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.
Like everyone else mentions punching bag/boxing. I have 2 punching bag and majority of my clients love pounding them. I train a lot of doctors, lawyers, nurses and of course everyday people. There is just something about hitting stuff that most people love. Out of my 80 plus clients only about 5 of them don’t like the boxing thus I don’t make them do it. Most people love it and get a good sweat.
I like to do fun things sometimes with clients with the boxing. I will grab a foam roller and swing at their heads so then they’ll squat as I swing it. I yell and say duck first, so they do a squat then I hit the punching bag with the foam roller as they squat. DO NOT HIT YOUR CLIENTS ON THE HEAD. haha. It’s just a fun game that I pretend if they don’t squat/duck they’d actually get hit on the head.
Another fun game I like to do is challenging my clients. I train a couple clients who used to play baseball, soccer, basketball etc. when they were young. So I’ll challenge them by having several cones and we’re at a distance away from them. The key is hitting the target and each miss is associated with an exercise. I use my laundry hamper for basketball players, I use cones to kick the soccer at for my soccer players. Baseball, I put up a target and they must throw from certain number of distances and each miss is a workout.
Lastly, I use and create a game using a deck of cards. I assign exercises to different cards/numbers. You can be as creative as you want. Clients pull out cards and must do that exercise (I use jokers as a break from the workout).
I say just be creative and think of other fun games or things you do in day to day and how you can assign an exercise to it.
You can check out my website here http://www.repkefitness.com/ I have a personal training studio located in Severna Park, Maryland.
Louben Repke, RN, BSN, CPT
I would do some deeper client interviewing. What does the client want to be able to do in their daily life?
They may never see the gym as “fun” or an exercise as “fun.” But they may be sold on program adherence if you can connect it to a deeper desire for a specific lifestyle activity. For one of my clients, it was the embarrassment of not being able to get out of a kayak and being lifted out by her son and husband. Every time we did triceps dips, we knew they were her “kayak muscles.”