Makeba Edwards by Makeba Edwards

The ACE Integrated Fitness TrainingTM (ACE IFTTM) Model facilitates the process of designing fitness programming based on fitness goals through client engagement and training phases, which allow for safe and effective progression in training.

But exactly how do you use the ACE IFT Model in your work as a health and fitness professional? This blog, which is the first in an ongoing series, will help clarify the different phases of the ACE IFT Model and how to use them to design individualized exercise programs.

To better understand how to use the ACE IFT Model, we must first understand its purpose:

-Allows for programming based on the clients’ current physical abilities and fitness level
-Provides a framework that allows for progression in programming 
-Incorporates the art of relationship building with the science of exercise programming
-Serves as a blueprint for designing successful programs to meet the various needs of your clients 
-Integrates assessments and programming to facilitate behavior change, while also addressing posture, movement, flexibility, balance, core function, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular endurance, and strength
-Encourages rapport, promotes communication, and develops trust with your clients

The ACE IFT Model has two principal training components. Each component is comprised of four phases. Where your client begins depends on his or her current fitness level. The training components are:

Functional Movement and Resistance Training

-Phase 1: Stability & Mobility
-Phase 2: Movement Training
-Phase 3: Load Training
-Phase 4: Performance Training

Cardiorespiratory Training

-Phase 1: Aerobic Base Training
-Phase 2: Aerobic Efficiency Training
-Phase 3: Anaerobic Endurance Training
-Phase 4: Anaerobic Power Training

You may be wondering if all clients should begin in Phase I. Not necessarily, as no two clients are alike. While you may have some clients who start in similar phases, their goals and fitness levels may vary. Once you conduct any assessments (if necessary), you can determine where to start each individual client.

In the ACE IFT Model, functional movement and resistance training are both treated as one continuum that progresses from stability and mobility training to performance training.

Progression of Phases for Functional Movement & Resistance Training

 The risk of injury when external loads are applied to movements may increase if a client has weak core muscles, muscle imbalances, postural deviations, and/or poor postural health. Phases 1 and 2 of this component address poor postural function through stability and mobility training, and improper movement mechanics through movement training, before progressing to load and performance training in Phases 3 and 4, respectively.