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ACE FAQs

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Accreditation     Top

Q: What’s the benefit of holding an NCCA-accredited ACE certification?

A:

Earning a certification accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) means that you as a fitness professional have the knowledge and appropriate level of professional recognition to hold a legitimate place on the healthcare continuum. It makes you more attractive to potential employers and should positively impact your compensation. Accreditation of a credentialing organization by NCCA is the standard for a large majority of well-respected allied health care professionals, including those in nursing, nutrition and athletic training, to name a few.



Q: What if I already have a certification that isn’t accredited by the NCCA?

A:

In 2005, the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) recommended club owners only hire personal trainers with certifications from agencies accredited through the NCCA or an equivalent accrediting organization. You can read more about that recommendation here. We encourage you to pursue an ACE certification.



Q: When did ACE earn its NCCA accreditation?

A:

ACE earned NCCA accreditation for all four of our core certifications (Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Health Coach, and Medical Exercise Specialist) in 2003. Our organization is one of a few select certifying organizations in the entire fitness industry whose core certifications have all been accredited.



Q: What ACE certifications are accredited by the NCCA?

A:

All four of our core certifications (Personal Trainer, Group Fitness Instructor, Health Coach, and Medical Exercise Specialist) are accredited by the NCCA.




ACE Professional Benefits     Top

Q: How can I promote my credential using the ACE logo?

A:

Although we encourage our fitness professionals to use the ACE-certified logo, we ask that you follow a few guidelines so that we can ensure the integrity of our brand stays intact. Before integrating it into your promotional materials, we encourage you to download our Logo Usage Guide from the ACE ProSite, which is also where you may access logo files.

  • Properly identify your ACE certification (ie: ACE-certified Group Fitness Instructor, ACE-certified Health Coach)
  • Use only on business cards, stationary or brochures that promote you personally using an ACE certification you’ve earned. Misrepresentation is a breach of the ACE Code of Ethics and subject to disciplinary action.
  • Only use in full color (as provided by ACE) or in black ink only.



CEC Petition     Top

Q: Why do I have to petition?

A:

ACE Certified Professionals are required to complete 20 hours of continuing education (2.0 CECs) per two-year recertification cycle. Some of the ways this can be accomplished:

ACE Courses: ACE courses completed via a MyACE account will apply directly to the account upon completion

Pre-Approved Courses: Third party courses that have been by ACE will provide the ACE Certified Professional with a (CEP) course number to enter into their MyACE account by clicking on 'Enter and Track my CECs' to redeem the CECs. Example: Live Workshops, Distance Learning or Blended (online and live) Learning, Conferences

Petitions: If you have taken a continuing education course within your current ACE recertification cycle that has not been formally ACE-approved, but is applicable to your ACE certification, you may be able to petition the course for credits. Examples: Live Workshops, Distance Learning or Blended (online and live) Learning, Conferences, College Courses, Additional NCCA-accredited Certifications.

  1. Petitions must be submitted via a MyACE account
  2. Course completion date must be within the dates of the recertification cycle
  3. Submissions must be complete.

ACE professionals must carefully read the course petition requirements and only submit if you have ALL the required information. It is your responsibility to obtain the all the information to complete the petition.

Incomplete petitions will be denied (re-submission will require re-payment of non-refundable processing fee).



Q: How long will it take for ACE to review my petition?

A:

ACE will review your completed submission within 30 days of receipt.

Once your petition has been reviewed, you will receive an email notification on the outcome (Approved or Denied).

Incomplete petitions will result in a denial. Resubmissions will require re-payment of processing fee. 

ACE does not expedite the review of petitions.

ACE processes petitions on a first come, first served basis. If your certification has expired, or is about to expire, please contact the Educational Services team regarding recertification: (888) 825-3636 ext 782.



Q: How much does it cost to submit a petition for review?

A:
  • Live Workshop
  • Distance Learning
  • Blended Learning (online and live components)
  • Conference

$25 non-refundable processing fee per course 

Processing fee applies to each submission including re-submissions due to incomplete information.

  • College Course
  • Additional NCCA-accredited Certification
$0 (fee is waived)


Q: What are the required qualifications for the author and instructor of the course?

A:

To receive ACE approval for a petitioned course, the full name of the author and the name of the instructor must be included along with their verifiable credential. Acceptable credentials include:

  1. A bachelor's degree in exercise science or a health-related field
    1. OR a four-year degree in a business-related field (ONLY applicable for business workshops pertinent to a fitness professional)
  2. A current NCCA-accredited fitness certification (ACE, AAPTE, ACTION, ACSM, AFAA-CGFI, CSCCa, IFPA, NASM, NCCPT, NCSF, NESTA, NETA, NFPT, NSCA, PMA, PTAG, WITS)
    1. OR a current E-RYT 200, or higher depending on course, credential (ONLY application for yoga courses)

The subject matter taught must be within the ACE Certified Professional's Scope of Practice:

  1. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT "diagnose?
  2. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT "prescribe?
  3. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT "prescribe diets or recommend specific supplements?
  4. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT "treat? injury or disease
  5. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT "monitor? progress for medically referred clients
  6. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT "rehabilitate?
  7. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT "counsel?
  8. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT work with "patients?

Instruction must take place in a structured learning environment:

  1. Provides clear learning objectives that an ACE Certified Professional can implement with his/her clients
  2. Provides a clear assessment of learning objectives


Q: What course topics will ACE consider for a petition?

A:

ACE approves courses in a variety of topics including, but not limited to anatomy, body composition, business management, chronic conditions, communication and motivation, cueing and choreography, exercise physiology, exercise programming, fitness assessments, injury prevention, instructional techniques, nutrition, post-rehab programming, specialty class formats and weight management. The completed course must be applicable to your ACE certification and must be within the scope of practice for ACE Certified Professionals.

Course topics not eligible for ACE CECs include those which:

  • Prepare students to take ACE certification exams (i.e. exam prep workshops)
  • Are positioned or titled as core certifications that do not hold NCCA accreditation (i.e. personal trainer, group fitness instructor)
  • Are redundant to the experience and education of ACE Certified Professionals (i.e. ACE Personal Trainer will not receive CECs for earning another Personal Trainer certification)
  • Prepare students for a different field (i.e. massage) or are beyond the scope of practice for ACE Certified Professionals (i.e. manual therapy, meal-planning)
  • Do not demonstrate a structured learning environment, complete with learning objectives (i.e. workouts that do not include an instructional component)


Q: How do I submit a petition for a Live Workshop?

A:

If you have completed a live workshop within the dates of your recertification cycle, first confirm that the course has not already been pre-approved by ACE. If the course was pre-approved, the Provider of the course will give you their (CEP) course number to redeem in your MyACE account (click on "Enter and Track my CECs?)

CEC PETITION CHECKLIST

Once you are sure the course has not been pre-approved, confirm that you have everything from the checklist before you submit your petition.
Incomplete petitions will be denied (re-submission will require re-payment of non-refundable processing fee).

  1. Provider Information about the organization who created/is providing the training
  2. Course Information (Upload Course Timeline/Syllabus)
    1. Pay special attention to scope of practice guidelines
  3. Author Information (first and last name along with credential that meets required criteria)
  4. Instructor Information (first and last name along with credential that meets required criteria)
  5. Upload Certificate of Completion from the provider showing the dates that you successfully completed the course
  6. Petition to Cart (Submit non-refundable processing fee of $25)
  7. Petition will be reviewed within 30 days of submission

If you find that the attachments are too large to attach to the petition, and you are unable to resize them:

  • Attach a document stating that you will email the larger files to support@acefitness.org
  • You must put the title of the petition in the subject line and indicate that they are supplemental files for review.
  • If you do not send the email with the files attached the petition will be denied as incomplete.


Q: How do I submit a petition for a Distance Learning or Blended Learning Course?

A:

If you have completed an online course within the dates of your recertification cycle, first confirm that the course has not already been pre-approved by ACE. If the course was pre-approved, the Provider of the course will give you their (CEP) course number to redeem in our MyACE account (click on "Enter ad Track my CECs?).

CEC PETITION CHECKLIST

Once you are sure the course has not been pre-approved, confirm that you have everything from the checklist before you submit your petition.
Incomplete petitions will be denied (re-submission will require re-payment of non-refundable processing fee).

  1. Provider Information about the organization who created/is providing the training
  2. Course Information (Upload Course Timeline/Syllabus)
    1. Be sure to include video run times
    2. Pay special attention to scope of practice guidelines
  3. Author Information (first and last name along with credential that meets required criteria)
  4. Instructor Information (may be same as the author)
  5. Upload Certificate of Completion from the provider showing the dates that you successfully completed the course
  6. Petition to Cart (Submit non-refundable processing fee of $25)
  7. Petition will be reviewed within 30 days of submission

If you find that the attachments are too large to attach to the petition, and you are unable to resize them:

  • Attach a document stating that you will email the larger files to support@acefitness.org
  • You must put the title of the petition in the subject line and indicate that they are supplemental files for review.
  • If you do not send the email with the files attached the petition will be denied as incomplete.


Q: How do I submit a petition for a Conference?

A:

If you attended a conference within the date of your recertification cycle, first confirm that the conference has not already been pre-approved by ACE. If the course was pre-approved, the Provider of the course will give you their (CEP) course number to redeem in your MyACE account (click on "Enter and Track my CECs?).

CEC PETITION CHECKLIST

Once you are sure the conference has not been pre-approved, confirm that you have everything from the checklist before you submit your petition.
Incomplete petitions will be denied (re-submission will require re-payment of non-refundable processing fee).

  1. Provider Information about the organization putting on the conference
  2. Course Information
    1. Upload Conference Listing of sessions that you attended along showing the presenter for each with their credential
    2. Pay special attention to scope of practice guidelines
  3. Author Information (first and last name of a presenter along with credential that meets required criteria)
  4. Instructor Information (first and last name of a presenter along with credential that meets required criteria)
  5. Upload Certificate of Completion from the provider showing the dates that you successfully completed the course
  6. Petition to Cart (Submit non-refundable processing fee of $25)
  7. Petition will be reviewed within 30 days of submission

If you find that the attachments are too large to attach to the petition, and you are unable to resize them:

  • Attach a document stating that you will email the larger files to support@acefitness.org
  • You must put the title of the petition in the subject line and indicate that they are supplemental files for review.
  • If you do not send the email with the files attached the petition will be denied as incomplete.


Q: How do I receive CECs from a college course?

A:

If you have completed a college course from an accredited university or college, within the dates of your recertification cycle, you have the option to submit it to ACE to earn CECs. ACE does not award CECs for diplomas.

Only one submission will be reviewed. Multiple college course petition submissions will be cancelled without review.

