Page 123 of the CPT Book

I am a certified personal trainer through NASM. I have been one for some years in addition to holding a number of non-NASM specializations. I consistently spend time reading and studying my craft and complete two courses annually. My personal library grows on a monthly basis, while my methods of training others seem to simplify more and more.

This blog post in no way,shape or form is meant to minimize or discredit any CPT agency. It is simply a humorous observation about myself as a strength coach and fitness educator and I harbor no animosity towards the licensing agencies named below. In fact, I gladly recommend any of them as suitable agencies to obtain a CPT credential.

A sizable percentage of my athletes are other trainers. This presents an usual challenge but one I enjoy. On three separate occasions by trainers of vastly different backgrounds and training years I’ve been told I’m nothing like the previous trainers they’ve worked with. I am of the opinion that no two trainers are the same, but the comment happened with too much frequency for me to simply dismiss.

I hold the opinion that I don’t fit in with the majority of other trainers and there are things that separate me from the pack, but nothing entirely unique to me other than personality.
– My training sessions are training based, not a collection of random exercises.
– A typical session might have as few as three movements.
– I do nothing without forethought, everything in my session or program has been sanity checked with my favorite programming word. “Why?” I also have the ability to apply the Weider principle of instinctive training if needed. That is an advantage of working in pencil and paper.
– I’m less married to equipment than I formerly was as I now selectively employ machines into training programs if the desired adaptation warrants the use.
– There is “no fluff” in my sessions. We don’t things just to do them. There are enough trainers doing such and I have no desire to add to their numbers.

I easily have 20 or more colleagues that fit that description.

I’ve made jokes that the things I teach are not found on page 123 of the certified trainer books. It turns out I may have been right and didn’t know it. In an N=1 BroScience study I consulted my library and looked at page 123 of my big books on training.

NSCA Essentials of Personal Training 2nd a half page of references on nutrition.

NSCA Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning 3rd Ed (the CSCS text) covers heart rate and oxygen uptake.


NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training 4th Ed covers posture and movement assessments. (Note: I consider everything as a postural and movement assessment and am rather strict on form within the clients defined range of movement.)


ACE Personal Trainer Manual 3rd Ed (long since updated) covers estimated daily calorie needs and vegetarians. It has been awhile since I’ve had a vegetarian/vegan athlete.

ACSM Resources for the Personal Trainer 3rd Ed is a half-page of references on applied biomechanics. This was the overall closest it came to me with the alphabet organizations, and I’m not even ACSM certified, although I haven’t ruled it out as something to pursue in the future.

Without a doubt this is all important stuff to know and in my opinion are the minimum levels of trainer competency…yet I don’t look like those page 123’s.

Then there are the page 123’s of my non-CPT books…
Becoming a Supple Leopard covers back rounding and tension hunting fault as applied to the deadlift. I spend a lot of time and repetition covering the set-up to the Deadlift and hinge pattern. There are a number of key details going into the deadlift set-up before the bar even breaks the floor that make or break the lift and the lifter.


Training for Warriors demonstrates pull-up variations. Pull Ups and Deadlifts in my opinion are particularly great at making changes to body composition and are confidence builders.


Starting Strength 3rd edition is a diagram of pulling mechanics in the Deadlift.


Enter the Kettlebell covers the snatch technique. The Tsar of Hardstyle Kettlebell techniques. Before you snatch you need to know the deadlift,swing, clean and press.

Metroflex Powerbuilding covers SMR and De-loading.

Jim Stoppani’s Encyclopedia of muscle and strength covers band integration.

The non-CPT book list boils down to Barbell,Kettlebell,Bodyweight and recovery exercises. Going a bit deeper, it covers strength and power development, recovery,compound movements,applied bio-mechanics, fast and slow lifts, bi-lateral and uni-lateral movements.

I look,sound,train and educate exactly like these page 123’s.


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