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Certified Strength Training Specialist - Exam Only

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$599
NCCPT Exam Only

THE NCCPT-CSTS CERTIFICATION PROGRAM

The National Council for Certified Personal Trainers (NCCPT) Strength Training Specialist certification (CSTS) has been developed by the NCCPT Certification Board to recognize those individuals who have demonstrated competent knowledge and skills needed to perform as personal trainers in the fitness industry. The NCCPT-CSTS certification program, accredited by the National Commission of Certifying agencies (NCCA) is a key indicator to fitness employers and other potential fitness clients that the trainer has proficiency to provide competent training in fitness. Individuals who earn the NCCPT-CSTS credential have demonstrated knowledge of the professional domains that encompass the tasks and knowledge required of a personal trainer in the fitness profession. By passing the CSTS examination, professionals are able to display their aptitude in each specialized knowledge area of fitness training.

NCCA ACCREDITATION

The NCCPT-CSTS certification program is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). This accreditation demonstrates compliance with the NCCA guidelines for demonstrating compliance with the NCCA Standards for the Accreditation of Certification Programs. NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence. By obtaining this accreditation for its certification, the National Council for Certified Personal Trainers joins an elite group of more than 120 organizations with over 270 programs that have been accredited by the NCCA.

ABOUT THE EXAM

Eligibility Criteria (qualifications needed in order to be able to sit for the exam)

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age prior to applying to take the certification exam for the certification or they must have a signed parental consent form from their legal guardian. Applicants must also show proof of a valid CPR card in order to sit for the exam. The NCCPT recommends that you adequately prepare before attempting your exam and will provide a list of open resources you can utilize to prepare. A list of open resources you can utilize to prepare is available through NCCA.

What you need to bring with you on the day of the exam

  • You must be at least 18 years of age to take the exam, or you must provide written permission from your legal guardian.
  • You must show proof of a valid CPR certification (CPR card or certificate of completion).
    Please visit the ISSA CPR page for more information on CPR.
  • A government issued photo ID (such as a driver's license, passport, military ID, etc.) is required to take the exam. For more information go to the NCCPT Candidate Handbook. Please make sure the name on your government issued ID matches the name in your NCCPT account. The testing center will check this.

Registration

You have six months from the date of purchase to take your exam. If you do not take the exam within six months, a course extension will need to be purchased in order to be eligible for the exam. If you are unsuccessful in your attempt to pass the exam, retakes are available for an additional fee.

REGISTER FOR YOUR EXAM NOW! To register to sit for your certification exam, please visit https://www.nccpt.com/register

What's On The Exam

The NCCPT NCCA accredited certification exams are 140 multiple choice questions. 125 questions are graded (scored on the exam) and 15 questions are field items (pre-test, not scored on the exam).

View a list of the exams' content

Exam Results

A pass or fail result will be provided upon completion of the administrated exam.

Only candidates who achieve a passing score on their final exam(s) will obtain the certification. View candidate handbook here for more information.

Canceling or Rescheduling the Exam

When cancelling or rescheduling your exam, the following timetable applies. Any fees will be collected by NCCPT's testing partner, Prometric from the candidate.

Cancellation/Reschedule Period Cancellation/Reschedule Fee
30 days or more before test date none
5-29 days before test date $25
Less than 5 days before test date, or
Failure to appear for scheduled test, or
Arrival more than 30 minutes after the scheduled start time for the test (admission refused)
Full test delivery fee for the canceled/rescheduled test

