise.
Question 2: The prioritization of low sports practice and high resistance training occurs in which season? (pg. 444)
The answer is A, Off-season.
This question looks into the training seasons and what the focus may be for these various times in for an athlete.
We put a priority on certain goals while training in order to make improvements in athletic performance in notable ways.
The various seasons are off-season, preseason, in-season, and postseason.
The postseason is variable and has no real set amounts of sports practice and resistance training, and that’s why it is not mentioned in the answers.
In-season is a time of high sports practice and low resistance training, as this makes sense, we should emphasize sports practice to be proficient in the sport while in the season.
Then we have a preseason, this is seen with medium amounts of both sports practice and resistance training.
There is a balance here due to coming off from off-season training, and also getting close to starting the in-season training.
Last is the off-season training.
This is where we have a low level of sport practice, and high levels of resistance training.
The goal is often to improve many variables of power, strength, and endurance.
So, there is an emphasis on resistance training while also keeping the sport practice there somewhat. The answer again is A.
Question 3: In order to optimize the perceptual-cognitive ability of an athlete, what considerations can be made by a coach regarding agility training? (pg. 522)
A. Combine multiple agility drills
B. Increase intensity of plyometric exercises
C. Prompt swift direction change using a whistle
The answer is C, prompt swift direction change using a whistle.
This perceptual-cognitive ability is required for agility, and we must train this to increase it further.
Answer A, combining multiple agility drills would not necessarily work the cognitive and perception abilities of agility.
The same goes for B, as increasing the intensity of plyometrics is going to work the explosiveness and power of the athlete and progress those.
So, the answer is C, as agility is quite specifically the ability to perceive something and use cognition to change the movement of the body.
Question 4: Which pathway provides the greatest supply of ATP in the final phase of a marathon race? (Chapter 3)
B. Oxidation of fats
C. Insulin pathway
The answer is B, Oxidation of fats.
This question is regarding the different energy pathways and their use in different forms of exercise. Immediately we should be able to eliminate the insulin pathway, answer C.
This is not a pathway for energy or ATP that we use, it is just there to distract you.
Now we look at the glycolysis and the oxidation of fats.
Glycolysis is the breakdown of carbs stored in the muscle or glucose in the blood for energy.
This is typically used for shorter exercise because in an activity like a marathon race, we will run out of the storage of glucose and glycogen in the body.
So, B, is the right answer, as or body must efficiently use fats to make energy in long-distance aerobic events like the marathon.
Question 5: Cardiorespiratory endurance can be optimized by which form of resistance training? (pg. 106)
A. Compound training
B. Circuit training
The answer is B, Circuit Training.
This question looks to the various forms of training and your knowledge of how they affect the body.
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, which refers to the short bursts of intense exercise alternated with low-intensity recovery periods that make up the protocol.
So, C is out as this is actually a form of aerobic training and not resistance training.
Then compound training is actually supposed to be compound sets, which are a form of resistance training, but not really a modality of resistance training.
Circuit training is a form of resistance training that also works the body aerobically and with resistance. This means the answer is B, circuit training.
Question 6: In order to optimize muscle endurance, what would be an ideal set recommendation for a trainer client?
A. 4×5 reps at 90% 1RM
B. 3-4 x 12 reps at 70-85% 1RM
C. 1-3×12-25 reps at 50-70% 1RM
The answer is C, 1-3×12-25 reps at 50-70% 1RM.
This question will look at your knowledge of sets and reps and ensuring that they are hitting the goals for their programming.
We can look at any part of the sets, reps, and intensities in order to see the type of training we are doing.
For percent load, we see these making the different training goals.
Strength = >85%
Power single effort = 80 – 90%
Power multiple effort = 75 – 85%
Hypertrophy = 67 – 85%
Muscular Endurance = <67%.
For the goal reps portion, we see these reps for the different training goals.
Strength = <6
Power single effort = 1 – 2
Power multiple effort = 3 – 5
Hypertrophy = 6 – 12
Muscular Endurance = >12
For the Sets purpose, we see the reps for the different training goals.
Strength = 2 – 6
Power single effort = 3 – 5
Power multiple effort = 3 – 5
Hypertrophy = 3 – 6
Muscular Endurance = 2 – 3
When we use these goals for training, we see that the answer is C, since it perfectly fits the muscle endurance number assignments.
