Difficult clients being those clients who don’t enjoy physical activity. Suggested exercises should be able to be performed in a gym setting with common equipment (medicine balls, body bars, dumbbells, kettlebells, stability balls, free weights, smith machine, and the like). Suggested exercises should also be engaging and aimed at helping clients to see working out as an enjoyable and positive experience.
I really don’t change the exercises but instead focus making it ridiculously easy. I have a current client who is constantly accusing me of sneaking in extra work on her…lol. I believe that if a client’s outlook on exercise changes from “this sucks” to “I can do this” then everything changes. I tend to start these types of clients with a single set of exercises or a single round of a circuit then step it up slowly while pushing their tolerance (work capacity) upwards. The client that keep accusing me of sneaking in work on her has gone from 1 set of 10 body weight squats up to using a 25lb dumbell in each hand (50lbs total) for 3 sets of 14, to leg pressing 290 for 3 sets of 8 reps followed immediately by 40 reps with 200lbs with no rest in only 6 weeks. Yes..I have been sneaking in more work on her lol. I love my job!
you set the bar pretty high. But at least there is hope. After all, the clients came to you because they see the value of exercise. I find that the claim of ‘not enjoying physical activity’ often stems from an insecurity about not being able to do them at all. And ‘dislike’ becomes a great smokescreen.
I tend to start with exercises that are non-quantifiable so that there is no ‘measure’ of achievement (at least initially). You will be able to see very quickly where your clients do well. People like to feel successful, and that’s my next order of business. I would hazard a guess that by now the dislike has already decreased and you can start implementing the program which – according to your assessment is the best for the client.
Sometimes we just have to do a detour to get clients to where they need to go.
Adding something different to the exercise routine sometimes help.Rope jumping, medicine ball, step training, resistance bands and balance boards are just a few tools to introduce to client’s suffering from boredom or being difficult. Speeding up or slowing down the tempo sometimes helps client’s focus better.Or ask the client why they are being difficult ( in your own special way without offending or being wimpy). Maybe this way, each of you can come to a common ground.
I had one client, regardless of what we did, she brought zero energy and was so disinterested I seriously thought about dropping her. But, I decided to challenge her in a way that either she was going to perform or walk away. I had her focusing on cardio drills along with BOSU only exercises. This forced her to focus on her cardio and balance.
After a few sessions of this it was like a new person had come aboard. We never talked about how she was prior to the new change in exercise routine, but I did not care. We overcame a barrier and moved forward.