How to Study and Pass The ACE Personal Trainer Test

The day has arrived, your package from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) is in your hands and you can’t wait to see what’s inside and get started on your new and exciting career!

You open it up and start to look through it and almost immediately have that same feeling that a mountain climber has at the foot of Mt Everest…… a feeling of being completely intimidated and totally overwhelmed!

Ah yes, I remember it well when, at 47 years old, I first started preparing for the ACE exam. It had been a dream of mine for years to become a personal trainer and I finally decided to “take the plunge” and make that dream a reality. After doing much research I decided that ACE was the best fit for me and it was a decision I’ve never regretted!

 

This article will be an overview of the things I found helpful in my quest for certification.

However, no single article can adequately give you all the information you would need to help guide you through this process -  you would need a small book in the least. In addition, everyone’s experience will surely yield different points of view as to what worked for them.

I’ll do my best to share some insights that have not only worked for me personally but for many other people I’ve given guidance to over the past couple of years as they went through their exam prep process for the ACE Personal Trainer Certification exam.

 

How long should you prepare for the ACE test?

There is no one correct answer to this question.  ACE provides 12 and 20 week study coach programs which are sent via email with the purpose of guiding you through the material in a structured way.  While you aren’t bound by those time frames, people often start to stress out as they feel themselves slipping behind schedule. This can cause them to quickly lose confidence in themselves from the very beginning of this process!

 

Tip. You can get several ACE materials on Amazon. That might save you some money if you are on a budget. The Resource Page on this site has more ACE materials.

 

When I was preparing for the exam in 2007 I was already pretty busy between my work and family. It had been over 25 years since I took a meaningful exam since graduating from College in 1981. I also had no formal education in exercise science.

I knew there was no WAY I was going to get this done even in 20 weeks, and certainly not to the level of quality I expected from myself.

I decided to be generous and gave myself the window of roughly a year (give or take) as my goal to complete the certification process.

I’m sure you’re thinking, “A YEAR,  I don’t have that kind of time!!!!

 

Don’t worry, just because I took the scenic route rather than the expressway definitely does not mean it would be the right route for you.

The time frame you’ll need really just depends on :

  • your schedule
  • previous educational background and
  • how quickly you can learn and integrate new material

 

I’m just sharing what worked for my specific situation.

A year ended up being a good choice for me and it flew by surprisingly fast. I also felt completely prepared on exam day and scored almost 200 points more than I needed to pass so it definitely worth it!

 

Beyond just passing the exam, having that amount of time to study enabled me to really acquire a level of mastery of the material inside and out. This was as important a goal to me as passing the exam.  I wanted to give myself the proper foundation to continue to build from!

 

Whatever time frame you decide, I feel you need to be compassionate with yourself throughout this process. If you try doing more than you can realistically handle it will be a very frustrating and exhausting experience! There will also be times that the best thing you can do is back off for a day or two and begin again fresh.

 

What should I focus on for the ACE test?

Ah yes, the million dollar question and one that is very tough to answer!

There is an exam content outline in the ACE manual which covers the various domains you are expected to have skill in. That is a great place to start in terms of getting an overview of what will be contained in the exam.

However, I have noticed over the years, that many folks are looking for “quick and easy” information on what they need to learn specifically “for the exam”. In other words, they want to know what material they “must” know and which stuff they can sort of gloss over or ignore completely.

 

My advice is always that one should first concentrate on studying and obtaining a level of mastery of the overall material first and foremost. If you do that, then the exam will usually take care of itself. There’s really no shortcut to take nor should there be!

 

Being a personal trainer is a HUGE responsibility and making a mistake based on ignorance or carelessness can result in serious consequences. Clients put their trust in Certified Personal Trainers as fitness PROFESSIONALS. They should expect to hire a trainer who has passion for their profession, who always strives for excellence, and who has a ceaseless thirst for knowledge.