Question 7: What concept describes the high CNS activity that stimulates high-velocity near-maximum to maximum muscular activation for sprint training?
A. Action potential
B. Rate coding
C. High-velocity twitch activation
The answer is B, Rate coding.
The action potential is an explosion of electrical activity that is created by a depolarizing current.
High-velocity twitch activation is a combination of words from the recruitment of fast-twitch muscle fibers. It is not a real concept. So, this removes C.
Rate coding is one-way neurons encode information.
As the intensity of a stimulus increases, the firing rate of spikes increases as well.
This is the answer to the question, as rate coding is the only one relating to activity in the central nervous system.
Question 8: At the beginning of a youth resistance training program, what are the ideal set and rep ranges? (pg. 144)
A. 4 sets of 12 reps
B. 1-3 sets of 6-15 reps
C. 3 sets of 15 reps
The answer is B, 1-3 sets of 6-15 reps.
There are many youth resistance training guidelines we enforce in order to ensure their safety and lower the risk for things like overuse injuries.
On top of added recovery and enabling of growth in the youth, people should take extra precautions with their weight training at a young age.
The typical set and rep range will be from 1- 3 sets and 6 – 15 reps. The other two questions are not ranges, even though C does fall within the right parameters.
Question 9: Which method of training is most effective for increasing stride rate for optimized sprint speed? (Chapter 18)
A. Isometric training
B. Heavy resistance training
C. Plyometric training
The answer is C, Plyometric training.
This question ensures you have knowledge of the different training modalities and what they can be used for in an athlete’s goals.
Heavy resistance training is well known for its uses in hypertrophy and in strength and power, but it does not strictly help with the stride rate and sprint speed directly.
It is a close second for being the right answer.
Then we have isometric training is training in movements where you are staying in one position and not likely to be moving, so this is very unlikely to help.
Plyometric exercise refers to those activities that enable a muscle to reach maximal force in the shortest possible time.
This kind of exercise is going to directly benefit the sprint speed and stride rate. So, the answer here will be C.
Question 10: Regarding a resistance training program, Which is the ideal exercise to perform first during a training session? (pg. 448)
B. Power clean
C. Walking lunge
The answer is B, Power clean.
This looks into your knowledge of the optimal ordering of exercises for the sessions.
The order of exercises should always be from power, other core exercises, and then the assistance exercises.
It is an order where it takes the most taxing movements first and the least at the end of the workout. So, we must determine the exercises and their type.
The press-up and walking lunge are likely to be in the category of other core exercises, so these would be in the second part of the categorization.
This leaves the power clean, which if we know, is an Olympic lift that is a very powerful move and quite taxing on the body.
This should be done first in exercise, putting B as the right answer.
Domain 6: Organization and Administration
This is the smallest percentage of the entire exam at around 11% and 12 questions.
This domain looks to test your knowledge of the things needed to run a business.
The test will cover organizational structures, administrative layouts, legal and ethical standards, and insurance and bookkeeping.
A. Advise against creatine use
B. Recommend any reputable brand
C. Recommend the athlete consults a qualified nutrition and diet expert
The answer is C, Recommend the athlete consults a qualified nutrition and diet expert.
This question looks into the scope of practice and guidelines put in place for a strength and conditioning coach through the CSCS.
Starting with the typical order of deciding what you should do, B is wrong as it would be the trainer wishing to push their products or the gym’s products.
This is outside of what a coach should do for the health of their athlete.
Answer A is wrong as you should not give specific advice if nutrition is outside of your scope of practice.
You can tell them about what creatine may do for the body, but you should not give recommendations or advice on buying it.
C is the right answer, as it is ideal for the trainer to recommend and refer a nutrition expert for the athlete to discuss things with, as this is in their scope of practice.
A. A spring floor
B. A wooden platform with a rubber perimeter
C. Granular rubber
The answer is B, A wooden platform with a rubber perimeter.
This question regards the specifics of the equipment used for training athletes.
There is a lot of information on this, and this chapter can be intimidating for test-takers.
This question looks at the specifics for the Olympic platforms and the flooring that is preferred.
The proper flooring would be a wooden platform that has a rubber perimeter.
This allows for optimal performance when performing the many Olympic lifts and maximizes the grip of shoes required.
Granular rubber is used more for the rest of the flooring of the gym and is optimal for that.
Spring floors are something found more in gymnastics or dealing with plyometrics.
