Asset 19 angle-down-bold angle-left-bold angle-right-bold angle-up-bold Asset 10 certifications Asset 14 close-bold close Asset 8 Asset 12 menu Asset 18 Asset 17 Asset 6 Asset 16 Asset 9 Asset 15 Asset 11 Asset 13

ACE FAQs

Sort By Topic:


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: What if I don’t have some of the information required to complete my petition?

A:

If you do not know some of the information that is required on the petition application or do not have a copy of any required materials, do not submit your petition. It will be denied, and the fee is non-refundable. Our team cannot review your application if the information about your course is missing. Please contact the provider of your course and ask them for the missing information.



Q: How do I contact the provider of the course I completed?

A:

If you are missing any of the required information or materials about your course, contact the organization that provided the training. Their contact information can likely be found on their website, in the receipt that they sent you when you purchased the course, or may have been given to you as a resource at the end of the course. Reference the fact that you are submitting a petition to ACE to receive continuing education for the training they provided and mention that ACE requires certain information to be able to review the course. We find that providers are usually happy to help.



Q: How do I know when my renewal cycle started?

A:

After logging in to your MyACE account, click on “View Full Details” under the title of your certification. Under “Your Scenario”, you will see when your renewal cycle started: “CECs completed on xx/xx/xxxx or later will count toward your current cycle.”



Q: Why would my petition be denied?

A:

Petitions are denied if they are missing any required information or if any information was not able to be verified or found to be false. Your petition will also be denied if the course was:

  • Not within the ACE Scope of Practice, regardless of what other profession you may practice
  • Not taken within your current renewal cycle
  • Not taught by individuals who meet credential qualifications

 

 



Q: Are my fees refunded if my petition is denied?

A:

All petition fees are non-refundable. The petition fee is not the cost of ACE entering course credits into your account.

The petition fee is the cost of the time it takes our team to perform the detailed review of your course or event. Therefore, if the review finds that your course does not meet requirements or that your application is incomplete, it is denied and the fee is not refunded.



Q: I have a credential to practice in a healthcare/allied health field (i.e. nurse, medical doctor, dietitian, physical therapist, etc.). May I submit a petition for a course I took in that field since I currently work in that field?

A:

Only courses within the ACE Scope of Practice will be approved. If you are dually credentialed and practice another field that allows you to perform activities beyond the scope of an ACE certified professional, courses that you take on the topics from those fields may not be used towards maintaining your ACE certifications.

Education from another field cannot be used to maintain your ACE certification. When it comes to continuing education for your different credentials, think about it as “removing your hat”.

Example: An ACE Certified Health Coach who is also a Registered Dietitian would need to remove their Registered Dietitian “hat” when considering whether to submit continuing education courses about medical nutrition therapy for clients with diabetes. Since medical nutrition therapy is outside the ACE Scope of Practice, this topic will not be approved for ACE continuing education, regardless of the ACE Certified Health Coach’s role as a Registered Dietitian.



Q: I’m typing in the course code for my approved course, but I keep getting an error message.

A:

If your Course Provider gave you an ACE coursecode for the course you completed, you do not have to petition because the course is pre-approved.

However, if you are typing in that course code along with the date that you took the course and you keep getting an error message, the code may have been given to you in error. This may mean the provider thought their course was approved for the year that you took the course, but that it was not actually approved for that year.

If you took the course in this current calendar year, check the ACE Pre-Approved Directory. If the course is not listed there, it was not approved for this year and you will need to petition the course. If you took the course in a previous year, call ACE Educational Services at (800) 825-3636 ext. 782 to determine whether the course was actually approved during the year that you completed it.



Q: The course I took is listed on the ACE-Approved Directory, but there is no course code on my certificate of completion.

A:

If the course code for an ACE-approved course is not listed on your certificate, please contact your provider to request it.



Q: Are there any other ways to receive CECs?

A:

ACE also gives continuing education credits (CECs) for a variety of other professional development activities. Call ACE Support if you performed any of the following within your current renewal cycle:

  • Completed or renewed CPR, AED, or First Aid Training
  • Published research
  • Served on an ACE Committee
  • Authored fitness-related articles, books, book chapters, peer-reviewed journal articles, or a correspondence course
  • Attended a clinical observation of surgical procedures that can enhance the understanding of human systems that relate to your certification
  • Completed an internship in a fitness or related setting, if it was within the ACE Scope of Practice
  • Served the community in a fitness-related outreach event

 

See the ACE Recertification Handbook for details and restrictions.



Q: Why isn’t the course I took on the Pre-Approved Course Directory?

A:

ACE pre-approval is a voluntary process that organizations who provide continuing education courses may choose to complete. The Education Providers and their respective courses on the pre-approved list are listed there because they have chosen to seek ACE approval and met our high standards for quality continuing education. If the course you took is not on the list, it is most likely because the provider of the education has not chosen to submit to ACE for approval yet.

To learn more about the ACE Approved Continuing Education Provider Program, please visit the Continuing Education Provider page.



Q: Does ACE still accept mail-in petitions via paper application?

