NASM Study Guide 7th Ed 2022 - Pass the NASM exam for FREE!

Welcome to the Best FREE National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer Study Guide in 2022.

Seeking the all-around greatest, free NASM Study Guide?

Worry not; we’ve got you covered!

With this carefully crafted NASM CPT exam study guide, you increase the chances of passing your NASM certified personal trainer exam!

Upon reading the NASM certification study guide, you will cover the following, so make sure to bookmark this page.

Specific questions, figures, and charts that apply to exam questions
Insight into the NASM CPT test
Proven study methods from NASM-CPTs

We promise all the tools to help you become a successful NASM Certified Personal Trainer.

Be sure to Bookmark!

Lastly, this page is crafted for the layout of the NASM 7th Edition text, if you would like the 6th Edition layout, check it out here.

Don’t forget to download our 14 step NASM CPT exam preparation checklist to ensure that you pass the test.

Check out our premium NASM CPT MVP study materials here. Reduce your study time by half and receive an exam pass guarantee.

Let’s get to it!

Domain 1: Professional Development and Responsibility

Section 1. Professional Guidelines and Standards

Section 2. Business Fundamentals

Section 3. Marketing Concepts and Techniques 

Section 4. Sales Concepts and Techniques

Domain 2: Client Relations and Behavioral Coaching

Section 1. Communication Components

Section 2. SMART Goals

Section 3. Goal Expectation Management

Section 4. Behavior Change Strategies

Section 5. Psychological Response to Exercise

Section 6. Barriers to Behavior Change

Section 7. Client Expectation Management

Domain 3: Basic and Applied Sciences and Nutritional Concepts

Section 1. The Nervous System

Section 2. The Muscular System

Section 3. The Skeletal System

Section 4. The Endocrine System

Section 5. The Cardio-respiratory System

Section 6. Bioenergetics and Exercise Metabolism

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is figura-4-4-glycolysis-576x1024.png

Section 7. Fundamentals of Biomechanics

Section 8. Anatomic locations 

FrontalAdduction/abduction, Lateral flexion, Eversion/inversionLateral raise, lateral lunge, lateral shuffle
SagittalFlexion and extensionBicep curl, hamstring curl
TransverseRotation, Horizontal adduction/abductionThrowing motion

Section 9. Joint Motions

Section 10. Principles of Human Movement Science

Section 11. The OPT Model

Section 12. Principles of Motor Development

Section 13. Macronutrients

Section 14. Micronutrients

Section 15. Hydration

Section 16. Recommendations and Guidelines for Caloric Intake and Expenditure

Section 17. Dietary Reference Intakes

Section 18.  Portion Sizes, Meal Timing, and Frequency

Weight LossHypertrophy/Lean MassGeneral Health
No more than 10% fatEat 4 to 6 meals per dayIncorporate low GI carbs
Distribute all macronutrients through the daySpread protein intake through the day
Consume four to 6 meals per day to control hunger and cravingsConsume carbs and protein within 90 minutes of physical activity for optimal protein synthesis
Avoid calorically-dense processed foodsMaintain 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

Domain 4: Assessment

Section 1. The PAR-Q 

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

Section 3. Cardiorespiratory Assessments 

Section 4. Physiological Assessments

Section 5. Static Postural Assessment

Section 6. Assessments from Adjacent Professionals

Section 7. Body Composition Assessments

Section 8. Performance Assessments

ViewKinetic Chain CheckpointCompensationCompensationUnderactive muscles
LateralLPHCPronounced forward leanSoleusAnterior tibialis
GastrocnemiusGluteus maximus
Hip flexor complexErector spinae
Abdominal complex
Anterior pelvic tiltHip flexorGluteus maximus
Erector spinaeHamstring complex
Latissimus dorsiIntrinsic core stabilizers
Posterior pelvic tiltHamstring complexIntrinsic core stabilizers
Rectus abdominisGluteus maximus
Upper bodyArms shit forwardsLatissimus dorsiMiddle / lower trapezius
Teres majorRhomboids
Pectoralis major/minorRotator cuff
Anterior FeetTurn outSoleusMedial gastrocnemius
Lateral gastrocnemiusMedial hamstring complex
Biceps femoris (short head) Gracilis
KneesMove inwardsAdductor complexGluteus maximus
SoleusGluteus medius
GastrocnemiusVastus medialis oblique (VMO)
Biceps femoris (short head)
Tensor fasciae latae (TFL)
Vastus lateralis
Move outwardsSoleusGluteus maximus
Biceps femoris (short head)Medial hamstring complex

