|Certainly not a photo from the study.|
The 46 subjects were randomly assigned to one out of three experimental groups: the standardized program group (STD), the ACE IFT group (ACE) and a control group (see Figure 1):
|Figure 1: Flow chart of the experimental procedures (Dalleck. 2016).|
- the STD group was prescribed a standardized progressive cardio workout based on the previously determined HR-max (maximal heart rate) values
- the ACE group was prescribed the same cardio workout, but with the intensity being based on the ventilatory threshold, i.e.the point during exercise at which ventilation starts to increase at a faster rate than VO2. In that, we distinguish between VT1 and VT2, with the former, the First Ventilatory Threshold marking the intensity at which lactate begins to accumulate in the blood (it's also the point where the breathing rate begins to increase and you cannot talk comfortably anymore). VT2, i.e. the Second Ventilatory Threshold, marks the intensity when lactate has already accumulated in the blood and the person needs to breathe heavily - it's also called the anaerobic threshold or lactate threshold.
- the resistance training program for the STD group was likewise designed according to the ACSM guidelines and involved bench presses, shoulder presses, lateral pulldowns, seated rows, biceps curls, triceps pushdowns, leg presses and extensions, prone lying leg curls, and seated back extensions. Two sets of 12 reps at a moderate intensity of 5-6 on the modified Borg rating of perceived exertion scale (RPE). Resistance was progressed every 2 weeks by ~3-5% for the upper and ~6-10% for the lower body exercises.
- the resistance training program for the ACE group was designed according to the ACE guidelines (Bryant. 2014) and consisted of multijoint/multiplanar exercises with both free weights and machines (still allowing for free motion during the exercise). The following exercises were performed: stability ball circuit (hip bridge, crunch, Russian twist, plank), lunge matrix, kneeling/standing wood chops, kneeling/standing hay bailers, dumbbell squats, one-arm cable row (standing), step-ups w/ dumbbells (onto 15 cm step), pull-ups (assisted), dumbbell bench press. For each exercise two sets of 12 reps were completed with the resistance progressing by 5% of the 5-RM every two weeks from 50% in week 1 to 80% in the last week (for the circuit and other exercises where you couldn't change the resistance the same progression model was adapted to the volume).
Do you notice something? Yeah, you can do the ACE program without a personal trainer, as well. As different as it may be, it does not provide any of the individuality a personal trainer who's not following yet another cookie cutter approach (in this case the ACE personal trainer manual | Bryant. 2014) would ideally provide.
|Figure 2: Overview of the pre-post changes in control, STD and ACE (% of baseline | Dalleck. 2016)|
- the STD protocol produced 35.7% VO2max non-responders, while the ACE program produced none (all subjects saw increases of 5.9% or more)
- the STD protocol had only 42.9%, 50%, 85.7% and 42.9% of the subjects achieve meaningful improvements in blood pressure, HDL, triglycerides, and blood glucose, while the corresponding figures for the ACE protocol were 100% for BP, 100% for HTL, 85.7% for trigs and 92.9% for blood glucose - and that in spite of the fact that potential influencing factors such as age, baseline value, exercise adherence, and sex didn't differ
- the ST program produced improvements in waist and body fat in only 78.6%, while 92.9% and 100% of the subjects in the ACE group saw their waist trim and their body fat melt.
- Bryant, Cedric X., Sabrena Newton-Merrill, and Daniel J. Green, eds. ACE personal trainer manual. 2014.
- Dalleck, Lance C., et al. "Does a personalised exercise prescription enhance training efficacy and limit training unresponsiveness? A randomised controlled trial." Journal of Fitness Research 5 (2016).