A. A final verbal warning
B. Further extended suspension of a week and a detailed record and notification to the athlete’s trainer
C. Suspension for the remainder of a year and a detailed record of transgressions
The answer is B.
This looks at the knowledge of the recommended discipline for athletes training at the facility.
With these, we are able to ensure correct participation in the activity and minimize problems that may occur.
The very first thing to occur for the athlete is for them to get a verbal warning and a thorough explanation of the problem that has occurred.
From there we move to the second offense where the result is a one-day dismissal from training, documentation of the offense, and correspondence with the coach of the athlete.
This is where the question starts. The question is on what happens next if there is a third offense.
The result of this is a one-week dismissal from the activity at the facility, and all of the above information regarding the athlete’s coach and documentation of the event.
A. Pre-participation screening
B. Review of policies and procedures of the facility
C. Equipment and technique instructions
The answer is A, Pre-participation screening.
The orientation meeting is done by the strength and conditioning coach for the athletes and for the coaches of the athletes.
At this meeting, the coach will work on explaining the equipment they use and the technique to be used for the equipment.
Also, in this meeting, we see the review of the many policies and procedures to be followed in the facility.
The preparticipation screening is done before all of this since by now the athlete has been accepted into training at the facility. This means that the answer is A.
A. Commissioning an architect
B. Conduct a S.W.O.T analysis
C. To recognize important policy guidelines
The answer is B, Conduct a S.W.O.T analysis.
The initial phase is going to be the predesign phase.
This contains the needs analysis, the master plan, and also the feasibility study.
The first part of the Design of the weight room happens in the feasibility study.
The threats that exist are also known as the SWOT analysis, and this is a primary part of the initial phase of design for any part of the facility.
Commissioning an architect is going to come later in the design phase.
Recognizing the important policies and guidelines is also part of the design phase.
A. Administrative record keeping
B. Introduction of exercise technique
C. Evaluation and treatment of injury
The answer is C, Evaluation and treatment of injury.
This question looks at the overall responsibilities and the scope of practice for the strength and conditioning coaches.
Here we need to weed out the answers that we know are the responsibilities of the strength and conditioning coach.
The coach is responsible for the duty of administrative record keeping for their athletes.
The coach is also responsible for the introduction of exercise technique to their athletes, as this is a primary part of the job.
The evaluation and treatment of injury should be left to doctors and other coaches, as this is not a part of strength and conditioning. Basic first aid and things may be a part, but not the actual treatment and evaluation. This means the answer is C.
A. Drafting of the facility blueprint is part of this phase
B. Selection of the architect occurs during this phase
C. Master plan development occurs during this phase
The answer is C, Master plan development occurs during this phase.
This looks back into the design of a facility for the strength and conditioning of athletes.
The design phase is the second phase in the whole process of building the facility.
The predesign phase is the stage before this one.
In that stage, we go through the making of the master plan as the third part of this initial pre-design phase. This means that it is not the answer, since it is false.
The last part of the master plan will also have the selection of the architect.
This means it will not be the answer.
The part that confuses people here, is that the selection of the architect is in this stage, but the main interactions with the architect are reserved for the design phase in the question.
This often leads people to believe B is the answer.
The answer is A, as drafting the blueprint is a main part of the designing phase.
A. Fuse two racks together with bolts
B. Attach the rack to the wall with bolts
C. Secure the rack to the floor with bolts
The answer is C, secure the rack to the floor with bolts.
This looks into the rules and guidelines for constructing the facility, specifically at the weightlifting area and the racks in it.
The weightlifting racks are of course in the weightlifting area.
These are pieces of equipment where weight and people will be.
The racks are required to be 3 – 4 feet apart, so they should never be fused together. So, A is out.
The racks do not have to be attached to the wall, but it isn’t needed. It does however need to be bolted to the floor, and this means that C is the right answer.
A. Radiological report
B. Legal background
C. Medical clearance
The answer is C, Medical Clearance.
Radiological reports are never truly a necessity for a strength and conditioning coach, so this one can be easily removed.
This could be helpful for confirmation of injuries and likely only for other more specific injury-related fields of work.
A legal background is not something we look into when determining the ability to participate in a program.
Medical clearance is a part of the preparticipation screening part of starting programs.
All of this is before the start of a program, so that would make the answer C, medical clearance.
The answer is A, 12”.
This type of question shows how specific the questions can get.
