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The ACE Mover Method

Facilitating behavior change to empower people to make healthier lifestyle choices.

ACE Mover Method

For decades, ACE has been driven by the fundamental certainty that people are resourceful and capable of change. By meeting them where they are and employing evidence-based strategies, exercise professionals and health coaches can facilitate the development of healthy lifestyle behaviors for the long term.

This has been ACE's guidepost for years—and it now has a name: the ACE Mover Method. By naming our core philosophy, we clearly articulate this vital concept to the world: educating and inspiring other exercise professionals and health coaches to responsibly lead behavior change in their communities and beyond.

What is the ACE Mover Method?

The ACE Mover Method is a philosophy that facilitating healthy lifestyle behaviors begins with empowering clients to take a personalized journey during which they achieve self-efficacy because the exercise professional or health coach practices empathy and trust, communication and collaboration.

Through actionable steps, the ACE Mover Method offers a way for exercise professionals and health coaches to get people moving toward a better quality of life. It is evidence-based and thus is what sets us apart in a space often crowded with promises of immediate results and short-term successes.

And it represents and underscores ACE's respected role as a leader in making evidence-based behavior-change facilitation the center point of programs, interventions, and other work to get people moving.

ACE Mover Method in Practice: The ABC Approach

Applying the ACE Mover Method starts with recognizing that a client-centered approach means believing individuals are the foremost experts on themselves. Application of the method means upholding the idea that powerful, open-ended questions and active listening should be the anchor of every conversation.

Empowering people to achieve that change is made possible through application of the ACE ABC Approach:

ACE Mover ABC Approach
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Asking open-ended questions

Step 1 is to ask powerful starter questions to identify what the client hopes to accomplish by working with an exercise professional or health coach.

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Breaking down barriers

Step 2 is to ask probing questions to discover what potential obstacles may get in the way of the client reaching his or her specific goals.

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Step 3 is to collaborate to set SMART goals and establish specific action steps toward those goals.

By applying the scientific evidence for what works in behavior-change coaching, the ABC Approach helps exercise professionals and health coaches guide clients to be active participants on their paths to lifestyle change.

Why the ACE Mover Method Works

Motivational interviewing, active listening, and other behavior-change-coaching strategies constitute the ACE Mover Method and the ACE ABC Approach. These efficacious skills have been repeatedly endorsed by researchers throughout the fitness and allied health communities as a way to achieve lasting lifestyle change (Wolever et al., 2013; Dehongje et al., 2017).


Indeed, the tools in the ACE Mover Method empower clients to improve their self-efficacy so they can increase their confidence to successfully achieve their goals. A 2018 study examined the relationship between having a physical barrier to exercise and self-efficacy and found that, “when facing the greatest barrier challenge, individuals highest in self-regulatory efficacy still view exercise as possible” (Sessford et al., 2018). A review of the literature found that healthy behavior change is effectively supported by adopting a client-centered approach along with goal-setting and self-monitoring techniques, which are also important in maintaining healthy behaviors over time (Samdal et al., 2017).

The philosophy of the ACE Mover Method has also directly empowered ACE Certified Professionals to help over 35 million people worldwide each year to move more intentionally in all aspects of their lives.

And ACE is committed to relentlessly pursuing the latest research and standards in exercise and health, introducing new teaching techniques to our network of professionals, and continuously adding to the already powerful framework they can use in a variety of settings. The work that we do in these realms serves as inspiration for all exercise professionals and health coaches to apply behavior-change science in their everyday interaction with clients.

A relationship with ACE is so important
for practitioners in a number of different fields

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We are a gateway through which new research is introduced in our space

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We are the informer of new standards for certified professional

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We are the champion for our profession

ACE is the organization that has and will continue to test hypotheses and techniques that breathe new life into how professionals interact with clients in health clubs, hospitals and clinics, workplaces, and homes.

ACE Mover Method in Action

ACE Mover Method In Action

Today, you will find the ACE Mover Method integrated into our Personal Trainer and Health Coach Study Programs as well as ACE Specialist Programs and online courses that relate to behavior-change coaching. This includes:

ACE Personal Trainer Certification Study Program

ACE Health Coach Certification Study Program

ACE Behavior Change Specialist Program

ACE Weight Management Specialist Program

ACE Behavior Change Online Courses

ACE Diabetes Prevention Coaching