Welcome to the ultimate FREE NASM study guide 6th edition for 2021. Here are some things that you will learn in this guide:
I promise that after going through our free guide, you will have a much easier time breezing through the exam.
Make sure to bookmark this page or you will regret it 😉 This Is for the 6th edition textbook. If you are looking for the 7th edition, check out this link.
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Domain 1: Client Relations and Behavioral Coaching
Section 1. Communication Components
1. List five tips that can enhance the quality of communication.
– Use of appropriate body language
– Provide an explanation of important concepts
– Show empathy and compassion
– Use positive reinforcement
– Use positive greeting protocols (smile, handshake. hello)
2. Describe non-verbal communication and how it takes effect.
Visual and auditory expressions of intent and feeling that exist outside of written or spoken speech.
3. Define “active listening”.
Practicing listening as an act of genuine interest.
4. Describe the differences between open-ended and closed-ended questions.
Open-ended questions allow the questioned party to elaborate with detail. Close-ended questions only require a yes or no answer.
5. Define “reflecting” with regards to trainer-client communication
Relaying back your interpretation of what the client has communicated.
6. Define “summarizing” with regards to trainer-client communication
Making brief reflections of what has been communicated to indicate that information has been taken on board.
Section 2. SMART Goals
1. Complete the SMART Goals table below.
Section 3. Goal Expectation Management
1. List eight important considerations in goal expectation management.
1. Understand the client’s motivations
2. Hone in and clarify vague statements like “I want to get fit” or “I want to look better”
3. Allow clients to verbalize their goals for more clarity
4. Identify unrealistic outcomes
5. Set goals based on the SMART principles
6. Be able to contrast between product and progress based goals
7. Be aware that progress occurs at different rates for different clients
8. Identify how and when each client’s goals will be reassessed and revisited
Section 4. Behavior Change Strategies
1. Label the “stages of change” diagram below.
Try to Label think of the stages without seeing the chart below, first.
2. What are the four forms of support a trainer can implement?
– Instrumental support in the form of practical applications and infrastructure
– Emotional support in the form of positive psychological reinforcement and encouragement
– Informational support in the form of facts and evidence that provide direction and indicate efficacy and reliability
– Companionship support in the form of positive social associations such as family and close friends
Section 5. Psychological Response to Exercise
1. List four potential psychological benefits of exercise.
– Promotes positive mood
– Improves the quality and quantity of sleep
– Reduces stress
– Reduces indicators and risk factors of anxiety and depression
Section 6. Barriers to Behavior Change
1. List five common barriers to successful behavioral change.
– Time constraints
– Setting unrealistic goals
– Inadequate social support
– Social anxiety and low self-esteem, Convenience or addictiveness of current behavioral patterns
Section 7. Client Expectation Management
1. What key topics should be discussed at the end of each initial session with a new client?
– If the client is ready to begin or has any further questions/queries
– The social dynamics, etiquette, and training culture of the facility
– Dress code
– The potential outcomes of interactions with other clients/members
Domain 2: Basic and Applied Sciences and Nutritional Concepts
Section 1. The Nervous System
1. Define the following components of the nervous system.
Golgi Tendon Organ – GTOs are specialized sensory receptors located at the point where skeletal muscle fibers insert into the tendons of skeletal muscle.
Muscle Spindle – Muscle Spindles are sensory receptors within muscles that run parallel to the muscle fibers and are sensitive to change in muscle length and rate of length change .
The Charts below are found in chapter 5 in the 7th edition.
These figures are found in lesson 1 of chapter 5 in the 7th edition text.
2. Define the 3 main functions of the nervous system.
The three primary functions of the nervous system include sensory, integrative, and motor functions. Sensory Function is the ability of the nervous system to sense changes in either the internal or external environment. Integrative Function is the ability of the CNS to analyze and interpret sensory information to allow for proper decision making, which produces an appropriate response. Motor Function is then the body’s response (via the efferent pathway) to that integrated sensory information, such as causing a muscle to contract when stretched too far or changing one’s walking pattern when transitioning from walking on a sidewalk to walking in the sand.
These figures can be found throughout lesson 1 of chapter 5 in the 7th edition text.
