10 Tips for Passing The ACE Fitness Group Fitness Instructor Exam

If you’ve ever considered becoming a Group Fitness Instructor with ACE. These tips may help you pass the exam on the first try.


As you may remember from my old blog I became a Cize LIVE! Instructor about two years ago. I’ve been teaching ever since. Teaching that class made me realize that I wanted to take my love for fitness to the next level and become a certified Group Fitness Instructor.

There are many reasons why this path was right for me. I wanted the freedom to create my own workouts. I wanted the ability to teach wherever I wanted and most gyms require that you have a GFI cert. I also wanted the knowledge that came along with being nationally recognized as a fitness professional.

After studying for about 5 months I was able to pass this exam on the first try. I want to share my best tips, advice and experience with you. It was very hard for me to fit studying into my life with a husband and three kids but I am so glad I was able to make it work. 


Before we get into studying tips let’s talk about why I chose ACE. I chose ACE because they are accredited and you get tons of benefits as an instructor (interview guarantee, discounts, USReps registry) I also loved the fact that they offered a payment plan. And to be honest that’s what made me choose them. 

So how did I go about studying for this thing? Here are the steps I took to pass the exam on the first try…..

1. I read the textbook all the way through and completed the online classroom activities and quizzes along the way.

2. Then I read the textbook again while making notecards for every bold keyword and tables.

3. I read chapter 3 over and over and over again. And again. And again. And again.

4. I used the exam outline located in the back of the textbook for a checks and balances guide.

5. I made sure I could apply the keywords to actual scenarios I might face in class.

6. I memorized as many keywords as I could.

7. 30 days out from my exam date I began taking the practice test in the online classroom. I took the test several times to see as many types of questions as I could. (And I would also like to add that you must take the test several times to see different questions because you get the same questions on each exam with a few new Qs sprinkled in.)

8. Two weeks out from the exam I made sure that I was strong in Domains II and I.

9. I created notecards for muscles groups and common exercises.

10. I never left the house without my notecards. Any time I had a moment to skim through them I would.

Now with all that said let me give you my thoughts on my ACE Fitness experience as a whole…

My exam had a little something from each chapter on it. (I’ve heard that some exams don’t have any anatomy) I would say that the exam was moderately difficult. There were definitely some questions on the exam that I wasn’t prepared to answer. I’m not sure where anyone would’ve learned that information because it wasn’t in our textbook or the online classroom. This is one of the biggest gripes that I read about in the reviews on FB too.

I think most people can past the test with no problem if they study for a couple hours daily for three months or so. The Facebook study group that they offer is absolutely useless. That place could be a gem if it were fully utilized. The online classroom is helpful but it doesn’t necessarily prepare you for the test since the quizzes tend to be keyword (memorization) based. The majority of the test was application style questions so it’s very important to study with  that in mind.

I did use the phone tutor assistance that they offer. I’m not sure if it actually helped me or not, LOL! The woman I spoke to was nice though so that’s a plus.

I would recommend ACE to anyone looking to obtain a fitness certification. For the GFI cert you may not need the most expensive package (the one I used with all the extras) to pass. In my opinion you could absolutely pass with just the textbook and some notecards.

Good Luck! If you have any questions about the exam or about my experience with ACE I would be happy to answer them.

5 Ways to Develop Fitness Discipline

Alright, so the New Year is officially here. We’ve all wrapped up family visits and vacations. Now that kids are back in school (mine start tomorrow) it’s time to get serious about these 2019 goals. Let’s talk about how to develop discipline within your fitness routine. Today I’m sharing 5 ways you can develop discipline and crush your goals too.

Getting started is no doubt the toughest part of any fitness journey. Creating a routine built off discipline will push you forward when your motivation lacks. We chatted a little bit about that the other day. You can read that post here. Checkout my 5 best tips for creating discipline and keeping your fitness goals a top priority in your life.

