FREE NSCA Study Guide + NSCA Practice test + Flashcards for 2019

FREE NSCA Study Guide + NSCA Practice test + Flashcards

Hey ladies and gentlemen, coach Tyler here and welcome to the ultimate study portal for the NSCA CPT exam. In this portal, you will find the full 25 chapter NSCA Study guide, an NSCA Practice test (+ answer key) and NSCA flashcards so that you can learn Borten definitions. Or we get started, bookmark/star this page so that don’t lose it!

Also, definitely check out the team over at Trainer Academy if you want an exam pass guarantee for taking the NSCA. Hands down, they have the best study materials for the NSCA and will cut your overall study time in half. If you want to learn more about them, check out my review 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 NSCA study guide to make sure that you are on track for passing the NSCA exam. Say hello to Tyler-Moji.
Your Guide for NASM

Intro to the NSCA Study Materials

Before we get started, you will need the official textbook from the NSCA to study for their exam.

The current textbook is called NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training 2nd ed. Edition. It consists of 25 chapters and is written by Jared W. Coburn and Moh H. Malek.

Refer to the image on this page so that you pick up the correct textbook. I recommend either picking the book up from the NSCA website or from Amazon.

Nsca's Essentials of Personal Training 2nd ed. Edition

FREE NSCA Study guide: 2nd edition textbook 2019

FREE NSCA Study guide

FREE NSCA practice test: 2nd edition textbook 2019

FREE NSCA practice test

This NSCA practice exam is formatted the exact same way that the real exam will be. NSCA Breaks up there study material into four separate domains. Here are the relative percentages of exam questions for the 4 main categories of study.

  • Client Consultation/Assessment: 25%
  • Program Planning: 31%
  • Techniques of Exercise: 31%
  • Safety, Emergency Procedures and Legal Issues: 13%

NSCA Practice tests answer key below ⬇️ (Don’t Peek Until After!) 🙄

NSCA Practice Exam Answer Key (Questions 1-25)


Q1:  which is the lowest the BMI can be for someone to have a positive risk factor CAD?
A1:  30 kg/m2

Q2:  the YMCA cycle ergometer test and the Astrand-Rhyming cycle ergometer test both have cadence for pedaling equal to what?
A2:  50 revolutions per minute

Q3:  what accounts for initial increases in volume of blood in the first days of an aerobic training program?
A3:  increased plasma volume

Q4:  what is not normal of outcome goals?
A4:  have a high amount of personal control

Q5:  what load and rep scheme is most appropriate for someone wanting to improve their strength?
A5:  4 repetitions at 90% of 1rm

Q6: which isn’t a common barbell bicep curl error?
A6: locking the elbows to the sides

Q7:  which joint movement isn’t happening in the upward movement of the bent over row?
A7:  elbow extension

Q8:  which isn’t a technique error that is common in the machine preacher curl exercise?
A8:  flex the handles to within 4 to 6 inches of the shoulders

Q9:  which area of the law will someone file a suit under if the client injures herself by slipping on a wet floor in the weight room?
A9: tort law

Q10:  what client has the highest risk stratification for CAD
A10:  a 70-year-old female with diabetes

Q11:  a client who is male has lost 2 pounds while working out. What is the minimum amount that the personal trainer needs to recommend for the post exercise fluid intake for the restoration of hydration levels?
A11:  at least 40 ounces

Q12:  what is a specific goal example
A12:  complete a 10 km race

Q13:  what is the primary directive of assigning loads to a client
A13:  training goal

Q14:  what kind of goal is bench pressing 300 pounds?
A14:  performance goal

Q15:  which grip is usually in the flat dumbbell fly?
A15:  neutral

Q16:  where should the spotter focus during the incline dumbbell chest press?
A16:  the wrists of the client

Q17:  which one is a description of good landing form in plyometrics?
A17:  shoulders over the knees

Q18:  if you are designing a new gym, how much square footage should we allow for one treadmill that is 6 feet long and 3 feet wide?
A18:  108 ft.²

Q19:  of the is, what makes the greatest contribution to the body’s daily energy expenditure?
A19:  resting metabolic rate

Q20:  of these, what is the most valid measurement of Mack’s lower body strength for clients?
A20:  one rep maximum leg press

Q21:  how many ground contacts per session should a 22-year-old athlete that is experienced with resistance training and Olympic lifts, perform in plyometrics
A21:  100-120

Q22:  due to chronic aerobic training, all of these increased in skeletal muscle, except
A22:  type II muscle fiber cross-sectional area

Q23:  which variation is used when a trainer assigns a client to hypertrophy training to optimize their muscle size prior to strength training?
A23:  sequenced variation

Q24:  which instructions should be given to someone to let the bar pass their face without contact in the barbell shoulder press
A24:  extend the neck slightly

Q25:  which is the correct position of the ankle pad in the leg curl
A25:  back of the heel just above the top of the shoe

NSCA Practice Exam Answer Key (Questions 26-50)

Q26:  Which plyometric exercise doesn’t involve a countermovement for correct execution?
A26:  Ankle flip

Q27:  What strategy can minimize or avoid risk for a fitness facility?
A27:  Develop an emergency action plan

Q28:  Which one of these isn’t a warning sign for anorexia?
A28:  Diarrhea

Q29:  Which one is not measurement of mass distribution or fat mass?
A29:  Body mass index

Q30:  What is not responsible for strength gains for children?
A30:  Hypertrophy

Q31:  Which aerobic endurance training duration is best for someone who is severely deconditioned and a beginner?
A31:  Three bouts of 10 minutes with rest between each bout