Section 2. The Muscular System
1. Define the following components of the muscular system.
Connective tissue bridging muscles to the skeleton
Connective tissue that consists of a tough fibrous membrane that holds muscle tissue together
Muscle fiber units bundled within a single muscle
Cylindrical cells that produce and resist force through mechanical contraction allowing organisms to move and reposition
The muscle fiber’s fundamental contractile unit consisting of protein filaments actin and myosin
Sliding filament theory
That contraction of muscles takes place through the sliding of actin and myosin
Type I (slow-twitch) muscle tissue
Predominantly aerobic muscle fibers responsible for sustained focused contractions and have a relatively higher mitochondrial count for that reason
Type II (fast-twitch) muscle tissue
More anaerobic, these fibers are tasked with short, explosive contractions aimed at generating power and speed
The smallest functional unit of a muscle and motor unit system
Stimulation of motor units through delivery of mild impulse. Also known as warming up.
A signaling chemical release at the end of nerve synapses used to transfer impulses across nerve junctions or to muscle fibers
2. Label this cross-section of a muscle.
The chart is found in lesson 4 of chapter 5 in the 7th edition.
3. Define the following muscle systems.
Local stabilization system
Muscle system connected directly to vertebrae
Global stabilization system
Muscle system that transfer force between the upper and lower body, thus providing full-body stability
All organs and structures whose collective function brings about mobility and biomechanical activity
These figures are found throughout lesson 4 of chapter 5 in the 7th edition text.
Section 3. The Skeletal System
1. Label this diagram of the spine.
These diagrams are found throughout chapter 5, lesson 2.
2. Define joints and know the following components of the skeletal system.
Joints are the sites where two bones meet and movement occurs as a result of muscle contraction.
These images are found throughout lesson 2 of chapter 5 in the 7th edition.
1. Define the following components of the joint system.
Skeletal system functions
Structural integrity and support, protection of vital organs, mobility, anchoring of organs, production of blood and endocrine hormones
Maintains structural integrity by joining bone segments not required to perform the movement
Joints that allow smooth movement between two or more adjacent bones
Major motion types
Spin, slide, and roll
Sagittal plane. E.g. elbows and knees
Full axis mobility. E.g. Pelvic and shoulder girdle
The science of joint motion
Section 4. The Endocrine System
1. Define the following components of the endocrine system.
The system responsible for the production and secretion of hormones
Anabolic male sex hormone
Female sex hormone
Anabolic tissue growth hormone
Energy and micronutrient regulation hormone
Section 5. The Cardio-respiratory System
1. Define the following.
System comprising of the heart & blood vessels (circulatory) and lungs (respiratory)
The heart and blood vessels
Lungs and breathing system
2. Define the following.
Involuntary heart muscle, relatively more rigid than skeletal muscle
Gathers low oxygen blood
Gathers oxygenated blood from the lungs
Sinoatrial (SA) node
Myocyte clusters that generate electrical impulses that determine heart rhythm
Pumps low oxygen blood to lungs
Pumps oxygen-rich blood through the body
Vessels for oxygenated blood
Vessels for deoxygenated blood
Small branches of arteries
Smallest blood vessel units. Chemical exchange sites
Smallest branches of veins
The volume of blood circulated with each pump
The frequency of heartbeats per minute
Amount of blood pumped per minute
3. Define the following components of the respiratory system.
Moving air into the lungs through muscular contractions
Primary inspiratory muscles
External intercostals and diaphragm
Secondary inspiratory muscles
scalenes, sternocleidomastoid and pectoralis minor
Pushing air out of lungs through muscular contraction
Abdominals and internal intercostals
Resting oxygen consumption (VO2)
Amounts to 3.5ml/min/kg of body mass and is the equivalent of 1 metabolic equivalent (MET)
Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max)
Maximum oxygen consumption rate at peak exercise intensity
Irregular breathing patterns characteristic of stress and anxiety
4. Describe the training effects of cardiorespiratory exercise.
Increases: metabolic activity mental alertness, cardiac function, respiratory function.
Decreases: resting heart rate, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, risk of cardiovascular disease.
5. Label the diagram below.
These diagrams are found throughout lesson 1 of chapter 6 in the 7th edition text.
