Like becoming a personal trainer.
One can't assume, "Oh, I workout, I exercise, I know some stuff... I can take the personal training test and pass it without much studying. No problem."
Someone with that attitude is going to fail the test, guaranteed.
I am almost done reading the two required books: ACE Personal Trainer Manual 4th edition & ACE's Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals. I stress that I am done reading them. I am nowhere near done studying them. There are some things I simply have to go back and review... particularly the actions of the different muscles, information on correcting postures, all of the fitness math, and apparently there is A LOT of information on the test about exercise and pregnancy, so I have to review that as well. That's just my short list of things to go back and review. I will not bore you with the longer list... (You're probably already bored!!)
One of the things I like to do to study is find online practice tests and flash cards. When searching for these things, I often stumble across message boards where people post questions about the test and what to study. On every message board, there are a handful of people looking for the easy way out... They ask if they can skip reading certain books (There's only two!!!), study old editions of the book, and other crazy corner-cutting tactics they have to earn their personal training certification by doing the least amount of work possible.
Wow, I bet they are going to be awesome trainers. Wouldn't you like a trainer who cut all the corners possible in trying to pass their exam??? I hope you sense my sarcasm.
I can't imagine skipping chapters in the book or only studying certain things. I take the certification very seriously. Clients will be paying me for my expertise, and while I know that when I pass the test I won't be an "expert", but I certainly want to be QUALIFIED. How can one be qualified if they take shortcuts???
Now I'm Going to Get on my High Horse...
You thought I was already on it, didn't you?
You thought I was already on it, didn't you?
Below are some Jaw Dropping Message Board Comments I have come across and My Snarky Answers. (Don't worry, I did not ACTUALLY reply to these comments with snark. I am saving all of my snarkiness for you lovely readers of my blog!!!
Jaw Dropping Message Board Comment: "I have the 3rd edition of the Personal Training Manual. Does anyone know if this is much different from the 4th edition? I would hate to purchase another manual with the same information."
My Snarky Answer: Okay, well, the 3rd edition is from 2003. So if you want information that's outdated by 10 years, go ahead! I am sure your clients would love to pay you money to give them outdated instructions that could be ineffective and dangerous.
Jaw Dropping Message Board Comment: "Is it necessary to read the ACE's Essentials of Exercise Science book in order to pass the test? I am just overwhelmed and would like to narrow things down to what is necessary."
My Snarky Answer: Well, there are two required books to study, and the book you just mentioned is one of them. So unless you have a degree, or have taken classes in human anatomy, exercise physiology, kinesiology, nutrition, and the physiology of training, then read the book. THERE ARE ONLY TWO BOOKS for crying out loud!
Jaw Dropping Message Board Comment: I am 2 weeks into my studies of the ACE Personal Training Manual 4th edition. At the end of each chapter is a study guide. Can anyone shed some light on if I were to only study the study guides, would that be enough to pass the exam?
My Snarky Answer: Why doesn't anyone want to read the freaking books!? But congratulations on at least buying the newest edition of the book! My advice is to read each chapter and then fill out the study guide. Again, unless you have a degree in a related field, you are probably going to have to spend hours filling out the study guide because you will have to look up each answer anyway. Why not READ the material and THEN fill out the study guide? The study guide will probably make much more sense to you that way. You have to do more than just memorize formulas, definitions, and information. You have to be able to APPLY it.
I know I am really being high-horsey, guys, so I'm sorry if this post is too much of a downer for you. I just take being a trainer very seriously. I've paid for bad advice/no advice before and it sucks. I want my clients to be able to put their trust in me. I want to be capable and qualified to help them. That's the whole point. I don't want to take short cuts. Fitness and training and changing your lifestyle is not about shortcuts. It's about the journey. The long haul. The LONG ASS HAUL.
I realize that once I am certified, I will know the MINIMUM required to be a personal trainer. I will have no experience in training someone. I will have still have A LOT to learn. But I fully intend to continue studying, learning, and keeping up to date so I can be an awesome trainer and help people reach their fitness goals.
It reminds me of teaching. Ask any teacher, and they will tell you they had no clue how to teach until they were ACTUALLY teaching. That is why student teaching is a requirement to become a certified teacher. But even with 3 months of student teaching, I still had no clue what it was like to have my own classroom until I actually had one. I have now been teaching 9 years, and I can confidently say, "I KNOW how to teach." But, I do NOT know everything! I learn something new every single day. Because every day is different, every kid is different, every lesson is different in some way.
I suspect that is what training will be like. I will eventually get to the point where I will feel EXTREMELY confident in my abilities, yet I will still be learning every day I'm on the job.
I am so excited to get started!!! But I must be patient and be sure I am prepared, first! Which means there is more work and studying to be done.
Now get up on your high horse and tell me something that makes you go "Oy Vey"....