ACE CPT Chapter 3: Communication and teaching techniques
ACE Study Guide Chapter 3

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Client and trainer relationships

The rapport stage: This is the stage where there are a mutual trust and understanding between the client and the trainer. In both nonverbal and verbal as well.

  • This rapport builds over time
  • A positive first impression is important
  • Verbal and nonverbal: confidence while speaking (non-hesitant), Friendly eye contact, genuine facial expressions, minimizing hand gestures, good posture/body positioning.

The investigation stage: This is where you review your client’s fitness and health information, their medical clearance to exercise, exercise history and overall goals.

  • Demonstrate active and effective listening skills
  • Encourage your client
  • Paraphrase
  • Ask your client open-ended questions
  • Reflect
  • Summarize
  • Respond to your client’s difficult disclosures

The planning stage: This is when your client is now ready to start exercising. The personal trainer organizes an exercise routine with the client.

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Setting client goals (Refer to table 3-2 and 3-3 in manual for SMART goals)

SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Process goals: This is something the client does such as completing four workouts this week.

Product goals: Achieving quantitative goals such as losing 3 pounds or setting a personal record on the squat.

Talking about exercise form or alternative exercises

Creating a plan of attack

Evaluating the exercise routine

Motivational interviewing

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  • Using probing questions to find out more
  • Listen actively and effectively
  • Give your client educational information
  • Maintain a friendly conversation
  • Increasing self-confidence
  • Encourage your client

The action stage: This is when the client starts working out.

The personal trainer has to have the capacity to teach their clients new motor skills.

Setting up systems that are self-monitoring.

Individualize the teaching methods

  • Tell, show, do
  • Remind your client that it takes time to get better at motor skills
  • Present new skills clearly and slowly
  • Give your clients opportunities to focus on practice

Providing your client with feedback

  • Correct their errors, continue to motivate so that your client practices and improves, reinforce what your client has done well.

Use of effective modeling

Behavioral contracts

Effective communication

Cultural competence: This is the ability to work effectively and communicate with people of different cultures.

Improving adherence

  • Continuing to build rapport and showing empathy
  • Keeping professional boundaries

Learning strategies

The stage of cognitive learning: Use the strategies of tell, show and do in order to provide opportunities to practice. This is the stage that your clients are trying to learn and understand a new skill.

The stage of associative learning: This is when your clients have already mastered the basics of the skill and are prepared for specific feedback in order to refine that skill.

As a personal trainer, we have to balance giving the right amount of feedback and giving appropriate feedback.

The stage of autonomous learning: This is when your client can perform a motor skill naturally and effectively.

The trainer doing more monitoring and less teaching.

If you want additional study materials, check out the team over at Trainer Academy. They have incredible study materials for ACE And I have a special limited-time discount for my readers. I also suggest you check out my review on Trainer Academy here.

ACE CPT Chapter 3: Communication and teaching techniques 1
ACE CPT Chapter 3: Communication and teaching techniques 2
ACE CPT Chapter 3: Communication and teaching techniques 3

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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4 thoughts on “ACE CPT Chapter 3: Communication and teaching techniques”

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Nick, I suggest you checking out the video in the study hub for the American Council on exercise. There is button at the bottom of this page that will take you straight there. Watch that video to check out the top tips I have for passing the ACE exam.

  1. PTPioneer User

    Hey Tyler,
    I appreciate everything you’ve worked on and how much you’re trying to help us all. I do suggest you change the order of the feedback given to clients in the action stage – chapter 3, as this is a common question asked on practice tests and the final exam and they aren’t put in order here.
    Thanks once again!

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Farah,
      Thanks for the help in pointing out some of the errors on my study materials. I will check this out in get to it as soon as I can. Good luck with all the studying in thanks for the comment.

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