Free NASM CPT Study Guide

Welcome to your official Trainer Academy free NASM Study Guide.

This is a fully comprehensive adaptation of the official NASM CPT study guide, created for your convenience.

To use this guide, you will need to have the official NASM CPT 6th edition text book on hand.

Your challenge is to answer the questions on your own, or by paging through the text book for concept clarity.

Try to only use the drop-down answers to confirm what you know or have learned from the textbook.

For your convenience, each question in this NASM CPT exam study guide will come with a page reference.

The questions themselves are adaptations of concepts and topics in the course curriculum.

This is in order to encourage authentic knowledge discovery as opposed to just retrieving pre-existing data.

NASM exam prep is a tricky beast to tame, so your best shot is grasping concepts rather than just memorising them.

For added convenience, the entire NASM exam study guide is included on one page, so all you have to do is scroll as you learn.

The questions are organized and categorized based on the NASM textbook layout for relevant reference.

Lastly, we’ve also included a nifty table of contents for ease of navigation.

This is your ultimate guide to success. We recommend you use this NASM free study guide often and consistently as you approach your NASM test prep.

Free NASM CPT Study Guide 1

Domain 1: Basic and Applied Sciences and Nutritional Concepts

Section 1. The Nervous System

1. Define the following components of the nervous system. (pg 18):

2. Define the 3 main functions of the nervous system. (pg. 18 – 19)

Section 2. The Muscular System

1. Define the following components of the muscular system. (pg. 40):

2. Label This Cross-section of a muscle. (pg. 41):

3. Define the following muscle systems. (pg. 42 – 46):

Section 3. The Skeletal System

1. Label this diagram of the spine. (pg. 32):

2. Define the following components of the skeletal system. (pg. 25):

3. Define the following components and functions of the joint system. (pg. 34 – 37)

Section 4. The Endocrine System

1. Define the following components of the endocrine system. (pg. 47 – 51):

Section 5. The Cardio-respiratory System

1. Define the following. (pg 54):

2. Define the following. (pg. 55):

3. Define the following components of the respiratory system. (pg. 63):

4. Describe the training effects of cardiorespiratory exercise. (pg. 65).

5. Label the diagram below. (pg. 60):

6. What are the 3 main functions of blood? (pg. 59)?

Section 6. Bioenergetics and Exercise Metabolism

1. Define the following bioenergetic concepts. (pg. 69):

2. List the components and functions of the following energy systems. (pg. 70):

Section 7. Fundamentals of Biomechanics

1. Define “Biomechanics”. (pg. 82-83):

2. Define “Force”. (pg. 94).

c. Define “Torque” (pg. 98).

4. Define “Lever“. (pg. 96).

5. Describe the 3 classes of levers. (pg. 97):

Section 8. Anatomic locations 

1. Describe the following anatomic locations. (pg. 83):

b. Define the following planes of motion and give examples of where they act. (pg. 85):

Section 9. Joint Motions

 1. Define the following joint motions. (pg. 84):

Section 10. Principles of Human Movement Science

1. Define the following muscle actions. (pg. 90):

b. Define the following muscle action concepts and principles. (pg. 94 -95):

c. Label the “Cumulative Injury Cycle” diagram below. ( pg. 170):

Section 11. The OPT Model

1. Define the “OPT” model. (pg. 10).

2. Define the 3 pillars of the OPT Model (pg. 354):

Section 12. Principles of Motor Development

1. Define the following key concepts of motor development. (pg. 99):

2. Describe the two main types of motor feedback. (pg. 99 – 102):

Section 13. Macronutrients

1. Describe carbohydrates. (pg. 477).

2. Define the different types of carbohydrates. (pg. 477):

3. What is the Glycemic index? (pg. 478)

4. Describe Lipids. (pg. 485):

5. Define the different types of lipids. (pg. 485):

6. Give examples of food sources of these 3 lipid types. (pg. 486):

7. Define Protein. (pg. 468):

8. Define Amino Acids. (pg. 468):

9. What are Essential Amino Acids? (pg. 468)

10. What are Non-essential Amino Acids? (pg. 469)

11. What is a Complete Protein? (pg 471)

12. What is an incomplete protein? (pg. 471):

Section 14. Micronutrients

1. What are micronutrients? (pg. 505-508):

2. What is toxicity? (pg. 503):

Section 15. Hydration

a. What approximate percentage of the body is made of water? (pg. 490):

