Tag Archives: AFAA

Heyo-I’m A PiYo Instructor

2 Sep

PiYo™ is a unique class designed to build strength & gain flexibility. The moves  fit perfectly together to form a class filled with intense choreography that’s  fun, challenging and will make you sweat. It’s about energy, power, and rhythm.  Think sculpted abdominals, increased overall core strength, and greater  stability. (source)

Last Sunday, I finally got certified in PiYo at Club 1 Fitness Studio in Pittsburgh, PA.

The day started at 9am with a brief overview of the entire certification process. Lauren, our PiYo instructor and a Duquesne alumni!, explained the certification process in detail, what to expect when we take the “exam”, and answered any questions we had. She was enthusiastic, personable, and her energy was contagious!

All of the attendees received a manual to use as a reference, but the certification was more hands-on than any other certification I’ve been through. As much as I like to have something to hold and refer back to, I’d rather be up and moving and learning and feeling rather than being talked at. I’m much more of a kinesthetic, visual, and read-write learner than an auditory learner! I may or may not have selective hearing..

The one con about this certification was the lack of education in the anatomy part of teaching group fitness. The instructor (not to criticize her as she was doing her job to focus more on teaching us PiYo choreography) skipped over it, without even reviewing basic terminology that would help us understand the choreography more. Nerd alert. I LOVE learning about the body; how it moves, what connects to what, muscles, planes, levers, oh my; there’s always opportunity to learn more about this amazing machine we live in. I don’t think there was an assumption that we were all certified group fitness instructors, personal trainers, or even fitness professionals in some way so a basic anatomy lesson would have been beneficial. I think that’s the biggest downfall of these pre-choreographed certifications; the instructor may or may not have an exercise-type degree and/or background so they don’t know the mechanics of it or even the basics when it comes to anatomy.

Ranting over.

After a flip through of the manual, it was time to sweat glisten! Lauren took us through an hour and a half workout that was a fusion of various PiYo releases. I’ll tell ya..music was on point! PiYo doesn’t follow the 32-count, rather, its BPM is relatively consistent throughout the workout and the moves just flow; there isn’t a set move to a beat. You do 2 repetitions of each exercise and move to the next exercise in a fluid and somewhat graceful cadence. The certification comes with a CD and the exercises that associate with each song -BUT- it’s just an outline. What’s great about PiYo and why I gravitated towards it is that it gives you the freedom to put your OWN spin on the workout, so that no PiYo class is the same at the end of the day. As long as you follow the outline, it is a PiYo class that’s filled with the instructors’ personal flavor!

After a much-needed lunch break, we got into groups of 4 and practiced the 12 PiYo essential exercises that are a mix between yoga and Pilates moves. We also practiced the warm-up (which is the same warm-up as the last couple of releases) and had the opportunity to get up in front of the class and teach it. The rest of the afternoon was dedicated to the exam! We ended up getting out early which I throughly appreciated; I feel like I’ve been to hundreds of certifications! #fitnessinstructorprobs

I’m super excited about learning the choreography, owning it, and putting my own spin and flavor in my Piyo classes! The coordinator at OU and I are going to team-teach a PiYo class next semester, since were both newbies to teaching a mind/body class consistently. Team-teaching is so much fun! We thrive off of each other’s energy, get creative with our moves and workouts, and give the particpants a one-two punch when it comes to their group fitness experiece..the more the merrier!

What type of learner are you?

When you attend ANY certification, would you rather it be hands-on or off?

5X Tabata

10 Feb

Working out first thing in the morning on a Friday is the best decision ever made! It starts the weekend off on a healthy note, you don’t have to worry about it later in the day (especially after a long work week), and you’ll have plenty of energy for your Friday night festivities! Plus, it’s been shown that those who exercise earlier in the day make smarter food and/or drink choices at night..just sayin’ :).

It’s not like me to come to the gym early in the morning without a workout planned; I always stress to my clients and group-ex participants to never enter the gym without some type of plan practice what I preach.! Luckily, while waiting for the bus I went on Facebook only to find a Tabata workout staring back at me! Thanks to Lindsay, with a few adjustments to her workout, I was all set and ready to glistensweat!

Repeat the following 5 rounds of 4 exercises, 2 times through (equalling 8) for a complete tabata workout! Remember, proper form and safety cues!

