A sigh of relief, happiness and as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders along with a feeling of absolute self accomplishment are just a few of the feelings that rushed through my body as I sat and stared at the screen in front of me reading “pass”.
I knew going through the exam that I would be getting my certification that day. The fact that I was able to answer the questions on the screen before me prior to finishing reading the full questions assured me that I knew my stuff! There was very little doubt or second guessing throughout the exam. I finished it in just over an hour in the allotted 2.5 hours, so I spent the next 30-45 minutes first going over a few of the questions that I had flagged and then went back over the whole thing, re read all of the questions and felt confident in most answers. I think I was more proud not just in the “pass” but in how well I actually did. I didn’t JUST pass my ACSM CPT exam, I did quite well with a 697/800.
ACSM is known to have one of the hardest CPT certs to obtain, but they’re also known for setting the “gold standard” in personal training. I learned an abundant of information throughout my course.
There were many tools that helped me to get a great mark on my exam, I did purchase all 3 of the study books. Two text books, as well as the exam prep book. I only did 3 of the webinars for a few of the main subjects that I felt I needed more help in. I did do lots of reading online from others who had taken the course and gained some study tips for the exam. One of these bloggers suggested a few apps, the main one that helped me the most was the Cert Mantra ACSM-CPT exam prep, available on the google play store. I did pay for one of them, I can’t remember if it was this one or another one. But the cert mantra app had so many of the same type of questions that were found on the exam, so I highly suggest using that if you’re thinking of taking this course. Here’s some of the main things covered in the exam.

  • RISK FACTORS! Know them like the back of your hand! There’s a decent amount of case study questions like in the practice test of the exam prep book where you have to determine how many risk factors a client has and what category that puts them in.
  •  You wont need to know all of the formulas, but you will need to know some of the basic ones, such as
    •  BMI
    •  HRR
    •  HR max
    •  IBW
    •  METS
  •  How many calories in a gram of fat, protein, carbs & alcohol.
  •  Know that fiber is subtracted from total carbohydrates.
  •  Know how many calories in a pound.
  •  Know your spotting positions.
  • Prime movers, agonist & antagonist muscles.

There’s definitely some more, but these are the main ones that I remember. I suggest you check out some other bloggers for tips to help you fine tune your studying as well. I read both books cover to cover, then went back over a few of the chapters another time or two taking notes as well. You’ll want to read them back to back at least once. Although some of it isn’t on the exam, it is all important to know and sets you up to be a better personal trainer. Especially if you’re not coming from a training or sports science background.

I’ve now been reading up on a few other books I purchased which will help me to set myself up better and to become a better personal trainer. After this I intend on going back over all my packages & pricing, and then finally making a big announcement that I’m accepting clients. There’s a lot to get in place and sorted out so that I’m able to work & provide the best service possible. I don’t just want to be a mediocre trainer, I want to be the best.

Keep fit & have fun! :)
Candice Stone, ACSM CPT (That feels soon nice!)

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