2. What is the daily recommended water intake for men and what is it for women? (pg. 491):

3. What is a benefit of drinking cold water? (pg. 657):

4. What should one drink during exercise that exceeds 1 hour? (pg. 657):

5. For an overweight person, how much extra water is recommended for every 25lbs overweight? (pg. 490):

6. What are two adverse effects of dehydration? (pg. 491):

Section 16. Recommendations and Guidelines for Caloric Intake and Expenditure

1. What is a calorie (lower case c)? (pg. 465):

2. What is the resting metabolic rate (RMR)? (pg. 466):

3. What is the thermic effect of food (TEF)? (pg. 466):

4. What is the estimated amount of energy expended through deliberate physical activity? (pg. 467):

5. List the macronutrient intake requirements. (pg. 493 – 494):

6. List the 3 ideal protocols when using carbs for performance. (pg. 495):

Section 17. Dietary Reference Intakes

1. Define dietary reference intakes (DRIs). (pg. 510):

2. Define the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). (pg. 505):

3. Tolerable upper intake (UL). (pg. 505):

4. What is adequate intake (AI)? (pg. 505):

Section 18.  Portion Sizes, Meal Timing, and Frequency 

1. List the daily recommendations for different health goals. (pg. 475):

Section 19. Common Nutritional Supplements

1. What is an ergogenic aid? (pg. 515):

2. Where is creatine made? (pg. 516):

3. What are the main benefits of creatine supplementation? (pg. 516 ):

4. What is the recommended pre-workout consumption of caffeine for an increase in performance? (pg. 516):

5. What status do prohormones and anabolic steroids have in competitive sport? (pg. 517):

Domain 2: Assessment

Section 1. The PAR-Q 

1. List the 3 purposes of the PAR-Q. (pg. 110 ):

Section 2. Elements of Personal, Occupational, and Family Medical History

1. What are the risks associated with extended periods of sitting? (pg. 111):

2. What are the risks associated with repetitive movement patterns: (pg. 111):

3. What are the risks associated with overwearing of dress shoes? (pg. 112):

4. What risks are elevated due to mental stress (pg. 112):

5. What risks are elevated due to past risks/injuries: (pg. 113):

6. What common medications can affect exercise performance: (pg. 115):

7. What chronic conditions can affect exercise performance? (pg. 115):

Section 3. Cardiorespiratory Assessments 

1. What are cardiorespiratory assessments used to determine? (pg. 129 – 130):

2. How do you calculate the maximal heart rate? List the two methods and indicate which is more accurate (pg. 119):

3. What is the process involved in the YMCA 3-minute step test: (pg. 130):

4. What is the process involved in the Rockport walk test? (pg. 131):

Section 4. Physiological Assessments

1. How do you measure the radial pulse? (pg. 118):

2. How do you measure the carotid pulse? (pg. 118):

3. What is the resting heart rate (RHR) and how do you determine it? (pg. 118):

4. What is the average RHR for men and for women? (pg. 58):

5. What are the two blood pressure readings and what is their healthy range: (pg. 120):

Section 5. Static Postural Assessment

1. What are the kinetic chain checkpoints? (pg. 137):

2. Complete the postural assessment charts below? (pg. 133):

Section 6. Assessments from Adjacent Professionals

1. What is cholesterol? (pg. 5):

2. Define HDL and LDL cholesterol, their differences, and their contribution to general health? (pg. 5, 485-486):

3. What is the healthy total cholesterol level: (pg. 5):

Section 7. Body Composition Assessments

1. How do you classify an overweight person? (pg. 4, 129):

2. How do you classify obesity (pg. 4, 129):

3. How is a skin-fold measurement conducted? (pg. 424):

4. How do you calculate fat mass? (pg. 121):

5. How do you calculate lean body mass? (pg. 126):

6. How does bioelectrical impedance work? (pg. 122):

7. How does underwater weighing work? (pg. 122)?

8. How do circumference measurements work: (pg. 126):

9. How do you measure using the waist-to-hip ratio? (pg. 128):

10. What is body mass index (BMI)? (pg. 128):

Section 8. Performance Assessments

1. Define the following performance assessments. (pg. 150):

Section 9. Dynamic Postural Assessments 

1. What is the overhead squat assessment? (OHSA) (pg. 139):

