Customer Reviews: NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training
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on November 20, 2010
Hi Everyone.

NASM was the first fitness certification that I obtained and at the time I thought it was pretty good. I've been a personal trainer for 5 years and as my knowledge, skill, and awareness in this area has grown -- so too has my disgust with the NASM approach to training. So much so that I did not renew the certification.

The basic concepts they cover are generally correct but they simply leave out too much and focus too much on bullsh... stuff that wastes your time as a trainer and does not give your clients the results they need. I think the founder, Michael Clark, has a physical therapy background and seems to approach physical conditioning from that perspective.

There are so many different aspects (i.e., strength and conditioning, exercise technique, anatomy, bio-energetics, coaching/sports psychology, nutrition, flexibility, client relationship/communication, and business skills) to becoming a top notch and successful personal trainer. I'm still learning. The following are the main sources I recommend and use to help you along the path to mastering exercise science and raising the quality of personal trainers in general:

1. NCSF - National Council on Strength and Fitness. Excellent CEU program.
2. NSCA - National Strength and Conditioning Association. The fitness industry "gold standard" that is solid but still needs much improvement.
3. ISSN - Sports Nutrition Society. Their CISSN certification is impressive.
4. Mark Rippetoe - Starting Strength and Practical Programming books. Read them.
5. Pavel Tsatsouline - Breaks hard science down to practical application.
6. Rachel and Alwyn Cosgrove - Exercise Program Design Manual.
7. Joel Jamieson - Ultimate MMA conditioning book.
8. Mel Siff and Yuri Verkhoshansky - Super Training textbook. Encyclopedic.
9. Steve Cotter - Kettlebell instructor and more.
10. Vladimir Zatsiorsky and William Kraemer - Science and Practice of Strength Training textbook. Learn from the masters.

I hope this helps. Keep on getting better. Nuey.
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on March 26, 2008
Although I miss the seven phase OPT model of old, the new paradigm has streamlined the structure to progress athletes through the process more efficiently. The illustrations are an upgrade, however there are fewer sample exercises to use. I recommend the NASM program to any serious trainer. This isn't "gym science"; everything in this book is based on years of research in human biomechanics, physiology, and kinesiology. The information you absorb from these pages will make you question why you ever relied on news stand fitness magazines for your workouts. NASM OPT training isn't a fad, a quick-fix, or a unrealistic promise. It is hard work and discipline that is highly effective for those that commit.

In addition to the text and CPT certification, continuing education courses and workshops will help you to truly understand the material with hands on demonstrations and professional instructors to answer your questions. Trainers get certified...real trainers get NASM certified.
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on June 29, 2011
I'm studying for my personal training certification via NASM. I bought the book and study guide on The book just wasn't doing it enough for I bought the DVDs...I LOVE THEM!! I'm visual and the DVDs really help to reinforce the textbooks concepts!!
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on May 4, 2011
Trust me trainers. In order to pass the NASM exam all you need is this text book. You don't need anything else. Not the study guides, or the videos or the manuals or this or that. Just read the textbook, highlight the important s*** and take the exam. You won't be tested for anything outside the textbook other than conceptualization of the concepts inside the book.

FYI, because I'm critically inclined to over-analyze, I've noticed several publishing mistakes and spelling errors in the book. The editor needs to be fired. This is supposed to be a professional book for people taking a professional course of study.
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on October 28, 2009
I only studied this book with the work book and passed with flying colors first time.
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on April 9, 2010
I've had many certifications in my career as a personal trainer. I found this and my Peak Pilates PPS1 training to be most helpful. This gives you a system you can use to train any client at any level safely and effectively.
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on March 10, 2008
a fantastic item! shipping was prompt, the text is presented in an easy-to-read style, and it's really helping me to prepare for the exam. I'd recommend it to any fitness professional, or just to anyone looking to find out more about their fitness routine.
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on January 7, 2011
I have researched a number of fitness methods over the years and I think NASM is one of the best, simply because it's inherently safe and will apply to many types of situations. With the increasing number of older adults showing up in fitness clubs, many of which have functional impairments and injuries, the NASM approach seems to work perfectly.

OPT is not a hot rodded system and instead takes a responsible and scientific approach to fitness. Clients who are trained using the NASM system are not going to be suffering from injuries down the road, and will finish the race, unlike the hot rodders sitting on the sidelines with their blown physical engines.

NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training is without a doubt an authority on the subject of fitness and should not be taken lightly. I also recommend the continuing education courses NASM offers.
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on December 18, 2013
This will not be the most updated fitness book, but the human body has not changed much last time I checked. A great foundational fitness textbook for those looking to further their education or training. I am personally beginning my studies for the PT exam, no matter which certification your looking to get, this is a good book to have.
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on April 21, 2011
This book is an excellent primer on general fitness and training principles. The Optimum Performance Training (OPT) model is a very well-rounded model that includes information on everything from fitness-related medical questions, assessing client movement compensations, to program design.

The OPT model is a very balanced approach to fitness that covers flexibility training, core training, balance training, reactive training, agility training, cardiovascular training, and resistance (weight) training. This is all done in a progressive system starting with Stabilization and working up to Power level exercises.

This book will benefit both new and veteran fitness trainers and others looking to develop a comprehensive understanding of fitness principles and practices. That being said, it does cover a broad range of fitness information that may not apply to everyone, so those interested in beefing up their exercise routine may want to skip much of the early chapters.

NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training

Study Guide to Accompany NASM Essentials of Corrective Exercise Training

NASM Essentials of Sports Performance Training
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