Posts Tagged ‘certification’

This month, I posted about how to prepare for the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist written exam and Tips about the Canfitpro – PTS exam. I already got my certification from Canfitpro as a Personal Training Specialist but it took me a while to post this blog because I got caught up editing my resume and searching for jobs as a Personal Trainer. In any case, here’s the third part of my blog on how to prepare, study, and pass your Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist certification.

Click the links below for my previous posts about the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist written exam:

Reviewing for the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist Exam

Passing the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist Written Exam

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Canfitpro foundationsI finally was able to take my Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist practical evaluation exam a couple of weeks ago, a day before Black Friday. It wasn’t as maundy that day because after the long wait and preparation, I passed my Canfitpro – PTS practical evaluation! My wife also passed her G driving license exam, and it was just her first take. If you have passed your Canfitpro – PTS theory exam, then your Canfitpro instructor-trainer will set a schedule with you on when to have your practical evaluation, which is the last part in Canfitpro Personal Training Specialist certification.

I passed my theory exam with a score of 83%the passing score is 80% for the Canfitpro Personal Training Specialist theory exam. The written exam is a combination of multiple choice questions and short answer portions worth 100 points each. I did not take the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist course and just studied by myself since I have a degree in Sports Science. I alloted almost a month to study the book and DVD, and answered the Study Guide thrice. Some people I know who did take the Canfitpro – PTS course got scores around 85%, so getting away with 83% without taking the course is considerably good.

canfitpro study guideThe instructor-trainer sent me a congratulatory email indicating that I passed the written part of the certification and instructions on what to expect on the practical part of the certification. I set a schedule to have my practical evaluation after two weeks which I thought was enough time for me to prepare, and also because my instructor-trainer’s schedule limitations. The day finally came and after an hour of the Canfitpro – PTS practical evaluation exam, the instructor-trainer discussed with me my scores, my strengths and weaknesses, my points for improvement, and then congratulated me for passing my practical evaluation and finally being certified as a Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist. I got a total score of 157 over 160 points which is equivalent to a 98% grade.

I have been teaching Pilates since 2010 and have had an experience in Personal Training in the Philippines, so I am used to the practical part of being a Personal Trainer. The most important thing to do to prepare and pass your Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist practical evaluation is to practice, practice, and practice.

When you’re done practicing, practice a little more! You’re through with the written part of your exam. That is supposed to test your ‘theory‘ – how much you know about fitness and exercise science. The practical evaluation is to test how good you apply your knowledge to actual situations as a Personal Trainer.
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Here are my tips for passing the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist practical evaluation:
Read the instructions carefully. The email that your instructor-trainer will send you after passing your theory exam will contain ALL of the information you need for your practical evaluation. It includes a case study client, and the evaluation form that your instructor-trainer will use on the day of your practical evaluation. Read through your client case, understand each part of the evaluation form and if possible, practice by yourself using the evaluation form.


Become a TRX Trainer

Take your time. No matter how badly you want to start your career as a Personal Trainer and get a job, finishing your certification is a crucial step. Someone who took the written exam on the same day I did already scheduled for a job interview, and after the written exam, she was worried because she might not pass the theory part and not get certified in time for her job interview. Take one step at a time, but take each step carefully and excellently! After getting your congratulatory email, think about how long you might need to study and prepare for your practical evaluation – yes, you still need to study and review. You can read from the email which sections of the book Foundations of Personal Training you will need to review.

Practice makes perfect, really. If you haven’t done Personal Training before, practice with a pseudo-client for at least three sessions. Ask a friend or a relative to be your client and ask him/her to observe your teaching techniques and even evaluate you after every session. Use the client card format from Canfitpro to make a real exercise program for your practice. Compute for the HRR and BMI, and use these values to make your program. You will need to bring with you your own client to your practical evaluation, so practicing with a pseudo-client is good because that person will already know what to expect from a training session on the day of your evaluation.

Get the Canfitpro – Foundations of Professional Personal Training here.

Bring a client who is familiar with the gym. You are supposed to bring one client with you on your Canfitpro – PTS practical evaluation. You will use the case-study data given through your email to make a program for your client. Having someone who is familiar with the gym will save you from awkward moments during the practical evaluation and save you time because he or she already knows what to do. For me, I had someone who is taking Kinesiology as my pseudo-client, and she is also a certified personal trainer, so she already knew what to do and what to expect. She even comments hints and clues during my practical evaluation! You don’t need to befriend a Kinesiology student or personal trainer tomorrow to have a pseudo-client. As I’ve said, pracitise with a friend or relative so that your pseudo-client will already have an idea of what you will make him/her do during the practical evaluation.

