I passed!

by Kim on December 17, 2013

It’s official…

2013-12-17 11.35.30

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.

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.

bomb squat kittie

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.


{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut March 24, 2014 at 6:49 pm

Well someone told me this post would make me feel better…ha! I’m off to read that chapter on scheduling clients and keeping receipts! (Those might have been “research questions” which are 20 questions they don’t count because they are testing to see how well students learned those areas…but who knows!)
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Kim March 26, 2014 at 1:44 pm

I’m surprised someone said that! I was pretty frustrated by what ended up being on the test–not much of what I knew inside and out, and a LOT of random things I’d skimmed over. I haven’t even heard of research questions! That would definitely make sense, ha.

Looks like you made it through anyway–congrats!!!! :)


Katie @ Live Half Full December 19, 2013 at 12:21 pm

Yay, way to go girl! Hard work pays off!!!


Cindy December 18, 2013 at 11:05 pm

Yay, no more studying! I hated my testing experience. I had ear plugs in, but could totally hear everything around me! Congrats on your accomplishment!!
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Kim December 19, 2013 at 8:16 am

Thanks Cindy! Wow, that’s weird your ear plugs didn’t work! Mine were a little too effective. :)


Jessica @ Prayers and Apples December 18, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Congratulations!! So so happy for you!!! :) :) :)
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Kim December 18, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Thanks Jessica! I really appreciate your support throughout the process! :)


Rachel B @ Busy Mama Fitness December 18, 2013 at 3:47 pm

YAY CONGRATS!!!!!! Such a big accomplishment!!!! And I totally know about the brain overload – so much info in the books! And all the businessy receipt/scheduling/data entry stuff is like – WHUCK? Can’t ya just learn this ON THE JOB? Heh … Congrats again!!!!
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Kim December 18, 2013 at 10:09 pm

EXACTLY. Ask me in a year how many CPUs I’ll need to keep my certification going and I guar-an-TEE I’ll know. But who’s thinking about that stuff when they’re still getting the dang thing in the first place??

Anyway, thanks! :)


Katie @ running4cupcakes December 18, 2013 at 10:33 am

woo hoo!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations! Hope you enjoyed your few hours of free time too – those are precious! :)


Kristin @ A Mom on the Run December 18, 2013 at 9:36 am



Alex @ Alex Runs For Food December 18, 2013 at 8:26 am

Yay!!!! So excited for you. Way to go.
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Kim December 18, 2013 at 9:54 am

Thanks Alex!


Michelle December 17, 2013 at 9:29 pm


As someone who plans and creates training/assessments for a living, I am always fascinated by the questions chosen during a test! I’m guess there was an objective that had to be fulfilled. Gotta love it.
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Kim December 18, 2013 at 8:47 am

I hate it when tests are easy-hard like that. Like the questions themselves are “easy,” but you either know the answer or you don’t. There’s no applying your deep understanding of the material to come to a smart answer. :)


Emily @ More Than Just Dessert December 17, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Congrats Kim!! Now you can really enjoy your holidays!
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Kim December 18, 2013 at 8:48 am

Thanks Emily!


Rachel@curious runner girl December 17, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Woohoo!! Well done! enjoy no more study, and perfect time of year for celebrations! YEOW!
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Kim December 18, 2013 at 9:54 am

Thanks! Yeah the timing is nice! :)


Carrie @ Eight Crazy Soles December 17, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Yay!!! What a weight off your shoulders! So, what’s next?
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Kim December 18, 2013 at 8:50 am

That’s a fabulous question! :) I have some ideas, but I might not be able to act on them right away. More just setting a foundation for the future–the idea was to get this done while I had “more time” on my hands. And yes, SUCH a weight off!


Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries December 17, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Wahooooooooo! Congratulations girlfriend! So exciting! Enjoy your extra leisure time!
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Kim December 18, 2013 at 8:56 am

Thanks Ashley! I’m sure my “extra time” will be gobbled right up by something else, but it feels nice for now!


Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate December 17, 2013 at 3:55 pm

YAY!! I knew you would pass! Must feel so nice to have it done before the holidays– congrats!
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Kim December 18, 2013 at 9:56 am

I’m glad you were confident, haha–it was much harder than expected! I’m so relieved! All made possible by your guest post, so thank you! :)


Kim December 17, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Congratulations!!! And, for the record – it is not an easy test!!
Funny about the pilots – my husband is a pilot!
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Kim December 18, 2013 at 9:57 am

Thanks for saying it’s not easy, haha–that girl was nuts right? She was comparing it to her nursing exam, which I’m sure was much more involved, but still, I can’t imagine walking into the CPT exam without reading the book…what??

Wow, your husband must be so dreamy! :) I’m fascinated by flying.


Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy December 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm

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Kim December 18, 2013 at 8:56 am

Thanks Emily!!


Jenny December 17, 2013 at 2:06 pm

WHOO HOO!!! *interwebz high five* All that time paid off, you rock star, you. So very proud of you! Celebrate tonight :)


Kim December 18, 2013 at 9:58 am

Thank youuu! I celebrated by not studying and it was perfect. :)


Em December 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm

Well done you! That’s awesome news, all the hard work and study paid off in the end!
Em recently posted…Broken but not DefeatedMy Profile


Kim December 18, 2013 at 9:59 am

Thank you!


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