CEC PETITION CHECKLIST

Read this before submitting:

  1. Ensure that you are logged in to your MyACE account and click on "Petition for CECs?
    • Chrome is the recommended web browser
  2. Select Course Type: College Course
  3. Type in the Course Name as it appears on your transcript
    1. Must be within the scope of practice of an ACE Certified Professional
    2. Must have earned a grade of 'C' or higher
  4. Upload a clear copy of your transcript in PDF or JPEG format (file size must be 10 MB or less)
    1. If file is too large, an error will appear in the URL box on the top of screen. This will require resaving your file as a smaller size before submitting
    2. Transcript must show your name, name of accredited university or college, semester details, and grade
  5. Select the Completion Date from the calendar that matches the date on your transcript
    • Ensure that it was newly awarded within the dates of your renewal cycle
  6. Click Submit
    1. An approved petition of this type may result in a maximum of 2.0 CECs
    2. A submission will be denied if:
      1. It is not a college course (i.e. a continuing education certificate course)
      2. It is not within the scope of practice of an ACE Certified Professional
      3. The transcript is not attached, or doesn't clearly show your name, name of accredited university or college, semester details, and grade of 'C' or higher
      4. It was not completed within the dates of your recertification cycle


Q: How do I receive CECs from earning an additional NCCA-accredited certification?

A:

If you have earned an additional NCCA-accredited certification from a different organization, within the dates of your recertification cycle, you have the option to submit a petition to earn CECs.

CEC PETITION CHECKLIST

Read this before submitting:

  1. Ensure that you are logged in to your MyACE account and click on "Petition for CECs?
    • Chrome is the recommended web browser
  2. Select Course Type: Additional NCCA Accredited Certification
  3. Select the Completion Date from the calendar that matches the date on your certificate
    • Must be newly earned within the dates of your recertification cycle
  4. Upload a clear copy of your certificate in PDF or JPEG format (file size must be 10 MB or less)
    1. If file is too large, an error will appear in the URL box on the top of screen. This will require resaving your file as a smaller size before submitting
  5. Select the NCCA Certification Provider of the certification from the dropdown list
  6. Click Submit
    1. An approved petition of this type may result in a maximum of 0.5 CECs
    2. A submission will be denied if:
      1. If it not an NCCA-accredited certification
      2. Is redundant to your ACE certification (i.e. ACE Personal Trainer will not receive CECs for earning another Personal Trainer certification)
      3. The certificate is not attached, or doesn't clearly show your name
      4. If it was not newly earned within your recertification cycle



Continuing Education Credits (CECs)     Top

Q: How many CECs do I need for my continuing education requirements?

A:

You must complete a total of 2.0 (20 hours) CECs every two years to recertify.



Q: Does CPR, AED or First Aid re-certification count toward my CECs?

A:

Yes. You can earn 0.2 CEC each for CPR, AED, and First-Aid. Record your CECs here.

 



Q: What do I do with my CECs once I have completed a course?

A:

When you complete an ACE-approved CEC course, the course provider should issue you an ACE-approved course number. That number will be in the format of CEP/CP/CA/CS/CL, and will be followed by five to six numbers (ie: CA23456 or CEP123456).  For events with multiple sessions (e.g. conferences) there will only be one number for the entire event.  Cumulative CECs earned at the event are associated with that number.    

To enter them online, login to your MyACE account and click on "My CECs." You’ll be redirected to your CEC page, where you can simply type in the course number. The CEC total should automatically fill in when you click out of the course number box. Afterward, you’ll need to input the completion date in MM/DD/YYYY format and click “Add CECs.”  When you refresh the CEC list your new credits should be visible.

If you were not provided the correct ACE-approved course number, contact the course provider to obtain it. If you are unable to obtain the correct number or are otherwise unable to complete the process online, you may mail/fax/e-mail a copy of a certificate of completion from the course/event and we will enter your CECs.

If you have completed a course that has yet to be ACE approved you can submit a petition form found on our website along with supporting documentation to receive credit.

Mail, fax or e-mail all petition forms to:
ATTN: Educational Services
4852 Paramount Drive
San Diego, CA 92123

Fax: (858) 576-6564 Attn: Educational Services
Email: support@ACEfitness.org



Q: What should I do with the certificates of completion?

A:

Keep all your certificates of completion and any other course documentation for at least four years. Continuing education costs may be tax deductible as a business expense. Please check with your tax consultant for details.



Q: If I earn more than 2.0 CECs during a certification period, can I apply the extra credits to my next certification period?

A:

No, credits apply only to your current certification period.



Q: Can I get CECs for a workout session or activity course?

A:

No, these activities do not meet ACE continuing education criteria.



Q: How do I get credit for courses that are not pre-approved by ACE?

A:

You may petition ACE to receive CECs for non-approved courses that contribute to your fitness and teaching skills. To qualify, courses must meet rigorous ACE continuing education standards. You can submit a petition form online.



Q: If I have three ACE certifications, do I have to take CECs for each certification or do the CEC courses apply to all three certifications?

A:

If you take your 2.0 CECs within the time frame that all three certifications are current, you may apply the same set of CECs toward all three certifications. Keep in mind, however, that each of your certifications are still considered individual and require individual recertification fees.



Q: How are CECs calculated?

A:

A course is assigned continuing education credits based on the amount of time spent in the educational portion of a course. For each hour of structured learning, ACE assigns 0.1 CEC. In university undergraduate environments, one semester hour is equivalent to 1.0 CECs; a quarter hour equivalent to 0.8 CECs. For university extension classes to qualify, a grade report or transcript must reflect at least a “C” grade.



Q: Can I earn CECs for completing the same course twice?

A:

No, you may only earn CECs one time for completing the same course.




Continuing Education Provider     Top

Q: What are the required qualifications to be an ACE Continuing Education Provider?

A:

ACE approves continuing education courses individually. To receive ACE approval for your course, the following criteria must be met:

  • All course subject matter must be within the ACE Certified Professional’s Scope of Practice:
    1. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT “diagnose”
    2. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT “prescribe”
    3. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT “prescribe diets or recommend specific supplements”
    4. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT “treat” injury or disease
    5. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT “monitor” progress for medically referred clients
    6. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT “rehabilitate”
    7. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT “counsel”
    8. ACE Certified Professionals may NOT work with “patients”

  • Authors and all instructors must hold at least one of the following:
    1. A bachelor’s degree in exercise science or a health-related field
      1. OR a four-year degree in a business-related field (only applicable for business workshops pertinent to a fitness professional)
    2. A current NCCA-accredited fitness certification (ACE, AAPTE, ACTION, ACSM, AFAA-CGFI, CSCCa, IFPA, NASM, NCCPT, NCSF, NESTA, NETA, NFPT, NSCA, PMA, PTAG, WITS)
      1. OR a current E-RYT credential (yoga courses only)

  • Instruction must take place in a structured learning environment:
    1. Provides clear learning objectives that an ACE Certified Professional can implement with his/her clients
    2. Provides a clear assessment of learning objectives


Q: What course topics will ACE consider for approval?

A:

ACE approves courses from a variety of topics including, but not limited to: anatomy, behavior change, body composition, business management, chronic conditions, communication and motivation, cueing and choreography, exercise physiology, exercise programming, fitness assessments, injury prevention, instructional techniques, nutrition, post-rehab programming, specialty class formats and weight management.

ACE will not approve:

  • Courses that prepare students to take NCCA-accredited certification exams (i.e. exam prep workshops)
  • Courses that are positioned or titled as core certifications that do not hold NCCA accreditation (i.e. Group Fitness Instructor)
  • Courses that are redundant to the experience and education of ACE Certified Professionals
  • Courses that prepare students for a different field (i.e. massage) or are beyond the scope of practice for ACE Certified Professionals
  • Courses that are not delivered in a structured learning environment


Q: What types of courses will ACE consider for approval?

A:
  • Conference: one-time event that may include multiple sessions for participants to choose from
  • Workshop: live, in-person training that may happen multiple times a year with a singular timeline for all participants to attend
  • Distance Learning: online or hybrid (combination of online and live portion) with a quiz
  • Recorded Webinar: maximum one to two hour recording of a live event presented online with a quiz (i.e. ACE offers one live-recorded webinar each month for purchase, 0.1 CECs)


Q: How much does it cost to have my application reviewed?

A:

All fees are non-refundable. Application is valid from January 1 to December 31 of the reviewed year.

 

Submission Fee Structure

Annual Provider Fee

Once per year:

$250

Workshop Application Fee

Each new or renewed course submitted for year:

$50

Workshop Application Optional RUSH

Per course submitted (optional):

$150

Distance Learning Application Fee

1-9 courses submitted for year (each new / renewed):

$225

10 + courses submitted for year (each new / renewed):

$200

Distance Learning Application Optional RUSH

Per course submitted (optional):

$150

Conferences

1-50 sessions:

$400

51-100 sessions:

$800

100+ sessions:

$1,200

Recorded Webinar Application Fee

1-12 courses submitted for year (each new / renewed):

$75

13 + courses submitted for year (each new / renewed):

$50

Recorded Webinar Optional RUSH

Per course submitted (optional):

$150

*For the first time in nearly a decade, ACE has introduced a new pricing structure, which will allow us to more closely align with the current industry trends while enabling us to better serve the increasing number of applicants



Q: How do I submit my conference application for ACE CEC review?

A:

CONFERENCE CHECKLIST PDF – Use this checklist to prepare for your Conference Application

CONFERENCE TEMPLATE (Session Grid) - If you would like us to email you a template to prepare your session grid, email us at educationprovider@acefitness.org 

Conference applications must be submitted at minimum 60 days in advance of event with the following information:

  • Conference name
  • Start and end dates
  • Location (country, state, city, zip)
  • Number of sessions
  • Complete session schedule
  • Grid of dates and times of all sessions with their presenter name(s) and resume(s) (bios are not accepted)
    Providers are responsible for ensuring instructors at their conference meet the required criteria. Not meeting the required criteria will result in the session not being approved for ACE CECs.  See “Q: What qualification do I need to be an ACE Continuing Education Provider.”  

How to calculate CECs for your conference:

  • Individual sessions are assigned CEC credits in full hour (0.1 CEC) and half hour (0.05 CEC) increments.
    • 50 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes = 0.1 CEC
    • 1 hour 30 minutes = 0.15 CECs
    • 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours 25 minutes = 0.2 CECs
  • The maximum CEC conference value is rounded to the maximum number of full education hours that can be completed.
    • For example, a conference with 18 hours 30 minutes of approved sessions would receive 1.8 CECs
  • Items not included in CEC value:
    • Keynotes, panels, roundtables, workouts, social events, lunches, tours


Q: How do I submit my workshop application for ACE CEC review?