A:

As of June 30, 2020, ACE is no longer accepting CEC petition applications nor their payments via mail. All petitions and corresponding payments must be made through your MyACE account by clicking on “Petition for CECs”. This online petition portal will walk you through the steps and resources you need to properly submit a complete application for continuing education courses that are not already approved by ACE. Please be sure to read the instructions carefully, as all petition fees are non-refundable.




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 "Enter and Track 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 have completed a course that has yet to be ACE approved you may submit an electronic petition form via your MyACE account by clicking on "Petition for CECs." Petitions are $25 per course and are no longer accepted via mail, fax, or e-mail. Payments for petitions must be paid for via your MyACE account and are no longer accepted via check. 



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” (If you are submitting a nutrition course, see the ACE Position Statement on Nutrition regarding important Scope of Practice information.) 
    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:

 

  • Live or Virtual Conference: one-time event that may include multiple sessions for participants to choose from 
  • Live Workshop: live, in-person training that may happen multiple times a year with a singular timeline for all participants to attendsince learning is assessed in real-time by instructors, a quiz is not required 
  • Virtual Workshop (live-stream or pre-recorded):  live-streaming or pre-recorded virtual training, longer than 2 hours that may happen multiple times a yearsince learning of all attendees cannot be assessed in real-time by instructors, a quiz is required 
  • Online Distance Learning: online, self-paced course with a quiz that may be delivered via Learning Management System (LMS) or a combination of audio, video, text, and other enhanced learning activities  
  • Blended Learning Course: combination of an online distance learning course with a quiz and in-person workshop(submit as Course Type: “Online Distance Learning” Application)  
  • Book/DVD: a correspondence course, including a book, e-book, and/or DVD with a quiz  
  • Live Webinar: minimum 50 minutes, maximum two-hour live event presented online with a quiz 
  • Recorded Webinar or Recorded Conference Session: minimum 50 minutes, maximum two-hour recording of a live event presented online with a quiz : (submit as Course Type: “Webinar” Application) 


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 (Live or Virtual) Application Fee

Each new or renewed course submitted for year:

$50

Workshop (Live or Virtual) 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 (Live or Virtual)

1-50 sessions:

$400

51-100 sessions:

$800

100+ sessions:

$1,200

Webinar (Live or Pre-recorded) Application Fee

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

$75

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

$50

Webinar (Live or Pre-recorded) 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) - Please email us at educationprovider@acefitness.org to request a session grid template to use in the preparation of your application. 

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 credentials.  
    Providers are responsible for ensuring instructors at their conference meet the required criteria. If two or more people are co-presenting during the same session, at least one of those individuals must meet ACE credential requirements for that session to be approved. 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(Live or Virtual) 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). (If the course is taught by multiple instructors, all individuals must meet credential requirements. If any of the instructors do not meet requirements, the course will only be approved if they will be co-teaching with an approved instructor who does meet requirements.)
  • 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 biographies (if multiple individuals participated in authoring the course, at least one author must meet ACE credential requirements)
  • 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 Webinar 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 slides, course manual, or handouts used in presentation)
  • Three measurable objectives
  • Presenter resume (If the course is taught my multiple presenters, all individuals must meet credential requirements. If any of the presenters do not meet requirements, the course will only be approved if they will be co-teaching with an approved instructor who does meet requirements.
  • 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.

Renewal applications will be reviewed within 30 days of when they were submitted. 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) or by phone. 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. 

 



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

Reschedule

$149

$149

$149

$149

 

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

Reschedule

$299

$299

$299

$299

 

Simplified Chinese Language Exam
(All Locations)

PT

GFI

Health
Coach

CMES

First Time

$599

$599

Retake

$299

$299

2nd ACE Certification

$299

$299

Reschedule

$249

$249

 



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 skills 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 is 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 how 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: The Three Energy Systems Explained

A:

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 carbohydrates 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.

For further reading, please see The Three Primary Energy Pathways Explained

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, facilitated study groups, peer-to-peer interaction on the ACE Fitness Certification Study Center Facebook page, and the ACE Answers 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 webinar (available with specific study packages) or a tutoring session 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 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: 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 the 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 the 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 concerning 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 essential 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 your time.



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

A:

Please refer to the McGill's Torso Test video.

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 the muscular endurance of the deep core muscles.
  2. Trunk Lateral Endurance Test: also called the side bridge test, assesses the muscular endurance of the lateral core muscles.
  3. Trunk Extensor Endurance Test: assesses the 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. The results are evaluated collectively in the following ratios to indicate balanced endurance among the muscle groups:

Flexion: Extension

  • For the 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 the 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: 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. 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.

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. 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.

Follow this link for more information on this topic: What is the Difference Between VT1, VT2, & VO2 max?

 

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

Not 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: 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 the 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 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. An excellent 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.



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 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 equations 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.



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 backside 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 backside 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), deadlifts, 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 is 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.”

For more information, please refer to the blog The Planes of Motion Explained and the video The Planes of Motion.



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: 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 videos, reading, study companion, and quiz.




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