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!!!
Harris and Linda gave you some great answers. It is very hard for those of us who are fit to understand how hard it is for the overweight and sedentary to do “anything”. As Harris said a recumbent bike is great for those who are overweight, I would not start someone sedentary with inclines on the treadmill either. Crunches on or off the ball are problematic as well, as they can put stress on an already stressed lower back. Linda had great ideas with the circuits and TRX assisted work. I would add that bird dogs can be hard for the sedentary. You might want to start with a modified bird dog; just have her move her arms or legs making sure she can keep good form before adding both together. Talk to her, ask her how she feels throughout the workout, it may be easy to you, but she may feel maxed out. Be encouraging; just showing up is an achievement, make sure she feels that.