Section 8. Performance Assessments

ViewKinetic Chain CheckpointCompensationOveractive musclesUnderactive muscles
AnteriorKneesMove InwardAdductor complex Gluteus medius
Biceps femorisGluteus maximus
TFLVastus medialis oblique
Vastus medialis oblique
ViewKinetic Chain CheckpointCompensationOveractive musclesUnderactive muscles
LateralLPHCLow back archesHip flexorsIntrinsic core stabilizers
Erector spinae
Shoulder complexShoulder elevationUpper trapeziusMid trapezius
SternocleidomastoidLower trapezius
Levator scapulae
HeadProtrudesUpper trapezius Deep cervical flexors
ViewKinetic Chain CheckpointCompensationOveractive muscles 
LateralLPHC Lower Back ArchesHip flexors
Erector spinae
Shoulder complexShoulder elevationUpper trapeziusMid trapezius
SternocleidomastoidLower trapezius
Levator scapulae
HeadProtrudesUpper trapeziusDeep cervical Sternocleidomastoid flexors
View/CheckpointCompensationOveractive musclesUnderactive Muscles
Feet FlattenPeroneal complexAnterior tibialis
Lateral gastrocnemiusPosterior tibialis
Biceps femoris (short head) Medial gastrocnemius
TFLGluteus medius
Turn out
SoleusMedial gastrocnemius
Lateral gastrocnemiusMedial hamstring
Biceps femoris (short head)Gluteus medius/maximus
KneesMove inwardAdductor complexMedial hamstring
Biceps femoris (short head)Medial gastrocnemius
TFL Gluteus medius/maximus
Lateral gastrocnemiusVastus medialis oblique
Vastus lateralisAnterior tibialis
Posterior tibialis
LPHCLow back archHip flexor complex Gluteus maximus
Erector spinae Intrinsic core stabilizers
Latissimus dorsi Hamstrings
External obliques Sartorius
Adductor complexPopliteus
Excessive rotationHamstringsGluteus medius/maximus
Intrinsic core stabilizers
Hip hikeQuadratus lumborum (opposite side)Adductor complex (same side)
TFL/gluteus minimus (same side)Gluteus medius (same side)
ShouldersRoundedPectoralsMiddle and lower trapezius
Latissimus dorsiRotator cuff
HeadForwardUpper trapeziusDeep cervical flexors
Levator scapulae

Section 10. Performing Assessments with Special Populations

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

Section 12. Criteria For Reassessment

Domain 5: Exercise Technique and Training Instruction 

Section 1. Exercise Set-up and Technique

Section 2. Kinesthetic, Auditory, and Visual Cueing

Section 3. Safe Training Practices

Section 4. Safe and Effective Spotting Techniques

Section 5. Proper Breathing Technique

Domain 6: Program Design

Section 1. Resistance Training Systems

Section 2. Resistance Training Methods

4/2/1 tempo, lower weight, and higher reps in an unstable, but controlled, environment2/0/2 tempo, moderate to heavyweight, low to moderate reps with full ROMExplosive tempo, light weight, moderate reps with full ROM
Ball squat, curl to pressLunge to two-arm dumbbell pressTwo-arm medicine ball chest pass
Multiplanar step-up balance, curl, to overhead pressSquat to two-arm pressRotation chest pass
Ball dumbbell chest pressTwo-arm push pressBall medicine ball pullover throw
Barbell cleanBarbell cleanWood chop throw
Standing cable rowFlat dumbbell chest pressMedicine ball scoop toss(shoulders)
Ball dumbbell rowBarbell bench pressMedicine ball side oblique throw
Single-leg dumbbell scaptionSeated cable rowSquat jump
Seated stability ball military pressSeated lat pullTuck jump
Single-leg dumbbell curlSeated dumbbell shoulder press
Single-leg barbell curlSeated shoulder press machine
Supine ball dumbbell triceps extensionSeated two-arm dumbbell biceps curls
Prone ball dumbbell triceps extensionBiceps curl machine
Biceps curl machineCable pushdowns
Multi-planar step-up to balanceSupine bench barbell triceps extension
Leg press
Barbell squat

Section 3. Cardiorespiratory Training Methods

Section 4. Core Training Methods 

Section 5. Balance Training Methods

Section 6. Proprioceptive Manipulation

Section 7. Plyometric Training Methods

Section 8. SAQ Training Methods

Section 9. Exercise Progression/Regression

Section 10. General Adaptation Syndrome

Section 11. Principle of Specificity

Section 12. Principle of Overload

Section 13. Principle of Variation

Section 14. Periodization Concepts 

Section 15. Acute Variables 

FFrequencyTotal number of training sessions per unit time
IIntensityLevel of effort required to successfully perform exercises
TTimeThe period in which training occurs
TTypeThe nature of physical activity engaged
EEnjoymentThe amount of pleasure derived from performing the exercise or workout

