Jacqueline Crockford, DHSc by Jacqueline Crockford, DHSc

As a fitness professional, it is important to design exercise plans that include movements that are attainable for the client based on his or her current fitness level, but that are also effective in helping the individual reach his or her goals. After completing the appropriate initial paperwork and screenings, using the ACE Integrated Fitness Training® (ACE IFT®) Model can help in designing an appropriate workout routine for clients who are very new to exercise.

The five primary movement patterns outlined in the ACE IFT model are bend and lift (squat), single leg (lunge), push, pull and rotate. By incorporating all five of these movements into the workout routine, the client can better learn how the body moves in space. It also challenges the client without overwhelming him or her with complicated exercises.

When in doubt, keep it simple. There is no need to have your client on one foot, on a stability ball, juggling puppies—unless she is a member of a puppy juggling circus show, this is not functional. Stick to the basics and you can’t go wrong. Your clients will thank you and you will save time trying to brainstorm the latest fitness-fad movement.

With new clients, do the first five exercises both as the warm up and the workout, depending on the client’s current fitness level. If the client is able to complete two sets of 10 to 12 reps of the first five movements, he or she may be ready for an additional challenge. Use the second set of movements as the main workout and perform two to three sets of eight to 12 reps to help build strength before adding additional load using equipment such as dumbbells, bands or kettlebells.

Set #1 (or Warm-up)





Push Up

push up

Pull (scapular retraction)

scapular retraction

Chop (without med ball)


Set #2 (Main Workout)

Sumo Rotational squat

sumo rotational squat

Glute Activation Lunge

glute activation lunge

Push-Up with single leg raise

push up with single leg raise

TRX Back Row

TRX Back Row

Stability Ball Twists

Stability ball twist

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