After almost 6 months of drudgery (not really) and whining (sorry), I’m an NASM certified personal trainer.
I’m still sort of in shock that it’s all over. Case in point: I took the day off for the test and have a few hours to kill before I have to pick up Mason to take him to an appointment, and my knee-jerk reaction to the free time was: “I guess I could get a little studying done.”
NO! No more studying!
The timing couldn’t be better—I’m getting that feeling I used to get going into winter break during college, when you wrap up your finals and beeline it out the door to spend the holidays recovering.
Which reminds me: I have so much Christmas shopping to do, that I’ve been putting off for the past few weeks while NASM was front and center in my brain. NO MORE!
As for the test itself: I plan to write up a full postmortem post (sorry for the lame/unfittingly depressing corporate term), but for now I’ll say: it was much harder than I thought, and not in the ways I expected.
The complicated stuff in the book? Metabolic pathways, over/underactive muscles in postural distortions, force-couples, sliding filament theory…no problem. Wake me up when you need my brain.
But the simple, random stuff? Like how long should a CPT keep receipts or which balance tool is the next least stable after the half foam roll? Ermm….beats me.
So I walked out of the test feeling like there was all this information in my brain that I’d worked so hard to cram in there—only to have it totally untouched. Forget how much I know about how Z lines work in the sarcomere…how many days after a client buys a personal training package should you schedule the first session: 1-2 or 3-5?
Well, I guess that’s the nature of test-taking. You naturally zero in on the stuff you think is most important, so that anything you didn’t study very well is, by extension, not important.
(But seriously, 120 questions and they chose to waste one on that session scheduling question? What’s even funnier is that they probably thought it was a softball.)
The testing experience itself was pretty cool, if only because it took place at the local Aviation Institute and I could pretend I was there for flight school.
I also got to overhear a couple pilots discussing a flight plan while I was waiting for my test to start. I pretended to be looking at my phone, but GUESS WHAT GUYS: I know all about your planned groundspeed checkpoint in Alberta.
I also chatted with a girl who was there to take a nursing exam. She made me feel better (and then, later, very very angry) by saying, “Oh, I took the CPT. It’s pretty easy. I don’t think I even read the book.”
Ha! Ok, crazy genius girl.
During the test, they supplied earplugs, since we were testing in the room right next door to flight school. (Aka close enough that we used the same entrance and bathroom—all I’m saying is I COULD have been confused for a pilot in training.) I’d never actually used earplugs before but, WOW, the silence was deafening. I had to take them out eventually because I was sick of listening to my brain buzzing.
I used up every last second of the 120 minutes we had to test—only because I wasn’t going to willingly part with that thing until I was 100% happy with every answer (and that was never going to happen). Minutes 2-0 were spent frantically contemplating a last-minute answer switch, like I was in a movie with one shot to cut the right colored wire and deactivate the bomb.
You could say I was a little nervous waiting for my results after the test. My hands were literally shaking while I signed the post-test paperwork—my heart pounding embarrassingly hard (right in front of the flight school people, who had bigger problems than how long they should wait to schedule a session with a new personal training client.)
And then the proctor said, very anticlimactically, “Looks like you passed. So you should be receiving a formal certificate in the mail in a few weeks…”
Hey, I’ll take it.
So with that, I’m off to bask in a few hours of true, uncompromised free time. (Ok, more like one hour at this point.) Hands-down the best celebratory gift I could ever give myself!
Talk to ya soon.