Want to take your fitness business to the next level? Check out my ACE Fitness Health Coach Certification review and add health coaching to your business!
Health Coach Exam Update
The prerequisites for the ACE® Health Coach Exam has changed since writing this 3 years ago. Here are the updated prerequisites and pre-approval process for taking the health coach exam:
- Must have/be the following
- CPR certification
- 18 years or older
- CPR certified
- And must have at least one of the following:
- NCCA accredited fitness certification
- Associate degree or higher
- Already have had a health coach certification accredited by ICHWC
- 2+ years experience in the coaching field
Here’s the detailed prerequisite info from the ACE® Health Coach website:
If you have questions about the prerequisites and preapproval, you can always send ACE® an email to learn more.
This year so far has been really interesting so far: a mix of failed projects and successes – and it’s only June! I have had to cancel several planned events this year due to injuries, schedules, or finances, but on the positive side I have earned my yoga certification, started an outdoor bootcamp, and I’m studying for my health coach certification (I’ll take the exam in September).
Why add another fitness certification to my list, you might ask. Because I believe that life requires growth and continual learning. There is no room for stagnancy in life or business. We are created to be lifelong learners! Your mind needs exercise to stay healthy just like your muscles do, so keep it working through ongoing education.
A few months ago I started studying for my health coach certification through ACE® Fitness, and so far I’m loving it! I’m halfway through my studies and I have learned so much already. There is a lot of great material on nutrition and behavior change that wasn’t included in my personal training program. I love learning!
Reading through the textbook and manual has been awesome. I also have an online study guide that provides section videos and a study schedule to help stay on track. You can check off each chapter and workbook task as you complete it, and you can track your progress and see what’s next.
The ACE® Fitness health coach textbook has 20 chapters covering motivation and behavior change, coach and client relationships, interviewing, nutrition, exercise, legal considerations, and more. There is a lot of great information about basic behavioral psychology and how to use this with clients to help them reach their goals. The he chapters on behavior change have even helped me change my own thought patterns and some of my health habits.
Along with the online study guide, there are short videos for each study section, and online quizzes and a final practice test to prepare you for the certification exam. If you are on the go a lot, you can get the e-version of the study manual to read on your iPad or e-reader. The textbook and workbook are in-depth, well-written, and easy to understand.
For final exam prep, the textbook includes an exam content outline. I like to highlight and underline my study materials as this helps me prepare for final exams. The workbook at the end of each chapter will be an amazing study tool as well.
Once you start your studies, you have about 160 days to redeem your exam voucher and schedule your final exam. This is plenty of time to get through the studies if you spend a little time each day. I have completed about half of the program so far and I scheduled my exam for September 2nd!
It’s easy to schedule your exam. Just type in your location information and find exam location in your area. Once you select a location, you can choose an exam date that works for you.
One thing I really love about the ACE Fitness Health Coach Certification is that ACE offers a ton of great resources for their health coaches and trainers, including health forms, worksheets, behavior contracts, articles, and more. They also offer exam prep tips and health coach career information. Pretty cool!
Once I get my health coach certification, I’ll be adding it to my offerings as a personal trainer at my gym, and I might offer online coaching as well, depending on my schedule. I believe it’s important to continue learning, especially in the health and fitness industry. I really enjoy studying and learning new things (I loved college!), so getting another health and fitness certification has been a great choice for me. I’m excited to see where this journey will lead!
Are you ready to add another dimension to your fitness business? A health coach certification is a great option!
Download the ACE® Fitness career guide
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This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and ACE® Fitness campaign. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
9 thoughts on “How to Become a Health Coach: ACE® Health Coach Certification Review”
Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new initiative in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us useful information to work on. You have done an outstanding job. The way you explain is very easy to understand. Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.
Looking at the sight it says that in order to take the exam you have to have a bachelors degree, or another certification approved by ichwic. Does that mean that taking this course isn’t enough to take also take the exam?
Hi Jenny, I just checked it out and it looks like they’ve updated their required prerequisites since I wrote this post. I’ll update my post to include that information.
It looks like in addition to the CPR certification and age/ID requirement, you must have at least 1 of the following: a NCCA accredited fitness certification, OR Associate degree or higher (so they don’t require a bachelor’s degree), OR already have had a health coach certification accredited by ICHWC, OR 2 years experience in the coaching field. So if you’re already a certified personal trainer, you have the prerequisite for this course.
Did you get some helpful information on HOW to start your health coaching business in this program? I have noticed that there are some great coach certification programs out there, but once you are graduated and certified you don’t feel ready to begin!
What kind, if any, of business training does this program offer?
Hi Eryn! They have a chapter in the health coach book about setting up your health coaching business. They also have online resources for people certified through their programs, like forms you can use, business information, etc. Their Expert Articles also have great information about the business side of health coaching 🙂
So i graduated with an exercise and wellness degree and I have been researching a lot about obtaining a certificate for Health coaching through ACE Fitness. My issue is, I don’t have experience “health coaching”… so part me of wonders if this is right option for me. I have 2.5 years experience working in at a clinic rooming patients and doing office work (I still work at this clinic). I really enjoy working at this clinic and I’d like to keep working here in the health field. I’m not really sure where I would gain the experience if I were to get this certificate. Do you have any advice on this?
Hi Danielle! A couple ways you can get some experience health coaching once you get this certificate would be to help friends or coworkers who want some health coaching. You can offer it to friends to begin with till you get comfortable, then expand as you like to helping others. You can also see if there are some part time opportunities to do health coaching at local gyms where you can set your own schedule to work with the one you already have.
Also, if the clinic you work at has an employee wellness program, you might be able to do some health coaching with them. Or if your clinic doesn’t have an employee wellness program, you could create one once you get comfortable with health coaching. I hope that helps a bit! 🙂
When you bought the information you needed to be a health coach from the ACE website, did you also need to pay for the exam? You mentioned an exam voucher! Did that cover the cost of your exam?
I’m looking forward to all that comes with being a Health Coach!
Hi Tish! When I got my package from ACE Fitness (they sent it to me since it was sponsored, I didn’t have to buy it myself), it included the voucher for the exam. They have different study packages available, but it looks like each package includes the exam in the price (you can compare their packages here: https://www.acefitness.org/fitness-certifications/health-coach-certification/study-bundles.aspx). I hope that helps!