ACE 6th Edition Chapter 10: Muscular Training: Assessments
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ACE 6th Edition Chapter 10: Muscular Training: Assessments 1

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    Chapter Goals:

    • Find and use the right assessments based on the ACE Mover Method strategies for approaches centered on the client in exercise programming. 
    • Be able to understand the results of Functional, Movement, and Load/Speed assessments and use them for Muscular Training.
    • Be able to understand when and why assessments for muscular training should be repeated.
    • Find how the results of the assessments of muscular training can be discussed with clients in a professional and personalized manner. 

    Introduction

    The ACE IFT Model provides trainers with the option to perform evidence-based fitness assessments or lead the client through early sessions that use exercise programming that delivers the right movement and fitness challenges and give the trainer valuable feedback about the client’s stability, posture, and muscular fitness abilities.

    The Muscular Training component of the ACE IFT Model gives a systematic approach to training that begins with helping the clients with postural stability and mobility of the kinetic chain, and then it uses programming and progressions to help people train for their goals in general fitness, strength, bodybuilding, and athletic performance. 

    Functional Assessments

    Functional Training focuses on establishing or reestablishing the stability and the mobility of the kinetic chain with the use of exercise programs for improving joint function through improvements in flexibility, endurance, function of the core, and balance both statically and dynamically. 

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    Static Postural Assessment

    Static postural assessments work to provide insight for:

    • Muscle imbalance at a joint and the working relationships of muscles around the joint. The imbalance of muscles often plays a part in dysfunctional movement. 
    • Altered neural actions of the muscles moving and controlling the joint. This is like when there are overactive and underactive muscles that may dominate the movement of the joint. 

    The muscle imbalances that we need to be aware of are Lordosis, Kyphosis, flat-back, and sway-back.

    Muscle imbalances and postural deviations can be attributed to many factors, both correctible and non-correctible.

    The correctible factors are:

    • Repetitive movement
    • Awkward positions and movements
    • Dominance in one side
    • Lack of stability in a joint
    • Lack of mobility in a joint
    • Programs with imbalanced strength training

    The non-correctible factors are:

    • Congenital conditions
    • Some pathologies
    • Structural deviations
    • Certain forms of trauma

    When the joints are properly aligned, the length tension relationships and the force couple relationships will function efficiently. This allows for the proper movement of joint mechanics, allowing the body to generate and accept forces throughout the kinetic chain, and it promotes stability and mobility with efficient movement. 

    A trainer should assess a client’s posture by observing their stance and paying attention to the kinetic checkpoints and the views from various angles. These include the frontal views, sagittal views, and transverse views. 

    It is important to know the common deviations that we can see from these views and how they may affect the body.

    The static balance assessments that we should know include the unipedal stance test, the dynamic balance Y balance test, and Mcgill’s torso muscular endurance test battery.

    Flexibility Assessments

    A client and a trainer may work together to assess the flexibility of certain muscle groups. The results from these flexibility assessments will give information regarding the progress achieved during the program and is usually used with followed up assessments later on in the program. 

    Some of the tests we need to know and utilize as trainers are the Thomas test for hip flexor length, the passive straight leg raise, and the shoulder flexion and extension tests.

    Movement Assessments

    Movement training has the focus put on establishing efficient movement through the healthy ranges of motion that are specific to the clients, essentially this is teaching the clients to perform the five main movements effectively in all three planes of motion without a compromise to the stability of the joint or posture. 

    The five primary movements are:

    • Bending/raising and lifting/lowering
    • Single-leg movements
    • Pushing movements
    • Pulling movements
    • Rotational movements

    Some of the movement patterns/assessments we need to know are the squat pattern, the step-up, the shoulder push stabilization push assessment, the standing row pull assessment, and the thoracic spine mobility rotation assessment.

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    Load/Speed Assessments

    The Load/ Speed training phase is the last part of the new ACE IFT Model, and it works to emphasize the muscular endurance and strength, or the improved skill performance in activities relying on power, speed, agility, and quickness. The assessments here will be focused on looking into these aspects. 

    Muscular endurance assessments that we should use are things like the push-up assessments and the bodyweight squat assessment. Some of the important considerations prior to muscular endurance assessments are:

    • Always check for lower back pain and other orthopedic issues prior to these assessments. 
    • Like with all assessments, any indication of pain should be noted and merits immediate termination of the assessment and then referral to a qualified professional.
    • If clients have orthopedic issues, the assessments should not be done until a doctor has been consulted.

    Muscular strength is a very important part of physical fitness. Strength is dependent on variables like the size of muscles, the length of limbs, and the neurological adaptations. 

    Strength can be in the form of absolute or relative strength. And we often will be utilizing the one-rep max testing. 

    The assessments that we should utilize for the testing of muscular strength are the one rep max bench press assessment and the one rep max squat assessment. We can also utilize Submax testing to determine the maxes, but this will only be a rough estimate. 

    Human power is defined as the rate at which mechanical work is done under a certain set of conditions. Power is the immediate energy available through the phosphagen energy system. Anaerobic power is going to involve a single rep or event and represent the max power the body can generate, and anaerobic capacity shows the sustainability of power output for brief times. 

    Strength and power are quite related, but for the purpose of assessment, they should be assessed at different times and with different tests. 

    The assessments for power that we should use are the vertical jump assessment for the purpose of this book.

    Speed and agility assessments require clients to put out the max effort and swift movement of the limbs. The client should always warm up very well before these assessments in order to stay safe. The t-test is the test we should know for training clients with the ACE IFT Model. 

    ACE 6th Edition Chapter 10: Muscular Training: Assessments 2
    ACE CPT Chapter 1: Role and scope of practice for the personal trainer 2
    ACE 6th Edition Chapter 10: Muscular Training: Assessments 3

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