Turn Intimidation into Excitement with Active Aging Clients

Personal Training

Turn Intimidation into Excitement with Active Aging Clients

Encouraging active aging clients to commit to a training routine in a traditional gym environment can pose a variety of challenges. One such challenge could be a feeling of intimidation or uncertainty around functional fitness frames or accessories. To many older adults, functional training might seem completely foreign and more geared toward younger and more athletic populations. However, when properly implemented, functional training equipment can have significant benefits for active older adults.

Queenax™, Precor’s functional fitness equipment, is a training tool that resonates with active older adults from age 60 all the way to 100+. How can training on Queenax transform intimidation into excitement? Here are a few tips that might boost participation and interest in your clients:

  • Gradual Introduction- Introduce your clients to movement patterns on Queenax over time. Connect these movement patterns to their activities of daily living (ADLs); helping your clients understand how functional movement patterns on Queenax will enhance their independence in other areas of life can be very motivating. This can include tasks such as carrying groceries, folding laundry, bending over to pick something up, traveling up and down stairs, etc. Gradually introducing movements on Queenax while allowing clients to gain comfort will encourage overall buy-in.

 

  • Provide Comfortable Options- Some of your active older adult clients may prefer training with equipment that provides comfort and stability, such as a chair, exercise ball, or fixed balance bar. If this is the case, utilize these items along with training apps like Superfunctional™ in order to progress them into movements that challenge stability while maintaining a perceived “safe zone.” Having clients begin in the seated position with suspension fitness applications can be a great way to conduct the warm-up before easing participants into a standing position.

 

  • Social Group Sessions- Research shows that training with a partner or a group can increase results up to 200%! The social engagement and camaraderie present in a group training environment might make trying something new more appealing. Try offering small group sessions (3-6 participants) that allow for individualized attention within a group environment shared by those with similar goals.  

 

  • Demonstrate the Fun Factor- Queenax apps and optionals can be used to perform play-based exercises which can be simultaneously exciting and unnerving for adults of any age. For many people new to functional training, these exercises reflect movements that remind them of their childhood, such as swinging, hanging, leaping, etc. However, they may not think of these as appropriate for older adults. Sharing high fun factor exercises with your older adults is guaranteed to earn smiles as you challenge their neuromuscular system, coordination, balance and strength. These surprising movements will leave your clients with a smile and will likely create a “buzz” within your facility. 

 

Overcoming Challenges: Customer Success Story

The Northshore YMCA – Bothell, WA

One major challenge when introducing new training equipment to this demographic is the “change factor.” Oftentimes, you might find that your clients have grown comfortable with their current routine and are not interested in evolving it. The Northshore YMCA in Bothell, Washington recently experienced similar hesitation among active aging clients when they launched their new functional fitness program for active older adults seeking low impact workouts. The goal of this program was to introduce a functional training program around Queenax that would improve balance, stability and flexibility for participants. Healthy Living Director, Kirsten Poma, observed that initially members were intimidated and frustrated when their quiet selectorized training circuit room was disrupted with a new Queenax X2 500 unit.

 In order to alleviate these feelings and provide excitement, Kirsten and her team offered personalized orientations and a variety of new classes to those members already participating in other active older adult programs within their facility. Their task was to convince these members that the Queenax had “something for everyone.” Once they experienced how Queenax related to their activities of daily living, members were much more apt to give functional training a try. Overall, the Northshore YMCA has seen a significant increase in participation of active older adult small group programs from an initial group size of 1-2 to a consistent 8-10 per class.

 

Launch Successful Programs

Turn intimidation into excitement by gradually introducing members to functional training, providing comfortable training options, offering social group training programs, and celebrating the fun factor. These simple tips can boost your programming while positively contributing to the quality of life for your active aging clients.

Author Information

Sarah Robertson
Sarah Robertson's picture

Sarah Robertson is the Precor Marketing Education Coordinator. In addition, Sarah holds a Bachelor's degree in Sport Management, is a Certified Personal Trainer and Senior Fitness Specialist. 

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