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What is an individualized exercise prescription?

Joanne Duncan-Carnesciali, CPT,NASM Elite Trainer
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
An individualized exercise prescription is an exercise program based upon the results of various fitness assessments.  The prescription can either be for someone with a clinical condition or a healthy individual.  A typical fitness assessment for a healthy individual would include heart rate and blood pressure measurements, body composition measurements, cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance and flexibility.  Dynamic and static postural assessments personalize the exercise prescription even more.  Without these baseline measurements it is not possible to individualize the exercise prescription.

Individualized exercise prescription is an exercise program that is tailored to your specific goals, needs, and abilities. To uncover this information a health or fitness professional will perform a detailed health screening and fitness assessment.

A comprehensive fitness assessment involves a series of measurements that help to determine your current health and fitness level. Once your baseline health and fitness level has been determined, fitness professionals can recommend the most appropriate exercises to help you obtain your goals in a safe systematic fashion.

 An individualized exercise prescription is an exercise program that has been custom tailored to meet your goals and needs. This would typically be a fitness program that is put together by a certified fitness professional.

Usually, a fitness professional will sit down with a client to go over a needs analysis questionnaire in order to gain information about you regarding your personal goal(s), fitness needs, exercise background, injury/medical history, personal information, as well as likes and dis-likes regarding exercise. This session may also include gaining other information regarding your current fitness level such as body weight, body composition, body measurements, and movement assessment tests.

After this has been completed, the fitness professional has a good idea of where you need to start at regarding your first workout session. Also, with this information, they can accurately plan on what exercise selections and progressions will be included in your fitness plan. This way, your exercise plan is truly designed to meet your needs and no one else’s.

Most health clubs offer a complementary fitness assessment for clients who begin working with a trainer for the first time.

An individualized exercise prescription is an exercise program that has been custom tailored to meet your goals and needs. This would typically be a fitness program that is put together by a certified fitness professional.

Usually, a fitness professional will sit down with a client to go over a needs analysis questionnaire in order to gain information about you regarding your personal goal(s), fitness needs, exercise background, injury/medical history, personal information, as well as likes and dis-likes regarding exercise. This session may also include gaining other information regarding your current fitness level such as body weight, body composition, body measurements, and movement assessment tests.

After this has been completed, the fitness professional has a good idea of where you need to start at regarding your first workout session. Also, with this information, they can accurately plan on what exercise selections and progressions will be included in your fitness plan. This way, your exercise plan is truly designed to meet your needs and no one else’s.

Most health clubs offer a complementary fitness assessment for clients who begin working with a trainer for the first time.

An individualized exercise prescription is, an exercise program or routine designed with your specific goals or needs that you and your fitness professional/personal trainer has devised base on an assessment (body fat percentage, cardio level, strength level and medical restraints) or information given. Having an assessment done by your trainer will let him or her know what level of fitness you are at and where you need to start. Discussing with your trainer your goals and having your assessment done is the key to designing a short and or long term workout program or routine and the steps (diet, strength training, cardio, etc.) needed to reach your goal by the date you both have agreed upon.

An individualized exercise prescription consists of exercises that are specific to the findings of your fitness assessment. Not everyone is the same, so performing the same exercises as someone else could be potentially detrimental to you in the long run.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.