Whether you currently teach fitness classes or you’ve taken lots of classes and thought “I can do that,” fitness certification is for you. You’ll gain valuable knowledge and earn professional status – a requirement of most fitness centers.
1. Understand that there are two widely recognized certifying organizations, ACE (American Council on Exercise) and AFAA (Aerobics and Fitness Association of America).
2. Check with your aerobics director (if you are currently an instructor) to see if your club has a preference.
3. Visit health clubs where you hope to be employed if you’re not an instructor; ask if they have any advice about which certification program to choose.
4. Study hard. The ACE exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions covering anatomy, kinesiology and exercise physiology, injury prevention, effective communication, ways to instruct, and motivational skills. The AFAA test consists of a practical component and 100 multiple-choice, true/false, and matching questions. The practical part of the exam is performed before three examiners.
The exams are thorough – you need to know your stuff! Both organizations sell study guides and other materials to help prepare for the tests – use them.
Both ACE and AFAA offer other types of certification as well, including personal trainer certification. For more AFAA information, call 1-800-446-2322; for more ACE information, call 1-800-825-3636. Or visit their Web sites (see Related Sites).