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 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.
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!