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Posts found under "Exam Content" within Exam Preparation Blog

Mastering Group Fitness Instructor Teaching Techniques, Strategies and Cueing

By Jessie Newell on Monday, September 08, 2014


Are you feeling overwhelmed by the various teaching and cueing techniques presented in Chapter 4 of the ACE Group Fitness Instructor Manual? This blog provides the clarification you need to understand the various teaching techniques and strategies, as well as how to cue effectively, so you can feel confident on both the exam and in front of your classes.




Math as a Fitness Professional: Part II

By Jessie Newell on Friday, April 18, 2014


Nutrition-related math can be a stumbling block for many exam candidates, but it really doesn’t have to be. Being able to determine things like caloric deficits and macronutrients needs is important, whether your clients are trying to lose weight or maximize performance. Here are the types of problems and calculations you need to know to perform, both for the exam and in your work with clients later on.




Physiological Assessments: Anthropometric Measurements

By Jessie Newell on Friday, April 11, 2014


Knowing which assessments to use on your clients—and when—is an important part of being a fitness professional. After all, assessments can go a long way toward showing your clients the progress they are making—or, if used incorrectly, can be a source of discouragement. In this first of a four-part series, a variety of anthropometric measurements are discussed, along with guidance on how and when to use them.




Legal Responsibility

By Makeba Edwards on Friday, March 28, 2014


Do you understand what your legal responsibilities entail as a fitness professional? Do you understand what types of insurance you need to protect yourself in the event of a lawsuit? Not only do you need to know this information for the ACE exam, but it is especially important for your work as a fitness professionals. Learn about established standard of care and the different types of insurance that can help keep you protected if a client gets hurt.




Health Coach Helper: Lesson 6

By Jessie Newell on Friday, February 28, 2014


Jessie, a Study Coach in the ACE Resource Center, is preparing to take the ACE Health Coach Certification Exam and is blogging about her experience and sharing her study tips. Here is her sixth installment, featuring Chapters 11 and 12, which cover the assessments you should perform with a client prior to, and throughout, an exercise program.




Everything You Need To Know About Musculoskeletal Injury

By Makeba Edwards on Monday, February 24, 2014


Whether or not a person is physically active, the possibility of musculoskeletal injury is always present. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize the risk, but should an injury happen, it is essential that fitness professionals know how to adjust their clients’ programs accordingly. Here are some of the most common musculoskeletal injuries you might see, as well as information on how to respond to both preexisting and acute injuries.




How to Review a Client’s Food Journal

By Jessie Newell on Friday, February 07, 2014


As a fitness professional, it is essential that you stay within your scope of practice, particularly in the area of nutrition. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t help guide your clients toward making healthier choices. Research suggests that food journals are one of the best ways to increase awareness and help identify areas of less-than-healthy behaviors related to food. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to helping your clients utilize this effective tool.




Health Coach Helper: Lesson 4

By Jessie Newell on Friday, January 17, 2014


When it comes to studying for your ACE Certification Exam, it can be helpful to have a study partner to keep you motivated and focused on your goals. Jessie, a Study Coach in the ACE Resource Center, is preparing to take the ACE Health Coach Certification Exam and is blogging about her experience and sharing her study tips. Here is her fourth installment, which covers chapters 8 and 9, which focus on the physiology of obesity and weight-management concepts.




Axis of Rotation

By Makeba Edwards on Wednesday, November 20, 2013


If you’re having trouble understanding the concept of the axis of rotation, here is a great primer on this somewhat complex concept. Learn about the three axes of rotation and the various types of movements that occur at different types of joints.




ACE Health Coach Helper: Lesson 1

By Jessie Newell on Thursday, October 31, 2013


Are you studying for your ACE Health Coach Exam and want a study partner to keep you motivated and focused on your goals? Jessie, the new Study Coach in the ACE Resource Center, is preparing to take the ACE Health Coach Certification Exam and will be blogging about her experience and sharing her study tips over the next several weeks. Here is her first blog.




Muscles in Motion

By Makeba Edwards on Friday, October 25, 2013


To design safe and effective exercise programs for your clients, you must have a good working knowledge of how muscles move and contract. Here is a great primer on the various actions that muscles perform, along with the roles and responsibilities muscles take on when they move various parts of the body, particularly during exercise.




