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NASM's Essentials of Personal Fitness Training has been updated with the most current evidence, strategies, and training techniques designed to equip fitness professionals with the necessary skills to optimize human potential and performance. All learnings are delivered through a revolutionary digital platform to make your journey easy and flexible, and live practical training to gain the hands on experience and skills needed to be a world class Personal Trainer.
Revolutionary Digital Learning Platform
Learn online, anywhere, from any device, with all the tools you need to make your studying journey easy and enjoyable. Click below for a quick tour of the platform.
In Person Practical Workshops
Our live practical workshops focus on enhancing the online currciculum by providing students with an opportunity to put the content into practice. After reviewing the fundamentals of anatomy and physiology, we will take students through a systematic process of assessing movement, exercise technique, flexibility, strength, balance and function in order to design a program assured to optimize human performance.
Click here to view the table of contents and authors. Listen to an audio review of each chapter here.
To be eligible for this personal training course, you must have a high school diploma or GED. Additionally, you need a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) certification and an automated external defibrillator (AED) certification. You may enroll in the course before having your CPR and AED certifications; however, you must have them before you take your final exam.
Section 1: Professional Development and Responsibility
Chapter 1: The Modern State of Health and Fitness
Learn to distinguish your role as a Personal Trainer, identify common chronic health conditions, differentiate evidence-based practice from fitness fads, and define your scope as a professional.

Chapter 2: The Personal Training Profession
Fitness professionals have the option to work for a variety of employers or to work for themselves. This chapter explores industry growth and the overall career outlook for personal trainers.

7 Infographics
6 Videos
2 Audio Lectures
12 Knowledge Checks
Section 2: Client Relations and Behavioral Coaching
Chapter 3: Psychology of Exercise
The role of psychology in fitness and wellness is extremely important. It can deal with several topics, including the way exercise participation affects someone’s mood in both the short and the long term, the effect of weight loss on self-esteem, the motivations to become physically active, and how social influences affect overall exercise behavior.

Chapter 4: Behavioral Coaching
This chapter covers clients’ expectations, assessing behavior change, structuring optimal sessions, communicating effectively, and implementing exercise adherence techniques using behavior change.

8 Infographics
5 Videos
2 Audio Lectures
10 Knowledge Checks
Section 3: Basic and Applied Sciences and Nutritional Concepts
Chapter 5: The Nervous, Skeletal, and Muscular Systems
Because all fitness professionals need an understanding of anatomy and the Human Movement System, this chapter covers the fundamentals of the Nervous, Skeletal, and Muscular Systems.

Chapter 6: The Cardiorespiratory, Endocrine, and Digestive Systems
You will learn how to identify the structure and function of the cardiorespiratory system, how to categorize the function of the endocrine system, as well as the digestive system.

Chapter 7: Human Movement Science
You will gain an understanding of the basics of biomechanics and motor behavior as they relate to working as a personal trainer.

Chapter 8: Exercise Metabolism and Bioenergetics
This section of the course breaks down the various energy systems within the body, providing essential insight into the ways we use food for fuel.

Chapter 9: Nutrition
Improving health and fitness means more than just exercise; it also requires a commitment to improve the way the body is fueled. Although specific diet prescription is outside a trainer's scope of practice, this chapter will provide the basics needed to support nutritional discussions with clients and make recommendations on how to support their goals through a healthy diet.

Chapter 10: Supplementation
It is important that the personal trainer understand what supplements are and how to educate clients on risks associated with various supplements. Within you will learn the necessary information to discuss supplementation with a client while remaining within your scope of practice.

115 Infographics
19 Videos
6 Audio Lectures
30 Knowledge Checks
Section 4: Assessment
Chapter 11: Health, Wellness, and Fitness Assessments
After this chapter, you will be able to explain the importance of assessments, collect and summarize subjective client information, identify steps for conducting body composition assessments, and choose the correct cardiorespiratory assessments on an individual basis.

