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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 10-15-2008, 04:07 AM   #1
Abinav Shankar Narayan
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Scratching head with my first non-athlete client..

Hi,
I've been training young and fit athletes thanks to for the past 9 months. I just got a reference from a relative and now im in a bit of a quandry.. She is close to 200 lbs. Not very flexible. Its my first experience with a sedentary individual. Im a bit confused as to where I start? Any help will be appreciated. She wants to shed atleast 50-60 lbs in the next 6 months. What do you reckon I do? Any help will be appreciated.

Im an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer.. I did the cert. exam only to get recognition and haven't followed any of their guidelines to date. Im a national athlete myself and been training athletes from different sporting backgrounds.
I stumbled on Crossfit when I was browsing through the Navy Seals website searching for effective info. on elite fitness.. They did not offer too much information, but thankfully I clicked on a tab which said 'CrossFit'.. Hell Yeah!! The rest is history.. The last 6 months have been ecstasy as have tried the WOD's and been ripped apart by the monstrosity of the workouts!! So too my clients. I'm the biggest fans of Coach Greg and Mark Rippetoe and all the mates who make up the CrossFit community. Its fantastic that you are willing to share so much applicable information. Nobody has ever heard of CrossFit in India. Even if they do, it will take a lot of convincing for them to start trying it out. Most Indians are not physically inclined. Hope my dreams of outfitting a CF facility realises.. I will be coming to the US for my CSCS cert in Feb.. Yeah just another Cert. to add to the CV. But have to admit it, I wish CrossFit gets recognised and gets its due credit. I'm just waiting for the CF Level 1 dates in Feb.

Hmmm..This has been emotional..
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:49 AM   #2
Roger Harrell
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Re: Scratching head with my first non-athlete client..

Start slow, teach an assisted bodyweight squat. Start teaching the fundamental movements. Very gradual onramp, keep track of everything. Err on the side of paranoia with a deconditioned individual. They'll still make huge gains with CF protocols. Get the nutrition in line straight away.
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:10 AM   #3
Richard Doughty
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Re: Scratching head with my first non-athlete client..

start with air squats
push ups
deadifts (dowel)
inverted rows

just break down the wods into things like that fill in the excess time with cardio cause they need as much movement as you can get them to do
and walking post wod should be fine

the things i have found to be most important in a average joe client is getting them to work out often enough and follow diet
after that the weight loss should fall into place
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:18 AM   #4
Chris Walls
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Re: Scratching head with my first non-athlete client..

I would try to shift their focus to performance goals as the primary, and weight loss as a secondary "side effect" goal of achieving the performance ones.
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:25 AM   #5
Terry Carey
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Re: Scratching head with my first non-athlete client..

Wait a minute! You have your ACSM and dont know where to start? I suggest you go back to the educational manuals and do some reading! Sorry if I sound blunt,but this is basic material to personal trainers.With that said,start slow and make goals attainable!

T
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:28 PM   #6
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Scratching head with my first non-athlete client..

I've seen some of Rog's folks lose a lot of weight in no time by getting strict about the diet. Hopefully, you can just get them on it without any fuss, especially in a non-western country where the Zone and Paleo diet may be frowned upon even more so than in the states. Then again, maybe not. Get them off the rice. This comment hasn't been taking well in my family ( Japanese-Peruvian nor my caucasian family that loves it's potatoes and grains ).

They just seem to get them moving and a lot of their weight that seems to be lossed is retained fluid.
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:54 PM   #7
Sara Fleming
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Re: Scratching head with my first non-athlete client..

I would go to your text and look to do a full cardio and strength assessment. The most appropriate tests are going to be the step test, pushup (from knees) test, and holding a wall squat.

She needs cardiovascular conditioning, foundational strength, and flexibility training. You can combine all three of these by alternating 2-5 minutes of a cardio exercise (marching up and down on a step, riding a stationary bike, calisthetics, etc.), followed by one or two dynamic stretches, and then 3-5 sets of resistance exercises that stay within one plane of the body and involve all the major muscle groups (most basic Crossfit exercises). Example: squats and pushups, assisted pullups and lunges. Make sure she's using light weight and moving through the entire range of motion, this alone can increase her flexibility. Exercises such as the good morning or Romanian deadlift are really good for hamstring and lower back flexibility.

You can do this a number of ways. Either cycle through the same exercises each time, or focus on lower body, upper body, and then core separately. Personally, when someone is that out of shape and I want to make sure that they achieve a good foundation of strength, neuromuscular facilliatation, tendon strength, and flexibility, I do use isolation exercises to make sure that all the links in the chain are working. I use them in combination with multijoint exercises to grease the groove, so to speak, but I have found it helpful to individually strengthen some muscle groups, especially the rotator cuff and the shoulders.

Make sure she stretches adequately after working out, you may want to use some PNF techniques to help her achieve more range of motion.

Good luck, I've trained my own sister and training relatives can be a challenge.

I would reassess her cardio conditioning after four weeks and start increasing the intensity if she's ready.
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:09 PM   #8
Phillip Garrison
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Re: Scratching head with my first non-athlete client..

Start the same way you and every athlete was taught. With basics and building blocks, and go from there. Obviously you wouldn't train her the same way you would an olympic athlete, so start slow. What movement patterns can she do well now? What movement patterns is she deficient in? What are her goals? You need to do a needs analysis, and movement screen and go from there.
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Old 10-18-2008, 01:09 AM   #9
Abinav Shankar Narayan
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Re: Scratching head with my first non-athlete client..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Carey View Post
Wait a minute! You have your ACSM and dont know where to start? I suggest you go back to the educational manuals and do some reading! Sorry if I sound blunt,but this is basic material to personal trainers.With that said,start slow and make goals attainable!

T
Terry mate, I wanted to know how I can straightaway introduce CF to her.
I have only 3 months with her before she leaves the country, so obviously im strapped for time. Im sure you'd agree that CF accelerates movement mechanics and therefore wanted to elicit a faster response to training.

I have obviously got her walking,stair climbing,cycling (running still is an issue). However, she has no problems with the squat. She is also quite proficient at the Med. ball swing (5 lbs).
She is heavily packed at the hips and thighs. Need to literally torch fat to increase mobility.
Nutrition - How about suggesting Ori's 'Warrior Diet' to her?

And thanks for your suggestions guys, appreciate it..
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:56 PM   #10
Blair Robert Lowe
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Re: Scratching head with my first non-athlete client..

I wouldn't be big with the running. It can be very hard on the joints and body with someone out of shape since most likely their joints are weak, too. At this point, they'd just be jogging, so it's not a super awesome thing to do.
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