Steps to Getting AFAA certified

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21 thoughts on “Steps to Getting AFAA certified

  1. Thank you so much for this blog! I am taking the Primary Group Fitness Certification this weekend, but I don’t have my CPR certification yet. I am registered for a CPR class in a couple of weeks (I couldn’t get in any earlier). Do you know how I will prove that certification to AFAA when I do receive it in a couple of weeks and what should I expect during the workshop…do you think that will be a problem with AFAA since I don’t have it yet?

  2. To my knowledge, it is okay to take the workshop without the CPR cert. I believe that they simply withhold your certification until you mail or fax a copy of your CPR card to them. I left my CPR card at home the day of the workshop, and all that was required was a quick faxing when I got home to get them to mail the cert to me. Hope that helps! Glad you’re here.

  3. I am REALLY enjoying your comments, as I am completely new to this industy. I want to know how large the book is that is sent to you after registration? There is a class available in my area two, three and four weeks away. So, didn’t know if the two week class would give me enough time to read the entire book, or if I should take a later class.

  4. Wow! I’m like missyf, thank you soooo much for this! I’m totally freakin out over my certification that is coming up in a couple of weeks. I have a few questions: for some reason i thought i had to come up with a step routine, is this not true? i can do a strength training exercise as my individual routine? this would be great! also, since you went to an Apex event there were a ton of people, there probably won’t be that many people in my workshop, do you think the format will still be the same? and finally, i also registered for the skills and choreography workshop which is said to be a good pre-cursor to the primary group exam, what are your thoughts? thank you again.

  5. Thanks for stopping in, I am glad to be able to help you out!

    1. You do not have to come up with a step routine, but you can do step for your individual presentation; however, you will not have a step bench and you will still have to follow the guidelines for showing appropriate modifications for a beginner, intermediate and advanced participant. My preference is to do a strength exercise in the individual participation as there is a clear-cut method (outlined in Post #4-5) for delivery that will ensure success.

    2. To the best of my knowledge, the event structure will be the same at a non-APEX workshop as at APEX, but you are correct, you will have fewer people to compete with!

    3. Yes, I believe the skills and choreography workshop can only aid in your understanding of what AFAA is looking for. While I have never taken that particular workshop, I think it will certainly be worth the time, especially if you are a new instructor.

    Glad to have you here!

  6. Pingback: AFAA Primary Group Certification FAQ | GroupFitPower

  7. Pingback: AFAA Primary Group Exercise Certification

  8. Hi Krista! Thank you so much for this great amount of information. It made me a little overwhelmed and nervous so go through the workshop, but also so relieved that I have 2 months until my test. I do have one question.. For the presentation I was thinking of doing a lunge with a lateral raise . In your opionion, do you think that it’s a good idea to do an exercise that works 2 different muscle groups or is simple better??

    • Hi Kerry — In my opinion, the benefits of using a compound movement are outnumbered by the risks. It’s nerve-wracking enough to remember all of the form cues and details of a simple movement. When you make it compound, you double all of the things you’ll need to remember and execute flawlessly. However, you certainly can do this movement, as it is a perfectly decent exercise. If you love lunges with lateral raises and are confident that you have the execution down pat, I would recommend adding the lateral raise as a way of advancing a simple lunge. In other words, if your presentation is of a lunge, you can do a standing static lunge as your Basic Move. Make it Intermediate by adding the lateral raise and then make it Advanced by adding a step back and together of the lunging leg. Hope that helps!

  9. It does help!! Thank you. Also, I had another question about the Warm-up/Cardio part.. I have the warm up set with 3 of each-movement rehearsal, limbering and stretches, but I am not sure about the higher intensity moves. Does that mean those moves-step touhes, knee lifts, etc. just adding arms and moderate or high impact OR different moves all together??? It says to use a minimum of 3 leg variations. It just was a little confused about it. Thank you so much!!

  10. It can mean both. But again, simpler is better. Anytime you add arms, direction, or increase impact, you’ve advanced a move. There are very few high impact moves that don’t have a progression, so it usually makes more sense to use the same move with varying levels. Post 4 has the movements I used for mine. If you share with me what the context of “3 leg variations” is, I can help you interpret what they’re getting at. Hang in there!

  11. Thank you so much Krista!! Sorry to be a pain, but I have another question.. I decided to do the lunge combo for my presentation, but I am not sure if that is too complicated (not to do, but to explain). For the muscle group it using do I have to list them all?? ie. glutes, traps, hamstrings and quads. Also, they ask to explain the purpose of the exercise. Does that mean to strengthen the muscle groups listed?? I might be looking way to into this, but thank you so much for your help!

  12. This blog was the BEST thing I read before taking my AFAA Group Exercise Cert back in December. I felt totally prepared for it and I passed! Thanks for posting this!

  13. I was supposed to take the Feb. 2010 APEX but ended up having to go on a work trip. There is another one coming up but they have now updated the textbook. Has anyone taken the certification since it changed (i think 6/30/10) or does anyone know what the difference is. I hate to buy another book if I don’t have to. Thanks for any help.
    Krista R.

  14. Hey everyone,
    So, I took my AFAA and wanted to let everyone who wants to know that it was a piece of cake. REALLY! If you read your book you will do fine! My group (sept 2010) was the FIRST group with the new test.. no pressure! LOL. Anyway, it was simple. You can get up to 20 wrong! 20! Thats crazy. If you get 20 wrong on this test you really should rethink your seriousness into AFAA. I was literally diagnosed as a “bad tester” in early 90’s and was fearful to take a test even now at the age of 30. This test? NO PROB. I read my book 3 times NO LIE and I HATE reading. EVERYTHING on the test is in your study guide! Its multiple choice too! The practical was NERVE WRACKING but never the less REALLY easy. They will spend the ENTIRE day going over all possible exercises for the exam. I can give you more in depth info if you want to email me and ask questions. There was NOTHING on the web for in depth information and I searched everywhere. I LITERALLY wanted someone to walk me through it but couldnt find anything. I am going to do a you tube video soon and post that! Anyway,
    Just wanted to put you all at ease! Just study DO NOT wait til the day before the exam!
    Feel free to email me and ask questions Id be happy to help someone who is facing the same fear I had to face on my own.

  15. Hello!
    I just wanted to say thank you for writing this blog 🙂 I have found it very very helpful. As well as everyones comments. I just ordered my books but have yet to register for the certification. I am thinking I will register for the one in December. I am not that nervous about the written test but I am VERY nervous about the practical, as I am brand new to this! I have worked in a gym for a few years as the front desk girl and I have been trained to do the fitness assessments for the trainers and allowed to do some circuit training here and there, but I have never done a class. I have just always been told that I would be great at it and have always thought I would really love to do it. So here I am!I am hoping to get certified and get out there to start teaching classes! Any other tips would be greatly appreciated. Annie, I am going to e-mail you with a few questions and would love to talk with you about your experience.
    Thanks again!

  16. Pingback: AFAA Primary Group Exercise Certification Tips : The Chic Life

  17. Pingback: AFAA: How Did I Do? «

  18. Do you know how much different the new book is from the old one? I have an old one (second edition) and would rather not purchase a new one if they are similar enough.


  19. HI!



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