National Council on Strength & Fitness
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Personal Training Home Study Course Materials

Certified Personal Trainer Home Study Option
NCSF Personal Training Textbook

Personal Training Textbook:


The Advanced Concepts of Personal Training Textbook contains all theoretical concepts, guidelines, and relevant information necessary to pass the NCSF Certified Personal Trainer Exam. Divided into nine (9) units mirroring the Certification Exam, the textbook progresses from an introduction of Anatomy and Biomechanics through Nutrition, Weight Management, Exercise Prescription, and Training Instruction, and culminates with Exercise Programming for Special Populations. The textbook features learner-friendly highlights throughout each chapter which practically apply chapter concepts to Personal Training. Reading the Advanced Concepts of Personal Training Textbook and applying the information in the NCSF Course Manual will provide you with the information needed to pass the NCSF Certified Personal Trainer Exam and enter the fitness industry as a competent and qualified Personal Trainer.


The Advanced Concepts of Personal Training Textbook’s nine (9) units are further divided into 23 content specific chapters covering the following topics:

Chapter 1 – Functional Anatomy
Chapter 2 – Biomechanics
Chapter 3 – Muscle Physiology
Chapter 4 – Endocrine System
Chapter 5 – Bioenergetics
Chapter 6 – Cardiovascular Physiology
Chapter 7 – Energy Yielding Nutrients
Chapter 8 – Non-Energy Yielding Nutrients
Chapter 9 – Nutritional Supplementation
Chapter 10 – Body Composition
Chapter 11 – Weight Management
Chapter 12 – Physical Fitness & Health
Chapter 13 – Pre-Exercise Screening & Test Considerations
Chapter 14 – Assessment of Physical Fitness
Chapter 15 – Exercise Programming Components
Chapter 16 – Flexibility Assessment & Programming
Chapter 17 – Programming for Cardiovascular Fitness
Chapter 18 – Anaerobic Training
Chapter 19 – Resistance Training Technique
Chapter 20 – Functional Training Concepts
Chapter 21 – Creating an Exercise Program
Chapter 22 – Working with Special Populations
Chapter 23 – Ethics and Professional Behavior
Personal Training Course Manual

Personal Training Course Manual:


The Course Manual is a multifunctional educational resource that serves as the primary reference for the course and exam. It provides the summary notes for the textbook and accompanying instructional DVDs in a lesson-by-lesson format along with Test Your Knowledge quizzes at the end of each section. The Course Manual is an integral component to successful completion of the program.

Interactive activities designed to aid in learner comprehension
Summary lesson notes and quizzes for quick test content reference
Answer key references to verify work
Personal Training Lab Manual

Personal Training Lab Manual:


The NCSF Lab Manual was created specifically for the Home Study Course. It is the text version of the practical activities you may be held accountable for on the NCSF Certified Personal Trainer Exam. The 180-page manual is comprised of ten (10) labs, each containing several activities serving as an essential part of the course experience.


The Lab Manual expands on the textbook, turning exercise theory into practical application. Through the use of topic specific supportive text, detailed illustrations, graphs and charts, the Lab Manual successfully bridges the gap between exercise theory and Personal Training practice. Lab activities range from exercise program design to weight management.

Instructor Support

Instructor Support:


Our expert support team is standing by to assist you during the personal trainer certification experience. Simply contact us at any time with any questions and our instructors will guide you through the learning process. All NCSF instructors possess a graduate or doctoral degree.

NCSF Concepts of Training CD-ROM

e-Learning Access:


The interactive NCSF e-Learning platform provides you with the opportunity to review lesson notes, work on question and answer activities, and take quizzes to measure your understanding of the content. Additionally, 23 video presentations are available and complete lessons can be accessed from your computer, tablet, or favorite smartphone device.

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