A:

WORKSHOP CHECKLIST PDF – Use this checklist to prepare for your Workshop Application

  • Workshop title
  • Description of 100-150 words that represents the focus, subject and intended audience
  • Three measurable objectives participants will be able to meet after attending. Start each objective with "Students will be able to ..." (should be clear and specific to the outline submitted)
  • Detailed outline with an hour-by-hour breakdown that includes breaks and meals
  • Instructor or presenter name(s) and resume(s) (bios are not accepted)
  • Detailed course outline and course manual/materials in electronic format (.pdf, .doc, .docx)
    • If the file is larger than 10 MB, attach a document indicating that you are sending the files to educationprovider@acefitness.org (subject line must include course title)

How to calculate CECs for your workshop:

  • 1 hour = 0.1 CECs
  • 2 hours = 0.2 CECs
  • The maximum CEC workshop value is rounded to the maximum number of full education hours that can be completed
    • 3 hours, 30 minutes = 0.3 CECs


Q: How do I submit my distance learning application for ACE CEC review?

A:

DISTANCE LEARNING CHECKLIST PDF – Use this checklist to prepare for your Distance Learning Application:

COURSE REVIEWER FORM – Use this course reviewer form as detailed below.

  • Distance learning/online course title
  • Description of 100-150 words that represents the focus, subject and intended audience
  • Three measurable objectives participants will be able to meet. Start each objective with "Students will be able to ..." (should be clear and specific to the outline submitted).
  • Name of author(s) with their resume(s)
  • Necessary permissions (applicable only if the author is not affiliated with your organization)
  • Detailed course outline, including agenda, that meets listed objectives
  • Word count for all reading documents
  • Media run time for total number of video time
  • Post-completion quiz (a quiz should be designed to verify participant completion of the course, reinforce important content, evaluate student comprehension and verify that the learning objectives were met)
  • Name and email addresses of the three reviewers, along with their completed ACE Distance Learning Course Reviewer Form. All reviewers should be professionals who meet the professional level of the intended audience and are not involved in creation of the course
  • Link to course with login information so the course itself can be reviewed
  • Submit any additional course documents to educationprovider@acefitness.org or mail to ACE Professional Education at 4851 Paramount Drive San Diego, CA 92123

How to calculate CECs for your distance learning course:

  • Feedback from the three Reviewers

Proper form for writing quizzes:

  • Multiple-choice questions should be formatted with one question and four answer options.
  • Do not use “All of the above,” “None of the above,” “Both A and C” or similar formats for answer options.
  • All answer options should begin with a capital letter, even if they are part of a fill-in-the-blank question. 
  • Do not use abbreviations (ex. abs, reps or quads)
  • Avoid terms that refer to frequency (ex. rarely or usually) and those that refer to absolutes (ex. never or always).
  • Avoid repeating words in the question and answer options.
  • Do not use periods at the end of answer options.
  • To emphasize a key word in the question, use all capital letters and boldface (no italics or underline).
  • Keep answer options similar in length and wording. For example, if the first three answer options for a particular question are “Biceps,” “Triceps,” and “Hamstrings,” the fourth option should be something similar, such as “Quadriceps,” as opposed to “Teres major and minor.”
  • For fill-in-the-blank questions, the blank should be 10 spaces long.
  • If answer options are all numbers, please put the smallest number as option “A” and list them in order from smallest to largest.

The following is a list of the minimum number of quiz questions based on CEC value:

CEC Value

Min. Number of Quiz Questions Required

0.1 – 0.3

10

0.4 – 0.6

20

0.7 – 0.9

30

1.0 – 1.2

40

1.3 – 1.5

50

1.6 and higher

60

 



Q: How do I submit my live/recorded webinar application for ACE review?

A:

LIVE/RECORDED WEBINAR CHECKLIST PDF – Use this checklist to prepare for your Workshop Application

Live/Recorded Webinars are one to two hour events that are presented live and recorded for access with a quiz.

  • Webinar title
  • Course document (PowerPoint)
  • Three measurable objectives
  • Author/presenter resume
  • Detailed outline with topics to be covered
  • Course length in hours
  • URL with login information to view
  • Quiz

Courses that are not a recording of a live one to two hour event should not be submitted as a recorded webinar and will be denied.  Online courses should be submitted as a Distance Learning application.



Q: How are ACE Continuing Education Credits (CECs) determined?

A:

CEC value corresponds to the amount of time (in hours) spent participating in a structured continuing education experience under qualified instruction. CEC value cannot be changed mid-year and will stay at the approved rate until a new application is submitted. 

CEC value is NOT awarded to: masterclasses, breaks or lunches, time to take an exam or quiz

*Once an ACE Certified Professional has redeemed the CECs for completing your course, they may re-take your course but will not be eligible to redeem credits a second time.



Q: How long will it take ACE to process my application?

A:

ACE will review your completed application package within 30 days of receipt and payment in full.  Upon review, if the application is deemed incomplete we will contact you and the review window may be extended. 
Incomplete applications will result in a denial.

We reserve the right to change the Approved Provider status at any time. 

*ACE will not review events that have occurred in the past

To request an expedited review:

ACE offers a “RUSH” option for workshops, webinars and distance learning courses only, which is $150 per application.  RUSH applications must be received at least 10 business days in advance of the proposed program date.  Applications received after this time are not guaranteed review.

*Conference submissions should be received 60 days in advance of the event and do NOT have a RUSH option.



Q: What do I give my participants upon completion of my ACE approved continuing education course?

A:

ACE’s application process is the pre-approval step so that ACE Certified Professionals can get CECs. Upon completion of each ACE Approved Continuing Education Course, a certificate listing the following information must be provided to the participant:

  • Attendee’s name
  • Course title (matching the title approved by ACE)
  • ACE course (CEP) number
  • Course completion date
  • Number of CECs
  • Presenter’s name

*ACE Approved Continuing Education Providers will find a certificate template in their business account.



Q: How do I renew a previously approved continuing education course?

A:

If you have a continuing education (workshop or distance learning) course that was approved within the last two calendar years and nothing has changing about the course (i.e. schedule and information is staying the same), use the following steps to submit your course for renewal:

  1. Login to your ACE Business Account.
  2. Click on “Course Renewals” to see the courses eligible for renewal.
  3. Select the checkbox next to the course(s) that you want to renew.
    1. Ensure that the instructor resume(s) is updated or accurate and uploaded.
    2. Ensure that the course documents are accurate and uploaded.
  4. Click on “Renew Selected Courses.”
  5. Follow the checkout process.

Once the renewal has been processed and approved, the course will be listed in the “Course History” section of your business account. ACE reserves the right to deny a renewal based on a review of the required criteria: author, instructor, scope of practice.

Courses not available for renewal:

  • Courses that were approved more than two years in the past must be re-submitted for review
  • Courses that have undergone a significant change (30% or more of content has changed AND/OR course schedule has changed in length) must be submitted as a NEW course
  • Conferences cannot be renewed



eBooks     Top

Q: How Do I Use My ACE eBook

A:

The following information will help you navigate through your eBook by explaining the toolbar functions, the navigation hot keys / short-cut keys, and other usability functions.

To zoom the publication in and out, either click in the area of the page you wish to zoom in on, or use the zoom button on the toolbar, which will automatically zoom on the centre of the pages you are viewing. Then select your preferred level of zoom using the zoom scale, which will appear on the toolbar once the publication is zoomed in.

To move the page around, click and drag the publication or use the scroll bars found at the right hand side and the bottom of the page.

If you are reading on a PC and you have a wheel on your mouse you can use this to scroll up and down.

Click on the publication or zoom icon again to zoom out (a minus sign will appear in the icon for zooming out).

PAGE BROWSING

To turn the page, click on the bottom right corner of the publication or use the arrow buttons on the tool bar for instant page display. You can also move instantly to the first or last page using the keys with a single vertical line, next to the arrow keys.

The page you are viewing will be displayed in the white window, in the middle of the toolbar. You can also type the page you require into this page display, to move instantly.

You can also use the contents drop down menu on the right hand side of the toolbar to select the page you require.

HOTKEYS

To navigate through the publication using hot keys instead of a mouse, use the following keys:
 To select items on the menu bar use the TAB key to move through the selections. A yellow box will highlight your selection. To activate the selection hit the space bar.
 - To turn to the next page, press the full stop key.
 - To turn to back to the previous page, press the comma key.
 - To zoom in, press 'Z' once. Press the Z key a second time to zoom out again.
 - You can increase or decrease the zoom level by pressing the + or - keys.
 - Once zoomed in, press A to scroll left.
 - Press D to scroll right.
 - Press W to scroll up.
 - And press S to scroll down.

SEARCH

There is a contextual search facility on the far right of the toolbar. Type your search word or term into the box and click the GO button to start the search. A drop down menu of results will appear under the search box. Click the page you require from the menu and you will be delivered directly to that page. Your keyword or search term will be highlighted in green.

STICKY NOTES

You can add notes to the page for future reference by clicking on the note icon on the toolbar and, selecting the area you wish to annotate. Write your notes in the yellow box. Once you have finished, a yellow note icon will be pasted on the selected area. When you wish to view your notes again, simply scroll over the yellow note icon when required.

BOOKMARKING

You can add bookmarks to your eBook that will allow you to return easily to specific pages. ACE eBooks allow for multiple page bookmarking, using different coloured bookmarks for each page.

You can also reference each bookmark with a short description.

The bookmarks will remain on your publication if you view the publication from the same computer. You can also save an offline version of your publication to your desktop, which will also save your bookmarks and referencing.

CONTENTS

You can click on the contents button on the left of the toolbar to view a drop down menu of the publication's contents. Clicking on the page you require will move you directly to that page. You can also click to view thumbnails of each page in the publication.

 




Exam Registrations     Top

Q: How can I register for the ACE exam?

A:

For your convenience, you can register for computer-based testing online (ACE Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor certifications only), by phone, or by mail or fax. Whatever format you choose to register, you must hold a current CPR and AED certificate, and it must not expire before your testing date.

Search online to find a testing location in your area by visiting the ACE exam registration site. To download a computer-based exam registration form to mail or fax, click here.

Send all documents to
American Council on Exercise
ATTN: Exam Registration
4851 Paramount Drive
San Diego CA 92123



Q: How much does it cost to take the exam?

A:

Computer-Based
(U.S. and Canada only)

PT

GFI

Health
Coach

CMES

First Time

$399

$249

$399

$499

Retake

$199

$199

$199

$199

2nd ACE Certification

$199

$199

$199

$199

 

Computer-Based Format
(International)

PT

GFI

Health
Coach

CMES

First Time

$399

$349

$399

$499

Retake

$299

$299

$299

$299

2nd ACE Certification

$299

$299

$299

$299

 



Q: What are the eligibility requirements to take the exam?

A:

While each of our certification exams have similar eligibility requirements, they do differ slightly. Please see a complete list below.