The presence of a wheelchair ramp is needed, but we also need to have specifics for how it should be designed. This inch of elevation relates to the slope of the ramp itself.
Here we should see nothing higher than 0.5 inches total. This refers to the presence of steps on the ramp.
Any higher than half an inch and it is unlikely that the wheels on a wheelchair can make it.
Then the other thing to keep track of is that for every one inch of rise in the ramp, we should see 12 inches progressed horizontally.
It can be more than that, hence a lower slope, but it must be a minimum of 12 inches horizontally for every inch of height.
Domain 7: Testing and Evaluation
This is the final domain covered and it represents 18% of section 2 and has 20 total questions. This domain will test you on the test selections of tests and test administration.
Test interpretation, along with how to read, evaluate, and apply test results are covered as well.
Question 1: For administration of an aerobic endurance test in hot conditions, which of these is an important guideline?
A. Athlete must sign an indemnity form before proceeding with the test
B. Athlete must sign an indemnity form before proceeding with the test
C. Make a reasonable determination of temperature, wind, and humidity
The answer is C.
This relates to the participation in activity under extreme conditions, whether it be cold or heat.
Hot conditions will be a combination of temperature, wind, and heat.
B can be removed immediately, as we should always be taking part in a warmup for the body prior to working out.
It is not required to sign an indemnity form for activity, as this somewhat part of training anyways. So, A is going to be removed.
Before testing, and especially when the conditions might be somewhat extreme, we should always check the temperature, humidity, and wind to make the best decision. This makes C the best answer.
Question 2: What is not an ideal caliper measurement location for the skinfold body fat % test of a 32-year-old male athlete? (pg. 314)
The answer is C, Deltoid.
This question looks at our ability to take the body composition of athletes, and specifically the knowledge of where the skinfold sites are, based on gender.
When we look at the seven sites used in the skinfold calculations for male athletes, we see that the sites needed are the chest, abdomen, triceps, subscapular, suprailliac, midaxilla, and the thigh.
This leaves the deltoid as the one that stands out and is not used in skinfold testing. So, the answer is C.
Question 3: What term describes the scenario where two coaches have considerably different opinions on how to proceed with testing team members, leading to unreliable results? (pg. 25)
A. Intra Subject reliability
B. Interrater reliability
C. Intrasubject variability
The answer is B, Interrater reliability.
There is no intrasubject variability, but instead what is called intrasubject variability.
Intrasubject variability is a lack of consistent performance by the person being tested. Interrater reliability, also referred to as objectivity or interrater agreement, is the degree to which different raters agree in their test results over time or on repeated occasions; it is a measure of consistency.
So, with all of this information on the various answers, we can remove A, due to it not truly existing, and then we can remove C due to it regarding the consistency of performance measures, not the different raters/coaches.
This leaves interrater reliability, which is practically this exact definition, but it is important to know how they try to trick you with other answers on the exam.
Question 4: When should a test site be measured a third time when performing a skinfold test? (pg. 288)
A. There does not need to be more than one test performed
B. Only if the athlete indicates a desire to be tested a third time
C. When the first 2 measurements return with a more than 10% difference between them
The answer is C.
This question looks at how thorough your knowledge is for the testing of skinfold measures in body composition assessment.
Here we can immediately remove A, as we should know that the actual skinfold testing needs a minimum of two measures while cycling through the sites to give time to rest the skin.
Then when we look at B, it could be a reason to retest a third time, but it by no means is a for sure reason to measure this third time. That leaves us to C, which is quite important in this test.
We should always do a third test or more if we receive results that have more than a 10% difference in them. This means there may be a problem with testing in some way.
Question 5: What is the ideal arm position in order to accurately conduct an upper arm girth measurement?
A. Straight arm, lateral to the body with a pronated palm
B. Straight arm in horizontal position and pronated palm
C. Straight arm in horizontal position and supinated palm
The answer is C, Straight arm in horizontal position and supinated palm.
The girth measurements are a form of anthropometry measures and also a way to track progress throughout programs for your athletes.
We should have the limbs in particular positions and always make sure to test in the same way when we are retesting for the most accuracy possible.
Specifically, the upper arm girth should be taken at the point in the arm with max circumference and with the arm fully extended, the palm up, and the arm abducted to be parallel with the floor.
Question 6: What are the different movement patterns involved in the performance of the T-test? The T-test incorporates what variety of different movement patterns? (pg. 280)
A. Sprint, crossover run, 180-degree turn
B. Sprint, 180-degree turn, backward run
C. Sprint, shuffle, backward run
The answer is C, Sprint, shuffle, backward run.