6. What are the 3 main functions of blood?
Oxygen, nutrients, and hormones
Temperature, fluid balance, pH
Immune system, clotting
Section 6. Bioenergetics and Exercise Metabolism
1. Define the following bioenergetic concepts.
The science of energy in the body
The usage cycle of nutrients and their conversion into energy, body components, and waste materials through normal life function
Using oxygen to drive metabolic function
Metabolic activity with an absence of oxygen
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
A molecule used to transfer and store energy in cells
The point at which energy demand surpasses oxu=ygen supply
Excess post oxygen consumption(EPOC)
Post-exercise elevated metabolic activity
2. List the components and functions of the following energy systems.
Aerobic glycolysis, Krebs cycle, electron transport chain, Long-term energy
Anaerobic, Moderate-to-high intensity, lasts up to 30-50 seconds
Anaerobic, High-intensity, Lasts up to 10-15 seconds
Section 7. Fundamentals of Biomechanics
1. Define “Biomechanics”.
The science concerning the generation, transfer, and resistance of mechanical force by the musculoskeletal system and the effects produced.
2. Define “Force”.
A transfer of energy that acts on a physical body causing it to change its direction and velocity.
3. Define “Torque”
A rotational force acting about a fixed axis.
4. Define “Lever“.
A rigid bar that applies torque about a fixed pivot or fulcrum.
5. Describe the 3 classes of levers.
The fulcrum in the center
Resistance in the center
Effort in the center
Section 8. Anatomic locations
1. Describe the following anatomic locations
Closest to a reference point
Furthest from a reference point
On either side
2. Define the following planes of motion and give examples of where they act.
The planes of motions to know are the Frontal, Sagittal, and the Transverse.
|Frontal||Adduction/abduction, Lateral flexion, Eversion/inversion||Lateral raise, lateral lunge, lateral shuffle|
|Sagittal||Flexion and extension||Bicep curl, hamstring curl|
|Transverse||Rotation, Horizontal adduction/abduction||Throwing motion|
Section 9. Joint Motions
1. Define the following joint motions.
extension about the ankle joint
Flexion about the ankle joint
Extension away from the midline
Flexion towards the midline
Abduction along the transverse plane
Joint rotation towards the midline
Joint rotation away from the midline
Section 10. Principles of Human Movement Science
1. Define the following muscle actions
Muscle shortens with contraction (effort>resistance)
Muscle lengthens under resistance (effort<resistance)
Muscle length remains constant against resistance (effort=resistance)
2. Define the following muscle action concepts and principles.
The tension a muscle can produce at a given resting length
A muscle pair working to produce motion
An increase in velocity correlates to a decrease in concentric force and an increase in eccentric force
The degree at which force can be produced, reduced, and stabilized across all 3 movement planes
The degree of optimal alignment of the musculoskeletal system towards the most ideal centre of mass distribution for a given body
soft tissue models along the lines of stress
Muscle spindle inhibition due to sensory impulses of tension being greater than motor impulses of contraction
The contraction of one muscle leads to the relaxation of it’s opposite to facilitate movement.
Body’s affinity towards seeking the least resistive path
Abnormal stress caused by excessive repetition of a single movement
Postural distortion patterns
Common movement patterns associated with muscle imbalances
Altered reciprocal inhibition
A tight agonist that inhibits its functional antagonist causing muscle inhibition
When a prime mover’s function is taken over by a synergist
Disproportionate muscle length about a joint
3. Label the “Cumulative Injury Cycle” diagram below.
The cumulative injury cycle is essential for the fitness professional to understand that poor posture and repetitive, overuse movements can create dysfunction within the connective tissue of the human body.
This image is figure 14-12 in the 7th edition.
Section 11. The OPT Model
1. Define the “OPT” model.
NASM’s Optimal Performance Training model aimed at enhancing the body through the correction of deficiencies, and improvement of the fundamentals of stabilization, strength, and power
2. Define the 3 pillars of the OPT Model
The ability to achieve and maintain postural equilibrium through all planes of motion
The degree to which muscular tension can produce force
The length of time muscular tension can be sustained
The maximum amount of force that can be produced through muscular contraction
The increase in mass and volume of muscle tissue due to growth stimulated by metabolic and/or mechanical response. May lead to a corresponding increase in strength and power.
