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Influence of a Personal Trainer on Self-selected Loading During Resistance Exercise

Dias, Marcelo R.C.1; Simão, Roberto F.2; Saavedra, Francisco J.F.3; Ratamess, Nicholas A.4

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: July 2017 - Volume 31 - Issue 7 - p 1925–1930
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001663
Original Research

Dias, MRC, Simao, RF, Saavedra, FJF, and Ratamess, NA. Influence of a personal trainer on self-selected loading during resistance exercise. J Strength Cond Res 31(7): 1925–1930, 2017—The purpose of this study was to compare differences in muscle strength and self-selected resistance training intensities between trained subjects who trained under the supervision of a personal trainer (PT) and those who trained without supervision (WoPT). Twenty-one trained subjects, men (n = 12) and women (n = 9), completed 3 sessions (separated by 48 hours) in the following sequence: first session, self-selected intensity assessment consisting of performance of 3 sets of 10 repetitions for the leg press (LP), bench press (BP), leg extension (LE), and arm curl (AC) exercises with self-selected load; second session, a 1 repetition maximum (1RM) test to determine subjects' maximal strength in the 4 exercises; and third session, a 10RM test to determine the maximum load completed for 10 repetitions for each exercise. Self-selected training loads were significantly higher in PT compared with WoPT for the LP (by 15.6%), BP (by 26.6%), LE (by 12.1%), and AC (by 22.2%) exercises. Self-selected training loads expressed relative to 1RM and 10RM data were significantly higher in PT (49–59.5% of 1RM; 62.7–77.3% of 10RM) than WoPT (41–58.7% of 1RM; 58.7–76.2% of 10RM) with largest difference observed in the lower-body exercises. Ratings of perceived exertion values were significantly higher in PT compared with WoPT. The results of the present study indicated that supervised resistance training with a personal trainer was advantageous in trained subjects although self-selected loading was still considerably lower than 1RM and 10RM percentage values.

1Laboratory of Exercise Physiology and Morphofunctional Assessment, Granbery Methodist College, Juiz de Fora, Brazil;

2School of Physical Education and Sports, Rio de Janeiro Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil;

3Research Center for Sport, Health, and Human Development, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), Vila Real, Portugal; and

4Department of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, New Jersey

Address correspondence to Marcelo R.C. Dias,

Copyright © 2017 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.