The CSCS Exam – Math Questions

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Exam Preparation | 0 comments

You don’t need to know differential equations to pass the CSCS exam

i\hbar\frac{\partial}{\partial t}\left|\Psi(t)\right>=H\left|\Psi(t)\right>

But having taken it wouldn’t hurt you, because in order to do well in higher level math like differential equations your basic algebra has to be rock solid. I know, mine is – and it’s a result of every EE class being essentially applied algebra and calculus. Yours would be too if you used it intensely for every major class you took.

If I missed a math question on the CSCS exam, it wasn’t due to my poor math skills – but due to an incorrect assumption or remembering something incorrectly.

This is where I can help you – don’t miss a question because you suck at basic math.


What Kind of Math is on the CSCS Exam?

Sometimes on the exam or in the practice materials we will get a question that seems like it needs a lot of math. And often times it does, but we’re not talking differential equations or calculus here – just some pretty basic algebra and careful interpretation of the wording of the question.

I want to talk briefly about a thing called dimensional analysis. This is a skill that you have to be totally comfortable with to get anywhere in a science-based field. As an engineer I had to deal with all kinds of units, conversions, constants with crazy units – and this helped me in unexpected ways when it came to math questions on the CSCS exam, and even more so in life in general.

My advice here is to keep track of your units, and even make up units as you do your math. Make up units that are descriptive of the things they are calculated from. Much like force is described as a “kilogram-meter per second squared”

F=ma=\frac{kg m}{s^2}

Basically it helps to keep track of units, because as you are multiplying things out and dividing and moving units around – you may suddenly realize (based on the units) what you are dealing with. This can help in kind of unexpected ways, conceptually speaking.

Let me show you what I mean with a question I made up. Take note that this question is harder than ones you would find on the CSCS exam. I believe having skills higher than those required on the exam is helpful in that it makes your skill level sufficient that your performance can take a hit due to nervousness, and you can still perform well enough to pass.

The collegiate training center is currently undergoing renovations and all 6 teams of 124 athletes need to share a smaller facility. You modify the facility arrangement to fit slightly more power racks – for a total of 7. The athletic director insists on every athlete maintaining their 1 hour of strength training. The training center is open 8 hours, but every athlete is pairing up and sharing racks operating at a 1:1 work:rest ratio. However, since you are using power racks assume that racking and re-racking weights will cause a 15% drop in efficiency in rack use.
The athletic director asks if you figured out a plan for the athletes, what do you tell him?
I. We can’t accommodate the athletes
II. We can accommodate the athletes
III. We need the facility open 1 more hour
IV. We need the facility open 4 more hours
A. II only
B. I only
C. II and III
D. II and IV

Part of the trick to these questions is interpreting the wording into math. I like to think of this type of question in terms of resources and needs, then interpret those things into math.

Stay tuned for my next post to see the answer.

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Lean Mass is 2500kcal per pound, NOT 3500kcal

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in Exercise Science, Review Topics | 0 comments

I had a discussion with a few people on the facebook study group page recently.

There is a lot of confusion surrounding this concept, and it’s because it isn’t highlighted very well in the book. In the very first paragraph on the top of page 224 it talks about the kcal requirements of lean mass being 2500kcal/lb, not the usual 3500kcal/lb. This has profound implications for many of the exercise science questions – I suggest you commit this fact to memory.

This distinction tripped me up for the longest time….

Due to me being at least a little bit OCD about understanding concepts and being honest with myself about what I know vs. don’t know, I had a question on a practice exam that I could not get the right answer to. I’m good at math – my numbers were right, they just weren’t coming up with the right answer. Convinced that the question itself couldn’t be wrong – I went back and re-read the question carefully….

“…assume all of the weight gained will be lean mass” — hrmm, I wonder why they would point this out? MAYBE LEAN MASS HAS A DIFFERENT REQUIREMENT…at least according to the NSCA.

So I pored back over chapter 10 and finally found it, unbolded, unhighlighted, hanging out inconspicuously on the aforementioned page 224.

