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AFAA Personal Training Certification

I was both ACE and AFAA certified for several years but left both certifications lapse due to a change in profession. I did not feel that I would want to be in the fitness field again. The first AFAA certification I took was very easy in comparison to ACE. I elected to do AFAA again since it was easier and because I could recertify without another exam. However, I discovered that the course had dramatically changed and was very comprehensive.

Yes, you can look up answers, but the few questions I got wrong I will never forget because I needed to search through material to find the correct answer. ACE may have increased their intensity also, but I find the AFAA certification to be in depth and a challenge for anyone, especially someone who does not take the course with 23 years of experience in the field as I do.

I chose to recertify since I am not the director of a recreation center specializing in senior activities. We offer many fitness programs and I wanted to build my expertise in this field using this certification as the base.

Is the certification comparison table up to date with AFAA's newest on-line course?

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AFAA has gotten tougher
by: Katie - Admin

AFAA and ACE have raised their standards in recent years. Our certification comparison table was last updated for AFAA in January 2007. Let me know if you think the program has changed significantly to warrant changing the table (please be specific). Thanks.

- Katie

AFAA does the job, but there are better
by: Brian

Many people underestimate the difficulty of the AFAA written test. The test requires a good base of kinesiology, which is what causes many to fail the first time, including me. In talking with trainers of other certs, I've realized that each cert has its hard and not-so-hard aspects. AFAA is hard on the kinesiology and anatomy, but is not so hard on exercise prescription and application.

AFAA also has all kinds of garbage on starting your own personal training company and marketing. Most trainers will go on to work at gyms, not start their own company, which makes this material irrelevant. In my experience, AFAA is widely - if not universally - accepted at gyms. But as with most professions, experience, personality and who you are means more than any certificate. I've met garbage NASM trainers and wonderful IFPA trainers, so avoid generalizations regarding certs.

This said, if I could do it all over again I'd go NASM. Their cert is much more cutting edge, comprehensive, and places due emphasis on program design.

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