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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  • Hi Megan,

    Thanks for sharing all this great info. A great study resource I wanted to mention is this one from Fitness Mentors:

    They have free study guides, paid (premium) study guides, audio lectures, practice tests and even an online course. It is by far the best NASM study guide resource on the web.

  • Trish Lau

    Hello Megan!!

    Your website is so helpful! It definitely helped me to get started!!
    I was wondering if you had previous education background knowledge? I am debating to buy the exam only or the all inclusive package since I have zero background knowledge… The Fitness Mentor guides looks pretty bad ass, don’t know if I should just buy that instead. Thanks!

    • Hey! I should write an update to this post. When I was ready to buy the exam there was a good sale (they usually have pretty good sales!) on packages, but not the exam only. I ended up getting the first package with the ecourse and flashcards for slightly less than the exam itself would have been.

      Anyway, I have taken some anatomy courses in the past so the general knowledge helped but there was still so much I didnt know! Also, just having personal experience in the gym doing workouts at different sets/reps helped me not be completely lost. These resources here will definitely help you but if you can get a deal of the packages with the ecourses why not?

  • Valerie Henderson

    Hi there, can you please let me know the name of the colouring book you have pictured above? Many thanks