I have a client who, for a multitude of reasons, has gained well over 100 lbs while training with me. Hardly a showcase for me as a personal trainer 🙁
Progress – not at all. I am hanging on to what I got.
But that’s exactly it. While he is not even close to where I would like him to be, he is still better off than if he did nothing at all. In his case, I understand to some extent the inner workings and can accept the situation as such.
As trainers, we are often more ambitious for our clients than they are for themselves. It is a matter of accepting their goals for what they are. Sometimes, we can nudge them. We can still celebrate the fact that we get them into the percentage of the population who exercises at all.
Be aware that maintenance is progression as well, as Karin said “it is better than not being active at all”. Also, stats show that if a person does nothing after a certain age, their strength, aerobic endurance, etc. will begin to decline.
For me personally, I try to set benchmarks so that my clients have something to aim for, whether it’s progressing through modified push up variations, a fitness challenge, or body compostion. Try to find something that the person like or has interest in that they could aim for. As we know, without some type of progression the person will plateau which can ultimately lead to no activity.
It also depends on what progression your talking about but as the trainer you have the upper hand; you have the ability to create the exercise program and can progress as needed. You don’t have to revamp the entire program but slowly progress each exerice/component individually.
There might be some other issues that’s out of your scope as well.
Hope this helps, good luck!
I have a client who is significantly overweight, came to me saying she wanted to lose about 90 lbs over the course of a year. She started out well, seemed very motivated. Made some good progress and then all of a sudden it was like BAM, she didn’t want to this exercise because it hurt, not feeling so well, missing sessions, etc. Basically taking the easy road, and I get it is very hard for her because of her weight. I also believe that some may “romantacize” fitness until it becomes very real that it takes “work”. I totally agree with Karin that as a trainer I want to see my clients become fit and healthy but ultimately it is their choice. And yes, it is better that she comes to me 2x week than not at all.
Still would love to hear from others on the subject!
This is a great question and one I have thought to ask many times–so thank you for bringing up what I’m sure many of us are going through.
I have two clients in particular who have been with me for over two years each and have goals of weight loss. They meet with me 2-3x per week and give 100 percent while they are with me. I’ve done everything in my power to encourage, educate, support and motivate them to progress with their goals. I’ve gone above and beyond trying to help them reach their goals, but to no avail. I’ve realized that I am helping them stay active and healthy in many ways, and for now that has to be enough. I’m also providing an encouraging and supportive environment for them–which they don’t always have outside of the gym. As trainers, we so want to see our clients succeed, and it is difficult when we don’t see progress.
As much as we want them to reach their goals, each client has to be in a certain stage of change for that to happen. Sometimes we have to accept that, and just know that there are circumstances out of our control.
Best of luck to you,