ACE Personal Training Exam Tips

I have gotten a lot of inquiries about the ACE Personal Trainer Exam. Since most of the questions are similar I’m using this post to address all of it at once. I just took the exam Thursday so I’ll also add some info that I remember about the actual test too.ace logo

Why did you choose ACE over NASM or AFAA or…?

I remember when I first started to research personal training certifications I spent hours and hours looking at all the official companies’ websites, educational materials, support, cost, other certifications…

I decided on ACE because:

I felt like they were a reputable organization based on my comparisons.

They had a strong educational materials package, online tools and phone support.

They offer Group Fitness, Weight Management and other certifications that are also of interest to me long term

They are somewhat local. The company is located in San Diego and I liked that.  Does this count as “buying local”? Winking smile

So I could shout “ACE in your face!!!” like the volleyball girls used to do in high school.

What materials do you think someone studying for the ACE Personal Trainer Certification NEEDS?

IMG_0898 (800x533)The two most important pieces of material are the ACE Personal Trainer Manual and the Written Simulation example. Basically everything from the test comes from the manual and the written simulation is 25% of the grade as well.

Everything else is optional. To be honest, I didn’t use any of the other stuff except the flashcards. And really, I only used the flashcards to keep me company on long walks as I have no friends.IMG_0897 (800x533)

What do you plan on doing with your certification now?

I have a degree in Communications and am a writer. I consider my 8-5 career to be writing. But, I will soon start coaching a running group after hours and on weekends.

I am glad to have the certification so I am a more knowledgeable running coach and healthy living blogger. I have some ideas on where we’ll go from here, but you have to stick around to find out Smile

Things I remember from the exam:

Know what actin and myosin are

There were a few questions on pregnant clients. (A pregnant woman’s temperature should not exceed 100 degrees.)

What muscle is adducting in a certain exercise. (Totally got this wrong I’m sure.)

Calculate how long it will take someone to lose x amount of weight in x weeks if they walk 3 days. (Something to that effect.)

Nutrition label with info is given and you must calculate how many calories from fat. (The math is really really basic and they give you scratch paper.)

Weird question on your client wanting to date another trainer at your gym and how to handle it?

Eating disorder question:  a female client (her stats are given and she is normal weight) wanting to lose weight. How do you handle?

When to refer someone to an RD or doctor

Hope that helps! If you have anymore questions, feel free to email me.

Lunch is sad looking, but awesome tasting. I had leftover salad from last night and decided to add chickpeas, deli turkey, TJ’s peanut sauce and peanuts to the mix to make it a meal. This is after mixing, so it’s a mess.IMG_0887 (800x533)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is my favorite TJ’s product! TJ's spicy peanut sauce

Served up with grapes Smile And since I like to keep it real here, I’ll admit that I ate a bunch of dirty grapes on the drive home. If I die from “dirty grape disease” I will rest in peace knowing that it was totally worth it.grapes in yellow bowl


  1. says

    I have been looking into programs as well, so I really loved your overview of ACE! I love that you are following after something you love! I hope to do the same:)

  2. says

    Congrats on the exam! I took the AAAI/ISMA exam this year and passed. I desperately want to do something with it but I haven’t had the time. I’m still glad I did it and learned a TON!!!

  3. says

    thanks for the info! i was on their website today thinking about signing up for the test. i just think i’d love group fitness..or maybe personal trainer? i dont know! but it’s great to hear about ur experience!

  4. says

    Thank you for the response and the book suggestion, I will check it out.

    I am overweight but I am also fit, I had a baby and ran two marathons in less then a year. But I am heaver now then I have ever been (while not pregnant), I am ready to look fit.

    I feel like I will be better able to inspire people if I am feeling and looking stronger and leaner.

    I look forward to reading about your personal training experiences.


  5. says

    Thanks for this info! I actually ordered the ACE study material some time ago and have been slowly reading and learning. I would love to some day become a personal trainer, or work in the fitness industry somehow. I have been hesitant because the test seems like it would be over whelming and I question my own abilities.

    Thanks for clarifying what the most important study tools are. I will focus on using those more!

  6. says

    Thanks for sharing this! I bought the manual (which I have been getting through at a snail’s pace because of my 9-5) and was wondering what else I would need.

  7. says

    it was a pleasure to visit your blog! for anybody else preparing for the ACE exame, know that you don t need to memorize all the origin and insertions of muscles, and the questions about anatomy are only a few 😉

  8. lauren says

    Hey! I just ordered my materials… how long did you study before you took the exam? I’m fresh out of college w/ a health degree, so i don’t feel I need that long to prepare, but wanted to know you’re take on it!

    Thank you :)

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