Content Kathy – Description
The Content Kathy is just happy to be exercising. This client is usually defined as having a previous injury or loss of function. Because of that previous injury they’re ecstatic to be exercising again. They could also be an elderly client whose happy staying active and maintaining their function. The Content Kathy doesn’t care about progression or pushing heavy weights. They love lots of stretching and ‘feeling’ the body working.
Content Kathy – Challenges
Despite not having lots of hefty goals that you, as their trainer, are accountable to, the Content Kathy usually has a host of injuries. Keeping them healthy is the biggest challenge.
A secondary challenge is often that you want all of your clients to push themselves hard and get stronger. The Content Kathy loves working out but doesn’t want to work hard. As I mentioned above, they enjoy feeling the body move. You will have to avoid being lulled into a state of equilibrium with this client in order to add this client to your army.
Content Kathy – Case study
Leslie came to me with a whole host of injuries. Her medical filed was an inch thick! She had copies of her MRI saying that there was a herniation at the level of L4-5. In addition, she had a doctor’s note stating that she suffered from patella femoral pain. This client also suffered from Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and therefore wanted me to avoid using numbers. She also wouldn’t let me do an assessment as she would dwell on the results too much.
Setting goals for Leslie was out of the question. After taking some time to digest the situation I agreed to train Leslie as long as she got full medical clearance. I would proceed with lots of caution. Over time I was able to recognize the different imbalances that Leslie had through continual assessment of her movement patterns. It took longer than it would have otherwise taken as I needed to sneak my assessment in without her noticing. Thankfully she never asked to see my notes.
I saw Leslie twice a week for 2 years. Every session was a challenge and a pleasure. Training Leslie was different from any client than I’d ever had. She didn’t need motivation as her intrinsic motivation was based on maintaining her function pain free. This was lucky since I had to avoid using numbers and had to be careful describing the exercises in detail because it would have caused Leslie to dwell on her imbalances too much. Dean Somerset covered this topic in detail in an earlier article.
One thing that always struck a cord with me about Leslie was how great of a mood she was in. Simply put, Leslie was happy to be active. She loved feeling her body move and didn’t care to increase weight or reps. Over time I was slowly able to sneak in more progressions.
In terms of results in the absolute sense Leslie’s progress was nowhere near my other clients. In the relative sense Leslie paced herself among the pack. My training helped her retain her function and stay pain free. It enabled her to be active in her everyday life. Activities like gardening and shovelling the snow were once again within her realm of function and she was no longer worried about falling.
Content Kathy – Solutions
This is the most difficult client to give suggestions on because of the vast differences in cases. In Leslie’s case above I realized that in order to give her the help that she needed I had to stray from the course. She couldn’t be given any goals, numbers, or assessments because of psychological issues not because she didn’t want them.
The Content Kathy needs some direction. They’ve come to you because you have the knowledge to help them with their problems. Your job is twofold:
- Organize their workouts in a safe and efficient manner.
- Provide a subtle push and pleasant conversation.
The key in dealing with this client type is to be willing to veer from your training model and mould yourself to their needs. Have some fun. You have to accept that you can’t get this client the kind of results that you expect from others because they don’t want to push them self. Sometimes as a trainer it’s difficult to not expect hard work from clients we want to push. We must occasionally accept the differences in reasons for exercise and work within them.