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Theoretically plot the strength curve of a beginning, intermediate and an advanced weight trainee while performing a squat. Explain the differences in the shape of the curve. What are the seven factors of the strength curve?

Sample Exam Answers – Step by Step Guide
This guide only illustrates the setup of a Learning Experience or Case Study.
These samples are not the answers for the exam.
Sample Learning Experience
Your final exam will offer a variety of learning experiences to choose from. The following is a sample learning experience, provided to introduce you to this type of question. When attempting your final exam, select the learning experiences that are the most applicable to you and your pursuits as trainer.

Perform the experience below as instructed and write an essay (250 word mini- mum) describing your experience and what you gained from participating. You may need to do additional outside research in order to define terms associated with each experience. Provide comprehensive explanations of your findings.

1. Theoretically plot the strength curve of a beginning, intermediate and an advanced weight trainee while performing a squat. Explain the differences in the shape of the curve. What are the seven factors of the strength curve? Pick an exercise and alter two of the seven factors in order to improve upon the strength curve.

Sample Learning Experience Response
The strength curve is the human movement broken down and put onto paper in an attempt to analyze the components of strength. It is a graphical representation of movement, where force is the vertical axis and time is the horizontal axis.

The seven factors of the strength curve are as followed:

Angle of Q: Starting strength (your ability to activate/recruit as many muscle fibers as possible instantaneously); the steeper the line, the greater the angle of Q
Angle of A: Determines the acceleration (or deceleration) in your application of force by comparing the successive angles of A
Force: Fmax = Maximum amount of force output you produce during any given movement
Time: Tmax = Time of concentric movement until reaching Fmax
Relationship between Time and Force: Fmax/Tmax = explosive strength
Relationship between limit strength and Fmax: Relates to functional strength (the amount of limit strength necessary to maximize Fmax without causing an increase in the difference between Fmax and limit strength)
Amortization Phase: Transition phase between the eccentric and concentric phase
A beginner trainee’s strength curve is going to essentially look like a drawn out wavy line. Fortunately, there is hope and a proper way to train the individual. When attempting to alter a beginner’s strength curve you have to start with their foundational strength, which is their limit strength, along with the consistency of using proper form. I would recommend air squats and dumbbell snatches as well. The squat is a multifunctional movement that requires strong legs, back and core muscles as a foundation. The stronger each muscle group becomes, the more the limit strength and Fmax will increase in the squat movement exercise.

Next, as an intermediate trainee, their strength curve will not be as elongated as it was earlier before and timing between lifts are shorter. This is acceleration improvement. They will have a significant increase in their limit strength and Fmax. Since the foundational-limit strength-has improved the trainee can now focus more on their “explosiveness” or explosive strength. This is done by increasing their Angle of Q, which in turn decreases the trainee’s Tmax. For the level of fitness the trainee is at, they should have the squat movement exercise and assistance movements down with proper form and technique. Some exercise movements that I would recommend to improve their explosive strength would be Olympic lifts.

Finally, as an advanced trainee, their Strength Curve should almost look like a fully developed check mark. As the trainee’s strength curve begins to look like this all seven factors are almost fully developed. The Angle of Q (starting strength) is almost a near straight vertical line and the Tmax has shortened dramatically. The amortization phase of the trainee is at the point where it’s literally nonexistent and they just explode out of “the hole” in the squat exercise. To improve this phase, I would recommend box jumps and speed and agility drills, like sprints, cones, and ladder drills.

If an athlete wanted to improve their strength curve for a deadlift, they would want to build a good foundation first by increasing their one-rep max in order to build this foundation. The limit strength for each athlete is difficult to determine, but it should align with sport specific goals. Another area of improvement is the starting strength (which improves Fmax, Tmax, and F/T). This can be done through plyometric training, Olympic lifts, and running drills among other activities. Each factor of the strength curve is interrelated, and improving in one area will help to improve in the others.

Sample Case Study
Jocko Johnson

Age Gender Height Weight Body Fat %
30 Male 73 inches 200 18
Jocko was an athlete in high school playing a variety of sports including football, track (100- 400 meter events) and baseball. He has come to you because he has recently had his 30 th birthday and wants to get back in shape. While he is in decent shape already, Jocko wishes to get in excellent shape with an eye on perhaps competing in a local bodybuilding show in the future.

Use the information above to calculate the following. Only the final answer is required. You do not need to show full calculations.

What is the client’s BMI?
What is the client’s BMR?
Using the Karvonen formula, what is the client’s target heart rate at 60% and 80%?

Using the information above, address points a-c.

Discuss fitness tests or methods of evaluation that should be used to assess the client, providing rationale for your recommendations. Be sure to address the specific conditions presented by your client.
Provide a detailed, comprehensive, 12-week periodized training pro- gram, including specific sets, repetitions and exercises, utilizing an integrated approach.
Discuss nutritional strategies and supplement recommendations with a rationale for your choices.

Sample Case Study Response
The case study provides an opportunity for you to put your fitness knowledge into practice and design a program for a sample client. Think of the case study as your first paying client. Give as much detail as someone new to fitness would need. In addition, provide the rationale for each of your decisions as if you were discussing the program with educated fitness professionals.

The following provides a formatting approach that you can use when structuring your answer. Please note, however, the content serves as a minimal representation of what is expected. To prove your competency in program design, you will need to provide greater detail, as well as rationale for your program decisions. If you have any questions about comprehensive program design, feel free to contact Educational Support.

A. While Jocko may appear to be a dream client on the surface, I realize that his athletic background and mid- life crisis that brought him here will probably lead to more than a little impatience on his part. At my initial consultation I would explain to him that I would need at least a three-month commitment from him to ensure his getting started on the right foot. In my experience most clients need about this long to really get in the swing of things and start seeing some results. At this time I would establish my fees, get him signed up and give him a health history questionnaire to fill out for our next meeting.

After this I would set up our first appointment. I would plan on having enough time in the first session to have him complete a release of liability form and go over his health history questionnaire. If he had any red flags or other concerns we would hold off on training until I had spoken to his doctor and he had gotten a doctor’s release. Otherwise we would get started on the enclosed program. Before starting I would do circumference, bodyweight and bodyfat percentage measurements so we can track his progress.

B. I would follow the enclosed program (see program on the following page) for a few reasons. First, the first mesocycle is a low volume, low intensity one that is designed mainly to increase tendon and ligament strength and allow him to get back in the groove of working out without asking too much of him and discouraging him. After a foundation has been set I would want to increase the intensity and volume levels resulting in a routine geared towards muscle growth. Next I would work on limit strength by introducing a mesocycle that had very high intensity levels and moderate volume. We would then reassess his goals and see where to go from there.

C. My nutritional strategy for this client would consist of 5 high calorie days and 2 low calorie days. I would suggest he follow a 1-2-3 or 1-2-4 macronutrient ratio depending on his metabolism and mesocycle. The higher intensity mesocycles would warrant more carbs, while the lower intensity one’s would not need as much fuel. I would suggest he get around 160 grams of protein a day and get his fat from “healthy” fats such as olive oil and hemp seed oil. The easiest way to estimate his daily caloric requirements is to have him keep a food log for a few days and see where he is at now. It will be much easier to make adjustments to his diet if I have a reference point.

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