ACE Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must hold an adult CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (automated external defibrillator) certificate (online CPR/AED courses not accepted)
  • Must present a current government-issued photo ID with signature (driver's license, passport, military ID)
  • Must have completed high school (or the equivalent)

ACE Health Coach

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must hold a current adult CPR and AED certificate including live skills check*
  • Must present a current government-issued photo ID with signature (driver’s license, passport or military ID)
  • MUST SUBMIT PROOF of ONE of the following:
    • Current NCCA-accredited certification† in fitness, nutrition, healthcare, wellness, human resources or a related field
    • An associate degree or higher from an accredited college or university in fitness, exercise science, nutrition, healthcare, wellness or a related field
    • A completed health coach training and education program approved by the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaches (ICHWC)‡
    • A minimum of two years of documented work experience in coaching, leading, designing, implementing, or facilitating one or more of the following: behavior or lifestyle change, exercise, wellness, nutrition, or physical activity

A list of NCCA-accredited certification programs can be found at: credentialingexcellence.org

A list of ICHWC-approved training and education programs can be found at: ichwc.org/organizations

Note: Candidates must submit supporting documentation of current NCCA-accredited certifications, degrees and/or work experience prior to registering for the ACE Health Coach exam.

Medical Exercise Specialist

  • Be at least 18 years old and hold a current CPR/AED certification with a live skills check.
  • SUBMIT PROOF of:
    • A bachelor's degree in exercise science or a related field at the time of exam registration.
    • 500 completed hours of work experience designing and implementing exercise programs for apparently healthy or high-risk individuals, as documented by a qualified professional.
  • Present a current government-issued photo ID with signature (driver's license, passport, military ID) on exam day.

* Candidates taking computer-based ACE exam must hold a current CPR / AED certificate at the time of registration, and it cannot expire prior to the exam date. Online CPR/AED courses will not be accepted.



Q: What are the benefits of taking a computer-based exam?

A:

The computer-based format is administered at more than 500 testing centers across the U.S. and Canada. It also allows candidates to receive their results immediately upon completion of the exam.



Q: Where can I take a computer-based exam?

A:

Computer-based ACE certification exams are offered at more than 500 locations across the U.S. and Canada. To find a testing location in your area, please visit the ACE exam registration site.



Q: When can I register for a computer-based exam?

A:

Different testing locations have different standards when it comes to how early you can register for a CBT exam. For most locations, the latest you can register for an exam is 10 days prior to your chosen exam date. Please keep in mind that date frequency and availability may differ from site to site.



Q: What if I need special accommodations (ADA)?

A:

Candidates with special testing needs will be accommodated as best as possible. Given the limitations of a third-party contracted computer-testing facility, accommodations are restricted. Please contact the exam registration department for more information at (888) 825-3636, ext. 783 or via e-mail at examregistration@ACEfitness.org.



Q: What happens after I register for the exam?

A:

Once your examination date, site and time have been approved, you’ll receive an e-mail notification instructing you to download and print your admission ticket. Exam day rules and site information will be located on this ticket. Please make sure to bring your admission ticket for entry on exam day, along with an official government-issued ID with photo and signature. The name on your ID must match the name on your exam registration. You will not be able to sit for the exam otherwise.



Q: What if I need to reschedule?

A:

You may reschedule your ACE exam up to 11:59 p.m. PST the day before your exam date for a rescheduling fee of $149.  Candidates that “no show” and do not reschedule prior to that deadline will be subject to first-time exam fees for a new testing date.

To reschedule, login to your MyACE account, select “My Exam Information” and then “Reschedule My Exam.”  Proceed through the online registration process, paying the fee upon check out. You’re only eligible to reschedule once, and you may only reschedule for another computer-based exam. Once your new desired examination date, site and time have been approved, you’ll receive an e-mail notification instructing you to download and print your admission ticket.

Exceptions to the reschedule fee will be considered on a case-by-case basis for documented serious illness, bereavement, natural disasters and other emergencies. In these instances, candidates must contact ACE Exam Registration prior to the day of their exam and provide supporting documentation. Candidates who have requested special accommodations will need to contact the ACE Exam Registration either via e-mail at examregistration@ACEfitness.org or by calling (888) 825-3636, ext. 783 to reschedule.



Q: What if I need to cancel?

A:

Cancellations must be made outside of 30 days from your confirmed testing date for a 50% refund of the exam fee paid.  Refunds cannot be provided once an exam voucher has been redeemed or for exams that have already been rescheduled.  If you registered for your exam within 30 days of the testing date, your only option is to reschedule as cancellations within 30 days will not be refunded. 

Exceptions to the refund deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis for documented cases of serious illness, bereavement, natural disasters or other emergencies. To apply for a refund, please e-mail examregistration@acefitness.org  or send a fax including Attn: Exam Registration to (858) 576-6564.


Preparing For The Exam     Top

Q: How do I select the appropriate assessments for my client?

A:

The process of selecting assessments is dependent on several factors and is not always a black-and-white or linear process. Different assessments may be administered throughout the course of the client-health and exercise professional relationship and factors like health history, current fitness level, lifestyle factors, and goals determine which assessments may be most appropriate for the client.

 

Prior to performing any physical assessments—in the initial investigation stage—information about the client is gathered via the pre-participation health screening, using forms like a health-history questionnaire and PAR-Q to identify risk factors. This allows the health and exercise professional to determine if a physician’s clearance is needed or if there are any specific programming recommendations to be considered (e.g., considerations related to injury or chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension).

 

Example of selecting appropriate assessments for a client with a shoulder condition and weight-loss goal:

 

Client: John

Age: 45

Pre-participation screen: Generally healthy with no chronic conditions. He previously tore his rotator cuff and has had surgery to repair the injury. He completed physical therapy over the past 4 months. He is not experiencing any pain or discomfort.

Physician recommendations: Cleared to exercise. Continue with exercises from physical therapy and improve shoulder mobility.

Goals: He has struggled with weight loss and desires to lose 40 pounds and improve strength in his shoulder.

Assessments: Prior to developing an exercise program, the following assessments were performed. To establish baseline measurements for his weight loss goal, anthropometric assessments are performed [i.e., body mass index (BMI) and girth measurements]. A skinfold assessment may not be appropriate since John is currently 40 lb. overweight. In addition, a postural assessment and shoulder mobility tests (i.e., internal and external shoulder rotation and Apley’s scratch test) are performed to determine John’s current joint function. The results of these assessments may be used to design a safe and effective, individualized exercise program for John.

 

Generally, health and exercise professionals may choose to perform postural and/or movement-based assessments to determine the client’s level of functionality and/or the presence of any muscular imbalances before designing and implementing an exercise program. Additional assessments such as body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, and sports skill may also be administered, depending on the client’s goals. These assessments allow the health and exercise professional to establish a baseline to compare against for tracking progress in a client’s program.

 

While assessments may be beneficial initially to create a personalized program for a client, it is important that the appropriate assessment be selected at the appropriate time. Not all clients will need or be receptive to assessments, as they may cause some people to become discouraged and demotivated, particularly if they are severely deconditioned or have overweight or obesity. To minimize client distress, be empathetic when selecting assessments and consider the needs and goals of the individual.

 



Q: How do I apply the Operant Conditioning Learning Process?

A:

Operant conditioning is a learning theory that considers the manner in which personal actions are influenced by their consequences.

As an exercise and health professional, effectively applying this principle may help facilitate changes in clients’ lifestyle behaviors. The key is to identify factors (antecedents) that may trigger a client’s behavior, versus addressing only the behavior.

Take, for example, a client who is prone to overeating (behavior), which contributes to the client having obesity (consequence). Through motivational interviewing, it is discovered that the client’s job is quite stressful, which leads him or her to seek food for emotional comfort. Consequentially, this results in the client consuming an excess of daily calories, which is a factor in the client having obesity. 

So, here you learn the stimulus that triggers overeating is stress on the job. Therefore, to facilitate changes in behavior, an exercise and health professional may address the client’s job stress (antecedent).

Ideally, once the stress (stimuli) is effectively managed, we would hope that the client’s desire to overeat (behavior) would cease, thus resulting in a decrease in daily caloric intake, ultimately leading to weight loss (consequence).

As the client begins to lose weight and recognizes that managing his or her stress decreases the desire to overeat, the stress-management behavior is rewarded, thereby the behavior increases (positive reinforcement). 



Q: Energy Systems in Action

A:

For the body to function, it needs a continuous supply of energy. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the body’s immediately usable form of chemical energy for all cellular functions, including muscular contraction. The amount of ATP available in the muscles is very limited, so it must be continuously resynthesized via one of the three main energy pathways—phosphagen, anaerobic glycolytic, or aerobic systems. 

Phosphagen System (short-acting)

The most immediate source of energy at the onset of activity or upon increased intensity is the phosphagen system, which uses creatine phosphate (CP) to produce ATP. CP is a high-energy compound that is rapidly produced but is quickly depleted during muscular contraction, thus it is available for only a limited amount of time—usually 10-30 seconds—before it is exhausted. How quickly it is used depends on the intensity of the exercise. Activities such as plyometric exercise use the phosphagen system for ATP production.

Anaerobic Glycolysis (intermediate)

Anaerobic (without oxygen) glycolysis is a process that uses glycogen (stored glucose) for ATP production. Glycogen is available in greater quantities and for longer periods than CP—up to 3 minutes for activities such as moderate-intensity resistance training. During endurance activities, fuel needs are met by anaerobic glycolysis prior to approaching steady-state aerobic metabolism.

Aerobic System (long-acting)

The aerobic system takes over during endurance activities after the anaerobic systems become depleted and fats and carbohydrates emerge as the primary sources for ATP production. During aerobic activity, there is an abundance of oxygen readily available to be used in the process of metabolizing carbohydrate and fat. This allows activities to be sustained for 30-60 minutes or more at moderate intensity. Cycling at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes, for example, primarily uses the aerobic system for ATP production.

During physical activity, these systems may be used at any time, working together to contribute to the total energy needs of the body. They do not work independently of each other; however, one system will dominate depending on the intensity of the activity and the demands placed on the body.

Activities performed for extended periods, which typically rely on the aerobic system, can also utilize the anaerobic system.

For example, in distance running, the aerobic system is the most dominant source of ATP production. However, during periods where the runner accelerates, and the intensity increases, one of the anaerobic systems will become more prevalent in ATP production.

Note: Both the phosphagen and anaerobic glycolysis systems are considered anaerobic, as they both produce energy in the absence of oxygen.



Q: How do I create an exam retake game plan?