Tabata 1:

  • burpees
  • sideways shuffles
  • jump squats
  • jumping jacks

Tabata 2:

  • medicine ball toe-taps
  • medicine ball squat toss
  • mountain climbers
  • alternating jump squats

Tabata 3:

  • high knees
  • push-ups
  • medicine ball hop-overs
  • “square” jumps (imagine a square is drawn, jump to each corner)

Tabata 4:

  • jump rope (with a real rope)
  • bench jumps
  • speed skaters
  • wall taps (stand in front of a wall, jump and reach as high as you can)

Tabata 5:

  • plank jacks
  • in & outs
  • russian twists
  • bicycles

A total body workout that incorporates cardio and strength done in less than 30 minutes? YES PA-LEASE!

Have a great weekend!! If you’re looking for fitness certifications-check out IFTA!

AFAA Apex Weekend 2012 & IFTA Events

5 Feb

Attention Raleigh, Cary, Gardner, Apex, and surround areas: 

Looking for a less-expensive way to become certified in Group Fitness or Kickboxing?  University Recreation is hosting AFAA Apex Weekend February 10-12! Register through AFAA to take advantage of these amazing deals!

  • Primary Group Exercise Certification, $99
  • Kickboxing Certification, $99
  • Practical Pilates- learn the importance of core stabilization, muscle balance, proper alignment, strength and flexibility while integrating the concept of mindfulness, fluidity and grace.
  • A Taste of..Biggest Loser Live Training Workshop- providing fitness professionals with an introduction to the knowledge, tools, and fundamental skills necessary to successfully work with larger clients and participants.

Already an AFAA instructor? Earn 5 CEU’s for each certification or workshop!

This is a fun-filled fitness weekend where you’ll gain tons of knowledge and meet other trainers and participants with positive attitudes. I’m attending the Biggest Loser workshop and can’t wait to learn lots of new techniques, training ideas, and how to train larger-individuals safely and effectively.

IFTA Events:

Saturday, February 18 at Quest 4 Life Wellness Center. 1031 Morganton Blvd STE A. Lenoir NC.

  • 10:45am-12:45pm. Cardio Blast: an intense cardiovascular training for beginners to athletes. Energize and revitalize your basic choreography and give it a blast that will create the ultimate experience for sustained aerobic conditioning and balanced muscular endurance training.
  • In addition to registering, you’ll receive a “Kata Cardio” DVD!

Sunday, February 19 at Armfield Civic Center 873 West 52 Bypass, Pilot Mountain, NC

  • 9-10am. Kata Cardio: true Martial Arts aspects from “Katas” that are modeled into a group fitness cardio experience.
  • cost is $20.


  • 10-11am. Strength Camp: muscle conditioning using a mix of dumbbells, body bars, tubing, and a mat.
  • cost is $20

  • 11am-12pm. Stretch-Tone-Core: standing, seated, balance, tone, core all in once class to increase range of motion and abdominal strength.
  • cost is $20.



Helping Train the Future

27 Sep

NC State University Recreation offers trainee classes for students, faculty, and staff to become either a group fitness instructor or personal trainer. Although the process for each class is different, the end goal is to educate and provide the knowledge, tools and equipment needed in order to succeed.

I assist in teaching the ACE Personal Training class with the goal of helping students, just like me, hopefullypass the exam and learn how to train functionally. A former student, co-worker and friend, Kayla Smitherman,  recently emailed me saying this:

“I hope ur semester is going well! I just wanted to message u to let u know that I passed the ACE exam and I also took the AFAA exam and passed it too. Thanks for all of ur help and ur work with the training class, it was very helpful!”

Isn’t that awesome?! Not only did she pass the ACE exam, but she also took the group fitness trainee class and passed the AFAA exam! This is one of many reasons why I love doing what I do- assisting people of all ages reach their goals. Whether the goal is with a personal training client relating to weight loss or a trainee learning how to do a fitness assessment correctly or a co-worker asking for a favor with their program area- I take pride in being asked for assistance and knowing that I’m a person they trust and can turn to for a helping hand. I feel a lot of people I work with and surround myself with are the same way-we all want the end goal to be successful.


Surround yourself with positive people, environments, and thoughts. Negative things in your life will only bring you down. It’s the people who make us laugh, an environment that’s stress-free, and thoughts that are only positive that will lead us to be successful in all of our goals!

power in positivityPhoto by Pinterest