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Monday, February 15, 2010

AFAA Personal Training Certification *Part #1*

Well this past weekend I attended a 3 day workshop hosted by UCF for AFAA's Personal Training v3 Certification, presented by Dr. Dorette Nysewander.

For those of you interested in pursuing your personal training certification, I highly recommend AFAA's 3day workshop. I found it a little nerve wracking not knowing exactly what to expect for the test and the 3 days so I wanted to share the experience with others looking to pursue their certification.

Definitely do not wait until the last minute to register. If you are new to the fitness world (Anatomy, Physiology, Kinesiology) you should register 5-10 months in advance based on your availability to study and your study habits.

For your registration, you can register online with
or call them directly (1-877-968-7263). I called in my registration as I wanted to speak to a representative about the test and study materials.

Study Materials:
AFAA offers several study packages for your convenience depending on your knowledge level or study habits. You can buy just the Personal Training Textbook or you can purchase the Personal Training Study Package (includes textbook, DVD & practice test). I would recommend the Study Package (cost is $119) as it is a better investment in your success.

Prior to 3 Day Workshop:
DO NOT WAIT until the workshop to study. Definitely read through the textbook thoroughly and carefully. Take the practice test a few times to familiarize yourself with the format of the test questions. There is a lot of information in the textbook, so the more time you have to allow the information to sink in, the better.

Workshop Day #1:
The workshop began at 1pm with registration. I went during AFAA's APEX Sale, so there was a large group of us there for the workshop. Be sure to get there early in regards to parking (Parking on a college campus is a hassle). Familiarize yourself with the location of where your parking, walking and where some good food spots are. (Your breaks won't be long enough for you to venture out and find something) On the first day, AFAA's presenter will introduce themselves and explain how the next 3 days will work. After that, we dove right into the text and began the lectures. There was a series of lectures interspersed with practical learning and breaks of course. Dr. Nysewander was very thorough and informative with topics that can be tricky such as kinesiology, anatomy etc. After the lectures, there is a review of practical information such as the fitness assessments. AFAA's presenter will take you through the protocols for doing all fitness assessments. You will learn how to administer the 3 Minute Step Test, the Sit & Reach Test, Push-Up Test, Partial Curl-Up Test and Body Fat Assessment with Calipers.
This first day is going to be overwhelming whether you have studied for months, weeks or days. There is so much information crammed into those 8 hours by the end of the day you will be mentally exhausted. The first day ended at 8:30pm. I personally didn't study the first night as it was so much information, I just went straight to bed.

Workshop Day #2:
The second day starts at 8am. There is a great deal of lectures in this day. Around 10am is another practical. This practical revolves around progression of exercises and variation of exercises. For example, for a squat we began with squatting in and out of a chair, then squatting and holding above the chair, then squatting freely, then squatting against a wall, squatting against a wall with a stability, partner squatting etc. After the practicum there were more lectures. There was another review of the protocol for fitness assessments and the day ended at 8pm.

Workshop Day #3:
The final day starts at 8am. This day is judgment day. Having studied a little bit the night before will help boost your confidence. The test is not until after lunch, so there are still some lectures and demonstrations to do prior to the test.
There are one or two lectures in the morning. Then there is a practicum in the gym (takes about 2 hours total). The presenter will take you through proper technique on various fitness equipment found in the gym. After the initial demonstration, you break off into partners for practical application of instructing your partner aka 'client' on proper technique and form of the weight machines. The presenter will come around and monitor your progress, give tips etc. The practicum ends with a review of situational circumstances such as different clients and how you would design a program for them. For example, a baseball player with shoulder impingement syndrome, a pregnant woman wanting to work her abdominals, a client with osteoporosis, an obese individual wanting to strengthen their legs etc.
The practicum ends at noon for lunch. Our presenter gave the option for several individuals to take the practicum portion of the exam during the lunch break.
After lunch were several more lectures pertaining to business, special populations and injury prevention. After these lectures was a review and the test was administered.

Please see Part #2 & Part #3 for additional information on AFAA's Personal Training Certification.


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    I would only have a month to study the manual.

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