ACE Certification: 5 Things You Should Know About ACE Certification

things you should know about ace certification

You stumbled across this blog because you’re interested in the ACE certification, but you feel like you should do a little research first. Getting a nationally-accredited personal training certification is a big commitment, in terms of both time and energy, so we agree that research is the right move here before purchasing the study materials and registering for the exam. Here are 5 things you should know about ACE certification:

1. What ACE Stands For

We don’t just mean that you should know what the acronym stands for, although that’s also important. (It’s “American Council of Exercise,” by the way.) We think you should know what the ACE stands for as a nonprofit organization. The number one mission of the ACE organization is “to get people moving.” But that’s not all the ACE stands for: They hope to decrease the number of diseases related to sedentary lifestyles by 2035 by education personal trainers and “health enthusiasts.”

The ACE organization also lists the following as their core values:

  • Honesty & Integrity
  • Ingenuity & Passion
  • Collaboration & Connection
  • Access & Inclusiveness
  • Continuous Learning & Development

If you feel that these values and goals align with your personal vision for the future, then maybe an ACE certification is right for you!

2. The ACE Certification Prerequisites

Before taking the ACE certification exam or even purchasing the studying materials, it’s important to know if you’re eligible for this certification at all. In other words, have you met the prerequisites?

The requirements you have to meet before getting ACE certified are:

  • Being 18 years old or older
  • Having a high school diploma or GED equivalent
  • Being CPR/AED certified
  • Having a government-issued ID

If you’re not 18 yet but will be soon, or you’re on your way to a high school diploma but don’t have it yet, then you’re not ready to register for the ACE certification exam. However, you could study for the exam until you’re eligible to be ACE certified. It could make for a smooth transition!

3. The ACE Certification Exam Format & Contents

To achieve a passing grade in the ACE certification examination, comprehensive studying of the essential materials and understanding the test format is a crucial pre-requisite. This approach should be similar to examinations such as the SATs or ACTs that also require a thorough understanding of the examination content and structure.

ACE Exam Format Details

The ACE certification exam is a time-bound test, providing examinees with three hours for completion, akin to the format of other standard examinations. This test includes multiple-choice questions, designed to assess a variety of knowledge areas. It is comprised of 125 ‘scored’ questions that directly influence your final score. Additionally, there are 25 ‘experimental’ questions included in the test. These experimental items do not impact your score but are used to refine and potentially include in future examinations.

The examination utilizes a computer-based format, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in grading. The grading system follows a scale from 200 to 800, with a score of 500 necessary for passing. If you are unsuccessful in your first attempt, don’t lose heart! You can retake the exam for a fee of $199 for any ACE certification. This rises to $299 if you are taking the examination internationally.

Detailing the ACE Exam Contents

The content of the ACE examination is regularly updated every five to seven years. This ensures that aspiring fitness professionals gain access to the most relevant, cutting-edge information in their field. Each ACE certification exam is accompanied by its own comprehensive study guide, detailing the ‘domains’ (major content areas) and ‘task assessments’ (detailed specifications of areas within each domain).

These domains serve as a roadmap for your study, highlighting the key areas you need to focus on. The task assessments further clarify specific concepts within each domain. Thus, the availability of the study guide ensures you are focusing your efforts correctly. It helps you invest your time studying the material that is most pertinent to your certification. Ultimately, this targeted approach aids significantly in your exam success.

Furthermore, these study guides are readily available for free download from the ACE website. This allows you to have easy access to essential study materials at your fingertips, resulting in comprehensive preparation.

4. What You’ll Learn by Getting the ACE Certification

This one may seem like a no-brainer, which is exactly why we felt inclined to include it. When you do something that puts demands on both your time and your energy, you’re going to learn more than what’s in the textbook. You’ll learn about your discipline level, your mental endurance, the strength of your own tenacity, and more.

The ACE personal training textbook itself will go over the integrated fitness training model, which will teach you how to adjust postures and exercises to meet your clients’ individual needs. (We’re a big fan of this.) The textbook breaks down the integrated fitness training model into four phases.

The four phases of the Integrated Fitness Training Model:

  1. Stability, Mobility & Aerobic Training
  2. Movement & Aerobic Training
  3. Strength & Endurance Training
  4. Performance & Power Training

5. What You Can Do With an ACE Certification

Before getting an ACE certification, you want to make sure that this will propel you into the career you’re envisioning. Additionally, an ACE certification can prime you for specialized fitness careers, depending on the certification you receive through the program.

ACE has four different education avenues:

  1. Personal Trainer
  2. Group Fitness Instructor
  3. Health Coach
  4. Medical Exercise Specialist

Moreover, the personal training certification empowers you to do freelance fitness training or full-time training with a gym. Additionally, the group fitness certification can make you a prime candidate for gyms that offer group classes or specialized workout facilities. Furthermore, the health coach certification can present you as an authority in the health and fitness community, giving you the credentials to write your professional opinion and findings from your experience. Lastly, the medical exercise specialist certification is ideal for those who are interested in integrated exercise with medicine. (This certification could compliment another medical certification.)

Becoming an ACE Certified Personal Trainer

If you’re aspiring to make a career in the fitness industry, becoming an ACE Certified Personal Trainer might be your stepping stone towards success. The American Council on Exercise (ACE) offers one of the most recognized personal training certifications globally, known for its depth and comprehensive approach towards health and fitness.

The ACE Fitness Certification for personal trainers is designed to equip aspiring fitness professionals with the necessary skill set to train individuals and groups in various exercise scenarios. The certification is based on scientific research and provides up-to-date knowledge on functional anatomy, nutrition, kinesiology, and the principles of behavior modification. It isn’t just about exercise; it’s about fostering sustainable lifestyle change in your clients which makes this certification highly reputable.

The journey to becoming certified involves a series of meticulous steps, starting with thorough preparation for the ACE Personal Trainer Exam. Initially, this entails an in-depth study of the ACE Personal Trainer Manual alongside the Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals.

Subsequently, the ACE exam rigorously tests a candidate’s knowledge and understanding via a diverse array of theoretical and practical questions. These questions encompass a wide range of topics, from workout design and fitness assessments to client interaction and consultation strategies. Ultimately, the objective of this comprehensive testing is to ensure that certified trainers are well-rounded and fully prepared to address a multitude of fitness-related challenges effectively.

Becoming an ACE Certified Personal Trainer is a commendable goal that sets you up for a rewarding career in the fitness industry. It demands a dedication to learning and improving one’s skills continually. With its globally recognized accreditation, comprehensive curriculum, and widespread professional resources, an ACE Fitness certification not only enhances your job prospects but empowers you to make a significant impact in people’s lives through effective training and health guidance.

Special Strong Certification: ACE-Accredited, NASM-Accredited

Another way to launch yourself into your new career as a personal trainer is to differentiate yourself with a specialization. Strong Education offers special needs personal training certification courses at an affordable rate. Simply sign up for the online course, take it at your leisure, and then complete the final exam at the end of the course to automatically receive a certificate. Similar to the ACE certification program…

We have four training courses to choose from:

  • Special Strong Private Training Certification – Level 1
  • Special Strong Private Training Certification – Level 2
  • Group Fitness Instructor for Special Needs Certification
  • Special Strong Adapted Video Library

Whether you’re interested in becoming a personal trainer, a group fitness instructor, or a health coach, a specialization in special needs can help you reach more clients and serve the ACE mission “to get people moving.” Sign up today!

Strong Education teaches personal trainers, parents, and professionals how to adapt fitness for children, adolescents, and adults with autism, Down Syndrome, and other disabilities through our online special needs certification course


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