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The New ACSM Guidelines Provide New Study Materials and Updated Exams!

Feito, Yuri Ph.D., M.P.H., FACSM

doi: 10.1249/FIT.0000000000000336
Columns: ACSM Certification
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Yuri Feito, Ph.D., M.P.H., FACSM,is an associate professor of exercise science at Kennesaw State University, Kennesaw, GA. As a professor, Dr. Feito’s emphasis is to provide a “bridge” between scientific knowledge and skill application. He holds ACSM’s Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist and Certified Exercise Physiologist credentials, and before his academic appointment, he was involved in the medical fitness industry as a practitioner and administrator. Follow him on Twitter @DrFeito.

As we near the closing of another year, you probably have seen the new edition of ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (GETP). If you have not, I highly encourage you to pick up a copy and read it at your leisure. The 10th edition (GETP10) has some significant changes throughout and provides the most up-to-date information on topics related to exercise testing and prescription. This edition is definitely one you want to keep close by!

In addition to GETP10, all other certification-related textbooks are currently being updated and should be available by January 1, 2018. To provide some timelines, the following books are scheduled to be published as follows:

ACSM’s Certification Review — May 2017

ACSM’s Resources for the EP — June 2017

ACSM’s Resources for the CPT — September 2017

In addition, it is important to mention that ACSM’s Resource Manual for Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, which had been an accompanying title to ACSM’s GETP, will no longer be published as a single text. Feedback from certified professionals emphasized that the book was very large and “too broad” in its scope. Thus, as a result of this feedback, ACSM will begin printing two resource manuals, one for the exercise physiologist and the other for the clinical exercise physiologist. As the names imply, each book will have a different focus and will provide both certified professionals the most up-to-date information to not only prepare for a certification exam, but also to use as a resource.

As you can see, the publication of a new set of Guidelines impacts everyone, especially those who are not certified but are hoping to become certified in the near future. With a new set of Guidelines, both the certification exams and associated study materials are re-evaluated and revised to address changes in the literature. With this in mind, all ACSM certification exams are undergoing revisions to incorporate the changes relevant to GETP10 and the revised exam will be used beginning January 1, 2018. Thus, as of January 1, all study materials not aligned with GETP10 will be incorrect and will not be adequate study materials for any of the certification exams.

So, what is the take home message?

If you are currently studying for a certification exam, plan to take the test before December 31 so you do not have to incorporate new material into your exam preparation efforts. Moreover, note that all certification study materials are currently undergoing some level of revision to adhere to the new Guidelines (GETP10).

© 2017 American College of Sports Medicine.