A:
  1. Determine if you have a retake voucher.
    1. If you have a retake voucher, it is important to know when it expires to understand how much time you have available to review before your next exam.
    2. If you don’t have a retake voucher, you can purchase an additional exam at the retake price of $199. This price is valid for one year after your initial test date.
  2. Determine a date for your retake exam.
    1. When choosing a date, we recommend giving yourself about one week of review time for every ten points you are away from a passing score. For example, if your score is 480 out of a possible 800 and you are 20 points away from the minimum passing score of 500, allow about two weeks of review before your next exam.
  3. Analyze your performance and consider any topics on the exam for which you felt underprepared.
  4. Review your exam score report and compare your domain performance to the Exam Content Outline found in Appendix B of all ACE manuals. Review each domain and determine what areas need improvement.
    1. Focus on improving the domains in which you scored the lowest, but also continue to briefly review the other domains to ensure that you keep all the content fresh in your mind.
  5. Use all your study materials.
    1. Be sure to use all the resources that are available to you. These could be in the form of books, online content, live and recorded webinars, virtual interactive study groups, peer-to-peer interaction on the ACE study center Facebook page, and the Resource Center Landing Page.
  6. Consider what went well during your initial studies and what you might do differently.
  7. Create a game plan for everything you want to do before you retake the exam. Writing down your plan may help create accountability.
  8. Join the ACE Study Coaches for a live webinar to get your specific questions answered.


Q: How many times can I take my practice tests?

A:

While the practice tests can be completed as many times as you would like, we do not recommend taking them repeatedly, as this may lead to memorization of correct answers, rather than a deeper understanding of the content.  Instead, try the tips and strategies shared below to get the most out of your certification exam practice tests.

  1. Review your answers.
    1. Look at the questions that were incorrect and go back to review the material. The goal is to understand the “why” behind the question and the correct answer. Try to explain why the correct answers are correct and why the other options are incorrect. A helpful way to use this strategy is to imagine you are teaching someone else why an answer is correct.
    2. Look at the questions that were correct but were only guessed correctly. Review the corresponding content.
    3. This is a great time for self-reflection. These practice tests are meant to serve as a diagnostic tool to identify what your strengths are and what areas need the most improvement. Be honest with yourself when reviewing the questions— determine whether you guessed the correct answer or if you really know why the correct answer is correct.
    4. Review your overall practice test score report and compare your results to each domain of the Exam Content Outline (found in Appendix B of all ACE manuals).
  2. After reviewing the practice test and studying your answers, clear out your answers from the practice test and go through it again. Look for changes in your score related to increased knowledge and understanding as opposed to memorization.  If questions are missed on the second attempt, it is important to again ask yourself why you might have marked them incorrectly.  Now move on to your next practice test and follow the same steps as above.


Q: How many compartments are in the lower leg?

A:

The lower leg is comprised of muscles in three regions—lateral, anterior, and posterior—divided by the anterior and posterior intermuscular septa (a band of fascia separating muscle compartments), the interosseous membrane (fibrous tissue that helps maintain space between bones), and the tibia and fibula. Muscles in the same region are grouped together with connective tissue. The muscles of the anterior region of the lower leg are grouped together in the anterior compartment, while the muscles of the lateral region are grouped into the lateral compartment. The posterior region has two distinct groups; the deep muscle group and the superficial muscle group.

Some resources introduce this topic presenting the muscles in their three regions, with the posterior region presented as having two layers. Structurally and functionally, the posterior region is really comprised of two distinct compartments (superficial and deep), giving the lower leg four total compartments. The muscles of the lower leg are grouped by compartment in the table below.

Lateral Anterior Posterior
    Deep
- Peroneus longus - Anterior tibialis - Posterior tibialis
- Peroneus brevis - Extensor digitorum longus - Flexor digitorum longus
  - Extensor hallucis longus - Flexor hallucis longus
    - Popliteus
    Superficial
    - Soleus
    - Gastrocnemius
    - Plantaris


For more information on these muscles please see the blog Muscles That Move the Leg



Q: How do I clear my quiz questions in ACE Academy Elite?

A:

1. Open the quiz or test that you want to clear the answers to.

2. Click on “Quiz Settings” in the upper left corner

3. Check the “Yes…Delete all my previous answers” box at the bottom

4. Click on the “Proceed with Delete” button

5. Take the quiz as many times as desired and repeat steps above



Q: What are ACSM’s New Preparticipation Health Screening Guidelines?

A:

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) updated its preparticipation health screening recommendations with the publication of the 10th edition of ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. These new recommendations are less restrictive and acknowledge that exercise is safe for most people and has many health and fitness benefits. To learn more, read the following:

Please note: When guidelines are updated, ACE takes steps to ensure that candidates have a fair opportunity to pass an exam that is not negatively impacted by the updates. As a professional standard, all health coaches and exercise professionals should do their best to stay up-to-date on industry guidelines and standards of care.



Q: What are the updated blood pressure guidelines?

A:

The new blood pressure guidelines change the definition of hypertension from a blood pressure of ≥140/90 mmHg to ≥130/80 mmHg, which means that approximately 46% of the U.S. population is now considered to have hypertension. The good news is that the majority of individuals affected by the change in guidelines can be treated with lifestyle changes instead of medications. To learn more about the role that health coaches and exercise professionals play in this shift from treatment to prevention, read the following:

Please note: When guidelines are updated, ACE takes steps to ensure that candidates have a fair opportunity to pass an exam that is not negatively impacted by the updates. As a professional standard, all health coaches and exercise professionals should do their best to stay up-to-date on industry guidelines and standards of care.



Q: How do I find the most recent Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire for Everyone (PAR-Q+) forms?

A:

This important screening document is regularly updated and revised and there are different versions depending on the clientele with whom you are working. The PAR-Q+ and ePARmed-X (for clients who have had a positive response to the PAR-Q+ or have been referred to use this more comprehensive form by a healthcare professional) were created to reduce barriers for all individuals to become more physically active. These forms are updated on a regular basis. The PAR-Q+ Collaboration makes these publicly available on their website. Visit the following website to find the most up-to-date version of each questionnaire before using it with clients:

Please note: When guidelines are updated, ACE takes steps to ensure that candidates have a fair opportunity to pass an exam that is not negatively impacted by the updates. As a professional standard, all health coaches and exercise professionals should do their best to stay up-to-date on industry guidelines and standards of care.



Q: What if an industry guideline changes while I’m studying for an exam?

A:

ACE produces textbooks for each ACE Certification program, first and foremost as resources to help candidates prepare for professions in health and fitness. Because industry guidelines frequently change, it’s critical that candidates view these study materials as helpful resources rather than the sole authority for a particular profession or examination. It is important to understand that ACE Certification exams are written to assess if candidates can consistently apply their knowledge to make safe and effective decisions in scenarios commonly faced by exercise professionals and health coaches. When guidelines are updated, ACE takes steps to ensure that candidates have a fair opportunity to pass an exam that is not negatively impacted by the updates. As a professional standard, all health coaches and exercise professionals should do their best to stay up-to-date on industry guidelines and standards of care.



Q: There are so many physiological assessments how do I approach them and is it necessary to know all the content in the tables?

A:

For the physiological assessments section, there are numerous amounts of information, from administration of assessments, and accompanying charts, tables and equations.  The key to approaching this section, is to be strategic. Since there is no practical component to the exam, you are not expected to memorize exact protocol of each assessment or all the information presented in the tables and charts.  However, understanding what information you are gathering from the assessment in relation to the client is essential.

One helpful way to tackle the content, is to categorize the information. Ask the questions:

What is the purpose/objective of this assessment? 

For whom is the assessment most appropriate?

What are the outcomes that I am seeking to observe?

Are there any contraindications?

What do the results mean?

Gathering this information will allow you to remain organized as you complete this section of the course. While you are not expected to memorize the chart and table information, you also, do not want to disregard them. For example, recognizing that for BMI, a score of ≥ 30 mg/m² places a client in the obesity category, is an important factor to remember. On the other hand, memorizing, all the data on the Rockport Fitness Walking test would not be the most effective use of you



Q: The USDA SuperTracker is Shutting Down... What are Your Options?

A:

Since its inception in 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) SuperTracker website has been a valuable resource for 27 million users, as it offered tools for tracking food and physical activity to be used in pursuit of achieving a healthier lifestyle. Earlier this year, the USDA announced a decision to discontinue the SuperTracker as of June 30, 2018. The decision to discontinue this service was made so that efforts could be shifted toward the creation of modern and more efficient ways to support Americans in adopting a healthy eating style. To find out more about this decision, please visit Super Tracker discontinuation frequently asked questions (FAQs). Considering this change, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) will be removing all references to the SuperTracker from its print and online resources and is recommending the use of the National Institute of Health’s bodyweight planner. Use of the bodyweight planner allows individuals to make personalized physical activity and calorie plans to reach or maintain a goal weight within a specific amount of time and then sustain it afterward.

While the bodyweight planner is a great tool for determining caloric needs based on current or planned activity levels and weight-related goals, it does not include all the features that SuperTracker offered. Currently in the private sector, there can be found many tools with a shared mission of allowing users to track food and physical activity in support of a healthier lifestyle. One such tool that can be used in place of SuperTracker is Myfitnesspal, which allows users to track food and exercise, join an online community, and obtain relevant content through blog articles.  Myfitnesspal has over 5,000,000 food items in its data base, which allows users to quickly find items they consume and add them to their diary. Myfitnesspal users begin by creating a personalized diet and fitness profile, which the app uses to generate fitness and nutrition goals. Once a profile is complete, the user can begin logging exercise activities and food intake into his or her personal exercise and food diary, respectively.

Although there are many tools available for tracking food and physical activity, it is important to find one that best suits you and your clients’ unique needs. If you had made a practice of referring clients to the SuperTracker tool as way to support their health-related goals, it will be important to have alternate recommendations for them once this service ends. Also, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with some useful facts about the discontinuation of SuperTracker and what the changes may mean for your clients.

Below is a list of some common questions your clients may have. More information can be found at SuperTracker discontinuation frequently asked questions (FAQs).

What does this change mean for current SuperTracker users? 
After June 30, 2018, the SuperTracker website will no longer be available. After this time, you will not be able to access the website for any reason, including retrieving previously entered data. User’s account information will no longer be available in any format after June 30, 2018.

Am I able to export my data?
Several reports can be created that contain meal summaries, food groups, calories, physical activity, and other data. Those reports can be exported in multiple file formats for saving or printing.

What other resources are available to track my food and activity?
In addition to Myfitnesspal, the MyPlate Checklist Calculator can be used to determine an appropriate calorie level based on your age, sex, height, weight, and physical activity level. Used in conjunction with the MyPlate Daily Checklist, users are given a printable list of food-group serving recommendations. This feature shows what and how much to eat from the foods groups within your specific calorie allowance.

What will happen to data previously entered into SuperTracker?
All accounts and user data will be purged in their entirety after June 30, 2018. No previous data will be available and the data will not be preserved nor distributed in any format.

Who can I contact for more information?

