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NASM Certification Review: What is the NASM Certification?

NASM or the National Academy of Sports Medicine certification is one of the most respected certifications of its class. In essence, it’s your ticket to work with folks who are sedentary for one reason or another, maybe because of an accident or because they’re overweight.

Whatever the reason, your certificate will give you a chance to change people’s lives for the better. All that may sound great, but is it? We’re going to explore this a bit to find out if this is worthwhile or not.

Pros And Cons

We’re not going to sugarcoat anything here. This is why we’re starting with the pros and cons so that you know what you’re getting into. The following are the pros and cons:


  • Industry credibility
  • Many ways to learn the material
  • Education will be helpful to an array of people
  • Opportunity to grow professionally
  • Receive latest data on corrective training


  • The NASM exam can be costly.
  • The exam seems to be quite challenging.

Diving Into NASM Certification

The certification is for those who want to assist sedentary people. A lot of folks who obtain this certification also obtain one in nutrition. That certification might be helpful for folks who are overweight. If this is the case, you have to help them regain control over food. The right food could help them become more active. The goal is to help them become more active.

NASM was established in 1987 and registered with the NCCA or the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. If you care about the exercise science industry, you know about this certification. The program was created using the OPT model or the Optimum Performance Training model. This was done to ensure that those who entered received the best of the best. It ensures that you get the core training to do the job efficiently.

Understanding the Prerequisites

If you’re going to do this, you’ll need to know the following prerequisites:

  • You’ll need 20 hours of continued education every two years.
  • You need to be 18 to take the exam.
  • You need a GED or high school diploma to take the exam.
  • You’ll need a cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification.
  • You need an automated external defibrillator certification.

Learning Through the Programs

NASM is offered through four different packages, which are the following:

Self Study Package

This is the cheapest package at $699. You get to study at your own pace, which is great for folks doing other things in their lives. You get everything you need to pass the exam, from the textbook and practice exams to effective lecture videos.

Self Study Premium Package
The self-study premium package costs $1099. It gives you more than what you’ll be getting from the previous package mentioned. You get activities that help you learn through interactivity. You get memorization tools to help you learn everything you need to know. You even get effective flashcards on top of everything else.
Guided Study Program
The guided study program is $1499. Yes, it’s getting pretty costly, but you’re getting direct access to good coaches. These folks know how to help you through the program that makes it a lot easier.
You’ll get a mentor. The person assigned to you can help you throughout the program. You’ll have access to live workshops, all sorts of reading materials, exam prep guarantees, and a hardcopy textbook to study wherever you are.
All-Inclusive Program
The all-inclusive program costs $2199. This is the whole “enchilada.” You’ll get real-life experience since you’ll be working with experts. You get a job guarantee if you complete the internship.
You get all the benefits mentioned in the other programs, plus a lot of new perks. The job guarantee is an assurance. If you don’t get a job in the field within 90 days, you get your money back. That’s a bold promise, but it shows you how much of a sure thing this is.

Talking About the Exam

The exam is going to have 120 multiple choice questions. You even get two hours to answer everything. It may not seem like a lot, but the truth is that it is hard. The tests are administered all over the United States. The following helps you see how the test is broken down:

  • 15 percent is basic, applied sciences, and nutritional concepts.
  • 16 percent is pure assessment.
  • 20 percent focuses on program designs.
  • 24 percent is on exercise techniques.
  • 15 percent is on client relations.
  • 10 percent is on professional responsibility.

  • Pay $75 For test Preparation
The exam is so hard that only about 64 percent of people pass the first time. You get six months to take the test after you pass your training. If you don’t think you’re ready to take the test, it’s okay. You can pay an extra $75 to get three more months to prepare for the test.
  • Test Retake Cost $199
If you need to retake the test, it’s going to cost you $199. There’s no limit to how many times you could take the test. Hopefully, you don’t have to retake it though.

We know those free practice exams are starting to sound pretty good to you. They’re heaven sent once you find out how much it is to retake this test. Some of the study programs come with a few perks worth mentioning.

  • NASM test Costs $599
The premium self-study program lets you retake the exam for free. This is only if you don’t pass it the first time. Read the details of each package, so you know what you’re getting. What you have to keep in mind is that the NASM test costs $599 if you don’t take the full study package.

It may all sound like a lot, but this opens doors for you and a lot of people. It even opens doors for international students. You should know you could discounts from various NASM partners. Any little discount you can get will help reduce some of these costs.

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