ACE is a synonym for American Council on Exercise, which offers certification for fitness professionals by conducting tests. ACE recommends testing and certification as it assists the council in fulfilling its mission which is primarily setting standards and protocols of professionalism and education for the fitness industry. ACE boasts of providing certification to more than 55,000 professionals across the globe since it began in 1985. This association is one of the most esteemed and required after specialized certification.
The council conducts four types of strength tests that in due course lead to certification. These include certification for
- Personal trainer
- Lifestyle and weight management consultant
- Group fitness instructor and advanced health
- Fitness specialist
While the first and third certifications are more focussed on general fitness training needs, lifestyle and weight management consultant is more directed towards various aspects of nutrition. The fourth certification involves special needs clients such as those requiring post rehabilitate fitness, elderly, pregnant women and children and thus requires 300 + hours of prior experience in carrying out the exercise programs for at-risk clients.
In order to pass the certification exam it would be nice to have an overview of what the exam consists of and what is actually needed for its preparation. The three hour test towards the certification contain 150 multiple choice questions, out of which around 25 questions are introduced on an experimental basis which do not count towards the final score. Each section counts towards the score thus contributing towards the final grade. In order to pass this certification a person should have completed at least 18 years of age and is required to study and pass the CPR certification, which is a prerequisite to become a personal trainer. A local Red Cross organisation or even a hospital may help in getting the courses necessary for CPR course. There are a number of ways one may adopt in order to pass this certification and become a successful ACE certified trainer.
#Enrol with ACE website: First is by enrolling with the ACE website and buying the various packages there. As of this writing a standard package costs around $499. This package contains the basic study guide, a sample test and an anatomy book. There are also options and one may opt for deluxe set and a premier package. The choice for the appropriate package should be done depending on one’s experience level and expertise in the said field. Once the package is decided upon, one should read through all the content thoroughly from cover to cover. The course is designed in such a manner so as to provide a good basis on physiology, injury prevention, workout designing, exercise routine chalk out and a great head start to interact with the clients so as to instil a sense of confidence from the word go. A thorough study of the course material is needed as it will not only promote a sense of self-confidence but also help to pass through certification test with better results. The study guide includes sample test, which gives a good overview and a hang of what the actual test will contain. One should never sit for the actual certification exam before having gone thoroughly through the course material.
# ACE handbook: The ACE handbook is also a good reference and can be used in a productive way to pass this certification.
# Sign in for the ACE study coach program which is a free exam study guide offering emails containing extracts from trainer manual. The mail may contain listing of key points and facts related to the certification topics.
#Practice tests: There are a number of practice tests available on the ACE website which mimic the actual content and tests. These practice tests help in evaluating one’s progress through the preparation and single out the weak areas which demand more attention.
#Enrol for ACE Math Course: ACE fitness Math Course is another tool that helps in honing math skills necessary for the certification exam. There are various mathematical skills that are necessary for calculating sat heart rate, BMI etc. of the clients.
It might take around 4-6 months to prepare for the certification exam. There is a review test that is available on the ACE website that helps in reviewing the preparation and is advisable to be taken at least a month before the actual exam.
#Veteran ACE certified trainer as a coach: Better still ask an experienced ACE veteran trainer to be your study coach. Such a coach would serve indispensable in solving queries and questions that may arise after gaining theoretical knowledge.
# Miscellaneous Sources: Besides the above sources for the preparation, some tips that may help aspiring ACE trainer are studying in a quiet place, using flash cards for memory mnemonics.
The above preparation tips might be helpful in giving a good head start to future ACE trainers. It must be noted that preparation styles and time may vary as it depends a lot on prior experience and preparation environment.