The NASM CPT Program & Exam Day!

I had my NASM CPT Exam yesterday morning … and…
I figured I’d share my experience with the NASM program and my experience on exam day!
My Experience with the NASM CPT program:
*Why did I choose NASM? I looked at various ‘schools’ that offered CPT certification over the past couple of years ranging from ISSA to ACE. I decided to go with NASM due to them being highly respected within the field of Personal Training, also knowing that their test was one of the toughest. I wanted to learn as much as I could to help teach others!

*E Teach package: I didn’t initially do this. I bought the book and test itself and read the book and learned nada. Or not as much as I wanted to in order to be a CPT. I wanted to be able to apply what I learned and there weren’t any local workshops for me to attend. I didn’t want to feel like I was a personal trainer but didn’t apply anything into real life – only reading a book and testing. So, I bit the bullet and bought the E Teach program that includes a 9 week program – laid out lesson to lesson – with instructor support and a ‘classroom’ of over 100 classmates you can interact with. More my gig.

*I read all of the chapters in their entirety, making note cards along the way. Some of the text, you’d think, seemed to not match the content, but it was all equally important. For example, the Code of Conduct in the preface of the book comes into play quite a bit.
*I interacted with the instructors, making sure to ask questions (through E Teach) That’s what they were there for. If I didn’t understand a concept or wanted to clarify information on a calculation, I asked questions. A lot of them. I’m super inquisitive and want to make sure my interpretation is right.
* I dedicated at least an hour or two a day to study and followed the study plan. There was an online option to have weekly reminders sent to you to follow a specific plan for 9 weeks. I preferred the E Teach version as it didn’t go from the start of the book to the end, it paired concepts and chapters together which made more sense holistically. I made sure to dedicate time each day, or pack one day’s hours into another day. A little bit of info at a time made it easier for me to absorb all of the information.
* Make your test date within 3 weeks of the E Teach program ending They recommend 2 weeks, but I did 3 with Fitbloggin and the 4th Holiday in the time frame that fell in. In 3 weeks I still had time to retain information while taking the practice exam and ensuring I studied where there were ‘gaps’ in my practice exam answers.
* Re-do the test prep videos & review the study guide (through E Teach) You have access to the material with E Teach for 4 weeks – I used that to my advantage.


* NASM gives you 180 days to study before you have to take the test (or you can pay $200 to reschedule it for a later date) so I was sure to use those 6 months to their advantage. I work a full time job and workout (training for races off and on, which you guys already know) so I didn’t want to rush taking the exam or studying any sooner than I really needed to.

* You have to keep up 2.0 CEUs, or 20 hours of Continuing Education credits, to avoid retaking the exam for recertification. I’ve seen courses offered at various times in the year and am trying to spread them out so I’m not cramming at the end of that time frame.

The Exam:

* I called a 2 months in advance to set my test date. I know it was way before the 2 weeks that NASM recommends, but with my crazy schedule I wanted a goal to shoot for within an allotted and recommended amount of time.

* I arrived the recommended 30 minutes before my test time frame which worked to my advantage. I had time to study a bit more before going in and the proctor gave us instructions for our respective tests individually.


* I tried not to get too caught up in the exam itself. I was unable to take a pen and paper or anything other than my keys into the exam room. That made me a bit nervous, so I tried to focus on the material in my head and not lose track of that.

* The questions threw me off at times but I remembered to trust my gut and first instinct.

* I didn’t get a score. I was only told that I passed via the proctor immediately after I was done with the test. You need a 70% to pass and I’d gotten 85-95 on my practice exams so I was happy to know I knew more than I needed – if that makes sense?

Now what?

I want to take some CEUs to add to my skill set and learn various fitness techniques! I’d love to learn enough to teach part time and eventually be able to help make PT plans online and in person! Also, I can use what I’ve learned to help me share more knowledge here on ye old blog πŸ˜‰

I just know this is something I’ve wanted for years. Since over 5 years ago. I’m so happy I finally did it. It definitely wasn’t an easy feat, but I know that it was worth it!

(Stay tuned for a fun fitness challenge I’ll be doing with everyone who joins me in August! – the key: Core fitness to help our performance with training and racing and doing it all!)

Is anyone currently studying or planning to?

Any questions you have for me based on my experience that I can follow up with in a later post?ο»Ώ

HI! I'M KAT - I am a pug-mom, wife, NASM Certified Personal Trainer, & Fitness Coach focusing on living the fit life while tackling work, coaching others - doing it all! My blog is to hold me accountable for all the goals I plan on accomplishing and also a way for me to try to inspire others through my own experiences - if I can do it ANYONE can! Fitness is a huge part of my life as well as travel and seeing all that life has to be lived! PAY IT FORWARD!