What most people surely don’t want is to end up with a trainer who did the bare minimum required for the sole purpose of scraping by a certification exam.

Gyms are full of trainers who just want to “get by.” For example, don’t make the basic mistake this trainer made.

Let’s put it this way “What type of trainer would you want to send your most cherished loved ones to?” Well, I believe THAT’S the trainer one should strive to be!

Okay, I’ll step off my soapbox now…

 

Not Getting Bogged Down

There is no doubt that the material dealing with exercise science is often a particularly HUGE roadblock for most people (especially those without a previous academic background in this area).

There is a real danger in getting bogged down in this material to the point where you may feel like you can’t move beyond it. However, you don’t need to have a complete mastery of exercise science to progress onward through the materials. That being said, you should still make some time to continue to review on a regular basis until it starts to sink in.

With the new 4th edition of the ACE materials, you don’t need to master the separate “Essentials of Exercise Science” book as a prerequisite to start studying the “Personal Trainer Manual.”

Also it’s important to be aware that the Exercise Science book is very thorough and covers many things of which you don’t need to memorize verbatim.

 

For example you don’t need to memorize every nerve, artery or vein in the body. You also don’t need to know every obscure muscle in the hand or foot that is covered in the “Musculoskeletal Anatomy Book”.

 

Additionally, there are some long and complex formulas you will run into during the course of your studies that will most likely make your head spin when you first see them! You should work through these formulas so you have experience with them but you don’t have to memorize them.  If you need them later on in your work as a trainer you can always refer back to the texts as needed.

As a side note, I highly recommend not selling your ACE materials once you pass the exam, they are invaluable sources of ongoing reference and not just “exam prep” materials.

 

Some Things You Should Know About The ACE Test

  • You should have a general idea of the overall function of the nervous system (and neurological principles such as the myotatic stretch reflex (via muscle spindle activation), reciprocal and autogenic inhibition.
  • You should know the basics regarding the cardiorespiratory system as well as how training can enhance cardiac output and VO2 Max as well as resting heart rate.
  • You absolutely should learn about the primary muscles in the body that contribute to movement and stabilization.  You should understand about agonists, antagonists and synergists and the various types of muscle contractions (concentric, isometric and eccentric).
  • You don’t “need” to know the origin and insertion of every muscle but you should know the basic “functions” of the primary muscles (for ex. the Glutes primarily extends the hip and also contributes to external rotation, it also can assist in hip adduction though that is not a primary function).

 

I do want to add that although you probably won’t end up seeing any origin and insertion questions on the exam, I do recommend trying to continue to become more and more familiar with them because it really does help to understand how the muscles function. For example, knowing this can help you understand why the teres minor contributes to external rotation and the teres major to internal rotation (among its other functions).

 

Other things you’ll need to know are

  1. the basic nutritional material
  2. how the kinetic chain works
  3. various assessments
  4. body fat percentages and body mass index (BMI)
  5. program design
  6. flexibility
  7. considerations for special populations
  8. behavioral concepts
  9. basic legal information regarding scope of practice and…
  10. ACE Code of ethics among others

 

Certainly you’ll want to really understand the IFT materials and their application if you’re studying the 4th edition materials and the specifics related to Functional Movement and Resistance Training and the Cardiorespiratory training (including the ventilatory thresholds)  .

As I mentioned in the beginning, an article like this can barely scratch the surface and there is bound to be much important information left out. I do want to stress that a sure recipe for disaster is try to selectively “guess” what may be on the test and what won’t be, you really should try to learn the overall course material to the best of your ability.

 

Learning styles

Different people definitely have preferential ways of learning. For example, some learn better visually and some aurally or various combinations. Some people need a lot of repetition and those rare few are blessed with photographic memories and can remember everything they read.

But even if one has a photographic memory, it’s more important to really integrate the material in a way that is meaningful in terms of how it would be applied in actual practice. This is important both for actual real world training as well as for the exam. You have to understand how to implement the information in a given context.

