This interactive series of nine modules will prepare you for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam. The course includes the text, Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, Third Edition, by the NSCA.
The National Strength and Conditioning Association and Human Kinetics have jointly developed an online review series to help students prepare for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist examination. The CSCS certification is widely recognized as the esteemed credential for strength and conditioning coaches in the United States and increasingly around the world. This online series is designed to supplement the material presented in Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, Third Edition. This series consists of nine modules:
Module 1 – Anatomy and Physiology
In this module, Mark focuses on basic information about anatomy and physiology. He starts by helping you identify the basic structure and physiology of the skeletal muscle (whole muscle to cell structure). Next, he covers skeletal muscle functions, including how muscle cells produce force, how muscles are activated, and what factors affect the muscle’s force production. After that, Mark turns to the anatomy and function of the respiratory system, and he concludes with the anatomy and function of the cardiovascular system. The module is followed by a posttest.
Module 2 – Principles of Biomechanics
Here Mark reviews musculoskeletal anatomy, then he talks about how the human body works as a lever system through the action of the bones and muscles. He reviews the many different factors that affect force development in the muscles; he follows that with an explanation of how to conduct movement analysis, using anatomical planes and exercise movement specificity. Next, he discusses the mechanical principles of different external resistance systems. Mark ends this module by outlining the general safety guidelines for preventing injury and by describing the rehabilitative and healing process after injury as it relates to exercise. A posttest comes after this module.
Module 3 – Metabolism and Nutrition
In this module, Mark describes the role of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in energy generation, and he identifies the metabolic pathways that provide energy for cell functioning. He then explains how exercise intensity and duration determine which energy pathway provides the primary source of energy for an activity and what limiting factors in pathways lead to fatigue. There is also a discussion of the substrates that each pathway depends on and of how these substrates are linked to diet. In the latter part of this module Mark turns to nutrition, beginning with guidelines for good health and for athletic performance. A short review of the use of ergogenic aids is then followed by guidelines for healthy weight gain or loss in a weight management program. Finally, Mark describes the signs and symptoms of eating disorders as well as the steps to take to help athletes with eating disorders. You will take a posttest after studying this module.
Module 4 – Training
The basics of how training affects the body are the central theme of this module. First, Mark defines the terms “exercise response” and “training adaptation” and describes the principles of overload and specificity. He then identifies the body’s neuromuscular, metabolic, cardiovascular, and respiratory system responses and adaptations to anaerobic and then aerobic training. This is followed by information on responses and adaptations within the skeletal and endocrine systems. Mark explains how adaptations and responses are sport-specific, and he finishes the module with a description of overtraining. After you’ve completed the module, you’ll take the posttest.
Module 5 covers how to prescribe cardiorespiratory exercise. Mark begins with how to identify the goals of aerobic training; then he describes the components of an aerobic training program, the methods of monitoring training intensity, and the types of training programs available to help people achieve fitness goals. Next, he explains the concept of periodization, which means to modify the training schedule throughout the sport season. He follows this with information on special issues in aerobic training as well as on how gender and age affect training. To end the module, Mark talks about detraining and overtraining. Take the posttest that follows to measure what you’ve learned in this module.
Module 6 – Resistance Training Prescription
Here you will learn how to prescribe resistance training. The first step is to do a needs analysis to determine what type of training an athlete needs, which Mark describes. He then talks about program development and how to create an individualized resistance training program. After this, he describes how to modify the resistance training schedule throughout the sport season; this concept is known as periodization. He ends this module with information on the effects of age and gender on resistance training. To check your learning, take the posttest that follows.
Module 7 – Speed and Plyometrics
In this more specialized module Mark covers speed, agility, and plyometric training methods and their application. He identifies training variables for speed and agility training and safety considerations for plyometric training. At the end of the module, see whether you’ve mastered all the concepts by taking the posttest.
Module 8 – Exercise Techniques
This module is focused on correct exercise techniques. Mark begins by explaining the different groupings of exercise based on targeted body sections; joint involvement; and specific body segments, joints, or muscle groups. This is followed by information on safety factors during exercise, such as grip, weight belt use, breathing, and spotting. Mark then gives examples of how to describe to a client correct performance of free weight and machine exercises. Finally, he reviews the specific grips, breathing patterns, stances, and body positions for the different phases of various exercises. A posttest will help you see how much you’ve learned.
Module 9 – Measurement and Evaluation
In this final module, Mark defines the factors used in test selection, such as test validity and reliability, and describes how to apply them. He then gives you an exercise in matching the type of test and specific tests to specific sports. Mark follows this with a description of the important factors in good test administration. He ends this module by explaining the statistics used to interpret test results and how to apply them. A posttest follows.
American College of Sports Medicine
National Athletic Trainers Association
National Strength and Conditioning Association
CSCS Online Review Series: Module 1-Anatomy and Physiology, Version 1.1-T
CSCS Online Review Series: Module 2-Biomechanics & Orthopedics, Version 1.1-T
CSCS Online Review Series: Module 3-Metabolism and Nutrition, Version 1.1-T
CSCS Online Review Series: Module 4-Training, Version 1.1-T
CSCS Online Review Series: Module 5-Cardiorespiratory Prescription, Version 1.1-T
CSCS Online Review Series: Module 6-Resistance Training Prescription, Version 1.1-T
CSCS Online Review Series: Module 7-Speed and Plyometrics, Version 1.1-T
CSCS Online Review Series: Module 8-Exercise Techniques, Version 1.1-T
CSCS Online Review Series: Module 9-Measurement & Evaluation, Version 1.1-T