Please email the USDA with any other questions you may have related to the discontinuation of the SuperTracker website at SuperTrackerHelp@cnpp.usda.gov. 



Q: What do I need to know about the updated ACSM preparticipation health screening process?

A:

Previously, when conducting preparticipation screens, fitness professional followed a criterion of risk factors to determine a client’s risk for CAD, by totaling the number of risks and classifying the client as being low, moderate or high risk. The objective was to assess if medical clearance was needed prior to the client’s participation in assessments and exercise program. ACSM’s update to the risk classification no longer requires totaling the number of risks for CAD. Per ACSM, research indicated the previous pre-participation risk classification, totaling the number of risks, potentially created a barrier to exercise participation. The current guidelines identify 3 factors for consideration and minimize this barrier in the pre-screen process.  This allows the client to engage in activity much sooner.

 

In November 2015, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) formally updated their preparticipation health-screening process. ACSM made this change after recent studies revealed that previous CVD risk-factor profiles and risk-classification processes resulted in excessive physician referrals, possibly creating a barrier to exercise participation. For example, Whitfield and colleagues (2014) (http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/129/10/1113) concluded that most people (nearly 95 percent) older than 40 years of age would be required to visit a physician before engaging in any form of exercise, based on previous standards. This referral recommendation held true even for an activity as simple as walking.

 

The new screening process adopts several changes intended to reduce barriers to physical activity participation, yet still allows for the identification of individuals who should receive medical clearance prior to initiating an exercise program or increasing the volume, frequency, or intensity of an existing program. Research comparing the new prescreening algorithm to the previous version revealed a 41 percent decrease in the number of individuals who would be referred to a physician before beginning exercise (Whitfield et al., 2017) (https://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/2017/10000/Applying_the_ACSM_Preparticipation_Screening.12.aspx). This suggests that the new prescreening procedures decreased the medical-clearance barrier to physical-activity participation by decreasing the number of individuals who require physician approval prior to engagement. Some key takeaways for using the new ACSM prescreening algorithm include:

  • Identifying signs and symptoms of underlying CV, metabolic, and renal disease
  • Identifying individuals with diagnosed CV and metabolic disease
  • Using signs and symptoms, disease history, current PA levels, and desired exercise intensity to guide recommendations
  • Identifying planned exercise intensity

What’s Different:

  • Risk factor profiles are no longer used to determine the need for referral for physician clearance prior to initiating exercise
  • Risk Classifications are no longer required (e.g., low, moderate, and high risk)
  • General recommendations are made for medical clearance versus specific recommendations for exercise testing and medical exams.
  • Clients with pulmonary disease are no longer referred for medical clearance

 

For more detailed information on the updated pre-participation guidelines, please see the following article.



Q: What is the difference between the Talk Test and the Submaximal Talk Test?

A:

The talk test is a method for monitoring and controlling exercise intensity, using respiration effort and the ability to speak.  An individual, being able to speak comfortably with more than a few words indicates that he or she is likely below the first ventilatory threshold, VT1.  When using the talk test, it is not required that heart rate be measured, as the objective is to observe respiratory (breathing) effort and the ability to speak.

The individual is evaluated by having them recite a familiar passage or phrase like the pledge of allegiance, and then asking if they can speak.

In contrast to the simplicity of the Talk Test, the Submaximal Talk Test for VT1 is a formal assessment used to determine heart rate at VT1. This test requires preparation and equipment and continuous monitoring of heart rate to avoid missing VT1. The intensity is gradually increased until the ability to talk continuously is compromised, and like the talk test uses a familiar passage or phrase to evaluate effort and ability to speak.

In summary, the talk test method is used to measure exercise intensity, but does not require the measurement of heart rate. While the submaximal talk test for VT1 is a formal assessment where heart rate is measured at VT1 and requires the use of equipment and preparation, to administer the test.



Q: What updates are in the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans?

A:

In late 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released its first update to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans since the original document was published more than 10 years ago. The new Guidelines highlight the value of even small, incremental bits of physical activity in warding off disease and helping individuals sleep better, feel better and more easily perform their activities of daily life. To learn more about the updates and how they affect the work of health coaches and exercise professionals, read the following:

Please note: When guidelines are updated, ACE takes steps to ensure that candidates have a fair opportunity to pass an exam that is not negatively impacted by the updates. As a professional standard, all health coaches and exercise professionals should do their best to stay up-to-date on industry guidelines and standards of care.



Q: Do I need to know everything from the Essentials of Exercise Science manual?

A:

Although your EES manual is the foundation for what you will need to know for the exam, you don’t need to memorize everything. Remember, knowledge of anatomy and physiology is critical to becoming a fitness professional and studying is a layered process. These topics will build on the other chapters as you move through the program and you will need to refer back to the EES manual. Here are a few helpful blogs to assist you with the information you need for the Essentials of Exercise Science book:

You are not expected to master each chapter before moving on to the next. Rather, just make sure you’ve understood what you’ve read, and then refer back to these topics as they reappear. We typically recommend spending no more than one week getting through each chapter (assuming you’re studying the recommended 10 to 12 hours per week).



Q: What is VT1 and VT2?

A:

During submaximal exercise, ventilation (or breathing rate) parallels oxygen uptake and there is a linear increase between intensity and ventilation. In other words, as the heart beats faster, breathing rate becomes more rapid. This linear increase continues until exercise approaches the lactate threshold. At this point, ventilation begins to increase in a non-linear fashion and ventilation is no longer directly linked with oxygen demand. This first disproportionate increase in oxygen consumption represents VT1 and occurs in response to an initial accumulation of metabolic by-products in the blood. At the intensity of VT1 breathing rate increases in an attempt to blow off extra CO2 produced during the buffering of metabolic by-products. A person exercising at the intensity of VT1 will notice a change in breathing rate and speaking will become more difficult. At this point, the exerciser probably cannot speak comfortably. As long as the exerciser can speak comfortably, he or she is almost always below VT1, where the cardiorespiratory challenge to the body is caused primarily by inhalation (and not the expiration of additional CO2, as seen at intensities above VT1).

As exercise intensity continues to increase there is a second disproportionate increase in ventilation that is associated with increased lactate production which coincides with acidosis. At this point, hyperventilation (or increased breathing rate in an attempt to get rid of additional C02) is no longer adequate to buffer the increase in acidity and metabolic by-products begin to accumulate at a rate faster than they can be buffered. This point is considered the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA). Exercise immediately below VT2 represents the highest sustainable exercise intensity. Exercise above VT2 represents an intensity that cannot be sustained for long periods and speech is not possible other than single words.


 

VT1

VT2


ZONE 1

ZONE 2

ZONE 3

HR below VT1

HR VT1- just below VT2

VT2 and above

METS (3-6)

METS (6-9)

METS > 9

RPE (3-4)

RPE (5-6)

RPE (7-10)

RPE (12-13)

RPE (14-16)

RPE (17-20)

70-80% training time

<10% training time

10-20% training time

Low to moderate

Moderate to vigorous

Vigorous to very vigorous

Moderate to somewhat hard

Hard

Very hard to extreme

Talk comfortably

No sure if talking is comfortable

Definitely cannot talk comfortably



Q: Is giving nutrition advice within a fitness professional's scope of practice?

A:

As a certified fitness professional, it is outside of your scope of practice to design and implement nutrition plans or diets. Your role as a fitness professional is to educate your clients on nutrition and share your knowledge of healthy choices to help them adopt more healthful behaviors. This can include showing them how to utilize tools available at www.choosemyplate.gov or educating them about USDA Dietary Guidelines recommendations. If your client needs specific advice or a diet plan, refer them to a registered dietitian.

Within Scope of Practice for Fitness Professionals

  • Principles of healthy nutrition and food preparation
  • Food to be included in a balanced daily diet
  • Essential nutrients needed by the body
  • Actions of nutrients on the body
  • Effects of deficiencies or excesses of nutrients
  • How nutrient requirements vary through the lifecycle
  • Information about nutrients contained in foods or supplements

Outside Scope of Practice for Fitness Professionals

  • Individualized nutrition recommendations or meal planning other than that which is available through government guidelines and recommendations, or has been developed and endorsed by a registered dietitian or physician
  • Nutritional assessment to determine nutritional needs and nutritional status
  • Specific recommendations or programming for nutrient or nutritional intake, caloric intake or specialty diets
  • Nutritional counseling, education, or advice aimed to prevent, treat, or cure a disease or condition, or other acts that may be perceived as medical nutrition therapy
  • Development, administration, evaluation, and consultation regarding nutritional care standards or the nutrition care process
  • Recommending, prescribing, selling or supplying nutritional supplements to clients
  • Promotion or identification of oneself as a “nutritionist” or “dietitian”

For more information, please read the following:



Q: I'm overwhelmed by the materials. Where do I start?

A:

Since there are multiple certifications and package options, it’s best to contact a study coach to review your materials over the phone. Generally, we advise reviewing your account, course syllabus and emails for instructions on your specific program.

This blog post may also be useful:

4 Tips for a Successful Study Experience



Q: How do you calculate the ratios for McGill's Torso Test?

A:

The McGill's Torso Muscular Endurance Test Battery assesses the endurance of three torso muscle groups and is comprised of the following tests:

  1. Trunk Flexor Endurance Test: assesses muscular endurance of the deep core muscles.
  2. Trunk Lateral Endurance Test: also called the side bridge test, assesses muscular endurance of the lateral core muscles.
  3. Trunk Extensor Endurance Test: assesses muscular endurance of the torso extensor muscles.

Poor endurance of the torso muscles or an imbalance between the three muscle groups can contribute to low back pain and core instability

The tests are performed individually and involve a static, timed, isometric contraction of the core muscles stabilizing the spine until the individual exhibits fatigue. Refer to the ACE Personal Trainer Manual 5th ed., pg. 187-192, for test instructions. The results are evaluated collectively in the following ratios to indicate balanced endurance among the muscle groups:

Flexion: Extension
  • For muscular balance between the front and back of the torso, the ratio should be less than 1.0 (ratio means dividing the two numbers).
  • In this case, the ratio refers to the number of seconds held in each position, or flexion time/extension time.

Right-side bridge (RSB): Left-side bridge (LSB)

  • Right-side bridge time/left-side bridge time
  • For muscular balance between the sides of the torso, the score should be no greater than 0.05 from a balanced score of 1.0 (that is, an acceptable range would be a score somewhere between 0.95 to 1.05).

Side bridge (SB) (either side): Extension

  • One-side bridge time/extension time
  • For muscular balance between one side and the back of the torso, the score should be less than 0.75.

Let's work through an example. A client completed the three tests with the following results:

Flexor Test: 120 seconds
RS Bridge: 88 seconds
Extension Test: 150 seconds
LS Bridge: 92 seconds

Scoring and Evaluation

Flexion: Extension

  • 120 seconds:150 seconds = 120/150 = 0.8
  • The score of 0.8 fits within the criteria of <1.0 for muscular balance between the front and back of the torso.

