PLEASE NOTE: The text Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, Third Edition, is required for successful completion of this course but is not included in this version. Purchase this version of the course only if you already own the text.
This course includes repeated references to the third edition of Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning. If you have the fourth edition of the text, it is recommended that you wait until December 2015 to purchase a newer version of the course. This version will contain directions for using the fourth edition of the text as you go through the course.
Certified strength and conditioning specialists (CSCSs) are professionals who apply scientific knowledge to train athletes for the primary goal of improving athletic performance. The CSCS certification is widely recognized as the esteemed credential for strength and conditioning professionals in the United States and increasingly around the world. The National Strength and Conditioning Association and Human Kinetics have jointly developed an online course to help people study for the CSCS examination. NSCA’s Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) Online Study Course works in tandem with the material presented in Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, Third Edition, to offer a practical and efficient method of studying the content assessed on the CSCS exam.
The course content reflects the weighting and scope of the CSCS exam and has varying levels of recall, application, and analysis learning activities for each primary objective. Featuring over 160 interactive learning activities, this online study course offers scientific knowledge and practical application and pinpoints the information required for preparing for the exam. The content covered relates directly to the on-the-job duties and responsibilities of a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and an end-of-course test evaluates the learner’s content knowledge, mimicking the scope and difficulty of the actual certification exam. Current certified professionals who complete the course and pass the test can earn continuing education units (the number is determined by each organization).
The course is supplemented by content from Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning, Third Edition, the primary text by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. This text also serves as a valuable professional reference after the course is completed.
The information presented in the course assists exam candidates in the studying process. It should not be considered the only method of preparing for the CSCS exam. Ultimately, it will be each candidate’s academic, practical, and test-taking abilities that dictate the effectiveness of the preparation materials. The information should increase the likelihood of passing the CSCS exam, but it does not guarantee a successful performance.
Part 1: Exercise Sciences
Unit 1: Muscle and Neuromuscular Anatomy and Physiology
Understand muscle anatomy and physiology.
Understand neuromuscular anatomy and physiology.
Unit 2: Principles of Biomechanics
Understand the principles of biomechanics regarding exercise selection, execution, and sport performance.
Unit 3: Bioenergetics, Metabolism, and Cardiopulmonary Considerations
Understand bioenergetics and metabolism.
Understand cardiopulmonary anatomy and physiology.
Unit 4: Physiological Adaptations to Exercise
Understand physiological adaptations to exercise.
Unit 5: Athlete Differences: Anatomy, Physiology, Biomechanics, and Psychology
Understand the anatomical, physiological, and biomechanical differences of athletes.
Understand the psychological techniques used to enhance training and performance.
Part 2: Nutrition
Unit 6: Nutrition Factors
Explain nutritional factors affecting health and performance.
Unit 7: Nutrition and Performance
Explain the strategies and results of manipulating food choices and training methods to maximize performance.
Unit 8: Performance-Enhancing Substances and Methods
Explain the effects, risks, and alternatives of common performance-enhancing substances and methods.
Part 3: Exercise Technique
Unit 9: Resistance Training Exercise Technique
Describe, teach, and evaluate proper resistance training exercise technique.
Unit 10: Plyometric Exercise Technique
Describe, teach, and evaluate proper plyometric exercise technique.
Unit 11: Speed/Sprint Technique
Describe, teach, and evaluate proper speed/sprint technique (resisted and assisted sprinting, speed-strength).
Unit 12: Agility Technique
Describe, teach, and evaluate proper agility technique (forward, backward and lateral movements; turn, transition and stop-and-go maneuvers).
Unit 13: Aerobic Endurance Exercise Technique
Describe, teach, and evaluate proper aerobic endurance exercise technique.
Unit 14: Spotting Procedures and Techniques
Describe and teach effective spotting procedures and techniques.
Part 4: Testing and Evaluation
Unit 15: Test Selection and Administration
Evaluate the sport.
Unit 16: Testing and Evaluation
Assess the athlete, including training status, physical testing and evaluation, and primary training goal.
Part 5: Program Design
Unit 17: Program Selection
Determine type of exercise.
Complete a movement analysis of the sport, including sport-specific exercises and muscle balance.
Evaluate exercise technique experience.
Consider equipment and time availability.
Unit 18: Program Design
Consider training status to determine training frequency.
Consider the sport season to determine training frequency.
Consider training load and exercise type to determine training frequency.
Consider other training to determine training frequency.
Use appropriate terminology to quantify and qualify mechanical work.
Consider the relationship between load and repetitions.
Consider 1RM and multiple-RM testing options.
Assign load and repetitions based on the training goal.
Determine the variation of the training load.
Determine the progression of the training load.
Consider multiple versus single sets.
Consider training status.
Consider primary training goal.
Consider strength and power variables.
Consider the effects of hypertrophy.
Consider muscular endurance variables.
Part 6: Organization and Administration
Unit 19: Facility Design and Safety
Determine how to design, layout, and organize the strength and conditioning facility.
Create a safe training environment within the strength and conditioning facility.
Course for those studying for the NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) exam; continuing education resource for those working with clients and athletes, including fitness professionals and athletic trainers.
Founded in 1978, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is an international nonprofit educational association with members in over 70 countries. Drawing on its vast network of members, the NSCA develops and presents the most advanced information regarding strength training and conditioning practices, injury prevention, and research findings.
Unlike any other organization, the NSCA brings together a diverse group of professionals from the sport science, athletic, allied health, and fitness industries. By working to find practical applications for new research findings, the association fosters the development of strength training and conditioning as a discipline and as a profession.