A Personal Trainer’s Surgery Week Sessions

 

Last week was one of the most interesting weeks I have had at work in a while. I had one senior client who was about to go into surgery, and another client who was recovering from knee surgery who wanted to train in a group. I had to do some brainstorming and very specific planning, but had some great results in the end.

 

The first session with a the senior client (who is way over age 75) involved making sure the muscles in the area where my client was going to be cut were in the best shape possible before they were going to be cut and traumatized. I did lots of deep core work with her, including something called the “drawing in maneuver,” an exercise that has you bringing in your belly button as close to the spine as possible and holding it there for 10 seconds or more. Try this — it is not as easy as one would think.

 

Emotionally it was a difficult session; I have had this client for more than a year, and it was hard for me to see her anxiety over the surgical procedure. So I gave her loads of encouragement and support throughout the session.

 

A week after her operation, I went to visit my client with some yellow roses as a “get well” gift. She was doing fine; the four small incisions in her abdomen were doing quite well. I left expecting not to see her for at least a month.

 

To my surprise and delight my client was cleared for exercise by her doctor in only three weeks, no small accomplishment for someone way over 75, when the body’s healing processes take longer than they do in youth. She has made a full recovery and is doing great!

 

The same week I was asked to train an occasional client that I work with while she is in town. This client recently had knee surgery, and two other women wanted to join the session. This workout took almost all week to plan. All three women are not only fit and beautiful but they are all complete workout heads. They take all kinds of classes such as yoga, TRX, Physique 57, and even Kangoo Jumping where you wear special boots and jump around as a workout. One of them lives in California no less, the workout Capital state. In other words, I had to really drive these women hard and make them sweat while considering a knee surgery. There could be no running, jumping, or Burpees (which is a quick way to get a client going). Rather, the whole class had to be off the feet yet as hard as possible.

 

Although I did not have to do any research, I had to do some serious thinking for this one. I brainstormed by thinking of every super-hard exercise there is that doesn’t involve the feet or bent knees and then put them in workout order, which is  that the largest muscle groups getting trained first before ending the workout with the smaller muscle groups.

 

The time for the session arrived and I was a little nervous about everyone enjoying it, but I had done a little over planning just in case.

 

I started the session by having all three women sit on stability balls and do back and chest moves that involved leaning back on the ball to make it harder and engage the core muscles. Then we switched to arms and shoulders with two different-size weights in each hand, such as a five-pound weight in the left and eight-pound weight in the right hand. This forces you to use your core even more than one would with equal weights in each hand, a technique that I learned from one of my fitness idols Michele Olson, PhD*, one of the creators of The Firm workout DVDs.

 

The session finished with some Pilates moves on the floor. I used some side kicks that did not involve bending the knee but moving the leg from the hip while lying on your side, hard stuff indeed. Then we ended with some crunches and other abdominal work and 10 minutes of stretching. The woman who had the operation needed to have a specialized manual stretch for her shoulders (when the trainer stretches you with their hands) because her shoulder were tightened up due to her use of crutches.

 

In the end everyone loved the session and said it was wonderful. The woman with the knee operation is doing quite well now.

 

Working as a personal trainer can be so rewarding, especially when you see people with physical issues improve and exercise throughout out their ordeals.

 

 

 

 

* I absolutely worship Michele Olson, PhD! She is a fitness genius, exercise professor, and researcher. Get her DVDs — she is just the BEST!

 

 

Last week was one of the most interesting weeks I have had at work in a while. I had one senior client who was about to go into surgery, and another client who was recovering from knee surgery who wanted to train in a group. I had to do some brainstorming and very specific planning, but had some great results in the end.

 

The first session with a the senior client (who is way over age 75) involved making sure the muscles in the area where my client was going to be cut were in the best shape possible before they were going to be cut and traumatized. I did lots of deep core work with her, including something called the “drawing in maneuver,” an exercise that has you bringing in your belly button as close to the spine as possible and holding it there for 10 seconds or more. Try this — it is not as easy as one would think.

 

Emotionally it was a difficult session; I have had this client for more than a year, and it was hard for me to see her anxiety over the surgical procedure. So I gave her loads of encouragement and support throughout the session.

 

A week after her operation, I went to visit my client with some yellow roses as a “get well” gift. She was doing fine; the four small incisions in her abdomen were doing quite well. I left expecting not to see her for at least a month.

 

To my surprise and delight my client was cleared for exercise by her doctor in only three weeks, no small accomplishment for someone way over 75, when the body’s healing processes take longer than they do in youth. She has made a full recovery and is doing great!

 

The same week I was asked to train an occasional client that I work with while she is in town. This client recently had knee surgery, and two other women wanted to join the session. This workout took almost all week to plan. All three women are not only fit and beautiful but they are all complete workout heads. They take all kinds of classes such as yoga, TRX, Physique 57, and even Kangoo Jumping where you wear special boots and jump around as a workout. One of them lives in California no less, the workout Capital state. In other words, I had to really drive these women hard and make them sweat while considering a knee surgery. There could be no running, jumping, or Burpees (which is a quick way to get a client going). Rather, the whole class had to be off the feet yet as hard as possible.

 

Although I did not have to do any research, I had to do some serious thinking for this one. I brainstormed by thinking of every super-hard exercise there is that doesn’t involve the feet or bent knees and then put them in workout order, which is  that the largest muscle groups getting trained first before ending the workout with the smaller muscle groups.

 

The time for the session arrived and I was a little nervous about everyone enjoying it, but I had done a little over planning just in case.

 

I started the session by having all three women sit on stability balls and do back and chest moves that involved leaning back on the ball to make it harder and engage the core muscles. Then we switched to arms and shoulders with two different-size weights in each hand, such as a five-pound weight in the left and eight-pound weight in the right hand. This forces you to use your core even more than one would with equal weights in each hand, a technique that I learned from one of my fitness idols Michele Olson, PhD*, one of the creators of The Firm workout DVDs.

 

The session finished with some Pilates moves on the floor. I used some side kicks that did not involve bending the knee but moving the leg from the hip while lying on your side, hard stuff indeed. Then we ended with some crunches and other abdominal work and 10 minutes of stretching. The woman who had the operation needed to have a specialized manual stretch for her shoulders (when the trainer stretches you with their hands) because her shoulder were tightened up due to her use of crutches.

 

In the end everyone loved the session and said it was wonderful. The woman with the knee operation is doing quite well now.

 

Working as a personal trainer can be so rewarding, especially when you see people with physical issues improve and exercise throughout out their ordeals.

 

 

 

 

* I absolutely worship Michele Olson, PhD! She is a fitness genius, exercise professor, and researcher. Get her DVDs — she is just the BEST!

 

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