2. Complete the OHSA solutions table below. (pg. 144):

3. What does the single leg squat assessment identify? (pg. 143):

4. Complete the single leg squat assessment solutions table below. (pg. 144):

5. What does the pushing assessment identify? (pg. 146):

6. Complete the pushing assessment solutions table below. (pg. 148):

7. What does the pulling assessment identify? (pg. 148 ):

8. Complete the pulling assessment solutions table below. (pg. 150):

9. What does the gait assessment identify? (pg. 649):

10. Complete the gait assessment solutions table below. (pg. 651):

Section 10. Performing Assessments with Special Populations

1. Which assessments should be avoided and which are ideal for pregnant women? (pg. 450 – 451):

2. What is the ideal assessment protocol for an obese person? (pg. 425 – 427):

Section 11. Indicators that a Client’s Condition is Outside Scope of Practice

1. List four areas that fall outside a fitness professional’s scope of practice. (pg. 463):

Section 12. Criteria For Reassessment

1. Which four scenarios present an ideal necessity for reassessment? (pg. 366):

2. Describe corrective flexibility training and identify which training phase it should be implemented. (pg. 173):

3. Describe active flexibility training and identify which training phase(s) it should be implemented? (pg. 173):

4. Describe functional flexibility and identify which training phase(s) it should be implemented. (pg. 173):

5. Describe the self-myofascial release? (pg. 174):

6. Describe static stretching: (pg. 174):

7. Describe active-isolated stretching (pg. 175):

8. Describe dynamic stretching. (pg. 175):

Domain 3: Program Design

Section 1. Resistance Training Systems

1. Describe single-set training. (pg. 314):

2. Describe multiple-set training. (pg. 315):

3. Describe pyramid training. (pg. 315):

4. Describe superset training. (pg. 315):

5. Describe circuit training. (pg. 316):

6. Describe peripheral heart action training. (pg. 316):

7. What is split-routine training? (pg. 317):

8. Describe what is meant by vertical loading. (pg. 318):

9. Describe what is meant by horizontal loading. (pg. 318):

Section 2. Resistance Training Methods

1. In the table below fill in the recommended training methods for each of the OPT model’s steps and phases, also providing examples of appropriate exercises. (pg. 310 – 312):

Section 3. Cardiorespiratory Training Methods

1. Describe stage-training. (pg. 215):

b. What are the characteristics of stage l training. (pg. 215):

c. What are the characteristics of stage ll training? (pg. 216):

d. What are the characteristics of stage lll training (pg. 217)?

Section 4. Core Training Methods 

1. Why is it important to implement core and stability training? (pg. 227 ):

2. Describe what is meant by a “drawing-in maneuver” . (pg. 229, 230):

3. Describe what is meant by “bracing”. (pg. 229, 230):

4. Fill in the diagram below. (pg. 9-10, 133, 150, 251):

Section 5. Balance Training Methods

1. Detail four benefits of balance training. (pg. 249):

Section 6. Proprioceptive Manipulation

. List six proprioceptive progressions. (pg. 231):

2. List six progressive body positions. (pg. 231):

3. List the four standing progressions. (pg. 231):

4. List 6 proprioceptive apparatus/modalities. (pg. 231):

Section 7. Plyometric Training Methods

1. Define plyometric training. (pg. 270):

b. Define the Amortization phase. (pg. 272):

Section 8. SAQ Training Methods

1. What does “SAQ” stand for and what does each element entail? (pg. 289 – 292):

2. What is the primary SAQ training method? (pg. 294):

Section 9. Exercise Progression/Regression

1. Why is exercise progression/regression important? (pg. 14):

Section 10. General Adaptation Syndrome

1. Define General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). (pg. 304):

2. What is “alarm reaction”? (pg. 305):

3. What is “resistance development”? (pg. 305):

4. Describe exhaustion as it relates to GAS. (pg. 306):

Section 11. Principle of Specificity 

1. Define and describe the “SAID” principle. (pg. 307):

2. Describe what is meant by mechanical specificity. (pg. 308):

3. Describe what is meant by neuromuscular specificity. (pg. 308):

d. Describe what is meant by metabolic specificity. (pg. 308):

