Some clients do have unrealistic time frames for goals. I have a client who wants to make marked changes in her body in a month. We have worked together for a month already and she said that she feels like she just wants to run a lot to shed 10 lbs.
I have designed several workouts that target her legs, glutes and midsection. Most of the programs include weight lifting along with Tabata or HIIT cardio. She has limited equipment. The heaviest weights she has are 2 10 lb dumbbells. This I know will only get her so far with lower body transformation. She does have cellulite in her buttocks and thighs. She seems to have a tendency towards this as her mother did.
What would you recommend as far as a program for her in the coming month? I feel like she needs to hit the gym where she can do some leg presses/extensions and such with heavier weights and less reps to actually build muscle and not just depend on cardio for body changes. I think she needs to build muscle first and do some cardio at the same time.
I am afraid that if she does heavier lifting and cardio at the same time or at least on the same day, that she will compromise muscle growth.
My suggestion is that you talk to your client about losing weight in a safe and effective way (slowly–1 to 2 pounds per week with a healthy diet–which is key– and exercise) where she will be able to maintain that loss. It is not up to you get her quick results. I’ve had clients tell me they want this as well, and I tell them that’s not how it works–and it’s not how I work. Losing weight–and maintaining it– takes time, and her diet will be the number one factor in her success.
Her exercise program will be up to you to design based on her abilities. Although I am an advocate for heavier weights, your client can still get a great full-body workout with 10# weights that will do great things to help her gain muscle and burn calories. Again, the focus will most likely need to be on her diet and making healthy choices.
Good luck, and I would not let her pressure you into a situation where you feel obligated to help her lose weight fast. There is no quick fix…she needs sensible, healthy eating and a suitable exercise program which you can design for her. What a great challenge for you!
Christine gave you a great answer.
Sometimes we have to have the kind and compassionate voice while asking the tough question, “Do you want to visit your results, or do you want to live there?” There are a bunch of crazy crash diets out there that might get her that 10 pound loss, but none of them are healthy and over 95% of people who drop weight without addressing the underlying habits that made them heavy in the first place just gain the weight back.
Ultimately, she needs to accept accountability for her results as you won’t be with her for the other 23 hours a day on training days, and not at all on non-training days.
Maybe take a look at what has improved in her first month. Maybe it’s not a weight drop, but her clothes are fitting better, or she’s responding better to stress, or she’s sleeping better, or she has more stamina throughout the day. All of those things are results. The scale is just one measure.
Definitely work her hard and give her the best lower body exercises that work with the equipment that she has, so you’re giving her part of what she says she wants. But at the same time, do as much as you can to help her see that a long term approach will yield more sustainable results.
I agree with Christine Hales above. Try to make small adjustments in the client’s attitude about her timeline for making progress. Some of her effort in the gym will go toward increased lean mass and won’t be indicated on a scale. And I educate clients about mindset. An impatient mental attitude can often interfer with progress and create the misconception that they are not moving ahead with their goals. All clients are unique, but clients like this often have unrealiztic expectations that reflect a personality that internalizes a lot of self ridicule and dissatisfaction. Try to bring out the optimist in these clients and have them work on positive self talk. Things like “I am putting in a good effort”, “I am doing pretty darn good today”, “I did it and I can do it again”, etc. And lastly, build rapport. Connect with the client. Empathize and listen.
This type of client is not uncommon. Below are a few ways you can use to help her understand why she is exercising and trying to lose 10 lbs. is not the only way to look at this:
-Refer her to a dietitian.
-Keep having educating her on what it takes to succeed when setting goals (doesn’t happen in a day).
-Genetics can only take you so far.
-Measuring success in overall fitness pounds alone are not the best way to approach it.
-Alter or redesign her the fitness plan. Incorporate or eliminate some of the methods and/or equipment you are currently using in her regimen.
-Use fitness assessments to help her see the real progress that she is making. Use numbers and graphs to make her see and understand her results (some people are more visual than others).
Unfortunately there is no one way to approach this. Since you are the one who knows her better than any of us, you will need to decide which one will work best for her. I hope this helps.