As you learn the information, always try to see if you can put it in a “real world” training context.

I found using a combination of techniques helped me. My approach was to learn in layers. For example,

  • I’d read a certain amount of material.
  • Then I’d read it again and underline the key points.
  • Then I’d highlight the text the third time through I read through the material.
  • After that I would make flashcards which I then recorded to audio so I could listen to them in my car or when I was too tired to read but still wanted to study.

 

I eventually also did extensive summaries for most of the chapters as well. The process of doing this helped me continue to refine the material and made it easier to review.

Now, you may find only one or two of those tips necessary, but I wanted to share my process in order to give you some tools that might help.

 

Organization is key

I found it was helpful to rotate among the various materials that came with my package. A way to organize this systematically was to make up an index card with a list of all the things I wanted to study. I would then move a little “post it” sticker down through the list each day when I completed each item on the list. This way I was able to accomplish little mini-goals throughout the day. This gave me a structured approach to my daily studying. Otherwise it would have seemed impossible to try and figure out how to fit it all in.

If I didn’t get through the whole list on a given day, I would just pick up where I left off the following day and just continue cycling through the materials.

 

Calling ACE

I called ACE pretty regularly when I was studying. I first tried to make sure I gave a really strong effort on my own but if  I “hit a wall” and really needed help, they were very accessible and extremely helpful!  In fact, ACE gives excellent support after you are certified as well! You are really treated as part of the ACE family from the very beginning.

Tip. ACE also has a very active Facebook Page too.

 

How to learn the names of the muscles

This is a common topic of difficulty for most exam candidates so I wanted to share some thoughts on this.

What helped me the most in this particular area of study was working with the Fitness professional’s Guide To Musculoskeletal Anatomy and Human Movement, both the book and also doing the Quizzes on the CD ROM to help reinforce the material. Here is a somewhat detailed explanation that I found really useful.

First memorize the bony attachments (Chapter 2, take a page, study it and then immediately do the CD Rom Quiz on it to reinforce it). If you learn these that will help you remember the muscles in a more meaningful way.

 

For example “Coracobrachialis” is a muscle that originates on the Coracoid process (Coraco) and inserts on the Humerus (Brachialis refers to “Arm”).

Another example would be Anterior Tibialis, a muscle located in the front (anterior) of the Tibia (tibialis).

  • Some muscles have other descriptions which help to learn them as well such as “Biceps” which of course refers to a two headed muscle.
  • The  Biceps Femoris is a two headed muscle (Bi) that acts on the femur (Femoris) as opposed to the Biceps Brachii which is a two headed muscle (Bi) that acts on the arm (Brachii).
  • Some use the shape of the muscle such as Quadratus Lumborum or Rhomboids.
  • Some describe function and have words such as extensor, pronator etc. in the name.

So rather than just “memorizing” the muscles you will actually understand them better and it will make kinesiology come alive.

Knowing this material won’t just help you “pass” the exam but will deepen your knowledge in a way that is more meaningful and often functional.

 

ACE practice exams

To me, there are really two distinct phases of ACE exam prep. The first, and longest, is actually learning the curriculum contained in the various materials. But after that, serious emphasis needs to be placed on ACE practice tests.

You can get the ACE practice test’s from ACE and there are ACE tests on Amazon too.

 

There is definitely a degree of “test taking skill” that can be a difference maker on the exam.

Getting used to the way the questions are formatted can really help with one’s comfort level on exam day. The ACE practice tests are also important as they can help to expose any areas of weaknesses you may have.

 

To illustrate my point:

I really started to get serious with the ACE practice exams once I felt that I had a pretty high level of mastery of the  course materials.  However, when I first started doing practice tests I made a LOT of dumb mistakes.  My mistakes were rarely because of a lack of understanding of the material but just lack of test taking technique.

