November 9, 2009, 02:38PM PT in Exam Preparation Blog |
Imaginary friends make the best clients!
When I work with candidates preparing for the exam, many get stuck on the idea that they don’t have anyone to practice their knowledge on. They don’t have experience in the field. They aren’t currently working as a trainer or group fitness instructor, etc.
At ACE we talk a lot about the exam being comprehensive and application based. This means that instead of focusing on memorize and regurgitate (with the exception of anatomy), we focus on how the concepts from Chapters 5, 9, and 12 pull together to answer a client based question. Many times this is where candidates run into trouble. And this is also where your imaginary friends can come in handy (no, not the same imaginary friend you had when you were five).
The first step with programming – for personal training, group fitness, etc – is to remember that you begin in your own head. This is where you write your routine for your group exercise class, which steps follow which patterns. It is also where you write out how FITT applies to your current client and what progressions they need to be making. You don’t need to have someone in front of you to do this. In fact, it’s usually better that you don’t do this while your client is sitting there waiting!
This is where your imaginary friends come into play. Think about your co-worker, your spouse, your best friend, your child, etc. Then use them as a ‘client’. Write down their personal exercise issues and goals, their risk factors, etc. Make things up for them if you want to work on special population issues such as pregnancy. As you go through chapters 7 and 11 in the ACE Personal Trainer Manual 3rd edition, think about how you apply those principles to your client. Write up an exercise plan for them, including ideas for progression. It doesn’t matter that you won’t do the ‘hands on’ work with an actual, living person. What matters is that you thought through the process. You took the concepts and merged them together to make a plan. You ‘applied’ your knowledge. Do the same thing for chapters 8 and 11 for a strength training program.
If you are studying group fitness, you can do the same thing with chapters 6 and 7 of the ACE Group Fitness Instructor Manual. Write up your ‘class’ from walking into the classroom all the way through to turning off the music at the end. What steps do you have to lead your students through? What complications should you be watching out for?
As an ACE exam candidate, practicing the application part of your knowledge is key to passing the exam. It’s not enough to read the chapters and memorize the key words. You need to understand how to put things together; how to apply the information to an actual client. This is what the written simulation is about (for the personal trainer candidates) and what many of the multiple choice questions reference. So make up some imaginary friends, give them problems, and help them get fit!
Questions? Contact an Education Consultant at 1-888-825-3636 x782.