RSB: LSB

  • 88 seconds:92 seconds = 88/92 = 0.96 (0.956 rounded up)
  • This score fits within the 0.05 range from 1.0 (that is, it falls between 0.95 and 1.05), indicating muscular balance between the right and left sides of the torso.

Side bridge (choose one side at a time, but remember to perform the ratio calculation for both sides): Extension

  • RSB = 88 seconds:150 seconds = 88/150 = 0.59 (0.586 rounded up)
  • This score fits within the criteria of <0.75 for muscular balance between the right side and the back of the torso.

Side bridge: Extension

  • LSB = 92 seconds:150 seconds = 92/150 = 0.61 (0.613 rounded down)
  • This score fits within the criteria of <0.75 for muscular balance between the right side and the back of the torso.

The results show that this client has well-balanced torso muscles.



Q: What's the difference between pre-contemplation and contemplation?

A:

Preparation
Most of the time, if someone has made the effort to meet with a fitness professional, he or she has at least reached the preparation stage. However, you may encounter someone who is still in the pre-contemplation or contemplation stage. When this happens, that person has usually been prompted to meet with you by his or her doctor or a loved one.

Pre-contemplation
If a person is in pre-contemplation, he or she typically does not want to be there and does not believe that exercise can have an impact on health. In this case, it's important for you to take the appropriate steps to get the potential exerciser thinking about inactivity as a relevant issue and to start thinking about becoming more physically active. Some of the interventions used during this stage include providing information about the risks of inactivity and the benefits of activity, acknowledging that there is a lack of readiness to change and reevaluating current behaviors. The reason why it's important to recognize individuals in this stage of change is because people in pre-contemplation aren't necessarily open to the idea of exercise. Therefore, you could potentially increase resistance to physical activity by pushing the idea that they must exercise. However, if you provide information on how exercise can benefit them and then offer your expertise as a resource, while encouraging questions or allowing them to voice their concerns, you can essentially "plant the seed" so that they may consider exercise (moving them to contemplation).

A practical tool the fitness professional can use to determine if someone is in contemplation or pre-contemplation is to ask the following question: "On a scale of 1 to 10 how ready do you believe you are to make this change or adopt this healthy behavior?" If the potential client provides a response below 4, he or she is most likely in the pre-contemplation stage.

Contemplation
A person in the contemplation stage, however, knows the value of exercise, but for whatever reason is not regularly engaging in it. A contemplator is starting to consider the importance of becoming more physically active and has begun to recognize the implications of being inactive. He or she might have an internal dialogue that sounds like this: "I know I should exercise, but I just don't have the time, energy, etc." At this point, the person is allowing the cons of engaging in exercise to outweigh the pros of becoming more physically active. This is the point where we want to encourage the potential client to introduce some type of activity into their day, even if it means starting small, like walking for 10 minutes twice a day. Successfully achieving small tasks related to exercise may get them to realize that regular physical activity can be a part of their life if they can take the appropriate steps to commit. During this stage it is important to help clients explore options (like preferences for physical activity), and provide cues to action, some basic structure and design (such as how often and how long to be active), and opportunities to ask questions.

Tools a fitness professional may use with someone in this stage include the evaluation of the pros and cons of making the change and removing barriers to becoming more active, such as offering a free gym trial.



Q: Do I have to know all of the assessments when studying for the Personal Training exam?

A:

Technically, everything in the manual can appear on the exam, however, we recommend spending more time focusing on the main ideas versus memorizing each step of the protocol. Know the objective or purpose of each assessment, for whom it is appropriate and any contraindications, and what the outcome reveals about the client. We also recommend reviewing the following blog posts:



Q: Aerobic vs. anaerobic metabolism: fat vs. carbohydrate utilization

A:

Your body utilizes two primary nutrients as fuel sources to produce ATP, the energy used for movement and to sustain life—carbohydrates and fats. Depending on the intensity at which you are working, your body will produce a greater percentage of ATP from one source or the other. Protein is primarily a building block for cells and many other elements in our bodies, and is only used as a fuel source when we are running out of carbohydrates.

“Aerobic” refers to cellular metabolism where ATP is produced “with oxygen” and “anaerobic” refers to cellular metabolism where some or all of the ATP is produced “without oxygen.” Aerobic metabolism occurs at lower intensities where our working muscles, organs and other systems are able to get all of the oxygen they need to meet their energy demands. This can include what we think of in the fitness world as “aerobic exercise” (moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise), but also includes activities that are less strenuous such as reading, washing dishes, sitting at a computer and even sleeping. During all of these activities, the body is able to produce the ATP it needs by utilizing oxygen in the process. The fuel sources for aerobic cellular metabolism are fats and carbohydrates, with a greater percentage of calories coming from fats at lower intensities. As the intensity of work increases, we use a lower percentage of calories from fats, while the percentage of calories utilized from carbohydrates increases. The higher the intensity, the more we use carbohydrates as a fuel source. Our bodies generally draw upon a combination of carbohydrates and fats to produce ATP, with the exception being very short-duration, high-intensity anaerobic activities, such as a 100-meter sprint where the primary fuel sources are creatine phosphate, stored ATP, and muscle glycogen (i.e., carbohydrates stored in the muscle).

Every time you exercise or do other physical work like stocking shelves, mowing the lawn, etc., your caloric expenditure increases to meet the demands of the working muscles. This energy comes from fats and carbohydrates in proportions that vary based on the level of intensity as described above. While our bodies burn a greater percentage of calories from fat at lower intensities, we can actually burn a great deal of calories from fat at higher intensities simply because we burn more total calories both before and after a workout when we engage in higher intensity activities. The limiting factor is a person’s ability to tolerate vigorous activity for durations that bring about significant energy usage. For beginners, or those who are unaccustomed to vigorous exercise, it is necessary to begin at lower intensities in order to build a foundation of fitness before attempting very high-intensity work.



Q: I'm struggling with the postural assessment. What are some suggestions for reviewing these areas?

A:

A standing, relaxed postural assessment may be conducted to evaluate body-segment alignment. The information gathered in this type of static postural assessment may be used (in combination with movement screens) to evaluate how posture, both good and bad, impacts a client's ability to move. The important observation to make during a static postural assessment is how (if at all) a person's joints differ from what is considered "ideal" or "neutral." Deviations from a neutral posture could mean that muscles on each side of the joint are chronically tight or weak. When muscles are overused or in a chronically shortened position at rest (e.g., hip flexors when seated) they may become tight. When those opposing muscles are underused or in a chronically lengthened position (e.g., hip extensors when seated), they can become weak. What you'll notice in these compensations is that they're almost always paired muscles groups, meaning that the agonist (the one responsible for the action in the compensation) is tight and the antagonist (the opposing muscle group) is weak. In that case, you want to stretch the agonist muscles and strengthen the antagonist muscles. Start by looking at static postural analysis and then move on to the movement assessments.



Q: What do I really need to focus on?

A:

We highly recommend reviewing your Exam Content Outline (Appendix B) in your manual, as this is essentially the "blueprint" for the exam. This will divide the information into multiple domains, and each domain has a set list of tasks that you will be expected to understand. Use the "knowledge of" and "skills in" sections to guide you and make sure you feel very comfortable with those sections. A good way to tell if you're comfortable with a topic is to try to explain it to someone else. If you feel confident that you could explain it to a client or class participant, then you're probably proficient with that topic; if you're not quite sure, then you'll probably want to review that topic. Also, if you are signed up for the Study Coach emails or are using one of the online study programs, you will be provided with helpful information about what to focus on as you move through your lessons.



Q: I'm at the end of my studies. What else can I do to prepare?

A:

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I thoroughly used all of the materials I have available?
  • Have I reviewed the appropriate exam preparation blogs?
  • Have I practiced the assessments or teaching strategies on a friend or family member?
  • Have I tried to explain the topics out loud to see if I actually understand them?
  • Have I reached out to a study coach with my specific questions?
  • Have I reviewed the Exam Content Outline (Appendix B) in the back of the manual?
  • Have I looked over the test-taking strategies blogs?


Q: What's the difference between autogenic and reciprocal inhibition?

A:

Autogenic inhibition involves stimulation of the Golgi tendon organ (GTO) during a muscular contraction. The GTO is a proprioceptor responsible for sensing increases in tension during both concentric and eccentric actions. Performing a muscular action activates the GTO causing that muscle’s fibers (specifically, the agonist’s fibers) to relax. Under GTO activation, the agonist muscle is inhibited causing the fibers to lengthen.

A practical example of autogenic inhibition is observed during static stretching. During a static stretch muscle tension temporarily increases and after holding the stretch for 7 to 10 seconds the GTO is activated. When the GTO is activated, the muscle spindle is inhibited. The muscle spindle protects us from overstretching, so if this function is inhibited we can move into a deeper stretch.

Reciprocal inhibition involves stimulation of the muscle spindle during the stretching of muscle fibers. The muscle spindle wraps around the muscle fibers in a parallel fashion and will stretch as muscle fibers stretch. When a muscle group is stretched, the muscle spindle activates causing the stretched muscle (agonist) to contract and the antagonist muscle group to relax. Reciprocal inhibition is also known as the stretch reflex.

A practical example of reciprocal inhibition occurs during proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). During this stretching technique, a low grade muscular contraction of the antagonist muscle (in this case, the muscle group opposite of the muscle group targeted to receive the stretch) is held for 6 to 15 seconds. This low grade muscle contraction inhibits the muscle spindle activity in the agonist muscle (in this case, the muscle targeted to be stretched) allowing that muscle to be stretched further.

To further explore this concept, read this blog: GTOs and Muscle Spindles Explained

Q: How can I identify in which plane of motion an action takes place?

A:

In this activity, we’re going to use a wall to represent the planes, and all motions you make must be parallel to that wall to occur in that plane:

Frontal Plane
Back yourself up to a wall so that your entire back side is against the wall. Pretend this wall is in your center, dividing you into anterior and posterior halves. This imaginary wall represents the frontal plane. To practice the motions that occur in this plane, you must keep your entire back side and limbs against the wall behind you. Motions in this plane would include movements like making snow angels (adduction/abduction) and elevating and depressing the shoulders. Notice, if you try to do a biceps curl, you would have to lift your forearm off of the wall, so this indicates that flexion and extension do not occur in the frontal plane.

Sagittal Plane:
Turn to one side and place your side against the wall (your arm might have to be slightly in front of the body to get hip against the wall). Pretend this wall is in your center, dividing you into right and left halves. This wall represents the sagittal plane. For this plane, you must keep your side against the wall. Movements in the sagittal plane would include biceps curls (that is, flexion and extension), dead lifts and squats. Any movement where you can keep the side of your body parallel to the wall takes place in the sagittal plane. Notice, if you try to do the motions described for the frontal plane (abduction and adduction or elevation and depression) or any twisting motion, you would have to lift your side off of the wall or move through the wall.

