Saturday, March 29, 2014

AFFA Online Group Fitness Instructor Certification Test - part 2

The online Practical Group Fitness Instructor test

You have a Proctor watching you. They make sure your work area is clear. There could be 1-4 people that they're watching. You can see the other testers. That was hard because I was worried if I saw them doing a particular exercise I would do it too and the Proctor would think I was copying. :)

You start off by doing a demo class. Two minutes of warm up, 4 minutes of cardio and a 1-2 minute cool down. The Proctor plays music. It was a little difficult to hear. I just tried to stay with the beat count in my head. After the time is up they tell you "ok go to the cardio portion". In this portion you do not have to talk. Maybe if it was just you, you may have to. Both times I took it there was one other person.

After that they tell you to do 2 exercises & 1 stretch for the following muscle groups:
Trapezius, rhomboids, latissimus dorisi
Hip abductors, hip adductors
Gluteus Maximus
Tibialis Anterior
Hamstrings, gastrocnemius & soleus
Rectus abdominis and obliques
Erector spinae

Study this list before hand. Come up with what exercises & stretch you will do. Don't just wing it, you'll forget all you ever knew :) The first Proctor asked me those in that exact order, in that exact group. The second Proctor combined biceps and triceps & the tibialis anterior was combined with hamstrings. So the Proctors aren't all the same.  The key is: continue doing the exercise until they say "show me the next exercise" (this is where I messed up the first time. I just stopped after 3 reps) Again, the second Proctor was better, she told told me that at from the get go.

Then they will have you turn your speaker on and demonstrate an exercises showing 3 different levels. I recommend doing a strength. Cause with cardio you have to talk the entire time, that gets difficult. This is another area I messed up the first time through. Here is what you should do: Introduce yourself (with a smile) and then tell what exercise you will be performing & what muscle group it works. Start with level 1 - give cues! I did push ups so I said "keep your arms shoulder width apart.... neck in alignment with your spine ... keep a flat back" do a few of level one. Go to level 2... Give the same cues - and add some others "inhale going down, exhale coming up... Remember...." Level 3 - keep giving those cues, talk about what muscles you are working. [The first proctor said she wanted to know what I was doing if she closed her eyes] So keep that in mind. There's no such thing as too many cues (as long as it's correct :) )  Then you can end with "and that is how you do 3 different level of push ups [insert your exercise]"

When I finished the test the first time, the way her voice was, I could tell I wasn't going to pass. The second time through I was confident of the improvements I had made, and I could tell it in her voice. This test you don't know until about 48 hours later, and you get an email also.

I hope I've helped someone pass these tests :) and not deal with the heartache I did.

Happy testing!

AFFA Online Group Fitness Instructor Certification Test - part 1

In November 2013 I took the Online Group Fitness Instructor Certification written test. I failed it, by one too many missed questions. I cried when I clicked that button & it said "Unfortunately you did not answer enough right answers...." I cried like a big baby. It was an awful feeling. Then a week later I took the Practical Online Test. I failed that too! I cried again!!! It took me $75 and 3 months to get my courage back up to reschedule. And I PASSED!!!! So here are some things to help anyone else out there taking the online tests.

Watch the online lectures. Over and over and over again. Print off & fill in the Study Guide. There is this place that has flash cards & answers to the study guide. The flash cards weren't for me cause I just kept flipping to the other side too soon. Not enough self discipline I guess. The filled in study guide is a good tool. But I really recommend filling out one yourself. Something about writing the answers helps it get in your head.

What you should expect for the online test. Things you need: A laptop or computer with a webcam. A great internet connection. A clear working area. I was on a desktop so the "Proctor" (person watching me) asked me to grab a CD for the reflective backing & I showed him the desk. You have to "share" your computer with them they will make sure you don't have any other web pages open. You answer a few questions about your life. It's kinda erie because it asked questions about my house 4 houses ago!, and about my mother-in-law!!!?!?!? The second time I took it we had just moved to a new house so it was asking me questions about the previous owner... I failed that part of it. I felt dumb! I felt the need to explain to the Proctor that we had just moved & we were renting. She sent me through again. I got those right. Phew!

So after all that checking you click a button to take the test. You can't see or hear the Proctor during this (the second time I actually asked the Proctor "am I suppose to hear you?" she apologized). It's a white screen with little AFAA logos all over it. I have test anxiety so all that chaos on the screen was messing me up. I just had to get over myself :) There is a timer at the top of the questions. That was stressful too. (My palms were so sweaty the second time through)

You have 1 hour to complete 100 questions. All of the questions are multiple choice. No write in answers. Learn the Muscle Man and the muscle prime movers, very important. You are allowed to skip questions & if you have enough time at the end you can go back to them, otherwise they will be wrong. If you don't think you know the answer right away. Skip it. Both times I took pretty much the entire hour. When you click that last 'submit' on the last question that is when the news comes. <dum dum dum> To me that was the hardest to do after I failed the first time.

The second time through I only missed 12 questions. (you're allowed 20 wrong, an 80%) I was happy about that! You find out of you failed or passed right away. But you don't get the exact number of questions you missed until a week or so later. They send you an email.

Onto the Practical Test (next blog)

Longest Plateau Ever

Here lately I have had a lot of fitness disappointments. 

I have not lost a single pound in the past year & half. 

In November of last year the first time I took my AFAA Group Certification written tests & practical test I failed. 

The last four races I have raced I have not made PR's (personal record). That makes me mad. I am sick of hearing " you can't PR every race" I know that - but at least one more PR...soon!

I did finally pass my AFAA Group Certification. Although it took me a lot of guts to retake the tests. 

And I know what I have to do get faster. I have to push myself harder during my weekend runs. Then my hard will turn into easy, and then I can push myself even more. 

I know what I need to do to lose weight. It's just a slow process. I do enjoy the instant gratification after lifting weights. I see my muscles pumped up. And that makes me happy. 

There is no magic pill. No quick fix. But every disappointment I face is a new step to get me more in shape. So it's time to pick myself up and quit moping.