I would miss the subtle things in the questions that would ultimately change which answer was correct. There are usually two answers that could be right and so you really need to know the material intimately as well as analyze the questions very carefully so that you don’t miss anything.

Also many of the exam questions contains words like BEST, MOST, LEAST etc. that can make things confusing if you are not extremely careful. I found that by practicing daily with the tests and really dissecting the questions that my test taking skills improved exponentially and it was an absolute KEY to my success on exam day!

 

Tips for the ACE test on exam day

So you have done all the studying and practice exams and there’s nothing more you can do to prepare for the exam. Congratulations, that in and of itself is a huge accomplishment!

The following are tips for exam day that I’ve shared with many people. Overall, those who have implemented these simple suggestions said they really helped them so I wanted to share them in this article.

  1. Get a good night’s sleep rather than burning yourself out studying too much the night before the exam. At this point you either know the material or you don’t.  It is a VERY long and difficult exam so you want to go in as fresh as possible.

 

  1. Bring some food to eat right before you walk in to take the exam, it’s a long haul and you’ll want to make sure you won’t get hungry and have an energy “crash” in the middle of it. Also bring a bottle of water. Some places let you bring it in, some don’t but you may as well have it and ask if it’s okay to have it with you.

 

  1. Try closing your eyes and taking a deep breath between each question to refocus and re-energize. This sounds “corny” but it made a huge difference for me and helped the questions not get all “jumbled together” in my brain.

 

  1. “Mark” the questions that you’re not sure of (you’ll have that option) and always choose an answer before you hit “submit”, never leave it blank (or it’s considered incorrect).

 

  1. Remember in the simulation part of the ACE test, once you choose something you can’t “un-choose” it. During the first part of the exam you CAN change your answer before you move on to part two (simulation). Also, once you move to the simulation you can’t go back to part 1.

 

  1. If you find yourself confused in the beginning of the exam don’t let this throw you, as you settle in and it gets more familiar it should get easier (the first 5 questions REALLY threw me but soon after that things started to look more familiar and I started to get used to the exam itself).

Be confident in yourself, If you’ve really given yourself the proper amount of time to prepare, you should do really well!

 

A final statement

I want to wish you the best success in your studies to become an ACE Certified Personal Trainer.  I also want to remind you that passing the test is only the beginning of the process. You will learn a lot more after you get certified. Being a Certified Personal trainer requires an ongoing commitment to constant education and the dedication and desire to give your clients the highest quality experience possible every time they work with you!

Scott Fishkind is an ACE certified personal trainer and the founder of Time4You Fitness which is a company specializing exclusively in In-Home and Workplace Fitness in Franklin, TN. At his website you can also read Scott’s Blog too. Scott has also been a private teacher since 1981.  Scott can also be reached via email at [email protected].

For more info, read How to Be a Personal Trainer, step by step guidance on how to get into the business.

What do you think?

Comments

  1. david says

    thank you although 44 my passion for bodybuilding leads me to the choice of becoming a trainer and helping others learn what has taken me many years to craft and I am serious i will be going to amazon and looking for the book and any information i can find

  2. Nick says

    Hey Joe,
    I’ve been visiting your website for the past few days and I have to say that everything I’ve read so far is making me more confident about pursuing this career. I feel that the information that I’ve read so far has been very helpful, especially in the area of choosing what agency I want to be certified through.

    I am 24 years old and I have a passion for physical fitness. I have been a wildland firefighter for the past 5 years, but i am ready to move on and help people in a somewhat different way. I mainly want to target people who want to lose or gain weight, and people that want to put on muscle or get their bodies more tone.

    I love to participate in crossfit workouts but I also have a lot of weight lifting experience as well. I have played football all through high school and some in college. So I’ve been in the weight room pretty constantly since I was a sophomore in high school.

    I was just wondering if you had any suggestions or recommendations for me as far as getting this new exciting career started! I feel pretty confidently that i want to get certified through ACE, and I’m ready to begin the learning process.
    Thanks Joe!

