FREE ISSA Study Guide 2023 - Studying Made Simple

Hey everybody, it’s coach Tyler here!

Welcome to the one and only ISSA personal trainer certification exam study guide.

This is the most updated International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) study guide which covers the following:

Chapter-by-chapter study guide
Navigation and study tips
Recommendations on combining this study material with other ISSA study materials

I highly suggest that you bookmark this page right now for future reference.

Trust me; you will be very frustrated if you lose this specific ISSA exam study material.

I will cover all of the ISSA certification course and study guide answers, too.

Don’t forget to get a copy of the ISSA exam cheat sheet and ISSA study plan, which are best used when combined with the other ISSA exam prep materials and the ISSA practice exams.

Also, show some love to Trainer Academy for its premium ISSA CPT certification study materials and high-quality study guides for fitness certifications that go more in-depth than any ISSA exam prep free materials online.

Read my full review of them here and save $100 on their MVP study system with the code: PTPSUB.

Without further ado, let’s dive right into this ISSA Study Guide!

ISSA CPT Study Series

FREE ISSA Study Guide Updated for 2023

ISSA Study Guide

ISSA CPT 10th Edition Chapters

ISSA CPT 9th Edition Chapters

  1. ISSA Unit 1 – Metabolism
  2. ISSA Unit 2 – Basic Anatomy and Physiology
  3. ISSA Unit 3 – Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Physiology
  4. ISSA Unit 4 – Kinesiology of Exercise
  5. ISSA Unit 5 – Biomechanics of Exercise
  6. ISSA Unit 6 – Musculoskeletal Deviations
  7. ISSA Unit 7 – Muscle Mechanics
  8. ISSA Unit 8 – Strength
  9. ISSA Unit 9 – Cardiovascular Training
  10. ISSA Unit 10 – Flexibility Training
  11. ISSA Unit 11 – Body Composition
  12. ISSA Unit 12 – Drawing-In Phase
  13. ISSA Unit 13 – Basic Assessment of Fitness Participants
  14. ISSA Unit 14 – Training Principles
  15. ISSA Unit 15 – Periodization
  16. ISSA Unit 16 – Determining Training Loads
  17. ISSA Unit 17 – The Big Picture of Nutrition
  18. ISSA Unit 18 – Nutritional Psychology
  19. ISSA Unit 19 – Nutritional Science
  20. ISSA Unit 20 – Nutritional Coaching
  21. ISSA Unit 21 – Exercise and Older Adults
  22. ISSA Unit 22 – Exercise and Adaptive Fitness
  23. ISSA Unit 23 – Exercise and Our Youth
  24. ISSA Unit 24 – Exercise and Hypertension
  25. ISSA Unit 25 – Exercise and Diabetes
  26. ISSA Unit 26 – Exercise and Arthritis
  27. ISSA Unit 27 – Exercise and Coronary Heart Disease
  28. ISSA Unit 28 – Exercise and Pregnancy
  29. ISSA Unit 29 – Exercise and Asthma
  30. ISSA Unit 30 – Sports Medicine In The Trenches
  31. ISSA Unit 31 – Basic First Aid

You should know that the ISSA website offers a 4-week ISSA Fast Track study plan which includes online study materials, access to a dedicated student success coach, ISSA community membership, and a free CPR/AED certification course.

There is also a pass protection which offers a free retest for those who fail the exam.

But the PTPioneer ISSA-certified personal trainer study guide answers the exact questions from the official ISSA personal training certification study guide included with the official cert textbook.

Anything you want to learn, from exercise science and anatomy to the basics fundamentals of strength training, ISSA covers it all.

You can either start studying for your final exam now before you purchase the ISSA certification program, or you can use this page to double-check your own answers as you answer them yourself.

Whether you’re fresh out of high school or are earning this credential to fulfill continuing education units (CEUs) for recertification purposes, these ISSA practice questions and practice tests will definitely help you pass your exam.

Other ISSA Study Guide Tips

ISSA Study Tips

This ISSA CPT Exam Prep Hub is not meant to completely replace studying from the ISSA textbook. It is meant to supplement studying from it.

