Most of my clients are older adults and/or have medical conditions that require a very tailored approach to their programming.
Regardless, however, of the individual, I create a baseline for every client which consists of a comprehensive assessment with photos and video, range of motion assessments, body composition, blood pressure etc. While I have my ‘list’, I may deviate from it depending on circumstances.
I then educate myself as well as possible about any medical problems that I need to consider. That may include talking to the physical therapist or other healthcare provider as applicable.
If there is an exercise prescription from a physical therapist, I tend to start with that and build from there.
Other than that I have a philsophy to train ‘from the inside out’, meaning that I advise my clients that we start with creating a well-aligned body which can stabilizes itself . Ever since I have become a certified Advanced MELT Instructor, MELT (Myofascial Energetic Length Technique) has become my favored method for accomplishing this base conditioning.
Along with training ‘from the inside out’, I also like to use the phrase ‘from the bottom up’. With that I mean training for balance with a strong base. The majority of my clients are, as I mentioned, older adults, and this approach has brought me good results.
Because of the demographics of my clients, I have also found myself in situations when I no longer could make improvements but was trying to hold on to what we had. I have labeled it ‘training in reverse’ for lack of a better term. This has been the toughest for me because it meant – ultimately -accepting death.
This is a tough one, there are a million ways to get from A to Z. I have a system I use that I find works for me. I begin with a list of what they want to accomplish, what they like about exercise, and what they don’t. After collecting that info, I put it to the side and to a fitness assessment and from there I ask myself, what are their weak areas (ie posture, form, weight, endurance, etc.). Then I take all that info and try to design a program that addresses their goals and the major weakness I see, I try to stay with what they like (if I need to put them through stuff they don’t like I make it fun and make sure they understand why exactly they are doing it). From there I progress increasing intensity, reps, or time in various ways. It ends up being a good amount of circuit training, or specific lifts to focus on specific weakness.
Hope that helps
I tailor any program to the needs of the client based on what is uncovered in the initial questionaire and then assess mobility and flexibility with movement screens followed by passive and active ranges of motion at each joint and how they affect posture or compensation patterns. If the mobility is sufficient then further strength and agility testing may be warranted. I then do a needs analysis for specific lifestyle activities or sports played.
This leads to a starting place and goal for the program that can emphasize a corrective strategy program, a stabilty program, a functional program, an edurance program, a strength program, a power program, a performance improvement program, general health, etc.
It would be next too impossible to show how I would manipulate acute variables for chronic adaptaion without knowing what type chronic adaptation is the goal.
I use a combination of all my certifications methods with a little of my own understanding of exercise science to facilitate the goals of my clients. No one program works the same for everybody and I have never used the same exact workout program for two different clients.
Everything that I do is taylored to meet the needs of that particular individual.
Hello Joanne… I love this question. Thanks for asking such an important one. I actually use a very practical, innovative and science based approach that has been developed and proven in many countries around the world, by a variety of different types of trainers. It can be found in the PTA GLOBAL educational curriculum. You can look them up on Fitness Connect… Look for PTA GLOBAL and go specifically to their “Personal Trainer Bridging Course” & “Advanced Personal Training” Course.
These courses collectively provide an already certified trainer the following:
1- A 5-8 minute behavioral questionnaire that tells a trainer what a client’s behavioral patterns are, their goal, why that goal is important to them, what type of training they want and will help them be most compliant as well as what level of ability they have,
2- over 800 programs that are specifically tailored to match all the information in the behavioral questionnaire by meeting the client’s: a) goal, b) their preferred style of training – what type of workout best matches their behavioral patterns and personality and c) their level of ability.
3- A fantastic system for progressing & regressing any exercise in all 3-dimensions (not the same as 3 planes)
4- A movement observation you can use each session that can also be a warm-up for the client
5- The only organized, systematic & holistic process to determine a client’s “daily readiness” – this allows us a trainers to determine how much stress the client is under each day we train them – and then the course will show you specifically how to manipulate a program to match their stress on that day.
This stuff is VERY “personalized” so you can tailor a program to every client in every session.
I hope this helps Joanne and thank you again for helping us with this great question. 😉