One of the most valuable skills to have as a personal trainer is being able to tune into our clients’ state of being at the time of the workout. Recognizing and knowing how to respond to where they are is a skill we develop over time. Making intentional eye contact and asking the questions “How are you today?” or “How are you feeling right now?” can provide insight into which direction the workout needs to go. When your client is in a highly stressed state a high impact, high intensity workout might just compound the stress since exercise itself is a stressor to the body. Consider offering a workout that mimics a fine glass of red wine. Make it smooth and calming. A workout with cues and imagery that create a fitness like retreat. Below is the second workout in the series of blog posts to help you deisgn workouts to create a feeling for your clients.
A workout to create the feeling of SERENITY:
Start with guiding your client through progressive muscle relaxation and providing imagery helping to release stress stored in the body. Inhaling and tensing a muscle or group of muscles then relaxing and breathing out. Begin with the head and face and move down to the feet.
- Walk for 5 - 10 minutes (preferably outside in nature if possible). Start with a gentle walk and then progress to slightly more of a power walk to heat up the body. Help your client to have a more sensual experience. Breathe in the fresh air. Notice the vibrant green grass. Feel the cool breeze. Smell the blooming flowers. Listen to the birds chirping.
- Breathing Focus: Use yoga positions that help open up the hips and build endurance. Even if you as a trainer don’t have experience with yoga, you can teach these poses easily to your clients. Use imagery here to create a visual of holding the yoga poses on the sand by the ocean. Hold each pose 2 - 3 times for 5 slow, deep abdominal breaths:
- Warrior II Pose
- Chair Pose
- Bird Dog Hold
- Finish with assisted stretching. Help your client hold the following stretches for about 20- 30 seconds:
- Knees to Chest
- Hamstring Stretch
- Hip Flexor Stretch
Once your client is finished, you’ve provided them with a sensual experience using breathing, strengthening and stretching to create the feeling of Serenity. Sit back and relax. Mission accomplished!
Lisa Jameson has a B.S. in Health Education and is ACE, AFAA certified. She has nearly two decades of experience in personal training and group fitness. She has worked in corporate, commercial, college, in-home and outdoor fitness settings. She stays hungry for learning and feeds her mind with journal articles, books, conferences, webinars, and classes.