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  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 11:43 am

    So excited you passed and can move on to what you want to do. Congrats!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 11:44 am

    Id so so so need the eteach program too.
    I had no idea that was an option now!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 12:06 pm

    Congrats! I just passed the ISSA PT exam. I like the idea of the eteach for NASM though. I feel like I went at it mostly alone so that could have been really beneficial.

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 12:08 pm

    Congrats! That is a tough test, way to go πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 12:23 pm

    I can’t wait to see what you start doing as a PT!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 12:46 pm

    Soooo excited for you Kat! Congrats on passing a tough test! I know you are going to do great with this and can’t wait to see all that you are going to do!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 12:57 pm

    SUPER excited for you Kat! You have worked and come so far on your fitness journey! So proud of all your accomplishments!! Can’t wait to see where this takes you! <3

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 12:58 pm

    CONGRATS!!!! I knew you’d rock it! WoOp WoOP!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 12:59 pm

    Yay!! I’m so thrilled for you- what an awesome accomplishment… excited to see what’s next for you!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 1:19 pm

    Awesome! Congrats, friend–great work! πŸ˜€

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 1:38 pm

    WOOHOO! Screaming, jumping, dancing, HAPPY!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 1:45 pm

    Congrats!! So excited for you!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 1:47 pm

    Super proud of you. You are taking names and kicking booty – and soon you’ll be kicking mine!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 1:47 pm

    Congrats girl! What a wonderful accomplishment!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 1:53 pm

    This is so awesome. Whatever you decide to do with knowledge will just add to the inspiration you give to others, like me! Congrats!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 4:29 pm

    Congrats!! I am so happy for you. I plan to do this hopefully next year

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 4:54 pm

    YAY! congratulations! I am so happy for you! I am trying to study as well, but getting caught up (and frustrated) on learning those 100’s of muscles. any tips? I did eteach but didn’t finish πŸ™ I need to get my focus back.

    • Reply
      July 10, 2013, 6:00 pm

      Thanks so much girl! I focused on the E teach study guides and practice exam material – a lot of the online resources on had activities but mainlY: fitness assessment, zones, levels and their acute variables, and concentric motion of muscles

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 5:49 pm

    Congrats Kiki! You can totally train me on all things weights. I am not so good at strength training. SEE: T-Rex arms.

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 5:59 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 7:23 pm

    Congrats! Now the real work begins. It’s the stuff they don’t teach you – coaching, behavior change, queing – that really make the difference to your clients. Good luck on the next phase!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 7:25 pm

    I am so proud of you! Congrats. I knew you could do it! Now you need to make me strong please!! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 9:26 pm

    Super duper proud of you little lady. I knew that you would pass and I know that you are going to be an awesome trainer.

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 10:45 pm

    Congrats! So excited for you as you start this new phase of your career!
    I am currently taking an online course about training Menopausal clients. I love, love, love being a student!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2013, 10:59 pm

    SO thrilled for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go after your dreams!!!

  • Reply
    July 11, 2013, 12:31 am

    Yea so proud of you Kat! I knew you would pass, no questions asked! WOOHOO!!!!

  • Reply
    July 11, 2013, 1:06 am

    That is SOOOO awesome!

  • Reply
    July 11, 2013, 1:27 am


  • Reply
    July 11, 2013, 1:49 am

    hard work and determination= SUCCESS! way to go woman!

  • Reply
    July 11, 2013, 9:41 am

    Congratulations! I’ve been researching cert programs. I’d like a combo of nutrition and fitness but can’t decide if I should get certified separately for each or maybe one all inclusive certification.

    • Reply
      July 11, 2013, 2:38 pm

      Me too. Iam starting eith NASM CPT, tgen going back for the Nutrition Certificate. Congrats Kat! I am so excited for you. I hace bern wanting to do this forever too. Researching, pricing it, waiting…you helped give me thefinal nudge. Btw, did they make you pay just the difference, or did you have to buy a whole new ‘package’ when you decided you eanted the E Learning?

    • Reply
      July 11, 2013, 2:40 pm

      Oh my gosh. Hating that my internet is down and having to do this from my phone. Lol.

  • Reply
    July 11, 2013, 4:00 pm

    So awesome! I’m totally looking into this more now. What a cool deal, I’m so glad all your hard work paid off, you rock!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2013, 4:24 am

    Congratulations!!! I’m looking forward to doing an August challenge with you. That’ll be amazing!

  • Reply
    July 12, 2013, 4:09 pm

    Congratulations. If anybody deserves it, it is you. You worked hard and proved yourself. I look forward to you implementing your knowledge in your blog.

  • Reply
    July 13, 2013, 2:00 am

    Congrats!!! YOu did it!! Very proud of you!! I was thinking about doing CPT as well, thanks for sharing this great overview.

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