AFAA

Group Exercise Instructor Certification

Welcome!  I often get emailed questions about the Group Exercise Instructor Certification Practicals and Written Test.  Here are some answers to those emails…

“How long did you study prior to taking the 8 hr day course?  Is it something that takes months, or just a few weeks?”

I was really bad and crammed then night before.  I only suggest this if you are familiar with anatomy, biological processes, and functional moves to begin with.  I don’t know your background, so I’m not sure what is right for you.  If you are the average person 5 wks will definitely be enough to study the material as long as you don’t try to multitask during study time.  This test is no joke, and if you don’t know your stuff, you will fail.  I don’t mean to scare you, but that is the reality.  I’ve had 50% of my friends fail the first time they took it because they sort of studied half ass.

On the other hand, I don’t think it is enough to freak out about.  If you are not familiar with any topics above, a month of off and on studying should suffice.  It isn’t difficult material (it is all relative though).

“I only have 3 weeks to prepare for it. I wanted to get an idea of what the written exam is like. The book has a lot of information about exercise science and the energy system and all of that. Do I need to really know all that in depth? I registered for the course thinking the exam would be more general related to the group ex class but from the book it seems otherwise. Do you think I should postpone the workshop to a later day?”

I don’t know what your background is regarding anatomy and physiology so it is hard to say whether you should postpone it or not.  The exam does cover the energy cycles and muscle anatomy including joint movements.  Personally, I believe 3 weeks is long enough to study, but if you don’t think you can grasp these subjects in 3 weeks, it would be best to postpone the exam.  I’ve had friends who underestimated the exam and failed.

“Any tips for the written exam are appreciated too. I am studying from the study guide mostly… is that what you did?”

I read the important parts of the book as well as utilizing the study guide.

“Hi, will we be allowed any notes in the written exam part?”

Wouldn’t that be nice?  Unfortunately, NO!  Fortunately for you though, during the course of the workshop before you take the test, they go over a lot of material that will be on the test WITH answers.  Good luck, and study hard. 😉

“Do you have to do strength and flexibility demos for each muscle group or do you get to pick one or are assigned one?”

“Can you please tell me which moves did you use for that part of the exam?”

You have to do 2 strength exercises and 1 flexibility move for each muscle group.

No, I can’t tell you which moves I did for this part b/c quite frankly, I can’t remember.  Plus, I can’t do everything for you.  Sorry.

Before the practical, they go through all of the acceptable exercises and flexibility moves that are acceptable for like an hour.  They pretty much get drilled in your head.  Plus, you are doing them with everyone else.  If you get lost, look around and do what someone else is doing!

“Was the cardio exam in groups too?”

Yes, it was and you also go over acceptable moves for about an hour before you are actually tested.

When we are told to do 2 strength moves and one flexibility move for each grouping, I know the study guide says that we can do strength moves involving free weights. Are we given free weights? Or are we supposed to just pretend we have weights in our hands when we do the moves?

You have to “mime” the moves.  You are NOT given free weights.  You are over-thinking this!  It is a lot easier than you think it will be to pass that practical!

“I’m very nervous about getting up in front of a whole group and doing all that stuff.  I get nervous and all info goes out of my head!”

You will be fine!!!  I was really nervous, and so was mostly everyone in the class.  You are all in the same boat.  Trust me, if a former band geek with no rhythm can pass this, so can you!!

Here are my posts from my group fitness instructor certification and indoor cycling workshop so you can get an idea of how each day goes!

Email me at geekturnedathlete @ gmail dot com if you have any more questions besides these.  😉   Study hard and breathe. You WILL do just FINE!