Special Considerations for Training in Cold Weather

By Christopher Gagliardi on Monday, October 14, 2013


Environmental conditions are important to consider when designing an exercise program. In this blog, we take a closer look at the implications of exercising in the cold, and how fitness professionals can design programs that are safe for their clients—even on winter’s coldest days.




Muscles That Move the Arm

By Bindi Delaney on Wednesday, September 25, 2013


As a fitness professional, you need a good working knowledge of anatomy so you can design safe and effective exercise programs for your clients. You need to know this information to be able to pass your exam as well. In this second installment of an ongoing series, we look at the muscles that move the arm at the shoulder, elbow and wrist joints.




Muscles That Move the Scapulae

By Bindi Delaney on Friday, September 13, 2013


As a fitness professional, you need a good working knowledge of anatomy so you can design safe and effective exercise programs for your clients. As a result, you also need to know this information to be able to pass your exam as well. In the first of an ongoing series, we’ll look at the movements of numerous body parts, beginning with the muscles that move the scapulae.




Everything You Need To Know About Risk Stratification

By Bindi Delaney on Friday, August 30, 2013


Do you have a good working knowledge of risk stratification and how to use it to assess your clients’ risk of heart disease? Risk stratification is an important health assessment that all fitness professionals must be familiar with, both for the exam and in their careers. Here’s what you need to know about this essential screening tool.




What do I really need to know from ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals manual?

By Bindi Delaney on Wednesday, June 19, 2013


If you’re just starting to study for your ACE certification exam, you might be feeling overwhelmed by the volume of material you need to absorb and understand, beginning with ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals. Here is a chapter-by-chapter guide to tackling this foundational manual, along with tips on what information you should be focusing on for the exam.




The Three Primary Energy Pathways Explained

By Christopher Gagliardi on Friday, April 19, 2013


Are you struggling to understand the primary energy pathways and how the body uses the energy formed from each system? Here’s a quick breakdown of the phosphagen, anaerobic and aerobic pathways that fuel the body through all types of activity.




How Much Should My Clients Lift?

By Bindi Delaney on Thursday, April 04, 2013


Resistance training offers so many health and fitness benefits, but it can be a challenge to know exactly how much each client should be lifting to achieve maximum benefits while also avoiding injury. Here is a great primer on how to determine a client’s 1 repetition maximum and use this information to help him or her achieve her fitness goals.




Training for Balance, Training for Life

By Christopher Gagliardi on Thursday, March 28, 2013


Balance is essential for all human movement and movement and is necessary for all activities of daily living. Therefore, it should be considered a foundational component of all programming and trained early in the exercise program once core function has been established. Learn the mechanical principles related to balance and how to manipulate training variables to help your clients achieve not only better balance, but improved fitness and quality of life as well.




How to Use the Transtheoretical Model to Help Clients Make Healthy Behavioral Changes

By Alexandra Link on Wednesday, March 06, 2013


Having a good working knowledge of the Transtheoretical Model of Behavioral Change is not only important for your certification exam, but in your work as a fitness professional as well. Identifying which stage each of your clients is in will help you better understand how your clients are feeling about adopting positive lifestyle changes, and how you can help them progress through the stages of change.




How much math do we need to know for the exam? And why do we need to know it?

By Christopher Gagliardi on Monday, February 04, 2013


The math section of the certification exam can be a source of major anxiety. To help calm your nerves and clear up any misunderstandings, ACE answers your frequently asked questions about fitness math.




Considerations for Working with Clients With Diabetes

By Bindi Delaney on Monday, January 28, 2013


With the dramatic rise in diabetes among Americans, it is increasingly likely that you will work with clients dealing with this disease. All fitness professionals should have a good understanding of the special considerations for working with this specific clientele.




How should I study anatomy?

By Bindi Delaney on Monday, January 07, 2013


For the many exam candidates who are overwhelmed by the anatomy content, ACE Study Coach Belinda Thompson shares how - and how much - you should study anatomy in preparation for the ACE certification exam.




What are the different types of stretching techniques?

By Makeba Edwards on Monday, November 19, 2012


ACE Certification Consultant Makeba Edwards discusses the six common stretching techniques and examples of each.




