NASM CPT exam and a workout!

I did it. I finally schedule my NASM CPT exam. I’ve been self studying for waaaay too long (Im so easily distracted when I don’t have a real deadline), which I talked a little about here, and finally paid for the exam back in May which gave me a 180 day deadline. One of my August goals was to at least schedule the exam if not actually take it. Well, that didn’t happen but I did call in the beginning of September and scheduled for Sept 22. To say I was a nervous wreck is an understatement. I studied and studied and highlighted and studied and took all of the practice exams on the NASM website. And then Tuesday I went and took the exam.

AND I PASSED! Seriously, the biggest weight was lifted and all the stressing over just passing the exam was gone. I did it! Whew. Best feeling ever!

The exam itself was much easier than I expected it to be. Everywhere I read talked about it being the hardest test anyone has taken and how a lot of people don’t pass. But honestly, if you’re studying right now, take the practice tests. If you do well on those you will do well on the exam.

And now for the big question everyone is asking me…. now what?! I have no idea. Ok, I have a ton of ideas…I just need to make sense of all of them and decide which direction I want to go. I spent so much time just worrying about the exam I never spent too much time on what to do after. So more on that to come!

Anyway, moving on! If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook you may have seen the workout I did yesterday. It was just a quick scribble on a white board so I thought I’d make a prettier graphic to share here too!

All you need for this workout is a chair and a timer.

At home body weight workout

Do each exercise for 60 seconds. When you get through all 5 rest for 30 seconds and start back at the top. Try to get through all 4 rounds!

Here’s what to do:

  • Step Ups: Grab a chair, bench, coffee table, or something similar in height and step up and down alternating feet.
  • Push Ups: You can do regular push ups or if you need to drop your knees to the ground. You can also do them against a raised surface like a table or countertop if you need to. Just remember to keep your back and legs straight the whole time.
  • Jump Squats: Make sure when you come down you’re landing soft. If you can’t do the jump just do regular bodyweight squats for the 60 seconds.
  • Plank Shoulder Touch: Get in push up position, keep your body straight, alternate touching a hand to the opposite shoulder.
  • Speed Skaters: For more of a challenge touch down with your opposite hand when you land. If you really cant do the lateral hopping motion just do more of a lateral step.

You only have 5 minutes for each round so make sure you’re really pushing yourself to do the best you can! Take breathers when you need to but try to keep moving.

Also, be sure to warm up and cool down before and after. And STRETCH! So important. If you end up trying this workout let me know! I’d love to hear what you thought of it because it kicked my butt!

NASM Study Resources

So you want to be a personal trainer? Me too! That means you’ve probably been researching the different certifications and choosing the one that works best for you. I decided to go with NASM. They have a few different certification packages you can purchase that range from $599 (the exam only) all the way to $1,999. Each package offers a little bit more to help you prepare for the exam.

I ended up not choosing a full study program and will just do the exam only option when I’m ready. I purchased the NASM text book off of Amazon for around $60 and have been self studying on my own. Great if you need to save some cash, bad if you just suck at self study like me. If you go through NASM you have a set amount of time to complete it all. Now, on my own, I’m bad at setting deadlines for myself and life keeps getting in the way. I definitely would only recommend this option for someone that is good at keeping their butt in gear!

Anyway, I’m getting it done. I’ve read through the book, taken notebooks full of notes, and now am going back through everything making shorter note cards.

I haven’t been completely on my own though in this process. There are many resources to help me study along the way.

Study Guides: Study guide – NASM itself has a study guide to use that tells how many questions from each section are on the exam

The Healthy Gamer – The Healthy Gamer posted a free study guide that was really helpful to be. He went through the mass amount of text and took out the important pieces. Notes are longer but it helped break through the boring text book reading feeling.

Fittin Pretty – Kim at has made a great study guide to review. The notes are shorter but key points are highlighted and in different colors. Im visual. I like that a lot!

Other Websites:  – This site is fantastic. User created study guides include quizzes and flashcards for chapters, appendices, everything. Definitely check this one out. – This is the website for the textbook itself. There is a registration code you can enter when buying your book that will give you access to chapter quizzes, an interactive glossary, lab activities, and crossword puzzles.

Life In Leggings – This is a giant everything you need to know about taking the NASM CPT exam. Good info. Read through it!

Facebook: Join the NASM group on Facebook. There is an endless amount of information to help you prepare for the exam and for after you pass.


iMuscle 2 – Shows each muscle and what it does and the exercises that work it.

Exam Prep – This app and many like it have flash cards and quizzes to study from.

Another fun thing I got but haven’t used much is an anatomy coloring book. We’ll see how much it helps…either way, it’s fun! I love anatomy.


These are some of the resources I’ve been using to help me learn the material in the book. If you know of any other great ones please share them in the comments!

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