BEGREATGUYS #5 — My exam story (Try Again)

I have learned many things, some of which made a difference in my life. One of which, is learning to “try again”, which for some is easy enough but for others like myself, “trying again” is scary and makes us overwhelmed, makes us anxious and gives us stress. Stress we don’t need nor want. I can tell you of many incidences where I wanted to try again but didn’t due to fear and not knowing, due to low self esteem and negative thinking and due to lack of courage. I grew up on “trying” and giving it my best; my mom always told me and my siblings this growing up — and even then it was easier said than done. Almost like now. Where trying something for a second or third time seems like a waste of time, especially when you don’t know how it will end. 

I learned REAL soon, that trying again can be the door that opens opportunity — All it takes is a positive mindset, belief in yourself and capabilities & your “why”  (in other words the reason that you NEED to try again, why is this important to you) because without a why, you lose focus and give up. This almost happened to me within this year. 

Just recently I got certified in Personal Training by ACSM (one of the hardest personal training exams right next to CSCS) and holds the “Gold standard” for the fitness industry because it was the FIRST certification and very few people pass this exam the first time let alone the second time. I graduated college May 2016 and took the exam for the first time December of 2016 and FAILED. Mind you it cost me 300 dollars to take it, and I didn’t have whole lot of financial stability at the time, so I knew it would take some saving up before I could afford it while also having to afford bills. I was very discouraged this first time (you can take it after 15 days with a discounted price) but at the time I could not afford to retake it, so I went a whole other year before re-taking it again. The first time I cried and got very upset. The second time, I had something new weighing on me, they were changing the cirriculum for this exam after this test date, so if I failed it this time, it meant having to buy new books & taking time to study the new material (expenses and time) so I retook the test Dec. 2017 and FAILED, again. Now I was very pissed off, I had cried at the gym when telling my boss/owner and sharing the news with a couple of gym members, it was like the world was falling on top of me and I couldn’t breath and didn’t know what to do, I started to think that maybe I was too dumb for this test — people gave me other names of personal training certs I could do: ACE, NASM, ISSA, etc but I didn’t want to do those, I wanted ACSM, it appealed to me because of the recognition it receives and how few people have passed. I wanted to pass it. 

In the meantime while my self esteem was low, I started looking into other cert options in case I wanted to give up on ACSM (and do know I did want to give up) because I even got ahold of NASM and talked with a rep about being interested in taking their exam and pricing and same with ACE. I even researched ISSA to see what it was about. When it was all said and done, I decided I would give ACSM a try ONCE more, because the material was new, I figured I’d rather study this new stuff then to spend more money with a whole other company/cert. Once again I was praying I could afford the new books/study aids — thankfully Amazon had it for decent price and because of using the trial period of Prime, I was able to have them shipped quickly to my house. I got my books and dug in, I decided to once again make note cards, but beforehand, read both textbooks while taking notes in a notebook then used the notes on the notecards and made over 100+ note cards to study from and used the ACSM pocket prep app. I was focused, UNTIL I wasn’t, I had set the date to February to retake the test but realized I wasn’t ready yet, so changed it to March but because I was too busy having fun on my birthday — I changed the date to April to give me more time to study (which I didn’t use my time to study very well) I got distracted by friends and wanting to hang out that I put my studies in second place & the times I could study I would have rather been able to go to bed early. I work two jobs so sleep is important to me. It wasn’t until a week before that I really dug into my notes and focused. I was overwhelmed but made it a priority to study because I didn’t want to keep rescheduling my exam. Long story short, I studies until midnight the night before and woke up bright and very, very early to eat breakfast, study and calm my nerves so I could come prepared with clarity. 

Walking into the testing center made me anxious but I was confident in myself and didn’t allow the nerves to take over my mind or fill me with negative thoughts. The test was 150 questions and I had to score 550 in order to pass. The test was HARD, very difficult but I could confidently say that I knew about 20 of the questions without pondering but the rest depended on memory, being able to answer practical questions and hoping that I can do a good job of guessing if I didn’t know the answer. Unlike the previous test, I went through all the flagged questions I had issues with and made sure I answered them to the best of my ability and even left 20 minutes on the clock before finishing the test because I took my time with this test, I wanted to do my best and give my best answers. 