The rate of strength output over time.
Section 12. Principles of Motor Development
1. Define the following key concepts of motor development.
motor response to internal and external stimuli
The integration of present sensory stimuli with previous experiences via the CNS
Incorporation of motor control patterns into adopted movement systems through repetition.
The lifelong progression of motor skill behavior.
The integration of sensory input with the appropriate motor response.
Muscles collaboratively recruited by the CNS to produce movement
The ability to interpret sensory input from mechanoreceptors in order to maintain balance and postural equilibrium.
2. Describe the two main types of motor feedback.
Internal feedback: sensory input data resulting from the corresponding internal response to motor function and its outcomes.
External feedback: explicit data provided by external validators such as a coach, video playback or readings on measuring implements.
Section 13. Macronutrients
1. Describe carbohydrates.
Primary energy source macronutrients that include sugars, starches, and fiber.
2. Define the different types of carbohydrates.
A single unit of sugar. E.g. fructose, glucose.
A double sugar molecule. E.g. lactose, sucrose and maltose.
Complex polysaccharide found in plant tissue. Assists in gut health, glucose uptake regulation, and the nourishment of gut microbiota.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water.
Insoluble fiber remains solid/in suspension in water.
The most basic molecular structure of a carbohydrate
Carbohydrate storage unit stored in liver and muscle tissue
3. What is the Glycemic index?
The Glycemic index refers to numbers (0–100) assigned to a food source that represents the rise in blood sugar after consuming the food.
4. Describe Lipids.
Lipids are organic compounds made of glycerol and fatty acids that are hydrophobic. They include oils, fats, waxes, and steroids and contain roughly twice the energy yield per unit mass of carbohydrates.
5. Define the different types of lipids.
The most common lipid structure consists of glycerol and 3 fatty acids.
A lipid where all the fatty acid chains have single bonds. Solid at ambient temperature.
Hydrogenated unsaturated fat used for large scale industrial food production. Knowl to pose tremendous health risks
A lipid where one or more double bond in the fatty acid chain
A lipid with only one double bond
A lipid with more than one double bond
6. Give examples of food sources of these 3 lipid types.
Meat, dairy products, coconut oil
tree nuts, flaxseed, sunflower seeds
Fatty fish, olive oil
7. Define Protein.
A nitrogen-based organic molecule comprised of one or more amino acid chains.
8. Define Amino Acids.
Sub Molecules of proteins containing amine and carboxyl groups.
9. What are Essential Amino Acids?
Amino acids that are both necessary to normal life function and cannot be naturally produced in the body. They must therefore be ingested through an inclusive diet.
10. What are Non-essential Amino Acids?
Amino acids that are either unnecessary to normal health, or are necessary, but are naturally produced in adequate quantities and don’t need to be ingested through an inclusive diet.
11. What is a Complete Protein?
A protein or protein source that includes all essential amino acids.
12. What is an Incomplete Protein?
A protein or protein source that does not possess all necessary amino acids.
Section 14. Micronutrients
1. What are micronutrients?
Inorganic molecules that drive important life functions and are only needed in trace quantities. These include vitamins and minerals.
2. What is toxicity?
A substance’s ability to have a negative impact on health.
Section 15. Hydration
1. What approximate percentage of the body is made of water?
2. What is the daily recommended water intake for men and what is it for women?
2.2 L for women and 3 L for men.
3. What is a benefit of drinking cold water?
Cold water is well known to assist in digestive health.
4. What should one drink during exercise that exceeds 1 hour?
A beverage containing up to 8% carbohydrates.
5. For an overweight person, how much extra water is recommended for every 25 lbs overweight?
6. What are the two adverse effects of dehydration?
Fatigue decreased performance and circulatory deficiency.
Section 16. Recommendations and Guidelines for Caloric Intake and Expenditure
1. What is a calorie?
The amount of heat energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water 1 degree Celsius.
2. What is the resting metabolic rate (RMR)?
Amount of energy expended during rest and inactivity.
3. What is the thermic effect of food (TEF)?
The energy expended through the process of digestion accounting for 6-10% of total expenditure.
4. What is the estimated amount of energy expended through deliberate physical activity?
Approximately 20% of total energy.