Nutrition and Supplementation: A Fitness Professional’s Scope of Practice

By Bindi Delaney on Monday, November 12, 2012


Clients often turn to their trainers for nutritional advice, so it is essential that you understand exactly what is and is not allowed within a fitness professional’s scope of practice as it relates to nutrition.




Health Risk Appraisal and Risk Stratification

By Michael Davis on Monday, November 05, 2012


As a fitness professional, you must know how to perform a Health Risk Appraisal for your clients. This systematic screening will help you identify signs and symptoms of disease, risk factors and family history that will give you a clearer picture of each client's overall health. While there are several forms you can use, the basic ParQ & You and the ACSM Risk Stratification are two of your most important tools for assessing your clients' readiness for exercise.




What is the Thomas Test?

By Mark Kelly on Monday, October 08, 2012


ACE Exercise Physiologist Mark Kelly discusses how to administer the Thomas Test, as well as what mistakes to avoid when performing the assessment.




Set it Straight!

By Sarah Ramirez on Monday, October 01, 2012


A guide to postural deviations by ACE Education and Certification Consultant Sarah Ramirez.




Predicted 1 RM vs. Actual 1 RM

By Tyler Pagano on Monday, September 17, 2012


As a trainer, performing proper assessments is essential to program development and evaluation. Muscular strength testing plays a major role in a client’s muscular fitness assessment, making it critical to know the difference between actual 1 RM and predicted 1 RM. Learn from ACE’s Tyler Pagano as he discusses the difference between the two and when to utilize each assessment technique.




What's the Difference between Autogenic and Reciprocal Inhibition?

By Christopher Gagliardi on Tuesday, September 04, 2012


Autogenic and reciprocal inhibition occur when the GTO and muscle spindes activate as a response to muscle tension and length. Learn from ACE's Chris Gagliardi as he discusses the difference between the two and how they apply to flexibility and stretching.




Explaining the Planes of Motion

By Makeba Edwards on Monday, August 27, 2012


You probably already know that your body doesn’t move in one dimension. It moves in, out, front, back and side-to-side. But do you know what those dimensions are called? Check out our explanation of the different planes of motion, and how you can apply that information to designing well-rounded exercise programs.




What is Body Mass Index (BMI) and Can I Rely on It?

By Brian Greenlee on Monday, August 13, 2012


Confused about Body Mass Index? Here’s some detailed information about how to calculate it, and an explanation about why the skinfold measurement may be more accurate for some of your muscle-bound clients or those with an athletic build.




What You Need to Know about Pregnancy and Exercise

By Alexandra Link on Monday, May 28, 2012


As a soon-to-be personal trainer, you will likely one day be asked to work with a pregnant client. It’s important to know and understand this special population as best as possible to ensure the safety and effectiveness of their exercise experience. Use this blog as a starting point for learning some of the ins and outs of pregnancy and exercise.




Anatomy of Multiple-Choice Tests

By Michael Mantell on Monday, April 02, 2012


Ever since Frederick J. Kelly, in 1914, at the University of Kansas, invented this approach, students have struggled with no real clue how to approach and analyze multiple-choice questions. Some people create so much stress and anxiety over these tests that they continually postpone taking it. To help you overcome anxiety and succeed, you simply need to understand the system behind multiple-choice tests.




What Is Rapport and Why Is It So Important?

By Alexandra Link on Monday, March 26, 2012


You’ve probably heard the word rapport before but maybe never thought much about its meaning and its importance. If you’re like me then you had heard the word, but never knew how to spell it properly. Read on to learn more about the significance of rapport — and its proper spelling.




Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? ACE Certification Exam Math Refresher

By Brian Greenlee on Monday, February 13, 2012


What’s one thing you can learn from a 5th grader? Math doesn’t have to be that scary! Whether it’s been a few years since you last formally practiced math or whether you’re just in need of a bit of a refresher, check out these helpful formulas and math tips to help you successfully prepare for your ACE certification exam.




The 3-Step System for Delivering Amazing Group Fitness Classes

By Shannon Fable on Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Are you on your way to becoming an ACE Group Fitness Instructor? Put the content of Chapters 3 & 4 of the ACE 3rd edition GFI manual into practice with this 3-step system for planning and delivering amazing group fitness classes!




