Hello, friends! I didn’t intend to be absent the past two days, but life has a way becoming spontaneously busy. Monday, I wasn’t feeling well. Turns out all I needed was a sweaty dose of cardio. I didn’t workout Sunday, so I think my body was just needing to cleanse itself from the extra weekend stress.
I cycled for 60 minutes (a la Karin’s spin class), ran on the ‘mill @ 8:20 pace for 20 minutes, and did ~20 minutes of strength training. As always, my daily moves are posted @ DailyMile.
Running Tuesday flew by with fun with friends. I also fit in a 30-minute run/30-minute swim and 20 minutes of weight training.
Rewinding to Sunday, I want to share my experience with the AFAA Primary Group Exercise certification. Most of you know, I’d been preparing for this day all summer since I decided to just do it and get certified to be a group exercise instructor.
Are you interested in becoming a group exercise instructor? There are many organizations in which you can get national certifications. The Aerobics and Fitness Association of America was recommended to me by the group exercise coordinator at the WREC, and I will recommend it to you.
I registered for the certification about 2 months prior to the examination date. Most do not study for as long – they suggest 1 month for someone with a full time job – but I always like to play it safe. Purchasing the textbook and study materials isn’t required, but I definitely recommend it. I think it’s worth the investment (~$110).
The AFFA certification process is an all day event. Mine was scheduled from 9:00am – 6:00pm, but I finished an hour early. As much as you may think it’d be physically exhausting, it was more mentally exhausting as you’re learning/reviewing the majority of the time.
The written exam is 100 multiple choice questions. If you fill out your study guide and pay attention during the review, you shouldn’t have any difficulty passing. (Hope I’m not speaking too soon.) You are given 1 hour to complete the exam and need to receive an 80% percent to pass. I finished the exam in approximately 30 minutes, feeling fairly confident.
There are three parts to the practical exam.
1. Group Cardio
The cardio segment is done in a group, meaning everyone is testing simultaneously. You are asked to perform a 3-minute warm-up, 5-minute higher-intensity cardio segment, and 1-minute cool-down. The examiner will instruct you when to proceed to the next portion of the routine. You must incorporate 3 separate moves in the warm-up and in the main cardio portion. It’s important to stay on beat. If you haven’t practiced this before the exam day, you will go over it and practice it beforehand.
2. Group Strength & Flexibility
The strength and flexibility is again done in a group setting. You will complete a minimum of 2 strength exercise and 1 flexibility exercise for 10 different muscle groupings. This was the toughest part of the exam for me, even though I do a fair amount of weight training. During the earlier part of the day, you will go over the muscles and joint actions that you need to know. I suggest you come feeling pretty confident about the musculoskeletal anatomy; otherwise, it could be overwhelming.
Note: We were not given any weights, rubber tubing, etc. to perform our exercises. It’s important you know the muscle locations, joint actions, and planes of the body to mimic proper moves using gravity.
Muscle Groups You’re Tested On:
- trapezius, rhomboids and/or latissimus dorsi
- deltoids (shoulders)
- biceps and/or triceps
- hip abductors (outer thigh) and/or adductors (inner thigh)
- gluteus maximus
- quadriceps and/or tibialis anterior (shin area)
- hamstrings and/or gastrocnemius/solues (calves)
- rectus abdominis and/or obliques
- erector spinae (low back)
3. Individual Presentation
The final part of practical exam is done individually. You may chose to demonstrate cardio choreography (more difficult) or a strength or flexibility move. You will go in front of the group, and in at least 1 minute (but no more than 2), you will instruct 3 levels of the exercise, including a beginner, intermediate and advanced variation.
I chose to demonstrate a squat. Choose something you’re comfortable with; I would suggest doing something you have previous experience with. (I do a lot of squats!)
During your presentation, you will want to:
- introduce yourself
- explain the exercise & muscle(s) it will benefit/strengthen
- make sure to distinguish between the 3 different variations using proper queuing
- queue and demonstrate proper form & alignment
- speak clearly and confidently
I have to wait an eternity (4-6 weeks) for my results to come in the mail. I plan to get a post or two up between now and then about what’s in the future of my fitness endeavor. Stay tuned… and feel free to ask any questions that you may have :)
Additional AFAA Testimonials & Tips
I hope you’ve found this post somewhat informative and/or helpful. If you’re interested in reading more about others’ experiences with the AFAA Primary Group Exercise certification, here are a few posts I found helpful:
- What To Expect The Day Of Your AFAA Primary Group Exercise Certification a la Get Healthy with Heather
- AFAA Primary Group Exercise Certification Tips a la The Chic Life
- Become a Fitness Instructor (4 Parts) a la A Foodie Stays Fit
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Hard to believe it’s already Workout Wednesday. This week is flying by and I have a daunting to-do list to tackle before I jet outta town for the weekend…