I just started training my first client at my new job. She is a 50 y.o. female who is overweight and undertrained. I met with her last week and took her through a 20 min walk w incline on the treadmill, followed by some basic body weight exercises. I had her do 6 lunges on each leg and afterwards she said her quads were cramping so bad that she couldnt walk or stand. I wasn’t sure what to do so I had her just sit and do some bicep curls. Later we did some crunches on a large ball and she said her abs were cramping the same way. I guess I’m not really sure what to do in this situation… I find it hard to believe that such little movement could cause such a negative reaction. I’m drawing a blank about what to do the next time we meet because I don’t want to overwork her, but she wants to lose weight and get in shape so she’s going to have to do SOMETHING. Like I said, she’s my first client and I’m used to training myself… so any advice for training super beginners would be great! Thanks!!!
The simplest way I can explain this is as follows: without knowing much about your client’s situation, fitness level, health history, etc., I would suggest for you to have her keep moving for as much as possible. By moving I mean walking outside or on the treadmill or even on the bike. With clients like yours, I almost never have them perform any kind of squats or lunges in their first few sessions until I have a better idea about their condition and I have gain their trust. Keeping them on the move as much as possible would be enough to get their heart rate up. I use bands for their upper body by performing a few simple pull/push moves. In her mind taking the first step and start working out is a big one. So you need to make sure you don’t make it a negative experience for her because she could very easily shut down and get withdrawn. Diet plays an important role in her plan to lose weight, so make sure she has one that is simple to follow (talking to a RD would be highly recommended).
I’m sure other trainer here would give you some very good advice for you to consider.