I just spent a day at Georgia Tech during AFAA APEX weekend to get my fitness certification in group exercise (see Roselyn’s post for more details on AFAA APEX. I had been going back and forth for the past two months about whether or not to go for the certification. Attending in person during the APEX weekend made it less expensive, but it was still an investment. Not to mention the time in studying for the test. I waited a little too long and drove myself crazy: by the time I ordered and received the textbook study materials and practice test, I had a mere 10 days to ingest the info (mind you, I have NO health/science/fitness background).
I arrived on time, and the room was packed. I was one of 88 students! We sat on mats on the floor of one the group exercise rooms. Our funny, experienced, personable instructor was a delight, originally from Japan. She made the day go by fast and put us at ease. For each test we had to do, she made sure we were prepared and answered all our questions as we reviewed pertinent sections and questions in the study guide. She also explained what to do and what NOT to do on the practical part of the exam to make sure we weren’t disqualified.
Some of the people in attendance were already teaching (lots of Zumba folks), but I thought you had to have the cert before you taught classes. In any case, everyone was easygoing and friendly; I had a chance to network with people and found that we had mutual friends in common and/or facilities we frequented. After lunch, four examiners joined us for the testing portion of the day:
- First, we had a practical test as a group, where everyone demonstrates warm-up, strength, and cardio exercises for a few minutes each (as well as appropriate stretches for each category). We lined up by number (my name always puts me in the front of the class).
- Then we each did our individual presentations of one minute each, where we had to choose a strength or cardio exercise and present three levels of that the same exercise (since group exercise participants perform at different fitness levels). Since there were 88 of us, the instructor divided us into two groups. She listened to both people (somehow), and there were also two other examiners for each group that evaluated us.
- Finally, we had an hour to complete a closed-book, 100-question multiple choice test. There were only a handful of questions of which I had to totally guess the answer (you can miss 20 questions and still pass).
The whole day’s schedule ran from 9-6; I left a little after 5. I should have my results within 8 weeks, and hopefully I can start teaching TurboKick next month.