Lance C. Dalleck1. Personalized exercise programming enhances training responsiveness: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. 1High Altitude Exercise Physiology Program, Western Colorado University, Gunnison, CO, 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. Methods: Thirty-one nonsmoking men and women (18 to 64 yrs) were recruited. After the completion of baseline testing, participants 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 ACSM guidelines. Results: After 13wk, changes in body mass, waist circumference, body fat percentage, VO2max, bench press 5RM, and leg press 5RM were significantly more desirable (p<0.05) in the standardized treatment group when compared with the control group. Similarly, changes from baseline to 13wk in body fat percentage were significantly more desirable (p<0.05) in the ACE IFT treatment group relative to the control group. Additionally, changes in body mass, waist circumference, body fat percentage, VO2max, bench press 5RM, and leg press 5RM 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, 54.5% (6/11) of individuals experienced a favorable change in VO2max (Δ > 5.9%) and were categorized as responders. In the ACE IFT treatment group, the prevalence 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 90% (9/10) of the individuals. Muscle fitness training responsiveness was similar between groups; however, there was less variability in bench press and leg press changes in the IFT treatment group relative to the standardized treatment group. Additionally, the magnitude change in bench press and leg press in the IFT treatment group was ~1.5- to 2.0-fold greater when compared to the standardized treatment group. Conclusions: In the present study, a personalized exercise program using the ACE IFT model, which combined Cardiorespiratory Training in conjunction with Muscular Training elicited significantly greater improvements in VO2max, muscular fitness, and various cardiometabolic outcomes (e.g., fasting blood glucose values) combined with diminished inter-individual variation in training responses when compared to standardized exercise training and a non-exercise control group. These findings provide insightful data on the effectiveness of personalized exercise programming.