If you are still not sure if ISSA is the correct personal training certification for you, then I highly suggest that you take the quiz In order to find out if it is.

In my perspective, the ISSA CPT is among the top certifications for fitness professionals, in line with NASM, ACSM, and NSCA.

The ISSA CPT exam has only recently been accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies, or NCCA.

NCCA accreditation is the gold standard accreditation in the fitness industry and is acknowledged by all gyms.

That’s why most fitness trainer programs and specializations, such as group exercise, master trainer, powerlifting, and nutritionist credentials, are accredited.

Do I need to study for the ISSA exam thoroughly?

How do I study for ISSA in other ways?

Allow me to make the following suggestions to help you ace your ISSA personal trainer exam and accelerate your budding personal training career.

Use ISSA Flashcards

Sure, the flashcards I provide on this ISSA CPT Exam Prep Study Hub are a great place to start.

But quite honestly, there are not that many flashcards, and it does not utilize spaced repetition flashcard learning.

And why does that matter?

Spaced repetition flashcard learning is a flashcard studying method in which the more difficult flashcards show up more often, and the easier flashcards show up with less frequency.

This clever algorithm learns which cards are easy for you, and which cards are hard based on how you rate yourself as you are studying them.

This type of flashcard studying method covers hundreds of definitions in the ISSA textbook and workbook, saves you hours of studying time, and actually helps you memorize these definitions and concepts long after testing.

The team over at Trainer Academy has an excellent deck of over 750 flashcards for ISSA.

Although the pass rate for the ISSA CPT exam is currently at 90%, I still recommend using flashcards.

Create Mnemonics

Using mnemonics Is one of the other tips I have for studying for the ISSA exam.

I suggest creating some extremely weird and unique situations/stories for particular concepts in the textbook.

Find the concepts that you are having trouble memorizing and create your own mnemonics to help with retention.

I highly recommend making your mnemonics as weird as you possibly can.

For example, I like to include animals, aliens, superheroes, etc.

“One Slow Red Ox” is a great way to memorize Type I muscle fibers, which are slow twitch, red, and use oxidative metabolism.

Trust me, people who use mnemonics are much more likely to memorize a certain topic than those who are simply trying to memorize concepts directly out of the textbook.

Cementing this information from the textbook in your head with mnemonics is the best way to become an elite trainer as well as maintain that status for years to come.

Also, Trainer Academy has some pretty awesome and funny mnemonics for ISSA.

ISSA Cheat Sheet

A cheat sheet is best to help you remember mostly tougher concepts in the book, similar to how mnemonics help.

While going through the text and your training program, put the most important information all on one page, especially if you have it nearby for practice exams.

I’ve done this with the exercise science section and have had great success with learning the concepts.

You can either create your own or simply visit the PTpioneer cheatsheet by clicking the button below.

FREE ISSA Study Guide

Our free study guide should help you with your goals.

Dive into your ISSA CPT studies now by clicking the link below to start with ISSA Chapter 1!

FREE ISSA Study Guide [year] - Studying Made Simple 2

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.

PTPioneer Editorial Integrity

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.

30 thoughts on “FREE ISSA Study Guide 2023 – Studying Made Simple”

        1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

          Hey Taylor,
          I will actually be coming out with The secrets to passing the ISSA exam article and probably the next week or two. I was stay tuned for that and you’ll learn a lot about what you need to know for the final exam. I hope this helps

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Ali,
      I am going to be releasing an article on exam prep for the international sports sciences Association exam very very soon. Probably in the next day or two so stay tuned.

  1. PTPioneer User

    Thank you so much for this page and what you do! I would never had realized how accessible my dream was were it not for your page helping in the decision making process! These study guides are life-saving.

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Angela,
      I’m glad to see that my study guide for the international sports sciences Association is helping you out. This is a fantastic certification no doubt about it. Good luck with all the studying and don’t hesitate to leave me another comment!

  2. PTPioneer User

    I’ve read through a lot of your articles and you’ve really inspired me to pursue a career I’m passionate about, thank you! Also, I wanted to let you know there’s a flashcard app called Anki that uses the spaced repetition technique you spoke of; It really does a fantastic job engraving it into memory! Keep up the amazing work!