    • Joe Cannon says

      Hi Nick, glad you found my website. I’d say take your time and study the ACE book and take any practice tests they have. As a fireman, you may want to market your services to fireman. I think fireman – and EMTs – are an untapped area in personal training.

  3. says

    Great Information you have here Mr. Cannon! I actually shared this page of yours to my friends who are in Personal Training Industry too…We all would love to enhance or improve what we have..

  4. says

    I couldn’t agree more with you Joe. There are a lot of 4-5 week courses here in Australia which promises you that you will know everything there is to know about being a personal trainer after that short amount of time but I don’t think it is. I don’t want to pay $50+ for a 60 min session with someone who might not even know more than me about training. (I’m sure the short courses are okay, but I don’t think you will completely ‘get it’ in that short amount of time) one year like with Ace sounds a lot better to me

  5. Lyss says

    How efficient is the ACE Personal Trainer Master the Manual Study Guide? Is there many more things that I need to pay deep attention to rather than what is in the guide? As I read through some chapters, I felt that it really did cover the jist of it. But, am I wrong?

  6. says

    Hi Lyss,

    I found that the Master the Manual was very helpful. Beyond that though I found one of the most helpful things was to do as many practice tests as possible after you have already gone through the entire manual as well as Master the Manual.

    The practice tests will help you really have to think through the information in a different way, plus it will help you get used to the format of questions you’ll get on the exam.

    But of course as I mentioned in my article, mastery of the material so that you can properly apply it should be the first priority when studying.

    Best of luck with everything!

    Scott

  7. dar says

    I have found your information useful. Several years ago I purchased the 3rd Edition and then had to put the personal training dream on hold. I am back now and would like to know how I can get the information needed without purchasing another manual ( 4the ed)?
    Thanks

    • Joe Cannon says

      Dar, Id say look at when the 3rd and 4th editions were published. If they are only a few years apart there may not be much difference. As a rule, exercise science doesn’t change very much. Id also go on the ACE facebook page and ask this question and see if anybody else passed using the 3rd edition. Even ask ACE this too. Ive found them very receptive to answering questions on their FB page.

  8. says

    Hi Dar,

    I don’t know about how one manual will effect passing the exam, but the 4th edition materials have the ACE IFT (Integrated Fitness Training) model which is a new thing. It also has a separate exercise science book which is really worthwhile.

    Again, it depends on if your main goal is strictly to pass the exam or if you want the most up to date info from ACE.

    I passed using the 3rd edition when it was the current manual but I still went ahead and purchased the 4th edition materials (which included the exercise science book and two dvds, the exercise coaching dvd is really well done as is the other one which is on applied anatomy and kinesiology.

    However, I can completely understand not wanting to have to purchase everything all over again.

    Take care,

    Scott

  9. deenie says

    I signed on with ACE about 5 years ago, then had some personal issues that developed and I am now just getting back into the program. I had the 3rd edition material but would like to get the updated material, i.e., the new 4th edition of the ACE materials, and “Essentials of Exercise Science”.

    You also mentioned “master the Manual.” I spoke with someone from ACE and they did suggest that although the 3rd edition book had most of the same material, that the 4th edition had more in the way of quizzes and information that I might find helpful.

    Well, I’d love to get the updates, but I am on a limited income, so I’m wondering is there somewhere that I might find these materials at a price I can afford.

    Your site is great and I’m glad I found it. I think a lot of the info you have here will help guide me.
    Thanks.
    Deenie

    • Joe Cannon says

      deenie, thanks Im glad you found me :) Did you check out my resources page I do link to a few ACE materials that may be cheaper than what you have seen.

      let me know if I can help further :)

  10. Todd H says

    Hi Joe,
    Thanks for this great article. It is helping me gain a better sense of what I am actually studying and that it is the right approach. I would love your opinion on my process if possible.