Transverse Plane
This one is a little harder to imagine, but it can be represented by visualizing your body being divided into top and bottom halves and then placing your torso on top of a table and your lower extremities below the table. Movements that occur in this plane should keep the body or a specific joint parallel to the table. This would include movements like rotation of the trunk, pronation and supination of the forearm, and circumduction of the thumb. Notice, performing any of the activities previously mentioned in the other planes would cause you to intersect with the “table.”



Q: How much math will be on the exam? Which formulas will I have to memorize?

A:

The test contains math-based questions to determine if you can use basic mathematics (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) to apply what you are learning to real-life scenarios. These questions will require calculations and memorization of some fitness formulas. However, you only need to know a few formulas for the exam, and they can all be found on this Helpful Fitness Formulas sheet. While all of these formulas are useful to know as a fitness professional, they may not all be specific to your test. It is recommended you cross-reference the formulas on the handout with what is covered in your text. The exam program itself will have a calculator function and you will also have access to scratch paper and a pencil.
For further guidance on this subject, please see:



Q: Where can I take the exam?

A:

There are thousands of testing locations around the world. To find a location near you log in to your account and select My Exam Information ? Sign up for an Exam. You will be able to select your country and zip code to determine when and where to take your exam. Or, click here to search for an exam testing site in your area.



Q: I'm confused about the different terminology used for VT1 and VT2. Please help.

A:

Many texts use varied terminology related to the metabolic markers used to describe the physiological response to cardiorespiratory exercise. In the ACE manuals, VT1 and VT2 will be used, but it is important to recognize the other commonly used terms when reviewing the literature:

  • The first ventilatory threshold (VT1) is also referred to as the lactate threshold and the anaerobic threshold.
  • The second ventilatory threshold (VT2) is also referred to as the respiratory compensation threshold and the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA).

Another potential source of confusion involves the term "anaerobic threshold," which has come to mean different things in various parts of the world based on the way it was used in early research on the topic. This is another reason ACE has chosen to utilize VT1 and VT2 throughout this manual.



Q: Can I extend my voucher deadline?

A:

Unfortunately, there is no way to extend the exam voucher expiration date, however, the date that your exam voucher expires is not the date by which you need to take your exam. It is simply the date by which you need to select the date you will sit for your exam. The day that you actually take the exam can be as far out as the testing locations in your area schedule exams. If you look at the locations in your area (searched by the zip code you have on file in your account), you’ll notice that exams can be scheduled past your voucher expiration date. If you widen your search radius, more dates and locations may appear. 

Candidates who purchase certification bundles that include an exam voucher are subject to the following policies:

  • ACE's Refund Policy allows for returns within 30 days from the date of purchase. All returns are subject to a 20% restocking fee. Customers who have redeemed their exam voucher are not eligible for a refund.
  • Exam vouchers are non-refundable and non-transferable.
  • Exam vouchers must be redeemed within 6 months from the original date of purchase.
  • CPR/AED certification is required to register for the exam and must remain current through the exam date. The course must include a live skills check; online-only CPR/AED courses are not accepted.
  • Extensions are not given on exam vouchers.
  • Retake vouchers (included in select study bundles) must be redeemed within 60 days of the original failed exam date.

Exceptions to the refund deadline will be considered on a case-by-case basis for documented cases of serious illness, bereavement, natural disasters, and other emergencies. In these instances, candidates must electronically date-stamp or postmark their request no later than 30 days after the examination date and provide any and all supporting documentation. With proper documentation, candidates will be offered the option to apply their examination fee toward a future registration to be scheduled within the next six months, or they can request a full refund of examination fees. No refunds will be given for rescheduled exams.

Unfortunately, there is no way to extend the exam voucher expiration date, however, the date that your exam voucher expires is not the date by which you need to take your exam. It is simply the date by which you need to select the date you will sit for your exam. The day that you actually take the exam can be as far out as the testing locations in your area schedule exams. If you look at the locations in your area (searched by the zip code you have on file in your account), you’ll notice that exams can be scheduled past your voucher expiration date. If you widen your search radius, more dates and locations may appear.



Q: Can I change the time or location of my exam?

A:

You may reschedule your ACE exam up until 11:59 p.m. PST the night before your scheduled exam date for a rescheduling fee of $149 for U.S./Canada and $299 for international exams. Candidates who “no show” and do not reschedule prior to that deadline will be subject to first-time exam fees for a new testing date.
To reschedule, log in to your My ACE account, select “My Exam Information” and then “Reschedule My Exam.” Proceed through the online registration process, paying the fee upon checkout. You’re only eligible to reschedule once, and you may only reschedule for another computer-based exam. Once your new desired examination date, site and time have been approved, you’ll receive an e-mail notification instructing you to download and print your admission ticket.
Exceptions to the reschedule fee will be considered on a case-by-case basis for documented serious illness, bereavement, natural disasters and other emergencies. In these instances, candidates must contact ACE Exam Registration prior to the day of their exam and provide supporting documentation. Candidates who have requested special accommodations will need to contact the ACE Exam Registration via e-mail at examregistration@ACEfitness.org or phone (888) 825-3636, ext. 783 to reschedule.



Q: I'm thinking about rescheduling my exam. Should I?

A:

Can you physically not attend your exam or are you just not feeling ready? While rescheduling is the best option if you cannot physically attend your exam, we always encourage you to sit for your exam when possible because of the $149 reschedule fee, compared to the retake fee of $199.

The best case scenario is that you pass your exam on the first attempt and no further action is needed, however, if you are unsuccessful you will still have gained the experience of taking the exam and have an exam score report to work with. Our study coaches can then review that score report and help highlight where you’re doing well, where you need improvement, and provide other helpful study recommendations. Also, if you reschedule you’re limited to scheduling your exam with the options that are posted whereas if you retake your exam, you will have one year from your unsuccessful exam date to retake at the discounted rate of $199. Ultimately you need to determine what works best for you.



Q: How is the exam scored?

A:

All four ACE certification programs have competency-based assessments comprised of multiple choice exams with 125 scored items and 25 experimental items that make up the entire credentialing exam. Candidates are given three hours to complete an ACE multiple choice exam for any of the four ACE certification programs.

ACE examinations are scored according to procedures accepted by the American Psychological Association, the American Educational Research Association and the National Council on Measurement in Education. The candidate’s score is derived from the number of questions answered correctly, and is then converted to a scaled score ranging from 200 to 800 points, with the passing point set at a scaled score of 500 points. Candidates who earn a scaled score of 500 or more points will be awarded the ACE certification for which they tested.

For more information, please review the Certification Exam Candidate Handbook.



Q: How do I use my ACE eBook?

A:

The following information will help you navigate through your eBook by explaining the toolbar functions, the navigation hot keys / shortcut keys and other usability functions.

To zoom the publication in and out, either click in the area of the page you wish to zoom in on, or use the zoom button on the toolbar, which will automatically zoom on the center of the pages you are viewing. Then select your preferred level of zoom using the zoom scale, which will appear on the toolbar once the publication is zoomed in.

To move the page around, click and drag the publication or use the scroll bars found at the right hand side and the bottom of the page.

If you are reading on a PC and you have a wheel on your mouse you can use this to scroll up and down.

Click on the publication or zoom icon again to zoom out (a minus sign will appear in the icon for zooming out).

PAGE BROWSING
To turn the page, click on the bottom right corner of the publication or use the arrow buttons on the tool bar for instant page display. You can also move instantly to the first or last page using the keys with a single vertical line, next to the arrow keys.
The page you are viewing will be displayed in the white window, in the middle of the toolbar. You can also type the page you require into this page display, to move instantly.
You can also use the contents drop down menu on the right hand side of the toolbar to select the page you require.

HOTKEYS
To navigate through the publication using hot keys instead of a mouse, use the following keys:
To select items on the menu bar use the TAB key to move through the selections. A yellow box will highlight your selection. To activate the selection hit the space bar.
 - To turn to the next page, press the full stop key.
 - To turn to back to the previous page, press the comma key.
 - To zoom in, press “Z” once. Press the Z key a second time to zoom out again.
 - You can increase or decrease the zoom level by pressing the + or - keys.
 - Once zoomed in, press A to scroll left.
 - Press D to scroll right.
 - Press W to scroll up.
 - Press S to scroll down.

SEARCH
There is a contextual search facility on the far right of the toolbar. Type your search word or term into the box and click the GO button to start the search. A dropdown menu of results will appear under the search box. Click the page you require from the menu and you will be delivered directly to that page. Your keyword or search term will be highlighted in green.

STICKY NOTES
You can add notes to the page for future reference by clicking on the note icon on the toolbar and selecting the area you wish to annotate. Write your notes in the yellow box. Once you have finished, a yellow note icon will be pasted on the selected area. When you wish to view your notes again, simply scroll over the yellow note icon when required.

BOOKMARKING
You can add bookmarks to your eBook that will allow you to return easily to specific pages. ACE eBooks allow for multiple page bookmarking, using different colored bookmarks for each page.
You can also reference each bookmark with a short description.
The bookmarks will remain on your publication if you view the publication from the same computer. You can also save an offline version of your publication to your desktop, which will also save your bookmarks and referencing.

CONTENTS
You can click on the contents button on the left of the toolbar to view a dropdown menu of the publication's contents. Clicking on the page you require will move you directly to that page. You can also click to view thumbnails of each page in the publication.



Q: I'm looking for a study timeline for my Personal Training program. What do you suggest?

A:

We generally advise spending 3 to 4 months studying and preparing yourself to not only pass the exam, but also to prepare yourself to become a health and fitness professional. We suggest spending 12 to 15 hours on every lesson, which generally equates to taking 5 to 7 days to cover the video, reading, study companion and quiz. There are 18 lessons plus the exam review and practice tests, and if you spend 5 to 7 days on each that equates to about 3 to 4 months of preparation time.




Your Profile     Top

Q: How can I improve my Find an ACE Pro ranking?

A:

In order to improve your Find an ACE Pro Ranking, please ensure that you have provided the following information to ACE:

On your profile page:

  • Your description
  • Your picture
  • Your specialties
  • Your hourly rates

 

In your My ACE Account:

  • Your current CPR information
  • You will also rank higher if you have more than one current ACE Certification.


Q: How do I change my name on My ACE Account?

A:

Fax a copy of either your marriage certificate or a driver’s license showing your new name, along with a brief letter stating your request to the attention of Educational Services at (858) 576-6564. You can also email the above documents to support@ACEfitness.org or mail them to:

American Council on Exercise
ATTN: Educational Services
4851 Paramount Drive
San Diego, CA 92123