Can't Test? Minimum Exercise Recommendations: Aerobic & Strength Training

Usually, testing offers information about clients that is necessary for you, the professional, to make decisions and appropriate programs for your clients. It offers insight into what limitations your client might have and what modifications you need to make for their exercise plan. However, sometimes you will not have the luxury of having a testing day with your clients so this is a recommended alternative.

Alternative to testing: Aerobic + Strength Training Program

Aerobic Exercise Training:

  • Activities falling between 2-4 METs (Barely detectable increased breath dep, to can pass the talk test very well-this bridges between light to moderate intensity).

  • Exercise HR should be up to 20 beats higher than your client's resting HR.

  • RPE no higher than 11-14 on a 6-20 scale.

  • Start slow, continue slow, and pay attention to symptoms.

Strength Training:

  • 2 x 30s of sit-to-stand

  • 2 x 8 arm curls (4kg)

  • 2 x 10 step-ups each leg

  • 2 x 30s


Brill, P. (2012). ACSM's Exercise Management for Persons With Chronic Diseases and Disabilities, edited by J. Larry Durstine, Geoffrey E. Moore, Patricia L. Painter, and Scott O. Roberts: Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2009, 440 pages, hardcover, $68.00.

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