    I am currently reading the 4th edition of the ACE training manual and finish each chapter by answering the questions/multiple choice questions in the study guide that comes with the manual. I am finding this helpful.

    To make sure I absorb the material I am highlighting the key points in each chapter and putting those into notes. Is too extensive of an approach and is there anything you would add to this or maybe change?

    Also another question I have is how much of the human anatomy do I have to know for the exam? I am gathering that his is an exam focused on practical, hypothetical scenarios that trainers will run into on a daily basis.

    The outline you gave us in terms of what to study somewhat confirms that thought for me. Please feel free to comment on any of this and look forward to hearing back from you.

    Sincerely
    Todd Hildebrand

    • Joe Cannon says

      Todd, that sounds like a good way to study for me but Ill pass your questions to Scott who wrote the ACE review and see if he can offer any additional insights.

  11. says

    Great article Joe. I am trying not to get bogged down with the exercise science material. It is a little overwhelming. We have a ridiculous number of body parts, don’t we? ;) Anyway, thanks for the advice.
    Gaye

    • Joe Cannon says

      Gaye Thanks but that was Scott who did that review. Hes ACE certified. yes we have a LOT of body parts and even more inside of our cells too! No matter what cert you test for, do know the exercise science part. That will make up a good amount of the test – all certification tests actually. They often make the science a lot harder than it has to be. Ive written my book different – more understandable and definitely more “this is what you need to know for the real world” too.

  12. Danielle says

    Hi Joe,

    This site was a HUGE help! I will be taking the ACE exam this month. I have been taking an ACE prep course to help me since I am not the type of person to just read a book and take a test. I have been looking for sites for help. I was worried i would be focusing on the wrong information to study but when i came to your site that changed. This site has given me a little more confidence to pass this exam.

    Thank You

    • Joe Cannon says

      Danielle, thanks for saying that! I really appreciate it and I know Scott, who wrote this review of the ACE test also appreciates helping you also. Let me know how you do on the test and let me know if you have any other questions :)

    • says

      Hi Danielle, I’m really thrilled that folks have found my article so helpful! I have to thank Joe Cannon for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts about the exam preparation process on such an excellent and professional venue! Best wishes with your certification exam and career! Take care, Scott

  13. Lyn Reebenaker says

    I’m in complete shock.

    I purchased my ACE materials in 2008 after I first started my second hand at a college education. I realized the material was just too much for me in addition to school and the demands of a family life so I decided to wait until I had some good science knowledge under my belt as well as more study time.

    I’m graduating next month and I’m ready to study for ACE and just found out my $600 study materials and exam voucher are all EXPIRED. I knew many changes have taken place in the field but thought I would just have to supplement my materials. No go :(

    Hopefully no one else out there thinks purchasing and waiting is a good plan. Btw, their new edition is expected to come out in 2015

    • Joe Cannon says

      Lyn, sorry that happened to you! I know ACE has a very active facebook page. Maybe if you go there and plead your case in public they will give you a pass?

  14. Lyn says

    Thanks for the suggestion Joe! Turns out just to sit for the exam it now costs $400. Thats almost double the cost from a few yrs ago! Anyway, it will only cost me a bit more to get the “bundle” which includes the exam voucher (expires in 6 months), so I’m just going to have to suck it up. With the new “improved comprehensive” study material they also now have online interactive study, apparently increasing the pass rate so that is a plus. Thanks again for taking the time to reply!

  15. says

    Hello, I just completed a 12 week class covering all the ACE material. I’ve never known so much about one subject, so that gave me some great confidence. I scored a 70 on the “final exam” in the class. However, today I took my ACE practice test and scored a 55. It was very disheartening. Should I be worried that I did so bad on the ACE practice test? What did you get on it for the first time? And lastly, do you have any tips on where to go from here (more practice tests, back to the books, etc.)?

    Thanks!

