AFAA Group Exercise Crunch Time

Hey party people!

My day began at 4:20 a.m. Yep, it was another early shift day at the gym! I arrived before the gym opened at 5 a.m. and worked through the morning.

At 8:30 a.m. I took a group through a basic functional training workout. It was easily the highlight of my day! The workout was another informal group workout (like Friday’s workout), but since this was a basic level workout, it was less intense. I made sure to modify some of the more difficult exercises to make them more appropriate for those who are just beginning to incorporate functional training into their exercise regimen.

I also changed up the whiteboard workout located on the gym floor and created this challenging workout for people to try if they’re looking for something new:

Functional Training Workout

I based the workout off of my Weekend Circuit Workout and had a good time walking a few people through the workout throughout the day. It seems like functional and circuit-style workouts are becoming more and more popular at our gym which is great! You know they’re my favorite!

Workout + Lunch

Working at 5 a.m. has its perks when it means you’re done for the day around lunchtime. Before heading home, I hit the weight room for my own workout and finished a strength training tabata workout from Tina’s Best Body Boot Camp plan. It was outside of the box compared to my usual strength workouts which I liked a lot!

Once I made it home, I quickly assembled lunch before hopping in the shower.

Chicken salad

I made myself three-mustard chicken salad (dijon, spicy and honey mustard) with Snapea Crisps and salted cashews.

Three Mustard Chicken Salad

snapea crisps and cashews

As for the rest of the day, I’m planning to spend several hours curled up with this bad boy.

AFAA Group Exercise Study Guide

I will be attending a workshop to get my group exercise certification this weekend and I really need to study. Though I feel pretty comfortable with a lot of the information thanks to studying for my NASM personal training certification a few months ago, I didn’t give myself a lot of time to prepare for the AFAA exam, so I need to get to work!

Question of the Afternoon

  • What is the most difficult test you’ve ever taken?


  1. Kate Brown says

    The most difficult test I’ve ever taken would have to be my cumulative civil procedure exam at the end of my first year of law school. It covered 1,300 pages of substance and about 40 lectures. What a doozy.


      • Kate Brown says

        But I find that a great approach to tests and mastering material is to attack it like you’re trying to learn a new language, so all the information becomes second nature. So in the end, after all that time and effort, you can really communicate what you have learned. And I guess in your case, to be the best instructor communicator possible for the benefit of your clients!


  2. says

    Julie, I am so glad you posted this new exercise program for people who are just beginning. I’m looking forward to trying the Fast Functional Workout you posted this morning. I’m needing something fun and easy to get back into a routine with and I think it’s perfect for me. Looking forward to what else you are going to put out there. BTW: I used to watch Troops of Beverly Hills all the time. Oh that Shelly Long, was a Hoot! Loved her in Cheers and in this movie. Oh Good ‘Ol Days!! 😉


  3. says

    4:20 AM is so very early. I don’t know if my eyeballs have ever seen that time voluntarily. Three mustards is a brilliant idea; my greatest test today will be finding out if I can make a salad dressing out of wasabi bbq and honey chipotle bbq sauces. 🙂


  4. says

    I am so impressed that you get up so early. Anytime before 6 am just doesn’t happen for me. Like ever.
    The hardest test I ever took would have to be my organic chemistry final. That baby was rough. Good luck with getting your certification!


  5. says

    That IS an early start-yikes! My earliest each week is about 1/2 hour later than yours, but it’s still crazy hard. But, like you said, you’re done by lunch!

    Good luck studying–you’ll totally rock it.