1 – Plan your workouts and your meals

There are situations in life that you can “wing it”, “fake it til you make it” or “finesse” until you’re successful in your efforts to achieve your goals. Getting in shape is not one of them, unfortunately. To get in shape you actually need a plan. You must have a roadmap that aligns with your goals. 

fitness planner

Try setting aside time one day out of the week (I do Sundays) to plan your meals and your workouts. Take a peek at your gym’s class schedule and plug your favorite classes into your schedule. If you have a personal trainer, plan your day so that you are on time for those workouts. If you’re like me, and having a PT isn’t something in your budget right now head to Pinterest because it is full of all types of workouts. 

Print out workouts that you’d like to try and attach them to your planner for the week. When you’re ready for the gym pull out the workout and get to it. 

Get into that #plannerlife, y’all. You’d be surprised at what you can do when all the things are planned.

The same goes for your meals. Select a week full of healthy meals that you’re excited to eat. Don’t forget to make enough for leftovers! (Leftovers = Lunch)


2 – Get an accountability partner or a gym buddy

Listen, teamwork makes the dream work. A good gym buddy helps make your time at the gym more enjoyable. You’ll look forward to going (and be less likely to skip your workout) when you know someone is meeting you. You’ll have someone to spot you, record you for IG (cause you know it doesn’t count if it’s not on the ‘gram) and you’ll have someone to share the highs, lows and plateaus with.

Also, who else are you going to talk to in the sauna?

3 – Get your butt in gear! Cute activewear gear, that is…

I have never met a good pair of black compression leggings that I didn’t buy. There is something about new workout clothes that makes me want to head straight to the gym. I mean, where else will my new dri-fit cut out top be appreciated for the greatness that it is? Now, I’m not saying to spend your mortgage payment on the new Kelly Rowland x Fabletics collection (I need all of it) but I am saying to treat yourself to something new.


After all, part of being disciplined is having a #noexcuses attitude. We can’t let that whole, “I don’t have anything to wear” thing keep us from seeing results. Set a monthly budget for activewear to keep your selections fresh and ready for your workouts. 

4 – Pick a gym close to your HOUSE

Not your job, beloved, your house. See. The thing is when we pick a gym close to where we live we can always go. Cause it’s close to where we live. If you can get a membership that covers a location close to your house and your job, great! If not, always choose the location close to where you live. When the gym is easily accessible to our homes we are more likely to go.

5 – Feed your brain healthy and inspiring images

I don’t follow many celebs on social media but you know who I do follow? Fitness pages, fitness magazines and lots of healthy meal pages and hashtags. My brain is always being fed positive images of women seeking healthier lives or pretty bowls of healthy foods. Constantly. Social media gets a bad rep but in this case it helps so much.

When I see these images I am reminded about my own goals. I am inspired to try some of the workouts or meals I see. I’ve gotten some of my favorite moves from videos I’ve seen on Instagram. While I may not be very consistent about posting on IG myself (I plan to get better about this btw)  I am always using it as a source of fitspiration. 

I also subscribe to magazines that feature healthy meals and workouts. I’ll share my favorites at another time. Try filling your mailbox, inbox and TLs with content that will propel you to the next level. Your subconscious mind will have you seeing results in no time!

Have any tips for developing new habits you’d like to share with me? Leave them in the comments below. I’m always looking for new ways to hold myself accountable.





Discipline > Motivation


Starting a new fitness journey can be tough. So often I hear people talk about lacking motivation and how that impedes on their efforts. Being motivated is great but what happens when you lack motivation?

How do you stay on track?


You stay on track by choosing to be disciplined. Discipline isn’t a fun word but it is a goal saver.



Am I right? Discipline is the foundation for any fitness journey. I am not always motivated. I don’t always feel like working out. There are days when I just want to drink wine, eat Chinese takeout, listen to my children play and soak up all the coziness of my couch.

But I can’t do that. Because discipline. And habits.

Discipline keeps my goals at the forefront of my mind.

A new year has started so this a great time to buckle down and get serious about our goals. This week I want us to focus on becoming more disciplined in our journey.

Schedule your workouts, plan your meals and create a routine that keeps you moving toward your goals. Even if that means there’s less variety in your meals and free time.

We are in the process of building new habits.

Become so disciplined in your journey so that when motivation lacks you’re able to keep it moving.

Don’t forget to tag me in your healthy meals and sweaty selfies. I want to cheer  you on! Use the hashtag #tiavfitness!