NSCA’S Essentials of Personal Training – 2nd Edition


Author: NSCA -National Strength & Conditioning Association

Date of Publication: 10/27/2011

Pages: 696

ISBN-13: 9780736084154

SKU: 9780736084154 Categories: , Tag:


Comprehensive and research based, the second edition of NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training is the resource to rely on for personal training information and guidance. With state-of-the-art knowledge regarding applied aspects of personal training as well as clear explanations of supporting scientific evidence, NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training, Second Edition, is also the authoritative preparation text for those preparing for the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s Certified Personal Trainer (NSCA-CPT) exam.

This essential reference was developed by the NSCA to present the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for personal trainers. With contributions from leading authorities in the field, the text will assist both current and future personal trainers in applying the most current research to the needs of their clients:

  • A discussion on nutrition outlines the role of the personal trainer in establishing nutrition guidelines, including the application of nutrition principles for clients with metabolic concerns.
  • The latest guidelines on client assessment from prominent organizations—such as the American Heart Association (AHA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—keep personal trainers up to speed on the latest assessment protocols.
  • New information is presented on flexibility training and cardiovascular exercise prescription as well as a discussion of research on the effectiveness of stability ball training.
  • Revised information on design of resistance training programs incorporates the latest information on the application of periodization of training.
  • New information addressing injuries and rehabilitation prepares personal trainers to work with clients with special concerns such as orthopedic conditions, low back pain, ankle sprains, and hip arthroscopy.
  • New guidelines for determining resistance training loads will assist those whose clientele includes athletes.
  • A variety of fitness testing protocols and norms allows readers to select from several options to evaluate each component of fitness.
  • A new instructor guide and image bank aid instructors in teaching the material to students.

NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training, Second Edition, focuses on the complex process of designing safe, effective, and goal-specific resistance, aerobic, plyometric, and speed training programs. Featuring over 200 full-color photos with accompanying technique instructions, this resource offers readers a step-by-step approach to designing exercise programs with special attention to the application of principles based on age, fitness level, and health status. Using comprehensive guidelines and sample clients portrayed in the text, readers can learn appropriate ways to adjust exercise programs to work with a variety of clients while accommodating each client’s individual needs.

Personal trainers will appreciate the book’s presentation of detailed exercise programming guidelines for specific populations. Modifications and contraindications to exercise are given for prepubescent youth, older adults, and athletes as well as for clients who are overweight or obese or have eating disorders, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, hyperlipedimia, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy. In addition, the book provides clear, easy-to-understand guidelines for initial client consultation and health appraisal.

For those preparing for the NSCA-CPT exam, this second edition features new and revised study questions at the end of each chapter. These questions are written in the same style and format as those found on the NSCA-CPT exam to fully prepare candidates for exam day. For efficient self-study, answers to study questions and suggested solutions for the applied knowledge questions are located in the back of the text. Chapter objectives and key points provide a framework for study and review of important information, while sidebars throughout the text present practical explanations and applications of scientific concepts and theory.

The second edition of NSCA’s Essentials of Personal Training is the most comprehensive resource available for current and future personal trainers, exercise instructors, fitness facility and wellness center mangers, and other fitness professionals. Unmatched in scope, this text remains the leading source for personal training preparation and professional development.


Part I. Exercise Sciences

Chapter 1. Structure and Function of the Muscular, Nervous, and Skeletal Systems
The Muscular System
The Nervous System
The Skeletal System
Learning Aids

Chapter 2. Cardiorespiratory System and Gas Exchange
Cardiovascular Anatomy and Physiology
Respiratory System
Learning Aids

Chapter 3. Bioenergetics
Essential Terminology
Energy Systems
Substrate Depletion and Repletion
Oxygen Uptake and the Aerobic and Anaerobic Contributions to Exercise
Practical Application of Energy Systems
Learning Aids

Chapter 4. Biomechanics
Mechanical Foundations
Biomechanics of Human Movement
Muscular Control of Movement
Biomechanics of Resistance Exercise
Learning Aids

Chapter 5. Resistance Training Adaptations
Basic Adaptations to Resistance Training
Acute Adaptations
Chronic Adaptations
Factors That Influence Adaptations to Resistance Training
Learning Aids

Chapter 6. Physiological Responses and Adaptations to Aerobic Endurance Training
Acute Responses to Aerobic Exercise
Chronic Adaptations to Aerobic Exercise
Factors That Influence Adaptations to Aerobic Endurance Training
Learning Aids

Chapter 7. Nutrition in the Personal Training Setting
Role of the Personal Trainer Regarding Nutrition
Who Can Provide Nutrition Counseling and Education?
Dietary Assessment
Weight Gain
Weight Loss
Evaluating Weight Loss Diets
Dietary Supplements
The Art of Making Dietary Recommendations
Learning Aids

Chapter 8. Exercise Psychology for the Personal Trainer
Mental Health Aspects of Exercise
Goal Setting
Methods to Motivate a Client
Learning Aids

Part II. Initial Consultation and Evaluation

Chapter 9. Client Consultation and Health Appraisal
Purpose of Consultation and Health Appraisal
Delivery Process
Client Consultation
Preparticipation Health Appraisal Screening
Evaluation of Coronary Risk Factors, Disease, and Lifestyle
Interpretation of Results
Referral Process
Medical Clearance
Learning Aids

Chapter 10. Fitness Assessment Selection and Administration
Purposes of Assessment
Choosing Appropriate Assessments
Assessment Case Studies
Administration and Organization of Fitness Assessments
Interpretation and Review of Results
Learning Aids

Chapter 11. Fitness Testing Protocols and Norms
Vital Signs
Body Composition
Cardiovascular Endurance
Muscular Strength
Muscular Endurance
Learning Aids

Part III. Exercise Technique

Chapter 12. Flexibility, Body Weight, and Stability Ball Exercises
Defining Flexibility
Flexibility Training as Part of the Total Exercise Program
Benefits of Flexibility Training
Factors Affecting Flexibility
Elasticity and Plasticity
Types of Flexibility Training
Recommended Flexibility Routine and Guidelines
Body Weight and Stability Ball Exercises
Flexibility, Body Weight, and Stability Ball Exercises
Learning Aids

Chapter 13. Resistance Training Exercise Techniques
Fundamental Exercise Technique Guidelines
Spotting Resistance Training Exercises
Resistance Training Exercises
Learning Aids

Chapter 14. Cardiovascular Training Methods
Safe Participation
Training on Cardiovascular Machines
Nonmachine Cardiovascular Exercise Techniques
Learning Aids

Part IV. Program Design

Chapter 15. Resistance Training Program Design
General Training Principles
Initial Fitness Consultation and Evaluation
Determination of Training Frequency
Exercise Selection
Exercise Order
Training Load: Resistance and Repetitions
Training Volume: Repetitions and Sets
Rest Intervals
Sequencing Training
Sample Programs for Targeted Training Outcomes
Learning Aids

Chapter 16. Aerobic Endurance Training Program Design
Specificity of Aerobic Endurance Training
Components of an Aerobic Endurance Training Program
Types of Aerobic Endurance Training Programs
Learning Aids

Chapter 17. Plyometric and Speed Training
Plyometric Mechanics and Physiology
When to Use Plyometric Exercise
Safety Considerations
Plyometric Program Design
Speed Training Mechanics and Physiology
Speed Training Safety Considerations
Combining Plyometrics and Speed Training With Other Forms of Exercise
Plyometric and Speed Drills
Learning Aids

Part V. Clients With Unique Needs

Chapter 18. Clients Who Are Preadolescent, Older, or Pregnant
Preadolescent Youth
Older Adults
Pregnant Women
Learning Aids

Chapter 19. Clients With Nutritional and Metabolic Concerns
Overweight and Obesity
Eating Disorders
Metabolic Syndrome
Diabetes Mellitus
Learning Aids

Chapter 20. Clients With Cardiovascular and Respiratory Conditions
Health Screening and Risk Stratification
Myocardial Infarction, Stroke, and Peripheral Vascular Disease
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Learning Aids

Chapter 21. Clients With Orthopedic, Injury, and Rehabilitation Concerns
Injury Classification
Impact of Injury on Function
Tissue Healing Following Injury
Orthopedic Concerns and the Personal Trainer
Low Back
Learning Aids

Chapter 22. Clients With Spinal Cord Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, and Cerebral Palsy
Spinal Cord Injury
Multiple Sclerosis
Cerebral Palsy
Learning Aids

Chapter 23. Resistance Training for Clients Who Are Athletes
Factors in Program Design
Periodization of Resistance Training
Linear and Nonlinear Models of Periodized Resistance Training
Learning Aids

Part VI. Safety and Legal Issues

Chapter 24. Facility and Equipment Layout and Maintenance
Facility Design and Planning
Facility Specification Guidelines
Selecting Exercise Equipment
Floor Plan and Equipment Organization
Special Considerations for a Home Facility
Facility and Equipment Maintenance
Learning Aids

Chapter 25. Legal Aspects of Personal Training
Claims and Litigation
Fitness Industry Response to Claims and Litigation
Claims in Health and Fitness Activities
Records and Documentation
Ethical Codes
Learning Aids


The authoritative resource for personal trainers, exercise instructors, fitness facility and wellness center managers, and other fitness professionals, as well as the primary preparation source for the NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer examination.

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