Personal Training for Seniors - What You Should Know!
Personal Training for Seniors

Senior personal training is much different than working with young and fit individuals. Most personal training textbooks provide a specific chapter on working with special populations.

The menu at the top of this page will answer any question related to your personal training. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment here (I’ll respond within 24 hours). Also, visit the home page for the most recent and popular articles.

I suggest you take the quiz to find out which personal training certification Is the best for you.

Personal Training for Seniors - What You Should Know! 1
Personal Training for Seniors - What You Should Know! 2

Much of that chapter includes working with older adults. Over my years as a personal trainer, I’ve enjoyed working with dozens of elderly clients. Let’s talk about how to work with these clients effectively.

My definition of elderly is clients who are 65 or older. Most individuals who purchase personal training (especially in commercial gyms) are seniors.

If you are starting out in the industry, chances are one of your first few clients will be in their 60s.

One great certification with a lot of advice on working with clients with muscular imbalances (which many elderly individuals have) is the NASM certification, their advanced Corrective Exercise Specialist certification, and the ACE Orthopedic Exercise Specialist certification.

Let’s jump right into the tips I have for you!

Contents

Exclusive PTP CPT Offers


Gold Standard Cert
NASM Gold Standard Personal Trainer Certification - Save 25%<br />
Most Popular Cert
ISSA - Most Popular Online Personal Trainer Certification 3 Certs for
Best Study Materials
TA - Trainer Academy - Best Study Materials for Personal Trainer Certification Online - See MVP discount
A Good Option
ACE Certification- A Good Fitness Course Online Option - 25% off<br />
A Good Option
NCSF Certification - A Good Option - Save 25%
Best CPT for you?
Best CPT For You? Take the Personal Trainer Certification Online quiz and Get a Personalized Recommendation Just for You

Assess their Fitness Level Before Starting a Program

Fitness assessments for senior individuals are ten times more important than for younger clients. Before you perform any fitness assessments, you need to review any previous injuries, illnesses, or diseases that might impact the training or them.

Pay particular attention to injuries at the joints, such as knee, hip, or shoulder injuries. These injuries are important in how they move their bodies and what kind of range of motion they can perform.

If your client is in rehab with a physical therapist, get the therapist’s contact number. This way, you can better understand the client’s exercise limitations.

Postural problems affect elderly clients more than most people know. I recommend you check out a great article from “Ask the Trainer” about muscular imbalances.

Fitness assessments are also critical. This gives information on their resting and exercises heart rate. You need to implement a cardio stress test to determine how fast their heart rate jumps.

Use the formula 220 minus their age to determine their approximate maximum heart rate. Ensure your client starts within a healthy heartbeat range during this stress test.

Pay close attention if your client has had pre-existing problems, such as a stroke or a heart attack.

Exclusive PTP CPT Offers


Gold Standard Cert
NASM Gold Standard Personal Trainer Certification - Save 25%<br />
Most Popular Cert
ISSA - Most Popular Online Personal Trainer Certification 3 Certs for
Best Study Materials
TA - Trainer Academy - Best Study Materials for Personal Trainer Certification Online - See MVP discount
A Good Option
ACE Certification- A Good Fitness Course Online Option - 25% off<br />
A Good Option
NCSF Certification - A Good Option - Save 25%
Best CPT for you?
Best CPT For You? Take the Personal Trainer Certification Online quiz and Get a Personalized Recommendation Just for You

Start Slow: Keep the Range of Motion Low

As we get older, our range of motion starts to decrease. We get less flexible. I like to start my senior clients with a lower range of motion for most exercises. This enables me to see their base level.

Ask them how the movement feels as they go through the range of motion. Determine if they have any discomfort. Resistance training puts a lot of stress on the joints, especially at the beginning.

It is a smart idea to use static exercises in the early stage. Static activities build good base strength and minimize the range of motion at the joints.

Be Aware of Their Perceived Exertion Level

You should always have an intuitive idea of how challenging a workout is for your client. This feeling is still extremely subjective. The only accurate way to find out is by asking them.

I have come to understand that perceived exertion levels are much different for people in their 60s compared to individuals in their 40s. You need to monitor their heart rate as you ask them questions.

After a few training sessions, you should know where your specific client is and how hard you can push them.

Conclusion

In brief, I have three tips for personal training with seniors. Fitness screening and fitness assessments are some of the most important things you must do for your older clients.

Before getting started, you need to assess their range of motion, cardiovascular capabilities, and strength levels. You should focus on your client’s range of motion at the beginning and start with a lower ROM.

This is especially true if your clients have pre-existing musculoskeletal injuries impacting how they move. The last tip is to pay attention to their perceived level of exertion during the workout.

Everyone is different in this regard, and the only way that you can find out is by asking.

I hope you enjoyed my article on training elderly individuals. Share your own experience working with senior clients in the comment section! You should also check out some of my other articles in my personal training tips part, such as Personal Training Tips for Beginners and Beginning Core Workouts.

A fantastic certification you should check out that prepares you well for working with elderly individuals is a Health Coach certification. Check out my lengthy article on How to Become a Health Coach if you’re interested!

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

PTPioneer Editorial Integrity

All content published on PTPioneer is checked and reviewed extensively by our staff of experienced personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and other Fitness Experts. This is to make sure that the content you are reading is fact-checked for accuracy, contains up-to-date information, and is relevant. We only add trustworthy citations that you can find at the bottom of each article. You can read more about our editorial integrity here.

2 thoughts on “Personal Training for Seniors – What You Should Know!”

  1. PTPioneer User

    Amazing information Tyler. I really like it. When we entered the age of 50 or 60 then our body has totally changed. It is mandatory for senior people to exercise with limited mobility. They can start with a little warmup. They can do some basic workout in their starting training like arm stretch, Leg Stretches, Dumbbell Workouts, Seated Twists, and Thigh Presses.

    1. Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

      Hey Daniel,
      definitely agree with you. Training different clients in different age ranges is very important information to obtain an order to become a good personal trainer. Training tons of senior clients myself, I learned a good amount of tips and tricks to work with them.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Find the best Cert for you

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ISSA Exam

18749

Before you spend your money on the wrong personal trainer, nutrition, or other fitness certification. 

Which Certification Is Best For You?

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The CSCS Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ACSM Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ISSA Nutritionist Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NCSF CPT Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM CNC Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM PES Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM CES Exam

18749

Get the top 5 Tips for Passing the ACE CPT

18749

Get the top 5 Tips for Passing the NASM CPT

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NSCA CPT Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The ACE Exam

18749

Get The Sectret Cheat Sheet For The NASM Exam

18749
Scroll to Top