Should I stick with AFAA, there is a workshop in my area soon, but I get so nervous about the practical part of the test. I know ACE has only the one test, but cost more for premium package and no review workshop. Also I have the 2002 Fitness Theory & Practice and I wonder how much difference there is between the 2002 and the 2010 book?
I am certified with ACE as a personal trainer and health coach, and with AFAA as a group instructor. As far as certifying agencies go, ACE far exceeds my expectations for continuing education–including quality workshops, continuous feed of fitness and health information,
and ease of re-certification (accepts some outside credits). I’ve found the certifications to be very well respected, as well as NCCA accredited. I have been very pleased with ACE.
Yes, AFAA does have a practical component to it–and that is a good thing. You should try to get as much practical experience as you can–it will make you more comfortable. My suggestion for either certification you choose is to find someone who can serve as a mentor to you. There are a lot of variables that go into teaching classes, and an experienced instructor can really be a big help. Find a few classes that you enjoy, and ask the instructor about mentoring. Many are willing to help!
You could call ACE directly to ask them about the differences in your manuals.
Good luck to you! Teaching is so much fun, and you will be changing lives for the better!
I am registered to get certified as a GFI with both ACE and AFAA. AFAA seems to be more practically oriented and ACE includes more anatomy. I am going to take the AFAA course in August at the Zumba Conference so I can start looking for work. I have until November to take the ACE test, and can get an extension if necessary. ACE seems to be the gold standard, but I know a lot of people who are only AFAA-certified.
There are several things to consider when making your choice. I’ve held group-ex through AFAA and now hold PT through ACE. I have the most current group-ex books from AFAA, ACE, and ACSM. If I were going to re-do my group-ex cert, I’d do ACE for the money savings of multiple certs by the same provider or I’d do ACSM.
Where do you want to work? Find out what certifications those places want you to have.
How readily available are the continuing education courses for the cert you want? One of the reasons I left AFAA was because they never came to my area to do CEC workshops, and I didn’t care for their online CECs the one time I took them. AFAA requires you to have at least one AFAA CEC course provided directly by AFAA in order to renew your certification. ACE does not have that requirement.
What future trainings do you want? Will your basic certification open doors to those further certs? For example, I’m really interested in PTA Global’s advanced personal training curriculum. Not accessible with AFAA, but it is accessible with ACE.
Is budget your main consideration? AFAA sells its basic certification through APEX for a discounted price a few times a year, making it a great cert for the budget-challenged. If you don’t want to do fitness as a career, you just need a basic cert to get hired somewhere, this might be the way to go, especially if funds are tight. For me, I wanted ACE for the doors it opens so I was willing to pay more money.
What’s right for you is just that – right for YOU. Consider making a list of your fitness goals and priorities. Then, look into ACE, AFAA, ACSM, etc.