Thirty minutes of cardio, ten minutes of strength training with weights and bands, a cool down and stretching. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. When you work with any type of client you’ve got to keep them interested and motivated. This is especially true if you are training specialized populations like seniors or youths. If you are getting bored with your routine, chances are your clients are too. Something needs to change…and fast! Or soon you’ll be the only person showing up for workouts.
Changing up a routine can be a bit nerve racking. Not just for you, but for your clients. And you might even be unsure how they are going to react. Are they going to be irritated by a change in their routine? Are you going to be able to explain the value of the change? The key to success here is going to be the right amount of fitness programming consistency mixed with variety, unpredictability and a little bit of imagination.
Do everything from your typical low-impact aerobics class, to follow the leader (basically traveling low impact aerobics) and ball weight training in which you use the ball for resistance instead of dumbbells. They will never know what to expect next. Which is important. Even if you’re doing a regular aerobics class, don’t just stick to a regular routine. Throw random movements in just to make sure that the class is paying attention. It’s so satisfying to hear “This class is so much fun because you never know what’s coming next.”
The great thing about combining “play” with working out is that, most of the time, people will push themselves a little bit harder. They will work up more of a sweat, complain that class is too short and will always be motivated to return for another workout.
In terms of weight training, you can apply the same principles as an aerobics class. When you use your imagination, the possibilities are endless. Using “props” and other creative ways to motivate, helps you to focus on what the senior client can do as opposed to emphasizing what they can no longer do.
Of course, these ideas are not limited to just seniors. This can apply to any client base (seniors, youth, etc). But working with seniors is extremely rewarding and it’s something that every fitness professional should know how to do. Especially since the senior population is the fastest growing population in the U.S.