    Hardest test ever? hmmmm that’s a tough one. One of my grad school’s advanced exercise physiology tests was a memorable one……as was a Nutrient Metabolism final exam. Knowing all the different pathways & what happens to each macro is touuuuggggh. hah


  6. says

    Thank you for the functional workout! I used to just run all the time and that was it…Now I can see the benefit of working with weights and doing other types of circuit training and I have found that you can stay in good enough shape doing those kinds of workouts to still run a 5K on a whim and do okay. It may sound strange, but that was always my goal to be able to say ‘Sure!’ if someone just sprang up and asked me to run a 5K with them the next day 🙂


  7. Naomi says

    The hardest test I’ve taken recently was the GRE. A lot of the information I already knew, but it had been awhile since I have done math. It was difficult just because of the breadth of information I needed to review.


  8. says

    I used to despise getting up at 4am when I worked at an inner city gym in Australia, but I loved finishing work at 1pm – everyone else was going back to work after their lunch break, but I was going home. Yay! It sucked that I had to go to bed at 8pm if I wanted 8 hours sleep though – that never happened! >.<


  9. says

    Julie, I got my Group X certification through AFAA back in September and they really do lay out a lot of what will be on the test during the day long workshop. They give lots of hints, so you should be okay especially if the knowledge from your NASM test is still fresh. I would definitely be sure to know what muscles are worked through flexion and extension of each body part. For example, knee flexion…works the hamstrings. Knee extension…works the quads. There is a whole section of the test with eight to ten questions just like that. Good luck!


  10. says

    I took the AFAA exam almost 2 years ago. As long as you read the book and fill in the booklet, you’ll do just fine. There is a practical portion, but that and the written exam are relatively easy. Since you have a good background in fitness, you will rock the exam!


  11. says

    I did a business degree and I had to take law as part of that and the exam for that was by far the hardest of them all. I did business maths and statistics and thought that was hard until I got to doing law which was a walk in the park in comparison!

    That functional workout looks like a good one 🙂


  12. says

    You can do it, girl! I’ve got total faith, I just wish I were close enough to take a class with you once you’re certified 🙂

    I’ve got to say – 4 a.m. wake up calls multiple days in a row? I don’t know how you do it, but I’m very, VERY impressed!


  13. says

    I wish you lived by me and I could come to your classes! I know you are an excellent motivator for people! Good luck on the studying! I feel like after a 4:20 wake up call, a nap might be in order first?! 🙂


  14. says

    I took a psychopharmacology course in University and the exams were the most difficult I have ever taken. I may have even failed one or two. Looks like you are enjoying your new job!!


  15. says

    Seems like a great functional workout, and good luck on the test!

    The most difficult test I’ve ever taken was probably my first history test in college – it was difficult because I hadn’t ever experienced anything like it! Once I got the hang of things, those tests became normal, but that first one, I almost walked out, I was so overwhelmed!


  16. sarah says

    The hardest test I ever took was for my Master’s degree in Physics. It was a 2 hour oral exam and so brutal! Just me and a white board in front of my panel of 3 teachers who questioned me, at random, on anything I was expected to have learned in my physics and research career. Thought I was going to die (but I passed-phew!).


  17. says

    I’ve considered getting the AFAA Group Exercise Cert. What have you thought about it so far? Easy or difficult? Comprehensive? And how are you enjoying teaching group exercise? I would love to eventually, but I am a little rhythmically challenged so I’m wondering if that would make it more difficult for me. 😉


  18. says

    So far, I’d say it would be my 4 hour contracts exam during my first year of law school, but I’ll be studying all summer for the NY Bar Exam, which is what I think will be the toughest exam I ever take.


  19. says

    The CPA Exam – hardest but most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done. It is so worth it (but, I’m not going to lie, I am SO glad it’s finally over!)


  20. says

    Thanks so much for this, I’ve been looking for something easy to hop back into. I think this program will allow me to ease back in to my fit body 🙂


  21. says

    I’m curious as to how getting the NASM certification changed your view on fitness, if at all. I’ve noticed that your workouts haven’t changed very much and still don’t follow the “OPT model”. Are you not so interested because you’re more focused on fun group workouts? Just curious! I recently became a trainer (NASM) and love hearing different trainer’s philosophies. 🙂


  22. Haley says

    I just took my AP biology exam today and it KILLED me. I went in feeling prepared, and i now think i’ll be lucky to pass – and i don’t get my scores untill the middle of summer.