Answers to 6 Popular Questions About the Exam Content Outline

By Alexandra Link on Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Perhaps you have heard or read the term ‘Exam Content Outline’ but do you know what it is and how to use it to be successful in studying for your ACE Exam?





How was the ACE Integrated Fitness Training™ Model Created?

By Todd Galati on Tuesday, October 25, 2011


To truly understand how the ACE Integrated Fitness Training (ACE IFT™) Model was created, let’s first review why it was created. Learn more about the ACE IFT Model and how it was developed.




Who Is the ACE Group Fitness Instructor and Should I Become One?

By Leslie Mansour on Monday, September 12, 2011


The two most common questions I receive from individuals who are studying for an exam or selecting between certifications are: “What is the difference between the ACE-Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) and Group Fitness Instructor (GFI)?” and “Which certification is best suited for me?” Find out who the GFI is, and if it's the right profession for you.




The Fick Equation

By April Merritt on Monday, June 27, 2011


The Fick equation. You may have read about it in your Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professional’s book (page 228) or heard about it on the street, but do you really understand it?




Psst! Want to know what’s on the test?

By April Merritt on Tuesday, June 07, 2011


Want to know what’s on your certification exam? Check out Appendix B in the back of your manual – it’s all there! That’s right; the Exam Content Outline (Appendix B) is the blueprint to passing the exam.




Little GTO

By April Merritt on Monday, May 23, 2011


Proprioception. It’s that little sense that lets you know where the body is in relation to its various segments and the external environment. Also known as kinesthetic awareness. You have receptors (proprioceptors) located in the skin, in and around the joints and muscles, and in the inner ear that send back information to tell you where you are.




Hands on Testing

By April Merritt on Monday, May 09, 2011


Practical testing. It is a topic that occasionally comes up when discussing exam preparation. For the most part, people express the opinion that practical testing is the way to go. There is a belief that a multiple choice test cannot possibly measure all aspects of personal training and that all personal trainer exams should have a practical section where candidates can really show what they know. While this all sounds good in theory, have you considered what a practical test involves?




Reading other people's diaries (food diaries, that is)

By April Merritt on Monday, April 11, 2011


Nutrition and scope of practice is, and will continue to be, a tricky area for ACE candidates and professionals. We’ve talked before about the limits of your certification with regards to nutrition, but I wanted to specifically address food diaries in this post.




Anatomy - The Movie

By April Merritt on Monday, April 04, 2011


I know we talk about anatomy a lot on this blog (see here and here) but that is because anatomy is a challenging and anxiety producing subject for many candidates.




Group Fitness Instructor - It's not all about you!

By April Merritt on Monday, March 14, 2011


Really, it’s about your participants. When you review the Group Fitness Instructor Exam Content Outline you’ll notice that the two largest categories are Group Instructional Methods (37%) and Group Leadership (29%).




Stability and Mobility

By April Merritt on Monday, January 31, 2011


Stability and mobility are the cornerstones of Phase 1 of the Functional Movement and Resistance Training part of the Integrated Fitness Training model (IFT). We’re going to start with discussing the basics – the five programming components of mobility and stability. And just like with the IFT model, we need to understand the basics before we can move on.




Understanding VT1 and VT2

By April Merritt on Monday, January 10, 2011


Ventilatory threshold is introduced in the ACE 4th edition Personal Trainer Manual as a way to measure a client’s intensity during exercise. Vt1 and VT2 play a role in the ACE Integrated Fitness Training Model, specifically as transition points between zones 1, 2 and 3 of cardiovascular training.




Periodization and the Adult Client

By April Merritt on Monday, December 13, 2010


Personal trainers can play a key role in helping clients stay motivated by designing and modifying programs to introduce variety and work toward goal attainment. Periodization is one method for achieving this.




Domain 4 - Professional Role and Responsibility

By April Merritt on Monday, November 08, 2010


Each of our professional certifications has a Domain 4 in their Exam Content Outline – even though the wording and tasks may vary slightly from manual/certification to certification. In the grand scheme of your Exam Content Outline, Domain 4 is a relatively small domain – worth 7% - 15% based on which exam you are taking. But that small size doesn’t diminish the importance of Domain 4 for you as a professional.




