ACE CPT Chapter 4: Basics of behavior change and health psychology
ACE Study Guide Chapter 4

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Behavioral theory models

The health belief model

This is where the threat of developing health problems motivates individuals to change their behaviors and start exercising.

Perceived seriousness: The more serious the health threat is, the more likely an individual is to change their habits and start exercising.

Perceived susceptibility: These are individuals’ feelings about their chances of obtaining a health threat.

Cues to action: Environmental and/or physical occurrences that motivate individuals to take action.

Vocabulary to know:

  • Hypertension
  • Sedentary

Self-efficacy

This is a person’s perception of their abilities to accomplish/succeed.

  • Based on past experiences and performance
  • Vicarious experiences
  • Verbal persuasion: feedback
  • Appraisals of physiological states
  • Mood appraisals and emotional states
  • Imaginal experiences

The trans-theoretical model or TTM

This has to do with how ready one is to make changes.

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The stages of change

  • Pre-contemplation: This is a person who is not even thinking about exercising. Very sedentary.
  • Contemplation: This sedentary individual is considering starting a workout routine as they begin to see the negative outcomes of being sedentary.
  • Preparation: This person works out sometimes and is physically and mentally preparing themselves to start a program.
  • Action: This person has exercised regularly but for less than six months.
  • Maintenance: This is somebody who has been exercising regularly for more than six months

The change process (super important): Refer to table 4-1 in the manual.

Self-efficacy

Decision balancing: This concerns the number of pros and cons your client perceives exercise will provide them.

Principles of behavioral change

Operant conditioning

This is the process where one’s behaviors are impacted by their consequences.

Antecedents: This is a stimulus that comes before a behavior and commonly signals the consequences of the behavior.

Stimulus control: is when antecedents are controlled within the environment to increase the chance of desirable behaviors.

Consequences:

  • Nonoccurrence, presentation, or complete removal of an aversive or positive stimulus.
  • Positive reinforcement: Providing positive stimulus that increases the chances that a behavior will happen again.
  • Negative reinforcement is avoiding or removing aversive stimulus after an undesirable behavior. Increases the chances that the behavior will happen again.
  • Extinction: This happens when a positive stimulus that is used to follow a behavior is taken away. This reduces the chance that it will recur.
  • Punishment: This reduces the chances of a behavior reoccurring.
  • This decreases enjoyment and increases fear, so use it very sparingly.
  • It consists of an aversive stimulus after an undesirable behavior.

Shaping

This is crucial for constructing self-efficacy

Gradually increasing the demands for a behavior or a skill after positive reinforcement.

The program is too easy = the client will get bored

If the program is too difficult, = the client will feel overwhelmed, inadequate, and discouraged

Both scenarios lead to higher dropout rates

Observational learning

Be conscious of the exercise and health behaviors of the people that surround your client. This directly impacts their success.

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Behavior and cognition

Strategies for replacing your client’s irrational thoughts with healthier and more productive ways of thinking. (Refer to page 79).

Behavioral change strategies

Stimulus control

Changing the environment increases one’s chances of healthy behaviors.

Willpower: One can pursue long-term goals despite experiencing short-term discomforts or pleasure.

Behavioral contracting and written agreements

Can be used on their own or together

Your client needs an active role in its development

Techniques for cognitive behavior

SMART goals

Feedback

Extrinsic or intrinsic

As your client’s ability and efficacy improve, the trainer should reduce external feedback so that the clients can start providing their own feedback.

It’s possible to have too much feedback.

Decision-making

This is where you give clients program participation control

As a trainer, you should not micromanage every decision for your client’s program.

Part of being a good trainer includes instilling knowledge into your clients so that they can be successful by themselves.

Self-monitoring

Helps to keep clients on the right path with their program participation and progress (or lack thereof).

Helps to identify barriers

This requires self-reflection as well as honesty from clients

Journaling

Implementing new strategies

Data and information collection never stops

Take psychological variables into account for minor adjustments

Use communication and feedback to overcome barriers and stay aware of changes that may be happening with clients.

Maximize adherence

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 4: Basics of behavior change and health psychology 1
ACE CPT Chapter 4: Basics of behavior change and health psychology 2
ACE CPT Chapter 4: Basics of behavior change and health psychology 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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2 thoughts on “ACE CPT Chapter 4: Basics of behavior change and health psychology”

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Jalen,
      I’m glad to hear that this is helping you out a ton. I have been working hard on the study guides for the last year or so, so it’s really good to hear positive feedback. Good luck acing the ACE exam!

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