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!!!
I am not judging, six lunges sounds so simple to most of us. But lunges are very intense for most untrained clients. I would start with more basic movements. And I do, all of my clients begin with foundation movements without resistance. I learn a lot about how they move and how ready they are for exercise from the way they perform these movements.
Many trainers are starting clients at a higher than necessary intensity level. There is a lot to be gained from starting out below a level that will elicit physiological response. Most clients (even many of my very athletic clients) do not move with good stability. Starting with foundation movements is a good way to sort out the poor stability and movement patterns before loading the movements or performing repetitive movements.
I teach CECs that address this and more. If you are interested check out my website, www.hawaiifitnessacademy.com .