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I would NOT use AFAA for a personal training certification

by Terry
(San Diego, CA)

I spent the almost $500 for the 3 day workshop and passed the written exam on the first try but not the practical. The workshop instructor said she could not tell us what would be on the practical but that we could only miss one point to pass it. I failed it the first time.

I am not new to exercise and have taught step aerobic classes and was certified to do so. I've gone to the gym for over 20 years now. I paid the $75 and went back to take the practical at AFAA and failed it again. They don't tell you exactly what you did wrong but send a form that tells you what areas you missed points in. AFAA gets $75 for every re-take of the practical, so once someone has invested $500 on the exam/workshop its an easy way for them to keep making more money.

The practical is really impractical....there are certain buzz words you need to use and an exact format to follow or you will be failed. As if training someone in the real world works that way...

I am going with NASM..it has better recognition in the working world and doesn't have a practical that really is just a gimmick to make lots of money! And it takes a month to get the results from the tests or if you want to pay an additional $35 they will tell you after one week...seem weird to you? Its a Scantron...a month...really...less time if you pay more money.

Comments for I would NOT use AFAA for a personal training certification

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come on now
by: Anonymous

If you didnt pass AFAA then you will not pass NASM either. Also, those "buzz" words and points on form that you are supposed to include in the practical exam can make all the difference in the world when safely training a client and preventing injuries.

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Same experience
by: Anonymous

My daughter also passed the written part of the AFAA training this past summer with no problem but failed the practical area twice, with little to no feedback.
She has been in athletics all of her life and played college basketball for the last two years, so she is well versed in weight training and conditioning.
I asked some questions about the coaching they received during the 2-day workshop to prepare for the testing. The coaching/teacher did not spend more than 20 minutes going over the practical areas. There was also no opportunity for the trainees to evaluate the trainer, which raises some questions in my mind. Any top-notch organization interested in continuing improvement should be doing evaluations on their trainers and the quality of their workshops.

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The AFAA process is poorly planned and executed
by: Anonymous

While I am still awaiting my results, more than a month later, I was initially disappointed by the lack of information provided about the process and location of my workshop and exam. I had to call to find out exactly which room on the state university campus the class and exam would be held in, as it was not made available to me, even after making the purchase online. I actually attend the University so I was aware of the parking situation and planned appropriately. However, there were several attendees who were not familiar with the campus and were therefore late. One person even had their car towed due to parking in the wrong location. A few tips on the venue would have been very helpful.

Upon arriving I was further disappointed to find that making just one mistake on the entire practical portion of the exam would result in failure. While I had practiced the practical portion well, with all the money and time (including a vacation day from work) I had put into this, I was very nervous and bound to make at least one mistake. On top of that we were made to wait in place, ready to take the practical exam for about 30 minutes, for a reason I am still not aware of. This just added to my nervousness.

When taking the written portion of the exam we were not provided desks. We were actually made to sit outside the workout room, on the floor to take our written exam. The fact that there was a racketball tournament going on in the gym with people all over and classes going on with music blaring through open doors made it very difficult to concentrate.

Finally, we were told we could expect our results in a month via e-mail. I figured they said that to fend off a bunch of phone calls in the beginning, because I couldn’t see how an organization could be successful with that kind of actual turn around. If it were me and my customers paid the amount of money that I did, I’d be embarrassed to tell them it will take a month for your results. However, it’s been over a month now and it’s difficult to even get an email regarding the status of my results.

Overall, I feel that the certification process for AFAA is poorly planned and poorly executed. I will not be a returning customer for further certifications or continuing education.

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28 year veteran in the war againt obesity
by: Some fitness guy

My first cert was through AFAA. I studied profusely for a couple months before the workshop/ test. It was not at all difficult.

For those of you that have been playing sports or hitting the gym, a lot of that knowledge is impractical when it comes to personal training.

The test is NOT regarding how you train yourself, but rather how you should guide others on their chosen goals and follow the simple guidelines to insure safe and productive fitness procedures.

So:

If you've failed, stop thinking what you already know... and read the material.

And yes, if you can't pass the AFAA test. You don't have a snowballs chance at NASM. It is much more technical and in depth.


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resistance training test
by: Anonymous

the problem with the resistance training test which is given on line via videos is that the test covers material which is not taught. Muscles and muscle groups are part of the short answers but they are never mentioned in the videos. In order to pass, which means you get every question correct, you have to look the answers up on line. the whole certification thing is a money maker for afaa, not much else. My home state does not require current certification, or certification at all. But afaa requires that I keep giving them money for them to keep the certification they gave me active. Do you
notice anything wrong with this?

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It takes work
by: Anonymous

You have to read the book (Personal Fitness Training Theory and Practice) and fill out the study guide. The lectures don't cover everything, you have to actually STUDY and READ. Mind blown.


