in addition to the usual recommendation about a physician’s clearance and things like that, my main advice to you is to recognize that the excess weight is HIS problem, not yours.
He has come to you seeking help, and that is a good step but having a trainer alone will not help him lose 100 lbs. Unless he gets his eating under control, his weight will stay right where it is, particularly since you also write that he lacks motivation, is under stress and very busy. I hate to say it but hiring you as a trainer may be nothing more than a fig leaf.
However, having said all that, you can still do a lot of good here. Even if his weight does not budge, exercising will improve things for him. At 100 extra pounds, there is a good chance that he is on medication for hypertension and is diabetic or on his way, and exercise can help regulate some of this. He may also have some joint issues like knee and lower back pain, and getting stronger can help manage this as well.
If you are lucky, you may be able to jump start the motivation that he is lacking by your description. His perceived lack of motivation may be a feeling of being overwhelmed at the thought of so much excess weight, and seeing some improvement could be the light that he can suddenly see at the end of a tunnel.
A situation like this is tough to manage. As trainers, we want to help so much and take it on as our responsibility. But, ultimately, it is not. If you can even just keep him exercising, you can pat yourself on the back even if he never will be a poster child for a ‘before and after’ success story.
I wish you good luck.
MAKE SURE THIS MAN IS HEALTHY AND/OR IF HE IS ON MEDICATION. MANY MEDS CAN PREVENT WEIGHT LOSS BUT, NOT THAT MUCH! MY SUCCESS WITH WOMAN THIS MUCH OVERWEIGHT HAS BEEN MUCH THE SAME AS KARIN’S. BUT, A WAY TO JUMPSTART HIS WEIGHT LOSS IS TO JUST PUT HIM ON TREADMILL AS TOLERATED. MANY PEOPLE THIS MUCH OVER WEIGHT OFTEN SEE FAST RESULTS AS THEIR SHEER BODY MASS WORKS FOR THEM WITH WEIGHT LOSS. BUT, IT WILL NOT LAST. IF HE DOES NOT WATCH HIS CALORIC INTAKE, HE WILL STOP REDUCING AND BECOME FRUSTRATED. HE HAS TO DO HIS JOB FOR YOU TO DO YOUR JOB! ALSO, MAKE SURE IF YOU DO USE TREADMILL OR OTHER AEROBIC MACHINES, THEY CAN HOLD HIS WEIGHT. GOOD LUCK, BRIAN ROZZI
Karin and Brian have some good suggestions. Maybe you could intrigue your client to sign up for a race. A goal like this one might trigger more interest and create a better discipline on him. A 5k is a good distance to start with and who knows, he might get addicted to doing races. Yes loosing the pounds is important, but making it more fun and having a specific goal (other than loosing weight) might be what is missing with this client to get him going.
I’m just throwing out there an idea. Good luck!
I am currently working with a few “over-weight” clients as well. So far they are all hitting their numbers with a strategic that I put in place for them, and I think anybody can do it.
Let’s get to it then,….
1-Numbers 2- Accountability 3- Diet 4- Resistance Training 5- Progressive Cardio plan.
1- “Numbers”, whenever you start training with a new client(s) you need to get as much objective information as possible (even though they might not like it), for example; weight, body fat%, circumference measurements etc.. So when you reassess you have everything you need to show them how far they have come.
2- “Accountability”, no explanation required.
3- “Diet”, As Personal Trainers we tend to overlook our clients diet, and eating habits. Have your clients write down the type of food, time, and quantity, and have them e-mail it to you. Just make them more aware what they are ingesting etc..
4- “Resistance Training”, cardio is great, and your client(s) may loose a whole bunch of weight which is awesome! BUT you need to have them increase lean muscle, and the best way to do that is through resistance training. All in all more lean muscle burns more calories throughout the day… = loose weight sooner.
5- “Progressive Cardio Plan”, notice the word PROGRESSIVE! Iv’e seen way too many trainers just put their client(s) on the treadmill and do the same workout week after week. Find your clients HR zones and CREATE a program for them. Explain to them and be a role model for your clients!
All the best,
I think the others have good points with regard to the physical work that needs to be done. This client came to you for help, so that is a great first step, and one that I, personally would embrace. Try to build a rapport and make a connection with him–he needs the support and you are a catalyst for helping him make some changes that will lead him to better health.
In addition, I would look at the individual aspects of your question:
If he does not eat well, perhaps you could guide him with a few healthy options or give him some suggestions to make better choices when at work. A little planning on his part could help.
If your client is busy, and we all are, than perhaps you could put together an exercise program that he could manage to fit in on the days that he does not train with you. Make it specific, and give him homework. Let him know that he will see immediate benefits of exercise such as better sleep, reduced stress (a good benefit for him), and more energy. Once he starts seeing changes, this may help his motivation level.
Ultimately, yes, it will be up to him to make these changes and we can only do so much–your client has to be ready to make those changes. But, you are a good influence to get him started down the road to health.