  23. says

    I want to get my group fitness certification through AFAA so I look forward to hearing your thoughts about the test. I cant’ think of what the hardest test I have ever taken was, but I will be spending this summer studying for my teacher certification test to take at the end of this summer!


  24. says

    The most difficult test I’ve taken was my speech-language pathology national certification. There were so many different topics and I didn’t feel that confident afterwards…but I passed and that’s all that matters! 🙂 BTW, I LOVE your blog. I’ve been trying out several of your circuit workouts and I’m a big fan!


  25. emma says

    so far? the GRE was the hardest test i’ve taken. i was a philosophy undergrad so math was not my strong suit to say the very least.

    you look adorable in the mother’s day crab feast post!!! where’d you get your dress? also, i feel like you are more than capable of doing well on your exam, esp since you already know so much about healthy living and just recently finished the NASM!


  26. says

    The hardest test I’ve ever taken was unquestionably the GRE. After not doing academic maths for eight years, it was mind-blowingly challenging. Thankfully, I had a fantastic tutor who helped me, and the verbal was no problem, so I did well. Boy, did I get some good sleep after it was done, though!


  27. zoe says

    Good luck, Julie!! I’m sure you will do fantastically.

    I got up at 5am to start my morning workouts this summer!! I thought of you the whole time for inspiration 🙂 thanks for your posts about am workouts! Do you think you could do one about how Ryan has adapted to your earlier schedule? My boyfriend is really struggling.

    Hmm hardest test… So far, defintely stats 1 exam. It was the kind fof thing where you could get A’s on the midterms and a C on the final. It was seriously tough… And this id coming from a Johns Hopkins student, where hard exams were born! Haha. Though I’m sure there are harder exams out there


  28. says

    Your program seems awesome! I really like how you included that if you don’t know what a certain move is, to ask a trainer. That automatically makes it less intimidating! I agree with Molly…the hardest test I ever took was any biochem test!


  29. says

    It takes a lot of practice to be able to come up with the modifications. I have been a circuit / functional move lover for years and I am currently nursing a torn ACL (surgery is in 1 week) – so now when I work out I have to figure out how to engage all my muscles while working around my limitations. It is interesting to say the least but definitely challenging!


  30. says

    I think teaching group exercises would be really fun!

    The major tests that I have had to take so far are teaching certification tests to become a special education teacher. I will also be taking a reading specialist certification test this fall.


    • Alana says

      I am aiming to take the SPE Praxis before I graduate! I just took the K-6 PLT and Teaching Reading Praxis. They were awful.


  31. Amy Risner says

    I did your function workout today (5/14/13) and boy was it A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!
    I changed it up a bit though! I did 10 min sprints on the treadmill, F.W.O. Round #1, 8 min on the elliptical, F.W.O. Round #2, 6 min on the row machine, F.W.O. Round #3. It all in all took my 36 minutes to complete! It was SUCH A GREAT CHANGE of pace and I cannot thank you enough for posting it!! Keep ’em coming!!!


  32. says

    The group primary is an easy test- actually you have the old textbook for it also. So a few things may not be in the book or worded the same as it will be on the test.
    Are you taking the full workshop? it is not that hard, depending on your instructor. We also had over 60 in our class because it was their special price weekend.
    My hardest test so far was when I became a nail tech. But currently I am studying for my NASM personal trainer test! Just when I think I know enough, I forget something else!
    Good Luck!


  33. AJ says

    I’ve never made chicken salad with 3 mustard flavors! And good luck with your test. I’m sure you will rock it.



  34. says

    I’m excited to discover this great site. If you don’t mind May I also reveal a tip. Fidning a sexy muscles nude man at love could well be dificult, in the event you reside in Sourthern California therefore you need a sexy muscles nude man, mouse click my link.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *