NASM Certified Personal Trainer

I never used to think of myself a superstitious person, but I’m beginning to think that I am.

This morning, when I got dressed for the day, I made sure to wear my turquoise sparkly BIC Band. I wore it during the Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon when I broke two hours for the first time and I wore it again two weeks ago when I achieved a PR during the ZOOMA half marathon. Now I feel like it might be a little lucky, so I figured why not wear it today when I headed off to take my NASM exam?

zooma florida

Yep, today I took the NASM Certified Personal Trainer examination late this morning and I have some good news to share!

NASM pass

I passed! Woo!

I guess sparkly BIC Bands may be a little lucky after all. Smile 

At around 8:30 a.m., I drove to a tiny airport in Crystal River, Florida that served as the testing facility for my exam. I checked in and went over my study guide and note cards for another 30 minutes before I was escorted into the testing room.

NASM study materials

One hundred and twenty questions and a little more than an hour later, I was done!

When the man who ran the testing facility informed me that I passed, I felt awfully excited! (Unfortunately NASM doesn’t reveal your exact score after you take the exam and and you’re simply awarded “Pass” or “Fail.”)

I plan to do a whole post about my experience with NASM since I’ve already received a handful of emails from you guys with lots of questions, so stay tuned for that next week. If you have any questions you’d like to see addressed, feel free to ask away in the comments section of this post. I know I had a million questions when I began researching personal training certifications and then once I had my study materials, I felt a little overwhelmed, so I’d love to help those of you interested in any way that I can.

As for what exactly I plan to do with this certification, I’m not 100 percent sure. My main motivation for obtaining the certification was to possibly teach group exercise classes. While I know you don’t necessarily need a personal training certification to teach group exercise, I love it when group exercise instructors seem to have a greater knowledge of muscles and exercises and wanted to have that knowledge. While teaching group exercise still intrigues me, I have a few other ideas floating around in my mind and have some opportunities on the backburner that I may be interested in pursuing. I’ll be sure to take you guys along for the ride!


When I arrived home, I was awfully hungry and immediately grabbed a pear to eat.


As I ate my pear, I made myself a chicken salad sandwich on 5-grain sub bread from the Publix bakery.

Chicken Salad Sub Sandwich


Dessert was a couple of small handfuls of peanut M&Ms.

peanut m&ms valentine's day

So good!

Nine Years

Today is actually a rather special day for me and Ryan. It’s our nine-year dating anniversary!


(Kappa Delta camo social, 2006 – Just lil’ babies!)

Ryan told me this morning that he has a surprise date planned for us tonight. (He later told me that if I didn’t pass my test and didn’t feel like going out to celebrate, his alternate idea was an “eat ice cream on the couch date night” which sounded awfully fabulous, too.) I’m not sure what’s on the agenda, but I’ll be sure to report back in the morning.

I hope you’re having a fabulous Friday and enjoy your weekend!


  1. Heather says

    Congrats Julie! It’s always a great feeling to know hard work is well rewarded, especially when studying for a test is always challenging. Enjoy your date/happy anniversary!


  2. says

    Congrats! This is awesome & can’t wait to hear more about your journey through NASM studying! I scheduled my exam for end of February & am super-nervous. I can’t imagine how excited you are. Happy Friday!


  3. says

    Congratulations! I am thisclose to signing up to get my CPT through NASM (I currently teach BODYPUMP), and I’m curious to hear about your experiences. I’d love to know what “package” you chose and whether you used all of the materials in it.


  4. says

    Awe, so much happy news on this blog today! Congratulations on passing your exam – you totally earned it! Enjoy your date-iversary tonight, I’m so glad you still celebrate it, despite being married 🙂


  5. says

    Congrats on passing! That test is no joke. 😉 I’m curious toif you plan on getting some sort of group exercise instructor cert too? I have my nasm pt cert but am also considering teaching group fitness and trying to decide what (if any) group cert to get.


  6. says

    What an exciting day for you!! Nine years-that’s crazy! So happy for you that you passed your test. I agree that it definitely adds to the class when the instructors know their stuff. Hope you have a great night!!


  7. says

    Awww I love that he has surprise plans, what a good guy! And congrats on passing the exam! I’ve considered doing something similar, mostly for a knowledge base and in case I want to do something fitness oriented, but law school is enough studying, I don’t think my brain could handle much more!


  8. Karey says

    Congrats on passing!! I think you should start your very own bootcamp! I would totally sign up! (I live in Kansas so working out with you in Florida is not an option :))


  9. says

    This is wonderful!! I can’t wait to learn more about your NASM journey. I’m glad you have that giant stress off of your back now. And I’m sure that if the couch and ice cream was the back up, this date will be even better. Can’t wait to hear all about it 🙂


  10. says

    First- congratulations!!
    Second- us there one topic you wish you had studied more than another? I am working on mine and feel there is just so much!!
    Third- i have found I cant work anywhere with just a cert in personal training here in illinois
    Most places want a degree. Also, group classes you are required to have a primary group cert- which I am doing next week- have you found the same issues?
    Lastly- was the time limit hard? I read slow!!

    Thanks! Melissa


  11. Elena says

    Congratulations!!!! Yay for you!!!!

    A little off topic… How is it that you and Ryan look the same today as you did in 2006??? How can it be possible? ….. really, I’ve seen many pictures of you guys and you don’t seem to age…at all….how is that possible???!??? Congrats on your date anniversary!!! 🙂


  12. says

    Congrats on passing! I’ve been thinking about looking into getting certified. I would love to teach group exercise classes someday. I feel like it’s a great way to get a good workout in while inspiring others. I’ll be looking forward to that post you do about it because I am kind of confused as to what the process is!
    9 years, though… wow! I hope you have an amazing date night. Although ice cream on the couch sounds pretty awesome too, not gonna lie.


  13. says

    YAY! Congratulations! It’s is so exciting. Personal training is a great business to be in, as well as teaching group exercise classes 🙂 That picture of you guys is so cute! Have an awesome night tonight.


  14. Marcie says

    Congrats on passing the exam!!! You ROCK 🙂 Hope you two have a fabulous date night ~ that is so sweet that you guys are celebrating your 9 year dating anniversary. ENJOY 🙂


  15. Jill says

    Oh my god…I think I just fell in love with your husband 🙂
    Your last paragraph there with the date, but the alternative of slump on couch with ice cream = love 🙂
    I need to find myself a “Ryan” 🙂

    Happy 9 years and infinite ones to go!


  16. says

    Congrats on your certification! And happy dating anniversary!
    I agree with instructors being knowledge about muscle groups and everything. I have my group exercise certification and will be working on my personal training certification!


  17. says

    Woohooo a big congrats to you pbf!! I’m sure you’ll be awesome however you decide to use it! And happy 9 years….my husband and I have no idea when our actual dating anniversary is so we usually pick a random date each year in December (at least we know the month!) have fun celebrating 🙂


  18. karen says

    I’ve really enjoyed your blog since finding it– so I was hoping for some advice. I am looking to lose 20-25 lbs. I have cleaned up my diet and track my calories. I am so confused on exercise. I have several exercise dvds ranging from cardio to weights. How many times/ week should I do cardio, strength training, abs? And how do I space them out? I don’t want to join a gym right now- hoping to get fit at home. Thanks a lot!


  19. says

    Congratulations on both fronts! You’ll do awesome in whatever fitness endeavor you take on! Enjoy your date night! Can’t wait to hear what he has planned! What a blessing it is to have a man who loves you as much as he does and plans date (that’s what gets me 😉 ) If he has any single brothers in the Florida area, hook a sister up ! 😉


  20. Kelly says

    Congrats Julie! so proud 🙂
    What kinds of questions were you asked? i know it’s hard to be specific, but is it all just muscle groups? or exercise routines? I’ve been wondering!


  21. Christina says

    congrats on passing!!! (and nine years!) i think its great that you went the extra step to get your certification even though you could teach fitness classes without it. if you ever move to ny, i would luv to have you as a personal trainer!


  22. says

    Congrats! What an amazing accomplishment. I looked into doing the Canadian version of this a few months ago to go along with my Zumba certification. I was too intimated and decided not to do it so you really are an inspiration. Great job =)


  23. says

    After I finish studying with The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (takes approx. 1 year) I’m going to start on getting my personal training certification with NASM. I don’t know if you know anything about IIN but you could be interested, it’s what I’m doing in place of college (huge step, i know) because I’m in love with it and this is what I want to do with my life 🙂
    I love seeing people pass the NASM CPT test because I hope to be that person too. So CONGRATS Julie! And happy 9 year anniversary to you and Ryan!


  24. Marisa says

    I would love to tell you CONGRATULATIONS!!! I am currently studying and it’s nice to hear good news! So inspiring! 🙂

    My Q for you would be… while you were reading the book did you apply what you were learning to your workouts? I’m a hands on person and am wondering if this would help. I haven’t studied for anything since 2005 and am all over the place! hahaha Ty 🙂


  25. Stephanie says

    Congratulations! I am sure it was a lot of hard work and studying. Great news. I hope you have the most fantastic date tonight too!!


  26. SarahD says

    Congrats!! All your hard work has paid off. Hope you do something extra special to celebrate your accomplishment! Can’t wait to hear about your experience 🙂


  27. Holli Bruce says

    Congrats!!! You should look into bringing Body Pump to your gym and teaching Les Mills classes! You would be a fabulous instructor. Thanks for being an inspiration to us all! It is because of you that I resumed running after a neck injury and completed my 3rd and 4th half marathon this fall!


  28. says

    Congrats, Julie!! I just received my NASM study materials, so your insights about the experience will be very helpful! How long did it take you to read through the text book? It looks like a bit of a doozy! 😉 Any study tips would be extremely appreciated, too!

    I hope you and Ryan had a wonderful time celebrating nine years together tonight!


  29. says

    Congratulations on passing the NASM certification!! That is so exciting! I’ve been looking into the NASM certification and can’t wait to read your posts about the full process.

    Also, congratulations on 9 years. I hope you had a great date night!


  30. says

    Congratulations on passing your NASM exam! That’s great news! I’m super impressed with your outline and note cards – you’ve obviously worked hard. And happy 9-year dating anniversary! That’s so sweet that Ryan planned a surprise date for you, and even sweeter that he had a back-up option if you didn’t want to go out. He seems like such a great, thoughtful guy – I think you really found a good one 🙂


  31. says

    Congratulations!! What an accomplishment!
    I absolutely adore your blog! I was a longtime reader, took a break, and now I am back!!
    Keep writing- youre awesome!


  32. Bethann says

    Congratulations! I plan to start the NASM certification program next year. In your post would you mind telling which package you purchased and why? Thanks, Have a great weekend!


  33. Jennifer@ knackfornutrition says

    Congratulations! That’s such a good feeling. I think I cried after I got my ACE Certification. It was just SUCH a relief!


  34. Chamois says

    Hello and Congratulations! I started reading your blog almost a year ago and FINALLY subscribed! It actually surprised me that I would follow you so often since I am not really a blog-hunter (does that sound creepy?), but yours in particular was somehow important to me! I love your workouts and since my husband and I have been training for our first marathon those treadmill workouts you post do come in handy–I can get so bored on a treadmill, but these NE Ohio snowstorms force us indoors. Thankfully your workouts keep me motivated and your recipes keep my diet in-line. I am happy you passed your exam! I, too just passed my MA exam in English (I love it but am still not sure what I will do with it). I love that you stay so motivated and determined! Thank you for all of the inspiration you give with your blog–I will definitely keep reading! P.S. I hope Sadie is getting back to her usual perky self!


  35. Caitlin says

    Congrats Julie!! That’s awesome, I have been think about getting certified as well! was the test a lot of muscle actions or what you would do to work muscle groups?


