If you’re going to do something – do it right. I am constantly striving to improve my knowledge in order to best serve you through Healthy Gamer content. In that end I started the process of getting my NASM personal training certification on April 29th, 2013. I chose the NASM because it’s regarded as the top personal training certification. With a NASM cert you can find a job at pretty much any gym/fitness facility across the US.
I honestly thought the cert process would be pretty easy. I’ve been reading up on workout, nutrition, and fitness concepts for the last 11 years. Boy was I wrong. Articles and forum posts might give you a broad overview of the general concepts, but understanding and memorizing all of the scientific information in regards to anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry is rough!
In the last two and a half weeks I’ve read about half of the book. And after failing miserably on a practice test I needed to re-evaluate my study methods. If you want to change your results you must change your actions.
So I am going to teach YOU all of the NASM material and try to make all of the science talk more comprehendable My biggest issue with the book is that it is incredibly difficult to read and you have to constantly reference sources just to understand what the authors are saying.
Sure it will take a lot longer and be a lot more work, but in the end it will help me be a better trainer and be able to much more effectively serve clients.
Let’s get started!
Bold terms denotes definitions that the book has highlighted.
Overview of the Personal Training Industry
- Muscle Imbalance – Alteration of muscle length surrounding a joint. Examples: focusing heavily on building chest can cause muscle imbalances, causing the pectorals to be stronger than the surrounding muscles and cause you to have a hunched forward posture.
- Chronic disease – is responsible for 75 cents of every dollar spent on Health Care in the United States. It is defined as an incurable illness or health condition that persists for a year or more, resulting in functional limitations and the need for ongoing medical care.
- Obesity – Someone is considered obese when their body mass index(BMI) is 30 or greater, or they are at least 30 pounds over the recommended weight for their height. BMI is a really stupid way to measure obesity/overweight IMO because it simply takes into account weight and not weight from muscle/fat. I have a BMI of 27 so I’m overweight bordering on obese according to the BMI scales, at 9% bodyfat. What a stupid system. Anyways…
- According to “them” the desireable BMI for adults 20 and older is between 18.5 and 24.9
- 66% of Americans older than 20 are overweight, and 34% are obese, which means 72 million Americans are Obese! Crazy! But that means you’ll never want for money if you’re a good trainer.
- Overweight – People are overweight if they have a BMI of 25 to 29.9 or are between 25 to 30 pounds over the recommended weight for their height.
- Blood Lipids – Also known as cholesterol and triglycerides, are carried in the bloodstream by protein molecules known as high-density lipoproteins(HDL) and low-density lipoproteins(LDL). HDL is the good cholesterol, LDL is the bad cholesterol. Healthy cholesterol level is less than 200mg/dL. High cholsterol is more than 240mg/dL.
- Diabetes Mellitus – AKA Diabetes. A condition where blood glucose, AKA blood sugar, is unable to be absorbed into cells either because the pancreas is unable to produce insulin or the cells have become insulin resistant. Pancreas not producing insulin causes type I diabetes, insulin resistance causes type II diabetes. Type II diabetes is directly related to eating habits – constantly eating high carbohydrate meals along with low activity levels and poor body composition can lead to type II diabetes.
- Deconditioned – A state of lost physical fitness, which may include muscle imbalances, decreased flexibility, and a lack of core and joint stability. Or, being fat and out of shape.
- Proprioception – The cumulative sensory input to the central nervous system from all mechanoreceptors that sense body position and limb movement.
- Proprioceptively Enriched Environment – Unstable yet controllable physical situation in which exercises are performed that causes the body to use its internal balance and stabilization mechanisms. So a dumbbell bench press would be a proprioceptively enriched environment because your body needs to sense the position of the dumbbells and use its internal balance and stabilization mechanisms to make sure you don’t drop the weights and kill yourself.
Integrated Training and the OPT Model
- Integrated training – Incorporating all forms of training in an integrated fashion as part of a progressive system. The forms of training include flexibility, cardiorespiratory, core, balance, plyometric, speed, agility, quickness, and resistance training.
- The OPT Model – A training model for a society that has structural imbalances and a high susceptibility to injury. It is programming that systematically progresses any client to any goal.
- Physiological benefits – Improves cardiorespiratory efficiency, enhance endocrine(hormone) and serum lipid(cholesterol) adaptations, increase metabolism, increase bone density
- Physical benefits – Decrease body fat, increase lean body mass, increase tissue tensile strength(tendons, ligaments, muscles)
- Performance benefits – Strength, power, endurance, flexibility, speed, agility, balance
- Phases of training – Smaller divisions of training progressions that fall within the three building blocks of training. There are 5 phases of training and three building blocks.
- Stabilization level – phase 1 of training, stabilization endurance. Increase muscular endurance and stability while developing neuromuscular efficiency(coordination)
- Muscular endurance – Muscle’s ability to contract for an extended period.
- Neuromuscular Efficiency – Ability of neuromuscular system to enable all muscles to efficiently work together in all planes of motion.
- Goals of phase 1 stabilization endurance training – improve muscular endurance, enhance joint stability, increase flexibility, enhance control of posture, improve neuromuscular efficiency
- Training strategies of phase 1 stabilization endurance training – Train in unstable yet controllable environment (proprioceptively enriched), low loads, high reps.
- Strength level – phase 2, 3, and 4 of training. Follows the successful completion of stabilization training. The emphasis is to maintain stabilization endurance while increasing prime mover strength.
- Prime mover – The muscle that acts as the initial and main source of motive power.
- Phase 2 strength endurance training goals – improve stabilization endurance and increase prime mover strength, improve overall work capacity, enhance joint stabilization, increase lean body mass
- Phase 2 strength endurance training strategies – Moderate loads and reps(8-12), superset one traditional strength exercise and one stabilization exercise per body part in the resistance training portion of the program.
- Superset – Set of two exercises that are performed back-to-back without any rest time between them.
- Phase 3 hypertrophy training – Optional, depending on goals. Goal is to achieve optimal levels of hypertrophy(muscular growth). Strategy – high volume, moderate to high loads, moderate to low reps(6-12)
- Phase 4 maximum strength training – Optional. Goals – increase motor unit recruitment, increase frequency of motor unit recruitment, improve peak force. Strategy – High loads, low reps(1-5), longer rest periods
- Power level training – Should only be entered into after completion of stabilization and strength levels. Three levels are stabilization, strength, and power. Power emphasizes speed and power.
- Phase 5 power training – Execution of traditional strength exercises with a heavy load superset with power exercises with a light load performed as fast as possible(plyo).
- Rate of Force Production – Ability of muscles to exert maximal force output in a minimal amount of time