The t-test is a test used for agility.
This test requires the equipment of cones, a tape measure that is five yards minimum, a stopwatch, and a flat floor with good traction.
The test is going to begin with a straight sprint for ten yards.
It will then start the T pattern by having the athlete shuffle to the left for five yards, and then to the right for ten yards.
The shuffle continues with 5 back to the left, and the test ends with a backward sprint to the starting position.
This means that the answer is C, as there is no turning, the athlete stays facing forward the entire times.
Question 7: Aerobic capacity is commonly tested through which of these? (pg. 278)
A. Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test
B. 40-yard dash
C. Margaria-Kalamen test
The answer is A, Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test.
Aerobic capacity is also known as the VO2 max and is commonplace in tests that involve long periods of time and building to max effort.
The margaria-kalemen test is a max muscular power test, so it can be removed as these will not test aerobics in any way.
Then we have the 40-yard dash which is a form of a sprinting test.
This one, while running is aerobic, is a max effort test that will not look into the aerobic capacity or VO2 max of the athlete.
The Yo-Yo intermittent test is an aerobic capacity test that has 2 x 20 meter runs with short rests of ten seconds.
The pace for these is high and the test involves reaching the lines with enough time.
There are only two warnings before the test is terminated.
The total distance can also be found with this testing. All of this means that the answer is A.
Question 8: How is a local push-up endurance test performed according to US Army testing protocols? (pg. 275)
A. 50 push-ups for time
B. Reps until failure
C. Reps within a 2 minute period
The answer is C, Reps within a two-minute period.
The push-up test is generally an easy test to administer due to only requiring a foam roller for female athletes.
This test is used often in the army where there they actually have the same standards as the men, and then for the ACSM is the use of the knees having contact with the ground instead of the feet.
There are some variations in the low position for both of the genders, but usually, the men must make contact with the recorder’s fist in the ground, and women with the foam roller mentioned before.
There is no rep limit to the test, so this removes the50 pushups for a time in A.
The reps are done until failure for both the ACSM and the army standards, but it is not the differentiating factor.
This removes B. C is the correct answer as the army has an added standard of as many reps as possible until failure or within two minutes.
The 2 minute period differentiates the two standards.
Question 9: Which of these validities would the results of the percentile rank of athletes’ vertical jumps and 1RM back squat variations reinforce? (pg. 251)
A. Convergent validity
B. Discriminant validity
C. Face validity
The answer is B, Discriminant validity.
Convergent validity is evidenced by a high positive correlation between the results of the test being assessed and those of the recognized measure of the construct.
Face validity is the appearance to the athlete and other casual observers that the test measures what it is purported to measure.
Discriminant validity is the ability of a test to distinguish between two different constructs and is evidenced by a low correlation between the results of the test and those of tests of a different construct.
Based on these somewhat similar definitions, we should be able to see the answer as B, since this involves the comparison of two different methods of testing. Discriminant validity fits this.
Question 10: Measuring which of these aspects of performance would be an ideal implementation of the Wingate test? (pg. 261)
A. Anaerobic or maximum muscular power
B. Lactate threshold
C. Maximal speed
The answer is A, Anaerobic or maximum muscular power.
This is a question that is the most specific of all the questions, since it is found in one part of the book, and the only one of the assessments that does not have its own page to discuss it.
When it comes to anaerobic tests, also called max muscular power, we see the use of the wingate test as it is a very common test.
The lactate threshold would be tested in an aerobic capacity test.
This is usually a greater than 10 minute test for the VO2. Then max speed is something used in a sprinting test.
This question is included to show just how specific the questioning can get from the information in the textbook.
Randomized 70 Question CSCS Practice Exam
Here is a randomized 70 question CSCS free practice exam.
This free CSCS practice exam will help familiarize you with the real CSCS exam.
With adequate CSCS test prep, you’ll always be one step ahead.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is the CSCS exam hard?
While the CSCS online course is no walk in the park, the CSCS can be quite a challenging test as well. Its pass rate is right around 56%, so you are almost as likely to pass your first test as you are to fail. The percentage needed to pass is 70%, which is generally considered generous as far as certifications go. The CSCS test questions are known to be more challenging than simply defining what something is or simple true and false questions. So, the CSCS is considered to be a long and challenging test.