Translate and communicate. As I have said, the Canfitpro – PTS practical evaluation part is to test how good you are in applying your knowledge to actual situations. Practice talking your pseudo-client through the program: goals, FITT principle for muscular capacity and cardiovascular capacity, muscles used, and flexibility. You can read from the instructions from your email about this – take note of the points you will be graded for and practice. The point of the practical evaluation is to see how you translate exercise science into a language that is understandable to your client.

Practice the physical assessments. My instructor-trainer told me that most people who fail the Canfitpro – PTS practical evaluation flunks the physical assessment part. Don’t be one of them. Study how to do the sit-and-reach test and the 1-minute push up test, and how to interpret the results. Again, translate the data from the physical assessments and communicate well to your client why it is relevant for them. For me, I did a modified sit-and-reach test by doing a V-sit test and using a tape measure that I personally brought. I confidently showed my instructor-trainer that I knew what I was doing, and I interpreted the results to my client. Basically, the table from the book shows a percentile comparison for appropriate age and values. You just have to relate how the fitness results of your client is close to the average, which is the 50th percentile. Match the result with your client’s age and if she’s on a lower percentile (below average, less than 50%) then tell your client that you would want to improve on it. If your client’s result is on the higher percentile (above average, more than 50%) then affirm your client and tell your client the implications of the fitness result.

Buy the Canfitpro – Foundations of Professional Personal Training Study Guide from Amazon.

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Talk the talk. The Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist practical evaluation will not only test you on how much you know, but on how you communicate to your client. Do you affirm the correct things your client does during the exercise? Do you know how to motivate well? Do you use the right words and cues for each exercise? Practice motivating your pseudo-client and teaching him/her how each exercise should be done, which muscles are targeted or worked on, and the practical uses of each exercise.

Train as if you meant it. Your Canfitpro instructor-trainer will also look for qualities like enthusiasm, confidence, and sincerity in you as a potential Personal Trainer. Internalize the program that you wrote on the client card. Even if you are only helping a pseudo-client, train as if you meant it.

Dress up. Dress like you meant it! Wear comfortable but appropriate clothes. You can wear training shoes, track pants, and a collared shirt on your practical evaluation.

Be yourself. If you have really studied, planned, and prepared for your practical evaluation and you feel that you did everything to be ready, then that’s it! Be confident and just be yourself. It’s important to bring your personality to the table as you go through your session. On a job interview the other day, I was asked by the Fitness Manager to describe what type of a trainer I am, or what is my approach in Personal Training. Develop your own approach and style that fits your personality and characteristics. This will help you be more comfortable as a personal trainer and ace your Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist practical exam!

Do you think you’re ready to be a Canfitpro Certified Personal Trainer?

You can read my posts about the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist written exam from the links here:

Reviewing for the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist Exam

Passing the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist Written Exam

I hope you found these helpful! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or how your exam goes!

All the best!


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This is an update to a previous blog about the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist Exam.

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Almost a month has passed since I posted a blog about reviewing for the Canfitpro-Personal Training Specialist exam. I finished a 5-year bachelor’s degree in Sports Science in the Philippines, but since moving to Canada I have to upgrade my qualifications. For a start, I decided to take the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist certification as the first step to my fitness career in Toronto and beyond. I did not register for the certification course – I only paid the fees to take the theory and practical exam for the canfitpro – PTS. In spite of the mixed reviews, Canfitpro offers the most accessible and available certification there is, so I decided to invest on it. Later on, I am planning to take the NCSA – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist exam.

Read reviews on the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist here

Read my blog about the Canfitpro – PTS practical evaluation

I took the exam two Sundays ago in a Good Life Fitness gym. There were around 10 to 12 of us who took the certification exam in that area that day. I think there was an equal number of guys and girls who took the exam. Obviously, most of them took the course because the Canfitpro PTS pro trainer greeted them at the lobby. Maybe two or three people were there to retake the exam.

Just last Saturday, a week after my exam, I got my theory test result and I passed!

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What to expect in the exam location?
You can check the canfitpro website page about course and exam dates and locations. You will see that most, if not all, courses and exams are held in gyms with a high percentage of those gyms being Good Life Fitness. For my exam, it was held in a group exercise studio of a relatively small Good Life Fitness gym. My exam was scheduled on a Saturday afternoon.

