How do you train someone who is overweight and too large to fit on machines?
If your client is overweight, your primary training objective should be to get that person to move and function better for every day life activities, as well as focusing on weight loss.
My question is, should machines be a part of this person’s program? Utilizing machines will not only frustrate your client (because he or she is too large to fit in it), it will also de-condition your client's body for life movement. Machine training was meant for the isolation of specific muscle groups. This is the last thing an obese client needs. Think about it. Your client is resistance training every day by carrying around the extra weight; therefore, it is probable that he or she already has a significant amount of muscle mass. Instead, utilize cable systems, free weights, stability balls and your client’s body weight for resistance. Incorporate exercise movements that work as many muscle groups as possible such as pulling, pushing and squatting motions. Integrate a low to moderate whole body exercise approach to your client’s program. This will help your client burn more calories and increase the ability to move and function in life.
Cardiovascular exercise is going to be the key to helping increase your client’s health and fitness levels. As trainers, we sometimes take for granted that others are as versatile as ourselves; yet, this is not always the case. If your client is overweight, walking and moving during simple life activities is probably difficult. So, have your client start off with a basic activity like walking. Remember to formulate a program based on your client’s abilities. If your client is only able to walk for five minutes, then the program you prescribe should include five minute walking intervals. Do not introduce too much activity at once. It will only cause discouragement and feelings of inadequacy.