Hey everybody, Coach Tyler Read speaking and welcome to your one-stop study shop for the ACSM personal training certification. In my study hub, you will find an ACSM study guide, ACSM practice test ( with all the answers), ACSM flashcards and other ACSM tips to help you pass the final exam. I highly recommend that you star/bookmark this page for future reference. Trust me, you don’t want to lose it.
I also 100% recommend checking out the team over at Trainer Academy if you want the best overall chance to pass the ACSM exam. They will guarantee that you pass the test and will cut your overall study time in half. Check out my full review on them here.
The menu at the top of this page will answer any question related to personal training that you have. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment here (I’ll respond within 24 hours). Also, visit the home page for the most recent and popular articles.
My Bitmoji counterpart will be walking you through the ACSM study guide to make sure that you are on track for passing the ACSM exam. Say hello to Tyler-Moji.
Intro to the ACSM Study Materials
Before we get started, you will need the official textbook from the ACSM to study for their exam.
The current textbook is called ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer 5th edition. It consists of 22 chapters and is written by the American College of Sports Medicine.
Refer to the image on this page so that you pick up the correct textbook. I recommend either picking the book up from the ACSM website or from Amazon.
FREE ACSM Study guide updated for 2020
- Chapter 1: Importance of the field and profession of personal training
- Chapter 2: Career track for personal trainers
- Chapter 3: Anatomy and kinesiology
- Chapter 4: Biomechanical principles of Training
- Chapter 5: Exercise physiology
- Chapter 6: Nutrition and human performance
- Chapter 7: Theories of behavior change
- Chapter 8: Adherence to exercise: Helping your client stay active
- Chapter 9: Eliciting positive perceptions and behaviors: coaching techniques
- Chapter 10: The initial client consultation
- Chapter 11: Preparticipation physical activity screening guidelines
- Chapter 12: Client fitness assessments
- Chapter 13: Comprehensive program design
- Chapter 14: Resistance training programs
- Chapter 15: Cardiorespiratory training programs
- Chapter 16: Guidelines for designing flexibility programs
- Chapter 17: Functional movement assessments and exercise programming for apparently healthy participants
- Chapter 18: personal training session components
- Chapter 19: Advanced program options
- Chapter 20: Special populations
- Chapter 21: Business basics and planning
- Chapter 22: Legal issues and responsibilities
Free ACSM practice test for 2020
In my ACSM practice test, you will find the same percentage of questions from the four primary domains of study as you would in the real exam. I do this to try to simulate the real exam as closely as possible. Here are the four domains of study and their relative question percentage on the test.
- Domain 1: Initial client consultation and assessment; (Represents 25% of questions)
- Domain 2: Exercise programming/implementation; (Represents 45% of questions)
- Domain 3: Practice leadership and client learning; (Represents 20% of questions)
- Domain 4: Legal and professional Aspects: (Represents 10% of questions)
ACSM Practice tests answer key below ⬇️ (Don’t Peek Until After!) 🙄
ACSM Study Tips
Although I pride myself on having a pretty decent ACSM study guide and other study materials, these are in no means meant to replace the full textbook. These are just tidbits to help you along the way.
Below is a complete list of additional study tools and study materials that I highly recommend you check out so that you can rock test with a hundred percent confidence. These study materials should be your go-to guides if you want to pass the exam guaranteed
Premium ACSM study guide
The free study guide here on Ptpioneer is a decent place to start, and might be the best free study guide out there that I know of.
That being said, there are definitely better paid options out there that will greatly reduce your study time and focus on the most important parts you need in order to pass the final ACSM exam.
My study guide has lots of information, but it is not meant to help you save time by any means.
The company that I recommend the most is Trainer Academy. They have a fantastic group over there and every single student I send their way only tells me fantastic things. Their study guide avoids all the fluff material that you won’t get tested on. This is a fantastic study guide to use whether you have a year to study, and especially if you need to cram as much information in a short period of time.
More ACSM practice tests
The ACSM Practice test that I have on my website only contains 50 questions. If you want to feel extremely confident about taking the final exam, you will need a lot more practice using practice tests.
Overall, I recommend taking at least 3 to 5 practice exams to know if you are 100% prepped. Lots of my students have come to me saying that they failed the exam. Typically the number one reason is that they had never once taken a practice exam before taking the real thing. If they had, they would have realized that they were not prepared enough.
The best ACSM practice tests can also be found over at Trainer Academy. For the ACSM exam they have five full 150 question practice tests. On top of this, they also have a timer for 2 1/2 hours to simulate the real testing environment.
If you can pass all five of their practice exams, you will know that you are ready to dominate the real thing.
Spaced repetition ACSM flashcards
Every time I start talking about space repetition learning, people pause me and say “Tyler, what the heck are you talking about?”.
Well, let me tell you. If you have not heard of spaced repetition learning, you are wasting a lot of time studying.
Basically, spaced repetition flashcards help you separate the flashcards that you know well, from the flashcards that you have a hard time with. From there, you will be continually shown your more difficult cards more frequently and your easier cars less frequently. It is basically a learning algorithm that will save you hours of study time.
Although my flashcards are pretty decent, they use the standard flashcards study technique which does not take into account flashcards difficulty.
The team over at Trainer Academy has put together a deck of 700+ space repetition flashcards for ACSM that will save you hours of study time.
ACSM Mnemonics for the tough parts
If you asked me which study technique is the best for keeping the information in your long-term memory, I would hands down respond with study mnemonics.
Although study guides, practice tests, and flashcards are very helpful for studying in passing your personal training exam, these do not help concrete the information in your long-term memory.
This is where study mnemonics come in. By learning personal training concepts using weird, funny and unusual mnemonics, it will be much harder to forget these principles. This is true even years after you have studied the material.
I highly suggest either creating your own study mnemonics or picking up some premade ones. The team over at Trainer Academy has also created an excellent deck of 35+ mnemonics to help you study for the ACSM exam.
Okay, everybody, that’s the end of my ACSM study portal. I hope you have gone great use out of the study materials. Make sure to come through here a few times to use the study guide so that you can obtain the knowledge to become an excellent personal trainer!