I arrived about 15 minutes early for my exam and had to wait at the small ‘lobby’ of the gym, directly in front of the reception area, which I think made it a bit awkward because the people running on the treadmills or using the gym equipment can see all the nervous certified-personal-trainer-hopefuls looking clueless and waiting anxiously. You aren’t in the gym to exercise but to take an exam so probably you won’t be wearing shorts, track pants, or anything that you usually wear to work out. One guy even brought his book and pile of notes and continued reading until the exam started which attracted a few weird looks from some people working out in the gym.

Exam Tip: If you want to minimize exam jitters, then be prepared for those curious and weird looks
from gym members, other trainers and gym staff.

After a few minutes, we were called in by our Canfitpro PTS pro trainer and led us to the gym’s group exercise area or studio. It was well lit with mirrors on the walls. We were seated around portable tables on portable chairs. There were at least 3 people sitting around one table.

Exam Tip: If possible, choose a table with fewer people so that you will be more comfortable during the exam.

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How long will the exam take?
You are allowed 3 hours to write your Canfitpro Personal Training Specialist theory exam. The day before the exam, I had been telling my wife that I will be finished in less than an hour, but it took me almost 2 1/2 hours to answer everything!

Exam Tip: Be prepared by sleeping and eating well the day and the morning before your exam. As much as possible, keep your mind from being cluttered – you don’t want to be thinking of something else during those three hours (for example, ‘is my dog hungry now?’ ‘I’m gonna miss my T.V. show!’ etc.).

How to study for the Canfitpro Personal Training Specialist exam
If you have a background in Sports Science, Kinesiology, or any related field, then I don’t think you need to take the Canfitpro Personal Trainer course. If you are not confident or you think your knowledge is outdated, then taking the course can be an option.

For me, I used the book Foundations of Professional Personal Training and Study Guide for Foundations of Professional Personal Training by Canfitpro. The Foundations of Professional Personal Training has 13 chapters in all so you can plan to read at least two chapters per day, and you’ll finish it in a week. Only a few chapters are longer than usual, but most chapters have about 10 pages.I read through the whole book once, which took me around 5 or 6 days. The book is very easy to read and yes, it has pictures.

Get this book from Amazon.

Get this book from Amazon.

After reading thoroughly through the book Foundations of Professional Personal Training, I answered the sample exam in the Study Guide for Foundations of Professional Personal Training. If you have been looking for a sample exam or review test questions for the Canfitpro PTS exam, then get the Study Guide for Foundations of Professional Personal Training

There are around 140 questions that you can find and answer from the study guide which will ensure that you have read and understood the book. You can find the answer guide at the back, but try not to look at them if you haven’t tried answering the sample questions. The questions from the actual theory exam are closely similar to those found from the Study Guide for Foundations of Professional Personal Training so it was really helpful for me to review.
canfitpro study guide

Get this book from Amazon.

Get this book from Amazon.

After answering the exam for the first time from the Canfitpro study guide, I took note of my wrong answers so that I could look it up and study them again. The sample exam questions found from the study guide were arranged according to the chapters in the book Foundations of Professional Personal Training so it was easy to go back to the chapters that I needed to study more on. I read the chapters that I had mistakes on and I took the sample exam questions from the study guide the second time. I wrote all of the 140 sample exam questions again to help me review the other chapters as well and make me confident that I do know the answers to them and that I didn’t just had a lucky guess. Again, I took note of my mistakes and reviewed the chapters after answering the sample questions from the study guide. I took the exam for a third time and I almost had a perfect score for the sample exam for Canfitpro Personal Trainer Specialist.

Read my blog about the Canfitpro – PTS practical evaluation

Summary and a few more tips for your exam:

