Chances are at some point in your professional personal training career you are going to encounter the opportunity to work with an overweight or obese client. If you are seasoned personal trainer or a newbie to personal training, you may find these tips for training overweight clients helpful!
Training tips and exercises for overweight clients:
Weight problems may be related to medical conditions or it may simply be that there is an over-consumption of food. Your success and theirs will require the recognition that diet plays a crucial role and that the client must change their diet. Discussing a no nonsense, no fad simple nutrition plan will encourage their compliance to their new exercise program.
Non-Intimidating Exercise Environment:
A private, large space the best for training an overweight client (ideally a place somewhat closed off from the rest of the gym). Outdoors is also another great option is that is available. Lots of room to move is the key to your client feeling comfort which all leads to compliance!
Avoid the Machines, Embrace Body Weight Exercises:
Most machines are not made for an obese person – too small, not wide enough, hard to get in and out of etc… Stick with simple body weight exercises like Squats, Step ups, Kettle Bell Deadlifts, Overhead press, Wall push ups, Standing cable rowing movements, Woodchop,
Smart and effective compound exercise choices will increase confidence.
Avoid Uncomfortable Positions:
Overweight or obese people have a more difficult time getting into, out of, up from and down to the floor and machines. So avoid all these and scenarios and avoid the floor. Use a bench instead.
Low Impact Cardio Good, High Impact Card Bad:
This may seem obvious, but just a reminder to keep all your cardio activity low impact like fast walking, hiking hills, and boxing and stay away from the high impact exercises like running, jumping and leaping. Low impact will help to avoid any injury and balance issues while training overweight clients.
Circuits Keep it Interesting:
Circuit training keeps them moving, but not doing the same thing for too long which avoids boredom and overuse. Mix it up, just keep them moving with pushing, pulling, squats, drills, carries, boxing and short bouts of walking, treadmill and hills.
In conclusion, after you have the Dr. approval, use common sense and keep things simple and basic; keep them constantly moving during your session; keep it challenging; and provide a comfortable environment that is motivating.