NSCA-CPT Certification (study recommendation?)

Hi Guys, I mostly just lurk here but I have a question…

I’m taking the NSCA-CPT Exam in February and I just wanted to get suggestions (hopefully from others personal experience) what materials are worth purchasing to prepare ? There is so many things to choose from, one could really spend quite a bit of money.

I have been tearing through the entire NSCA Essentials of Strength and Conditioning book for review and I figure I’ll at least buy the practice exam…any other prep materials really worth picking up from NSCA ?


Thanks !

study the book! the practice tests suck.

I agree with Clemson… stick to the textbook. The practice exams aren’t as similar to the exam itself as they could be. I found many of the questions in the exam to be unclear and nebulous. The exam allows you to write any comments you have about specific questions that you have issues with. Needless to say, I wrote a whole bunch of comments about the multiple choice questions and provided answers when I took the exam years ago. I assume it hasn’t changed since the mid-90’s?

The video the NSCA sells detailing lifting technique is actually helpful. My wife took the exam some years ago and she thought it was very helpful. There is a practical section in the exam where they show you videos of exercise technique and then ask you questions about them. The NSCA tends to look for specific answers (not necessarily the best answers) and it’s good to see what they are looking for.

In the video section, because you don’t get a chance to see the video clips again, I suggest you take quick notes on your exam sheet about what you are seeing because it may be useful for answering the multiple choice questions when you review your answers.

Sometimes if you can find others who are taking the exam, you can share in the costs of the prep materials, rather than paying for it yourself.

All that I used to prepare for the CSCS exam was the text book. I burned through it in about six weeks then took the exam. Granted I had many years under the barbell/in the field prior to getting certified. Having said that, if you are more on the inexperienced side, with respect to strength science (theory and application) then you may benefit from more than just the text.
Additionally, I do not believe that the CPT exam requires as extensive knowledge as the CSCS. Therefore, if you really comprehend the material presented in the text, and you have reasonable time under the barbell, than you will probably do well.
Regardless, keep in mind that, once you become certified, it is your responsibility to keep on top of the ever progressing strength sciences. Unfortunately, because of the easily attainable certifications, there are far too many “trainers” who posses a hair more knowledge than there unknowing clients. Mediocrity is commonplace.
James Smith

I agree with the above. I used the practice tests for the CSCS exam and they really didn’t provide much. The text book is the key. And to reinforce something No 2 said, never forget that you need to give them the answer they want to hear, not necessarily the best answer. Unfortunately, the two often differ.

Regarding the suject matter on the CPT exam versus the CSCS exam, I believe the CPT exam (which I have not taken) puts more stress on things like metabolic calculations (e.g., calories burned).

Thanks everyone for your feedback, I’m going to keep hitting the book and since I also feel I am a bit on the under experienced side I may pick up the video which shows proper lift technique / spot etc…Thanks Again

I’ll pass on the practice test though since it gets a unanimous suck from everyone.