Saturday, March 29, 2014

AFAA Certification

A few weeks ago I made the decision to get AFAA Certified for Group Fitness. This decision was based on my LOVE for fitness. It's sometimes hard to believe that I was the girl who told everyone "I can't work out. It's boring. I'd rather be chasing a soccer ball or making hoops." But lo and behold, I stand here and claim by GREAT love for fitness and exercising.

We were able to attend an APEX event, which was recommended to me and was also way cheaper than doing it online. For $99, you get a study guide and an pass to attend the certification. You can pay additional money for the book (which is highly recommended), a DVD (which is recommended) and a practice test. This costs about $100 dollars more. I lucked out and was able to borrow a friend's book.

Studying is crucial to passing. Although the APEX class will review things you need to know, you will not pass if you don't practice and know what they are talking about. A month is recommended, but if you have the time to dedicated a few weeks is fine.

I read all the blogs below, which shared great information about what to expect from an APEX event:

This is also a great video

Okay... here is my run down of what I experienced at AFAA APEX Group Fitness Certification

I arrived at the gym where APEX was being held with of course way too much stuff. Two yoga mats, a water bottle, a bag containing all my study materials, my wallet, my lunch. I looked ridiculous, but I was definitely prepared. You will need to bring study materials, your CPR certification, and a lunch. A yoga mat is suggested, but some places will supply them.

The first portion of the day is dedicated to learning about the muscle groups, planes of the body, the joint movement for the major muscle groups, and the AFAA 5 questions. Rhonda was our leader and she was WONDERFUL! I loved her so much! She was funny, direct, and made sure we knew our stuff.

After that you practice and review you practical. The certification is 4 part, 2/4 is whole group and 2/4 is individual.

Part of your practical is that you must demonstrate a warm/up, cardio, and cool down in 8 minutes. You will practice, but you must have a strong understanding of what you are doing. Basically your whole group will perform this together. It looks like Charlie Brown's Christmas where everyone is dancing differently. You may be doing grapevines, while someone else is doing jumping jacks.

For warm-up:
You need to have at least 3 different movements.
Arms need to stay below the head (hands on hips, reaching forward)
And one foot needs to be on the ground at all times. (no hopping, jumping) Think marching.

You kick it up a notch.
You movements can be the same but add jumps to them, like Jumping jacks.
Traveling and Adding arms is another way to increase intensity.

Cool down:
You should just be cooling the body down.
Think walk in place. Side step.

The next part of you group performance is muscle groups. There are 10 you need to know:
1. Pectorals
2. Latimiss Dorsi, Trapezius, Rhomboids
3. Biceps, Triceps
4. Quadriceps
5. Hamstrings, Gastronemius
6. Glutes
7. Erector Spinae
8. Adductors and Abductors
9. Deltoids
10. Abs

For each of these groups you need to develop 2 strength moves and one stretch. You will be tested as a group, but you are graded individually. An important element to this is that you need to maintain proper alignment. This is reviewed, but you should study it from the book.

On to the individual portion.
You will stand in front of your group and give a 1-2 minute strength, cardio, or flexibillty move with 3 levels. You need to give the following:
1. Eye contact
2. Strong Voice and Enthusiasm
3. Safety Cues
4. Breathing Cues
5. Cues for advancing the levels or modifying
6. Proper Alignment Cues

It's crucial that you practice this. You don't want to flub. I did pushups and started with a level 1 push up, just lowering your chest. Level 2 you extend your lever, buy pushing your hands foward but making sure they stay under your shoulders. (Level 1 you are in a square position). Lastly a Level 3 is a full pushup.

When the class completes this. You will be given instructions from your leader about the test. The written test consists of 100 multiple choice and matching questions. You need to get 8-% to pass. It is necessary to study for this. You will review about 70% of it in the class, but don't bank on being able to retain it all.

Herea re a few pics from the day!

Study UP!!

My new friend Leslie!

Ride off into the evening!

Our celebratory burger at Squeeze Inn!

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