such as correcting bad posture due to upper crossed syndrome, do you design a program that focuses on exercises that strictly work the back and shoulders, or do you just give them a full body workout instead? Same question with a client with specific goal in mind, such as tightening up glutes and thighs, do you give them a workout that consists of just exercises for the glutes and thighs, or do you give them a full body workout and just include 1 or 2 exercises that focus on glutes and thighs?
1) Well, personal training is a service industry and you do have an obligation to give them what they want. And if you want to retain that client, you must satisfy them. And you also have a moral obligations to give them what they need and do no harm.
2) In order to correct an imbalance, your training needs to be imbalanced, such as additional corrective exercises. Using a corporate population as an example, those who sit in desks all day. They typically need a lot of pulling exercises to strengthen their back. That doesn’t mean we won’t allow them to do a bench press, because maintaining the other muscles of the body is important. However, there will be a lot of rows and pulldowns, and even deadlifts and squats if they’re able. They all incorporate the muscles that need to be strengthened, but they also affect areas that need to be maintained. They are also large muscle groups and can burn a few calories.
3) It may vary by the amount of time you have and their ability to complete lifts. As I said, deadlifts and squats are great exercises, but also very technical. And if done poorly can be very dangerous and counterproductive. And although I would like to spend months doing corrective exercises with every client, its just not going to happen. They may not have the patience, interest, or money in doing so.
In short, the answer is… it depends… the same answer for most clients or dilemmas in this industry.
My advice is to stick to solid virtues and principles and keep in mind what is in the best interest of the client. Use only the knowledge you have and refer out if you can’t help and or don’t know what to do. Trial in error is acceptable as long as you’re not putting them in danger (sometimes that’s how we learn).