Chapter 12: Posture, Movement, and Performance Assessments
Posture, movement, and performance assessments are an integral part of the intake process for all clients and will assist the fitness professional in developing customized fitness programs to enhance a client’s well-being.

15 Infographics
14 Videos
2 Audio Lectures
10 Knowledge Checks
Section 5: Exercise Technique and Training Instruction
Chapter 13: Integrated Training and the OPT™ Model
After complete interpretations of assessment results, a comprehensive training program can be developed through application of specific acute variables defined in the NASM OPT™ Model.

Chapter 14: Flexibility Training Concepts
Learn the scientific rationale for flexibility training, proper stretching exercises, stretches for beginners, and more within this chapter of the course.

Chapter 15: Cardiorespiratory Training Concepts
Cardiorespiratory fitness reflects the ability of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to supply oxygen-rich blood to skeletal muscles during sustained physical activity. You will learn more within the course.

Chapter 16: Core Training Concepts
A properly designed core training program can be a key component of an overall training plan used to achieve a broad range of goals. The objective of core training is the development of core stability, endurance, strength, and power. Learn more within.

Chapter 17: Balance Training Concepts
The ability to maintain postural control or balance is a fundamental component of performance, injury resistance, and rehabilitation that follows an injury. Learn how to incorporate balance training within your clients’ programming.

Chapter 18: Plyometric (Reactive) Training Concepts
You will learn how to explain plyometric training and its three phases, summarize the benefits of the modality, identify proper progressions, and teach proper cueing techniques.

Chapter 19: Speed, Agility, and Quickness Training Concepts
Speed, agility, and quickness (SAQ) training is a useful and effective method of fitness training that stimulates muscular, neurological, connective tissue, and even cardiovascular fitness adaptations.

Chapter 20: Resistance Training Concepts
You will learn how to summarize resistance training principles to clients, categorize exercises for different types of goals and adaptations, and employ safe methods and resistance training variables.

26 Infographics
102 Videos
8 Audio Lectures
42 Knowledge Checks
Section 6: Program Design
Chapter 21: The Optimum Performance Training® Model
Creating and modifying exercise programs for clients can be a complicated process because there are many variables to consider, including the client’s goals, their tolerance for exercise, and their unique physical abilities and medical history. The Optimum Performance Training® Model makes it simple.

Chapter 22: Introduction to Exercise Modalities
Within this chapter you will learn how to categorize different exercise modalities, describe their uses depending on different clients, and determine the correct resistance and proprioceptive uses on an individual basis.

Chapter 23: Chronic Health Conditions and Special Populations
This chapter covers important information and recommendations for assessing and designing exercise programs for clients with selected chronic health conditions or functional limitations.

2 Infographics
8 Videos
3 Audio Lectures
19 Knowledge Checks
Final Exam
There are 120 test questions. Of those, 20 are research questions that do not count toward or against your final score. You must pass with a scaled score of 70 or better. You will have 2 hours to complete the exam.
As a fitness professional, our business is to help people get to their fitness goals. NASM is the gold standard of the industry in my eyes. When I see NASM ont he application, I know that the candidate wants to grow in the industry and has a solid foundation.

Robert McCullough
UFC Gym Senior Director of MMA & Former WEC World Champion
The NASM OPTTM Model has been my foundation for training for more than 20 years. It has provided me with the knowledge and confidence I need to help and get any client to any goal in a systematic and progressive way that's supported by research. I am so grateful and honoured to be a part os the NASM family and supported by such a great team, as it's been instrumental to my growth and development as a professional.

Wendy Batts
Assistant Professor in Undergraduate and Graduate, California University of Pennsylvania
NASM is the absolute best! I could not feel more confident about the education I'm implementing with my clients. Having grown with NASM over the years, I'm so proud to see their constant evolution. They have set me up with my top-notch education - it's current and relevant. There's no denying that NASM is always striving to produce the best of the best with their fitness professionals and their coontinuous efforts for outstanding education.

Maricris Lapaix
Creator of Busy Bodies Jumpstart Transformations
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