How many questions are there in the CSCS exam, and what is a passing grade?
The CSCS exam is split into two sections. Section one has 80 scored questions and 15 questions that are not scored. The second section of the test is made up of 110 scored questions and 15 non-scored questions. The total number of CSCS questions is 220, and these are all multiple-choice questions. A passing score on the exam is a 70%. It is a good idea to take mock tests and really examine the CSCS exam practice questions.
Where can you take the CSCS exam?
You can take the CSCS test at the nearest Pearson VUE testing center. There are several of these centers throughout the nation. Make sure to look into the Pearson site to find the closest one to you, and check the calendar for CSCS test dates. There will be many CSCS exam dates to choose from, so be sure it fits in your schedule and that you are ready to test.
What happens if you fail the CSCS exam?
You have a slightly higher chance of passing than failing, but still, it is a high chance of not passing. For this, consider the option of a retake. To qualify for a retake, you have to wait 90 days to retake the exam since the last time it was taken. You can register for a retake 5 days after a failed exam. The option to take the exam again is unlimited. You will only need to resubmit the AED/CPR information if it has expired. One really good thing is, if you only fail one of the sections, you will only need to retake it, not the other one, so it is important to note that.
How long after the exam will I receive the certificate?
After the NSCA CSCS exam has been completed and passed, you will receive the certification package in 6 – 8 working weeks. The certificate is not available in any form online.
How long is the certification valid?
The certification is good for 3 whole years from the date of passing the CSCS exam. The exam will need to be retaken before this certification expires. If the certification has expired, you may petition for being reinstated as long as you have all of the CEU during the normal period of 3 years, you submitted proof of them being earned, you have a verified and current AED/CPR certification, and you have paid the reinstatement and recertification fees in the right time frame.
How much does the CSCS exam cost?
For a member of the NSCA, the exam registration fee is 340$, the retake for both sections is 340$, and the retake fee for just one section is 250$. For someone who is not a member, the exam registration fee is 475$, the retake fee for both sections is 475$, and the retake fee is 385$ for just one section.
Where can I find more study materials and test prep for the CSCS?
CSCS online study guides are helpful for preparation. When studying for CSCS, it is important to get as many CSCS practice exam questions as you can, as the material is quite challenging. The strength and conditioning test from NSCA is challenging, and you can’t go wrong with additional study materials offered here on Trainer Academy, and also the free study materials from PTpioneer.
What other study materials can I use to prepare for the CSCS?
Studying for the CSCS NSCA offers can be challenging and requires a good amount of time to prepare. I offer some great resources here at Trainer Academy. The paid CSCS exam study guide will ensure a passing grade. We also offer helpful study materials such as CSCS flashcards and audio guides in the paid study systems. If you want to check out more free study items and CSCS prep, PTPioneer has excellent CSCS study materials and CSCS study questions. It is important to get as much CSCS exam prep as possible. They also have NASM materials and much more.
The last study tip I have for you for the CSCS exam is to use memorization mnemonics, which can really work wonders for difficult to remember topics from the textbook.
Another great technique is using spaced repetition flashcards.
These use an algorithm to learn which flashcards you already know, and which flashcards you have trouble with.
Implementing these into your studies make it easier for you to pass your final exam and earn your precious strength and conditioning cert.
If you want to become a personal trainer, then I recommend the NSCA-CPT, but also the following:
- National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
- American Council on Exercise (ACE)
- American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
- International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA)
These are all rated as some of the best personal trainer certifications.
For example, take a look through some of the personal trainer certification practice preparation from NASM vs. ACE.
There are also more great materials and exam information found when exploring NASM vs. ISSA.
One good thing about exam cheat sheets is that they reduce the overall time it takes to become a personal trainer, or in this case, a strength and conditioning coach.
They are all accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), which is a non-profit organization and the gold standard accreditation in the fitness industry.
NCCA-accredited certifications also open the door to many great career opportunities.
It’s also worth sharing that having more than just a personal trainer certification will increase your overall personal trainer salary.
The field of fitness and wellness and maximizing performance is always expanding, hence why the personal trainer job outlook is expected to continue to flourish.
Just do your research.
And with the popularity of the internet, I wouldn’t be surprised if you want to become an online personal trainer.
Overall, the NSCA CSCS is one of my all-time favorite strength and conditioning courses, and I hope my article taught you a lot more.