The Turkey Day milestone is fast approaching, and we’re cruising through the waning days of November. That leaves me barely enough time to squeak in a relevant note about National Career Development Month before December blows in:
Professional stasis — not unlike sedentary behavior — can have fairly dire long-term consequences, so having an annual reminder to get one’s act together, like National Career Development Month, is pretty helpful. This time around, let’s focus on a highly beneficial “next step” for ACSM certifieds: If you aren’t already, consider becoming an ACSM Certified Group Exercise Instructor® (ACSM-GEI).
Why? Gaining your ACSM-GEI certification shows potential clients and employers that you’re ready to add safe, exciting group sessions to your repertoire, from choreographed fitness classes to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) offerings. Meanwhile, the prep work for the certification exam will provide you with useful intel about course design, equipment choices, flooring and temperature variables, the use of music, a likely range of course-takers’ learning styles, and much more.
ACSM-GEIs say they’re better compensated because of the certification and find it easier to get a 40 hour/week schedule. For their part, employers report that cert pros who are qualified both to teach clients one on one and in group settings are like unicorns — everyone wants to hire them. In short: Becoming an ACSM-GEI will quickly and meaningfully boost your career.
Do you qualify? ACSM-GEI candidates need to be 18 years or older, hold a high school diploma or the equivalent and possess an adult CPR/AED certification. If you meet those requirements, you’re eligible to take the exam.
What to do: Visit the Become an ACSM Certified Group Exercise Instructor® page on the ACSM website and scroll down to “Prepare for Your ACSM-GEI Certification ǀ A Guided Approach,” then download the exam content outline. You can also join the official ACSM-GEI Facebook group to connect with hundreds of other candidates preparing for the exam.
After that, get your study plan together. ACSM’s Resources for the Group Exercise Instructor is the exam’s official preparation book, and ACSM’s Guidelines for the Exercise Testing and Prescription, 11th edition, is another great resource to throw into the mix. And make sure to practice with prepU’s quiz platform; that will provide you with assessment questions tailored just for you.
Once you feel prepared, you can choose to take the exam either online or in person, whichever is most comfortable for you. The in-person exams take place at participating Pearson VUE testing locations, so keep an eye out for your most convenient Pearson site.
Let’s use the tail end of this National Career Development Month to kick off a new certification journey. To wit: The ACSM-GEI cert is an ideal way to make yourself a more versatile and marketable exercise professional.
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