Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Practice Exams by Chapter
One of the best ways to practice is to use certified strength and conditioning specialist practice exams to help you prepare.
The questions that are provided on this website are designed to help you learn concepts that are integral to having a working understanding of strength training and conditioning.
The National Strength and Conditioning Association (the organizing body for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification) wants to ensure that strength coaches know what they are talking about.
In order to check coaches’ knowledge, they fill the CSCS exam with questions that test knowledge of key principals. There are only so many ways that a question can be worded when dealing with major concepts so certified strength and conditioning specialist practice exams on this website will assess your knowledge of concepts through a variety of questions.
By taking certified strength and conditioning specialist practice exams again and again, hopefully you’ll exhaust the various ways that you could be questioned on a given concept.
Chapter 1: Structure and Function of Body Systems — This chapter contains a lot of very basic exercise science information and you absolutely need to have a good understanding of this material. Musculoskeletal System, Neuromuscular System, Cardiovascular System, Respiratory System.
Chapter 2: Biomechanics of Resistance Exercise — Covers the bones and muscles of the body, types of levers (1st, 2nd, and 3rd class levers), human strength and power.
Chapter 3: Bioenergetics of Exercise & Training — This chapter covers the basics of the various energy systems within the body: phosphagen system, glycolysis / lactic acid fermentation, and the oxidative system.
Chapter 4: Endocrine Responses to Resistance Exercise — Endocrinology and hormones. What hormones are and how they interact with various tissues of the body. Hormone responses to resistance exercise and the physiological roles of anabolic hormones.
Chapter 5: Adaptations to Anaerobic Training Programs — Definition of anaerobic training, neural adaptations to anaerobic training, physiological responses, acute and chronic adaptations of the endocrine and cardiovascular systems, potential for enhancement of muscular strength, and overtraining / detraining.
Chapter 6: Adaptations to Aerobic Endurance Training Programs — Acute and chronic responses of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems to aerobic training.
Chapter 7: Age- and Sex-Related Differences and Their Implications for Resistance Exercise — Resistance training for children, adults, and seniors. Age and gender differences in muscular function.
Chapter 8: Psychology of Athletic Preparation and Performance — Psychological states and arousal and their relationship with physical performance. Types of motivation and strategies to control psychological and physiological arousal.
Chapters 9 & 10: Basic Nutrition Factors in Health; Nutrition Strategies for Maximizing Performance — Macronutrient recommendations for athletes, calories, dietary recommendations, micronutrients, fluids and electrolytes.
Chapter 11: Performance-Enhancing Substances and Methods — Performance-enhancing drug classes and substances and their effects and risks. Dietary supplement overview.
Chapters 12 & 13: Principles of Test Selection and Administration; Administration, Scoring, and Interpretation of Selected Tests — Reasoning for athletic testing, types of tests, evaluation of test quality, and test administration guidelines.
Chapter 14: Warm-Up and Flexibility Training — Benefits and procedures of warmup, types of stretching, flexibility exercises, muscular mechanisms affecting stretch.
Chapter 15: Exercise Technique for Free Weight and Machine Training — General techniques of resistance training including grip, body positioning, breathing, weight belts, and spotting. Overview of basic resistance training exercises.
Chapter 17: Program Design for Resistance Training — Evaluation of athletes and design of resistance training program.
Chapter 18: Program Design and Technique for Plyometric Training — Physiology of plyometric training. Guidelines for safe plyometric training. Overview of stretch-shortening cycle. Overview of various plyometric exercises.
Chapter 19: Program Design and Technique for Speed and Agility Training — Movement principles, sprinting, analysis of technique. Methods of developing speed, agility, and speed-endurance.
Chapter 20: Program Design and Technique for Aerobic Endurance Training — Factors related to aerobic endurance performance, modes of aerobic training, and aerobic endurance exercise program creation.
Chapter 21: Periodization — Definition and role of periodization in strength and conditioning programs. Overview of the traditional periodization model and its constituent phases. Overview of the four sport seasons. Application of program design variables to create a periodized training program.
Chapter 22: Rehabilitation & Reconditioning — Members of the sports medicine team, types of injuries, timing and events of tissue healing, goals of each tissue healing phase, and the strength and conditioning professional’s role during injury rehab.
Chapters 23 & 24: Facility Design, Layout, and Organization; Facility Policies, Procedures and Legal Issues — Planning, designing, and building a strength and conditioning facility. Space requirements, equipment needs, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, and potential areas of risk in a strength and conditioning facility.
If you haven’t done so already, buy the Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning textbook on Amazon.
This is the main book that you’ll need to study for the Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam. While I highly recommend that you use certified strength and conditioning specialist practice exams to prepare for this test, this book is the basis for the majority of the questions on this site.
For the most part, this book is a pretty easy read. The majority of the information provided is fairly easy to understand if you possess a basic working knowledge of the human body, exercise physiology, and strength training.
To get a thorough understanding of the material, I would recommend using the certified strength and conditioning specialist practice exams on this site to get a basic overview of the topics and concepts that are important in the scientific foundations portion of the CSCS exam.
While taking practice exams, write down the questions that you have trouble with. If you get the question wrong or have a difficult time deciding on a single answer, that’s something that you’ll want to make a note of. Use the textbook to search for that topic area and then read through to increase your understanding.