NASM 6th Edition Chapter 3: The cardiorespiratory system
NASM study guide chapter 3

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Contents

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Chapter 3 NASM Study Guide

Important definitions

The cardiorespiratory system: Composed of the respiratory and cardiovascular system

The cardiovascular system: Blood vessels, blood, and the heart

Arteries: Carry blood away from the heart to the rest of the body

Veins: Return blood to the heart from the rest of the body

Stroke volume: The amount of blood pumped out of the heart with each contraction

Cardiac output: Heart rate × stroke volume

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Sinoatrial (SA) node: The “pacemaker” of the heart because it initiates the heartbeat

Typical heart rate for an adult: 70-80 BPM

The atria and ventricles:

The heart has two pairs of different chambers. These chambers are called the atriums and ventricles. Here are the functions of the chambers.

The right atrium receives blood coming from the body, while the left atrium receives the blood (oxygen-rich) that comes from the lungs and the heart.

The right ventricle has thinner walls because it only needs to pump blood a short distance back to the heart and the lungs. On the other hand, the left ventricle has much thicker walls and is a much higher pressure pump because it is required to push blood to the rest of the body.

The functions of blood:

  1. Protection: The white blood cells help to protect your body against diseases, and blood clotting helps with fluid loss.
  2. Regulation: Blood helps keep a stable body temperature, electrolyte, and water level, as well as pH.
  3. Transportation: The primary function of blood is transporting nutrients and oxygen to the body’s cells. It also takes away CO2 and various wastes from the cells and delivers hormones to specific tissues.

The respiratory pump:

These are the thoracic and abdominal structures that help with the contraction and expansion of the lungs.

The muscles that comprise the respiratory pump are:

  • For inhalation: The Scalene muscles, the pack minor, the sternocleidomastoid, and the diaphragm.
  • For exhalation: The internal intercostals and the abdominal muscles

Here is the cycle of the respiratory pump (venous return):

Inhalation

  1. The thoracic cavity expands new
  2. The pressure within the pleural cavities drop
  3. This pulls air into the lungs.
  4. It also brings blood into the IVC and the right atrium from the smaller veins that exist in the abdominal cavity.

Exhalation

  1. The pressure in the pleural cavities rise
  2. This forces blood into the right atrium
  3. This is important, especially for heavy exercises.

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NASM 6th Edition Chapter 3: The cardiorespiratory system 1
NASM 6th Edition Chapter 3: The cardiorespiratory system 2
NASM 6th Edition Chapter 3: The cardiorespiratory system 3

NASM flashcards for chapter 3

NASM 6th Edition Chapter 3: The cardiorespiratory system 3

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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6 thoughts on “NASM 6th Edition Chapter 3: The cardiorespiratory system”

  1. PTPioneer User

    These study guides do not cover a lot of the information needed to ACE the practice tests. Some terms/definitions are missing.

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Josh,
      The study guide does not include every single term or definition from the NASM on exercise textbook. If it did, it would be a lot larger. These are general guidelines and things to focus on but it definitely does not cover everything. If you want a more in-depth Study guide or study system, I suggest checking out Trainer Academy. https://traineracademy.org/nasm/

  2. PTPioneer User

    Hi! I have read and watch tones of videos and info. That tells me not to stress about the chapter 2 and 3. My question is: is this info you have here enough? I want to move on and continue but I don’t want to leave important inf. This chapters have taken way to much time. Thanks

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      The information I have on my study guide for the National Academy of sports medicine is a good place to start. That being said, is definitely not the one stop shop resource for study materials. There are other much more in-depth study materials if you’re having trouble grasping all of the concepts from NASM.

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