The Influence of a Personal Trainer on Self-Selected Loading during Resistance Exercise.

Research paper by Marcelo R C MR Dias, Roberto R Simao, Francisco J F FJ Saavedra, Nicholas A NA Ratamess

Indexed on: 28 Sep '16Published on: 28 Sep '16Published in: Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association


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 three sessions (separated by 48 hours) in the following sequence: (1) self-selected intensity assessment consisting of performance of three sets of 10 repetitions for the leg press, bench press, leg extension, and arm curl exercises with self-selected load; (2) a one repetition-maximum (1RM) test to determine subjects' maximal strength in the four exercises; and (3) a 10 repetition-maximum (10RM) test to determine the maximum load completed for 10 repetitions for each exercise. Self-selected training loads were significantly higher in PT compared to WoPT for the leg press (by 15.6%), bench press (by 26.6%), leg extension (by 12.1%), and arm curl (by 22.2%) exercises. Self-selected training loads expressed relative to 1RM and 10RM data were significantly higher in PT (49% to 59.5% of 1RM; 62.7% to 77.3% of 10RM) than WoPT (41% to 58.7% of 1RM; 58.7% to 76.2% of 10RM) with largest difference observed in the lower-body exercises. Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) values were significantly higher in PT compared to 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.