Monday, March 14, 2011

Guest Post: Certification in the Fitness Industry, Part 3: ACE & SCW

In the second part of the series, you got the rundown on some of the Canadian fitness certifications from the wonderful Diana @ FITness Training

For part three, the fabulous Paige @ Running Around Normal is going to tell you about her experience with the American certifications, ACE and SCW...

Hello, Commit to Fit readers. My name is Paige and I blog over at Running Around Normal about recipes, life, running, and dealing with an injury from running.

One of my jobs in a personal trainer, and that's why I'm here today! Tracy asked me to contribute to her Certification in the Fitness Industry series by writing about my certification, which is the American Council on Exercise (ACE.) If you're considering becoming a certified personal trainer through ACE, there are several options for you.

Like many certs, ACE offers a self-study based course, followed by taking a state exam, and maintaining your certification through continuing education. There are also many different options as to which study materials you can purchase. ACE offers several different packages for the materials, but I recommend just two: the manual and the Musculoskeletal Anatomy & Human Movement book.

These two materials will not only help you prepare for the test, but they'll also be extremely viable references for the future when you're actually training clients.

That being said, neither of these helped me more than the class I took for ACE personal training. If you have the opportunity to take the 8 week ACE personal training preparation class, do it - especially if you plan on using your certification to train clients.

I can honestly say that without this class, I wouldn't have trusted myself to take another person's fitness into my hands. It not only offered twice a night classroom-style lessons, but also had a few Saturday sessions where we would meet at the gym and actually have hands-on classes.

I could wax poetically about the ACE personal training class for days, but my point is, try to take the class if you can afford it and live semi-close. You won't regret it!

The class I took, which was offered at the local community college, helped me feel confident in my role as a personal trainer. You can see if any schools around you offer ACE certification classes here.

Now, the class was fairly expensive - $500. However, that also covered the $250 exam fee, as well as a discounted price of the ACE manual and other study materials.

The other certification I have is the Sara City Workout (SCW) Sports Nutrition certification. This certification isn't as well known as ACE, but is noticed as a viable CE (continuing education) course for ACE and other accredited personal training certs. Since I didn't have access to an onsite location to take the Sports Nutrition class, I did it all online and through self-study.

I would probably recommend trying to take the actual class if you could, but the home-study materials were pretty comprehensive. For the exam fees and study materials, this certification cost about $200.

I was only certified with ACE for about a year before I decided to become certified in sports nutrition as well. In my experience, being a personal trainer limits you on how much nutritional advice you can give. Thus, the sports nutrition certification fit perfectly since being healthy is comprised of both good nutrition and a good fitness routine.

I hope this information provides some further insight to the certifications with ACE and SCW. If you have any questions, you can feel free to email me at:

Stay tuned for Part 4...

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