  16. ravensgrin says

    As a person with a degree in English, I’m a little concerned that I won’t be able to pass the ACE certification exam in 6 months. Is the Premium Plus Study Bundle worth the price ($699)?

    • Joe Cannon says

      I’ll ask scott what he feels about the Premium Plus Study Bundle. ACE has a very active facebook page so do ask questions there. Maybe getting a study partner might help also.

  17. says

    Hi, I am not familiar w/ the current Premium Plus bundle, but when I was studying for my certification I got the best bundle available and used every single thing it came with. So I would always recommend purchasing the best bundle you can afford.

    To me, it is a drop in the bucket compared to what you get back from it when you think of it as opening a new career path!

  18. Roy says

    Hey Joe I recently ordered my package and paid the extra money to get the other helpful stuff. Im seeing its $700 well spent. Im 27yrs old a worker, husband and a student I wished ACE gave 1yr but here in NY it gives you 6 months to get ready once you purchase it. I have to wake up 5x a week at 5am so that i can get about an hour and a half of study time for the certification. On my days off I have to study but for my major/schoolwork. I found your page very helpful and Im just hoping could pass it but way above the average grade.

      • harrison says

        can someone please contact me at Email removed i have my test booked for next month i do not feel quite ready…will compensate for an online tutor$$$

        • Joe Cannon says

          Harrison, if anyone wants to email you Ill pass your email on to them. This is better than posting your email address as it will save you getting lots of spam. Have you looked at the ACE facebook page? I found them to be quite good at helping people.

  19. Greg says

    Thanks Joe! This guide was really excellent. I was uncertain exactly what I needed to know but I took A and P for fun and we covered a lot of what you said. I feel better because the test will be sort of review and a lot of the knowledge will be building on what I know. I feel a lot more secure after reading your article, thanks again!

  20. Jason says

    Great tips Joe! I am going to start prepping for the exam this summer. I found a great deal on the ACE Personal Training Manual, 3rd edition. I was curious if you know of the major changes between the 3rd and 4th editions? In my experience with text books very minor changes can constitute an edition update and I’m assuming that is the case here. Any feedback you may have would be much appreciated!

    • Joe Cannon says

      Jason, thanks although Scott takes all the credit for that post. He’s the guy who did it. Im not sure if there is a major difference between the 3rd and 4th editions of the ACE book. For what its worth here is the 4th edition on Amazon to compare prices.

      Scott may have more insights. what do you think Scott?

  21. Mike says

    I’m going to buy the ACE bundle and study for the exam and would love to be a personal trainer. I am only 19 years old and started to like working out in the middle of my high school years…. Currently only doing side jobs so I’m sure I would only be able to save up for the $599 bundle.

    Just a question is it worth it? The bundle I mean. Because the book is fairly cheap and the exam voucher that comes with the ACE bundle is a few $$ itself…

    Thanks, Mike

    • Joe Cannon says

      Mike, Im going to recommend that right now you just get the textbook. I dont want you to go into debt to become a personal trainer because that doesn’t serve anybody. Get the book and study the daylights out of it, highlight it, take notes, memorize it etc. Then, as you get the money get some ACE practice tests and take them to see how you do. Then if you want to get the other stuff, go ahead, as you get the money. I think that will be the most inexpensive way to do it.
      let me know what happens :)

  22. fatimah says

    hello I just received my study material from ace yesterday im very excited to start ..but do feel a bit overwhelmed I was wondering did you study each book til you were finished or rotate between the 3 I also have the flash cards .I guess my question is where do I start exactly .
    I’ve read your article about 4 times already ..

    • Joe Cannon says

      fatimah, scott, who wrote the ACE review might be able to answer better than me, but if you are just starting out fresh with little background, Id say start with the textbook and study it cover to cover. take notes, hightlight the book and take the little quizzes at the end of each chapter. If you have practice tests, take a test after you finish the book and see how you do. if you have a background, then take a test now and see how you do and then study the book and take another test.

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