I was able to workout with this new client the other day and she kept having to take breaks all the time and then told me she has high blood pressure and is on medicine but didn’t take it that morning so will the next time I see her. She just came with a friend to see if she wanted to hire me and does but I’m concerned about this and what I should do to help her but also don’t want to worry about working her out too hard! I always do some type of HIIT training with clients and don’t want issues obviously! Any help would be amazing!!
Do you use a PAR-Q or something similar with your clients? I’m not sure what your certifications are but for my level of certification I’m not allowed to work with someone with high blood pressure without a clearance from a physician. You may want to check to see if you are OK to work with this client(from a certification/insurance standpoint).
Assuming that you are, HITT is probably not appropriate for someone that has not exercised before (not sure if this is the case). Other precautions are being careful lifting weight overhead. I usually use alternating arms for shoulder press or use a lateral raise instead. Also you may want to check her blood pressure before exercising.
Each client is different, and I would definitely rethink giving friends the same workout if you are not familiar with the health history of the friend. You will need to progress that client slowly and based on her abilities and limitations. Yes, you may need to gain medical clearance from this client’s doctor before you proceed. You need to know any doctor limitations(if there are any) and medications for this client.
Also, if the client is cleared for exercise, you should ask how the client is feeling prior to the workout (make sure she is not dizzy at all). Also, make sure the client (or any client for that matter) does not hold her breath during exercise/weight training (and avoid overgripping the weights). Also, avoid isometric strength training. This could elevate her blood pressure and create a dangerous situation. You may need to avoid overhead work with weights as well.
While you need to pay attention to the client’s heart rate, I would also have her go with the RPE scale for how she is feeling as certain medications may interfere with heart rate. It is very important that she listens to her body. Also, have the client cool down slowly. So, you can see there are a lot of considerations to take into account for someone with high blood pressure.
Hope these suggestions help.
I have a few clients who have high blood pressure
Each time we meet I ask them to take their pressure and also ask them if they have taken their meds.
With your situation I would talk with her, and express your concerns, even now, after the fact.
In the future you may want to ask clients not to bring friends and instead offer a 30 minute consultation for potential clients.
This person could be a potential client that just missed the opportunity to do a workout that is conducive to her fitness level.
it is always tempting to work out with a new client who considers hiring you. It puts you in a funny spot.
I may have lost clients this way, but I never work out with somebody who has not completed paperwork. I do an assessment, and yes, the client has already paid something. Part of this assessment is to take the blood pressure.
One thing struck me about your comment. You mentioned that you always do HIIT training with your clients. While this type of training may be appropriate to some, it is not appropriate to all clients. A lot of clients want to do it because folklore has it that it produces faster results and burns more calories. For them, the stabilization entry level of the OPT model may be a better starting point.
The words you need to hear are “Medical Clearance”. This person needs to get medical clearance from her doctor in writing. She has demonstrated already that she is not adhering to her physicians advice (did not take her meds that day). While this may not lead to a disaster everytime, it could easily lead to something bad happening eventually. A cardiac event is rarely caused by one mistake, it is the culmination of years of mistakes. Protect the client and yourself, get this client cleared to work with you.