According to the NSCA:

LEAN MASS = 2500kcal

FAT MASS = 3500kcal


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Book Preview Video

Posted by on Jun 10, 2014 in Anatomy, Book, Exam Preparation | 0 comments

Hey guys –

I must admit, it’s a little weird shooting video of myself talking into a video camera. It took a little bit of courage to put this out on the internet, it feels personal and risky. But at the same time I hope to give you guys a little bit of an idea of the stuff in my book as well as alleviate any fears you have in buying my book….if you don’t like it you can get a full refund.

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The Book is Finished!

Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Book, Exam Preparation, Exercise Science, Exercise Technique, Facility Management, Nutrition, Org & Administration, Personal, Program Design, Review Topics | 7 comments

Wow – talk about the biggest project I have ever undertaken. I’m glad to be done, but at the same time I feel like I could’ve kept going… I’ll have to save those thoughts for a later edition.

Book stats:

Page Count: 104 pages
Word Count: 16,663 words
Image/Diagram Count: 56

The Ultimate Guide to the CSCS Exam

 Table of contents preview:

  • Disclaimer
  • Preface
  • About the Author
  • Materials You Will Need
    • Cost Breakdown
    • Exam Breakdown
  • Part 1 – Scientific Foundations
    • Exercise Science
      • The Sliding Filament Theory Revisited
      • Statics of the Human Musculoskeletal System
      • More Statics: Levers and Mechanics
      • Gender Differences
      • Muscle Twitch
      • Humans: A Hybrid Energy System
      • The Physics of Human Motion
      • Key Anatomy Points
    • Nutrition
      • Protein
      • Carbohydrates
      • Fat
      • Hydration
      • Food Disorders
  • Part 2 – Practical & Applied Knowledge
    • Exercise Technique
      • Fundamental Rules
      • Handgrips
      • Five-Point Body Contact Position
      • Breathing & the Valsalva Maneuver
      • The Five Phases of Sprinting
    • Program Design
      • The Seven Steps of Program Design
      • Cycles and Periodization
    • Organization and Administration
      • Facility Specifications
    • Testing and Evaluation
      • Memorization of the Mean
      • Statistics Review
    • Conclusion and Final Thoughts


Pricing and other thoughts

I’ve priced the book at $27 – I feel this is justified given the amount of unique content I’m providing.

This is not a rehashing of the NSCA book, this is not an outline, it’s high quality content that will set you back less than the price of one online practice exam from the NSCA. As I get feedback I plan on editing and updating the book – purchasing this book at any time entitles you to all future updates. As I said in my previous post the pricing will always be the cheapest possible when you buy it, because it’s only going to go up as I add and update the content.

And with that, I know a bunch of you are scheduled to take the exam in the next month or two. Good luck to you, and I hope my book helps. As always, feel free to contact me via email with any questions, clarifications, or criticisms.

Buy my book!


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Book Nearing Completion!

Posted by on Apr 13, 2014 in Book | 3 comments

Writing a book is hard. Here are a few reasons why:

  • There’s a lot I want to include – but can’t because it would just be too much to get this out anytime this century
  • Coming up with original thoughts is hard – I’m doing my best to explain things differently instead of repeating or outlining the book

Anyways, enough complaining. Here are some stats about the book:

Page Count: 89 pages
Word Count: 14,227
Image/Diagram Count: 55

I feel like I could spend a lot of time covering a lot more than what I did – and this has already easily been the biggest project I have ever undertaken. So I’m going to cut myself off – there is already a ton of new content and ways to approach and think about the topics.


I haven’t decided on pricing – but I wanted to say a few things about what I have decided. The book will start at it’s lowest price, and increase over time as I add content that people might request or come out with a 2nd edition. Here’s a graph to give you an idea of what that will look like over time.

book price


Anyone who buys the book at any time will have the rights to update their book to the latest version – free of charge. This way you don’t have to worry about waiting for a better price – at the moment you buy it you are always going to get it at the lowest possible price.


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