Mary Baum

NASM Tips and Tricks

I have received multiple emails and comments about my experience with NASM, so I figured I would go ahead and dedicate a post to answering them all for you!

1. Why did you choose NASM?

Like I mentioned when I announced I signed up for the exam, I chose NASM for the forward thinking. It is not the same type of strength training like it used to be. I think the different stages that NASM teaches trainers to use (Stabilization, Strength, & Power) is vital in making a safe and effective workout. The stress on the scientific background of teaching clients correct form while working out is a great part of NASM as well. I am very, very happy with my decision!

2. What did you buy when you signed up?

When I signed up for the course, I purchased the book, test, and online workspace, which is the PRO package. I didn’t want to commit to going to a live class, since I have such a hectic schedule, and knew that I could fit the studying in on my own. I also didn’t think the extras were necessary. I liked being able to access the text-book online, since you can search it by term, which really helped into the days leading up to the exam.

3. How long did you study for?

I signed up for the test back in mid-June, and I didn’t take the test until November 2nd. I definitely took more time than I needed. If I would have been more dedicated to the studying, I could have definitely taken the test in August/September. It simply came down to me knowing that I had until December to get it done, so I wasn’t in a rush. I read a chapter per week – sometimes 2 if they were short. I pretty much did this on the weekend, and would read sporadically during the week. What worked the best for me was as follows:

  • Read the Book
  • Do practice exercises online after each chapter
  • Make notecards for important key terms
  • Complete the practice exam at least 10 times
That was honestly all that I did. At the beginning, I was taking very diligent notes, but soon realized that I just did not need to be doing it. I was digesting the information really well, and didn’t even look at any of the notes that I took since I had my notecards. Just reading through the book and studying the diagrams and charts really helped me. I am a visual learner, so I knew this would be my best method to study.

4. What are the online study resources like?

In the online space, there are activities after each chapter, along with video explanations. I only watched the videos if I was confused on a movement or exercise. Otherwise, I thought it to be too repetitive. The activities were great because it helped to reinforce the information in a much more interactive way.

5. Any helpful tips and tricks?

Don’t think that any part of the text is too small. I remember thinking that some of the easier information was not important, I didn’t review it, and then it confused me on the exam. The biggest advice I can give you is to be sure to know the muscles that are shortened and lengthened when certain muscles compensate for others. It is so important. Also, pay attention to the practice test. Multiple practice questions showed up on the final test.

If you have any other questions, please let me know in the comments, or email me at foodfunrun [at] gmail [dot] com!

7 Responses

  1. Chuck
    Chuck November 8, 2012 at 12:09 am |

    Did you find out what the Continued Education Requirements are yet? ; )

  2. Kim
    Kim November 8, 2012 at 7:28 pm |

    Congrats! I’m a runner as well, and just found your website while searching for NASM studying tips…I just started studying last week and am up to chapter 5. I hope to take my test in January. I’m not looking for answers, but as one who just took the test, can you tell me if I need to know all the specific joint types and the definitions surrounding them? I’ve made notecards on everything so far, but on my goodness I haven’t even got to the bulk of the the info and I’ve got at least 100! Any other tips would on how to best efficiently study would be great!

    Thanks so much!

  3. Gabe
    Gabe January 15, 2013 at 1:12 am |

    Any example questions that you might remember?

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