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
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.