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Out there in the real world, one personal trainer experienced the following:

I have had several memorable experiences over the years dealing with personal training. Recently, I had a new client in her early 20s begin training and seek general fitness and nutrition guidance. I learned that she had recently lost more than 50 lb through diet and exercise and had hit a major plateau. Our first few training sessions went well and we were off to a great start as she learned proper form and technique in a variety of exercises. Toward the end of our third session, I asked her to do a brand new exercise. This particular exercise was not that difficult, but it looked intimidating. She immediately told me there was no way she could do it because she was not strong enough or coordinated enough. I continued to encourage her, reassuring her that I would be there every step of the way. She then started to cry! That was the first time I had ever had a client begin to cry from being scared to try something new. Knowing her fitness level and that she was capable of what I was asking, I continued to gently encourage her and reassure her that she could in fact complete the exercise. After a moment, she tried and succeeded. I knew that the exercise was both safe and functional for her; therefore, I was confident that pushing her outside her comfort zone would provide a sense of accomplishment and renew her confidence.

Amy M. Zimmerman, CPT

Personal Trainer

Vital Fitness

Wilmington, Ohio


learning outcomes

After working through this chapter, you will be able to:

  1. Compare and contrast the various types of strength-training programs and their expected results.

  2. Explain the safety precautions for strengthtraining programs.

  3. Demonstrate the proper technique and body positioning for strengthening exercises and the proper use of equipment.

  4. Explain strength-training modifications for an individual's age, fitness level, medical history, and fitness goals.


Kip Houston is a collegiate football player, and his team is currently in its offseason weight-lifting program. Three weeks into the program, the certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) talks with the team members about increasing their lifting weight during certain strengthening exercises and varying their lifting routine. The team has reached the point of lifting the first two sets of an exercise with ease. The CSCS wanted to have each individual increase his lifting weight by 2% to 10% from the original weight, depending on whether the lift was an upper-extremity or lower-extremity lift. Mr. Houston finds this instruction discouraging. He was taking pride in being able to finish his current routine and lifting weight with ease. Mr. Houston approaches the CSCS with his ...

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