This is the second post in a series discussing the AFAA Primary Group Certification. In this post, we’ll examine steps to take before the Workshop, including registration, studying, getting your CPR and checking in.
How much time do I need to prepare before the workshop?
This will depend on your experience level. AFAA states that the Primary Group Certification is for “for group exercise instructors whose training and educational background has prepared them to take the AFAA Primary Group Exercise Certification exam.” They also state that “this course is a review of AFAA’s Basic Exercise Standards and Guidelines, anatomy, exercise science, exercise evaluation and exam criteria.” You will be tested on your knowledge of muscles, joint actions, energy systems, exercise safety, among other things. If you don’t know where your tensor fascia latte is, or if you didn’t know that the join action of a chest press is horizontal shoulder adduction, then you want to allow yourself more time. The first time I took the exam, I got the book two months in advance and studied a couple of hours per chapter, reading a chapter a week. I felt prepared for the exam. My friend registered later, got the book 10 days before the exam, read half of the book before the exam, and was prepared. Be honest about your experience and knowledge and give yourself as much time as you can to read the book before hand.
You can register for the certification on AFAA’s website. They have a handy tool for searching for workshops in your area. Select a workshop that is near you to attend and plan on taking the whole day for the wokrshop. They start at 9 and are supposed to end at 6, but ours got finished at 7 pm. The registration process is fairly easy and as soon as you are signed up, they mail you your study guide, the textbook and your invoice. Make sure you read the description of your certification to be sure that the textbook is included in your Primary Study Package. For APEX, because of the huge discount, the textbook is an additional cost. I didn’t purchase it, but I believe the cost is $40 or so. Take a look so you can order it if you need it.
Get a current CPR certification
You can take the workshop without being CPR certified, but they will not issue your certificate without having it on hand. Find a CPR course through the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association. Many cities have businesses who give emergency training courses, and the gyms or hospitals in your area may also be able to help you find a workshop. AFAA will not accept online CPR courses.
You registered, got your CPR card, and read your textbook. It is time to head on over for the workshop. If it is at all possible to arrive early for check-in, I highly recommend it. We couldn’t get there but ten minutes early (did I mention how lost we were?) and the line was ridiculous. Of course, it was APEX, which tends to have high turnout, but still… Get there early and come prepared. They give you a list of what to bring with you in your study guide, but just in case…. Bring comfortable clothing, a clean fitness outfit for your practical, number 2 pencils, your study guide, snacks, water, lunch, and your CPR card.
We’ll talk about what happens during the day of the workshop in the next post.