October 25, 2010, 02:51PM PT in Exam Preparation Blog |
Do I have to study the background science chapters?
Yes! Let’s talk about why it’s important...
Many candidates are a bit overwhelmed by the information they see when they first open their study materials. The ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals manual and the first four chapters of the ACE Group Fitness Instructor Manual are filled with information on foundational exercise science. This includes anatomy, exercise physiology, applied kinesiology and nutrition. Dense, vocabulary filled pages of science and stress.
And this is the point where many candidates panic, thinking they need to understand the Kreb cycle, be able to point out every possible muscle a body has (see the helpful anatomy post), and memorize the RDA of every vitamin/mineral. Do you remember, though, that this isn’t a memorization test?
In the back of your manual, Appendix B is the Exam Content Outline. This appendix outlines what information you are expected to know for the exam. If you look at Table 1 in pg 668 (Personal Trainer Manual) or pg 360 (Group Fitness Instructor Manual) you will see that there is not a specific number of questions asked on this applied exercise science area. Instead, the information you study in the first four chapters relates to/covers/encompasses the main four domains listed in the Exam Content Outline.
Your certification manual is intended as a professional resource, not just as an exam preparation tool. For this reason, it may go further in depth in some areas – such as anatomy – than you feel is relevant for the exam. However, this doesn’t mean that the background sciences are not necessary to review. Because those applied sciences in the first four chapters are considered fundamental, they come first in your reading.
The information you discuss in further chapters is based on the fundamental sciences you read about in the first four chapters/Essentials. Is it important to know how our bodies make and use energy? Yes, in the sense that it helps us design an effective peak conditioning/aerobic conditioning phase of our class with regards to intensity and time. As a personal trainer, knowing how our bodies use energy will help us design an appropriate training regimen for our client.
Will you be asked specific questions about the Kreb cycle and how pyruvate is converted into lactate? Probably not. This is not a science exam or an anatomy exam or a memorization exam. Instead, it is an application exam. How can you apply what you are reading/learning about in the first couple chapters to the information you are reading/learning about in the following chapters?
I agree that having that background exercise science information at the beginning can be challenging, but it is the best place for that foundational information. If you want to build a house, you have to put the foundation in first so you have something to build on. The same thing applies here. So keep pushing through, and remember that you can call us if you have any questions. Contact Education Services at 1-888-825-3636 x782