FREE ACSM Study Plan, Study Calendar + Blueprint 2023

Welcome to the PTPioneer ACSM study plan page, part of the extensive ACSM study hub.

Throughout this page, you will be able to help decide on a proper plan and timeframe for your studies in the ACSM CPT program.

Here is a preview of my PTP ACSM Study Plan PDF, which offers 4 timeframes for you to choose from and help organize your studies and the materials in the ACSM Study program.

FREE ACSM Study Plan, Study Calendar + Blueprint [year] 1

Get your copy of the ACSM CPT study plan, and I will also include a Cheat Sheet for the ACSM materials for free in the same email. These help immensely in studying for the exam.

Within this article, we will highlight the following:

The typical study materials and their average time to master
Downloadable PDFs for visual help with planning your study calendar
The next steps for studying for the ACSM Exam

Make sure to check out Trainer Academy for premium ACSM CPT study materials. They will reduce study time by 50% and have an exam pass guarantee. Read my full review of them here. You can save $100 on their MVP study system with the code: PTPSUB

Next, let’s dive in and look at this study calendar we suggest for you to master the materials!

ACSM CPT Study Series

FREE ACSM Study Plan, Study Calendar + Blueprint [year] 2

How Long Does it Take to Study for the ACSM Exam?

The ACSM exam is not the hardest in the fitness industry for personal training certification, but it is not near the easiest.

The ACSM CPT exam covers many varied topics throughout the realm of personal training, and it does it as well as all of the other top certifications you can choose from.

The amount of time it will take to study for the ACSM exam will depend on your experience and knowledge level.

If you already have a personal training certification or a degree in exercise, then you will be able to study for the ACSM exam in as little as 4 weeks, as our study plan suggests.

On the other end, if you have never studied anything in the realm of exercise, then you should allow for about 6 months of time to properly learn the materials, as this is the average.

As we discuss later, your study time should be as many days as possible within the week, as this keeps the material fresh in your mind.

Now, let’s look at our study plan more closely.

Downloadable Study Plan

If you wish to download this excellent study resource to help organize your study efforts, then click the button for a quick and easy email input to have them sent to you.

The downloadable PDF also gives detailed descriptions and more information regarding the ideal usage of the study plans.

In addition to the study plan above, I will include the cheat sheet for the ACSM study materials on this site.

The Study plan is very helpful in organization, but can be used as a recommendation for your own personalized study plan.

The PTP recommendation is one of four options for timeframes: 4 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, and 1-year.

These four options will give readers an easier way to follow along and create habits through proper study techniques, all while utilizing each of the ACSM study materials that are offered on PTPioneer.

The first option, the 4-week, or one-month, study plan, is suited for people who may already have a different personal trainer certification or similar fitness certifications fields like group exercise, exercise physiologist, CSCS, or many more options.

Another type of reader we see with a 4-week study program would be someone that has to cram as much as possible in one month they can before their set date for the exam.

For the second study plan we discuss in the PDF, we have a 3-month timeframe, and it is the optimal amount of time to study with these free materials when you have a good amount of time to invest in your studies.

The 3-month plan is the best option for creating good study habits and mastering the ACSM CPT certification exam content. The type of reader this is built for, is someone who can invest 5 – 8 hours easily each week and doesn’t have a set date for the exam within the next 3 months.

Three months of consistent studying is also more than enough to create habits that you can utilize in all future study endeavors. You will also have the exercise science information as fresh as possible when utilized well in a 3-month study plan.

The third option in the study plan is a 6-month option, which is going to be ideal for someone who can’t fit in as much time studying or may still be testing out the ACSM materials to see how well they align with your future fitness business goals and professional responsibilities.

The 6-month study plan is still beneficial for many readers studying to be an ACSM certified personal trainer, but if you space your personal training studies out too much, exercise programming can be tougher to grasp, and some things may not be as fresh when it comes time for the ACSM test.

The 1-year option is similar to the 6-month plan, except it is for someone with even less time to put in for the studying.

All in all, the options are going to be a 4-week (cramming) option, a 3-month (potentially the best) option, and a 6-month or 1-year study plan option.

All four have their own use and optimal reader, and we utilize the same study plan timeframes for other CPT organizations like ISSA, NASM, NSCA, and ACE.

Regardless of your chosen plan, you will be able to master all of the toughest topics in personal training, like Biomechanics, Cardiovascular and Resistance Training, Exercise Leadership, and overall Client Education.

Make sure to save or bookmark all of the pages we have for our study hub, like the cheat sheet, flashcards, study home page, and more. The study plans will utilize them all.

Study Tips to Maximize Efficiency

The important part of studying and truly learning a subject is consistency and the creation of habits.

This will not only help with the actual studying but it is proven to help retain information over the long term.

When it comes to utilizing our ACSM study guide from our website, ideally, you should aim to use it at least 4 days a week in some form, and as much as daily for the best results.

Studying is best done in short bursts throughout the day or once each day, and it is well-suited for study materials like flashcards for exam prep.

Flashcards and even practice tests on this study hub have the type of material that is easily memorized when they are looked at frequently.

The PTP study plans and their timeframes will focus on the idea of frequent and short study sessions to pass your ACSM certifications and get the best test prep possible.

Fitting a Study Plan to Your Schedule

As you have seen in the PDF download, the three plans have variances in the hours required per week, and the schedule for completing and implementing materials into your routine.

It is important to fit this into your schedule and your optimal learning method. Some people learn better with specific types of materials; for example, flashcard studying is not the best option for everyone.

So, you may need to shift the use of materials toward the one you find working for you the most. After all, the best study materials are the ones that you will actually use.

The free study guide and materials offered here on PTPioneer are great, but studies are not always the best option on the internet, especially when compared to paid study systems, like that of Trainer Academy.

On PTPioneer, you will find practice exams with a good amount of practice questions, but if you want to nail down the materials and have no doubt about achieving a passing score, then most paid study organizations offer a pass guarantee to give you peace of mind in your purchase.

After reading through the study plan and the various timelines we have preset for readers, the next step is to go through the study guide page, which serves as the study hub containing the summaries of chapters of the textbook.

This study guide page is the first of our four main types of study material within PTPioneer.

Good luck in your studies in this training program, and make sure to keep that download handy by printing it out, if possible.

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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All content published on PTPioneer is checked and reviewed extensively by our staff of experienced personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and other Fitness Experts. This is to make sure that the content you are reading is fact-checked for accuracy, contains up-to-date information, and is relevant. We only add trustworthy citations that you can find at the bottom of each article. You can read more about our editorial integrity here.

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