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Get over yourself...
by: Anonymous

To be a Personal Trainer you need to be able to properly train your client. This would include proper cues, proper stretches, and proper modifications. YOUR personal experience exercising does not prepare you to train others. Teaching a group exercise class also does not make you a personal trainer!

If you didn't pass you have some more work to do! Shadow a few PT's and find out what your missing.

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Terrible instructor and YMCA location
by: Anonymous

What was the name of the instructor? I also have a terrible experience with AFAA and their instructor. They do not spend enough effort and time for training people!Firstly,the course location in YMCA Flushing, NY was terrible! I spent hours for studying, not eating and sleeping well, and spending 3 exhausted days in a room with terrible conditions (it was almost impossible to see the board)and I may still fail the exam because the instructor! The instructor talked 2 days long while she was seating. She was ready to leave before anyone else so kept talking fast and fast ...to finish and leave early! All three days were not used as full days of instruction. She rushed everything to make sure she covers some information she has to before the exam and leaves early. She did not like to be stopped and answer questions, gave attitude when questions asked! I stopped asking questions after a while because she made me feel like I was stupid, so everyone just shut up and listened her long and annoying talk.It was difficult to catch-up and understand what she was saying because she was talking too fast and a love volume... On Sunday both practical and written started at 12:00 noon and done by 15:00! Because she needed to be at the airport to catch her plane! Friday the course was done by 7 pm not 9, Saturday by 3pm not 6pm, and Sunday by 3 pm not 6 pm!

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You need to STUDY to pass
by: Anonymous

I have had great experiences with AFAA and have chosen them for group fitness and personal training for as long as I've been certified (probably longer than some of you have been alive...haha) This certification is not about your own workout experience or how many years you've been lifting and training yourself, or years teaching group fitness... and the instructors for the workshops may or may not be what you expect. However, if you get the materials ahead of time, READ and STUDY and do the outline, UNDERSTAND what you read... There is no reason why you cannot pass the practical exam. If you fail it and don't understand the exact reason, do your homework and research all there is to know about the "area" that needs attention in order to pass. The goal of personal training is to safely and effectively train OTHERS. There is a lot that goes into being a good personal trainer. Your clients are relying on you for your knowledge and guidance, and they trust you to know what you're doing. You can blame the instructors all day long and complain about the venue, but the bottom line is YOU are responsible for learning the materials and knowing what you are doing, and asking questions if you don't get something, before taking that practical. If you don't get the materials ahead and spend the time to study and practice beforehand, you cannot expect to learn it all in those three days.

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Horribel AFAA instructor
by: Anonymous

The instructor I had, I believe her name was Sawan or something similar, was absolutely horrible. She blew through the material and basically cut out an entire days worth of training in order to leave early each day. I was highly disappointed seeing as how I paid so much money in an effort to actually learn the material. The training was a joke. She breezed through the material that would be covered on the practical as well and then divided us into partner groups to practice. What really upset me was that even though she could tell that a couple people were still feeling lost, she sat down and played on her phone the entire time. I studied hard and even had my step dad go over all the material with me, as he is a physical therapist and knows it well, because she really did not cover it well. I passed the written portion, but failed the practical by one point. I was really upset by this because after we had all finished she told us that we all did well, so I was not worried. Also my partner was an employed personal trainer with plenty of practice, and he said that I did really well. So I was very frustrated to find out I did not pass. All in all, I was highly disappointed by the quality of the instructor and would not recommend this certification course to anyone who is serious about pursuing a job in this field.

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AFAA is my certification
by: Heather

I took the AFAA personal trainer course in 2011 online. I did NOT study for two months before the test. I studied for SIX months. I read the entire book backwards and forwards (to the point that the binding broke a bit), viewed all the lectures more than once, did mini tests on my anatomy knowledge from my friend who was getting a PhD in anatomy.
I practiced on my friend doing cuing points, tested muscle awareness and practiced the exercises myself to get the right form. When I took the written exam finally I passed with an 85%.
I took the practical online through a webcam with a proctor. She was impressed by the fact that I knew what the Digitorum Longus was and how it worked. I was tested on my form, what muscles were used, what were the muscles flexed and extended and how to stretch that area. BTW the proctor made me put the webcam all around my room so that I was not able to have notes and also during my written test I was on the webcam taking it with making sure no notes and also they took over my computer so to make sure I was not using the internet for information.
I was tossed out a case study on the practical. I had to right then and there show how to do it, tell what I would cue that client to do and how to describe the muscles used, the opposing muscles and a stretch for it.
I have done personal training for Indiana University for 4 years. I have been a successful trainer and received awards from IU and never had a dissatisfied client. I am now also certified in Group Exercise from AFAA and have been teaching at IU for 2 years.
The point is you have to put the time and effort into study and practice for any certification. Studying here and there for a couple of months will not make you a good trainer just as taking 5 piano lessons won't make you a concert pianist.

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same
by: Anonymous

AFAA is now owned by NASM they are one in the same.

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