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hello Kayla,
      I’m glad that you are enjoying my site and I’m also fantastic that you are looking forward to pursuing a career in fitness. That is so awesome! yes, I have heard of and I do use Anki all time. In fact, it’s basically the biggest reason I was able to learn Spanish! it really is an in-depth application with a lot of different options. I don’t recommend it to everybody because is not the simplest space repetition application out there but is deftly the best one if you are looking for a lot of options. Good luck with all the studying and I’m sure you are going to be come a fantastic trainer. In the end are you going with the international sports sciences Association?

  3. PTPioneer User

    Hi! I purchased the “fast track” package for ISSA & it has a fasttrack guide in which they condensed the entire textbook into 50 pgs. By studying and knowing the 50pg fasttrack book alone, is that really sufficent enough to pass the exam as they claim? I feel it’s too good to be true..

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Lyn,
      For the most part, the fast track guide from the international sports Sciences Association is pretty legitimate. it will help you focus on the most important parts of the textbook in order to have the best chance of passing the exam possible. Overall, the exam is pretty easy compared to other personal training certifications as everything is done online. So, I would not be so worried.

  4. PTPioneer User

    Hi, is it just me or are the practice questions for the quizzes and the questions in the workbook for the quizzes completely different from the actual quiz questions for the ISSA website quizzes?

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey mimi, the question should be radically different. On the real exam you will see lots of different questions getting pulled from lots of different chapters. They come from a large pool of questions so you should be prepared from anything that you see in the textbook.

  5. PTPioneer User
    Joseph Eslinger

    I have tied several times now to get the “ISSA exam cheat sheet for free here”, I would like to be able to check my answers, not to cheat the test, as I have studied hard and I would just like to check my answers against the sheet you would send me, if it is actually available as you say, “free” Please send this to my email as I said I have requested it several times and it leads me to a site that wants $29.00, is this free as advertised? If so than would you please make it available and send to my email.
    Your response would be appreciated.

    1. PTPioneer User

      Still no response, if you are going to offer something in you add you should make it available, as your add says, “ISSA exam cheat sheet for free here”, yet I have only found it for a $29.00 fee.

  6. PTPioneer User

    Hi Tyler, thanks for this article, it was very useful. I have just graduated from high school and have been into fitness for the past four years. Over this time, I have learned about training methods, exercise technique, periodization, etc; and I have become good at explaining these things to people who have less experience. I am considering doing my ISSA certification this summer because I like the flexibility of the online program; would you say that getting the ISSA certification is obtainable for someone who doesn’t have a degree, and doesn’t have a deep science understanding?

    Thanks Tyler, your response is much appreciated!

    -Cameron-

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Yes, absolutely you should have no trouble studying for the international sports Sciences Association certification. You don’t need a degree in exercise science to take any of these certifications. Just focused time studying and you will do just fine on the exam. Good luck with your personal training career Cameron.

  7. PTPioneer User

    Are your study guides in addition to taking the ISSA CPT course from the ISSA website? Of can you get your study guides only and not take the ISSA course to save money?

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      These are in addition to the international sports Sciences Association. This will help you study for the exam, but you still need to purchase and pass their exam in order to get the certification.

  8. PTPioneer User

    Hello for a non native speaker do you recommend Fast track CPT issa or Self guided stusy with the trainer academy pack (MVP] ? Im bit scared to not understand all vocab in english.
    Thank you

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hi there, both of those would be great. I’d recommend the Trainer Academy Pack for non-native English speakers because the material is written in plain Englis and easy to understand. Good luck with your studies.

  9. PTPioneer User

    Hi Tyler,

    Do you recommend using the study guide as I read each unit, or read each unit, then consult the study guide? Or is this more preferential? I find that taking and reviewing loads of notes are quite taxing, so I was wondering if I could just read this study as I go along the course, and add things that I personally see fit, instead of taking copious amounts of notes
    Thank you,
    Alan

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      The way I typically recommend going about studying for any personal training certification is to try to read the chapter first, and then come through using a study guide.

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