5. List the 3 ideal protocols when using carbs for performance.
– High carb consumption two to four hours before physical activity
– Consume 1,5 grams of carbs per kg of body weight to maximize glycogen reserves
– For activity lasting more than 1 hour, consume 30 – 60 grams of carbs per hour
Section 17. Dietary Reference Intakes
1. What are dietary reference intakes (DRIs)?
The guidelines for the ideal intake of a given nutrient.
2. Define the recommended dietary allowance (RDA).
The mean daily nutritional requirements for an individual of normal health.
3. Tolerable upper intake (UL).
The maximum intake level with no perceived health risks.
4. What is adequate intake (AI)?
The ideal recommended nutrient intake for individuals of normal health.
Section 18. Portion Sizes, Meal Timing, and Frequency
1. List the daily recommendations for different health goals.
The table shows the recommendations for how someone should look to eat when wanting to change their body in the following ways.
|Weight Loss||Hypertrophy/Lean Mass||General Health|
|No more than 10% fat||Eat 4 to 6 meals per day||Incorporate low GI carbs|
|Distribute all macronutrients through the day||Spread protein intake through the day|
|Consume four to 6 meals per day to control hunger and cravings||Consume carbs and protein within 90 minutes of physical activity for optimal protein synthesis|
|Avoid calorically-dense processed foods||Maintain healthy ratios of carbs and fats|
|Hydrate with approx 9 to 13 cups of water/day|
|Measure food portions|
|Seek professional supervision for diets under 1200 kcal|
Section 19. Common Nutritional Supplements
1. What is an ergogenic aid?
A substance or drug used in athletic performance enhancement.
2. Where is creatine made?
Made in the body via the ATP-PC system.
3. What are the main benefits of creatine supplementation?
Can boost anaerobic performance and strength output during exercise. Can increase muscle mass over the long term.
4. What is the recommended pre-workout consumption of caffeine for an increase in performance?
Consuming g 3-6mg/kg of body weight 1 hour before physical activity has been shown to improve performance.
5. What status do pro-hormones and anabolic steroids have in competitive sport?
They are categorically illegal and prohibited by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
Domain 3: Assessment
Section 1. The PAR-Q
1. List the 3 purposes of the PAR-Q.
1. Determines risk level of exercise for an individual
2. Identifies the need for medical evaluation in an individual
3. Leads to physician referral if the answer is yes to one or more of the questions
Section 2. Elements of Personal, Occupational, and Family Medical History
1. What are the risks associated with extended periods of sitting?
Tightening on the hip flexors, weakening of posterior chain muscles (rounded shoulders and forward head).
2. What are the risks associated with repetitive movement patterns?
Can lead to pattern overload and overuse injuries.
3. What are the risks associated with over-wearing of dress shoes?
The sustained plantar-flexion can lead to tight calf muscles, leading to over-pronation and weakened dorsiflexion.
4. What risks are elevated due to mental stress
– Cardiovascular disease
– Respiratory complications
5. What risks are elevated due to past risks/injuries
– Future re-injury
– Neural overcompensation
– Loss of neural control
– Altered neural control
6. What common medications can affect exercise performance?
Beta-blockers, heart and blood pressure medication.
7. What chronic conditions can affect exercise performance?
Arthritis, asthma, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular conditions, stroke, cancer and pregnancy.
Section 3. Cardiorespiratory Assessments
1. What are cardiorespiratory assessments used to determine?
Used to estimate an individual’s VO2max.
2. How do you calculate the maximal heart rate? List the two methods and indicate which is more accurate.
The straight percentage method calculated as: HRmax = 220 – age
The regression formula, calculated as: HRmax = 208 – (0.7 × age)
The straight percentage formula is an easier calculation, while the regression formula gives a more accurate reading.
3. What is the process involved in the YMCA 3-minute step test:
1. Execute 96 steps/minute, on a 12-inch step, over a 3 minute period.
2. Take a 60-second recovery pulse within 5 seconds of stopping
3. Refer to the chart on page 130 of the textbook and match recovery pulse to it
4. Assign the correct heart rate zone:Zone 1: poor – fair
5. Zone 2: average – good
6. Zone 3: very good