Bryant R. Byrd1, Angela M. Dalleck1, Ryan M. Weatherwax2, Lance C. Dalleck1. Effectiveness of the American Council on Exercise Integrated Fitness Training Model: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. 1High Altitude Exercise Physiology Program, Western Colorado University, Gunnison, CO, USA. 2Department of Health & Kinesiology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.
Aim: The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of personalized exercise programming using the American Council on Exercise (ACE) Integrated Fitness Training (IFT) model at eliciting favorable comprehensive training responsiveness (e.g., cardiorespiratory fitness + muscle fitness + cardiometabolic health). Methods: After the completion of baseline testing, participants (N=51) were randomized to a non-exercise control group or one of two exercise training groups. Participants randomized to the exercise training groups performed 13wk of exercise training according to one of two programs: 1) the ACE IFT model, or 2) a standardized program according to current American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines. Results: After 13wk, changes in body mass, waist circumference, resting HR, and total cholesterol were not significantly different (p>0.05) in either the standardized or ACE IFT treatment groups. In contrast, changes from baseline to 13wk in VO2max, body fat percentage, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and bench press 5-RM were significantly more desirable (p<0.05) in the standardized treatment group when compared with the control group. Likewise, changes from baseline to 13wk in body fat percentage, systolic and diastolic BP, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood glucose, and leg press 5-RM were significantly more desirable (p<0.05) in the ACE IFT treatment group relative to the control group. Additionally, changes in VO2max were significantly more favorable (p<0.05) in the ACE IFT treatment group when compared to the standardized treatment group and control group. In the standardized treatment group 62.5% (10/16) of individuals experienced a favorable change in VO2max (Δ > 5.9%) and were categorized as responders. Alternatively, 37.5% (6/16) of individuals in the standardized treatment group experienced an undesirable change in VO2max (Δ ≤ 5.9%) and were categorized as non-responders to exercise training. In the ACE IFT treatment group the number of individuals who experienced a favorable change in VO2max was significantly (p<0.05) greater when compared to the standardized treatment group. Indeed, exercise training in the ACE IFT treatment group elicited a positive improvement in VO2max (Δ > 5.9%) in 100% (18/18) of the individuals. Conclusions: These novel findings are encouraging and provide robust data for the efficacy of personalized exercise programming for exercise physiologists, fitness professionals, and others who design exercise training programs in the adult/older adult populations.