Q32:  What doesn’t increase as an acute response to resistance training?
A32:  Glycogen concentration

Q33:  Which is a description of reaching the start position in the flat dumbbell fly?
A33:  Move the dumbbells from the chest to an extended elbow position at the sides of the chest

Q34:  Which static stretch involves pulling an elbow toward the opposing shoulder in order to stretch the posterior upper arm and back?
A34:  Behind-neck stretch

Q35:  Which is most important when a client steps onto the treadmill?
A35:  Hold the handrails

Q36:  What is the first step when you are planning and designing a new facility?
A36:  Forming a committee of professionals who represent various areas of expertise

Q37:  What reference perspective is used to compare the results when someone’s aerobic capacity is said as being in the top 20th percentile?
A37:  Norm-referenced standard

Q38: Which type of fat should be consumed in the least, or not consumed?
A38:  Trans fats

Q39:  During Submax exercise, which variables will stay the same or even regress for aerobic exercise performance, but improve during max exercise from chronic aerobic training?
A39:  Oxygen consumption

Q40:  What is determined by exercise intensity when you are making aerobic endurance programs? I. Exercise mode, II. Training duration, III. Training frequency, IV. Number of repetitions
A40:  II and III only

Q41:  Which modes of training may be used for improved stride length while sprinting?
A41:  Resisted sprinting

Q42:  Which exercise can be done with the common error “stutter-stepping during the backward movement phase”?
A42:  Forward lunge

Q43:  What is the max slope that should be done with a sprint?
A43:  Seven degrees

Q44:  Which action should the trainer take if a client is sitting on a pec deck with their hips higher than their knees?
A44:  Lower the seat

Q45:  What method could reduce noise in a new facility?
A45:  Use urethane-coated free weights

Q46:  Which of these is a good assessment for the aerobic capacity of a 22-year-old elite athlete?
A46:  1.5-mile run

Q47:  Which one falls outside of a personal trainer’s scope of practice?
A47:  Diagnose and treat training injuries

Q48:  Which body system Is responsible for male and female strength differences?
A48:   Endocrine

Q49:  At what height should an AED be put at?
A49:  Accessible to an individual in a wheelchair

Q50:  Which is not an effective way to minimize risk?
A50:  Selling supplements

NSCA Flashcards for 2nd edition textbook

NSCA Flashcards

NSCA Study Tips

NSCA Study Tips

The NSCA Study guide that is found on this page was never meant to replace the full 2nd edition of the textbook. It was simply meant to be a supplemental study tool while you are going through the full textbook as I recommend you do.

Here are some additional study tools/tips that I highly recommend you use alongside the free materials on this page.

A premium NSCA study guide

Although the NSCA free study guide located on this page is a great place to start, it is far and away the best study guide out there.

And trust me, I have basically gone through every single study guide available.

Overall, my study guide contains a bunch of information but it doesn’t really guide you in the most surefire way for what to study in order to pass the exam.

If you want a study guide that tells you exactly what you need to study in order to pass the exam, I highly recommend checking out the Trainer Academy study guide here. This study guide really avoids all the fluff from the massive textbook and pinpoints the most important topics to learn to pass the exam in the shortest amount of time. This can also be used as a form of cram guide if you have a deadline coming up.

Much more NSCA practice exams

The NSCA practice exam that I have on this page is only 50 questions long. The full NSCA CPT test consists of 155 questions from all four domains of study.

In order to have a good sense of whether or not you will pass the real NSCA test, I recommend taking at least 3 to 4 full practice exams.

The students of mine that have come back from the exam and told me that they failed it with the ones that never even attempted a full practice test. If they had, they would have realized that they were definitely not prepared for the real thing.

The best NSCA CPT practice exams Were created by the team over at Trainor Academy. Just like there study guide, these practice tests are spot on to what you will see on the real exam once you take it.

If you can pass all four of their practice exams, the real test will be a walk in the park.

Spaced repetition NSCA flashcards

The NSCA Flashcards that are located on this page are definitely a good place to start when it comes to learning definitions from the NSCA textbook.

But overall, my flashcards only consist of 100 in the deck. There are much more than 500 flashcards and definitions that you will need to know.

On top of that, my flashcards are the old-style flashcards. I highly recommend trying out intelligent spaced repetition flashcards. They will significantly reduce your study time and will help you keep all of these definitions in your long-term memory for much longer.

Spaced repetition flashcards work like this: every time that you are shown a flashcard and answer it, you get to rate how easy or difficult it was for you to recall the answer. Over time, your easy cards show up less and less while you are more difficult to remember cards keep on showing up until you master them.

This way, you skip the information you already know and focus only on your weak areas. This significantly reduces your study time as well as will concrete this information in your head with forced repetition.

Once again, Trainer Academy have a fantastic deck of 700 spaced repetition flashcards for the NSCA exam.

NSCA Mnemonics for better memorization

I highly suggest you create your own mnemonics while studying for the NSCA CPT test. These will help turn difficult to learn topics into more fun and digestible stories for you to digest.

I suggest using funny characters such as talking animals, superheroes, dinosaurs etc. in order to make your story and your Mnemonic much more memorable.

Basically, the weirder you can make your story, the more likely you will remember it during the test and beyond.

There you have it ladies and gentlemen, my study portal for the NSCA CPT has come to an end. I suggest going over all of the chapters as many times as you can until you really have all of the information locked down before taking the exam. Good luck with all the studying!

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