  • Make sure that you have read through the whole Foundations of Professional Personal Training book and understood them well. Take note of the terms, important formulas, and recommendations found from the book. You can get the book Foundations of Professional Personal Training with a very helpful DVD from Amazon – it’s worth it. Click here to get the book Foundations of Professional Personal Training from Amazon.
  • Be at your best self when you are taking your exam. Wear comfortable clothes and keep your mind from being cluttered.
  • The information found from the canfitpro website about the Personal Training Specialist exam can be a bit misleading. Take note that for the theory part, you have to write 100 multiple choice exam questions plus 100 points for the case study part. In total, the theory part of the Canfitpro Personal Training Specialist exam is worth 200 points.
  • The 100 points for the multiple choice is the easy part. For me, it got messy when I was writing the case study part. Good thing I brought pencils so I was able to erase the parts that I needed to change. Bring pencils with you – you’ll be needing it especially for the case study part of the exam. You can use your ink pen for the multiple choice questions.
  • For the case study, read chapter 11 of the book and be familiar with the exercises and stretching found in Appendices. You don’t have to remember the names of each exercise and stretches – you can describe the movement of the stretch or exercise. Our pro trainer even allowed someone to draw a stick figure that resembles the stretch or exercise he wants to write!
  • Remember the FITT principle and the equivalent values for cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility for beginner, intermediate, and advanced clients.
  • Know how to compute the Karvonen formula and BMI. Bring a good calculator for your exam.
  • If you are searching the internet for sample exam questions for the Canfitpro Personal Trainer Specialist exam, STOP. I have tried doing that as well but found only a couple of links, which I mentioned in my previous blog. Those links from the internet were only slightly helpful. My blog has been getting lots of ‘hits’ from search engines about sample exam questions for Canfitpro. If you really want to pass your Canfitpro Personal Trainer Specialist exam, then get yourself the Study Guide for Foundations of Professional Personal Training. Again, it’s another worth it investment that will save you from paying the retake fee for the exam. Click here to get the Study Guide for Foundations of Professional Personal Training from Amazon.
  • Try answering the study guide at least thrice and review the chapters from the book for your wrong answers. Don’t just look up the portions about your wrong answers – read the whole chapter again and make sure that you understood it the second or third time.
  • Answer the sample exam questions from the study guide as many times as you can, and try to get at least more than 120 correct answers before you write the actual Canfitpro PTS exam.
  • Motivate yourself well while you study. During my theory exam, there were a couple of persons who finished early. Later on, I found out that they submitted their exam early not because they finished it well, but because they were too anxious to continue writing. At the end of the day, it is still an exam. Life goes on whether you pass or not. There’s always a second chance. Don’t give up! More importantly, don’t give up when you haven’t even started or while you are already doing it!
  • Last but not the least, shake your sillies out and don’t be too anxious!

All the best to your certification!

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Become a TRX Trainer

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This week, I’m starting to review for the Canfitpro Personal Training Specialist Exam. I’m planning to take the exam about 3 weeks from now, so I hope I’d be able to cover the topics that I need to study.

UPDATE: I passed my Canfitpro Personal Training Specialist theory exam! Click here for tips for the exam.

I also passed my Practical Evaluation for the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist certification. Click here for tips.

Should I take the Canfitpro Personal Trainer Exam? Earlier this year, I tried to apply as a Pilates Instructor and Personal Trainer in a premium gym. I am certified in Stott Pilates, which is recognized internationally and has its headquarters in Toronto. I also took up additional courses in Stott Pilates and I am experienced in teaching both one-on-one and group matwork Pilates and I thought it would be sufficient for my credentials. I was also confident of my 5 years of experience in the field of Sports Science – in the fitness industry and coaching in a well-known running school in the Philippines, so I was expecting to make it. But then I realized how important certifications are in Canada, so now I have to be patiently studying and preparing for the exam. I’m hoping to get the CSCS- Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification under the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) in the nearby future. The exams for the CSCS in Canada is held only twice to thrice a year, and this year there won’t be any schedule near Toronto until June. I want to start my career in the fitness industry and I hope that getting the Canfitpro PTS certification would be the right first step toward my goals.

How to review for the Canfitpro Exam

To review for the course, I borrowed the Foundations of Professional Personal Training book and the study guide from my sister-in-law who is taking up Kinesiology. I am hoping that I’d still be able to dig up some stored knowledge from my 5-year Sports Science degree in the Philippines which was nearly 6 years ago.

Thankfully, some resources can be found in the internet if you search diligently enough. Canfitpro even provides their own sample exam in their website. The best review guide for the Canfitpro Personal Training Specialist exam that I’ve found so far is from www.cram.com. The website contains 202 flashcards for review and also has a sample exam for the written exam. I found the reviewer at cram.com very helpful to prepare me for the 100 points of multiple choices in the canfitpro written exam. You just have to be prepared for a few surprise questions like “#105-What is the meaning of Life?” which I guess were placed strategically to wake you up while reviewing!

canfitpro study guideAs an alternative, you can download a cheaper Study Guide for Foundations of Personal Training at Amazon with free shipping. You can choose to buy a new one if you prefer, or a used one which is around $15 less. In any case, the new one from Amazon is still a bit cheaper compared to ordering from directly from canfitpro. For me, I’m starting to read the Foundations of Professional Personal Training while trying the exam from cram.com once in a while. After reading the book, I’ll start with the study guide.

Hopefully, 3 weeks are enough for me to get ready!

 

UPDATE: I passed my Canfitpro Personal Training Specialist theory exam! Click here for tips for the exam.

I also passed my Practical Evaluation for the Canfitpro – Personal Training Specialist certification. Click here for tips.

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