Free Study Guide for the ACE CPT Exam Chapter 8 – Physiological Assessments

Chapter 8 – Physiological Assessments

Check out our Audio Lectures, Practice Tests and Study Guide for the ACE CPT to see the specific topics that make it onto the ACE CPT Test from this chapter.



  • Identifying signs and symptoms that merit immediate termination of an assessment
  • Onset of angina/angina like symptoms/chest pain or discomfort
  • Systolic BP drop of 10mmHg or more despite increase in intensity
  • Rise in BP, over 250mmHg systolic or over 115mmHg diastolic
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Lightheadedness, pale skin (pallor), coloration around the mouth (cyanosis), nausea, cold and clammy skin
  • Dizziness, confusion, ataxia, syncope
  • Leg cramping or claudication
  • Request to stop
  • Physical or verbal signs of severe fatigue
  • Equipment failure


  1. Body composition and anthropometrics
    1. Lean and fat tissue
      1. Lean body mass: muscles, connective tissue, bones, blood, nervous tissue, skin, and organs
      2. Essential body fat for women = 10-13%
      3. Essential body fat for men = 2-5%
    2. Hydrostatic weighing
      1. Underwater weighing
      2. The “benchmark” for measuring body composition
      3. Between 1.5-2% margin of error
    3. Skinfold measurements
      1. Uses subcutaneous body fat
      2. 6-8% error for untrained/inexperienced trainers
      3. Generally +/- 2-3.5% of hydrostatic measurement
      4. Jackson and Pollock three-site locations
        1. Women = Triceps, thigh, suprailium
        2. Men = chest, thigh, abdominal
    4. Body-composition evaluation
    5. Programming considerations
    6. Other anthropometrics measurements
      1. BMI
        1. Underweight = <18.5
        2. Normal weight = 18.5-24.9
        3. Overweight = 25-29.9
        4. Grade I Obesity = 30-34.9
        5. Grade II Obesity = 35-39.9
        6. Grade III Obesity = >40
      2. Girth measurements
        1. Sites: abdomen, arm, glutes/hips, calf, forearm, midthigh, upper thigh, waist
        2. Good for clients interested in hypertrophy
      3. Waist-to-Hip Ratio
        1. Apple-shaped (android), or pear-shaped (gynoid)
        2. At risk
          1. Males >0.95
          2. Females >0.86
      4. Waist circumference
        1. Hight risk
          1. Males = 39.5-47in (100-120cm)
          2. Females = 35.5-43in (90-109cm)
  2. Cardiorespiratory fitness testing
    1. Fitness center or lab assessments
      1. Graded exercise test (GXT)
      2. VO2 Max
      3. Determining max HR
        1. 220-age Fox, Naughton, & Haskell (=/- 12BPM)
        2. 208 – (0.7 x Age) Tanaka, Monahan, and Seals (+/- 7BPM)
        3. 9 – (0.67 x Age) Gellish et al. (+/- 7BPM)
    2. Cycle ergometer testing
      1. Submax VO2
    3. Ventilator threshold testing
      1. Tidal volume: volume of air inhaled and exhaled per breath
      2. Minute ventilation: volume of air breathed per minute
      3. Anaerobic glycolysis energy system reliant on carbohydrates
        1. Predominated during near-maximal -intensity exercise
      4. First ventilator threshold (VT1): level of intensity blood lactate accumulates faster than it can be cleared
        1. Faster breathing
      5. Second ventilator threshold (VT2): aka lactate threshold (LT)—occurs at the point where lactate is rapidly increasing at a rate that heavy breathing/hyperventilation is no longer adequate enough to keep up increased acidity occurring with progressively intensifying exercise.
    4. Submaximal Talk Test for VT1
      1. Best performed with telemetry (HR strap and watch)
    5. VT2 threshold test
      1. Onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA): point at which blood lactate accumulates at rates faster than the body can buffer and remove it (usually >4mmol/L)
        1. Referred to as anaerobic threshold or lactate threshold, corresponds with VT2
    6. Field testing
      1. Running tests not recommended for those who are deconditioned
      2. Rockport fitness walking test (1 mile)
      3. 1.5-mile run test
    7. Step tests
      1. Not appropriate for individuals with
        1. Extremely overweight
        2. Balance concerns
        3. Orthopedic problems
        4. Extremely deconditioned
        5. Very short and has trouble with step height
  3. Muscular-fitness testing
    1. Muscular-endurance
      1. Pushup-test
      2. Curl-up test
      3. Body-weight squat test
    2.  Muscular-strength
      1. Absolute strength: (1RM) most weight one can lift with one repetition
      2. Relative strength: absolute strength/body weight
      3. 1-RM Bench-press test, Leg-press test, squat test
      4. ONLY PERFORM IF individual is in phase 3 or 4 of ACE IFT Model
  4. Sport-skill assessments
    1. Power
      1. ONLY PERFORM IF individual is in phase 4 of functional movement and resistance training component of ACE IFT Model
      2. Standing Long Jump Test
      3. Vertical Jump Test
    2.  SAQ
      1. Phase 4 of ACE IFT Model ONLY
      2. Pro agility test
      3. 40-yard dash
  5. Fitness testing accuracy
    1. Causes for inaccuracy
      1. Client: fatigue, lack of sleep, hydration level, food intake prior to test
      2. Trainer/test technician: inexperience, trying to influence results w/encouragement
      3. Equipment: improper calibration, mismatched to subject, equipment failure
      4. Environment: distractions, privacy, temperature, weather conditions


Check out our Audio Lectures, Practice Tests and Study Guide for the ACE CPT to see the specific topics that make it onto the ACE CPT Test from this chapter.