Exercise Programming for Seniors (92 & 74 year old program) | Show Up Fitness Systematic Approach to programming

Exercise Programming for Seniors | Show Up Fitness Systematic Approach to programming

The following will be a fitness program for a 92-year-old client and a 74-year-old senior fitness program (60-minute personal training client). During the PAR-Q and assessment I would want to eliminate Coronary Artery Disease via the ACSM-Risk Stratifications and take their blood pressure, grip dynamometer and see if they have been to the doctor recently for any blood work (How to do an assessment WATCH HERE). Let's pretend that you've discovered that the client has low back pain, normal blood pressure and as expected, overall weakness. Here is the program template for beginning clients:

1- *Core pattern, core pattern, **accessory. ***Rest for 1-3 minutes and repeat for a total of 3-rounds. Once circuit 1 is complete, progress into circuits 2 & 3.

2- Core pattern, core pattern, accessory. Rest for 1-3 minutes and repeat for a total of 3-rounds.

3- Core pattern, core pattern, accessory. Rest for 1-3 minutes and repeat for a total of 3-rounds.

4- Game / Cardio / Restoration / Personal Record / Stretching / Whatever the client wants to do.

*Core movement patterns: Hinge, Squat, Uni-lateral (leg), Push (vertical / horizontal), Pull (vertical / horizontal), transitional (jump, carry's or crawling.) If the goals pertain to the lower body, we will start each circuit with a lower body core pattern. If the goals are for upper body, we will start each circuit with an upper body core pattern. The first circuit is lighter and each subsequent round progressive overload is applied never compromising weight for form and using the accessory for trainer engagement (perturbations, bands, auditory cueing, etc.)

**Accessory= single jointed exercises, cardio, corrective exercises, Instagram Worthy (fun & creative, but always safe), abs, or any favorite exercise that your client wants to do.

*** Rest depends on how the client is doing. If they seem tired, pale in the face and barely able to speak, then we will rest longer (3-5 minutes). After the first round, if they seem ready to go, we will add weight and get after it.

For a client who is 92-years old, I would use this same systematic approach for designing a program, but with regressions (warm-up & cool down examples here):

1- Core pattern: Hinge- Bridge (add in a game) 2 sets x 6-12 reps (don't go to exhaustion and avoid emphasizing the eccentric phase as it causes the most DOMS.) During the rest period, take time to ask great questions to fill in the prolonged rest period as the intensity should be significantly less than your regular clients,

2- Core pattern: Push- Wall push-up & balance exercise. 2 sets x 6-12 reps

3- Core pattern: Squat into band rows. 2 sets x 6-12 reps

4- Walk, balance, or fast twitch fiber recruitment via reactiveness i.e., play with balloons, a laser pointer, or in a seated position, touch their shoulder and they must lift up the leg on that side of the body.

For a client who is 74-years old who wants to workout 4x per week

Show Up Fitness Level 1 coaches (BECOME A SHOW UP FITNESS LEVEL 1 COACH HERE) would use our systematic approach for designing fitness programs, but regressed. Instead of Core, Core, Accessory. We would do Core, Accessory. A 60-minute workout would look like this (warm-up & cool down examples here):

DAY 1:

1- Core pattern (push) & Accessory: Wall Push-Up & Wall Plank / Shoulder Taps. 2 sets of 5-8 Push-ups / 30-second shoulder taps.

2- Core pattern (pull) & Accessory: Banded rows & get ups (have your client lie on the ground supine and get up. Ask them what side of the body they got up and then do it again this time going the opposite way.) 2 sets of 8-10 & 4-6 get-ups.

3- Core pattern (press) & Accessory: Modified Military Press (neutral grip) & Fast Twitch Recruitment which would optimize the release of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which optimize neuroplasticity (Learn more about BDNF and the benefits of exercise HERE.)

DAY 2:

1- Core pattern (Squat) & Accessory: Body Weight Squats & Bicep Curls (try 1-leg). 2 sets of 8-10.

2- Core pattern (Unilateral) & Accessory: Step-ups (small step) & Bird Dogs. 2 sets of 5-8 reps per leg / 30-second bird dog variations.

3- Core pattern (Hinge) & Accessory: Bridge into banded walks / half jacks. 2 sets of 8-10.

Read more about BDNF which has been dubbed miracle grow for brain health by Dr. Ratey SPARK HERE.

There is NO NEED TO GET any sort of specialization to train a senior citizen. NASM, ISSA and ACE all have expensive specializations that would be an expensive purchase when all you need to understand is functional anatomy and how to design a program as we have taught you today.

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Written by: Chris Hitchko – Your favorite trainer with a belt buckle.