I have a client that I have been working with for almost a year now twice a week. She has turned a 360 with me & I am so very proud of her efforts, motivation & consistency. Heres the problem. We have been doing some of the same things now for a while because I find each time I try to move forward to the next level she physically cant do it. I know she has the ability but for some reason she loses her confidence. I remind her of how far she has come & she gains a bit more confidence but she still cant get through the exercise. I tell her we will try it another time. Any suggestions or has anyone had this experience with their clients. I have been a trainer for 25+ yrs & have never ran into this before.
Thanks for the additional information.
That’s a tough one. Client stigmas and stresses around food can be even greater than those around exercise. Would your client see a dietician? How have your conversations around tracking / improving her diet going? Are you comfortable having them?
I like your idea of staying mostly with the exercises that she does well, either changing frequency, intensity, or duration. Eventually, however, her body is going to get so adept at these exercises that she’ll get diminishing improvement. Maybe switch one exercise out at a time. You might have to get creative. As a trainer, you know 100 ways to work the chest, and only one of them is a Smith bar push-up. Maybe you lower the bar one click. Maybe you have her do a push-up on an even higher angle, but on a TRX, which is easier but harder if you know what I mean. She might have a stigma about the floor – pressure on her knees, feeling awkward or pain getting up and down. So put her in pushups standing against different things, higher but less stable (TRX) and lower but very stable (lower bar, jump box stationery against a wall). Even though a change might seem “small” to you, it might be “big” to her. Put her hands closer together. Put them farther apart. Stagger them (which you can’t do on a Smith bar but could do on another surface). Play with the timing. By making minuscule adjustments, you’re adapting her to change.
Or maybe do a similar exercise with a different plane or range of motion.
Since I work with a lot of clients with injuries, I keep a mental list of options in my brain. This doesn’t work for you? No problem! Let’s try this! Oh, that hurts your wrists? No sweat, how about if we do this instead? There’s always a plan for a client session, but it’s a flexible plan and I can come up very quickly with other things to do.