I’m a newly certified trainer, at age 50, and I have a friend who I’m helping get started on a fitness program. I was thinking of starting her out on the machines, like I was 12 years ago. Mostly to get her comfortable with them so she can use them when I’m not around and also to just get her familiar with how all the muscles work individually. Would you say that’s the correct way to approach it? I’m only asking cause I don’t use machines anymore except for the back sometimes. I like more of the body weight functional exercises.
That is one way you could approach this new client. And like Karin mentioned, many people are started out that way, for many of the reasons you mentioned and also because gyms want them to continue to come in each day to use their equipment.
Have you performed a full assessment of this client? Have you looked at her alignment? How she moves through basic movement patterns? Have you assessed her cardiovascular capability, strength, flexibility, balance? Do you know what her goals are and what she wants to achieve by working with you? These are all questions I ask of all my clients, beginner or not, when they first start with me. This way I know what type of program to design for them. Most people have movement patterns they’ve developed from years of moving that may be due to tight muscles in a certain area and under-developed ones in another. A through assessment can show you these.
As a beginner, I often think of core stability and cardio programming. You want to set her up for success, doing things she enjoys, so she’ll keep coming back. If her core is not stable, it is difficult to correctly execute other movement patterns. But not knowing her, seeing her or doing an assessment on her, this may not be the correct starting point for her. But it is how I usually start a beginner, with modifications based on their assessment, goals, likes/dislikes and starting point.
Good luck! You have a wonderful opportunity to have a positive impact in this clients life by having them enjoy exercise.