Testing Information

  • The NCCPT NCCA accredited certification Final Exams are 140 multiple choice questions. 125 questions are graded and 15 questions are field items. The Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), Certified Group Exercise Instructor (CGxI), Certified Yoga Instructor (CYI), Certified Indoor Cycling Instructor (CICI) and/or the Certified Strength Training Specialist (CSTS) are all NCCA accredited. For a list of the exam(s) content click here.
  • Only candidates who achieve a passing score on their final exam(s) will obtain the certification and must use the designation for the certification they passed. CPT is for Certified Personal Trainer, CGxI is for Certified Group Exercise Instructor, CICI is for Certified Indoor Cycling Instructor, CYI is for Certified Yoga Instructor and CSTS is for Certified Strength Training Specialist.
  • All NCCA accredited certifications must be tested at a PROMETRIC Testing Center.
  • You have two hours to complete the final certification exam.
  • A pass or fail result will be provided upon completion.
  • If you fail the exam you must purchase a retake exam prior to retesting.
  • There is a mandatory 72 hour waiting period between exam attempts.
  • The exam is NOT open book/open notes.
  • You have six months from the date of purchase to take your exam. If you do not take the exam within six months, a course extension will need to be purchased in order to be eligible for the exam. If you are unsuccessful in your attempt to pass the exam, retakes are available for an additional fee.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age to take the exam, or you must provide written permission from your legal guardian.
  • A valid CPR card (or certificate of completion) and government issued photo ID (such as a driver's license, passport, military ID, etc.) is required to take the exam. For more information go to the NCCPT Candidate Handbook. Please visit our CPR page for more information on CPR. Please make sure the name on your government issued ID matches the name in your NCCPT account. The testing center will check this.
  • Other than purchasing the exam, there are no prerequisites to take the exam(s). The NCCPT recommends that you adequately prepare before attempting your exam(s) the first time. We will even provide you with a list of open resources you can utilize to prepare.
  • Special Accommodations Requests - NCCPT CB complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and other applicable laws and regulations. The NCCPT CB will review and accommodate requests from qualified candidates with a diagnosed disability for accommodations to take a Final Exam if the request is reasonable, does not fundamentally alter the examination or jeopardize exam security. Once approved by the board, the NCCPT CB will then inform the NCCPT to make arrangements with PROMETRIC. Prometric will then charge additional fees based on the candidate's special needs. Special accommodations may need to be properly documented and/or proper evidence provided by a physician, health care professional or government agency, Proctors should make every effort to assist in the accommodation and examination needs of candidates with disabilities. If a candidate appears to be having difficulty taking an examination, the Proctor should inquire if there is anything that can be done to improve the candidate's examination experience. Actions such as adjusting the contrast of the monitor, adjusting the chair height, or adjusting the screen angle should be undertaken immediately. To request a special accommodation, contact the NCCPT CB for assistance at 800.778.6060 and/or submit this form to [email protected]
  • A valid CPR card (or certificate of completion) and government issued photo ID is required to take the exam. Click here to purchase your CPR/AED.

Exam Content Outline for the NCCPT Certified Strength Training Specialist Examination (CSTS)

