Training People with Disabilities

Here at Fitness Training Solutions we offer many different personal training courses through our expert tuition and study materials. We make sure our students have the most up to date and thorough knowledge, skills and creativity to enable them to be the best they can be when it comes to their career as a personal trainer. We actively encourage our students to engage in a variety of roles within the world of personal training and fitness so that they have a broad understanding and experience of the many different people they will come across in their careers such as children, pregnant women and people with disabilities.

We’ve spoken about training children and pregnant women in previous posts so now we’re turning our attention to people with disabilities. It can be more challenging for someone who has taken one of our personal training courses to then use what they have learnt to adapt a fitness training programme to the needs of a client with disabilities however the way to view it is this: ask the client what they can do rather than what they can’t. It can be difficult, but with an open mind, some creativity and frank discussions with your client you can definitely come up with a fitness regime that will benefit your client and allow them to reach their goals. As with any client you must understand what their goals actually are, so make sure you ask.

Personal training courses teach you that of course exercise is beneficial to everyone and even more so for people with disabilities; if your client is in a wheelchair this is crucial. Think about it – a person who is in a wheelchair is probably limited to the movements their body can make so they don’t burn off what they eat. That’s not to say that all people in wheelchairs are overweight, not at all, but there’s the element of input being greater than output. Their diet may be restricted because they can’t ever lose weight or burn off what they’ve eaten, so keeping all their able parts of their body moving is so important. Personal training courses will again teach you all of this and of course in greater detail.

Social interaction is a necessity for people with disabilities. Sometimes they may find it harder to leave the house or engage in situations where they interact with others due to their disability. They may be embarrassed, especially if the disability is recent. They may have been involved in an accident which left them disabled. Or they may have been disabled all their life and just be ashamed or feel as though they’ll be laughed at. Social interaction be it in a group or on a one-to-one basis is fundamental. Just how you will meet likeminded people when you take one of our personal training courses, people with disabilities who want to get or stay fit want to be around people who are on their wavelength and who will support them in their goals and ambitions.

Something to consider when you take one of the personal training courses here at Fitness Training Solutions is taking a disability awareness course alongside it particularly if you feel that you may want to specialise in working with clients with disabilities. It will make you more aware of the differing disabilities, the different aspects of those disabilities and gives you a greater understanding of the subject, enabling you to be a better personal trainer. Once you’ve got the spectrum covered your confidence will soar and you will find that you become more focused, more creative, more innovative in your personal training. That’s exactly what we want here at Fitness Training Solutions.

Some disabilities restrict in ways others don’t. The term ‘disabled’ is a difficult one because it has many definitions to many various people. When used in relation to an inanimate object such as a phone or a computer, ‘disabled’ refers to a function that has been switched off e.g. flight mode. When we use the term ‘disabled’ in reference to people, it’s kind of a grey area. It’s fair to say that it’s better and more correct to say that a person has a disability or has disabilities, rather than say they are disabled because then you are not reducing them to it; they are more than their disability, it is only a mere part of them. Personal training courses will allow you to develop your training and instructing skills so that you’ll be confident in those areas giving you more time and energy to devote to your awareness and education of disabilities, eventually bringing all areas of knowledge together as a whole.

Just as you would a client without a disability, you should always offer discounts and schemes to get people to join up to your fitness programme. Make sure you run classes and sessions at varying times of the day, as many people with disabilities go to work, college or university so are unable to work out with a personal trainer during the day. Ensure if you work out of a gym or community centre that your client has easy and comfortable access to the building. Confirm the goals the client has in mind and make sure that you set out a clear schedule. Be honest with them if something seems a little unrealistic, but make it clear that you are prepared to try. Ask if they are currently receiving any medical treatment or if a doctor has told them to avoid a specific activity. If they have a carer, then make sure you make the carer feel welcome too.

Personal training courses as you can tell opens up a world of progression, fitness, aspirations and achievement to you. You may not even realise that you had certain goals or dreams before, or you may find that you really have talent for something new that you would never have had chance to act on before. Personal training courses allow you to reach for the sky, as cliché as that sounds. There are no limits to what you can do once you qualify as a personal trainer and if you really dedicate yourself, you can change your entire life with us here at Fitness Training Solutions.