  36. says

    Wait this is so weird… but I’m a Kappa Delta at Vanderbilt and my boyfriend and I just celebrated our one-year dating anniversary yesterday (February 1st)! And I’m originally from Vero Beach, Florida.
    And I love peanut butter.


  37. Jyssica says

    CONGRATS! Very happy for you. It is such an exciting feeling when you work so hard on something and you get the exciting reward knowing you passed. I am about to take my Dental Hygiene National Board exam at the end of March. Even knowing that this career is my deep passion, at times it can be a struggle to stay motivated on studying. I see myself dazzing off day dreaming of doing anything else instead of reviewing information. What would you suggest or say was the one thing that kept you going with your studies?


  38. says

    Congratulations on passing your exam! That’s so exciting. Kind of a bummer that they only give you “pass” or “fail”. I’d want to know my score and what questions I missed.

    That’s really sweet of your husband. Enoy your date night:-)


  39. says

    congrats pretty girl!! Soo exciting — I am in the process of becoming a BASI certified pilates teacher & it’s so exciting. love your outfit!! Oh and the buttercream frosting was a great call haha soo yummy!! love your blog!!
    xx. Ky


  40. AJ says

    Congrats on your 9 year anniversary and on passing your test! I do have some questions for you:
    1. Why did you choose NASM over other cert programs!
    2. How much did you study? How involved was the studying?
    3. What’s the cost for the program/material/test?

    Thanks! And you and Ryan look exactly the same 9 years later!



  41. Barb says

    Congratulations!!!! On passing your NASM exam. I did the ACE group certification and yes when you find out you passed is the best feeling!!! I am also interested in NASM and would love to know more info about the process for it. I love your blog and also ho


  42. Barb says

    Congratulations!!!! On passing your NASM exam. I did the ACE group certification and yes when you find out you passed is the best feeling!!! I am also interested in NASM and would love to know more info about the process for it. I love your blog!!


  43. Christina says

    Congrats on passing your exam! I taught a few group exercise class in college and I always felt like I should have known about the body and how it truly works!!

    I also wanted to mention, I was at a body pump class today and I had a similar experience with a weird instructor with a newbie! I, unfortunately dont think she will be returning!


  44. Cassie says

    Congrats Julie!!! What was your study plan and timeline? I just received my book in the mail and I am starting to study, but I want to create some type of plan since I only got the book. Thanks!


  45. says

    Congrats, Julie!!! What an awesome accomplishment. By the way, my grandma used to have a townhouse in Crystal River. Such a small town. Interesting that the test was there. Take care!


  46. says

    Congratulations on passing your certification. I am about 6 weeks out from taking my test so you know I am cramming as much information as possible!
    Any tips would be greatly appreciated!


  47. Carm says

    Congrats on passing! I also enjoy when people take the time to learn about the muscles in and movement of the body- IMO it adds to someone’s legitimacy (versus making up what they say or repeating what they heard on TV/the internet)!!

    I already love your blog and bet that I will even more now!


  48. Nikki says

    Congrats on passing!!! You should use to teach the Les Mills classed your gym in Ocala since they don’t currently offer them!!!

    Right now I am studying to be a registered dietitian but I am seriously considering studying to be a personal trainer as well! I think they will go hand in hand. Looking forward to your post about NASM.


  49. Rachelle says

    Congratulations!! That is so awesome! I’ve been wanting to get certified for so long now, but never gone through with it because of fear. You really inspired me to go for it! Thank you! Congrats again!


  50. says

    Can you do both then? Ha 😉 Congrats Julie! That’s a huge accomplishment. I’d love to do a course like that also. I’m a group fitness instructor- so welcome to the club 😉


  51. says

    Congratulations, Julie!! I am studying for the NASM exam as well. Something I’d like to see in your recap post is a highlighting of the main areas you studied or saw pop up on the exam. That would be really helpful for someone like me who is preparing!


  52. Lisa says

    I’m currently going to college to become a personal trainer. My professor said that you are able to get a better job/more clients if you have a college degree in health fitness/exercise science. Also if you want to teach group fitness it is also handy to have a group fitness instructor certification. Good luck! 🙂



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