  1. Health Assessment - 14%
    • Review client records before each session
    • Document findings from the session
    • Conduct Health Assessments prior to exercise participation
    • Administer and interpret a postural assessment
    • Assess efficiency of movement, posture and balance
    • Administer and interpret a range of motion assessment
    • Conduct Health Assessments to assess progress of an exercise program
    • Use concepts of muscle physiology to assess muscle health (e.g., short/tight/weak, long/inhibited/weak, weak, hypertonic, muscular imbalances... muscle upper cross)
    • Elicit and interpret client goals
    • Administer and interpret strength assessments. BREAK OUT IN SURVEY
    • Administer and apply principles of emergency procedures. Particular health issue e.g. asthma — what to do that is in scope of practice
    • Prevent and recognize musculoskeletal injuries
    • Perform a post-program assessment
    • Elicit and interpret client goals
    • Administer and interpret strength assessments. BREAK OUT IN SURVEY
    • Administer and apply principles of emergency actions/procedures. Particular health issue e.g. asthma — what to do that is in scope of practice
    • What to do when have health conditions? Sickle cell anemia; risk factors;
    • Prevent and recognize musculoskeletal injuries
    • Perform a post-program assessment
  2. Emergency Procedures - 9%
    • Risk management plan — staff must be aware and understand Agent of institution or Independent Contractor — important to know liability
    • Emergency action plan — incident report form; e.g. Fire
    • Administer and apply principles of emergency procedures
    • Know how to implement and follow emergency procedures for the place of practice
    • Know how to take steps to ensure injury prevention for clients. (Moving balls, gym equipment, have collar, dropping dumb bells use equipment safety features, joint access machine lined up)
    • Educate clients on ways to avoid re-injury
    • Understand applications for hot or cold treatments, whirlpool
  3. Kinesiology - 10%
    • Knowledge of gross muscular anatomy
    • Knowledge of gross skeletal anatomy
    • Explain basic anatomical terms to clients
    • Explain physiological concepts to clients
    • Use knowledge of joint structure and function
    • Use basic anatomical terms and/or medical terminology
    • Identify anatomical landmarks, origin, insertion and action of the muscles. (attachments)
    • Understand basic anatomical position and human reference to movement
    • Know the planes of motion
    • Use knowledge of joint structure and function
    • Know the basics of biomechanics
    • Know the concepts of power
    • Know the difference between gross anatomy and functional anatomy
    • Know the difference between kinetics and kinematics
    • Know the difference between linear/translation motion, rectilinear and curvilinear motion
  4. Exercise Physiology - 10%
    • Use knowledge of the body's energy systems
    • Educate clients on muscles and their functions
    • Understand the structure of skeletal muscle
    • Understand muscle fiber type
    • Identify and understand the relationship between types of muscular contractions
    • Understand the physiological changes that may occur as a result of a cardiovascular training program
    • Understand the physiological changes that may occur as a result of a resistance training program
    • Understand the physiological changes that may occur as a result of a flexibility training program
    • Understand the physiological changes that may occur as a result of a strength training program
    • Understand neuromuscular adaptations to strength training
    • Understand how muscle soreness occurs and DOMS
    • Understand the definition and the different types of strength
    • Understand the cardiovascular system, VO2 max and heart rate
    • Understand concepts of aerobic and anaerobic training
    • Understand concepts of overreaching, overtraining and detraining
    • Understand the structure and functional unit of the nervous system
  5. Nutrition - 9%
    • Macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, water)
    • Micronutrients (vitamins, minerals,)
    • Dietary analysis. Review good nutrition habits Scope?
    • Interpret completed information on client intake forms
    • Create meal plans. Scope? General Recommendations
    • Ergogenic Aids and Supplements
    • Know how to read and interpret dietary labels
  6. Exercise Application - 20%
    • Principles of proper instructional techniques and cues (ex: visual, auditory and kinesthetic)
    • Principles of biomechanical principles to body weight, free weight, selectorized machine exercises, etc.
    • Consider the client's ergonomics and body mechanics
    • Understand the concept of lever systems
    • Demonstrate to client stretching and strengthening techniques
    • Understand the concepts of application of force on the body
    • Principles of proper flexibility training techniques (passive stretching, active stretching, dynamic stretching, etc.)
    • Knowledge of the sport of weightlifting spotting and cueing (ex: visual, auditory and kinesthetic)
    • Knowledge of strength equipment
  7. Program Design - 20%
    • Incorporate the principles of effective program design
    • Incorporate the concept of periodization to design a fitness program
    • Appropriate and efficient program design for muscular endurance training
    • Appropriate and efficient program design for flexibility training
    • Appropriate and efficient program design for coordination and balance training
    • Appropriate and efficient program design for weight-loss or to reduce body fat
    • Appropriate and efficient program design for sports specific training
    • Appropriate and efficient program design for speed training
    • Appropriate and efficient program design for power training
    • Appropriate and efficient program design for hypertrophy (i.e. vanity)
  8. Ethics/Business Practices - 8%
    • Maintain ethical, professional and lawful relationships with clients
    • Identify code of ethics violations
    • Report code of ethics violations
    • Operate within a legally defined scope of practice
    • Maintain client confidentiality
    • Use self-care so trainer does not get injured i.e. how to spot, etc
    • Use self-care (example: trainer has flu & goes into work — should wear mask)
    • Injury prevention practice
    • Establish and maintain client records
    • Document each client visit
    • Keep complete and accurate training records
    • Securely store client records
    • Advise client of confidentiality policy, rights and expectations
    • Administer a health history form
    • Differentiate between various business entities (e.g., employee, independent contractor, partnership, corporation)
    • Work within a legal business structure (e.g., license, permits, insurance)
    • Conduct yourself in a professional manner
    • Be proficient in verbal, audible and kinesthetic communication skills
    • Market and advertise your skills as a Strength Training instructor
    • Ability to sell your services as a Strength Training instructor

$599
NCCPT Exam Only

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