I PASSED. I passed the test with a 557 score. I cried with a smile on my face and walked out that testing center not believing what just happened. I texted the first 5 people I wanted to share the news with and posted on Facebook the news. Everything was starting to make sense to me after this day, I didn’t give up. I could have very well not tried again but because I took the dive and TRIED AGAIN, I found out I could do it. I passed the exam and I am ever so blessed and happy with the results. Moral of the story, TRY AGAIN. 

“When you try something for the first time, you might find you aren’t the best at it, but doesn’t mean you can’t get better” – Shay-lon Moss

Shay-lon 

Check out my Instagram with the posted good news: ACSM cert

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Good & bad news

  • Barbell shoulder press: 3 x 5, 3, 1

 

  • 75% of 90% of 1-RM: 60 lb, 3 x 5
  • 85% of 90% of 1-RM: 70 lb, 3 x 3
  • 95% of 90% of 1-RM: 75 lb, 5 rep max , 3 x 1+

 

This went over well, I believe about 4 or 5 weeks ago, I was hitting 70 lb for like 1 rep max and now I am able to do 75 lb for 5 rep max, very happy about this progress.

 
  • Barbell bench press: 5 x 5, 105 lb, 100 lb

My bench did not go over well at all today. I was able to hit 105 lb for 5 reps but only the first set, after that set, I was only hitting 3-4 reps, so I went down to 100 lb and was hitting my 5 reps until the last set and was only able to do 3 reps. Bench has never been my stronger suit in lifting but I want to improve it because I plateau in bench pressing more than I do in other lifts and it agitates me. I have found some ideas but it will be trial and error. Anyone else feel like their bench is slow to progress? 

 

My 1 rep max should be 135, but at this rate, I don’t know. GRR. 

 
  • DB seated shoulder press: 5 x 6, 60 lb
  • Smith machine upright row: 5 x 6, 90 lb
  • Side laterals to front raise: 5 x 6, 30 lb
  • DB rear delt row: 5 x 6, 80 lb

The assistance work today wasn’t too bad besides the last one (hard one). I am doing heavier assistance work this week and next week and lighter core lifts next week (deload week) so today’s core lifting was fairly heavy work. 

 
 

 

Monday Motivation! Dec. 18th

Happy Monday Motivation! 

 

Monday Motivation. Dec. 4th

After this weekend, I needed some extra inspiration to get me through and to put my mind at ease so I can refocus my attention on doing better when I retake my exam and not on the failure. Hopefully all of you will enjoy some of these quotes as well. 

 

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon 

EXAM results & Sacrifices.

Thank you fellow bloggers for being patient, I have some news.. 

I took my exam Friday December 1st and got a HIGH score but I did not pass. I failed. 

With all of that being said, I will hopefully be retaking the exam sometime in February ( the ACSM exam is changing so I have to order the new textbooks, etc) While I was so upset and shattered that I missed two days at the gym and ate like crap >.< I have had so much support and love and encouragement from friends and peers. It was a tough exam, a very tough exam to be honest and I don’t know if the new one will be just as tough or easier. In the meantime I will be taking a long break from my YouTube channel, besides this Wednesday and next Wednesday because I have to make some sacrifices so I can focus on restudying and hopefully passing this time around. 

I will continue to blog each week and I will do my best to continue to keep up with the podcast as well (haven’t been doing that as often) and I will continue to be present on my social media (IG, Twitter, Facebook, etc) but I am walking away from YouTube for a little while longer so I can pass and of course there will be other sacrifices. My blogging might not be daily or as many post, because of studying and having two jobs, etc, but I will have a post or two AT THE VERY LEAST each week – unless an emergency occurs. 

I appreciate all of you for being so kind and patient with me and wishing me the best of luck! I know I am capable of passing and doing great things! 

Also, my boss at the gym is still keeping me around as a trainer, so that is a positive .. 😀

Fitness WonderWoman,

Shay-lon 

 

Oct. 30th Monday Motivation!

Happy Monday Bloggers!