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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Dale R. Wagner, PhD (Utah State University - Brigham City)
Description: Although this resource manual complements the seventh edition of the ACSM Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription and serves as a study guide for ACSM certifications, it should also be considered a stand-alone reference for health and fitness professionals. This fifth edition updates the 2001 text.
Purpose: The book may not be "necessary" to pass ACSM certification exams, but it does add depth to the ACSM Guidelines and is a useful resource.
Audience: This book is rather in-depth and comprehensive for just a study guide; it is a reference text. The language, terminology, and level of understanding in some of the chapters that might be most useful for clinicians and practitioners might be a bit too advanced for some students seeking only one of the introductory health/fitness certifications. Of the numerous chapter authors, some are well-known leaders in their respective specialties but many others are relatively unknown. However, nearly all of the chapter authors hold terminal degrees and are associated with highly respected institutions.
Features: The bulk of the book focuses on assessments/exercise testing, exercise training, and expected physiological adaptations with exercise training for both healthy and diseased populations. Additional content includes behavioral modification and administration of exercise programs. The greatest asset of this book may be its comprehensiveness as nearly every topic imaginable relative to exercise testing and programming for both healthy and diseased populations is addressed. A unique and useful feature is the cross referencing to the seventh edition of the ACSM Guidelines.The tables and boxed information are also good summary features. Photographs would have helped readers. For example, when describing equipment that everyone might not be familiar with or have access to (e.g., accelerometer, DEXA, etc.), a photograph would be useful. Also, appendix B (ACSM certifications & KSAs) in this Resource Manual is identical to appendix F in the ACSM Guidelines. This redundancy could be eliminated.
Assessment: This is more than just a study guide for those seeking ACSM certifications; it is a comprehensive reference for clinicians and fitness professionals. There are other books that are better at explaining how to perform various exercise/fitness assessments (better explanations, photographs, and figures): Heyward, Advanced Fitness Assessment and Exercise Prescription, 4th edition (Human Kinetics, 2002), and Howley and Franks, Health Fitness Instructor's Handbook, 4th edition (Human Kinetics, 2003). However, the scope and comprehensiveness of the ACSM Resource Manual is unmatched.