I usually work for 2-3 weeks on giving people a foundation in functional muscular strength as well as increasing muscle memory and recruitment.
No sense in throwing someone on the treadmill if they dont have the metabolism to help them.
After that I am capable of mixing things up to keep it fun and interesting.
I’ve spent a year with a client that was morbidly obese, sedentary, diabetic, hypertensive, age 65.
After assessments and medical clearance we started training three times a week.
First with walking then on a treadmill then on an Eliptical. He worked out everyday in between our sessions, usually for 45 minutes.
Today we train twice a week: Strength training, he continues his “cardio”on his own.
I write up a workout for him to follow.
He is on my Success Story page.
He still needs to loose another 15 – 20 pounds but thus far he has lost 32 pounds, 6 inches off his waist, his blood sugar is normal along with his blood pressure.
Slow but Sure
Baby steps – literally! Following the principle of “overload,” essentially any physical activity is going to overload your sedentary client, so slow walking to start. Also body weight exercises which will help in several ways (improve their strength, their coordination and perhaps most of all their confidence – which will hopefully spur them on to continue their quest). I hope this helps.
After the client has been medically cleared I do an assessment to see if any corrective exercises need to be incorporated. From my experience most clients, especially those who have been mostly sedentary, have some form of correction that needs to be addressed. For instance they may have difficulty keeping their feet from turning out or their knees from turning in or going forward when performing a squat. That is just one example but I address those needs first as well as basic core and balance conditioning. I also focus on light cardiovascular exercise as others have mentioned above. My goal is to get them comfortable with moving and if they enjoy what they are doing they will continue to do it. I also want them to be successful at something which intially may be simply doing 20 minutes on the bike or treadmill a few days a week. That will make them more confident to try new things as I am simultaneously aiding them in strengthening their core and helping to build their stability and learn proper form for the challenges that I will present to them in the future sessions.