Posts Tagged "Studying Strategy"

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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Exam Study Strategy – Honesty! Honestly?

Posted by on Mar 7, 2014 in Anatomy, Study Strategy | 6 comments

Today after answering a few reader questions, I was thinking about what attributes make a person a successful test taker.  Some of these attributes may strike you as pretty obvious.  A test taker needs to exhibit or spend the following things to be successful.

  • Time – to study
  • Effort – Not just reading and letting the words slip past your brain while you study
  • Intelligence – The ability to grasp complicated concepts

Throughout school I met plenty of people who had all three of these things and still did poorly on test day.



I’m talking about being honest with yourself.  This is a different kind of honesty than just always telling the truth to other people, because being honest with yourself can be quite hard.  Let me give you an example:

I spent a good deal of time covering levers. But levers are simple right?  FLE123, boom. Done. How can that be hard?

Well for many it might be that simple, but when I sat down with the practice exams and started getting lever questions wrong…I had to stop and think. I had just learned a lot of anatomy, and so I started to overthink things.  Instead of a biceps curl being a first class lever, I started thinking everything was a third class lever because I was arguing (with myself) that the applied effort was where the muscle inserted and thus, applied its force to the bone. So for a biceps curl I was arguing effort was on the forearm, load at the hand, and fulcrum at the elbow – making it a third class lever (E in the center, third class).

But it’s not where the effort is applied, it’s NOT where the insertion is.  The ‘E’ in effort stands for where the force is generated, in this case the belly of the biceps muscle. My first run in with this topic had me thinking it was easy for me, but I was glossing over some details that tripped me up later. I had to have the conversation with myself and hash out where I was confused, but in the end I understood it more completely than ever.

So be honest with yourself, don’t gloss over things and say “I got that” when you really don’t.

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Coach Weber Shares CSCS Exam Experience

Posted by on Jul 24, 2013 in Exam Preparation, Reader Question, Study Strategy | 2 comments

This is from coach Weber on twitter.  Follow him @coachlaw71.  The nature of tweets means this message was broken into 160 word or fewer fragments, so I have arranged his tweets as a list of statements instead of rewording it.

From @coachlaw71:

I just finished the CSCS Exam. Since your blog helped me so much I thought I would pass on what I can remember.
Practical application of the scientific and nutritional principles in the text are extremely important.
Your memorization techniques of the 1RM percentage charts is spot on technique.
Memorization of the numbers in the facilities management portion is key such as square feet etc.
The video section is also huge. one thing I did not anticipate is that you are only allowed to watch the video once during the test. No replay.
Your @mobilitywod strategy of first loaded=most loaded is important to remember. Knowing the articulations of each joint is also key.
There are definitely several things on the test not covered explicitly in the text. I only knew them because I am been working as a HS strength and conditioning coach and have been conscious to be well read in technique and exercise theory during my 12 years on the job.
Best of luck. I am sure your preparation will help you pass! I will say that the test was harder than I anticipated although through the raw score data, it appeared that I took one of the harder versions of the scientific principles exam.

Hope that helps!
Coach Weber went into the test with some advantages, and some disadvantages.
First off, he has 12 years or more of coaching experience and has always taken care to provide quality exercise instruction.  This type of experience can’t be replaced by a textbook, and I’m sure it served him very well during the exam.
Coach Weber did not purchase the practice exams from the NSCA.  He got by on his experience, and help from my website, but he wishes that he did buy the practice exams as he felt he would’ve done much better.  Remember, the price for the three three flimsy paper booklets that comprise the three practice exams seems like a lot, but it’s worth it.
Time is money, time is the most precious resource we have.  If you don’t believe that, wait until you have kids.  Drop the cash on the practice exams.
Remember: My website is not intended as a replacement for the book & practice exams.  Use it as a supplement to those resources and share your experience like Coach Weber so we can all have a better shot at this thing!
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More Resources for CSCS Exam Studying

Posted by on Jun 3, 2013 in Exam Preparation | 0 comments

One of my readers pointed out a new (to me at least!) resource for studying for the CSCS Exam.  It’s a website called Quizlet.

If you search under CSCS Exam there are quite a few ways to study.  Users can freely contribute by making flashcard sets, quizzes, tests, and tracking of topics to dynamically keep track of what you do and don’t know.  I highly recommend you check it out.

The only potential problem I see with a service like this is quality control with user generated content.  In some of the questions I skimmed through, I found a level of detail that I felt would not be representative of the questions on the test… at least based on my experiences with practice test 1 and practice test 2.

Let me know of any other cool resources you guys find and let me know via whatever method you want via my connect page or email me, julian at cscs exam guide dot com.

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Two Review Sections Complete

Posted by on Feb 5, 2013 in Study Strategy | 0 comments

Before I go on to the next section of studying, I’d like to take a look back at my strategy so far and make sure I’m headed in the right direction.

I’ve completed the review for the morning section of the CSCS exam on the topics of exercise science and sports nutrition. For each question I got wrong (plus one bonus quesiton) I did a blog post reviewing the relevant topic for a total of eleven posts. This took me approximately one month…which is pretty good given the amount of free time I have with a job and my 3.5 month old son who arrived in October plus my dad visiting from Germany!

Looking Forward

I have 16 more questions that I got wrong on the first practice exam, let’s say for the sake of argument that I could get all those done in the short month of February. I’ll then repeat the process for practice exams 2 & 3…and assuming I answer more questions correctly let’s say reviewing those exams takes another 3 months. At that rate I will be done studying at the end of May. We can do better.

I would like to get through all the practice exams by the end of March so I have a good idea where I stand, and then schedule my exam date. To do that I’m going to have to modify how I study, maybe one post per questions is too many.

Furthermore, the next section of the test involves the DVD with exercises.  During this portion of the exam, you watch an athlete complete exercises and answer questions related to those exercises.  Reviewing this in an effective manner through text on a blog might be more challenging.  I’m going to review all my incorrect questions, as well as read the relevant chapters (14, 16, and 17) and see if there are commonalities in my incorrect answers.  From there I will formulate new blog post topics.

Onward to the EXERCISE TECHNIQUE review!

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