Calories to Burn

By April Merritt on Monday, October 11, 2010


Your client wants to lose 20 lbs in the next 15 weeks. Or maybe you have a client who wants to lose 25 lbs in the next 20 weeks. Where do you start? What caloric deficit do they need to achieve this goal? Are they burning calories by exercising as well?




Anatomy - Insert what? Originate where?

By April Merritt on Monday, September 27, 2010


Ahhh, anatomy…everyone’s favorite subject. It may be because anatomy comes first in your studies, or maybe because it’s so in depth, but anatomy seems to be the first and sometimes biggest frustration for candidates.




The ACE Integrated Fitness Training Model - Nuts and Bolts

By April Merritt on Monday, June 28, 2010


The big picture starts with the health–fitness–performance continuum. Next, the ACE IFT model breaks down the continuum into four distinct phases ranging from beginning fitness enthusiast to advanced fitness performance. Which phase your client fits into depends primarily on their current fitness level. Learn the nuts and bolts of the new ACE IFT Model.




The ACE IFT Model - The Introduction

By April Merritt on Monday, June 21, 2010


The ACE Integrated Fitness Training Model is an important part of the ACE 4th edition Personal Trainer manual/materials. This is going to be the first of a couple blog posts talking about the IFT model. Today starts us off at the beginning with an overview and ‘bigger picture’ look at the IFT model.




Use the Force! Dealing with Resistive and Motive Forces.

By April Merritt on Monday, May 10, 2010


A motive force causes an increase in speed or a change in direction. A resistive force resists the motion of another external force.




Obey the Law! The Laws of Motion, That Is.

By April Merritt on Monday, April 19, 2010


If you’ve reviewed kinesiology and/or biomechanics in your studies, you should already be familiar with our mathematician friend Isaac Newton.




The Heart of the Matter: the Cardiovascular System

By April Merritt on Monday, March 22, 2010


The cardiovascular system. We’ve all got one. We all know circulation of blood is fundamental to our survival. But what is the primary purpose of the cardiovascular system? And why is it so important?




Food Labels and You

By April Merritt on Monday, March 01, 2010


Nutrition, along with physical activity, is a cornerstone of weight management. Understanding food labels is part of applying nutrition to your daily life. It is also something you may see during the certification exam.




Desired Body Weight: How to Get There From Here

By April Merritt on Monday, February 22, 2010


In preparing for your exam, one number you want to be familiar with is 3500. That is, 1 pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories.




The Weighty Subject of Body Composition

By April Merritt on Monday, February 15, 2010


Body composition testing and evaluation is a popular subject among exercising individuals. Everyone wants to know how fat or lean they are and how soon they can lose the weight. As an exam candidate, you are presented with a wide variety of options.




Talking about Nutrition

By April Merritt on Monday, January 18, 2010


Nutrition and exercise go hand in hand for fitness professionals and it's an important topic to grasp. As candidates preparing for an ACE exam, you review both topics, although exercise takes the bulk of study information for everyone except Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant candidates.




Dissecting Multiple Choice Questions

By April Merritt on Monday, January 11, 2010


Understanding how multiple choice questions are created can benefit you as a candidate by making an exam seem less confusing and scary when you first open it up. You’re more prepared for the questions and can put more focus into the content rather than trying to understand how questions are set up.




Code of Ethics

By April Merritt on Monday, January 04, 2010


When preparing to become an ACE certified professional, it is important to study up on the topics and code of ethics covered under the professional responsibility umbrella.




Muscular Strength and Muscular Endurance

By April Merritt on Monday, December 14, 2009


Muscular strength and muscular endurance are qualities that often go hand in hand. When we are testing/evaluation clients we focus a lot on body composition and then sometime cardiovascular tests. Is it really necessary to see how strong our clients are before we start them out?




The way clients learn...

By April Merritt on Monday, November 02, 2009


People learn in a variety of ways, learn how to teach your clients new skills and habits whether they're a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner.




Special Populations

By April Merritt on Monday, October 19, 2009


With so many special populations, where should I focus my studies?




Absolute and Relative VO2

By April Merritt on Monday, July 13, 2009


Are you absolutely confused about relative VO2?




Planes of Motion

By April Merritt on Monday, July 06, 2009


It's a bird...it's a plane...it's planes of motion!