The Academy of Applied Personal Training Education (AAPTE) has established its first hub (outside of its home in New York) in the Chicago-land area at Muscle Activation Schaumburg!  AAPTE is a nationally accredited certification for the health and fitness professional.


Did you know that almost all of the 14 accredited certification programs in the nation are home-study programs?  When I got certified, I bought a book (actually I borrowed my friend’s) and took an exam.  That is it.  The certifying company had no idea if I could adequately work with a client, think through a challenging situation, or work on my feet with changing circumstances within a session.  So the current standards for top certifying agencies are that individuals can pass an exam.

The flaw?  The personal training career is a hands-on profession requiring problem solving skills and the ability to analyze human capabilities in real time.  Hands-on learning, problem solving, and analyzing are what we should be teaching and learning.

The Academy of Applied Personal Training Education understands this.  AAPTE strives to create professionals that can think and problem solve.  Fitness professionals need to learn how to think about exercise, not what to think about exercise.  An example of understanding how to think about exercise is understanding all the parameters, risks, and benefits of doing an exercise rather than simply having a pre-assigned thought associated with an exercise.

Let’s take a common exercise like the squat.  Many certifications will teach trainers to apply thoughtless rules to this exercise like “keep the weight in the heels” or “keep your knees over or behind your toes.”  An AAPTE personal trainer may question why these rules are in existence in the first place and when and where they should be applied.  An AAPTE personal trainer would consider who is doing the exercise and how the exercise may affect them and their bones and joints.  This leads to a personal trainer that does not memorize rules.  This leads to a personal trainer that can think and understand the mechanics of the client and the forces of each exercise.

Muscle Activation Schaumburg is thrilled to help contribute to a personal training community of thinkers, problem solvers, and career-driven professionals.

Upcoming courses:

Introduction to Exercise Mechanics: Myths and Misconceptions

  • April 30, 2016

Personal Trainer Certification- CPT-EFS Course

  • Classes begin June 28, 2016

– Julie

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Julie Cates

Julie Cates is an experienced, certified, and insured National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) Certified Personal Trainer and mastery level Resistance Training Specialist® (RTSm). She is also a Muscle Activation Techniques® (MAT®) Master Specialist (MATm). Julie specializes in training new exercisers that have never exercised before. As a personal trainer, she is excellent at communicating the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of each and every exercise in an effective and understandable manner. She also often works with individuals with chronic illnesses, joint issues, and muscle issues. Julie graduated cum laude from the University of Florida. She earned her degree in Applied Physiology and Kinesiology with a specialization in Exercise Physiology. In her free time, Julie loves to dance! Julie is still active in a dance company with yearly performances of tap , lyrical, jazz, and hip hop! Julie can be reached via e-mail at Follow her on Instagram at @julcates!