Last night I had my best sports training class so far.  I’ve only been teaching it for a month now, and as a new class/new time, it’s started really slow.  The numbers were very, very low in the beginning.  Yesterday I had 5 in there, which is still small, but it’s finally beginning to grow!

We had a sweaty good old time and I was just wired when I got home making it really hard to sleep.  Luckily I could sleep in a bit today… always nice.  Jacob and I head up to the lake tonight right when I get off work.  I can not wait!!!

If there is one topic I get emails about the most, it’s getting group fitness certified.  After I posted what to expect the day of your AFAA Group Fitness Certification, the emails came flooding in.  I’m happy to answer any and all question that come in, but I thought a Q & A of the most common questions would be helpful for those maybe not wanting to send an email.

So here it is…. what to expect the day of your AFAA group fitness certification, Q & A style….

What should I wear/bring the day of my certification?

Definitely wear something comfortable, and possibly a change of clothes incase you get cold/warm. I  started in shorts and a tank, thinking I’d be moving around a bunch in the beginning, but the majority of the first half was seated.  I quickly changed into a sweatshirt + long stretchy pants.  Also, wear comfortable shoes you would exercise in.

Bring a water bottle, lots of snacks and your study materials + a note book.

When you go to the certification class, do they provide you with small dumb bells to demonstrate the exercises, or are you supposed to bring your own?

During the demonstrations you basically mimic having a hand weight, but you don’t use any.  So no need to bring any along.

I liked the way you broke it down the cardio portion, but now I’m hearing we need to include dynamic stretches as well?

Yup, they’ll cover dynamic stretches when they review the cardio section that day.  I didn’t worry too much about it (I was more worried about my 3 moves), but I did include a couple shoulder rolls in there during the warm up.  It seemed to go with the flow of the moves.

For the group cardio part, on your blog you gave an example of 3 moves.. 3 minutes seems like an awful long time to repeat those three moves.  Did you add anything to them.  Same question for the warm up portion of group cardio.  Even if you do each move for 32beats, it just seems like a awful long time to just keep repeating, or is that okay… did you add any arms etc?

I basically stuck to those 3 moves, but did add in arms + made them bigger as the time went by.  I also added in a few shoulder rolls during the warm up, but kept that simple too.  It may seem boring to just do 3 moves the whole time, but it’s what they look for.  They want to see that you’re on beat and have proper form.  Nothing fancy is necessary.

Is the individual practical presentation done with music?

Yes, there is music on, but you don’t have to stay to the beat.

For the muscle groups (2 strength moves and stretches)… it says that they are done as a group.  Is literally everyone around you doing the same thing?  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of me actually having to know what’s going on?  Couldn’t you just look to see what everyone else is doing?

Yes, it’s done in a group setting.  However, depending on how large your group is, you’ll all be lined up and looking in the same direction.  You don’t have very much time to show the 2 strength moves, so knowing what you plan to do is very important.

You could look over and see what someone else is doing, but I think it would be very obvious and I don’t know if you’d have points taken off for that.

Will shrugs and upright rows work for the trapezius, rhomboids and/or latissimus dorsi group?

Shrugs yes, upright row maybe.  I’d ask the day of.  I think of upright row more for the delts, but it does work more than one muscle group.  I know I did a row and back fly for that group.

For the spine I was going to do v sit, and plank alternating leg lifts… is that okay?

Yup those are great.  Any stabilizer like planks, back extensions or abs holds like the v sit will work.

I’m wondering if people used notes when they did the practical exam?

Unfortunately, no you can’t use notes.

If I follow the study guide and do the practice test will I be good or do I need to read all the chapters in both books and watch the DVD?

If you read the chapters the study guide tells you to, and answer the questions, you’ll be good to go for the test.  The great part about having your study guide complete before the day of your certification is that it will all be review.  You’ll get to find out if you answered the questions correctly, and also get any other questions you have answered.

I didn’t buy the DVD so I can’t really speak on that.

Do they really go over everything?  Basically ensuring you will pass?

Yup, they really do.  Now, this can vary depending on the moderator you have, but I have heard from many others that they do want you to pass.  They’re really there to help you get educated so that once you are out and teaching you’re armed with as much information and skills to teach safe and effective classes.

I hope this is helpful to soon to be AFAA Primary Group Fitness Certification takers out there.  If you have any other questions along the way I’d be glad to help!

If you haven’t checked out the first post on: what to expect the day of your AFAA Primary Group Fitness Certification, be sure to do that.

Hope your Thursday is great!


8 thoughts on “q & a: what to expect the day of your AFAA group fitness certification”

  1. I took my the AFAA group exercise exam three months ago and passed the written but failed the practical. I am a former RN so I know a little about the anatomy as well as being a gym rat.

    However, I found the AFAA materials challenging. The textbook is a must have,IMHO. The textbook could have benefited by some editing. Someone could have organized the chapters in a better manner. Some things I had to look for in other online materials to clarify the textbook. Having studied to get my RN, I am used to excellent textbooks and this is not one of them.

    Nevertheless, it is important to use the study guide and do the practice test. I discovered that not everything is covered in the study guide or practice test. You really need to have an understanding of theory and not just memorize facts. There were several curve ball questions on the written that gave me pause to think harder.

    That beings said, I did pass the written, missing 12 questions. You can miss up to 20 (out of 100) and still pass.

    The practical portion was supposed to be easy. It was. However, I am an aerobics person and found it challenging. The small aerobics facility where the AFAA workshop was held was too hot and humid (no air conditioning) and that combined with little sleep the night(anxiety)worked against me. No matter how much our very kind instructor/teacher worked with me, I still flubbed. They really do want you to pass.

    The important thing besides knowing your stretches and strength moves is that the practical is done in a SAFE manner for a general population. You can flunk if you do even one of the practical strength or stretches in what is perceived to be unsafe. I received one such mark.

    I will retake the practical in one month and I plan on hiring a personal trainer to run me through the whole spiel. I want to be sure what I do is considered safe and that I have each and every strength and stretch completely memorized. Despite anxiety, if I have it burned into my brain,I likely will pass this time around. Good luck to the rest of you folks.

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