Section 16. Modality Risks and Rewards

Section 17. Overtraining, Rest, and Recovery 

Section 18. Current Trends and Their Application to Training

Section 19. Program Design for Special Populations

ModeModerate cardio (jogging, walking, running), sports, and games. Resistance training
IntensityModerate to vigorous
Frequency5 to 7 days per week (cardio)
DurationNo more than 1 hour per day
FlexibilityAdhere to OPT flexibility protocols
Resistance TrainingFrequency: 2-3 days/ weekSets: 1-5 setsRepetitions: 3-30/setIntensity: 45%-85% of 1-RM
Special ConsiderationsActivity should be enjoyable and based on the quality of postural control and less on the intensity
ModeStationary cycling, treadmill with handrail, aquatic aerobics
Intensity40-85% of VO2max
Frequency3-5 days/week moderate, 3 days/week vigorous
Duration30-60 mins/day. 8-10 min bursts
FlexibilitySMR and static stretching exercises
Resistance TrainingFrequency: 3-5 days/ weekSets: 1-3 setsRepetitions: 8-20/setIntensity: 40-80% 1-RM
Special ConsiderationsSlow and well-monitored progress.
Progress exercises toward free sitting or standing.
Regular breathing avoiding Valsalva maneuver
Implement slow, active, or dynamic stretching in case SMR or static stretching is poorly received.
ModeLow impact cardio (treadmill, stationary bike) no sudden or jarring motions
IntensityStage 1 cardio. Stage 2 if medically cleared
Frequency3-5 days/week cardio
Duration15-30 mins/day
FlexibilitySMR, static and active-isolated stretching
Resistance TrainingFrequency: 2-3 days per week
Sets: follow OPT Phase
Repetitions: 12-15 per set intensity: light loads
Only OPT Phases 1 and 2 are advised; use the only Phase 1 after the first trimester.
Special ConsiderationsNo prone or supine exercises beyond the 12th week of pregnancy.
No SMR on varicose vein regions and swollen areas.
No plyometric exercises during the second and third trimesters.
No power or speed assessment.
Pivot push-up assessment from knees instead of feet.
Change the single-leg squat to a single-leg balance assessment.
Reduce ROM for the overhead squat assessment.
ModeLow impact cardio (treadmill, stationary bike) no sudden or jarring motions
Intensity60-80% HR max.; can be adjusted to 40-70%; use the talk test
Frequency5-7 days/week cardio
Duration40 - 60 mins/day. 2x 20-30min/day
FlexibilityStretches performed seated or standing, use SMR if possible
Resistance TrainingFrequency: 2-3 days/week.
Sets: 1-3 sets.
Repetitions: 10-15 /set.
Intensity: follow OPT Phases
Implement circuit training for Phases 1 and 2
Special ConsiderationsExercise should be performed standing or seated when possible.
Watch for other obesity-related chronic diseases.
Use the Rockport walk test for cardiac assessment.
Pivot push-up assessment from knees instead of feet.
Test single-leg balance instead of single-leg squat assessment.
ModeStationary cycling, treadmill walking, rowers
Intensity50-85% HR max., can adjust to 40-70%. Stage 1 cardio progressing to stage 2 cardio
Frequency3-7 days/ week cardio
Duration30-60 minutes/day
FlexibilityStatic and active-isolated stretching; standing or seated
Resistance TrainingFrequency: 2-3 days/week
Sets: 1-3 sets
Repetitions: 10-20/set
Intensity: Adhered to OPT Phase protocols, no more than 1 second for isometric and concentric muscle activity.
Implement circuit or PHA training systems with adequate recovery.
Special ConsiderationsNo heavy lifting or Valsalva maneuver.
Avoid over-gripping weights or clenching fists during workouts.
Perform exercises in a standing or seated position.
Stand up slowly to avoid vertigo/dizziness.
Slow progression
ModeTreadmill with handrail 
Intensity50-90% HR max. Stage 1 cardio progressing to stage 2
Frequency2-5 days/week cardio
Duration20-60 min/day. 8 -10min bouts
FlexibilityStatic and active-isolated stretching
Resistance TrainingFrequency: 2-3 days/week
Sets: 1-3 sets
Repetitions: 8-20/set
Intensity: max of 85% 1-RM
Special ConsiderationsSlow progress
Progress to free sitting/standing if possible
Hips, thighs, back, and arms focal areas
Avoid excess loads on the spine
Avoid the Valsalva maneuver.

This CPT study guide has been shown to work for the majority of users, and we enjoy hearing from these users and their success on the NASM exam.

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


Besides this guide, we have a number of other awesome NASM study materials that will help you gain that edge when it’s time to take the test. Our paid study guide for NASM CPT covers more depth.

This is what makes it the best NASM personal trainer study guide!

Be sure to check out the rest of Trainer Academy’s NASM study options as well as a whole host of guides and materials for other popular certifications such as.

Additional NASM Study Tips

Don’t forget to download our 14 step NASM CPT exam preparation checklist to ensure that you pass the test.

  • Study frequently and on a schedule.
  • Make mnemonics to help with memorization of difficult topics.
  • Print the diagrams, figures, and charts.
  • Go through the study materials and practice test questions.
  • Breeze through the NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training text on your own.
  • Create flashcards and answers for the NASM study guide.

Good luck with your NASM-CPT exam!