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February 4, 2013, 12:00AM PT in Exam Preparation Blog  |  0 Comments

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

Fitness MathBecause math is used on a regular basis when working as a fitness professional, it is important for us to assess how well you understand certain mathematical concepts and their relationship to your clients’ needs. The ACE exam is in place to assess a minimal level of competency of skills and knowledge necessary for working in the industry, so it is important for us to cover as many relevant topics as possible. We understand that you will have access to formulas, calculators, computer programs and apps that will do most of these calculations for you, so the intent of having some math on the exam is not to see if you can memorize and solve complex equations; rather, the purpose is to determine if you can do basic algebra and work with percentages to apply what you are learning to real-life scenarios.

Are we allowed calculators?

Yes, we do allow candidates to use calculators during the exam. You will be given access to a calculator on the computer through the examination program.

When will we need to know this information in our career as a fitness professional?

The math equations listed on the Helpful Formulas Sheet are not only the ones you will need to know for the exam, they also are the most common equations you will use when designing training programs. Think about the types of questions your clients may ask you and you will see how these calculations fit in to your everyday life as a fitness professional. Math is also used during initial assessments to establish a base line or starting point for your programming, which gives you something to measure against to determine if your clients are achieving their desired results.

Do we need to calculate VO2max, the Mifflin-St. Jeor equation or Jackson and Pollock formula?

Although you will not be asked to calculate these equations on the exam, it is important to understand what they are used for and when you would use them. Professionally, you will want to know how to plug your client’s numbers in to these equations so you can use them when working in the field. The good news is that when out in the real world you will have the formulas with you.

By Christopher Gagliardi


Chris Gagliardi is the Study Assistance Administrator at ACE. Chris holds a BS in Kinesiology from San Diego State University, as well as a Certificate in Orthotics from Northwestern University Fienberg School of Medicine. As an ACE-certified Personal Trainer and Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach, as well as a NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and NASM certified personal trainer, Chris takes great pride in sharing his enthusiasm for fitness with others and is committed to life time of learning. The idea of leading a healthy lifestyle was first introduced to Chris at the age of 12 when his father brought him to the gym for the first time. This first gym experience ignited a passion for life long fitness that would only grow stronger as the years went on. Chris has worked in the field of Health and Fitness in many capacities over the past 10 years, working with both youth and adult populations.