For liability reasons, I would insist the client get clearance from his/her doctor before enganging in any type of activity. It’s better to be safe than sorry. It’s for their own health and safety above all. If any of my clients refuses to get clearance for any medical condition they have or develop while I’m training them, I refuse to train them.
Don’t feel bad for clients who refuse to get medical clearance; sometimes they have to take responsibility for themselves. We are there to help them, not to put their health in danger. There are medical conditions than can grow from a ‘small’ issue to something more serious, so it’s better to know what we’re dealing with anyway. While many trainers know a lot about the human body, we’re not qualified to determine whether a medical condition is serious enough to limit exercise, regardless of whether or not a client tells you they’ve been cleared medically.
In addition, I look at obtaining medical clearance as an opportunity to network with medical professionals. It gives credibility to our industry by demonstrating responsible, ethical practices, and it may end up in future referrals of clients.
I would have to agree with the above comments. As much as you (or I) would like to help that client, we are only putting them, and ourselves at risk when we don’t insist on a medical clearance. I always tell my clients that it is important for them to get their doctor’s clearance as I don’t want to do anything that could jeopardize their health or function. Most of my clients have a pretty good relationship/history with their doctors that if they fax the med clearance to their doctors, some will sign off on it without necessarily needing them to come in for a visit. If co-pay or finances are an issue than this option usually works very well and gives me the peace of mind that I have done my due dillegence to my client’s safety. However, I just had a client whose physician decided he wanted to see them before signing and had to tell this client that we could not continue their training until this was done. My client had hoped to continue their training but understood that this was non-negotiable.
I also agree with prior comments that this is a good way to network with medical professionals.
I have had a few clients attempt to refuse to get clearance for known conditions. I will not work with them without the clearance. I apologize to them for not being able to work with them without. I say, “I am so sorry. But without the clearance, my hands are tied. If you change your mind and go to your doctor, let me know.” And I leave it at that. I can only think of a few people who never came back with clearance.
Personally, there is nothing a client can pay me to not handle their health as safely and professionally as possible.