Section 12. Principle of Overload 

1. Describe the principle of progressive overload. (pg. 305):

Section 13. Principle of Variation

1. Describe two ways in which the principle of variation can assist in achieving training outcomes. (pg. 367):

Section 14. Periodization Concepts 

1. Define periodization. (pg. 365):

2. Describe an ideal periodized training plan. (pg. 353 – 354):

3. Describe undulating periodization as it applies to the OPT model. (pg. 385):

Section 15. Acute Variables 

1. Define intensity. (pg. 357):

2. Define volume. (pg. 360):

3. Complete the “FITTE” principle chart below. (pg. 208 – 214):

4. List 3 outcomes of high volume (low intensity) adaptation. (pg. 361):

5. List 3 outcomes of low volume (high intensity) adaptation. (pg. 361):

Section 16. Modality Risks and Rewards

1. Define bodyweight training. (pg. 401 – 403):

2. Describe suspension training as well as some of the apparatus involved. (pg. 403 – 405):

3. Describe free weights and implements training as well as some of the apparatus involved. (pg. 394 – 396):

4. When are strength training machines most ideal (pg. 392 – 393)?

5. Describe proprioceptive modalities and some of the apparatus involved (pg. 406 – 408):

Section 17. Overtraining, Rest, and Recovery 

1. What are the eight common signs of overtraining syndrome. (pg. 215, 306, 678)?

Section 18. Current Trends and Their Application to Training

1. List four benefits of incorporating mobile apps (pg. 657):

2. List 3 benefits of incorporating activity trackers. (pg. 658):

3. List 5 benefits of incorporating social media. (pg. 658):

4. Name an important emerging technology. (pg. 658-659):

Section 19. Program Design for Special Populations 

1. Complete the Youth Training Considerations table below. (pg. 292, 419, 421):

2. Complete the Older Adult Training Considerations table below. (pg. 420, 423):

3. Complete the Pregnancy Training Considerations table below (pg. 450 – 452):

4. Complete the Obesity Training Considerations table below. (pg. 424 – 426):

5. Complete the Hypertension Training Considerations table below. (pg. 432 – 435):

6. Complete the Osteoporosis Training Considerations Table below. (pg. 440 – 443):

Domain 4: Exercise Technique and Training Instruction 

Section 1. Exercise Set-up and Technique

1. List 5 key tasks for the correct set-up and instruction of exercises. (pg. 362 – 364):

2. What are 9 effects and benefits of a good warm-up? (pg. 203 – 205):

3. What is the difference between a general warm-up and a specific warm-up? (pg. 206 – 208):

4. Define a “cool-down” and how it is performed. (pg. 206):

5. Describe triple extension/flexion and when it occurs. (pg. 290 – 655):

Section 2. Kinesthetic, Auditory, and Visual Cueing

1. What is sensory feedback and what are its effects? (pg. 102, 681):

2. What are the differences between external and internal feedback: (pg. 102):

3. What are the two main types of external feedback? (pg. 102):

4. List 3 effective ways to explain an exercise to a client. (pg. 102):

Section 3. Safe Training Practices

a. What are the two most essential safety questions when preparing to train a client? (pg. 110):

Section 4. Safe and Effective Spotting Techniques

1. List five important safety and spotting considerations. (pg. 394):

Section 5. Proper Breathing Technique

1. List 3 abnormal breathing features. (pg. 66):

b. How would you advise a client to breathe in order to limit abnormal breathing patterns? (pg. 66):

Domain 5: Client Relations and Behavioral Coaching

*insert verbal communication diagram 

Section 1. Communication Components

1. List five tips that can enhance the quality of communication. (pg. 532):

2. Describe non-verbal communication and how it takes effect. (pg. 533):

3. Define “active listening”. (pg. 533).

4. Describe the differences between open-ended and closed-ended questions. (pg. 534):

5. Define “reflecting” with regards to trainer-client communication (pg. 534).

6.  Define “summarizing” with regards to trainer-client communication (pg. 534).

Section 2. SMART Goals

1. Complete the SMART Goals table below. (pg. 523, 529):

Section 3. Goal Expectation Management 

1. List eight important considerations in goal expectation management. (pg. 529):

Section 4. Behavior Change Strategies 

1. List and describe the seven behavioral change technique.s (pg. 523):

2. Label the “stages of change” diagram below. (pg. 526):

3. What are the four forms of support a trainer can implement? (pg. 537):

Section 5. Psychological Response to Exercise

1. List four potential psychological benefits of exercise. (pg. 547):

Section 6. Barriers to Behavior Change

1. List five common barriers to successful behavioral change. (pg. 540):

Section 7. Client Expectation Management

1. What key topics should be discussed at the end of each initial session with a new client? (pg. 528):

Domain 6: Professional Development and Responsibility

Section 1. Professional Guidelines and Standards

1. According to the NASM Code of Conduct, list four guidelines a trainer must adhere to protect the public and the profession. (pg. v – vi):

Section 2. Business Fundamentals 

1. Describe “forecasting” as it applies to the business fundamentals of professional fitness. (pg. 557 – 561):

2. List the 10 steps to business success in fitness. (pg. 565):

Section 3. Marketing Concepts and Techniques 

1. What are the 4 P’s of marketing in fitness? (pg. 558):

Section 4. Sales Concepts and Techniques 

1. Define “prospecting”. (pg. 564 – 568):

2. What are the 4 key steps to “asking for the sale”. (pg. 468):

3. What are the ways you can overcome the objection to a sale? (pg. 568):

We hope you’ve enjoyed using this free NASM prep guide. It was crafted and put together by qualified trainers who have been through the works and passed the NASM CPT exam.

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