Hi Renette. Great question! I work with a lot of elderly clients. As a matter of fact I like to say that my oldest clients are 163 years old (a couple of course – smile)! Without knowing anything about your specific clients, I’d say that, generally, you train your elderly clients the same way you train other clients. By this I mean, you ‘assess’ them, you develop a program based on that assessment, and you train them according to their specific needs and goals. Of course the training is designed with their specific strengths, weaknesses and limitations in mind.
My two cents! 🙂
Like LaRue has already mentioned, you want to train your elderly clients the same way (with appropriate modifications, of course) you train other clients. With doing only 2 sessions per month, I would think about having your sessions be more consultative and educational rather than a regular workout.
You can have your clients record their improvements as they complete their workouts during the times you are not training with them. You can review their progress during your sessions, add a few new exercises and make corrections as appropriate. On a seasonal basis you could complete your regular fitness assessment to measure their overall progress and change in health status.
Jonathan is correct about how to approach your client. Since you only have 2 sessions a month with him, I would spend my time consulting him and educating him as to what he needs to be doing when you are not around. An assessment will help you come up with the right program for him and also keep track of his progress. On the other hand, if you see no progress with this client maybe adding a few more sessions during the month might be a better option.
Hello Renette Schmidtke,
I would make a copy of my log for the client to use for tracking their own progress. The exercise session with me could be a short one to prove they can accomplish what they are logging, to keep everyone on the same page (read: honesty).
The rest of the time would be about whatever the client needs, in order to continue exercising on their own…, education, motivation, updates, etc.
No worries, go with the flow; seniors are a great source of wisdom.
NAPS 2 B Fit
have you asked your client how he feels about his progress? As trainers, we are often very keyed into numbers on the chart, how much weight and how many reps lifted, and that is one way of doing things. But a client of 70 years of age often has goals different from that.
I am not suggesting ‘don’t bother about progress’ but you could, with your client, establish certain goals and measure against it. This could be any number of things: the ability to walk or run a certain distance for 30 minutes, or performing certain tasks of daily living that were difficult before like walking stairs. Older clients tend to look at progress often more along those lines.