Focus: To learn and understand the main training differences and consideration needed for creating programmes for senior clients.
What You'll Learn In lesson you'll learn some tips you can use with your senior clients to motivate them to exercise. Why is This Important? Motivation is cited as one of the main reasons senior clients prefer not to exercise. Knowing these practical tips will help prevent exercise relapses.
A crucial first step is to clear your potential client from being at high risk of cardiovascular disease. For this, you have to use the Par-Q and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Assessment forms provided. How to deal with clients with medium and high-risk of cardiovascular disease will be described later in this module.
As described in Module 1, there are some basic differences between your senior clients and your younger ones. Let’s recap and explain what they may mean to your programming.
Loss of strength – according to different sources, we lose strength every year from the age of 30. This isn’t linear and highly depends on individual’s training history. After the age of 70, this number can rise 3% per year. So, conservatively, you can estimate that your 60-year-old clients have lost 35% strength compared to their younger selves; and for clients in their 70s, you can assume a loss of around 45%-50%.
When testing individual strength level (more on this later in this module), remember to take into consideration that most 1RM calculators will fail to accurately predict levels of strength.
The most practical method you can use is to record what weight the client lifted for 6 to 12 repetitions, with good technique and rated as 7-8 in modified CR-10 RPE scale (below), then retest it every 6 to 8 weeks.
Tempo is more important to consider within this age group, than any other! Changing the tempo for slower, more controlled eccentric repetition (2-3 seconds) is a good strategy for maximum gains. Controlling the tempo also allows for limiting or eliminating Valsalva manoeuvre (holding breath when straining), which can lead to a rise in blood pressure.
Also, bear in mind that lower bone mass determines the use of lower mechanical loads, in favour of more tension.
Aerobic Capacity – Some studies point towards 5-20% aerobic decrease per decade. Once again, this is not a linear decrease; it ranges from 3% to 6% in your 30s and 40s, to over 20% per decade after the age of 70.
More Lessons From This Module
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